by Dr. Manuel Cereijo

We are involved in World War III. It started on 9/11/2001. It is a different war than any previous one; asymmetric, terrorist battles, weapons of mass destruction, targeting civilians, innocent people. A war of civilization versus barbarism.

However, since when was it planned?

It all started in an Island in the Caribbean, Cuba; the First Tri Continental Congress, 1966. How?


North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)

NACLA was formed in 1967 after the Tricontinental Congress in Havana by individuals associated with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). NACLA said it was recruiting "men and women, from a variety of organizations and movements, who not only favor revolutionary change in Latin America, but also take a revolutionary position toward their own society." SDS leaders called NACLA the "intelligence gathering arm" of the radical movement. NACLA's published Methodology Guide recommends supplementing public source information by pretext interviews and phone calls, and NACLA has also planted or developed covert sources in government agencies and private companies. Over the years, NACLA materials have been used in a number of anti-U.S., Cuban publications.

Particular targets for NACLA information-gathering include companies supplying arms, anti-terrorist and police equipment to Latin America and Mexico; U.S. government defense, counter-insurgent and anti-terrorist programs; and oil, agribusiness, minerals and other U.S. companies with major Latin American operations.

NACLA veterans have included Michael Klare, head of IPS's Militarism and Disarmament Project and specialist on U.S. arms sales policies, anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency programs who lectures on such subjects at the University of Havana; and Michael Locker, head of the Corporate Data Exchange(CDE) that is funded by the Samuel Rubin Foundation via the Weiss's Fund for Tomorrow. Locker is also on the staff of the Cuba Resource Center, Inc., a non-profit, Tax-Exempt pro-Castro corporation in New York City.

In the British edition of Inside the Company: CIA Diary, CIA-turncoat Philip Agee, acknowledged that agencies of the Cuban government and representatives of the Cuban Communist Party provided "special assistance and data available only from government documentation" and that "John Gerassi, Nicki Szulc and Michael Locker of the North American Congress for Latin America (NACLA) obtained vital research materials in New York and Washington, DC." Locker's name was deleted from the U.S. edition.

Funding and Acknowledgements

CEP's four-year, $100,000 research project was funded by the Samuel Rubin Foundation, the Institute for World Order(IWO), an organization with close ties to IPS, by General Motors heir and philanthropist Stewart Mott, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Lilienthal, and the New York Community Trust.

Author Gordon Adams acknowledges in the report that the individuals involved with critiquing the draft report included IPS fellow Philip Brenner, a Marxist instructor at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus denied tenure and who also was Washington editor of Cubatimes, the magazine of the Cuba Resource Center(CRC); NACLA veteran Michael Locker, then head of a specialized NACLA spin-off, the Corporate Data Exchange(CDE) and a member of the CRC staff and Peter Barash, staff director of the Subcommittee on Commerce once chaired by Rep. Ben Rosenthal (D-NY) of the House Government Operations Committee.

Those who "provided the support and encouragement the author needed at critical moments" included Cora Weiss; Tim Smith, a 1980 CEP trustee and head of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), another group funded by Peter and Cora Weiss through the Rubin Foundation and Fund for Tomorrow that gathers information mainly on U.S. companies doing business with South Africa; and Tom Asher, a former member of the CEP board and executive committee and Washington lawyer long associated with IPS projects. Asher's wife, Marge Tabankin, was the Carter Administration's head of the ACTION/VISTA programs. Demonstrating the in-bred CEP family connections is the fact that while Asher served on CEP's executive committee, CEP's earliest advisors and consultants included not only IPS's Richard Barnet, but also Sam Brown, from 1977 to 1981 Tabankin's boss as head of ACTION/VISTA.

Adams also credited Kai Bird, associate editor of The Nation, a weekly magazine whose primary writers and contributors are veterans of IPS and NACLA, bolstered occasionally by writers such as Philip Agee and Victor Perlo from the Communist Party, U.S.A. Central Committee.

Focus and Contents

According to The Iron triangle, the key ways to force greater disclosures about military research and development programs, among the most highly classified military secrets, include the following tactics:

· To focus attention on the voluntary political action committees(PACs) set up by U.S. corporations that are principal defense contractors, raise conflict-of-interest questions against Congressmen and Senators who have accepted those PAC contributions, and urge Congress lowering PAC contribution limits;

· To expose "corporate interests in work that Federal advisory committees consider, and board member ties with government;"

· To press for legislation to restrict NASA and DoD personnel from going to work for defense contractors in fields related to their area of expertise in the guise of putting "greater distance between DoD and the industry;"

· To classify a far greater number of the activities of defense contractors' Washington offices as "lobbying" and require additional restrictions and disclosures.

The CEP report targeted eight "highly significant" defense contractors - Boeing, General Dynamics, Grumman, Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop, Rockwell International and United Technologies - and "gathered a wide range of available data *** using company disclosures and a variety of Federal and local resources."

CEP appears unconcerned that there are legitimate national security reasons why long-term weapons development programs and military policy meetings are kept as secret as possible. Furthermore, although Iron Triangle was unable to document wrong-doing by the eight defense companies, their experts who serve on military technology advisory boards or the former DoD technicians who have gone to work for those defense contractors, CEP carped that without full disclosure, "it is difficult for the public (and, of course, also for the Soviet GRU) to determine whether industry representatives acquire preferential access through such committees."

The Council on Economic Priorities in effect is saying that in the absence of evidence of wrong-doing or impropriety, one should assume that the parties concerned are guilty.

Who Was Instrumental For Castro?

Manuel Piñeiro

The surfacing of Manuel Piñeiro as a leader of the São Paulo Forum constituted, in and of itself, grounds for firing any U.S. intelligence or national security official who has argued that Fidel Castro and his Forum are no longer a threat to the security of the United States or its hemispheric allies.

For 40 years, "Redbeard" Piñeiro served as Castro's dirty operations man for the Western Hemisphere, personally setting up and directing Cuba's assassination, kidnapping, and terror international in the region. Piñeiro founded Cuba's General Intelligence Directorate (DGI), after Castro seized power in 1959, maintaining his ties with it as deputy interior minister (1961-74). In 1974, he left the Interior Ministry to take charge of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee's newly established Americas Department, a unit created to centralize Cuba's operations in Ibero-America under the personal control of Castro, to whom Piñeiro reported.

Throughout, Piñeiro worked on one operation: deploying a centralized terrorist international, along the lines of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's instructions to the 1966 Tricontinental Congress, that "the armed groups ... form ... coordinating committees to make more difficult the repressive task of the Yanqui imperialism and to facilitate our own cause." In 1967, the Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS) was formed, a sort of first-generation São Paulo Forum.

During the early 1970s, Piñeiro lived in Chile for several months, directing the estimated 14,000 "internationalists"—which included members of the Cuban Interior Ministry's Special Troops—deployed into Chile by Cuba to secure the Salvador Allende government. After the overthrow of Allende in September 1973, Piñeiro's Americas Department helped set up the Revolutionary Coordinating Committee (JCR) in 1974 as the successor to OLAS, assigned to provide a unified command for "just and necessary revolutionary violence" on the continent. It was led by Uruguay's Tupamaros, Chile's Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), Gorriaran Merlo's People's Revolutionary Army (ERP) of Argentina, and Bolivia's National Liberation Army.

Piñeiro's most successful operation was the 1979 Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. His Americas Department provided the Sandinistas intelligence, communications, arms, and even exiled Chilean Army officers, who had earlier been incorporated into the Cuban Armed Forces. Cuba's first public narco-terrorist operation—the arms-for-drugs deal with Colombia's M-19 movement, revealed with the 1981 arrest of Jaime Guillot Lara—was also a Piñeiro job. Cuba's ambassador at the time, Fernando Ravelo, was pulled out of Colombia after the scandal, and reassigned as Piñeiro's deputy at the Americas Department.

American President

When an American President can be killed with impunity, it sends a signal. In 1966, Cuba sponsored the Tri-Continental Congress, internationalizing terrorism and became a terrorist training camp.

Two years later, RFK was killed by a 'Palestinian' and Arab hi-jackers began landing in Havana. In '72, Arafat would murder our diplomats with impunity. If Castro can get away with it, then Arafat can too.

I believe that JFK's unavenged murder was the predicate action in Terror War on America. Overthrowing him from power and dismantling his regime is long overdue and would have an extremely salutary effect, not only in this Hemisphere, but in the World at large. As well as being simple justice.

Castro’s Regime

One of the U.S. government's bigger blunders in recent decades was not overthrowing the Castro regime when it would have been relatively easy to do so. Instead we played around with tepid subversion and lost our nerve after a half-assed invasion which we allowed to fail.

Since then we haven't had the will to do anything serious, and the result has been the transformation of the most advanced country in Latin America into a festering dung heap, and the destruction of the dreams, freedom and life potential (and in many cases the lives) of several generations of its citizens. The embargo is a sideshow that won't change any of this.

If we can consider destabilizing Iran, we should consider destabilizing Cuba. The risks of not acting may not be as great in the case of Cuba as for Iran or North Korea, but neither are the risks of taking action. Cuba is a damaged society and would take years to recover to a point where it would contribute more than emigrants to the Caribbean region, but that's a reason to start the process ASAP. Just as the Middle East will be a better place with a democratic Iraq and Iran, so the Americas would be better without a dysfunctional communist kleptocracy led by a senile thug. President Bush may have more important things on his mind, and our foreign-policy bureaucracy and think tanks may have given up on Cuba long ago, but perhaps it's time to reconsider our tacit policy of non-intervention.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Of serious concern today is the possibility of a terrorist group or nation acquiring a nuclear weapon or device. The focus of a more moderate concern in the 1990s was Russia.

It was not until people really became worried after the anthrax episode following 9-11 that the CIA suddenly produced a declassified portion of a study in which it states that there is no information of any nuclear weapon having been stolen from Russia or sold to the terrorists by some Russian organized crime "entity."

(Whether this information is true or designed to mislead the American people, as appears to have been the case in the crash of TWA 800 and the Oklahoma City bombing incident is anyone's guess.)

Likely, CIA director Tenet used the term "entity" to project the image of non-state involvement. The idea of a Russian non-state entity seems to have been introduced following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 as artificiality used to raise and characterize the proliferation problem as rogue individuals and "criminals" taking advantage of the sorry economic plight of those people who were safeguarding the various stockpiles.

This scenario (deception?) was promoted by both sides to demonstrate our "working together" and to justify the movement of billions of U.S. dollars to Russia to help it thwart such activities.

But those U.S. voices involved in crying wolf failed to understand that such criminal "entities" have played an integral role in Soviet covert operations since the 1920s, as indicated earlier, and as such were thoroughly penetrated and carefully watched by the KGB.

Moreover, the organized crime entities that were suddenly given free rein when the Soviet Union became Russia more likely than not were merely adjunct KGB covering crime operations (that is, selected components of the traditional Russian underground mixed in with a number of KGB-run branches).

What is especially evident in the newly emergent organized crime and especially Russian banking operations is the clear and dominant presence of both current and former KGB officials. (See, for example, Yevgenia Albats, "The State Within a State," Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994.).

But again, insofar as U.S. intelligence collection in the former Soviet Union was cut back to the bone, we are left mainly with information the Russians want us to have about what happened in Russia during and following its rebirth.

In this respect, extensive efforts have been expended to promote the Russian Mafia as an organized crime operation that the Russians disliked as much as other nations did. They said the Mafia was simply there and they were unable to control it any better than other nations were able to.

This argument depends for its credibility upon the continued silence (including poor memories) about the massive KGB-GRU state intelligence operations in organized crime, narcotics trafficking and terrorism that was initiated 35 years earlier at mid-century, and a traditionally inadequate Western understanding of Russian deception, which more than anything else remains guided by Lenin's directions to Dzerzhinsky: "Tell them what they want to believe."

Significance of the Anthrax Attack

To understand why this lack of understanding or assisted self-deception is so dangerous, consider the anthrax episode that followed on the heels of the 9-11 attacks. The main thrust of the investigation is now evidently focused on the possibility of an internal lone U.S. individual with the appropriate skills, such as a disgruntled university microbiology teacher.

The working assumption now is that the episode was independent of 9-11 – that is, a mere coincidence of simultaneous timing.

Possible, but highly improbable. More disturbing is the evident lack of any attention directed toward the suspects with the greatest expertise and both technical and operational capabilities: Russia, Cuba and China.

While coming close on the heels of 9-11, the anthrax operation by design was operationally very different. In the case of 9-11, notwithstanding the explosion and fire that pretty much destroyed the plane and all those aboard, there was still almost instant identification of the culprits and responsible organization.

In contrast, in the anthrax case, there has been no suggestion of a single scrap of evidence to have come out of the anthrax investigation, and there was no explosion or fire to burn everything and everyone up. The anthrax operation has all the earmarks – no trail – associated with skilled intelligence professionals.

The anthrax episode demonstrated the ability of an unidentified hostile force to manufacture a significant quantity of very special anthrax spores and distribute them in a manner guaranteeing that the U.S. government would not be able to suppress the information on what had happened.

The actual ability to cause horrendous damage was demonstrated without causing more than a few deaths – this was the message. In a sense, the reality of this ability is far more serious than the 9-11 attack, yet there are no clues and it almost seems that the episode is being allowed to die a natural death.

The Real 'Terrorist' Threat

The implications of the anthrax episode point toward an existing, present terrorist threat of truly frightening magnitude and possible consequences.

The United States and, by extension, Europe are in a situation in which our main enemies' regimes (of over 80 years in the case of the former Soviet Union republics, 50 years in the case of China and 45 years in the case of Cuba) are pretty much as they were before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

All the former Soviet republics and most of the former satellites are run by former Communists. They are, in all but name, Communist regimes, and most still have control lines that run to Moscow.

They remain closely connected with terrorist groups and rogue nations, and thus have the capability of supporting or running catastrophic sabotage operations using weapons of mass destruction.

These would have enormous social, economic, and political consequences – all to the benefit of the hostile regimes, beginning with those in Russia, China, Cuba and the various totalitarian Islamist states.

What this means is that a skilled, professional intelligence service, with relative ease, should be able to execute an attack on the United States, or any of our allies, with weapons of mass destruction and get away without detection.

Operationally, the 9-11 attacks were far more difficult to manage and execute, but the consequences of a serious attack using weapons of mass destruction (particularly a suitcase nuclear warhead) likely would be far more devastating, without the attack being recognized as a state-directed attack.

This intelligence service could use a terrorist group as a surrogate or execute the operation so that it had all the accouterments of a terrorist operation.

Another critical yet overlooked facet of the terrorism problem was raised briefly during the recent Senate Intelligence Committee National Security Threat hearings. The key question was asked by Sen. Evan Bayh: "Are Russia, Cuba, and China involved with enabling evil?"

This question was highly relevant because certain facts with respect to China, Cuba, and Russia, both of which presumably joined us in the war on terrorism, have been missing in discussions about the war on terror.

It is well known that China has been one of the biggest supporters of Middle East terrorists and rogue regimes seeking to acquire long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

Even more involved has been Russia. In its former incarnation as the Soviet Union, Russia is the granddaddy of international terrorism.

Today's international terrorism is fundamentally the product of Russia's military intelligence, the GRU, and to a lesser extent its civilian intelligence, the KGB. Both the KGB and GRU are alive, well and more powerful today than they were under Communism.

Further, the greatest sources of potential weapons of mass destruction, missiles and submarine proliferation over the past decade have been the various Russian laboratories and organizations (e.g., military and intelligence).

Thus, the possible involvement of Russia, Cuba, and China should have been under intense CIA covert scrutiny for many years, and Sen. Bayh deserved an honest and straightforward answer. What he got was a near-incoherent response.

Consider Director Tenet's answer: "Well, sir, I would say that, first of all – and it's all separate. The reasons may be different. And at times we have distinctions between government and entities. And that's always – and I don't want to make it a big distinction, but sometimes you're dealing with both those things."

Translation: "Yes, Senator, we believe there is involvement, but we don't understand the role of those who are involved, whether they are independent 'entities' or government representatives. Obviously, because we are trying to build a friendship with Russia and because we would not know what to do if they were involved, we would rather not discuss this subject at this time."

The Crimes of Communism

To answer Sen. Bayh's question, we need to go back 50 years, to the origins of today's international terrorism, narcotics trafficking and organized crime.

This is not an easy subject to address because of the efforts within academia, political circles, the news media, and policy centers for 80 years to keep silent about the crimes of Communism, as eloquently explained in the recent study “The Black Book of Communism” (Harvard University Press, 1999).

Because of this silence, data on Communist crimes come as a shock to most people and, hence, is hard to believe.

This "silence" is the cornerstone of the political protection that is largely responsible for the unprecedented growth of organized crime, drug trafficking and international terrorism over the past 50 years. This is the hardest lesson of all, and it has not been learned.

That organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism are Russian (and Chinese) STATE operations is hard for people to accept and even harder to incorporate into their thinking and planning because of the long history of political, news, and academic leadership silence respecting these crimes of Communism.

How can these be state operations when our own leaders are silent about them? The implications of this question are equally troublesome.

Origins of Today's Terrorism

The origins of today's terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime were experienced first-hand by the former top-level Czech Communist official, Gen. Maj. Jan Sejna. He was chief of staff to the minister of defense and was on the inside of the planning and execution of all three operations by various Communist state intelligence services, most notably the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.

No one in the U.S. government wanted to hear what he had to say, including (or especially) the CIA, because his information was politically most incorrect. (See the book "Red Cocaine," Edward Harle, 1999.) What Sejna had to say with respect to the Soviet operations can be summarized as follows.

When Khrushchev came to power in 1954, he set about renovating the Soviet Union's global revolutionary war movement, which had stagnated under Stalin.

Under Khrushchev's direction, the Soviets quickly dropped the "revolutionary war" moniker and henceforth referred to the activity as wars of "national liberation" to reflect a new deception, that these were only national liberation movements and not internationally stimulated revolutionary war operations, which is what they really were.

Concurrent with this change, three new strategic intelligence operations (that is, ones of strategic importance) were adopted: international narcotics trafficking (to undermine the society and weaken its leaders), international organized crime (to corrupt the politicians and financial institutions) and international terrorism (to destabilize the countries and create revolutionary situations).

Terrorism and drug trafficking were run mainly out of the GRU and organized crime was run mainly out of the KGB.

The Soviets already had considerable experience in these operations. Since its inception, the Soviet Union has been synonymous with terror. As explained in "The New KGB" (William R. Corson and Robert T. Crowley, Morrow, 1986), "No nation in the world can claim parity with the USSR in this bloody arena."

The chief instrument in the orchestration and implementation of terror was the Cheka, forerunner of the KGB. Its head was Felix Dzerzhinsky, who spent many years in prison (1897-1899, 1900-1902, 1912-1917) prior to the overthrow of the Russian czar in February 1917.

While he was in prison, his toughness and leadership ability won him the respect of the prisoners, most of whom were members of the Russian criminal underworld and from whom he learned the fine art of crime. He was even made an honorary member of the Russian underworld.

Wars of National Liberation

Up until 1955, these operations – crime, drugs and terror – were mainly internal security operations and low-level tactical foreign operations. But beginning in 1955, this quickly changed as decisions were made to build serious strategic intelligence operations in all three areas – organized crime, illegal drugs and terror – in support of the new wars of national liberation.

For each area, strategic deception operations, another traditional Russian forte, were devised to safeguard the operations by masking their connection to the Soviet intelligence services and by keeping the spotlight of publicity away from especially sensitive components such as the banks.

During the latter half of the 1950s, there was a planning and organizing phase during which operational strategies were worked out, intelligence cadres were trained, logistics and material supply lines were organized, and special covert communications were established.

By 1960 the base had been built and field operations were initiated, with indigenous people from various countries recruited and trained to run the foreign country aspect of operations.

To appreciate their successful growth, consider:

In drug trafficking, by 1965 the Soviets (assisted by their East European satellite intelligence services) had multiple indigenous drug production and distribution operations around the world, but most important in almost every Latin American country and half of the Caribbean Islands.

By 1968, the KGB estimated that the Soviets controlled over 37 percent of the drug trafficking into the United States. The growth in cocaine trafficking, beginning in 1967, was almost 90 percent the result of Soviet operations set up in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia between 1963 and 1966. Venezuela was a major organizing and money laundering center.

In terrorism, the Soviets recruited, organized and trained terrorist groups around the world, from Japan and Indonesia to Cuba and Latin America, but particularly those in the Middle East Middle East.

The Soviets had been particularly adept in penetrating the Muslim religious groups, going back to Indonesia in the 1920s. They helped create Arafat's core group in 1957 and the PLO in 1964, which acted as a Soviet surrogate in the late 1960s and 1970s.

By 1984, the role of the Soviet Union in organizing, training, sponsoring and equipping all terrorist groups was documented and terrorism was acknowledged to be a "global force." (See, for example, Benjamin Netanyahu, editor, "Terrorism: How The West Can Win," Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1986.)

In organized crime, by 1960 there were over 80 Soviet penetration agents within just the Italian mafia. By 1968 they had penetrated most of the 200 international organized crime groups around the world (their count) and had organized over 75 new groups. Czechoslovakia itself ran or had infiltrated 50 organized crime groups around the world.

By 1990, Russian organized crime was regarded by police and national law enforcement agencies in both the United States and Europe as far and away the most vicious and controlling of all the organized crime groups.

Initially, these were three complementary but independent operations. Gradually, the three operations became integrated. The roots of integration were present as early as 1965 when the Tri-Continental Congress, called to coordinate terrorist planning, first met in Havana.

It looked (at the secret level) like a terrorist coordination meeting. But at the top secret level, the meeting was used to cover the coordination of drug trafficking and money laundering, which at that time was in the process of being redesigned by top-level experts within organized crime and international finance.

Over the subsequent years, the synergism and need for coordination to keep the operations from stepping on each other's toes led to their natural integration. In the case of drug trafficking and terrorism, this merger was recognized in the West in the early 1980s and labeled narco-terrorism.

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