Extraordinary Work for a Teen-Ager–Future Brilliant Analyst,
I lost patience with this book after an hour of careful scrutiny of the notes and the assesertions within each chapter. However, while a mature analyst would normally receive only three stars for this work, because the author is only 19 and has done hundreds of hours of work, very good work despite the source issues, I rate this as 5 stars and a special read.
I happen to know and admire Yossef Bodansky, whose book provides the intellectual underpining for much of the book. Bodansky is the only speaker in history to be invited to address my annual conference three times, largely because of his path-finding work on Bin Laden's declaring war on America, something the CIA and FBI refused to take seriously and still do not. Where Bodansky fails, as does this diligent and intelligent young author, is in falling prey to the false sources that claim Saddam Hussein was an active supporter of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan are much closer to Al Qaeda, and of course their parent, Saudi Arabia.
The author is a talented young man. We have exchanged emails. I respect his intellect and his diligence, but I fear that his judgement remains somewhat immature. Virtually everyone he cites in his acknowledgements or his notes can be linked to Israeli defense committees, neo-conservative think tanks, or Jewish pro-Israel advocacy groups. This book is, in effect if not in intent (I see the author as being unwitting of the pernicious effects of his limited circle of contacts), a propaganda tract. I would go so far as to say that a substantial number of sources that he relies on are part of a nuanced and sophisticated Israeli covert action propaganda operation, in deliberate and careful connivance with the worst of the neoconservatives (the top ones having been on Israeli's payroll years ago and perhaps still today).
It fails on three levels: first, it attempts to document deep and sustained relations between Sadaam Hussein and Al Qaeda. The author's sources are generally well-known neo-cons and Jewish sources that have been discredited by, among others, CIA analyst Michael Scheur, of “Anonymous” fame, and CIA case officer Robert Bauer, who has actually been heavily engaged face to face with people this young man only knows indirectly.
Second, it supports Chalabi, the Iranian agent of influence, and claims that Jordan is trying to discredit Chalabi. The book avoids telling us that Chalabi worked under CIA funding and was fired for being a liar and a thief of funds intended for the Iraqui democratic movement; and it fails to tell us that Chalabi was convicted in absentia by Jordon of stealing millions of dollars in a bank fraud scheme.
Third, the author parrots the neo-con line on Iraq continuing to have active weapons of mass destruction capabilities, something every other adult on the planet has realized was not true–we were lied to by the White House and the neo-cons, and Dick Cheney may yet be forced to resign for his lies and his mis-direction of U.S. national security policy and behavior. We did a formal study for the U.S. Government on where the Iraqi program wents, and our conclusions were quite straight-forward: they destroyed the stocks, kept the cook-books, and exported the bulk of their experts to Amman, Jordan and to Birmingham, England. Some stocks may well have gone to Russia, Algeria, and Syria, but on balance, the relative of Hussein who defected and then was killed by Hussein when he re-defected home, had it right: the knowledge but not the capability remained. Iraq was not a threat to the US or to Israel.
The book reads well. Neo-cons and Jews who equate Israel's survival with America's survival will love it. This is not, however, a book that can be relied upon. It lacks a table of contents and an index, and its sources are largely Internet blogs and Op-Ed material from neo-conservative and pro-Israeli sources.
There are numerous turns of phrase that betray the author's naivete, including his suggestion that Bin Laden was a “super-star” as early as 1990, which is not the case. Major funding for Bin Laden's fundamentalist activities did not start until 1988. The author fails to give Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld proper credit for transfering to Saddam Hussein all the bio-chemical capabilities he desired in his war with Iran and his genocide against the Kurds during earlier Administrations.
What we have here is a good-hearted young savant who is being show-cased by neo-cons and their Jewish-Zionist allies. When he matures, and has access to better and more balanced sources in many more languages, he will surely be a superb analyst. Right now he is simply a pawn in the great game, an attractive, personable, intelligent, diligent individual who is being used to further agendas that are not in the best interests of America. We like and admire him. We have cautioned him about the company he is keeping. We wish him well and are *certain* of his future success.