by Robert Muhammad
-- In recent months, in light of the ongoing war
against terrorism, certain political and media pundits have attempted to
whip up an atmosphere of anti-Muslim hysteria and scapegoating in the
American press, where a terrorist plot or Islamic "fifth column"
movement, is imagined to exist under every rock.
Recent examples of this reckless journalism includes a June 11, 2002
New York Post article by John Podhoretz, titled "The First Sign
of a Fifth Column?" in which the author makes a convoluted attempt to
link Black and Hispanic prisoners incarcerated in U.S. jails, who are
exercising their constitutional right to practice the religion of their
choice, to some imagined Islamic terrorist "fifth column," operating in
America, with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as their leader. At
one point in his ridiculous article, Mr. Podhoretz accuses Min.
Farrakhan of "violently opposing the war in Afghanistan." It is these
types of irresponsible accusations and reporting that incite fear and
hatred against a man whose mission is, and always has been, peace
through the teaching of truth.
Although there is absolutely no evidence to support Mr. Podhoretz’s
charges, this nonsense is passed off as responsible journalism.
Another example of this type of witch-hunt journalism can be found in
a recent editorial printed July 11, 2002 in Conrad Black’s tabloid rag,
the Chicago Sun-Times, titled "Where Farrakhan and Saddam agree,"
in which it is implied that Min. Farrakhan and Saddam Hussein are
partners in some imagined "deep anti-Americanism" mindset.
This same editorial goes on to accuse Min. Farrakhan of "offering up
himself as a propaganda patsy—again—to regimes that would kill you and
us given half the chance." Again, although no evidence exists that would
substantiate any of these charges, this is passed off as actual facts.
It can be shown that there are absolutely no links between the work
and mission of Min. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam with a terrorist
fifth column. But that does not mean, however, that dangerous,
treasonous fifth column activity does not exist in this country.
Enough evidence has been revealed since Sept. 11 that points to the
existence of certain individuals and agencies in this country whose
documented activities constitute a real clear and present danger to the
security of the American people and could, in fact, represent a real
fifth column agenda!
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a
"fifth column" as: "A clandestine subversive organization working within
a country to further an invading enemy’s military and political aims."
Consider the following activities of various individuals and agencies
connected to the U.S. government which have been documented by various
national and international media outlets, then determine for yourself if
a fifth column does indeed exist.
The Dick Cheney/Saddam Hussein Connection: President Bush has
determined that the removal of Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein has
become the cornerstone of his admini-stration’s foreign policy. But,
according to a headline article in the Washington-based The Spotlight
newspaper titled "Cheney Profits From Iraq Deals," as recently as
the fall of 1998, the current Vice President of the United States, while
serving as CEO of Halliburton, was a business partner of the so-called
terrorist dictator Saddam Hussein!
In a Spotlight exclusive by reporter Martin Mann, the
following is stated: "While denouncing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Dick
Cheney secretly has been cutting deals behind the scenes with the
‘outlaw’ Mideast country." Mr. Mann’s article continues: "A confidential
survey by the UN Sanctions Committee of Western corporations suspected
of having evaded the harsh economic embargo imposed on Iraq after the
Gulf War recently noted that before being named as the Republican vice
presidential candidate, Cheney served as chairman and CEO of
Halliburton, the world’s largest petroleum engineering outfit. The
report revealed that on Cheney’s orders, Halliburton bought a
controlling interest in two smaller European oil-service firms,
Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Pump, in the early fall of 1998.
Cheney then used these overseas front companies as a covert conduit to
sell Saddam Hussein more than $50 million worth of oil exploration and
This astounding report would seem to contain some truth, since
neither Dick Cheney nor anyone representing him or the present
administration has come forth to repudiate its validity.
If we were to accept the premise put forth by the Bush
administration, that the Iraqi government—which is restricted from
patrolling its own airspace—is a terrorist regime that threatens the
security of the United States and the rest of the world, then what does
that make someone who has aided that regime by making available to it
some $50 million worth of economic assets? A fifth column maybe?
(Reference: December 18, 2000 edition ofThe Spotlight newspaper.)
The CIA and the Osama bin Laden free ride: According to all
signals coming from the Bush administration, Osama bin Laden is the most
wanted man on the U.S. list of terrorist suspects, and has been so for
the last several years. Yet, according to a report in the highly
respected French newspaper Le Figaro, as recently as July 2001,
the CIA was in direct contact with this most wanted terrorist!
According to accounts printed in the French publication, Osama bin
Laden received treatment for kidney disease at the American Hospital in
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for a 10-day period, July 4-14,
2001. It was during that hospital stay that, according to Le Figaro,
bin Laden was visited by the local CIA representative, who was seen
going into bin Laden’s room and later reported leaving Dubai headed back
to Washington and CIA headquarters on July 15. According to the same
report, Osama bin Laden was allowed to leave Dubai on a private jet on
July 14. Please keep in mind that bin Laden was already a wanted
fugitive for the bombings of two U.S. embassies and the USS Cole at that
What would a CIA representative have to discuss with Osama bin Laden
other than the terms of his surrender? And what exactly did this CIA
official tell his superiors at CIA headquarters in Washington about this
How do we describe this type of activity? Fifth column maybe?
(Reference: Le Figaro, October 31, 2001, and www:copvcia.com.)
Bush and the Al Qaeda "Getaway": In what may be the most
incredible, yet disturbing report to surface in the present war on
terrorism, famed journalist Seymour M. Hersh in the January 28, 2002
edition of the The New Yorker magazine, has documented a November
2001 secret military airlift ordered directly by the Bush administration
under which some 4,000 to 5,000 Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, who were
engaged in military combat against U.S. troops in the town of Kunduz in
Afghanistan, were airlifted to safety into northwest Pakistan by the
United States Central Command!
In Mr. Hersh’s report, titled "The Getaway", he states: "In
Afghanistan last November, the Northern Alliance, supported by American
Special Forces troops and emboldened by the highly accurate American
bombing, forced thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to retreat
inside the northern hill town of Kunduz. Trapped with them were Pakistan
army officers, intelligence advisers, and volunteers who were fighting
alongside the Taliban." (Pakistan had been the Taliban’s staunchest
military and economic supporter in its long-running war against the
Mr. Hersh says that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, "won
American support for the airlift by warning that the humiliation of
losing hundreds—perhaps thousands—of Pakistani army men and intelligence
operatives would jeopardize his political survival." Mr. Hersh continues
in his report, "A CIA analyst said that it was his understanding that
the decision to permit the airlift was made by the White House and was
indeed driven by a desire to protect the Pakistani leader."
According to Mr. Hersh’s report, "American intelligence officials and
high-ranking military officers said that Pakistanis were indeed flown to
safety in a series of nighttime airlifts that were approved by the Bush
Administration. The American intelligence officers also said that what
was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of
control, and as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban
and Al Qaeda fighters managed to join the exodus."
In the report, Mr. Hersh points out that according to estimates
compiled by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of the Indian
intelligence services, between 4,000 and 5,000 Taliban and Al Qaeda
fighters may have slipped out of Afghanistan in the airlifts, and are
unaccounted for! (Reference:The New Yorker magazine, January 28,
Now, the first question that may comes to mind after reviewing this
report is, exactly how do some 4,000 to 5,000 enemy combatants manage to
slip out of Afghanistan in a U.S. military-controlled operation? Exactly
who in the U.S. military chain-of-command is being held responsible for
this? And why is it that Mr. Seymour Hersh is the only mainstream media
reporter with the courage to report this incredible story?
Maybe for the American mainstream media it is simply a case of not
seeing the forest for the trees, and not understanding that if a real
fifth column does indeed exist, it would be precisely where they should
expect it to be—right behind them!
(Robert Muhammad is a Chicago-based freelance writer.)