The Final Call Online Edition



WEB POSTED 08-14-2002




The Real Fifth Column!

by Robert Muhammad
News Analysis

( -- 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 pumping equipment."

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 time!

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 meeting?

How do we describe this type of activity? Fifth column maybe? (Reference: Le Figaro, October 31, 2001, and

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 Northern Alliance.)

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, 2002 edition)

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.)

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