Written by William Michael
In an article published in the London Review of Books, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Seymour Hersh (of My Lai and, more recently, Abu Ghraib fame), explains recent two foreign policy mysteries to American readers.
The piece, The Red Line and the Rat Line is based on interviews with intelligence sources and consultants, and it connects the dots between between these two mysteries, and explains how they are related. What emerges is a clear picture of American cooperation, at the highest levels, with Turkey and Qatar, the foremost sponsors of the Arab Spring (see links). For example, NATO, as of December, was still subcontracting with what could be fairly termed a division of the Taliban.
The Arab Spring was a geopolitical program designed to ensure the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the proliferation of al Qaeda in the Middle East.
The first mystery is Benghazi, and what was really going on at that compound that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. According to Hersh, the CIA was operating a gun-running ring, collecting Gaddafi’s weapons and sending them into Syria to the rebels to fight Bashar Assad. This is consistent with some early reports following the incidents, including comments by Senator Rand Paul and an expose by Glenn Beck. Writes Hersh:
The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida.
What Hersh’s piece plainly conveys is that the CIA, authorized by President Barack Obama, was moving Libyan weapons into Syria in order to overthrow the (Russian-backed) government of Bashar al-Assad, a Christian-friendly Alawi. They did this with the assistance and backing of Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, each with their own reasons for wanting to turn Syria into a fundamentalist Sunni (sharia) state.
First, let us deal with the questions relating to the Saudis. A few weeks ago, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia was fired/resigned(?) from his position of head of Saudi intelligence. Previously, Bandar, a very close friend of the Bush family (his nickname in the Beltway is Bandar Bush), had been Saudi ambassador to the United States for 22 years. It has been consistently reported that Bandar was in favor of supporting the Syrian rebels, who were and are teeming with Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda operatives. The Syrian insurgency, like the Libyan insurgency that overthrew Gaddafi with U.S. support, is, consistent with expectations, backed by Qatar and Turkey.
It will be recalled that Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, expelled Qatari ambassadors in March. The reason that the Saudis et al. gave for the expulsion was that Qatar was actively seeking to overthrow their own governments: trying to bring the Arab Spring model of jihadi revolution to bear on their Gulf neighbors. Evidence for Qatari-American cooperation in the Arab Spring can be seen in the list of demands submitted by Saudi Arabia. These included the closing of two American think tanks with satellites in Doha – the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation (i.e., the think tank of the U.S. Department of Defense) – as well as the closure of (Muslim Brotherhood broadcaster) Al Jazeera.
Would Bandar, a friend of the Bush’s and a reliable American ally, really back the Qatari agenda of deposing Assad, when his King had just expelled the Qatari envoys from Saudi Arabia precisely due to their penchant for violent revolution? According to the Haaretz article linked above, it was Obama who demanded that Bandar go. Why would Obama, who openly supports the Syrian rebels, demand the firing of Bandar, if indeed he were on the same side of the conflict? Something does not add up. And it suggests that Qatar and Turkey, not Saudi Arabia, are the main forces behind the Arab Spring and the continued push to defeat Assad. (For a detailed report on Turkish and Qatari complicity in the Arab Spring, see here.)
If it seems hard to believe that the United States would transit Gaddafi’s weapons to Al Qaeda & Co. in Syria, there are at least few compelling reasons to suspect why this may be. As they say, round up the usual suspects. In this case they are Qatar, Turkey, and the perennial backer of Islamic terror, Pakistan. Each of these countries is run governments deeply sympathetic to, if not literally, the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, the United States, and definitely Obama, considers each a close ally in its own right. (Turkey is even a NATO member.)
The nexus of terrorism, linked through the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, as well as localized affiliates in these three countries explains how the United States, under Barack Obama, got into the nefarious business of gun running to the same groups of terrorists who orchestrated and carried out the attacks of 9/11/2001, and 9/11/2012. The weapons transferred through alleged rat line were tools in a strategy to build a modern day Sunni caliphate, governed by sharia law. Gaddafi and Assad, neither whom were/are committed to the worldwide revolutionary program espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood, necessarily had to/have to be eliminated.
Meet the National Logistics Cell.
The NLC is a state-owned entity of the Pakistani government, originally chartered to provide logistical support for the development of nuclear weapons. It is, essentially, a tool of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and it serves an important business function. The National Logistics Cell is used to smuggle refined heroin. Considering that virtually all the world’s heroin can be sourced to Afghanistan, is it hard to see where this bread crumb trail leads? Why of course, right to the Taliban.
For the National Logistics Cell, transporting opium is nothing new. As far back as 1985, the Pakistani news magazine the Herald reported that “the drug is carried in NLC trucks which come sealed from the NWFP (North West Frontier Province) and are never checked by police” (footnote 28). But when, specifically, did the Taliban get involved?
According to Gretchen Peters in her book, Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda, in mid-October 2004:
“Observers and historians tend to agree this was the moment when Pakistan threw its chips in with the Taliban. Later that month, a thirty-truck convoy from Pakistan’s National Logistics Cell – the same military owned trucking firm that funneled arms to mujahideen and reportedly transported heroin out – set off from Quetta for Turkmenistan carrying medical supplies. The ISI’s most experienced Afghan hand, Colonel Imam, led the operation.
In short, the National Logistic Cell are professional narcotics smugglers for the Taliban, operating under the aegis and to be benefit of the the Pakistani government. Their best-selling product in heroin, and the money is used to fund terror. To deny this is to deny nearly 30 years of documented history. It’s a fact we have to accept.
The largest American military footprint in the Middle East is in Qatar, outside of the capital city of Doha. The tiny country, which is home to the Muslim Brotherhood and their propaganda network, al Jazeera, is also home to Al Udeid airbase, south of Doha, and Camp As Sayliyah, the largest pre-positioning base outside the United States, and home of CENTCOM in the region.
According to a report published by the Congressional Research Service:
The Al Udeid airbase south of Doha, the Qatari capital, serves as a logistics, command, and basing hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearby Camp As Sayliyah houses significant U.S. military equipment pre-positioning and command facilities for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations. Qatar invested over $1 billion to construct the Al Udeid air base during the 1990s; it did not have an air force of its own at the time… The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) authorizes $69.6 million in FY2009 spending to build new Air Force and Special Operations facilities. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (P.L. 111-84) authorizes $60 million in FY2010 spending to build new Air Force recreational and dormitory facilities at Al Udeid. The Administration’s FY2011 military construction request for Qatar is $64.3 million.
It is appropriate, at this time, to note that Qatar was deemed the least cooperative of all countries in the region for counterterrorism – worse than Saudi Arabia, worse than Iran, worse than Pakistan. Yes, according to diplomatic cables, Qatar had the “worst” record in the region. Of course, this should not be surprising, as 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was on Qatari payroll.
Which makes it all the more interesting that last month Qatar has been awarded billions upon billions of dollars in contracts with American and American-allied companies. In March 2014 alone, Qatar inked a $23 billion arms deal which included:
Given the Qatari connections to al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorism, and the Arab Spring, a deliberate program to empower the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, it is disturbing enough that the American military presence in the Gulf has been adopted by the al-Thanis, the royal family of Qatar. But the clear line from Qatar to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and the incredible manifestation of corruption within the US military and NATO is even more glaring if you just scratch the surface.
The NLC, the same Taliban heroin smugglers who work at the behest of the Pakistani ISI, are not only in a joint venture with Qatar, but, as of 2012, also NATO subcontractors. In August 2012, The Express Tribune published a business-oriented article regarding the NLC, and their expansion into various non-Pakistani military areas of enterprise. These included construction, real estate, and stock market speculation. The NLC entered into a joint venture with a Qatari construction company, and “pay[ed] off 10 million Qatari riyals to the other company, and to inject fresh capital to start work independently.” If it weren’t bad enough that the Qataris hired heroin smuggling terrorists to build for them, consider that construction in Qatar is notorious for its use of imported slave labor. Al Qaeda, in case you were wondering, does profit handsomely from human trafficking… of say, slaves? Because they are scheduled to host the World Cup in 2022, labor conditions in Qatar have been the subject of international scrutiny and outrage, to a point where FIFA may rescind the invitation, pending a probe.
About that contracting with NATO, you may be glad to learn that the NLC does it merely for the cost of fees. According to the article, “To a question whether the NLC’s revenues also include fees charged from Nato containers transiting through Pakistan, Shaikh claimed that Nato was not paying a fee to any entity in the country. The roughly $235 charged per container was on account of handling, scanning and toll charges, he added.”
As of December 2013, the NLC was still NATO contractor. Not a minor one, either. “”The National Logistics Cell, a military outfit, has a major stake (business) in NATO supply operations and the same has experienced a hit because of the shipments’ suspension,” Brig. (retd.) Mohammad Saad, a former military attache at the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was quoted as saying in a media report last December.
Sure, we have the Taliban moving our supplies into a warzone (ahem, to fight the Taliban), but, we are getting this remarkable service at a great price! How do the casualties look in Afghanistan since Obama took office? 74% of all casualties in Afghanistan have come since Obama ordered an increase in the number of troops. Allow me to scream. OK, where were we?
Oh, that’s right. The NLC, the Taliban truckers, are very proud of their relationship with Qatar, even going to far as to call it a “brotherly country.” In fact, Qatar was the first international destination of the heroin-smuggling, terrorist folks at the NLC. On their website, NLC boasts that:
After setting firm foothold [sic] in the construction sector in Pakistan, time had come to explore vast opportunities on the foreign shores. Qatar became the first destination, where overseas subsidiary of the outfit by the name of Pearl NLC was formed. Since then Pearl NLC has significantly contributed to the development of the brotherly Country. Pearl NLC has executed construction projects worth QR 900 Million including earthworks, blasting and infrastructure development projects.
Shortly after the publication of Hersh’s article, an article was published on the website of the Fourth International (that would be the Trots) that asked the question: why hasn’t Hersh’s work been picked up by the press? It’s not like Seymour Hersh hasn’t been around forever. In all fairness, he does have a Pulitzer to his name.
Answer? Qatar is entrenched, deeply, in the American establishment.
The evidence that significant elements of the American political, military, and economic establishment have been co-opted by the same people responsible for 9/11 is abundant, even blatant. Qatar bankrolled KSM; they have the worst counterterrorism record in the region; they are in partnership with the Taliban, and NATO uses the Taliban to move supplies into a warzone. Qatar evidently recruited NATO to act as the muscle for its Arab Spring project. How did it do this? Two of the largest American bases in the world are located in Qatar, as well as two of the preeminent think tanks that guide American foreign policy: Brookings Institution and RAND Corporation. Qatar purchases billions of dollars of military equipment from American and allied companies. And this is to say nothing of the many, many other institutional and structural ties to the American political, military, intellectual, and economic establishment (several are documented in this report, including Georgetown University, ExxonMobil, and the Bloomberg International Business Forum).
Should it come as any surprise that the CIA allegedly found itself supporting the foreign policy brainchild of Qatar, the Arab Spring? No, but it is a surprise it took this long to dawn on someone in the mainstream press that something might be seriously wrong with American foreign policy under Qatari influence.
About that other foreign policy mystery, inextricably linked with Benghazi. The one having to do with the “red line.”
Right before the compound in Benghazi was attacked, Ambassador Stevens received a visit from the Turkish Ambassador. A few hours after he left, the compound was under attack by a local franchise of al Qaeda. Less than a year later, Obama made several statements claiming that if Assad were to use chemical weapons against the rebels (the same rebels who were receiving those weapons from Benghazi, through Turkey), the American military would intervene and punish Assad, effectively ending his rule and turning Syria into another Libya. (Anarchy, like exists in present-day Libya, is a great environment if you want to facilitate narcotics trafficking.) According to Hersh, the Turks supplied the rebels with sarin gas, and they in turn gassed their own, with the intention of forcing Obama to call in NATO bombers. Hersh hints that the American brass did not want to bomb Assad, and let their opinion be known. (Writes Hersh, “the military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.”)
It is a matter of historical record that Obama called for the resignation of Mubarak, which paved the way for Muslim Brother Mohamed Morsi to take the presidency in Egypt. Obama was also a prime mover in removing Gaddafi, who apparently had offered to abdicate after defeating al Qaeda in Libya. Instead, Gaddafi was extrajudicially murdered with the assistance of NATO, and Libya has since turned into something resembling Afghanistan, overrun with smugglers, and roving al Qaeda death squads.
Hersh hints that Obama, in his meeting with an eager (Turkish Prime Minister) Recep Erdogan, let Erdogan know that American intelligence had discovered that the Turks supplied Sarin to the rebels. At that point, the planned bombing, which had grown into a massive campaign, was called off. And yet, it is hard to forget that one of Obama’s closest international allies/friends is that very same Erdogan. In fact, Erdogan is still confident and comfortable enough to call on Obama for political favors, like he recently did when he asked Obama to shut down American charter schools owned by a billionaire rival, Turk Fethullah Gulen. (Since the Clinton administration, Gulen resides in Pennsylvania.)
Knowing as we do the connections between the heroin smuggling NLC and our close ally Qatar;, knowing as well that the Arab Spring was the project of Qatar and Turkey to benefit the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc., should not Congress look into the very real possibility that the United States may be wittingly arming al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood? Without Obama’s actions, Mubarak and Gaddafi would likely still be in power, and Assad probably would have crushed the terrorist rebellion years ago.
And possibly, in doing so, might not Congress defuse an escalating international situation with Russia, involving both Syria and now Ukraine?
Or is it too much ask that Congress do anything, and too much to ask a global catastrophe might be avoided by peaceful hearings?
Right Side News contributing writer William Michael
 Qatar, Pakistan, and Turkey are deeply committed to the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood: namely, the creation of a modern day, sharia-based caliphate. Their current Emir is an open backer and financier of the subversive organization. Qatar is the home of al Jazeera, launched by members of the ruling al-Thani family. Al Jazeera’s main attraction is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has an audience of more than 60 million worldwide, and has called for the ouster of Gaddafi (who was promptly destroyed with the help of NATO), and Assad. Under Prime Minister Erdogan, along with purging the secular Kemalists of the CHP in a series of show trials, Turkey has taken measures to restrict the consumption of alcohol and tobacco (with the help of the Bloomberg Global Tobacco Control Initiative), both which are considered haram according to sharia law. Incidentally, the name of Erdogan’s party, the Justice and Development Party, sounds an awful lot like the party of (Egyptian Muslim Brother) Mohamed Morsi, the Freedom and Justice Party, doesn’t it? Modern day Turkey was also the heart of the last Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire; a new caliphate is what the Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to rebuild. Pakistan, a pioneer in all things Islamist, is known for: BCCI, the most infamous Islamic (sharia-compliant) bank, which worked to finance Pakistan’s nuclear program by way of a complex of black market financing schemes; Jamaat-e-Islami, a Brotherhood-like Islamist party with close links to the Egyptian Brotherhood; providing shelter to Osama bin Laden, and likely Taliban leader Mullah Omar; and, of course, the ISI, whose National Logistics Core co-opted the Taliban. To be fair, whether Pakistan is sincerely Islamist, or merely a perpetuation of the criminally corrupt British Raj, who they emulate alarmingly well, is open for debate.