A former State Department foreign service officer’s new book provides a shocking, timely, and credible circumstantial case that ties the U.S. training of Islamic radicals to our nation’s major foreign policy disasters in the Mideast during the past quarter century.
The book is Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World — An Insider’s View. Author J. Michael Springmann (shown at right) is the former chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. He launched the book last week with his first lecture and book-signing, which admirers organized at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“It’s past time to expose murder, war crimes and human rights violations by the United States of American and its ‘intelligence’ services,” Springmann says. He continues:
Using the dubious claim of “national security,” the United States, though the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (NSA), has engaged in and/or organized coups and destabilization efforts around the world, most notably in the Middle East.
From Libya to Iran, governments have been overthrown, politicians assassinated, and everyday citizens murdered — all with the knowledge of not only the president of the United States and the executive branch but with the legislative and judicial ones, as well.
The essence of his first-hand experience is that he was required as chief visa officer in Saudi Arabia to issue what he regarded as illegal visas to large numbers of U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists transiting through Jeddah from multiple Islamic nations so they could visit the United States for secret purposes.
Those purposes, Springmann later concluded, involved covert training at such locales as “The Farm,” a CIA training facility in Williamsburg, Virginia. The trainees, he alleges, were vagabond Islamic mercenaries, revolutionists and jihadists — an “Arab-Afghan Legion” — who could be unleashed on America’s enemies.
All of this, he argues in Visas for Al Qaeda, was without adequate consideration of the “blowback” to the United States from uncontrollable jihadists sometimes recruited from prisons and with the help of ultra-radical clerics.
Spymasters made the recruitment process so complex, he says, that most of the radical clerics and U.S. government workers involved would not have known the funding and evolving goals of the process. But at the top, he shows, NATO-allied Gulf oil monarchies and their charities often served as intermediaries for the West in joint operations that cannot withstand public exposure.
In his view, the State Department, the CIA, and higher-ups have created an ongoing disaster for the United States, our allies, and the rest of the world.
It began with President Carter’s decision via his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to fight Soviet power in Afghanistan by supporting radical Islmamists on the borders of the Soviet Union.
Brzezinski, shown in a file photo, later held the national security advisor post for 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, thus illustrating a long continuum of policy and personal connections seldom explored by the mainstream media, which includes the advisor’s daughter, Mika Brzezinski, co-host of the MSNBC “Morning Joe” show.
Springmann draws on his experience and other research to show U.S. complicity in arming the Mujahideen, Taliban, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s when both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were United States operatives.
His story draws on his first-hand experience in fighting State Department and CIA higher-ups who enabled this rootless, radical fighting force to evolve into the modern-day Al-Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State.
His book could not be more timely.
Right now, the U.S. Congress is likely to authorize war against ISIS/ISIL (the Islamic State of Syria/Islamic State of Levant).
Few in government or the major media dare voice the hidden history of the nation’s previous wars in those regions, much less discuss current covert operations. These have led to up to six trillion of dollars in U.S. taxpayer expense for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars so far since 2001, according to some estimates. More than a million are dead and millions more have become refugees in those broken nations, according to other widely reported estimates.
Without that debate and history, neither Congress nor the public can create logical limits on presidential war-making in terms of an enemy, geography, or a time-frame.