The Iraq Study Group: Official damage control and cover-up

In-depth Report:

The Iraq Study Group (ISG) is a “bipartisan task force” created by the US Congress in response to the failure of the Bush administration to better manage the occupation of Iraq. Mainstream media reporting and official statements from Washington have characterized the ISG as proof of a “shift towards diplomacy” in the Middle East. These same reports cite the sponsorship of the so-called US Institute for Peace as evidence that the ISG represents a “change of course”. In fact, the ISG is another official damage control apparatus, spearheaded by notorious Western political and corporate elites, former military-intelligence officers, and “experts” from right wing and intelligence-connected Western think tanks—one of which is the US Institute for Peace itself.

What is the US Institute for Peace?

The sponsor of the ISG is the US Institute for Peace (USIP). USIP’s directors and members feature prominently throughout the ISG’s panels.

Despite its insistence that it is an independent and non-partisan body, the USIP itself is a policy group that functions as an arm of the US government, and as a US intelligence/propaganda apparatus. The USIP appointed by the President of the United States, and confirmed and funded by Congress. The rotating membership of the USIP consists primarily of elites, including “retired” Washington politicians and Pentagon officials.

Named in true Orwellian fashion, the US Institute for Peace is a harbor for elite managers of global warfare. Its former members have included the most notorious war criminals in modern history, among them Dick Cheney, Frank Carlucci, Caspar Weinberger, and Stephen Hadley.

Headed by former Iran-Contra officials

The Iraq Study Group is charged with bringing “fresh eyes” to the Middle East conflict. However, one glance at the directors of the ISG should remove any illusions. The ISG’s leaders are world-renowned American elites and Cold Warriors, each of whom played major roles in the crimes of the Reagan-Bush and Clinton administrations.

These are very old eyes, on very blood-soaked globalists who seek to fine-tune, perfect, and expand the war, not end it:

Its co-chairs are James A. Baker III and Lee Hamilton. The chairmanship by this tag-team of war criminals itself promises more of the same.

Former secretary of state Baker’s deep and extensive political and business connections to the Bush family, and high-level role in the Bush and Reagan-Bush administrations is well known. It was Baker who personally intervened to install George W. Bush as president in 2000. It was Baker, member of the Carlyle Group, who laid the groundwork behind 9/11 and the “war on terrorism”. It is James A. Baker Institute for Institute for Public Policy pushing many aspects of on oil and petrodollar conquest. Now it is Baker coming to George W. Bush’s aid again, with “better ideas”, by way of George H.W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft and Henry Kissinger.

Hamilton is co-chair of the infamous 9/11 Commission, a blatant cover-up. Hamilton’s role with the ISG marks his third chairmanship of official cover-ups: Iran-Contra, 9/11, and now Iraq.

Edwin Meese is the former Reagan administration attorney general. In addition to facilitating many aspects of the Iran-Contra/CIA drug trafficking operations of the 1980s and early 1990s, Meese is implicated in the crimes related to PROMIS software, including the Inslaw scandal, and the murder of Danny Casolaro.

Lawrence Eagleburger is a former Reagan-Bush secretary of state, and another Iran-Contra insider. In line with the ideas of Baker, Scowcroft, Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Eagleburger has been a blunt and outspoken critic of the “bungled” Bush-Cheney occupation. Note: Eagleburger replaced former CIA Director Robert Gates, who has been nominated to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

William Perry, Clinton administration secretary of defense, is a legendary proponent of  all-out military force, and even nuclear confrontation.

Vernon Jordan is the legendary Jimmy Carter-Clinton family confidant, advisor and Washington insider and damage control specialist, now a senior managing director of the investment firm Lazard Freres & Company.

Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court justice, was a driving force behind the stolen election of 2000 that installed George W. Bush. (Recall that when informed of Al Gore’s potential victory, O’Connor gasped “oh, that’s terrible”, and promptly headed to the Supreme Court chambers to illegally stop it.) Given her lack of expertise on foreign policy and military-intelligence matters, there is no explanation for O’Connor’s role on the ISG—except as the legal advisor who will facilitate law-bending and the destruction of more Constitutional and international laws.

Other directors include former US senator, Republican Alan Simpson (classic obstructionist who provided political cover for a host of Reagan-Bush era scandals, and a spearhead for many Reagan-Bush judicial and cabinet appointments), the scandalized former Virginia senator, Chuck Robb, and the ubiquitous Democratic Party insider and former White House chief of staff, Leon Panetta.

Think Tank Assets

The ISG is structured around “working groups” which deliberate on four aspects of the Iraq occupation: military and security, economy and reconstruction, political development, and strategic environment.

The membership of the working groups is thoroughly dominated by figures from neoconservative, military-intelligence related Western think tanks, and outright intelligence fronts, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the RAND Corporation, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the James Baker Institute for Public Policy and National Defense University (NDU). There are also officers with Bechtel and Citigroup.

The working groups are as follows:

Military and Security

Hans Binnedijk, National Defense University

James Jay Carafaro, Heritage Foundation

Michael Flournoy, CSIS

Michael Eisenstadt, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Bruce Hoffman, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University

Clifford May, Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Kalev Sepp, Naval Postgraduate School

John Sigher, NDU

W. Andrew Terrill, Strategic Studies Institute

Jeffrey White, Washington Institute

Political Development

Reuel Marc Gerecht, AEI, neoconservative, and former CIA operative

Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution

Raymond Close, freelance analyst

Andrew Erdmann, National Security Council

David Mack, Middle East Institute

Augustus Norton, Boston University

Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Endowment

Judy Van Rest, International Republican Institute

Judith Yaphe, NDU

Economy and Reconstruction

Frederick Barton, CSIS

Jay Collins, Citigroup

Jack Covey, Bechtel

Keith Crane, RAND Corporation

Amy Jaffe, James Baker Institute for Public Policy

David Lipton, Citigroup

Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution

James Placke, Cambridge Energy Research Associates

James Schear, NDU

Strategic Environment

Jon Altermann, CSIS

Steven Cook, Council on Foreign Relations

James Dobbins, RAND Corporation

Hillel Fradkin, Hudson Institute

Chas Freeman, Middle East Council

Geoffrey Kemp, Nixon Center

Dan Kurtzen, Princeton U.

Ellen Laipson, Henry Stimson Center

William Quandt, Brookings Institution

Shibley Yelhani, Brookings

Wayne White, Middle East Institute

The ISG’s military senior advisor panel consists of:

Admiral James Ellis, US Navy-retired

General John Keane, US Army-retired

General Edward Meyer, US Army-retired

General Joseph Ralston, US Air Force-retired

Lt. General Roger Schultz, SR., US Army-retired

Map of War and Conquest

Given its despicable leaders and unsavory composition, the Iraq Study Group does not represent a “change of course”, but an extension of a very old and familiar map of war and conquest, across the Middle East and Eurasian subcontinent; a very old Cold War agenda to head off the perceived threats posed by China and Russia.

There is not one member of the Iraq Study Group who represents alternative viewpoints or opposition to Anglo-American geostrategic policy. There are no Iraqis; no one from the Middle East or Central Asia (not even intelligence plants). There is not one member who represents the views of the people whose lives and nations are being “managed”.

It is, like the 9/11 Commission, a cover-up. It is a damage control apparatus designed to salvage the disastrous and politically embarrassing and untenable Bush-Cheney stewardship of the war, by putting the “war on terrorism” back on what the American Empire’s elites view to be its originally planned course: the bipartisan “consensus” reached immediately after 9/11.

It is elites and political criminals, talking to each other, hatching new schemes among themselves. This constitutes “study”.

The ISG’s report, due to be released next month, will likely recommend Bush rear-end saving compromises, which may include troop redeployment, but no end to the war and no end to the permanent US presence in Iraq. There will be calls for greater “international cooperation” (covert deals and UN-led multinational warfare, “nuance”), and new, and perhaps more aggressive, counter-terrorism (to better destroy “insurgencies”).

It is no surprise to note that the Iraq Study Group agenda comes at the same time that one of its original members, former CIA Director Robert Gates, has been tapped by Bush-Cheney as the new Secretary of Defense, and new Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in one of her very first act as the new Speaker, consults with Zbigniew Brzezinski.

There is no guarantee that the Bush-Cheney hardliners will abide by the recommendations of this cover-up commission.

In any case, the world must brace for what could be a future that is more insidious, worse than what has already transpired. The world must oppose the legitimacy of the Iraq Study Group as fervently as it opposes the Bush administration’s continuing criminal war.

The Anglo-American Empire’s rampage across the Grand Chessboard has stumbled and derailed under the management of George W. Bush. The Iraq Study Group will restore it. That spells increasing danger for the world. 

Articles by: Larry Chin

Related content:

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]