Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World

Excerpt from the book of Michael Springmann

Al-Qaeda (Arabic for “The Base”) grew out of and became identical with the Arab-Afghan Legion, those terrorists recruited by the United States of America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Originally sent to Afghanistan, they fought the USSR’s army and air force following the Soviet Union’s intervention of that country. Later, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, the Agency) directed them to cross the border and destabilize the Muslim republics of the Soviet Union. Still later, the American government moved them into the Balkans to destroy Yugoslavia, and then similarly to Iraq, followed by Libya and Syria.

They received visas to travel to the United States, usually from Saudi Arabia, for training, debriefing, and other purposes. In enabling their passage, American government officials violated the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the State Department’s regulations, codified in its Foreign Affairs Manual.

I know. I was there. I issued the visas, and I objected to gross violations of law and regulation. As a result, as happens to nearly all whistle-blowers, I was fired.

Since then, I have had inordinate problems with sending and receiving e-mails, being bombarded with more spam than Monty Python could handle, periodic difficulties with telephone service, mysterious computer crashes, and daily robocalls in violation of the FCC’s Do Not Call List. And the Arab-Afghan Legion is still marching.

Why Did I Write This Book?

Simple. It’s past time to expose murder, war crimes, and human rights violations by the United States of America and its “intelligence” services. Using the dubious claim of “national security,” the United States, through the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (NSA), has engaged in and/or organized coups and other 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 the legislative and judicial ones as well.

The “mainstream” news media will not report on these activities to expose them for what they are. In fact, TV, radio, and newspapers flat out support them. Instead of checking power, the media, print or electronic, commonly act as government agents, parroting the “company line” and attacking (or ignoring) reports and sources that expose injustice or illegal policies.

I know about unlawful government plots for a fact. As a career official with both the Commerce and State departments, I saw these plots close up during my nine years as a diplomat. First, I was an economic/commercial officer in Stuttgart (1977–1980), then a commercial attaché in New Delhi (1980–1982). Later I was a visa officer in Jeddah (1987–1989), a political/economic officer in Stuttgart (1989–1991), and, finally, an economic analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1991).

For nearly a quarter of a century, I have been speaking Truth both to Power and the Public. Some people have read my articles, others have heard me speak. My published critiques on the Visas for Terrorists Program, my writings about the deliberate destruction of Iraq, and my speaking out in many venues about what amounts, in my opinion, to treason by many public officials have not made me invisible. Nonetheless, from what I’ve seen, many progressives, such as Stephen Zunes, Peter Kuznick, and Phyllis Bennis, have yet to come to grips with even part of the problem. Our past still remains obscure. That’s one reason for writing this book.

Now, after more than twenty years of aggravation in dealing with the State Department’s bumbling, stumbling Foreign Service officers, corrupt federal judges, and unethical US attorneys, I have decided it is finally time to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about US government support for terrorism and relate it to the global picture.

I would like to give you, the Esteemed Reader, some background on this situation, particularly about the kind of people the US government hires to formulate and manage its imperialist foreign policy. I am providing my personal narrative to illustrate just how American foreign policy is really created and implemented, especially in terms of what I call the Arab-Afghan Legion, who are terrorists recruited and trained by the United States. This book will serve to illuminate the dark and ugly corners of the State Department and its handmaiden, the Central Intelligence Agency and will help you understand how they have destabilized a major portion of the world.

This tale is a sordid sketch of backstabbing, disloyalty, double crosses, faithlessness, falsity, perfidy, sellouts, treachery, and betrayal. All of this is in addition to the stupidity and incompetence normally manifested by the State Department and the intelligence services.

In the first half of the twentieth century, US foreign policy was already a record of disaster: grievous policy mistakes leading both to World War I and World War II and their aftermath, as well as our questionable intervention in, invasion of, and occupation of several countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and elsewhere. In the second half of that century, after the so-called “professionalization” of the Foreign Service and its merger with the Central Intelligence Agency (and its not-very-Clandestine Service), American foreign policy became a record of unmitigated disaster: Israel, Korea, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, and Argentina, are but some of the catastrophes brought into the world by our government.

My story shows how things really work. Inept, degenerate government officials and career-obsessed idiots created the climate for what I call the Arab-Afghan Legion, and others known as “al-Qaeda,” or “ISIS/ISIL.” My story also shows why the quality of American government has gone from bad to worse. This opus demonstrates how and why the United States has so deeply embroiled itself in South and Southwest Asia, North Africa, and the Balkans.

Throughout this book, bear in mind the credo of the Association of National Security Alumni:

…covert actions are counterproductive and damaging to the national interest of the United States. They are inimical to the operation of an effective national intelligence system, corruptive of civil liberties, including the functioning of the judiciary and a free press. More importantly, they contradict the principles of democracy, national self-determination and international law to which the United States is publicly committed.[1]


[1] Covert action is defined in US law as activity that is meant “to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the US Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.” 50 USC § 413(b)(e).


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Articles by: J. Michael Springmann

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