Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm and finance the Afghan mujahideen prior to and during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. Funding continued after 1989 as the Mujahideen battled the forces of Mohammad Najibullah‘s PDPA during the Civil war in Afghanistan (1989–1992).
Zbigniew Brzezinski (around 2001) revealed that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and “de-stabilise” the Soviet Union…
The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years poured $4 billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan (Taliban means “student”).
Young zealots were sent to the CIA’s spy training camp in Virginia, where future members of al-Qaeda were taught “sabotage skills” – terrorism.
Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York, within sight of the fated Twin Towers.
In Pakistan, they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by the SAS.
The result, quipped Brzezinski, was “a few stirred up Muslims” – meaning the Taliban.
The Wall Street Journal declared: “The Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace. Moreover, they were crucial to secure the country as a prime trans-shipment route for the export of Central Asia’s vast oil, gas and other natural resources.”
No American newspaper dares suggest that the prisoners in Camp X-Ray are the product of this policy, nor that it was one of the factors that led to the attacks of September 11.
Nor do they ask: who were the real winners of September 11?
The day the Wall Street stock market opened after the destruction of the Twin Towers, the few companies showing increased value were the giant military contractors Alliant Tech Systems, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon (a contributor to New Labor) and Lockheed Martin.
As the US military’s biggest supplier, Lockheed Martin’s share value rose by a staggering 30 per cent.
Within six weeks of September 11, the company (with its main plant in Texas, George Bush’s home state) had secured the biggest military order in history: a $200 billion contract to develop a new fighter aircraft. The greatest taboo of all, which Orwell would surely recognize, is the record of the United States as a terrorist state and haven for terrorists.
This truth is virtually unknown by the American public and makes a mockery of Bush’s (and Blair’s) statements about “tracking down terrorists wherever they are.”
They don’t have to look far.
Florida has given refuge to terrorists who, like the September 11 gang, have hi-jacked aircraft and boats with guns and knives.
Most have never had criminal charges brought against them.
Why? All of them are anti-Castro Cubans. Former Guatemalan Defence Minister Gramajo Morales, who was accused of “devising and directing an indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians”, including the torture of an American nun and the massacre of eight people from one family, studied at Harvard University on a US government scholarship.
During the 1980s, thousands of people were murdered by death squads connected to the army of El Salvador, whose former chief now lives comfortably in Florida.
The former Haitian dictator, General Prosper Avril, liked to display the bloodied victims of his torture on television.
When he was overthrown, he was flown to Florida by the US government, and granted political asylum.
A leading member of the Chilean military during the reign of General Pinochet, whose special responsibility was executions and torture, lives in Miami.
One of Pol Pot’s senior henchmen, who enticed Cambodian exiles back to their certain death, lives in Mount Vernon, New York.
What all these people have in common, apart from their history of terrorism, is that they either worked directly for the US government or carried out the dirty work of US policies.
The al-Qaeda training camps are kindergartens compared with the world’s leading university of terrorism at Fort Benning in Georgia. Known until recently as the School of the Americas, its graduates include almost half the cabinet ministers of the genocidal regimes in Guatemala, two thirds of the El Salvadoran army officers who committed, according to the United Nations, the worst atrocities of that country’s civil war, and the head of Pinochet’s secret police, who ran Chile’s concentration camps.
There is terrible irony at work here. The humane response of people all over the world to the terrorism of September 11 has long been hijacked by those running a rapacious great power with a history of terrorism second to none. Global supremacy, not the defeat of terrorism, is the goal; only the politically blind believe otherwise.