Former Army intelligence and CIA agent Philip Giraldi confirmed recently there is indeed a limit to free speech in America—even amongst “conservatives.” When it comes to criticizing neoconservatives’ Israel-first policy, repercussions are swift.
By Dave Gahary
George Orwell once said, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”
That ominous warning was clearly on display last month when Philip Giraldi—one of the heavyweights who has been able to cross the line between the alternative media and the established media—was banned from writing for The American Conservative magazine, where he had been a contributor since its inception, because they didn’t like an article he wrote—not for them, but for another publication.
Giraldi, born in New Jersey and educated at the University of Chicago and the University of London, served in U.S. Army intelligence during the Vietnam War and was a CIA operations officer, i.e., agent, for 17 years. Since his time with “the Agency,” Giraldi has been writing for several websites and magazines about national security issues and most particularly about the war on terror.
He has also been the executive director for the past seven years of the 30-year-old Council for the National Interest (CNI), founded by former U.S. diplomats “outraged by the U.S. policy in the Middle East, which was favoring Israel very heavily and damaging our other interests in the region,” explained Giraldi in an exclusive interview with American Free Press.
CNI’s objective is to change “U.S. policy to make it more aligned with U.S. interests and less with Israeli interests,” he added.
The hullaballoo over some words started Sept. 19 when Giraldi penned a 1,483-word piece entitled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars: Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?” The story may have been relegated to appealing to the choir, if not for a chance event.
Giraldi explained what happened.
“Valerie Plame is a former CIA officer like myself,” he began. “She’s best known for involvement with her husband, Joe Wilson, who was in Niger to see if Iraq was buying uranium. This was before the war against Iraq. [Wilson] came back and said, ‘No way, this had never happened.’ And when he did that he was punished, but his wife was punished worse. She was a serving CIA officer, undercover, and Scooter Libby, who was an advisor to Vice President Cheney—and an ardent Zionist, I might add—was so angered by this that he leaked her name and identity to the media, The Washington Post, which picked up on it.”
He continued: “She has been punished again, because she made the mistake of seeing my article online and reading it and then making a comment that it was interesting material. She got jumped on by all and sundry of the Jewish oligarchy in the media and she apologized repeatedly, but they didn’t let up on her for a whole week. I suspect that the fact that she got into the story, and the story then made national news, was what made the story have the kind of currency that it got. I think if she had not been involved, my story would’ve been like other articles that I’ve written where people will say, ‘He’s just another crackpot; he’s an anti-Israeli crackpot.’ ”
Ms. Plame sent the article out to her followers on the social media platform Twitter, and “the Jewish oligarchy in the media” used the “anti-Semitic trick” to get her to grovel and genuflect.
The upside of Ms. Plame’s tweet was the exposure Giraldi’s article received, as well as a follow-up piece he wrote on Oct. 3, entitled “How I Got Fired: Exposing Jewish power in America has real consequences.”
“The original article’s been viewed about 150,000 times,” Giraldi said, “and the comments [responding to the online article] are up to about 1,500. The second article has had about 60,000 views and I think it just broke 1,000 in terms of comments. And some of my older articles also found a new readership as a result and are approaching 50,000 views. So it certainly had a dramatic impact in terms of getting the message out.”
Considering all the exposure his articles had received, AFP asked if the mainstream media reached out to him for comment, as they were relentlessly skewering him.
“The short answer is, ‘No,’ ” he said. “No established mainstream-type outlets have gotten in touch with me, even though the story has been all over the place. It was in The Washington Post, it was in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times; it was everywhere. It was on MSNBC, CNN. But nobody has gotten in touch with me to talk about this. However, from the alternative media, I’ve been run off my feet, in terms of doing interviews, in terms of talking about what this all means.”
Giraldi continued: “Unfortunately, we are seeing the classic exploitation of the heavy Jewish presence over-representation in the media and entertainment industries, to make sure these kinds of stories don’t get out. How long they’re going to be able to do that, I don’t know. I’ve long felt that what the Israelis have been doing to the Palestinians and also to all of their neighbors is totally indefensible. So how long do you keep this fiction going? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer to that.”
Giraldi explained to this newspaper what he wrote about and why it caused a stir.
“The article was about what I was describing as Jewish power, the ability of Jewish groups and individuals to distort our foreign policy in the Middle East to benefit Israel and to the damage of the United States,” he said. “And I think what set these people off was the fact that I didn’t use a euphemism about who these people were: I said that they were Jewish. And very often you’ll see people writing about Middle East policies and they’ll use expressions like ‘the Israel lobby’ or ‘Zionist’ or ‘neoconservatives.’ But [they are] fudging the basic issue. The basic issue is that this is Jewish money, this is Jewish people with access to the political class and with lots of money, and creating these foundations and organizations that only exist to benefit the Jewish state.”
Giraldi was emphatic that he was not talking about all Jews. He said he was only referring to a select few.
“Not all Jews by any means,” he said, “but I was indicting these people by name. I mentioned who they were and what the organizations were. These organizations are, as far as I’m concerned, committing treason.”
The article made a few recommendations as well, in order to return this once-great nation to the people it was created to serve.
“Actually, I made two proposals,” he explained. “I said, ‘Look, if you’ve got a guy like Bill Kristol—a leading neoconservative and great lover of Israel—on television, and he’s talking about the Middle East and Middle East policy, it might be nice to have a label underneath to tell people who are listening that don’t know about him, that this is a guy who’s partisan.’ And it was kind of a lighthearted comment, because I knew this was never going to happen, but I immediately got jumped on by the usual crowd—like Alan Dershowitz—for this ‘outrageous, anti-Semitic slur.’
“And the other proposal I made was that for Jewish officials in the government who are involved with policymaking, I said, ‘Well, look, if you’re Jewish and you have strong feelings about Israel, when the issue of what the policy should be in Syria or in Iran or indeed in Israel, you should recuse yourself, just like a judge would do in a trial in which he had a personal interest.’ It seemed to make extremely good sense to me to suggest that, and, of course, I got bombed for that one, too.”
Shortly after the article appeared online, Giraldi got a call. “I received a call from the editor [at The American Conservative] about two days after it came out,” Giraldi explained, “telling me that it was completely unacceptable by their standards, and as a result they were terminating their relationship with me.”
AFP asked if his firing sets a dangerous precedent.
“Yeah, we’re in danger,” he said, “because I think the example of what happened to me will keep anyone else from crossing that line and using what I refer to as the ‘J’ word. And I think a lot of people have already figured that out.”
One of the founders of The American Conservative was Pat Buchanan, and his 2003 article, “Whose War? A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interest,” about Jewish political power, set the stage for the anti-war magazine.
“That’s the irony about this whole thing,” Giraldi said. “Pat Buchanan became famous—or infamous, depending on how you want to look at it—when he wrote [that] article denouncing the war in Iraq. And he basically said the same thing that I did. And so here we have the irony of the guy who founded the magazine 15 years ago, and here I’m continuing this tradition of asking the same questions he was asking, and I get fired for it.”
AFP asked what he felt has transpired between the time Buchanan wrote his article and now.
“I think what has happened is that everybody in the publishing industry, which has changed dramatically in the past 15, 20 years, is scrambling for the same dollars, looking for money to survive,” he said. “I suspect what’s happened with The American Conservative, like many other publications, is that they have to basically triangulate where their money is coming from and they move toward what they think is the center. And that means that views that are even quite legitimate—which I feel my viewpoint was—are considered to be too dangerous and too risky. In this case it was too dangerous and too risky even to have me around.”
One of the bright spots of this rather sad affair is the support Giraldi has received.
“I’ve had a lot of calls from friends and people whom actually I didn’t even know,” Giraldi explained, “telling me that, ‘Look, it’s about time that we change the way we think and talk about this issue because there clearly is a superbly well-organized and funded cabal out there which is doing a lot of damage to the United States, and we have to talk clearly about what this means.’ ”
Giraldi next addressed another glaring example of Jewish control over America’s political institutions most painfully illustrated through Senate Bill 720, Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s (D-Md.) Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which “would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements, punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison.”
AFP covered this topic in the Oct. 9 & 16 issue on page 15. In the Senate, there are 49 cosponsors—36 Republican and 13 Democrat—and 261 in the House, where it was introduced by Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), from both sides of the aisle. Naturally, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has made the anti-First Amendment measure’s passage one of the group’s top lobbying priorities for the year.
“I had lunch yesterday with a university professor and he told me his tale,” Giraldi said. “He teaches a course in international relations, and as part of the syllabus he had an article that was talking about the Middle East and the author of the article—this was not him, it was the author of the article—had a comment about Israel and its neighbors. The comment was essentially that Israel has very strict immigration laws, but Jewish Americans who support Israel want open immigration in the United States. The article was basically [pointing out that] there’s a contradiction in the way Jewish supporters of Israel see the world. And this professor was admonished for being an anti-Semite and was almost fired as a result.”
Giraldi concluded the interview by alluding to the obvious.
“When all is said and done the punishment that has been meted out to me and Valerie Plame proves my point: The friends of Israel rule by coercion, intimidation, and through fear,” he said. “If we suffer through a catastrophic war with Iran, fought to placate Benjamin Netanyahu, many people might begin to ask ‘Why?’ But identifying the real cause would involve criticism of what some American Jews have been doing, which is not only fraught with consequences but something that also will possibly become illegal thanks to congressional attempts to criminalize such activity. We Americans will stand by mutely as we begin to wonder what has happened to our country, and some who are perceptive will even begin to ask why a tiny client state has been allowed to manipulate and bring ruin on the world’s only superpower. Unfortunately, at that point it will be too late to do anything about.”
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.
Who Really Drives America’s Wars?
• Columnist for American Conservative canned for voicing taboo opinions
By Philip Giraldi Ispoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the 600-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.
Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?” It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: Any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep-pocketed individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again.
They are particularly sensitive on the issue of socalled “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel. Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran.
To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself.
But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.
And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in The New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation of “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq.
The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol, and Bret Stephens. Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of The New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above-cited hawks by name before describing them as “. . . a who’s who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking.
If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last 20 years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”
And I would add a few more names: Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen, and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka, and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neoconservatives.
I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military— David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying. So it is safe to say that much of the agitation to do something about Iran comes from Israel and from American Jews.
Indeed, I would opine that most of the fury from Congress regarding Iran comes from the same source, with AIPAC showering our solons on the Potomac with “fact sheets” explaining how Iran is worthy of annihilation because it has pledged to “destroy Israel,” which is both a lie and an impossibility, as Tehran does not have the resources to carry out such a task.
The AIPAC lies are then picked up and replayed by an obliging media, where nearly every “expert” who speaks about the Middle East on television and radio or who is interviewed for newspaper stories is Jewish. One might also add that neocons as a group were founded by Jews and are largely Jewish, hence their universal attachment to the state of Israel. They first rose into prominence when they obtained a number of national security positions during the Reagan administration, and their ascendancy was completed when they staffed senior positions in the Pentagon and White House under George W. Bush. Recall for a moment Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Scooter Libby.
Yes, all Jewish and all conduits for the false information that led to a war that has spread and effectively destroyed much of the Middle East—except for Israel, of course. [9/11 Commission executive director] Philip Zelikow, also Jewish, in a moment of candor, admitted that the Iraq War, in his opinion, was fought for Israel. Add to the folly a Jewish U.S. ambassador to Israel who identifies with the most right-wing Israeli settler elements, a White House appointed chief negotiator who is Jewish, and a Jewish son-in-law who is also involved in formulating Middle East policy. Is anyone providing an alternative viewpoint to eternal and uncritical support for Netanyahu and his kleptocratic regime of racist thugs? I think not.
There are a couple of simple fixes for the dominant involvement of American Jews in foreign policy issues where they have a personal interest due to their ethnicity or family ties. First of all, don’t put them into national security positions involving the Middle East, where they will potentially be conflicted. Let them worry instead about North Korea, which does not have a Jewish minority and which was not involved in the holocaust.
This type of solution was, in fact, somewhat of a policy regarding the U.S. ambassador position in Israel. No Jew was appointed to avoid any conflict of interest prior to 1995, an understanding that was violated by Bill Clinton (wouldn’t you know it!) who named Martin Indyk to the post. Indyk was not even an American citizen at the time and had to be naturalized quickly prior to being approved by Congress.
Those American Jews who are strongly attached to Israel and somehow find themselves in senior policy-making positions involving the Middle East and who actually possess any integrity on the issue should recuse themselves, just as any judge would do if he were presiding over a case in which he had a personal interest. Any American should be free to exercise First Amendment rights to debate possible options regarding policy, up to and including embracing positions that damage the United States and benefit a foreign nation.
But if he or she is in a position to actually create those policies, he or she should butt out and leave the policy generation to those who have no personal baggage. For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up, e.g., Bill Kristol is “Jewish and an outspoken supporter of the state of Israel.” That would be kind of like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison—translating roughly as “ingest even the tiniest little dosage of the nonsense spewed by Bill Kristol at your own peril.”
As none of the above is likely to happen, the only alternative is for American citizens who are tired of having their country’s national security interests hijacked by a group that is in thrall to a foreign government to become more assertive about what is happening. Shine a little light into the darkness and recognize who is being diddled and by whom. Call it like it is. And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.