By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
On the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Washington Post has published excerpts of Top Secret America, a book based on a series of articles in the Post by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. The book refers to “the new national security state,” meaning the U.S. military, the CIA, the FBI, and other public entities and even private contractors engaged in defense or intelligence work. One waits in vain for the Post to investigate and expose the strategic plans of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups that want to destroy us.
“More than a dozen Washington Post journalists spent two years developing Top Secret America,” we are told.
The answer to the expansion of the “national security and intelligence system,” which is presented as a major problem in the work of Priest and Arkin, can be found in the activism of Priest’s husband, the silent partner in the series, a left-winger by the name of William Goodfellow. This is an open “secret” that the Post wants desperately to conceal from its readers. It leads to the exposure of the far-left networks behind much of the “real news” we see, read, and hear in the mainstream media.
Goodfellow runs the Soros-funded Center for International Policy (CIP), which “is in the vanguard of the movement to develop an alternative foreign and defense policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for human rights,” its newsletter proclaims.
Its other goals include:
- Finding “new ways to encourage cooperation” with the Castro dictatorship.
- “Reining in the CIA.”
- “Ending the war in Afghanistan,” and
- “Building public support for peace.”
The Goodfellow connection is never mentioned in the Priest bio on the paper’s website. William M. Arkin, a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com since 1998, is the co-author of the book and the series and “has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years,” his bio says.
In fact, he has made it his mission to expose the means by which the United States defends itself, in order to disarm the nation in the face of threats from the old Soviet Union and international communism and now from global Islam. In the 1980s he worked for the Marxist Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which provided cover and protection for such figures as Chilean Marxist Orlando Letelier, a paid agent of Cuba, and CIA defector Philip Agee, another paid agent of Cuba. The IPS also conducted international conferences with Soviet KGB-affiliated research organizations such as the Institute of the USA and Canada and the USSR-USA Friendship Society.
The IPS is the same organization that then-Rep. Leon Panetta, now Secretary of Defense, was associated with. Panetta and his wife were sponsors of an IPS anniversary celebration in 1983. During the 1980s, Panetta joined with IPS in opposing every major weapons system proposed by the Reagan Administration.
The IPS affiliation is not noted in an old Post bio of Arkin but it is mentioned that he “co-authored Nuclear Battlefields in 1985, revealing the locations of all U.S. and foreign nuclear bases worldwide” and that the book was “condemned by the Reagan Administration” for obviously threatening the security and safety of those weapons. Publicity for the book’s release was handled by Fenton Communications and its president, David Fenton, later to become a paid agent of George Soros when he campaigned in 2004 to defeat George Bush for re-election. (Fenton also represented the Salvadoran guerrillas, the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, CIA defector Philip Agee, the Marxist government of Grenada and communist Angola.)
Since Arkin and Panetta, now Secretary of Defense and before that, CIA director, were associated with IPS during the same time period, questions will naturally be raised about whether they have exchanged information as the series and book project were underway. This is not an unfair line of inquiry, since the Post bio claims that Arkin in the past has spoken to “a number of government audiences, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the CIA, various offices on the Air Staff and various senior service schools and war colleges, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, naval intelligence, the Central Air Forces (CENTAF) staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency…” and others.
Arkin co-authored Nuclear Battlefields when he was on the staff of the IPS. A press release said he was a “Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies” and had directed its “Nuclear Weapons Research Project” since 1981. The book was designed to alarm the public about a “nuclear infrastructure” that was said to be “out of control and beyond accountability,” a press release said, adding, “It is vital that citizens, legislators, and elected officials begin to comprehend this hidden world and try to bring it under control.”
This is the template that we see at work in the Post series. The Post publishes an analysis of the alleged terrible danger posed by “top secret America” and then the left-wing groups come forward to argue for “social justice and peace,” in the words of the CIP. Clearly, they are hoping to use rising concern over the debt and deficit to make massive cuts in what the paper describes as “the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
The system, the Post says, is “so big, so complex and so hard to manage, [that] no one really knows if it’s fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping its citizens safe.” Unfortunately, the Post does not really seem concerned about the latter. After all, Post reporter Marilyn Thompson covered and wrote a book, The Killer Strain, on the anthrax case and unfairly pointed the finger at Dr. Steven Hatfill, who was labeled a “person of interest” but never charged and was later officially exonerated, to the point where he collected $6 million in damages from the Department of Justice and the FBI for using the media to finger him.
The anthrax case, which was prematurely closed by the FBI when another persecuted suspect killed himself rather than fight for his reputation, was the work of al-Qaeda operatives on U.S. soil, according to the most authoritative book on the subject, Anthrax and Al Qaeda: The Infiltration of US Biodefense. This evidence suggests that the real problem facing the “National Security State” is infiltration and penetration by enemies of the U.S. and not enough safeguards against the internal subversive threat.
Thompson had been the Post Assistant Managing Editor for Investigations, which hardly inspires confidence in the paper’s ability to get the facts straight in this or any other national security-related matter.
As with the anthrax coverage, every story or series in the Post is dependent on government sources and the “Top Secret America” articles are no different. But why would officials in the Obama Administration want to expose what are described in the new book and series as people and groups engaged in “top-secret” work? The Post says it examined nearly 1,000 threat documents marked “For Official Use Only.” If the Post is not investigated by Attorney General Eric Holder for illegally obtaining access to information not appropriate for public release, then we will know that the “leaks” were authorized from the very top of our government.
On one level, the database assembled by Arkin and the Post is certain to make it easier for our enemies to know how the federal government is trying to understand and measure the threat. On another level, the intention seems to be to scare the American people—not about the radical Islamists who are trying to defeat our defenses but about those in the national security field who are trying to protect us.
The expected fallout is already starting. A Filipino newspaper is now reporting, “A secret US military organization rivaling the CIA has mounted intelligence-gathering missions and lethal raids not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but also in countries including the Philippines with which the United States is not at war, The Washington Post reported.” The “secret” organization is the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which is engaged in fighting terrorists.
As part of this onslaught, the public television Frontline series is airing a special September 6 program on “the secret side” of America’s war on terror. It says, “From the creation of black site prisons abroad and super-secret facilities here in America, to targeted killings and covert wars waged by special forces, and the creation of a multibillion-dollar terrorism-industrial complex, Frontline and Dana Priest ask how a decade of fighting terrorism has reshaped the country and whether it has made us any safer.”
Interestingly, the Post article in Sunday’s paper reveals that former CIA director and now Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a son who had deployed with JSOC. Indeed, James Panetta, a Navy Reserve lieutenant, served in Afghanistan and was awarded a Bronze Star “for exceptional service as an intelligence analyst who tracked high-value al-Qaida targets,” another report says.
“It’s a true honor to receive this award, but it’s also very humbling, because the people I served and worked with in Afghanistan are the real heroes, who made the real sacrifices,” James Panetta said in remarks following the pinning. “The fact that I’m receiving this just means that I did my job, and did it well. It was an honor just to be there as part of the team, going after those who started all this. I was simply fortunate to have been in the position.”
One can only wonder whether James Panetta’s father will disavow his far-left connections of the 1980s and take the side of the U.S. military as it comes under assault by those he once embraced. The official Pentagon reaction to Top Secret America will tell us a lot.