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▲Margaret Hassan execution: Anatomy of a CIA-DIA-Mossad Counterinsurgency operation?
November 17, 2004
“It is with profound sadness that we have learnt of the existence of a video in which it appears that our colleague Margaret Hassan has been killed. We are shocked and appalled that this has been the apparent outcome of her abduction,” CARE International said in a statement released yesterday. “Through her courage, tenacity and commitment, she assisted more than seventeen million Iraqis living in the most difficult of circumstances.”
CARE’s statement followed a video received by al-Jazeera “showing a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head,” as the Associated Press describes it. “On Sunday, U.S. Marines found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman on a street in a Fallujah during the U.S. assault on the insurgent stronghold. Officials have not said if the body has been identified.”
Disgusting. However, we still do not know who allegedly killed Hassan, since no group has claimed responsibility. Of course, the corporate media and the Bushcons want you to believe it was the Iraqi resistance. As I said when Hassan was abducted, if the resistance killed her they are the stupidest resistance movement in recent memory. It makes absolutely no sense for the resistance to kill a “humanitarian worker known around the Mideast for her concern for Iraqis—particularly during the years of U.N. sanctions, whose effects on children she vocally denounced,” as the AP notes.
It is curious the video of Hassan’s execution surfaced at the same time allegations of civilian mass murder, the execution of wounded prisoners, and other war crimes in Fallujah made the rounds.
I believe—admittedly without any evidence—that the abduction and now apparent murder of Margaret Hassan is a counterinsurgency intelligence operation run by the Americans, the Israelis, or both, as a way to sow chaos and discredit the Iraqi resistance (a resistance the United States cannot possibly hope to crush militarily). Discrediting the resistance is particularly important, as a psychological warfare tactic.
Although I have no direct evidence of this, there are several factors currently in play that make the US/Israeli counterinsurgency operation plausible:
More than 200 college professors since April 30, 2003, according to the Iraqi Union of University Lecturers, have been the targets of assassination. In addition, many intellectuals have disappeared. (See Andrew Rubin’s Bloodbath.)
In December, 2003, Julian Borger of the Guardian reported, “Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders. … US forces in Iraq’s Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories.”
“A new Special Forces group, designated Task Force 121, has been assembled from Army Delta Force members, Navy seals, and C.I.A. paramilitary operatives, with many additional personnel,” according to Seymour Hersh.
Israel funded Hamas, as the UPI’s Richard Sale reported in 2002.
The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories, in December, 2002. A PA official said the collaborators sought to “discredit the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza Strip.”
Israel currently runs covert ops in the Kurdish area of Iraq (see Seymour Hersh’s Plan B)
A CIA instruction manual entitled Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, written in the 1980s, states the following: “Bring about uprisings or shootings, which will cause the death of one or more persons … in order to create greater conflicts.”
US military (and CIA operative) officer Major Edward Geary Lansdale’s “psy-war tactics” used in the Philippines against the Huk. Lansdale’s methods “centered on measures of deception similar to those employed in the British and French colonial campaigns in Kenya and Indochina,” including the creation of bogus guerilla units used to discredit the enemy. (See Michael McClintock’s Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990.)
Of course, the above is hardly conclusive evidence that Hassan was killed by counterinsurgency operatives, only establishes a track record for similar behavior on the part of the Americans and Israelis over a period of decades. As noted above, the Iraqi resistance has absolutely nothing to gain by brutally murdering a high profile humanitarian worker such as Hassan, even though we are told she was abducted and threatened with execution in response to the British presence in Iraq (and the part Britain played in the recent attack on Fallujah). If the resistance seriously believes the British or the Americans will respond to such threats, they are not only sadly mistaken, they are unbelievably naive, possibly even stupid.
The abduction and murder of Margaret Hassan is a prime example of cui bono, who benefits. It certainly isn’t the Iraqi resistance—that is if we believe, as we are told through the corporate media, that they are responsible for this heinous act. However, when we consider the past behavior of the CIA and its long and sordid history of covert activity, another dimension emerges, one that cannot be discarded out of hand.