The roots of the ‘aspens’ are, once again, connected by the neocons

(WMR)—In September 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, penned a letter to his friend Judy Miller, the New York Times reporter who was jailed for refusing to testify in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA identity to the media and Bush White House officials. Libby wrote: “Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work—to life.”

Libby and Miller were part of the neocon cabal that helped steer the United States into a costly and insane war on and occupation of Iraq. Apparently, the “aspens” are, once again, turning and linking their roots through the influential Aspen Institute.

Just a few days before Walter Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute, announced that he was stepping down as the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to work on a “big writing project,” former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff were engaged in a lively conversation over dinner at the Black Salt restaurant in northwest Washington, discussing a project at the Aspen Institute. Hayden has been vocal recently hyping the threat to the United States from Iran. Our source at the restaurant said that Hayden and Chertoff were overheard at the dinner, at which their wives were in attendance, repeatedly discussing Aspen.

Aspen’s Board of Trustees includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management LLC; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; James Schine Crown, President of Henry Crown and Company, a Chicago-based privately owned investment company; Michael Eisner, former chairman of Disney Corporation and an ardent supporter of Israel; former Representative Jane Harman, Director and President of the Woodrow Wilson Center, board member of Newsweek Daily Beast Company, and a known Mossad asset in Washington’s political power structure; David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries, the major financial backer of right-wing causes; Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder Companies and another major backer of Israel; Frederic Malek, major Republican financier and member of the board of the America-Israel Friendship League; Michael Powell, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission; and Margot Pritzker, Chair of the Zohar Education Project Inc., which is a project to translate the Zohar, the canonical work of Jewish mysticism, into English.

Isaacson’s resignation from the BBG, which controls America’s propaganda media operations, including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Radio Farda (which broadcasts to Iran), and Radio/TV Marti, took everyone by surprise. Isaacson, a former chairman and CEO of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine, is a major player in the neocon media propaganda network. Last year, Isaacson said Russia’s RT, Venezuela’s Telesur, Iran’s Press TV, and China’s CCTV were “enemies” of the United States.

Based on recent developments, it appears that the Aspen Institute and Isaacson are engaged in a major propaganda effort to demonize Iran, much in the same way Iraq under Saddam Hussein was demonized as a threat to the United States in order to justify the 2003 U.S. attack on that country.

On February 1, the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is linked closely to the Aspen Institute and funded by the “Big Three” CIA foundations—Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford—called for the United States to militarily destroy Iran’s nuclear program. The BPC report also called for an increase in U.S. military assets in the Gulf region and stepped up covert operations against the Iranian government. The BPC report followed by one day a warning by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that Iran posed a domestic terrorist threat to the United States.

The Aspen Institute’s propaganda effort aimed at Iran came at the same time Israeli officials hyped a supposed Iranian nuclear weapons threat, information carried without skepticism by the U.S. corporate media. Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon contradicted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta by insisting that all Iranian underground nuclear facilities were vulnerable to military attack. Panetta insisted that even the most powerful bunker-buster bombs in the U.S. arsenal could not penetrate Iranian underground facilities. Israeli military intelligence chief Major General Aviv Kochavi said Iran has already produced enough enriched uranium to produce four nuclear weapons. Kochavi’s opinion is contradicted by CIA intelligence and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conclusions that Iran’s enriched uranium comes nowhere close to weapons grade quality.

Echoing the bogus intelligence offered up about Iraq having a first strike missile capability against the United Kingdom and United States, Yaalon dusted off that old canard by insisting that Iran is developing missiles with a range of 6,250 miles that could hit the United States.

It appears that Isaacson’s “big writing project” is to generate another barrage of propaganda to justify a U.S. military strike on Iran. As George W. Bush once said, with great difficulty, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.”

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2012

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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