The CIA and the Gulf War
by John Stockwell
A speech delivered on 1991-02-20 at the
Louden Nelson Community Center, Santa Cruz, California
But first, how many people have read ..... The last time I was here, I asked you to ..... How many people actually read Howard Zinn's bookA People's History of the United States? ..... That's better! Everybody else: Tomorrow, call in sick. Don't go to class. Read this book! Quite simply, you will never understand the U.S. System as completely until you read it. And once you read it, you will be able to understand what's happening, broadly, for the rest of your life. It's extremely well-written, extremely well- documented, tremendously moving, with quotes on every page: every phase of our history, as viewed, not from the interests of the country and big business — as our high school textbooks are and as our college textbooks are — but from the viewpoint of the people who died in the wars, who fought in the wars, who paid for the wars, and who profited from the wars, of course.
This war we're going to talk about tonight is called the "Persian Gulf War" — the "SuperBowl War" — the "Made-for-Television War" — the "Pentagon-Edited War" — the "Women-Have-a-Right-to-Kill,-Die- and-Be-Captured-Too War" — "the Censored War" — the "Saddam Hussein-is-So-Evil-We-Have-to-Do-It War" — and the "I've-Got-to-Support-Our-Troops-Right-or-Wrong War".
Now this thing was thoroughly prepared for six months, overtly, by the United States Government, the Pentagon, and the Media — CNN [Cable News Network] getting into it many weeks ago with heavy coverage. We covered it so thoroughly that on January 14th ..... and I've been writing screenplays and things, trying to make a living, with CNN on ..... On the 14th, waiting for the kick-off, they had an Emory University professor on who gave us advice on how to play Wall Street to profit from the war before it happened. His advice is very simple — in case you're sitting on a bundle of money and you don't want to give it to the Christic Institute or to me — He said: "Jump now." That was on the 14th. He said: "Don't wait a few days because then, other people will be jumping. Go in right now!" And then, he said: "The U.S. dollar will go up temporarily, so buy Japanese yen. Wait `til it goes up, then buy Japanese yen because by the end of the year the dollar will be back down and the yen will have doubled in value again and you can make a bundle on that.
Every obscene coverage that we could possibly do!
And then the whole world waited, on the 15th and 16th, for the kickoff of this great modern war. Now, some people waited, or had been waiting, longer than others. I found myself in the position (albeit a country boy from Texas who grew up in Africa; but you know) reading books and having seen a little bit of this stuff from the National Security Council level, I had been able to predict, nine months ahead of time, that the U.S. would invade Panama. And this was not a shot in the dark. This was an analysis of the United States and George Bush — for whom I worked, at the end of the "Angola Secret War", where I was the task force commander for a subcommittee of the National Security Council, and he was the CIA Director responsible for fending off the Congress.
Let me hasten to say that this is a very nice man to be around. He's considerate. He's personable. He has high positive energy. If your child gets sick, even if you're way down on his staff, you'll get a postcard in the mail very promptly, saying:
"Very sorry about Johnny ..."
shaking hands with people and remembering their names; a considerate, decent person at the human level. And then, of course, he has rationales for what he does, and we're going to be talking about these things. But I gave speeches at American University in November, and then at the House of Commons in England in early December. Again, C-SPAN managed to get a film of this, a video, and they played it on national television eight times when the invasion occurred, because in those speeches, I had predicted the invasion and analyzed why. Then, about a year ago, I predicted this war. And again, this was not a shot in the dark. This was a cold, sober, careful analysis of the United States: where it was, and why it would need a war; and of George Bush: and why he would take the nation into war.
Now that's what I want to go through tonight, if I possibly can, is to give you all the essential elements and understanding of how I was able to make those predictions, so that you will be able to predict the next war. Because there certainly will be another one after this one, unless we can intervene and break the cycles, and make a profound change in the United States System. My point is that we know how these things work. It isn't magic. It isn't classified. It isn't secret. Since the Vietnam War, the Establishment — the Military Establishment, as I call it — Eisenhower called it the Military-Industrial Complex — the Military Establishment, which is the very powerful central engine in our society, in our permanent War Complex, has been working to erase the stigma of the Vietnam War and has been telling us that it was doing that.
President Reagan came into office saying that he would teach the nation how to fight war again, to make us stand tall — and then, of course, pouring huge resources into the Military, and glamorizing the Military, bombing Libya, invading Grenada, and [waging] low-intensity warfare against Nicaragua, but rehearsing for the invasion of Nicaragua. Interestingly enough, they were prohibited by the Military, by the Pentagon, by the Defense Department, from invading Nicaragua, actually, because the [American] People were solidly against it. And so, the Secretary of Defense, in public speeches, said: "No, not with my Defense Department, unless you can persuade the People to support it." They couldn't make their sale, and we were spared the horror of our doing this thing on Nicaragua.