John le Carré (1931-2020) on the Iraq War, Corporate Power, the Exploitation of Africa & More
Democracy Now! (2020)
This video is a replay (following his December 12 death) of a 2010 Democracy Now interview with David Cornwell. Famous for spy thrillers under the pen name John Le Carré, Cornwell will always been my favorite novelist. I love his work, in part owing to his exquisite character development and, in part, owing to his scathing critique of the politicization and corruption of Western intelligence services.
Most of this interview relates to the malfeasance of multinational corporations, particularly banks. Cornwell begins with a reference to the $352 of laundered drug money analysts credit for preventing economic collapse in 2008. He then quotes from an International Herald Tribute article about all the banks* who have pleaded to money laundering and paid a fine. After paying a small fine (which Cornwell refers to as “the government’s cut), they resume business as usually without anyone serving a single day in jail.
Conwell also deplores the way both US and UK intelligence services were politicized to justify the illegal US/UK invasion of Iraq. Cornwell personally participated in the 3 million strong UK anti-Iraq war protest in March 2003.
Commentator Amy Goodwin and Cornwell also discuss two of his books: The Constant Gardener (about Big Pharma’s unethical/illegal drug trials in Africa) and The Mission Song about continuous civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Cornwell blames the latter on greedy multinational corporations determined to exploit DRC’s precious mineral resources. My favorite, A Delicate Truth, is a novel about the CIA’s illegal extraordinary rendition scheme. See A Novel About Extraordnary Rendition
*He mentions Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Union Bank of California, Wachovia, American Express and BankAtlantic.
In my view, investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn has done the most comprehensive investigation into the identity of the scumbags responsible for the 9-11 false flag atrocity and cover-up. He has published the results of his 16-year investigation in two books (Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World and Solving 9-11: The Original Articles) and at his website (http://www.bollyn.com/).
Bollyn is unique among 9-11 researchers in that he is a Hebrew scholar, has a degree in Israeli political science and lived in Israel during the 1970s when the Likud government first took power.
He concludes that the 9-11 plot was mainly conceived and orchestrated by Israel’s Likud government and Israeli intelligence. The goal was to establish a US military presence in the Middle East to quell Arab resistance to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.
While I find Bollyn’s factual evidence for his basic premise compelling, I disagree with two of his conclusions. First I believe Dick Cheney and various members of the Bush family, FBI and US intelligence played a far bigger role in 9-11 than he gives them credit for. Second I disagree with his assertion that the US occupation of the Middle East only benefits Israel – the continuing US occupation clearly benefits Wall Street elites competing with Russia and China for control of Middle East oil and gas.
Architects and Engineers for 9-11
Bollyn spends the first 40 minutes of his video presentation reviewing the evidence compiled by the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth. The latter have concluded that strategically placed nanothermite charges caused most of the damage (and the eventual collapse) of the Twin Towers. The video evidence of the initial collisions is the most interesting because the color of the smoke is wrong. There is too much white smoke (indicative of the aluminum oxide produced by nano-thermite explosions) and hardly any of the black smoke jet fuel produces when it burns.
The Art of False Flag Terrorism
At 40 minutes, Bollyn discusses the Likud Party and the involvement of their founders in the Irgun, Stern Gang, Hagana, Lehi and other violent paramilitary groups who orchestrated acts of terrorism to drive the British out of Palestine in 1948. Menachim Begin (Irgun), Itzhak Shamir (Lehi) and Ariel Sharon (Hagana) were the primary leaders of the Likud government when it first took power in 1976. Begin, especially, took great pride in being the world’s foremost terrorist. Along with their followers, they refined the art of false flag terrorism (framing Palestinians and other Israeli enemies for terrorist acts they themselves committed), which they viewed as a form of “theater” that advanced a strategic agenda. John LeCarre (thanks to inside information from Israeli intelligence) describes some of this history in detail in his 1983 novel The Little Drummer Girl, which he based on inside information from Israeli intelligence. Bollyn elaborates on this history in the Guns and Butter radio interview below.
The Role of Mossad Front Companies
In the course of his 16-year investigation, Bollyn has uncovered active involvement of Israeli intelligence (mainly via Mossad front companies created by “retired” intelligence officers) or pro-Zionist American Jews who actively collaborated with them at all the major control points of the 9-11 conspiracy and cover-up. He identifies these individuals and the names of their front companies in a slide he shows at 113.50 minutes.
The part of the presentation I found most intriguing was the involvement of “former” Mossad agents and their front companies in lobbying, beginning in the late 1980s, both to privatize the World Trade Center and to grant award its security contract to Kroll Associates, run by staunch Zionist Jules Kroll.
In July 2001, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sold the World Trade Center to Larry Silverstein, a strong Zionist and close confident of Likud prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two had weekly for calls for many years.
In my view, a fiction writer has a fundamental responsibility to reflect the era they write about. The majority of contemporary novelists balk at accurately depicting the criminal element that has seized control of our western democracies. Most 21st century spy thrillers are a hollow glorification of the War on Terror, celebrating the virtue and bravery of patriotic intelligence operatives who keep us safe from so-called fanatical Islamic fundamentalists.
Not Le Carre. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the British author used his gift for characterization to write masterful thrillers in which we made the intimate acquaintance of British and Russian spymasters, moles and bureaucratic government careerists with all their flaws and foibles. With the advent of the War on Terror, his more recent novels revolve around the privatization and criminalization of British intelligence, under the influence of the CIA and thuggish security contractors like Blackwater, who have no official accountability whatsoever to the taxpayers who pay their salaries.
Most of LeCarre’s recent thrillers end on a pretty bleak note. Owing to the mafia-like grip the sociopathic elite and their hired mercenaries have over British and US intelligence, the good guys almost always lose.
A Delicate Truth ends somewhat more optimistically. The plot revolves around the cover-up of a failed extraordinary rendition (i.e. the kidnapping of a suspected terrorist to a country where he can be legally tortured). A program that clearly hasn’t ended under Obama, despite his campaign promises. The heroes are two would-be whistleblowers who try to expose the cover-up because they’re too naïve to appreciate the total depravity of the forces arrayed against them.
I think I can detect the influence of real life whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange in LeCarre’s new note of cautious optimism.