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USAF nets a Jewish General after Minot missing nukes controversy
Before flying to Israel in 2008, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates recommended General Norton Schwartz, Jewish and with a background in Air Force special operations, as the new Air Force chief of staff, replacing fired General Michael Moseley. Moseley was terminated after the Minot AFB missing nukes scandal. Wayne Madsen asserts that the nukes were headed for Iran.
Jewish general named new USAF chief
His hard work, education, and experience have driven him to greatness.
May many of our young men look to him for inspiration.
G-d bless him, and every man and woman in uniform protecting the US and Israel.
THE JERUSALEM POST
Jun. 10, 2008 http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1212659693552&pagename=JPost%...
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates launched the US Air Force in a new direction Monday by announcing an unusual choice as the service's next uniformed chief and by declaring an immediate halt to personnel reductions that he said had put the Air Force under too much wartime strain.
Before flying to Israel to explain his moves to airmen and their commanders, Gates recommended that US President George W. Bush nominate Gen. Norton Schwartz, a Jewish 35-year veteran with a background in Air Force special operations, as the new Air Force chief of staff, replacing fired Gen. Michael Moseley.
In a sweeping shake up, Gates also formally sent former Air Force official Michael Donley's name to the White House to be the next secretary of the beleaguered service.
Bush quickly announced he would nominate Donley, and designated him as acting secretary until he is confirmed by the Senate.
Gates said Donley and Schwartz were coming in at an important time in the history of the Air Force. "General Schwartz's unique set of experiences and accomplishments make him the right officer at this time to lead the Air Force," Gates told an audience of several hundred servicemen and Air Force civilians.
Gates announced on Thursday that he was removing Moseley from the chief's job and Wynne as its top civilian to hold them accountable for failing to fully correct an erosion of nuclear-related performance standards, a concern linked to the cross-country flight last August of a B-52 carrying armed nuclear weapons.
Gates said he felt compelled to sweep out the current Air Force leadership to halt a long-term drift in the service's focus. But he also made a point of praising the Air Force's contributions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Your contributions have made a lifesaving difference to those fighting on the ground," Gates said.
He noted that the Air Force has been engaged in combat continuously for 17 years, beginning with the 1991 Gulf War and including years of flying combat missions in "no fly" zones over northern and southern Iraq.
"Your families have also borne this burden, and the Air Force has its own fallen heroes -- often struck down while serving on the ground alongside our soldiers and Marines," Gates said.
"We know this, and we are working to ease the burden. For example, I intend immediately to stop further reductions in Air Force personnel."
In 2006 the Air Force began a multiyear reduction in its ranks, taking it from nearly 360,000 to an intended target of 316,000 by 2010.
By halting further cuts, Gates would leave the Air Force with about 330,000 personnel, Air Force officials here said. After delivering his remarks, Gates held a question-and-answer session with his audience. Before he began taking questions he asked members of the news media to leave the room "so that we can have a candid discussion inside the family."
Tony McPeak, the retired general who was Air Force chief of staff during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, said in a telephone interview Monday that he welcomed the selections of Schwartz and Donley.
"It's not a mainstream kind of thing" to choose an officer with Schwartz's extensive background in special operations, McPeak said. But Schwartz also has a variety of other experience, including holding senior positions on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"It's good to have that" broader perspective on the Air Force, said McPeak. In an effort to get at least part of the new team in place right away, Gates asked Bush to designate Donley as the acting secretary effective June 21 - a move that would allow him to begin work without waiting for Senate confirmation.
Schwartz had been thought to be in line for retirement, and his replacement as head of the US Transportation Command, Lt. Gen. William Fraser III, had been announced in April. But on Monday Gates recommended that Fraser be nominated as the next vice chief of the Air Force. And he said Gen. Duncan McNabb, the current vice chief, should move to the Transportation Command job, succeeding Schwartz.
In remarks later aboard his plane en route from Langley to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Gates told reporters that he had a 55-minute session with the airmen at Langley.
He told them that the importance of the Air Force's nuclear mission was likely to grow in the future, in part due to the threat of proliferating nuclear weapons technology but also because Russia is putting an increasing emphasis on modernizing its nuclear arsenal.
"Russia really is not investing very much in their conventional (non-nuclear) forces," Gates said. "It seems clear that the Russians are focused, as they look to the future, more on strengthening their nuclear capabilities."
That contrasts with Russia's historical emphasis on a large conventional force, much of which eroded after the Cold War ended. On Tuesday, Gates plans to make speeches at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., home of Air Force Space Command, which has responsibility for the service's nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile force, and at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., home of Air Mobility Command, whose tanker refueling aircraft are part of the nuclear bomber mission.
When he announced he was firing Wynne and Moseley, Gates expressed disappointment that shortcomings in the Air Force's handling of its nuclear mission had been allowed to persist. He said at the time that his decision was based mainly on the damning conclusions of an internal report on the mistaken shipment to Taiwan of four Air Force fusing devices for ballistic missile nuclear warheads.
And he linked the underlying causes of that slip-up to the North Dakota-to-Louisiana flight last August of the B-52 bomber that was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The report asserted that slippage in the Air Force's nuclear standards was a "problem that has been identified but not effectively addressed for over a decade."
Gates said the Taiwan mistake did not compromise US nuclear weapons technology and did not pose a physical danger, but it "raised questions in the minds of the public as well as internationally."
Donley served as acting secretary of the Air Force for seven months in 1993 and was the service's top financial officer from 1989 to 1993. He is currently the Pentagon's director of administration and management, and has held a variety of strategy and policy positions in government, including a stint on the National Security Council from 1984 to 1989. He served in the Army from 1972 to 1975.
He earned bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Southern California. Schwartz has held several high-level assignments on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and has been commander of the U.S. Transportation Command since September 2005.
Schwartz, a pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours, served as Commander of the Special Operations Command-Pacific, as well as Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, and the 11th Air Force. Prior to assuming his current position, Schwartz was Director, the Joint Staff, Washington, DC
He attended the Air Force Academy and the National War College, and he participated as a crew member in the 1975 airlift evacuation of Saigon. In 1991, he served as chief of staff of the Joint Special Operations Task Force for Northern Iraq in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
When the Jewish Community Centers Armed Forces and Veteran's Committee presented its Military Leadership Award to Schwartz in 2004, he said he was "Proud to be identified as Jewish as well as an American military leader."
W. Madsen: Minot nukes were bound for Mideast
The plan was averted ony because of "push back" from elements in the US military and intel community -- who rightly understand that an attack on Iran is utter madness.
In my experience Wayne Madsen is a pretty reliable source. If this report is true -- we should have confirmation soon -- then the many recent warnings posted on this board about a wider war were on target. It appears we may have dodged a bullet -- indeed -- much more than a bullet.
There appears to be a grand canyon in the US gov't -- with sane individuals on one side and lunatic neo cons on the other. BTW, this report also mentions the case of Mordechai Vanunu, who is now being sent back to prison in Israel simpy for speaking the truth. If Vanunu lived in Iran he would long since have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. MHG
B-52 Nukes Headed for Iran, Not For Decommissioning: Airforce Refused
-- SPECIAL REPORT --
Air Force refused to fly weapons to Middle East theater
By Wayne Madsen
Sept. 24, 2007
WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that the B-52 transporting six stealth AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missiles, each armed with a W-80-1 nuclear warhead, on August 30, were destined for the Middle East via Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
However, elements of the Air Force, supported by U.S. intelligence agency personnel, successfully revealed the ultimate destination of the nuclear weapons and the mission was aborted due to internal opposition within the Air Force and U.S. Intelligence Community.
Yesterday, the Washington Post attempted to explain away the fact that America's nuclear command and control system broke down in an unprecedented manner by reporting that it was the result of "security failures at multiple levels." It is now apparent that the command and control breakdown, reported as a BENT SPEAR incident to the Secretary of Defense and White House, was not the result of a command and control chain-of-command "failures" but the result of a revolt and push back by various echelons within the Air Force and intelligence agencies against a planned U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional
The Washington Post story on BENT SPEAR may have actually been an effort in damage control by the Bush administration. WMR has been informed by a knowledgeable source that one of the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles was, and may still be, unaccounted for. In that case, the nuclear reporting incident would have gone far beyond BENT SPEAR to a National Command Authority alert known as EMPTY QUIVER, with the special classification of PINNACLE.
Just as this report was being prepared, Newsweek reported that Vice President Dick Cheney's recently-departed Middle East adviser, David Wurmser, told a small group of advisers some months ago that Cheney had considered asking Israel to launch a missile attack on the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz. Cheney reasoned that after an Iranian retaliatory strike, the United States would have ample reasons to launch its own massive attack on Iran. However, plans for Israel to attack Iran directly were altered to an Israeli attack on a supposed Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear installation in northern Syria.
WMR has learned that a U.S. attack on Iran using nuclear and conventional weapons was scheduled to coincide with Israel's September 6 air attack on a reputed Syrian nuclear facility in Dayr az-Zwar, near the village of Tal Abyad, in northern Syria, near the Turkish border. Israel's attack, code named OPERATION ORCHARD, was to provide a reason for the U.S. to strike Iran. The neo-conservative propaganda onslaught was to cite the cooperation of the George Bush's three remaining "Axis of Evil" states -- Syria, Iran, and North Korea -- to justify a sustained Israeli attack on Syria and a massive U.S. military attack on Iran.
WMR has learned from military sources on both sides of the Atlantic that there was a definite connection between Israel's OPERATION ORCHARD and BENT SPEAR involving the B-52 that flew the six nuclear-armed cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale. There is also a connection between these two events as the Pentagon's highly-classified PROJECT CHECKMATE, a compartmented U.S. Air Force program that has been working on an attack plan for Iran since June 2007, around the same time that Cheney was working on the joint Israeli-U.S. attack scenario on Iran.
PROJECT CHECKMATE was leaked in an article by military analyst Eric Margolis in the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, the /Times of London/, is a program that involves over two dozen Air Force officers and is headed by Brig. Gen. Lawrence Stutzriem and his chief civilian adviser, Dr. Lani Kass, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who, astoundingly, is now involved in planning a joint U.S.-Israeli massive military attack on Iran that involves a "decapitating" blow on Iran by hitting between three to four thousand targets in the country. Stutzriem and Kass report directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Michael Moseley, who has also been charged with preparing a report on the B-52/nuclear weapons incident.
Kass' area of speciality is cyber-warfare, which includes ensuring "information blockades," such as that imposed by the Israeli government on the Israeli media regarding the Syrian air attack on the alleged Syrian "nuclear installation." British intelligence sources have reported that the Israeli attack on Syria was a "true flag" attack originally designed to foreshadow a U.S. attack on Iran. After the U.S. Air Force push back against transporting the six cruise nuclear-armed AGM-129s to the Middle East, Israel went ahead with its attack on Syria in order to help ratchet up tensions between Washington on one side and Damascus, Tehran, and Pyongyang on the other.
The other part of CHECKMATE's brief is to ensure that a media "perception management" is waged against Syria, Iran, and North Korea. This involves articles such as that which appeared with Joby Warrick's and Walter Pincus' bylines in yesterdays /Washington Post/. The article, titled "The Saga of a Bent Spear," quotes a number of seasoned Air Force nuclear weapons experts as saying that such an incident is unprecedented in the history of the Air Force. For example, Retired Air Force General Eugene Habiger, the former chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, said he has been in the "nuclear business" since 1966 and has never been aware of an incident "more disturbing."
Command and control breakdowns involving U.S. nuclear weapons are unprecedented, except for that fact that the U.S. military is now waging an internal war against neo-cons who are embedded in the U.S. government and military chain of command who are intent on using nuclear weapons in a pre-emptive war with Iran.
CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD would have provided the cover for a pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran had it not been for BENT SPEAR involving the B-52. In on the plan to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iran involving nuclear weapons were, according to our sources, Cheney, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley; members of the CHECKMATE team at the Pentagon, who have close connections to Israeli intelligence and pro-Israeli think tanks in Washington, including the Hudson Institute; British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, a political adviser to Tony Blair prior to becoming a Member of Parliament; Israeli political leaders like Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu; and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who did his part last week to ratchet up tensions with Iran by suggesting that war with Iran was a probability. Kouchner retracted his statement after the U.S. plans for Iran were delayed.
Although the Air Force tried to keep the B-52 nuclear incident from the media, anonymous Air Force personnel leaked the story to /Military Times/ on September 5, the day before the Israelis attacked the alleged nuclear installation in Syria and the day planned for the simultaneous U.S. attack on Iran. The leaking of classified information on U.S. nuclear weapons disposition or movement to the media, is, itself, unprecedented. Air Force regulations require the sending of classified BEELINE reports to higher Air Force authorities on the disclosure of classified Air Force information to the media.
In another highly unusual move, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked an outside inquiry board to look into BENT SPEAR, even before the Air Force has completed its own investigation, a virtual vote of no confidence in the official investigation being conducted by Major General Douglas Raaberg, chief of air and space operations at the Air Combat Command.
Gates asked former Air Force Chief of Staff, retired General Larry Welch, to lead a Defense Science Board task force that will also look into the BENT SPEAR incident. The official Air Force investigation has reportedly been delayed for unknown reasons. Welch is President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), a federally-funded research contractor that operates three research centers, including one for Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and another for the National Security Agency. One of the board members of IDA is Dr. Suzanne H. Woolsey of the Paladin Capital Group and wife of former CIA director and arch-neocon James Woolsey.
WMR has learned that neither the upper echelons of the State Department nor the British Foreign Office were privy to OPERATION ORCHARD, although Hadley briefed President Bush on Israeli spy satellite intelligence that showed the Syrian installation was a joint nuclear facility built with North Korean and Iranian assistance. However, it is puzzling why Hadley would rely on Israeli imagery intelligence (IMINT) from its OFEK (Horizon) 7 satellite when considering that U.S. IMINT satellites have greater capabilities.
The Air Force's "information warfare" campaign against media reports on CHECKMATE and OPERATION ORCHARD also affected international reporting of the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution asking Israel to place its nuclear weapons program under IAEA controls, similar to those that the United States wants imposed on Iran and North Korea. The resolution also called for a nuclear-free zone throughout the Middle East. The IAEA's resolution, titled "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East," was passed by the 144-member IAEA General Meeting on September 20 by a vote of 53 to 2, with 47 abstentions. The only two countries to vote against were Israel and the United States. However, the story carried from the IAEA meeting in Vienna by Reuters, the Associated Press, and Agence France Press, was that it was Arab and Islamic nations that voted for the resolution.
This was yet more perception management carried out by CHECKMATE, the White House, and their allies in Europe and Israel with the connivance of the media. In fact, among the 53 nations that voted for the resolution were China, Russia, India, Ireland, and Japan. The 47 abstentions were described as votes "against" the resolution even though an abstention is neither a vote for nor against a measure. America's close allies, including Britain, France, Australia, Canada, and Georgia, all abstained.
Suspiciously, the IAEA carried only a brief item on the resolution concerning Israel's nuclear program and a roll call vote was not available either at the IAEA's web site -- www.iaea.org -- or in the media.
The perception management campaign by the neocon operational cells in the Bush administration, Israel and Europe was designed to keep a focus on Iran's nuclear program, not on Israel's. Any international examination of Israel's nuclear weapons program would likely bring up Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu, a covert from Judaism to Christianity, who was kidnapped in Rome by a Mossad "honey trap" named Cheryl Bentov (aka, Cindy) and a Mossad team in 1986 and held against his will in Israel ever since.
Vanunu's knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons program would focus on the country's own role in nuclear proliferation, including its program to share nuclear weapons technology with apartheid South Africa and Taiwan in the late 1970s and 1980s. The role of Ronald Reagan's Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Ken Adelman in Israeli's nuclear proliferation during the time frame 1983-1987 would also come under scrutiny. Adelman, a member of the Reagan-Bush transition State Department team from November 1980 to January 1981, voiced his understanding for the nuclear weapons programs of Israel, South Africa, and Taiwan in a June 28, 1981 /New York Times/ article titled, "3 Nations Widening Nuclear Contacts." The journalist who wrote the article was Judith Miller. Adelman felt that the three countries wanted nuclear weapons because of their ostracism from the West, the third world, and the hostility from the Communist countries. Of course, today, the same argument can be used by Iran, North Korea, and other "Axis of Evil" nations so designated by the neocons in the Bush administration and other governments.
There are also news reports that suggest an intelligence relationship between Israel and North Korea. On July 21, 2004, New Zealand's /Dominion Post/ reported that three Mossad agents were involved in espionage in New Zealand. Two of the Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Elisha Cara (aka Kra), were arrested and imprisoned by New Zealand police (an Israeli diplomat in Canberra, Amir Lati, was expelled by Australia and New Zealand intelligence identified a fourth Mossad agent involved in the New Zealand espionage operation in Singapore). The third Mossad agent in New Zealand, Zev William Barkan (aka Lev Bruckenstein), fled New Zealand -- for North Korea.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff revealed that Barkan, a former Israeli Navy diver, had previously worked at the Israeli embassy in Vienna, which is also the headquarters of the IAEA. He was cited by the /Sydney Morning Herald/ as trafficking in passports stolen from foreign tourists in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. New Zealand's One News reported that Barkan was in North Korea to help the nation build a wall to keep its citizens from leaving.
The nuclear brinkmanship involving the United States and Israel and the breakdown in America's command and control systems have every major capital around the world wondering about the Bush administration's true intentions.
NOTE: WMR understands the risks to informed individuals in reporting the events of August 29/30, to the present time, that concern the discord within the U.S. Air Force, U.S. intelligence agencies, and other military services. Any source with relevant information and who wishes to contact us anonymously may drop off sealed correspondence at or send mail via the Postal Service to: Wayne Madsen, c/o The Front Desk, National Press Club, 13th Floor, 529 14th St., NW, Washington, DC, 20045.