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Condoleezza Rice Caught Peddling Hoaxed Story- Source: Fox News
More Deceptions To Justify War Actions

By James O. Goldsborough <>
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Jan. 17, 2004

Many of the deceptions used to justify the war in Iraq are "well documented" Iraq's ties to al-Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction, imminent threat, etc. One, however, has not been documented, not until now.

Last August, Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, gave her "werewolf" speech. At the time, the Iraq occupation was losing public support because of continued attacks on U.S. troops three months after President Bush declared the war over. Rice sought to calm fears.

Not to worry, she said. The violence in Iraq was "normal" postwar chaos that soon would pass. Just as Hitler's "werewolves" had attacked U.S. occupying forces in Germany in 1945, she said, Iraqi diehards were attacking U.S. forces today. As in Germany, it would come to nothing.

Rice gave her speech the first week of August, when 58 U.S. troops had been killed since Bush declared the war over in May. Today that figure is 356, for a total U.S. Iraq death figure of at least 495.

Rice's reference to Germany surprised me. History barely mentions the werewolves, who never posed a security problem. Antony Beevor, in his "The Fall of Berlin, 1945," mentions werewolves only as a demented idea in the mind of propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and dying with him in Hitler's bunker on May 1, 1945.

My column on Rice's werewolf speech drew angry responses. Several readers sent me a Reuters dispatch from 1945 to prove I was wrong and demand a retraction. Because I had consulted with several German experts (including Alfons Heck, a German leader of the Hitler Youth in 1945), I declined the correction.

Following Rice's speech, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took up the werewolf refrain. Later I saw the dispatch quoted in newspapers and used for editorials supporting Rice's claim. The dispatch begins like this:

WASHINGTON DC (Reuters) Aug. 12, 1945 ñ President Truman, just a few months into his young presidency, is coming under increasing fire from some Congressional Republicans for what appears to be a deteriorating security situation in occupied Germany, with some calling for his removal from office.

"Over three months after a formal declaration of an end to hostilities, the occupation is bogged down. Fanatical elements of the former Nazi regime who, in their zeal to liberate their nation from the foreign occupiers, call themselves members of the Werwolf (werewolves) continue to commit almost-daily acts of sabotage against Germany's already ravaged infrastructure, and attack American troops. They have been laying road mines, poisoning food and water supplies, and setting various traps, often lethal, for the occupying forces."

It is a long report, going on more than 1,000 words, and appears authentic (except for translation of the singular German noun Werwolf into a plural English noun). I was puzzled, but set the matter aside.

Then last week, I came upon remarks in the current Foreign Affairs by Allen W. Dulles, head of the Office of Strategic Services (later CIA) during World War II, based in Bern, Switzerland. Dulles was closely involved in postwar German occupation. He addressed New York's Council on Foreign Relations Sept. 3, 1945, three weeks after the date on the alleged Reuters dispatch.

In opening his talk, Dulles said: "There is no dangerous underground operating there (Germany) now although some newspapers in the United States played up such a story."

It's one thing to hear from German experts today that there was no postwar German resistance to U.S. occupation, quite another to get it, beyond the grave, from spy chief Dulles who had just returned from Germany in September 1945. In an editor's note, Foreign Affairs said it had opened its archives "as a contribution to public debate" on Iraq.

I dug out the Reuters dispatch, reread it, and called historian Fritz Stern, professor emeritus at Columbia and an expert on Germany.


"They didn't amount to much at all," said Stern.

Rice's speech?

"I found it absurd," said Stern.

I read him some of the dispatch.

"It sounds fraudulent," said Stern.

I called Reuters in London. No help.

I called Washington, dateline of the dispatch. Shunted around, I finally came to Bernd Debusmann, news editor at Reuters America.

"Yes, I know about that," he said, "and it isn't ours. We're as puzzled about it as you are, but can't find where it came from. It's been on the Internet for about nine months."

Nine months? That would be April, four months before Rice made her speech. She never identified her source. Could she have used the bogus Reuters story from the Internet?

I called the NSC, and was referred to speech-writer Michael Anton. I left messages asking for Rice's source on werewolves. That's not too tough a request for a public servant.

I'm still waiting for an answer.

It wouldn't be the NSC's first such mistake. Rice inserted into Bush's State of the Union message British information from the Internet on alleged Iraqi attempts to buy enriched uranium from Africa.

The dupery goes on.

Goldsborough can be reached via e-mail at

© Copyright 2004 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. 20040112-9999_mz1e12golds.html

Hoaxed Werewolf Reuters Story Exposed
More Evidence Of Mass Deception

By James O. Goldsborough
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's revelations about the Iraq war are no real surprise. It is, however, the first time we've heard from a former Cabinet member on how the nation was misled on Iraq.

President Bush's response, that the administration was continuing the Clinton policy of "regime change" in Iraq, is false. Clinton policy was to contain Iraq through international sanctions, embargoes and no-fly zones, not war and futile occupation. Al Gore made that clear in opposing Bush's war.

Imagine the attack on Clinton and Gore by presidential candidate Bush had the Clinton administration undertaken war, occupation and costly "nation-building" in Iraq.

Bush policy has been based on deceptions only now coming to light. Last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell, the tragic figure of this administration, attempted to defend his role when confronted with two new reports on the war and its aftermath, by the Carnegie Endowment and Washington Post. Add to that a new report from the Army War College.

Richard Haass, Powell's head of policy planning, resigned when it became clear that Bush demands for Iraqi disarmament were only a pretext for war.

Haass, now head of the Council on Foreign Relations, calls Iraq a war of "choice," not "necessity." He recounts a meeting with NSC director Condoleezza Rice in July 2002, two months before Iraq hit the headlines and three months before Bush went to the U.N. Security Council putatively to seek a resolution on Iraqi disarmament.

As head of State's policy planning, Haass' mission to the NSC was, he says, to discuss "the pros and cons" of escalating toward war with Iraq. Says Haass: "Basically, she (Rice) cut me off and said, 'Save your breath ñ the president has already decided what he's going to do on this.' "

That was 18 months after O'Neill heard the first Cabinet discussions on Saddam Hussein's removal, in January 2001. Those discussions began eight months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks Bush cited as a primary cause for invading Iraq. In October 2002, at the United Nations, Bush cited Iraq's "imminent threat" to America because of its weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda.

Those allegations have proven false as new information emerges on the war and occupation. The Army War College study labeled the war a "strategic error of the first order," one that has "created a new front in the Middle East for Islamic terrorism."

Facts about wars are difficult to keep secret in democracies. The Nixon administration assembled an "enemies list," broke into offices and went to the Supreme Court in futile attempts to suppress information about the Vietnam war.

The Bush administration already is investigating whether O'Neill used classified documents as a basis for his revelations, a charge he denies.

An FBI investigation is under way into alleged administration leaks concerning the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Shortly after Wilson revealed that no evidence existed to substantiate Bush allegations about Iraq's attempts to buy uranium from Africa, someone leaked that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent. That is a crime.

Before we know those FBI results, we will know, by early next month, the conclusions of Britain's Hutton Inquiry, the most thorough investigation done to date on government deception on Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Blair, with his on-the-record denials, is in for tough sledding.


Thanks to my Internet friends, I can now identify the source of the bogus 1945 Reuters news dispatch I wrote about Monday. That forgery likely served as the basis for White House and Pentagon comparisons of Iraqi resistance to German resistance in 1945, part of its sorry attempts to compare Iraq to World War II.

The source for the bogus news (one should have known) is Fox News.

A Fox contributor named Rand Simberg, described as "consultant in space commercialization, space tourism and Internet security" made up the Reuters dispatch for Fox on July 30 (posting it on his own Web site two days later). This was only a week before the first Bush references were made to German "werewolves" in one of several inept comparisons to World War II.

Rice claimed German werewolves "engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces" and cooperating Germans, "much like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld embellished the story still further. Werewolves, he said, "plotted sabotage of factories, power plants, rail lines. They blew up police stations and government buildings. Does this sound familiar," he asked?

Only in Rice's and Rumsfeld's minds. The total number of post-conflict U.S. combat casualties in Germany was zero. In Iraq, that number is, so far, 357. Some comparison.

"The first casualty of war," said Hiram Johnson a century ago, "is truth." It is one thing, however, to manipulate truth to fool the enemy, and quite another to try to fool your own people. Since the Pentagon Papers, Americans should be determined that it never happens again.

Goldsborough can be reached via e-mail at

© Copyright 2004 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.


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