José Padilla also known as Abdullah al-Muhajir or Muhajir Abdullah, is a U.S. citizen accused of being a terrorist by the United States government. He was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002, and was detained as a material witness until June 9, 2002 when President Bush designated him an illegal enemy combatant and transferred him to a military prison arguing that he was thereby not entitled to the normal protection of U.S. law or the Geneva Conventions.
Then there was the case of the ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh who after entering in to two pleas (providing aid to the Taliban — illegal aid to the Taliban as he carried weapons and was a member of their forces) was sentenced to twenty years in prison without parole. There are more cases…
What is incomprehensible is that there are enemy combatants who have cost so many American lives and plan to take more lives, bankrupt America (as if it can sink any lower) and yet they are roaming around free. Perhaps it is because they hide themselves behind cushy jobs, collect extravagant salaries and call themselves pundits while hiding their true intentions. Protected within the four walls of the right-wing, hawkish American Enterprise Institute (AEI), there many such ‘pundit/terrorists’ who forge policies detrimental to our national interest.
The AEI was the unofficial, off-site recruitment office for Douglas Feith and Harold Rhode. Also headquartered at the AEI is Richard Perle, Wohlstetter's prize protege, the godfather of the AEI-Defense Department nexus of neoconservatives who was chairman of the Pentagon's influential Defense Policy Board. Rhode, along with Michael Rubin, a former AEI staffer, was a ubiquitous presence at AEI conferences on Iraq. After 9/11, Feith and Rhode recruited David Wurmser (whose wife heads MEMRI), the director of Middle East studies for AEI, to serve as a Pentagon consultant. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser share a common background; in 1996, they jointly prepared a paper for former Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding Israel’s grand strategy in the Middle East. This paper involved the removal of Saddam Hossein from power .
Although there was not a single evidence to tie Iraq with 9/11, it was the task of Wurmser, backed by Feith and Rhode, to take America to war with Iraq . This task achieved over 3,000 dead Americans, thousands injured and maimed, and trillions of dollars lost along with our credibility. Is this loss not greater than that of 9/11? This was careful planning and manipulation, and yet one must wonder why it is that those responsible are roaming around free, no doubt in fancy cars, chic suits, planning America’s next tragedy – the war with Iran.
The blueprints for an attack on Iran have already been drawn. Josh Muravchik, a Middle East ‘specialist’ at the AEI, is among one of the supporters of such an attack:
“I do not think anyone in the US is talking about invasion. We have been chastened by the experience of Iraq, even a hawk like myself.” But an air strike was another matter. The danger of Iran having a nuclear weapon “is not just that it might use it out of the blue but as a shield to do all sorts of mischief. I do not believe there will be any way to stop this happening other than physical force.”  Sound familiar? Wasn’t that the reason they gave us for attacking Iraq?
Other ‘experts’ at the AEI are free to shamelessly bring on a disaster on to this country and the Middle East, while the likes of Padella and Walker are incarcerated. Marc Gerecht, David Frum, Micahel Rubin, Michael Ledeen are asking for America to take on policies  which will be catastrophic for America, the Middle East, and possibly involved Russia.
In defiance of all credible reports on Iran’s nuclear program, the AEI and its collaborators which includes the mainstream media (msm) has set out to present the public that Iran is weaponizing its civilian nuclear program. Fearing that the American people, indeed the world, will not be fooled twice, the neo-cons have decided to launch America on war with Iran based on manufacturing evidence that Iran is supplying the insurgents with improvised explosives.
Unable to accept a humiliating defeat in Iraq, refusing to own up to the carnage that has been created, not to mention the blood that is on their shoulders, not only is Iran a prime scapegoat, but it gives the vampires at the AEI a solid excuse for the next war. According to former weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, he noted classrooms for training all Iraqi covert agents in the black art of making and using IEDs during an inspection of the Iraqi Intelligence Service's training academy in Baghdad in April 1997. From his observations which were not limited to the classrooms, Ritter states that Saddam’s government and its remnants are familiar with every in inch of Baghdad and beyond including all neighborhoods including Shiite and Kurdish; and “for every 100 active insurgents fielded, there must be 1,000 to 10,000 active supporters in the local population.”  It is only logical to conclude that IED are the Saddam followers wishing to rid Iraq of the coalition presence.
While the US would like to put the blame on Iran, it has not escaped the more skeptical and intelligent observer of this war that the escalation of the violence has coincided with the lynching of Saddam Hossein. Perhaps it would have been more prudent to prevent the hanging at a time that was so special to Moslems. It would seem that ‘throwing a bone’ to the masses only served to hurt those who threw the bone.
Once again, amidst the thunderous roar of treason, the voice of reason is being muted and the pundits at the AEI and other neo-cons are taking America to war. The mainstream media, by affording them a platform, are putting a rope around our values, our liberty and justice, but above all, they are snuffing out the life of our citizenry. Are we ready to submit?
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich has lived and studied in Iran, the UK, France, and the US. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing her education in Middle East studies and Public Diplomacy. Soraya has done extensive research on US foreign policy towards Iran and Iran’s nuclear program. She can be reached at email@example.com