The Israel Lobby is so powerful because it deliberately set out to establish control over key elements in the United States. It has demonstrated a number of times that politicians who are perceived as being unfriendly to Israel will face serious problems in being reelected because the Lobby mobilizes to provide money and media support to opponents. This means that congress is afraid to oppose anything that Israel and its Lobby wants.

Interview by Kourosh Ziabari

October 15, 2010Information Clearing HousePhilip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Now, he chairs the Council for the National Interest as the Executive Director. CNI is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the transformation of United States’ Middle East policy.


Philip Giraldi

As a CIA officer, Giraldi served in different countries including Turkey, Italy, Germany and Spain. He is now a Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance. He has appeared on several radio and TV programs including Good Morning America, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, BBC, Al-Jazeera and 60 Minutes.

Giraldi works with the American Conservative magazine as a contributing editor and writes a regular column for the Antiwar website. He is an outspoken critic of the hawkish policies of the United States and has publicly decried Washington’s unconditional support for the state of Israel.

Philip Giraldi joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss the latest developments of the Middle East, the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the possibility of a peaceful compromise between Iran and the United States and the impact of Israeli lobby on the long-term policies of the White House.

Kourosh Ziabari: Why is the Israeli lobby so powerful, influential and authoritative? Almost all of the major media conglomerates in the United States own to well-off Jews who are committed to maintaining the interests of the state of Israel in the U.S. Some experts say that Israel is the representative of the United States in the Middle East region, but some others suggest that it’s Israel which determines the future of political developments in the United States. What’s your take on that?

Philip Giraldi: The Israel Lobby is so powerful because it deliberately set out to establish control over key elements in the United States. It has demonstrated a number of times that politicians who are perceived as being unfriendly to Israel will face serious problems in being reelected because the Lobby mobilizes to provide money and media support to opponents. This means that congress is afraid to oppose anything that Israel and its Lobby wants. The same holds true for the presidency. Every presidential candidate must be seen as friendly to Israel or he will be attacked in the media and denied millions of dollars in political contributions, making it a safer option to support Israel. Finally, pro-Israeli interests control much of the media and, more important, dominate the opinion and editorial pages, making the only narrative that most Americans hear about the Middle East highly favorable to Israel and highly critical of all Israel’s enemies. As a result, Israel is able to control U.S. foreign policy as it relates to the Middle East and also much of the Muslim world.

KZ: The recent call by the Iranian President on framing a fact-finding group to probe into the 9/11 attacks sparked intense controversy around the United States. Is it because the United States considers 9/11 a red line which should not be crossed?

PG: Many Americans believe that 9/11 was never properly investigated. Some believe that the U.S. and, or Israeli governments were actually involved. The Federal government does not want the case to be reopened because a truly open investigation might reveal things that it would like to keep hidden. I do not know what exactly those things might be, but, at a minimum, there was a high level of incompetence within the government in the lead up to the attacks, both by Democrats and Republicans.

KZ: The former Italian President had once said that Mossad had played a role in the 9/11 attacks. Is there any convincing evidence that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks? Can we rely on some implications including the five dancing Israelis who were seen cheering while the Twin Towers collapsed, or the closure of Zim Shipping Company’s headquarters at the World Trade Center two week before the 9/11 attacks?

PG: Most intelligence officers believe that Israel, which was conducting a massive and illegal spy operation inside the U.S. aimed at Arabs living here, knew at least parts of the 9/11 conspiracy. It did not share that information and it is also clear that leading Israeli politicians welcomed the attacks because they made Washington a totally committed ally in full agreement with the Israeli view of Islamic terrorism. The Israel view, i.e. that anyone hostile to Israel is a terrorist, has done great damage to the United States because it has created enemies where no enemies previously existed.

KZ: What’s your take on the exercise of double standards by the U.S. over Israel’s nuclear issue?

PG: There is no justification for Washington’s hypocrisy over Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Israel should be held to the same standard as everyone else, but the action of the Israeli Lobby means that it will never be accountable for anything as long as Washington is in a position to protect it.

KZ: As someone who has closely worked with one of the most sensitive parts of the U.S. government, do you like the continuation of belligerence and hostility between Iran and the United States? Are these two nations fated to be at odds forever? Can you foresee promising horizons of reconciliation and friendship?

PG: I do not believe that Washington and Tehran are natural enemies. I believe that they have been turned into enemies by the media and the activity of the Israel Lobby. Unfortunately, that situation will not change until Washington completely overturns its policies in the Middle East, something that might not happen in our lifetimes. Many young Iranians, the bulk of the population, do not harbor any real hostility towards the United States and if the policies were to change I believe the two countries could again become friendly.

KZ: Is it plausible to be a former CIA officer at the same time as being an outspoken critic of the U.S. administration? You’ve been quite forthright in your criticism of the U.S. foreign policy, especially with regards to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Haven’t been any pressure on you to soften your tone or retreat from your stance?

PG: I have never been pressured to soften my criticism of the US government’s foreign and security policies. There are many former intelligence officers who have also been highly critical of developments since 9/11. It is because intelligence officers quickly recognize lies when they hear them and are not very tolerant of a government that lies its way to war.

KZ: Iran marked the 20th anniversary of the conclusion of 8-year war with Iraq last month. Iranians well remember that it was the United States and its European allies, who persuaded, equipped, funded and aided Saddam Hussein in invading Iran. 20 years later, they came together to topple the very Saddam they had supported in war with Iran. Saddam killed more than 400,000 Iranians. My uncle was one of them. Can you put yourself in the place of an Iranian citizen who witnessed the war? What would be your feeling then?

PG: For the United States, the support of Saddam Hussein against Iran was a quid pro quo that goes back to the holding of the U.S. Embassy hostages in Tehran after the Islamic revolution. It was revenge pure and simple in hopes that Iraq would prove victorious and bring down the Iranian government. As an Iranian, you have a right to be outraged by what happened but the Embassy seizure was also outrageous. The U.S. response was, as it often is, disproportional and I am ashamed of my government’s support of wars to fix political disputes.

KZ: and for the final question, how do you estimate the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

PG: There is no hope for resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict as long as the United States continues to permit the Israelis to expand and commit crimes against humanity directed towards the Palestinian people. Evil is evil no matter how you try to dress it up and the Israeli policies are manifestly evil. The Palestinians cannot ever accept a peace settlement that requires being held in a large outdoor prison camp by the Israelis supported by the United States.

Kourosh Ziabari: Born in 1991, freelance journalist and writer. the author of book “7+1” and a contributing writer for magazines in Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, UK and the US

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  1. foo  October 19, 2010 at 4:19 am

    @ Nelson_2008

    Even at, chinks in the 9/11 denial keep appearing.

    The first was when Paul Craig Roberts, in his September 10, 2007 column “came out” as a 9/11 Truther:

    Ever since that, has been VERY selective in selecting Roberts’ columns for inclusion on their site.

    Scott Horton (yes, there’s a second Scott Horton) is the host of Radio. Scott Horton LOATHES 9/11 Truthers.

    For years, one of his favorite guests has been Eric Margolis. Well see how that changes, following Margolis’ column of September 10, 2010:–the-mother-of-all-coincidences.aspx

    “The official version (of the events of 9/11) is not credible,” is as far as he would go. However, it’s a good start.

    For us, not for

  2. grandma caesar  October 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    thanks. i will.

  3. Ken Rechtstein  October 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks for the correction, Penumbra. Makes it easier to Google for complement of info about the topic.

  4. Penumbra  October 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    SAVAK, Ken 😉

  5. Ken Rechtstein  October 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Penumbra, good to set the record straight re the ousting of Mossadegh by GB-USA, the violation of human rights by the Shah’s secret police, Shavak. I will add the congelation of Iranian funds by the US Gov. By the way, it’s relevant to mention that an Arab-Islamic country, ALGERIA, played a key role, negotiating w. the Iranian Gov. the release of the US hostages, air-lifted by Air Algérie to Algiers and from there to the US Hospital in Frankfurt for health check before their transfer to USA…

  6. Penumbra  October 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

    correction: (sencond para) “…hostage taking was in ITSELF the quid pro quo for…”

  7. Penumbra  October 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Another problematic admission by Phil is that supposedly the support by the “United States” [read: Washington D.C.] for Saddam’s invasion of Iran was a quid pro quo for the Tehran Embassy hostage crisis.

    Obviously Phil suffers from institutional myopia, failing to go back further to see that the hostage taking was in the quid pro quo for the CIA orchestrated ousting of the legitimately, democratically elected nationalist Mossadegh and imposition and 25 year long maintenance of the brutal dictatorial Shah, who also “murdered his own people”, systematically so.

    Then, to add insult to injury, Washington refused to act according to the rule of law and most fundamental principles of morality and justice by denying Iranian calls for the extradition of the Shah (who had fled to the US following the uprising) to stand trial for his crimes against humanity and treason.

    Thus, Phil, your claim of quid pro quo is little more than exculpatory hogwash. The balance was reached with the hostage action (which by the way was resolved without any deaths unlike the 25 years of suffering endured by Iranians under Washington’s brutal puppet).

    Moreover, the hostage takers even released prisoners throughout the crisis on health or humanitarian grounds prior to final release of the remainder in 1981 (through later revealed political connivance by Reagan operatives bent on painting him as a hero to the electorate). Can your rendition-happy, torture-loving CIA show as much humanity in its hostage taking? I think not.

    This action of revisiting further destruction and widespread slaughter of innocents via Saddam’s invasion was to actually tip the balance of historic wrongdoing AGAIN on the side of Washington.

    A balance that continues to be increasingly weighted in that direction to this day.

  8. Brian  October 15, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Christopher Bollyn is offering a free download of his book Solving 9-11: The Deception that Changed the World. I highly recommend Philip Giraldi and everyone else read it. Yes, he blames the Mossad and Zionists. He has done a lot of original research. Pass it around.

  9. rachel  October 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

    we all know why they don’t want an real investigation. it was a demolition after all.

  10. Nelson_2008  October 15, 2010 at 8:30 am

    So, Phil suggests that the “U.S. government” doesn’t want 9/11 investigated because of “incompetence”? And Israel might have known “at least parts of the 9/11 conspiracy” but it “didn’t share” the information?

    Is “incompetence” also the reason NIST deliberately ignored the evidence of the obvious controlled demolition of the buildings? Is “incompetence” also the reason the “U.S. government” refuses to even positively identify the planes allegedly used in the attacks? Is “foreknowledge” the reason that a Jewish imposter was on TV on 9/11 making demonstrably false statements about the buildings’ design and construction?

    Sorry Phil, but anybody with internet access, an open mind, a desire to learn the truth, and a modicum of critical thinking skills, can learn the ugly truth, i.e., that 9/11 was an inside job, in about an hour.

    Just like the rest of the crowd at, Phil Giraldi is either a consummate moron, and/or a moral coward, and/or a liar and a traitor.

  11. Debbie Menon  October 15, 2010 at 3:24 am

    US-Israel, EU stance on Iran reek of hypocrisy!

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