Author Bio

J. Michael Springmann served in the United States government in the Commerce Department and as a diplomat with the State Department's Foreign Service, with postings in Germany, India, and Saudi Arabia. His last assignment with the Department of State was with the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He left federal service and currently practices law in the Washington, DC, area.

Springmann has been published in numerous foreign policy publications, including Covert Action Quarterly, Unclassified, Global Outlook, the Public Record, OpEdNews, Global Research and Foreign Policy Journal. He holds a JD from American University, in Washington, DC, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees in international relations from Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America. In 2004, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee recognized Springmann as one of its Pro Bono Attorneys of the Year.

Fired by the US Government for whistle blowing, Michael Springmann recounts the role high-ranking US officials played in creating Al-Qaeda.

About the book

Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.

During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda

Shocking New Book Links Illicit U.S. Visas To Terrorists, Current Wars

A former State Department foreign service officer's new book provides a shocking, timely, and credible circumstantial case that ties the U.S. training of Islamic radicals to our nation's major foreign policy disasters in the Mideast during the past quarter century.

The book is Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World — An Insider's View. Author J. Michael Springmann (shown at right) is the former chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. He launched the book last week with his first lecture and book-signing, which admirers organized at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"It's past time to expose murder, war crimes and human rights violations by the United States of American and its 'intelligence' services," Springmann says.

He continues:

Using the dubious claim of "national security," the United States, though the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency (NSA), has engaged in and/or organized coups and destabilization efforts around the world, most notably in the Middle East.

From Libya to Iran, governments have been overthrown, politicians assassinated, and everyday citizens murdered — all with the knowledge of not only the president of the United States and the executive branch but with the legislative and judicial ones, as well.

The essence of his first-hand experience is that he was required as chief visa officer in Saudi Arabia to issue what he regarded as illegal visas to large numbers of U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists transiting through Jeddah from multiple Islamic nations so they could visit the United States for secret purposes.

Those purposes, Springmann later concluded, involved covert training at such locales as "The Farm," a CIA training facility in Williamsburg, Virginia. The trainees, he alleges, were vagabond Islamic mercenaries, revolutionists and jihadists — an "Arab-Afghan Legion" — who could be unleashed on America's enemies.

All of this, he argues in Visas for Al Qaeda, was without adequate consideration of the "blowback" to the United States from uncontrollable jihadists sometimes recruited from prisons and with the help of ultra-radical clerics.

Spymasters made the recruitment process so complex, he says, that most of the radical clerics and U.S. government workers involved would not have known the funding and evolving goals of the process. But at the top, he shows, NATO-allied Gulf oil monarchies and their charities often served as intermediaries for the West in joint operations that cannot withstand public exposure.

In his view, the State Department, the CIA, and higher-ups have created an ongoing disaster for the United States, our allies, and the rest of the world.

It began with President Carter's decision via his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to fight Soviet power in Afghanistan by supporting radical Islmamists on the borders of the Soviet Union.

Brzezinski, later held the national security advisor post for 2008 Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, thus illustrating a long continuum of policy and personal connections seldom explored by the mainstream media, which includes the advisor's daughter, Mika Brzezinski, co-host of the MSNBC "Morning Joe" show.

Springmann draws on his experience and other research to show U.S. complicity in arming the Mujahideen, Taliban, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan during the 1980s when both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were United States operatives

His story provides first-hand experience in fighting State Department and CIA higher-ups who enabled this rootless, radical fighting force to evolve into the modern-day Al-Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State.

His book could not be more timely.

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Timely book on Saudi/CIA backing of Al Qaeda

Former U.S. consular officer in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Mike Springmann could not have been more timely with his new book, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts that Rocked the World. As demands grow for the Obama administration to release the 28 missing pages from the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on 9/11 intelligence failures, Springmann's book serves as a unique preface and epilogue to the Senate report. In fact, Springmann's description of the pipeline that provided U.S. visas to Saudi and other Wahhabist radicals provides for the reader what is, according to intelligence insiders, identified as a key finding in the "missing" 28 pages.

The release of Visas for Al Qaeda also comes after the so-called "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui, has confirmed what many independent observers and researchers of 9/11 have already concluded: that the House of Saudi directly financed the attack and Al Qaeda.

As Springmann succinctly states:

"The War on Terror is far more complicated than good versus evil. Al-Qaeda operatives are indeed ruthless and fanatical, but how did they come by their advanced training and international presence? Unfortunately, the answer lies in a secret US training and visa program with roots in the Cold War.

As the US trained Islamic operatives to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and later allowed those same operatives to move from the Balkans to the Middle East, bumbling CIA strategists unwittingly armed and inspired the men who would become al-Qaeda's leadership."

As the diplomat responsible for approving visas for Saudi nationals at the Jeddah consulate general, Springmann soon found himself butting heads with "official cover" CIA officers using their diplomatic status to not only mask their espionage activities, but worse, their aiding and abetting terrorists who would later help carry out the 9/11 attack. Springmann shines the much-needed sunshine of disinfectant on CIA operatives like Eric Qualkenbush, the CIA base chief in Jeddah; Jay Frere, the U.S, Consul General in Jeddah; and Henry Ensher, the so-called "political officer" at the consulate. Political officers, as the leaked State Department cables show, often double as CIA officers.

Springmann's unmasks the diplomatic world of "official cover" CIA agents who use their diplomatic privileges to carry out espionage. From embassy political and economic officers to the old U.S. Information Agency, Springmann names the names of the agents.

The reader will also discover how pro-Israelis in the State Department routinely "disappeared" documents pursued under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) because they were too embarrassing to certain parties. To undermine the FOIA, State created a category of "Non-Existant Records" with the help of U.S. Judge for the District of Columbia Reggie Walton.

Springmann details how the Jeddah diplomatic mission served as a major recruiting center for the Arab Afghan Legion that fought the Soviets in Afghanistan. It was from these ranks that Al Qaeda was created and, after that, the present-day scourge known as the Islamic State or Daesh.

Consider the ramifications of what Springmann reveals about the alleged frontline Al Qaeda perpetrators and their actions in the Balkans where they were, in effect, supported by the CIA and U.S. military:

"Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, alleged mastermind behind those events, had fought in Afghanistan (after studying in the United States) and then went on to the Bosnian war in 1992. In addition, two more of the September 11, 2001, hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, both Saudis, had gained combat experience in Bosnia. Still more connections came from Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who supposedly helped Mohammed Atta with planning the attacks. He had served with Bosnian army mujahideen units.
Ramzi Binalshibh, friends with Atta and Zammar, had also fought in Bosnia."

NATO, the CIA, and European Union all supported the Bosnians in their war against rump Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro. This fact made Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda army field allies of the United States in Bosnia and Kosovo. During his trial for "war crimes" in The Hague, Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic tried to inform the world about the Al Qaeda presence in Muslim-dominated regions of the former Yugoslavia but his words fell on deaf ears. Milosevic died under suspicious circumstances in his prison cell in The Hague.

Springmann also takes the reader through an all-too-familiar tale of government retribution for truth-telling that was experienced by a number of honest and well-intentioned U.S. government employees before and after 9/11.

Perhaps the only thing the federal government excels at is the art of retaliating against whistleblowers. Few government truth-tellers have ever said they came out of a whistleblowing situation better off than they were before they sounded the klaxon about fraud, waste, abuse, and rampant corruption.

Visas for Al Qaeda is one of those books that, after reading, one can only put it down while shaking their head in disbelief. However, the ramifications of what took place in Jeddah have had a devastating effect on many countries around the world. In addition to the United States being in a post-constitutional era, civil war was brought down on Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Springmann's book provides yet another detailed look into the history of the CIA's vast misdeeds and criminal activity and the State Department's inherent incompetence and corruption.

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Truth and Shadows

Whistle blower reveals secret U.S. program to recruit, train, and provide visas to ‘terrorists’

By Barrie Zwicker (Special to Truth and Shadows)

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW how sausages are made, don’t start reading Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World by Michael Springmann. The sausages in this case: the string of too-easily-swallowed accounts of bloody events in the “global war on terror,” served up daily with relish by the mainstream media. In reality these sausages are filled with tainted meat that’s making everyone sick.

Springmann is a brave whistle blower living in Washington, D.C. He’s written an accessible book, safe to digest, highlighting details of the corruption of the American Empire (and its accomplices, including Canada) as he experienced them from the inside during his years with the U.S. State Department.

While he served as a visa officer in the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for instance, he was obliged under threat of dismissal to issue visas to persons hired clandestinely by the CIA to become trained-in-the-USA terrorists. Most of these psychopathic thugs were clearly and legally unqualified to be issued visas. There is every reason to believe the “Visas for Terrorists” program remains fully operative today. It takes a lot of expendable terrorists to run a global terrorism op.

Springmann places his experiences both within the context of the historical roots of the U.S. Empire and within its current ongoing global destabilization project.

“This tale,” the author states near the beginning, “is a sordid sketch of backstabbing, disloyalty, double crosses, faithlessness, falsity, perfidy, sellouts, treachery, and betrayal.”

And that only covers the bureaucratic aspect. Even more sobering is his sketch of human rights violations: torture, assassinations, massacres including bombings of markets, invasions and occupations of countries, destabilization of nations and regions.

Then there’s the financial side: widespread criminality, resource theft, bribery, diversion of funds, illicit drug dealing and more.

Not to mention the flouting of international laws. This dimension includes gross infringements on national sovereignty, the casual violation of treaties and ho-hum everyday general lawlessness, risking even the threat of nuclear annihilation.

All this before taking into account the moral dimension, in which trashing the Ten Commandments is just an opening trifle.

“My story shows how things really work,” Springmann writes, correctly. In the book’s 250 pages he names names, dates, times and places – presumably opening himself up to lawsuits, should there be anything here that the individuals named deem libelous. They might think twice, however, since Springmann is a lawyer by profession and knows his way around the Empire’s capital – as well as some of its outlying ramparts such as Stuttgart, New Delhi and especially Jeddah.

Stinging in itself, Springmann’s book also can be read as an authenticating companion to Michel Chossudovsky’s Towards a World War III Scenario (2012) and The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” Against Humanity (2015). Along the way, both authors deal, to one extent or another, with the ideological, hubristic and increasingly bellicose role of the Harper government as handmaiden to the American Empire, including military involvements in Libya, Serbia and the Ukraine. Springmann necessarily refers very little to Canada, but to read his account of the cowardly and unnecessary rain of death inflicted on Libya, for instance, is to be obliged as a Canadian to think of Harper’s enthusiasm and pride in having this country share in the slaughter and destabilization carried out under the Orwellian “responsibility to protect” notion.

Springmann quotes Maximilian C. Forte who notes that before the attack Libya enjoyed the highest Human Development Index (a UN measurement of well-being) in all Africa. “After Western military forces destroyed the country the Index only records the steep collapse of all indicators of well-being. More Libyans were killed with intervention than without. It was about control, about militarizing Africa,” Forte argues.

What Springmann brings uniquely to the table is his firsthand knowledge of precisely how the USA recruits terrorists (no quotation marks needed), sends them to the USA for training and then deploys them to carry out murders, torture, bombings and more. The bloody mayhem carried out by these thousands of paid mercenaries – ostensibly beheading-habituated “jihadists” fighting against democracy, decency and the USA and its “allies – is planned, organized and funded by none other than the same USA and its allies. It’s a global false flag operation – the largest by far in history.

As Springmann on page 65 writes of the “Visas for Terrorists Program:”

This was not an ad hoc operation, conceived and carried out in response to a specific foreign policy issue. Rather, it was another of too many CIA efforts to destroy governments, countries, and politicians disfavored by the American “establishment” in its “bipartisan” approach to matters abroad. Whether it was opposing the imaginary evils of communism, the fictitious malevolence of Islam, or the invented wickedness of Iran, America and its intelligence services, brave defenders of “The City Upon A Hill,” sought out and created fear and loathing of peoples and countries essentially engaged in efforts to better their lives and improve their political world. Along the way, Agency-sponsored murders, war crimes, and human rights violations proved to be good business. Jobs for the Clandestine Service (people who recruit and run spies), sales of weapons and aircraft, as well as the myriad items needed to control banks, countries and peoples all provided income for and benefits to American companies.

That the American Empire has been able to carry out such a massive illegal program for so long is the saddest of commentaries on how deep the rot is, how effective the secrecy, how complicit the media.

As to the span of dangerous widespread deception, Springmann notes that Rahul Bedi wrote in Jane’s Defence Weekly on September 14, 2001 that beginning in 1980 “thousands [of mujahideen] were … brought to America and made competent in terrorism by Green Berets and SEALS at US government East Coast facilities, trained in guerilla warfare and armed with sophisticated weapons.”

The point is made repeatedly that Al Qaeda and now ISIS/ISIL/the Islamic State are essentially “Made in USA” entities, brought into being and organized for the Empire’s purposes. Among the elements that make possible such a vast fraud are deception, compartmentalization and secrecy. Springmann quotes attorney Pat Frascogna, “a man with FOIA expertise,” about secrecy and its purpose:

Thus whether it be learning the dirty and unethical business practices of a company or the secrets of our government, the same deployment of denials and feigning ignorance about what is really going on are the all-too-common methods used to keep the truth from the light of day.

Langley recruited the Arab-Afghans so clandestinely that the terrorists didn’t know they had been recruited. They thought that they had found a battlefield on their own, or through the Internet or through Twitter or through television. The Agency didn’t even bother to tell the non-CIA Americans involved in giving them US visas about they were doing…

Frascogna’s observation intersects with Springmann’s on-the-job experiences as a visa officer in Jeddah starting in 1987. Springmann was repeatedly overruled when he turned down disqualified applicants for U.S. visas. He writes:

As I later learned to my dismay, the visa applicants were recruits for the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union’s armed forces. Further, as time went by, the fighters, trained in the United States, went on to other battlefields: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They worked with the American intelligence services and the State Department to destabilize governments the United States opposed. While it’s no secret, most knowledgeable people still refuse to talk about this agenda.

As Springmann learned, “the average percentage of intelligence officers to real diplomats at a given Foreign Service post is about one in three. My experience in Jeddah, Stuttgart, and New Delhi might place it higher—at least 50 percent, if not more.” According to the Anti-CIA Club of Diplomats: Spooks in U.S. Foreign Service [sic], a twelve-page, 1983 Canadian publication (see, the percentage is 60 percent.

“At Jeddah,” Springmann writes, “to the best of my knowledge, out of some twenty US citizens assigned to the consulate, only three people, including myself, worked for the Department of State. The rest were CIA or NSA officials or their spouses.” Elsewhere Springmann suggests that essentially the CIA runs the State Department, and that this is true of many other U.S. government departments and agencies as well. It seems that it’s almost impossible to over-estimate the reach of the CIA’s tentacles or the overweening treason of its nonstop black ops and unconstitutional operations domestically.

Springmann toward the end of the book refers to the beginnings of the CIA. It’s interesting for this reviewer to think that he was 13 years of age in 1947 when U.S. president Harry Truman agreed with the National Security Council (NSC) to secretly create the CIA and NSA. I remember that in my teenage years a few of my peers said there “was something” called “the CIA.” This was around the time a few people also said there “was something” called “the Mafia.” The consensus was that both ideas were very far-fetched.

In 1948 Truman approved yet another NSC initiative, providing for “propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage,

demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerillas, and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.” That’s a tabula rasa if there ever was one: a license for lawlessness.

The CIA’s twisted hits have just kept coming. It’s worth noting that Truman didn’t singlehandedly initiate this monstrosity. The dark recesses of the Deep State, as Peter Dale Scott calls it, are where the demonic entity was spawned. Ever since, Frankenstein’s monster has been a harmless schoolboy by comparison.

To read of the rape of Libya with active Canadian military complicity makes for difficult reading. The lies are piled as high as the bodies, and these two categories are insuperably paired.

Equally sordid, especially in light of Stephen Harper’s enthusiasm for expanding the war on Russia (the economic sanctions and the diplomatic exclusion of Russia from the G8 are forms of warfare, not to mention decades of covert* military incursion by the West onto the territory of the former USSR and now the Russian Federation, as described in Visas for Al Qaeda) is to read some of the history of the Ukraine. “The West’s” meddling in the Ukraine has a long illicit pedigree. As Springmann writes:

It seems that the CIA had problems [in the immediate post World War II period] distinguishing between underground groups and above-ground armies. Langley used Marshall Plan money to support a guerrilla force in the Ukraine, called “Nightingale.” Originally established in 1941 by Nazi Germany’s occupation forces, and working on their behalf, “Nightingale” and its terrorist arm (made up of ultranationalist Ukrainians as well as Nazi collaborators) murdered thousands of Jews, Soviet Union supporters, and Poles.

Even relatively recently, since the so-called Orange revolution in the Ukraine made events there eminently newsworthy, I can’t remember seeing in the mainstream media a single substantial article dealing with the historical relationships between the Ukraine and Russia going back to World War II, nor such an article laying out the history of the involvement –overt or covert – of “the West” in the Ukraine.

Instead, we see the surreal ahistorical likes of the top headline in The New York Times International Weekly for June 13-14, “Russia is Sowing Disunity,” by Peter Baker and Steven Erlanger. They report breathlessly in the lead paragraph: “Moscow is leveraging its economic power, financing European political parties and movements, and spreading alternative accounts of the Ukraine conflict, according the American and European officials.

True to the narrative of “the West” as a pitiful giant facing a powerful and expansionist Russia, the writers posit that the “consensus against Russian aggression” is “fragile.

The drift of this NYT yarn, typical of Western propaganda across the board, is that there remains in effect a behemoth “Soviet empire” surreptitiously shipping “Moscow gold” to dupes in “green movements” and so on. Even a former American national intelligence officer on Russia, Fiona Hill, now at the Brookings Institution, told the writers: “The question is how much hard evidence does anyone have?

Maybe this NYT propaganda, like its clones across the mainstream media, is not ahistorical after all. The story comes across rather as an historical relic of the Cold War – found in a time capsule in a fallout shelter – that the NYT editors decided to publish as a prank. A sausage.

* Military action by “the West” has not always been covert. Springmann notes that American and Japanese soldiers were dispatched to Russia in 1917 to squelch the fledgling Russian revolution. The soldiers were part of what was called the Allied Expeditionary Force. Winston Churchill for his part said: “We must strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib.” Springmann might have noted that Canadian soldiers were part of the AEF.

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Visas for Al Qaeda:  CIA Handouts That Rocked The World

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U.S. Support for Al Qaeda, ISIL Laid at Uncle Sam’s Door

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Here is the origin of the Global War on Terror.  It’s not  the mujahideen, al-Qaeda, ISIS,/ISIL/IS.   It’s the United States of America.

Visas for Al Qaeda:  CIA Handouts That Rocked The World  blames the destruction of entire countries and the deaths of millions on high American government officials.

Organized around a country by country description of  brand-name-changing terrorists in Yugoslavia and the Middle East, , this book shows how  murderers, war criminals, and human rights violators are all tied  to American government policy.  Visas for Al Qaeda  demonstrates U.S. cooperation with nearly all of the repressive governments in the region to train, arm, equip, and finance violence.

J. Michael Springmann, a former State Department insider exposes the real background and origins of America’s involvement with extremism.  Fighting for 25 years to learn about his dismissal from the Foreign Service, his research divulges the close ties between the State Department and the CIA.   

To research Visas for al Qaeda, the author drew on mainstream media, progressive websites, and interviews with knowledgeable sources.  This explosive book’s 250 pages and more than 400 footnotes make it an invaluable tool for students, academics, diplomats, and citizens seeking information on how foreign policy is really carried out.

About “Visas for Al Qaeda:  CIA handouts That Rocked The World:  263 pages (including bibliography and index).  ISBN:  10 0990926206 and 13- 978-0990926207 Available from Amazon US & Europe in paperback for $20 and as an E-book, $4.49.

CONTACT  for interviews, lectures, review copies:  Contact.