Expect new drones along border with Afghanistan’

Expect new drones along border with

Afghanistan’

* Unmanned aircraft flight hours have doubled every 3 months
* US plans to outfit RS-7 Shadow with laser designators wings

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: US Central Command officials are pushing for more capable drones to support Afghanistan operations, Aviation Week & Space Technology has revealed. Already, a report in the magazine’s February 9 issue says, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flight hours in Afghanistan have doubled every three months.

The Pentagon’s UAS fleet is growing and providing new capabilities for war efforts as planners weigh options for the next generation of systems. The first Navy Global Hawk has arrived in the Middle East and its first flight is imminent. Navy officials say the aircraft will conduct maritime surveillance missions in the region using a sensor optimised for this requirement. It will likely be tested with US Air Force Global Hawks operating from the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, the air force is proceeding with verification of its active electronically scanned radar (AESA), designed to identify and track moving targets. After three verification flights, the Air Force has validated the software for the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) modes; similar flights are set for the ground moving target indicator (GMTI) in the next couple of weeks. Central Command officials are pushing for more SAR and GMTI capabilities to support Afghanistan operations.

Pentagon acquisition chief John Young recently approved the army’s incremental approach to acquiring and fielding its MQ-1C Warrior UAS. The army has notional plans for an “Enhanced Warrior” system, which could carry about 500lb of additional payload on the centreline of the aircraft. This could possibly be used to add fuel and endurance to the system. The air force is also testing its MQ-9 Reaper, a variant of the Predator. To date, the aircraft has dropped six, 500lb GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Testing is expected to conclude this month.

Modifications: The army is also proceeding with plans to equip its RQ-7 Shadow UAS, a tactical, rail-launched system, with laser designators and new, larger wings. These are expected to support operations in US Central Command next year. As Shadow flight hours decrease in Iraq, UAS flight hours in Afghanistan have doubled every three months in large part due to Shadow operations. The Marine Corps, which also operates Shadow, has begun planning for a replacement by 2016.

On the wish list for this new Marine Corps system is 14-30 hours endurance; a flight radius of 350-450 nautical miles; possible weapons; and payloads of at least 1,500lb. The mission is not yet defined, but it could handle some electronic warfare, electronic surveillance and — possibly — electronic attack missions.

Among the vertical-lift UASs, Fire Scout is beginning sea trials this week on the frigate USS McInerney. Its earliest deployment is expected to be in support operations in Southern Command, which oversees support for the counter-narcotics missions. The Fire Scout has BriteStar II electro-optical and infrared payload as well as a communications relay. Radar is being integrated, and the system could eventually carry weapons.

The Marine Corps, is also looking at a vertical-lift UAS for cargo. Notionally, this system would be shipboard capable. The Marines are hoping for a system that could haul 1,000-6,000lb of cargo and execute a range of 300 nautical miles. Meanwhile, the navy has stated its objectives for another new UAS, called the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System to be ready to be fielded in 2011 for the Marine Corps and navy. The Marine Corps is currently using small Raven B and Wasp UASs, to look short distances ahead for dismounted soldiers. Demand for small UASs is growing.

No more flyaways: The army is outfitting its Raven with a digital data link to eliminate ‘flyaways’ — a break in connectivity – that sometimes results in the loss of the aircraft. Both the army and navy are also working with new, small, hovering UASs. The navy plans to buy about 90 systems, or 180 vehicles mostly for explosive ordnance disposal missions.

Iranians demand US to restore Iran`s rights if is true with change

Iranians demand US to restore Iran`s rights if is true with change

Posted: 2009/02/10
From: MNN

Tehrani Bahman 22 ralliers on Tuesday said that the US slogan of change will prove right only if occupation and tyranny come to an end in the world and the rights of Iranians, including nuclear rights, are recognized.

Tehran, Feb 10, IRNA — “The US administration has spared no effort to weaken the Islamic Republic in the past 30 years. As the late Imam put it, America has been known in the Iranian literature as the `great Satan’. Its despair in confronting the people of Iran, in its occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, in its intervention in the Middle East together with the growing hatred toward expansionist policies, have eventually forced America to adopt the slogan of `change’. We stress resistance in the face of any plot, be it soft or hard, and are closely watching any real change in the policies of the `great Satan’ and believe the slogan of `change’ will prove right only if occupation and tyranny come to an end in the world and the rights of the people of Iran including nuclear rights are recognized, its assets are unfreezed, all sanctions are lifted and political pressures eased,” read a 12-point resolution issued at the end of Tuesday’s rallies.

The resolution reads, “We regard to the rising power of the Islamic Resistance in defeating the Zionist army and its supporters in Lebanon’s 33-day war and Gaza’s 22-day onslaught as indications of divine aid in fulfilling this sacred goal.”

The ralliers hailed “the powerful” men running Islamic Resistance groups in Lebanon and Palestine, especially the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and lent strong support to them.

They also appreciated the world public opinion’s support for Gazans and condemned “the mean” stances of some Arab countries regarding the catastrophes in Gaza.

The resolution also condemned the EU’s removing the terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization from the list of terrorist groups.

“The people of Iran, who are themselves victims of international terrorism, strongly condemn the new move of the European Union in removing the MKO from its terror list and urge the Union to promptly change their stance.”

They stressed the need for enlightening the world public opinion by disseminating accurate information on the rightfulness of the Islamic Revolution and the values and brave acts of the Iranian nation.

The 10th point of the resolution says the huge turnout in the 10th presidential elections will once again display the true concept of religious democracy.

The document renewed allegiance with the aspirations of the martyrs and said Iranians are grateful to those who gave their lives for the cause of the revolution.

It appreciated “the invaluable” services of the government and underscored all-out efforts by the executive, legislative and the judiciary coupled with all organs’ precise implementation of the policies envisaged in the fifth comprehensive development plan that the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has put forward within the framework of the 20-year outlook document.

Elsewhere, the resolution reads that the theory of the late Imam Khomeini on the `rule of the religious jurisprudence’ on whose pillars the foundation of the Islamic Republic are based, is the only doctrine for attaining dignity, honor and progress.

Calling on all officials to close ranks regardless of their political inclinations and tastes, the resolution insisted continued support for the oppressed and for resistance movements in the world.

It once again emphasized the indisputable right of Iran to accessing nuclear know-how for peaceful purposes, condemning new wave of divisive plots against ethnic groups.

“We … stress the need to seriously take heed of the prudent warnings of the leader of the Islamic Revolution and call on world committed leaders, scholars, thinkers and elite as well as the media in the Muslim World to effectively confront the conspiracies and put on top of their agenda maintaining unity among the Shia and Sunni Muslims.”

The Growing Army of Angry Men Whose Lives Have Been Destroyed by the Federal Government

The Growing Army of Angry Men

Whose Lives Have Been Destroyed by

the Federal Government

by Mark R. Crovelli

One of the hardest things to deal with in the current economic depression is the disgusting hypocrisy of the U.S. congress, the new president, and the members of the Federal Reserve System. It is one thing to be told, as we all are, that we must hand over fat wads of our hard-earned money to these warmongering and thieving snakes or face jail terms, but one feels a whole new level of revulsion when these people make statements to the effect that they, and they alone, are in a position to “save the economy” by “creating jobs.” These statements are made by people who have done virtually everything in their power to destroy the American economy over the last few decades, but who have now proclaimed themselves to be our saviors. Only the most naïve and unlearned among us could possibly be falling for the idea that a bunch of self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and bankers are going to “save” us from problems they have caused.

On its face, the idea that politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers could “save” the economy is laughable. These are people, after all, who live exclusively at our expense. That is, these are people whose entire livelihoods are dependent upon taking money away from productive people and spending it on themselves and their favorite wasteful projects. It’s true that they do not all share the same ideas about how to spend the money they take from us. Some prefer to use it to blow up innocent people in foreign lands, while others simply want to take our hard-earned money without our consent and hand it over to other people. The bankers, on the other hand, merely content themselves with printing vast amounts of new money out of thin air that they either hand over to the Treasury Department, or gift to their other banker-buddies to lend out at a profit at our expense. Nevertheless, it should be crystal clear that these people do not actually produce anything themselves (except the bankers, who are very skilled counterfeiters of money). They take money from us through taxation and inflation, (and threaten us with severe punishments if we refuse to obey), and then spend every last penny of it – and more – on war, socialized boondoggles, and welfare. These are the people who would have us believe that they can “save” the economy? How exactly would they accomplish such a thing? More taxes, more idiotic socialized projects, more war, and more newly-printed green paper? Do these actions really seem likely to produce a vibrant and healthy economy, or do they seem more like the actions undertaken by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.?

They would also very much like for us to believe that they are the only people in the world capable of “creating jobs” in the United States. A more ridiculous idea would be hard to find. Again, these people are only in the business of taking money from productive people, and either wasting it entirely (e.g., war), keeping it themselves, or giving it to other people (e.g., entitlement programs, foreign aid, and paychecks for bureaucrats). As such, any actions undertaken by these people will necessarily depend for funding upon those who are forced to pay taxes; namely, the increasingly-dwindling group of productive people who have not yet lost their jobs in the private sector. Does it really seem possible that this sort of parasitism on the productive people of the United States really can create jobs that produce the things that people actually want? If socialized job creation is the only way out of this economic quagmire, as the politicians would have us believe, then why don’t they socialize the entire economy? If it were indeed the case that the federal government can “create” productive jobs better than the private sector, then why don’t they take over all aspects of the American economy, and we can all live happily ever-after in a brave, new, socialized America where everyone is enslaved, I mean employed, by the State.

And don’t think for a moment that the politicians and bureaucrats are themselves going to help the productive people shoulder this onerous tax burden. On the contrary, politicians and bureaucrats do not actually pay taxes. As Murray Rothbard has noted in this regard:

“If a bureaucrat receives a salary of $5,000 a year and pays $1,000 in ‘taxes’ to the government, it is quite obvious that he is simply receiving a salary of $4,000 and pays no taxes at all. The heads of the government have simply chosen a complex and misleading accounting device to make it appear that he pays taxes in the same way as any other men making the same income. The UN’s arrangement, whereby all its employees are exempt from any income taxation, is far more candid.”

Hence, while Mr. Obama is fond of telling us that “we” are going to have to get out of this recession together, what he really means is that those of us who are employed in productive private lines of work in this country are going to have to hand over more and more of our hard-earned money to those people in this country who pay no taxes at all; namely, men like Mr. Obama himself and the rest of the fat, parasitic political and bureaucratic class that infests this country.

Some of the more shameless of the political class in this country, or their academic lackeys, have even tried to convince us that the trillions of dollars they are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to help us get out of this depression. They have been taking our money and blowing it up in these two dreadfully poor countries year after year, and they would like for us to believe that this senseless destruction of wealth is going to make us richer. Often known as “Military Keynesians,” this group is perhaps more aptly described as the “kill ourselves rich” crowd. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that neither you nor I are made better off when the federal government steals our money, hands it over to Lockheed Martin to purchase bombs, and then uses those bombs to blow up Pakistani civilians. The only people who benefit from this forceful expropriation of our money and indifferent murder are the merchants of death occupying lucrative posts at Lockheed, Blackwater and the Pentagon.

What the political and bureaucratic classes are actually accomplishing very well, however, is creating a veritable army of angry men whose lives have been destroyed by the federal government. Many have lost their jobs, thanks to the collapse of the largest artificial economic boom in American history – a boom that was directly caused by the actions of the federal government and the Fed. In addition, thanks to years of merciless and ceaseless money creation by the Fed, this army of men has found that their savings purchase fewer and fewer goods over time. This depreciation of the dollar will inexorably increase astronomically over the next few years as the massive amount of new money the Fed and treasury have already jointly printed, and are planning to print over the coming months and years, floods the system.

This army of angry men has very little to be optimistic about in the near future. At best, they might be able to keep their present jobs in the private sector – shouldering a heavier and heavier portion of the tax burden that funds the congress and president’s wars and socialization schemes, while the value of their savings continues to erode into dust. Those who have lost their jobs might be permitted to work on Mr. Obama’s “public works” projects, and thereby become virtual slaves to the whims of the political and bureaucratic classes. Many others will simply find it easier to start sucking at the state’s teat in the form of unemployment insurance or food stamps, et cetera, and thereby lose all respect for themselves. One thing is certain for every member of this army of angry men, though; every single one of them will now find it very difficult, if not impossible, to carve out a living for himself, on his own terms, and without being at the complete mercy of politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers he has never even met. The age of the independent, responsible, and free American citizen is now dead.

The hour is fast approaching when each and every one of us will have to decide for ourselves whether we will try to fight this devastating government machine, or join it.

February 10, 2009

Mark R. Crovelli [send him mail] writes from Denver, Colorado.

Copyright © 2009 LewRockwell.com

UK government suppressed evidence on Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped his interrogators

UK government suppressed evidence on

Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped

his interrogators

The Government suppressed evidence on the torture of terror suspect Binyam Mohamed because the documents reveal that MI6 helped his interrogators.

Material in a CIA dossier on Mr Mohamed that was blacked out by High Court judges contained details of how British intelligence officers supplied information to his captors and contributed questions while he was brutally tortured, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Intelligence sources have revealed that spy chiefs put pressure on Mr Miliband to do nothing that would leave serving MI6 officers open to prosecution, or to jeopardise relations with the CIA, which is passing them “top notch” information on British terrorist suspects from its own informers in Britain.

Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian, was granted refugee status in Britain in 1994. He was picked up in Pakistan in 2002 on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, rendered to Morocco and Afghanistan, tortured and then sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004. All terror charges against him were dropped last year.

Two High Court judges last week said they wanted to release the full contents of a CIA file on his treatment but they held back seven paragraphs of information after David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, argued that it could compromise intelligence sharing with the US.

A British official, who is regularly briefed on intelligence operations, said: “The concern was that the document revealed that intelligence from the British agencies was used by the Americans and that there were British questions asked while Binyam Mohamed was being tortured.

“Miliband is being pushed hard by the intelligence agencies to protect the identity of those involved.”

The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, “is very far down the list of things they did,” the official said.

Another source familiar with the case said: “British intelligence officers knew about the torture and didn’t do anything about it. They supplied information to the Americans and the Moroccans. They supplied questions, they supplied photographs. There is evidence of all of that.”

David Davis, the former shadow home secretary who first highlighted the case, said: “What has become clear is that the information being held back is not protecting the American government who have made a clean breast of their involvement in torture, but the British government, where at least two cabinet ministers have denied any complicity whatsoever.

“It is very clear who stands to be embarrassed by this and who is being protected by this secrecy. It is not the Americans, it is Labour ministers.”

The full document on Mr Mohamed could still be released. President Barack Obama is under pressure from the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to release the unedited report.

A source on the committee described the case as “shocking” and told The Sunday Telegraph: “If the President doesn’t act we could hold a hearing or write to subpoena the documents. We need to know what’s in those documents.”

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, is now considering whether British intelligence officers can be charged in the UK. Her office says the matter is still under review.

Clive Stafford-Smith, Mr Mohamed’s lawyer, offered to supply the Attorney General with his files of evidence in December, but he has heard nothing back. He condemned the government’s attitude to the documents as “an attempt to define as classified that which is merely political embarrassing”.

He expects Mr Mohamed, who is currently on hunger strike, finally to be sent home from Guantanamo this week.

Despite the criticism of the government’s stance, intelligence sources have revealed that there was a second, legitimate, reason for doing as the US government asked in restricting the material published: MI5 is more dependent than ever on the CIA for help in monitoring the 2,000 terrorist suspects in the UK.

The CIA is now running a large network of its own informers in the British Pakistani community. Their information has helped thwart terrorist attacks in the UK and locate senior al-Qaeda operatives abroad.

The US has stepped up intelligence gathering in the UK to such an extent over the last 18 months that one in four CIA operations designed to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks on the US homeland is now conducted against targets in the UK.

The Israeli Torture Template

The Israeli Torture Template

Rape, Feces and Urine-Dipped Cloth Sacks

By WAYNE MADSEN

With mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified “carve out” sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisoners at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, one only needs to examine the record of abuse of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israel to understand what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meant, when referring to new, yet to be released photos and videos, he said, “if these images are released to the public, obviously its going to make matters worse.”

According to a political appointee within the Bush administration and U.S. intelligence sources, the interrogators at Abu Ghraib included a number of Arabic-speaking Israelis who also helped U.S. interrogators develop the “R2I” (Resistance to Interrogation) techniques. Many of the torture methods were developed by the Israelis over many years of interrogating Arab prisoners on the occupied West Bank and in Israel itself.

Clues about worse photos and videos of abuse may be found in Israeli files about similar abuse of Palestinian and other Arab prisoners. In March 2000, a lawyer for a Lebanese prisoner kidnapped in 1994 by the Israelis in Lebanon claimed that his client had been subjected to torture, including rape. The type of compensation offered by Rumsfeld in his testimony has its roots in cases of Israeli torture of Arabs. In the case of the Lebanese man, said to have been raped by his Israeli captors, his lawyer demanded compensation of $1.47 million. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel documented the types of torture meted out on Arab prisoners. Many of the tactics coincide with those contained in the Taguba report: beatings and prolonged periods handcuffed to furniture. In an article in the December 1998 issue of The Progressive, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb reported on the treatment given to a 23-year old Palestinian held on “administrative detention.” The prisoner was “cuffed behind a chair 17 hours a day for 120 days . . . [he] had his head covered with a sack, which was often dipped in urine or feces. Guards played loud music right next to his ears and frequently taunted him with threats of physical and sexual violence.” If additional photos and videos document such practices, the Bush administration and the American people have, indeed, “seen nothing yet.”

Although it is still largely undocumented if any of the contractor named in the report of General Antonio Taguba were associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services, it is noteworthy that one, John Israel, who was identified in the report as being employed by both CACI International of Arlington, Virginia, and Titan, Inc., of San Diego, may not have even been a U.S. citizen. The Taguba report states that Israel did not have a security clearance, a requirement for employment as an interrogator for CACI. According to CACI’s web site, “a Top Secret Clearance (TS) that is current and US citizenship” are required for CACI interrogators working in Iraq. In addition, CACI requires that its interrogators “have at least two years experience as a military policeman or similar type of law enforcement/intelligence agency whereby the individual utilized interviewing techniques.”

Speculation that “John Israel” may be an intelligence cover name has fueled speculation whether this individual could have been one of a number of Israeli interrogators hired under a classified contract. Because U.S. citizenship and documentation thereof are requirements for a U.S. security clearance, Israeli citizens would not be permitted to hold a Top Secret clearance. However, dual U.S.-Israeli citizens could have satisfied Pentagon requirements that interrogators hold U.S. citizenship and a Top Secret clearance. Although the Taguba report refers twice to Israel as an employee of Titan, the company claims he is one of their sub-contractors. CACI stated that one of the men listed in the report “is not and never has been a CACI employee” without providing more detail. A U.S. intelligence source revealed that in the world of intelligence “carve out” subcontracts such confusion is often the case with “plausible deniability” being a foremost concern.

In fact, the Taguba report does reference the presence of non-U.S. and non-Iraqi interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The report states, “In general, US civilian contract personnel (Titan Corporation, CACI, etc), third country nationals, and local contractors do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib.”

The Pentagon is clearly concerned about the outing of the Taguba report and its references to CACI, Titan, and third country nationals, which could permanently damage U.S. relations with Arab and Islamic nations. The Pentagon’s angst may explain why the Taguba report is classified Secret No Foreign Dissemination.

The leak of the Taguba report was so radioactive, Daniel R. Dunn, the Information Assurance Officer for Douglas Feith’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Policy (Policy Automation Services Security Team), sent a May 6, 2004, For Official Use Only Urgent E-mail to Pentagon staffers stating, “THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT IS CLASSIFIED; DO NOT GO TO FOX NEWS TO READ OR OBTAIN A COPY.” Considering Feith’s close ties to the Israelis, such a reaction by his top computer security officer, a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), is understandable, although considering the fact that CISSPs are to act on behalf of the public good, it is also regrettable..

The reference to “third country nationals” in a report that restricts its dissemination to U.S. coalition partners (Great Britain, Poland, Italy, etc.) is another indication of the possible involvement of Israelis in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. Knowledge that the U.S. may have been using Israeli interrogators could have severely fractured the Bush administration’s tenuous “coalition of the willing’ in Iraq. General Taguba’s findings were transmitted to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command on March 9, 2004, just six days before the Spanish general election, one that the opposition anti-Iraq war Socialists won. The Spanish ultimately withdrew their forces from Iraq.

During his testimony before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Rumsfeld was pressed upon by Senator John McCain about the role of the private contractors in the interrogations and abuse. McCain asked Rumsfeld four pertinent questions, “. . . who was in charge? What agency or private contractor was in charge of the interrogations? Did they have authority over the guards? And what were the instructions that they gave to the guards?”

When Rumsfeld had problems answering McCain’s question, Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Central Command, said there were 37 contract interrogators used in Abu Ghraib. The two named contractors, CACI and Titan, have close ties to the Israeli military and technology communities. Last January 14, after Provost Marshal General of the Army, Major General Donald Ryder, had already uncovered abuse at Abu Ghraib, CACI’s President and CEO, Dr. J.P. (Jack) London was receiving the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah’s Albert Einstein Technology award at the Jerusalem City Hall, with right-wing Likud politician Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski in attendance. Oddly, CACI waited until February 2 to publicly announce the award in a press release. CACI has also received grants from U.S.-Israeli bi-national foundations.

Titan also has had close connections to Israeli interests. After his stint as CIA Director, James Woolsey served as a Titan director. Woolsey is an architect of America’s Iraq policy and the chief proponent of and lobbyist for Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress. An adviser to the neo-conservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, Project for the New American Century, Center for Security Policy, Freedom House, and Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, Woolsey is close to Stephen Cambone, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, a key person in the chain of command who would have not only known about the torture tactics used by U.S. and Israeli interrogators in Iraq but who would have also approved them. Cambone was associated with the Project for the New American Century and is viewed as a member of Rumsfeld’s neo-conservative “cabal” within the Pentagon.

Another person considered by Pentagon insiders to have been knowledgeable about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners is U.S. Army Col. Steven Bucci, a Green Beret and Rumsfeld’s military assistant and chief traffic cop for the information flow to the Defense Secretary. According to Pentagon insiders, Bucci was involved in the direction of a special covert operations unit composed of former U.S. special operations personnel who answered to the Pentagon rather than the CIA’s Special Activities Division, the agency’s own paramilitary group. The Pentagon group included Arabic linguists and former members of the Green Berets and Delta Force who operated covertly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. Titan also uses linguists trained in the languages (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, and Tajik) of those same countries. It is not known if a link exists between Rumsfeld’s covert operations unit and Titan’s covert operations linguists.

Another Titan employee named in the Taguba report is Adel L. Nakhla. Nakhla is a name common among Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, however, it is not known if Adel Nakhla is either an Egyptian-American or a national of Egypt. A CACI employee identified in the report, Steven Stephanowicz, is referred to as “Stefanowicz” in a number of articles on the prison abuse. Stefanowicz is the spelling used by Joe Ryan, another CACI employee assigned with Stefanowicz to Abu Ghraib. Ryan is a radio personality on KSTP, a conservative radio station in Minneapolis, who maintained a daily log of his activities in Iraq on the radio’s web site before it was taken down. Ryan indicated that Stefanowicz (or Stephanowicz) continued to hold his interrogation job in Iraq even though General Taguba recommended he lose his security clearance and be terminated for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

In an even more bizarre twist, the Philadelphia Daily News identified a former expatriate public relations specialist for the government of South Australia in Adelaide named Steve Stefanowicz as possibly being the same person identified in the Taguba report. In 2000, Stefanowicz, who grew up in the Philadelphia and Allentown areas, left for Australia. On September 16, 2001, he was quoted by the Sunday Mail of Adelaide on the 911 attacks. He said of the attacks, “It was one of the most incredible and most devastating things I have ever seen. I have been in constant contact with my family and friends in the US and the mood was very solemn and quiet. But this is progressing into anger.” Stefanowicz returned to the United States and volunteered for the Navy in a reserve status. His mother told the Allentown Morning Call in April 2002 that Stefanowicz was stationed somewhere in the Middle East but did not know where because of what Stefanowicz said was “security concerns.” His mother told the Philadelphia Daily News that her son was in Iraq but she knew nothing about his current status.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.” His forthcoming book is titled: “Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates.”

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

Jews tell Vatican: Holocaust denial is a crime

Jews tell Vatican: Holocaust denial is a crime

By Philip Pullella
Bishop Richard Williamson is pictured at Frankfurt airport in this February 28, Reuters – Bishop Richard Williamson is pictured at Frankfurt airport in this February 28, 2007 file photo. (Jens …

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – World Jewish leaders told Vatican officials that denying the Holocaust was “not an opinion but a crime” when they met on Monday to discuss a bishop they accuse of being anti-Semitic.

The meetings, the first since the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the Holocaust, began last month, took place three days before Pope Benedict is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders.

Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast in January: “I believe there were no gas chambers.” He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million accepted by most historians.

“Today we strongly reaffirmed that the denial of the Shoah is not an opinion, but a crime,” said Richard Prasquier, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

Prasquier and Maram Stern, deputy secretary of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), held talks with Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican office that handles religious relations with Jews.

“We want the Vatican to realize that by accommodating anti-Semites like Williamson, the achievements of four decades of Catholic-Jewish dialogue … will be put into doubt,” WJC President Ronald Lauder said in a statement.

“We now believe that our message has been understood. The controversial debate of the past three weeks has had a positive impact,” said Lauder, who did not attend the meetings.

Catholic-Jewish relations have been extremely tense since January 24, when Benedict lifted excommunications of four renegade traditionalist bishops, including Williamson, in an attempt to heal a schism that began in 1988 when they were ordained without Vatican permission.

Among those who have condemned Williamson and the pope’s decision are Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, U.S. legislators, Israeli leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

A Church source said Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, which had pulled out of dialogue, has decided to resume talks and will come to the Vatican either in late February or mid-March.

The Vatican has ordered Williamson to publicly recant his position. Over the weekend, traditionalist leaders said he had been removed as head of a seminary in Argentina.

Germany’s Spiegel magazine on Saturday quoted Williamson as saying he first had to review historical evidence on the Holocaust before considering an apology to Jews.

“I ask everyone to believe me that I did not deliberately say something false. I was, on the basis of my research in the 1980s, convinced of the accuracy of my comments. Now I must examine everything again and look at the evidence,” he said.

Williamson failed in a bid on Monday to get an injunction from a German court on the broadcasting of his views on television and the internet.

“There are no valid infringements of his rights,” said the Nuremberg-Fuerth court in southern Germany.

Williamson is part of the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X (SSPX), which does not accept all the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. It repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Christ’s death and urged dialogue with other religions.

The Vatican has said the SSPX must accept all Council teachings before they can be fully re-admitted into the Church.

Older Article Reveals Plan to Re-plant the US Hitman Dahlan and Abbas in Gaza, Riding In On Israeli Tanks

Egypt’s Intelligence head Suleiman: “Nobody in the Arab World can Afford to say NO to Egypt!”

This article, which I only found yesterday, thanks to my friend Susanne, is slightly dated by a few weeks, but it is an absolutely astonishing document revealing the behind-the-scenes goings on prior to the current cease-fire in Gaza. Italian journalists of Arabmonitor, the first portal of the Arab World in Italy, have interviewed several of the key players who reveal steps Egypt has taken to block Turkey’s efforts at obtaining a ceasefire, their pressure on Hamas to “declare defeat”, the training of special troops of Dahlan in Egypt for a re-entry into Gaza, and the elation that Abu Mazen felt at the news of the assassinatin of Saed Siyam . Shocking reading….

THE EGYPTIAN NEGOTIATOR SHOUTED AT THE REPRESENTATIVES OF HAMAS: NOBODY IN THE ARAB WORLD CAN AFFORD TO SAY NO TO EGYPT
Damascus, January – The high-level representative of Hamas we had the opportunity to talk to chose to remain anonymous, considering the delicacy of the statements he had to make. With but a few hours into the assassination of Saed Siyam in the Gaza Strip and with equally short time left before the opening of the Arab-Islamic summit hosted by the Emir of Qatar, our interlocutor had been granted only two hours of sleep the previous night and his red-veined, deeply sunken eyeballs tell it all. He reveals to us that it’s not Egypt who is actually negotiating the terms of a cease-fire for Gaza, but Turkey: at least, as far as the demands from the Islamic resistance are concerned.
That is how we get to know that what the delegates of Hamas obtained from Egypt was not a draft for a cease-fire proposal, but a dictate: a lull in fighting for an initial two-weeks period, in order to allow for humanitarian aid to be distributed in the Gaza Strip and during which the terms for a durable long-term cease-fire would be negotiated. Cairo would actually opt for a twenty-years truce, but surely for nothing less than a fifteen-years duration of it, demanding at the same time the resistance to sign up on an unconditional defeat, to renounce armed struggle and refrain from military training for its members, as well as from producing and importing weapons.During the short-term lull, the two-weeks halt of fire, there would be no opening of border crossings and even humanitarian aid allowed to pass into the Gaza Strip would do so at the discretion of Egypt and Israel.

“We thanked them, but explained that it was unacceptable. General Suleiman (head of the Egyptian intelligence) was furious and shouted: Nobody in the Arab world can afford to say no to Egypt”.

To describe the kind of game Cairo had been playing from early on in the run-up towards the Israeli aggression (starting 27 December), our interlocutor told us that on 26 December the Egyptians asked Hamas to “raise the white flag”, to declare defeat “and then we (the Egyptians) will intervene with the Israelis to guarantee your personal safety”. In any case, during this talk, which took place in the presence of some of Suleiman’s aides, the Egyptian interlocutors assured the Palestinians they had received guarantees from Israel that no military attack against Gaza was on the time-table. “In these three weeks of war there were days in which for periods of up to 48 hours they denied any passage through the Rafah crossing, even to gas canisters urgently needed by the surgical wards of Gaza hospitals.

That’s not all: since about ten days 400 of Mohammad Dahlan’s men (the former strongman of Fatah, the USA and Israel in the Gaza Strip) are guests hosted at an Egyptian military centre in al-Arish (provincial capital of Sinai), where they are being trained by Egyptians”. The plan is for these 400 to return to the Gaza Strip, if not on the back of Israeli tanks, then with the support from Egypt.

In recent days the waters of the Nile began to look very troubled, because Egypt did not appreciate at all the efforts of the Turkish delegation to mediate the terms of a cease-fire. General Suleiman initially even prevented the Turks from meeting the representatives of Hamas, demanding that he himself act as messenger between the two delegations. At a certain point, Ahmed Davotouglu, the senior advisor of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, ran out of patience and the Turkish delegation from Ankara obtained permission to access the Palestinians.

“The Turks went ahead with a quite pragmatic approach. They held out to Suleiman that the Egyptian proposal was, realistically speaking, unacceptable for us and came forward with ideas that would contain guarantees for us as well as for the Israelis. For instance, they proposed to establish a presence of international monitors directly at the crossings, in joint venture with Palestinian forces from the Authority in Gaza, who at the Rafah crossing ­ but only at the Rafah crossing ­ could also consist of a a mixed forces, that is, those of the Palestinian National Authority in addition to our own. According to the Turkish proposal, the international presence would be different from the one set up by the European Union at the Rafah crossing years ago, which practically implemented orders given by Israel through remote control by monitors. According to the new proposal, the forces at the border crossings would act as an independent authority. And again it were the Turks who proposed a time-table of possibly one year for the duration of the cease-fire. We consider Turkey a partner with whom to negotiate, because it has shown much realism”.

Among the key conditions proposed by the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement for a cease-fire there is the demand for a complete and definitive halt of the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, the immediate withdrawal of the invasion troops, who “could withdraw within two hours”, but whose evacuation should be accomplished latest within a couple of days, an end of the siege imposed on the area and the opening of all crossings, foremost of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

We asked our talks partner to give us his evaluation of Abu Mazen’s performance during the present crisis. “Listen, shortly after the outbreak of the Israeli aggression he was called up on telephone by the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad Ramadan Shallah (who lives in Syria, in exile), asking him to make a gesture and to call Ismail Haniye in Gaza, to find out what was going on. Abu Mazen rejected the plea. We know from absolutely trustworthy sources that yesterday, when news reached them at the Moqata (Abu Mazen’s seat at Ramallah) that Saed Siyam had been killed, the political leaders present, among them Abu Mazen, congratulated themselves and handed out sweets. What could I ever say, at this point?”.

Abu Mazen’s term as President of the Palestinian National Authority has expired on 9 January. “Yes, but given the current circumstances, we don’t want to create additional problems and prefer to suspend the issue until after the end of the war against Gaza, following which, last not least, we must address the task of reconstruction in Gaza”.

Our interlocutor told us that last year, ahead of the Arab League summit in Damascus, Egypt had tried by every means to persuade Palestinian Authority President to boycott the meeting, but Abu Mazen responded: “If I don’t go there, my seat will be occupied by Khaled Meshaal (head of the Political Office of Hamas)”, which was the reason why he went to Damascus (at the recent Arab-Islamic emergency meeting in Doha, from which he remained absent, the seat for the leader representing the Palestinians was indeed occupied by Meshaal).

The Europeans also, who in public always took care to present themselves as “virtuous” in avoiding any contact with Hamas, during the past weeks held more than once talks with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance. “Some of them approached us to express their negative feelings over the fact that we, according to them, refused to abide by the existing cease-fire. When we pointed out to them, that is was in fact Israel who violated the cease-fire by refusing to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, these countries slipped away.

However, three European countries kept the lines open and we are still in contact with them. They offered their help to find a way out of the crisis. I can’t tell you the names of two of them, only that they are European Union members, one of them a leading power, and the other one driven by an ambitious policy. The third one to offer us their help is Norway”.

Nevertheless, on the American front some interesting developments are coming up. Daniel Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Israel, who is quite close to Barack Obama’s team, has met twice “as a private citizen” with Hamas leaders. His aim was to “pick up ideas”. The two talks took place in spring 2008 and then again last November, following Obama’s electoral victory. And then, how could we fail to recall that former US President Jimmy Carter had asked for a personal encounter with Khaled Meshal, and with other figures from the Hamas leadership, in April last year as well as in November.

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