Hiroshima Panels

















Message from

IRI & TOSHI Maruki

Iri Maruki



Toshi Maruki



We lost our uncle to the Atomic Bomb and our two young nieces were killed ; our younger sister sufferd burns and our father died after six months ; many friends perished.

Iri left Tokyo for Hiroshima on the first train from Tokyo, three days after the Bomb was dropped. Toshi followed a few days later.

Two kilometers from the center of the explosion, the family house was still standing. But the roof and roof tiles were mostly gone, windows had been blown out, and even the pans, dishes, and chopsticks had been blasted out of their places in the kitchen.

In what was left of the burned structure, rescued bomb victims were gathered together and lay on the floor from wall to wall until it was full.

We carried the injured, cremated the dead, searched for food, and found scorched sheets of tin to patch the roof.

With the stench of death and the flies and the maggots all around us, we wandered about in the same manner as those who had experienced the Bomb.

In the biginning of September, back in Tokyo, we heard for certain that the war had ended. In Hiroshima,we hadn’t known.

It had never entered our minds–at that time, we couldn’t think beyond what we were seeing and doing.

Three years passed before we began to paint what we had seen. We began to paint our own nude bodies to bring back the images of that time, and others come to pose for us because we were painting the Atomic Bomb.

We thought about a 17-year-old girl having had a 17-year life span, and 3-year-old child having had a life of three years.

Nine hundreds sketches were merged together to create the first paintings.

We thought we ha painted a tremendous number of people, but there were 260,000 people who died in Hiroshima.

As we prayed for the blessing of the dead with a fervent hope that it never happen again, we realized that even if we sketched and painted all oflour lives, we couldn’t never paint them all.

One Atomic Bomb in one indtant caused the deaths of more people than we could ever portray.

Long-lasting radioactivity and radiation sickness are causing people to suffer and die even now. This was not a natural disaster.

As we painted, through our paintings,.these thought came to run through and through our mind.

Iri Maruki, Toshi Maruki




Art of the Hibakusha (Atom Bomb Survivors)



Atomic Dome

Atomic Dome

Blinded Girl

Blinded Girl

Charred Child

Charred Child

Floating Lanterns

Floating Lanterns

Gone Mad

Gone Mad

Hiroshima Bridge

Hiroshima Bridge

Hiroshima Horse

Hiroshima Horse

Melting Hand

Melting Hand

Mother on Fire

Mother on Fire

Nagasaki Blast

Nagasaki Blast

Nagasaki Pulverized

Nagasaki Pulverized

Radioactive Rubble

Radioactive Rubble

River filled with bodies

River filled with bodies

The last drink

The last drink

Women on Fire

Women on Fire

US troops target Haqqani in Afghanistan

US troops target Haqqani in Afghanistan

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: US troops in Afghanistan have started hunting down Al Qaeda leader Jalaluddin Haqqani’s terrorist network in eastern Afghanistan, as insurgent attacks on US Army outposts continue to cause US casualties, CBS News has reported.

The CIA once courted Haqqani, one of America’s most wanted men. Now, he’s accused of killing American soldiers. A local tribal leader, Haqqani allegedly operates from his safe haven in Pakistan. During their targeted missions, soldiers are after the bomb makers and their materials. So far, US forces have uncovered four weapons caches and detained around seven suspects. Even if some missions turn up with nothing, it’s still a show of force in the heart of Haqqani territory.

“You know when you are fighting Haqqani,” said Lt Col Rob Campbell, “Based on the size of the force and how committed they are and how close they’ll get up to you and fight you.”

As winter begins to take hold, the US military believes many Haqqani fighters in eastern Afghanistan will head to Pakistan for more training. As the traditional fighting season ends, however, US soldiers now have to start a different mission – convincing Haqqani’s tribesmen to turn their backs on their leader and put their weapons down.

UN announces closure of all offices across Pakistan

UN announces closure of all offices across Pakistan

LAHORE: The United Nations announced in a travel security advisory on Monday the closure of all of its offices across Pakistan for an indefinite period – following a suicide attack on the WFP office in Islamabad. The UN’s ‘extended security team’ met this afternoon to review the security situation, and decided to put all operational missions to Pakistan on hold. In-country mission travel has also been put on hold until further notice. Missions already in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi have been told to stay at their hotels. The UN’s Islamabad office – including IFC and WSP – and IFC office in Karachi have also been closed for October 5 and 6. staff report

Fears rise over militants in Punjab

Fears rise over militants in Punjab

Despite the ban, and repeated vows by governments to root out militancy, Jaish is thriving. — Photo by Reuters

BAHAWALPUR: Three burly gunmen stand menacingly at the gate of a mosque complex in the town of Bahawalpur as hundreds of men file in listen to a prayer for victory of Muslim fighters around the world.

This is Osman-o-Ali, the headquarters of Jaish-i-Mohammad, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group which has a long record of violence including an assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.

While Pakistan’s attention is focused on the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat on the Afghan border in the remote northwest, there are fears that the militants are quietly expanding their influence and winning recruits in the country’s heartland.

‘South Punjab is a fertile ground for extremists and militants,’ said security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

The flourishing Jaish complex in Bahawalpur, in the south of Punjab province, illustrates the ambivalence that Pakistani authorities have long shown towards hardline Islamists.

Islamist factions were nurtured by the security agencies during the 1980s and 1990s when they sent their fighters into Afghanistan to take on Soviet occupiers and later into Indian-administered Kashmir region to battle security forces.

But Jaish was officially outlawed by Musharraf in early 2002 after it and another group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, were blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament which brought Pakistan and India to the brink of their fourth war.

Despite the ban, and repeated vows by governments to root out militancy, Jaish is thriving. It and an allied group are believed to have thousands of young cadres fighting western forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani army in the northwest.

Plots hatched here on the dusty plains and shabby towns of southern Punjab can reach around the world.

Rashid Rauf, a British-born al-Qaeda operative and suspect in a 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, was a member of Jaish and was known to have lived in Bahawalpur with his wife.

‘Jihad hub’

Security analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says south Punjab has become ‘the hub of jihadism’ and the authorities are in denial.

The region is critical to planning, recruitment and logistical support for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she wrote recently in Newsline magazine.

Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah acknowledged the hardliners have many thousands of sympathisers but he dismisses talk of a threat to the state.

‘There is no challenge to the government,’ Sanaullah, who is also responsible for security, told Reuters in an interview in his office in the provincial capital of Lahore.

‘They can detonate bombs or carry out suicide attacks but they cannot establish their bases in Punjab,’ he said.

On the outskirts of Bahawalpur, the Jaish group has acquired a plot of land of about five acres (1.7 hectares) which some people fear could be a militant training camp.

The plot is surrounded by a brick wall but from a nearby road one can see cows and buffaloes feeding in stables.

A security official said authorities had turned a blind eye to the acquisition of the land by an outlawed group but said they would not be allowed to pursue militant activities.

‘Let me assure you they don’t have the guts to challenge the government,’ said the official, who declined to be identified.

Mohammad Riaz Chughtai, a cleric with links to Jaish leaders, said the group planned to build a madrassah on the land and no militant training was going on.

But youngsters are being recruited in Punjab and sent for training on the Afghan border. Police recently detained five teenagers on charges of receiving militant training in South Waziristan, the main stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.

‘They wanted me to become a suicide bomber. They told me that jihad was obligatory,’ 16-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim told interrogators, according to a police transcript.

Sanaullah said there were tens of thousands of such people all over Pakistan, including many who previous governments trained for war in Afghanistan and then discarded.

‘We can’t kill all of them, arrest them or detain them for interrogation,’ Sanaullah said. ‘What we can do is that the one who is very active will be arrested and interrogated.’

Rizvi said government negligence and lingering sympathy for the militants in some quarters were to blame.

‘There is still sympathy for these militant groups,’ Rizvi said. ‘But they cannot establish a mini-state of their own as they did in the tribal areas.’

NWFP takes the brunt

[The closing paragraph says it all--the US must not be allowed to move forward in Afghanistan, or to leave, until it repairs the great breech that it has opened and compensates for the lives it has wrongfully taken in its geopolitical scheme to take control of the world.]

NWFP takes the brunt

By Nasser Yousaf

‘We all must know why we are in Afghanistan,’ US special envoy Richard Holbrooke recently enunciated in one of his many statements on the fast-changing state of the war on terror. But few are prepared to heed the clarion call as the clamour for the end of the mission in Afghanistan by the US and its allies is getting louder and louder.

So-called Afghanistan experts are out in large numbers with damning chronicles from the archives. The intention is none other than to force public opinion to scare western governments into abandoning Afghanistan and handing it over to resurgent mercenaries.

Leaving the job unfinished in this fashion would virtually amount to signing the death warrants of thousands of Afghans and others now employed and tasked to rebuild the war- and ignorance-battered country. That this disastrous aspect of the matter is being considered at length is quite well known. What, however, appears to weigh little in this argument that is heating up is the utter exclusion of the NWFP from the equation.

Situated along the porous Durand Line, the Frontier is the unfortunate victim of its own geography. It has suffered incalculable loss of life and property as well as sustained damage to its image, since the devastating events of December 1979 that prompted the mass exodus of the Afghans and their eventual settlement across the province. A predominant majority of the 3.7 million refugees took shelter in the Frontier, dealing a severe blow to its infrastructure, forests, agriculture and sowing the permanent seeds of unrest in its soil.

The most unwanted of those refugees were the seven leaders — and their stooges — who had formed an alliance of sorts and would roam about the length of the province in a pompous manner that was the bane of the local populace. Some of the streets and neighbourhoods in Peshawar still bear the eerie stigma of accommodating the palatial residences of those leaders sporting overflowing, pretentious beards.

While widows and orphans suffered in the unmitigated wretchedness of the camps, those leaders, some of them still holding high profiles, frolicked in dollar-induced riches from the CIA’s coffers and indulged themselves in polygamous games with abandon.

Surprisingly, while the white and green flags fluttering on the makeshift graves in the camps kept multiplying, lending a hideous look to the setting, the leaders never came to any harm. With wooden coffins standing prominently against their outer walls, death appeared to be the only commodity available in plenty in the camps.

The camps, particularly at Katcha Garhi on the outskirts of Peshawar and at Jalozai in Nowshera, recently came into focus again as hundreds of thousands of refugees from the conflict zones of the Frontier pitched their tents on the parched, grassless soil at the two sites.

Living in the Frontier, one is forced to believe in some measure of magic realism. It looks as if the camps continue to be the living quarters of those who succumbed to the Soviet war and the shenanigans of discredited Afghan leaders, their spirits refusing to vacate. This June when the Jalozai camp was full, a villager passing by the site turned his gaze on the milling crowds and remarked in exhaustion, ‘Oh God, is this place destined to be the permanent retreat of refugees?’

The expression of such intense emotions matters little to our homebred Afghan experts who can be observed spearheading the ‘pullout of Afghanistan’ campaign. The local media also seems to be taking a great interest in the campaign by picking up the juiciest bits from the statements of the now visibly demoralised US generals.

The latest proof of this was seen when a leaked report referred to the alarm raised by the commander of US and Nato forces, Stanley McChrystal, calling for reinforcements as he saw defeat staring the troops in the face. The sense of defeatism contained in McChrystal’s report sent shudders down the spines of those in the Frontier who have seen the worst face of the enemy battling the US-led forces.

The US might be an ignoble villain responsible for all the world’s woes but it is doing one thing right: keeping the Afghans from fleeing their country like they did during the Soviet occupation and subsequent Taliban rule. Those referring to present-day Afghanistan as an occupied country intentionally neglect this most crucial aspect of the ongoing hostilities and the great sufferings of the Pakhtuns.

Pulling out at this stage would amount to handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban, which would undoubtedly force another wave of migration of Afghans and their consequent settlement in the Frontier. This could be the worst imaginable nightmare for the Frontier as the province — teetering and crumbling — is seen grappling with the most decisive moments of its volatile history.

The Taliban, referred to by default as Pakhtun nationalists by their supporters, were created by the US for the fulfilment of its nefarious wishes. The US must now dismantle the structure it blundered into making on the soil of the Frontier even if takes it 100 years. This is the debt that the US must pay to the Pakhtun nation in general and the people of the Frontier in particular. The Taliban wish to deny the Pakhtuns the profits of progress. This must never be allowed. Otherwise the repercussions would be disastrous for the whole world.

The Population Myth

The Population Myth

People who claim that population growth is the big environmental issue are shifting the blame from the rich to the poor

By George Monbiot.

October 03, 2009 The Guardian” — 29th September 2009 — It’s no coincidence that most of those who are obsessed with population growth are post-reproductive wealthy white men: it’s about the only environmental issue for which they can’t be blamed. The brilliant earth systems scientist James Lovelock, for example, claimed last month that “those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.”(1) But it’s Lovelock who is being ignorant and irrational.

A paper published yesterday in the journal Environment and Urbanization shows that the places where population has been growing fastest are those in which carbon dioxide has been growing most slowly, and vice versa. Between 1980 and 2005, for example, Sub-Saharan Africa produced 18.5% of the world’s population growth and just 2.4% of the growth in CO2. North America turned out 4% of the extra people, but 14% of the extra emissions. Sixty-three per cent of the world’s population growth happened in places with very low emissions(2).

Even this does not capture it. The paper points out that around one sixth of the world’s population is so poor that it produces no significant emissions at all. This is also the group whose growth rate is likely to be highest. Households in India earning less than 3,000 rupees a month use a fifth of the electricity per head and one seventh of the transport fuel of households earning Rs30,000 or more. Street sleepers use almost nothing. Those who live by processing waste (a large part of the urban underclass) often save more greenhouse gases than they produce.

Many of the emissions for which poorer countries are blamed should in fairness belong to us. Gas flaring by companies exporting oil from Nigeria, for example, has produced more greenhouse gases than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa put together(3). Even deforestation in poor countries is driven mostly by commercial operations delivering timber, meat and animal feed to rich consumers. The rural poor do far less harm(4).

The paper’s author, David Satterthwaite of the International Institute for Environment and Development, points out that the old formula taught to all students of development – that total impact equals population times affluence times technology (I=PAT) – is wrong. Total impact should be measured as I=CAT: consumers times affluence times technology. Many of the world’s people use so little that they wouldn’t figure in this equation. They are the ones who have most children.

While there’s a weak correlation between global warming and population growth, there’s a strong correlation between global warming and wealth. I’ve been taking a look at a few superyachts, as I’ll need somewhere to entertain Labour ministers in the style to which they’re accustomed. First I went through the plans for Royal Falcon Fleet’s RFF135, but when I discovered that it burns only 750 litres of fuel per hour(5) I realised that it wasn’t going to impress Lord Mandelson. I might raise half an eyebrow in Brighton with the Overmarine Mangusta 105, which sucks up 850 l/hr(6). But the raft that’s really caught my eye is made by Wally Yachts in Monaco. The WallyPower 118 (which gives total wallies a sensation of power) consumes 3400 l/hr when travelling at 60 knots(7). That’s nearly one litre per second. Another way of putting it is 31 litres per kilometre(8).

Of course to make a real splash I’ll have to shell out on teak and mahogany fittings, carry a few jet skis and a mini-submarine, ferry my guests to the marina by private plane and helicopter, offer them bluefin tuna sushi and beluga caviar and drive the beast so fast that I mash up half the marine life of the Mediterranean. As the owner of one of these yachts I’ll do more damage to the biosphere in ten minutes than most Africans inflict in a lifetime. Now we’re burning, baby.

Someone I know who hangs out with the very rich tells me that in the banker belt of the lower Thames valley there are people who heat their outdoor swimming pools to bath temperature, all round the year. They like to lie in the pool on winter nights, looking up at the stars. The fuel costs them £3000 a month. One hundred thousand people living like these bankers would knacker our life support systems faster than 10 billion people living like the African peasantry. But at least the super wealthy have the good manners not to breed very much, so the rich old men who bang on about human reproduction leave them alone.

In May the Sunday Times carried an article headlined “Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation”. It revealed that “some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly” to decide which good cause they should support. “A consensus emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat.”(9) The ultra-rich, in other words, have decided that it’s the very poor who are trashing the planet. You grope for a metaphor, but it’s impossible to satirise.

James Lovelock, like Sir David Attenborough and Jonathan Porritt, is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT). It is one of dozens of campaigns and charities whose sole purpose is to discourage people from breeding in the name of saving the biosphere. But I haven’t been able to find any campaign whose sole purpose is to address the impacts of the very rich.

The obsessives could argue that the people breeding rapidly today might one day become richer. But as the super wealthy grab an ever greater share and resources begin to run dry, this, for most of the very poor, is a diminishing prospect. There are strong social reasons for helping people to manage their reproduction, but weak environmental reasons, except among wealthier populations.

The Optimum Population Trust glosses over the fact that the world is going through demographic transition: population growth rates are slowing down almost everywhere and the number of people is likely, according to a paper in Nature, to peak this century(10), probably at around 10 billion(11). Most of the growth will take place among those who consume almost nothing.

But no one anticipates a consumption transition. People breed less as they become richer, but they don’t consume less; they consume more. As the habits of the super-rich show, there are no limits to human extravagance. Consumption can be expected to rise with economic growth until the biosphere hits the buffers. Anyone who understands this and still considers that population, not consumption, is the big issue is, in Lovelock’s words, “hiding from the truth”. It is the worst kind of paternalism, blaming the poor for the excesses of the rich.

So where are the movements protesting about the stinking rich destroying our living systems? Where is the direct action against superyachts and private jets? Where’s Class War when you need it?

It’s time we had the guts to name the problem. It’s not sex; it’s money. It’s not the poor; it’s the rich.


Making the Middle East Safe for Israeli Aggression

[The Republicans have been looking for an opportunity to do this since Clinton.  What exactly is it that Iran has allegedly done again, Senator, to merit such a devastating first strike, nothing less than an American “Pear Harbor”?  It is freakin’ unbelievable that these allegedly sane men are willing to take the United States to a state of limited nuclear war without first cause.  They are saying that it is perfectly within the bounds of reason and some insane interpretations of the laws of war that we bomb another country based on what we think that they are thinking.  Simply insane.  Lindsay and the rest are clearly thinking more of protecting Israel than the United States.] 

GOP Senators: US, Not Israel, Should Attack Iran ‘If Necessary’

By David Edwards
October 05, 2009 "
Raw Story" — Two senior Republican senators say the United States, and not Israel, should attack Iran if military action becomes "necessary."
They also say a simple strike at the country’s nuclear capability wouldn’t be enough — the US would have to launch an "all-or-nothing" war against Iran with the aim of crippling the country’s military capabilities.
"I think an Israeli attack on Iran is a nightmare for the world, because it will rally the Arab world around Iran and they’re not aligned now. It’s too much pressure to put on Israel," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
He continued: "If the sanctions fail, and Iran’s going down the road to get a nuclear weapon, any Sunni Arab state that could, would want a nuclear weapon. Israel will be more imperiled. The world will change dramatically for the worst. Military action should be the last resort anyone looks at, and I would rather our allies and us take military action if it’s necessary."
But Graham doesn’t think an attack should be limited to airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. "If we use military action against Iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities. We should destroy their ability to make conventional war. They should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float," said Graham.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, agrees.
"The problem with military action also is that you’re probably not going to be able to stop the production of uranium by just a simple airstrike," Chambliss said on Fox News Sunday. "Lindsey’s right. It’s an all or nothing deal. And is it worth that at this point in time, when we know they have the capability? We can slow them down, but a full-out military strike is what it would take," said Chambliss.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Oct. 4, 2009.

The demise of the dollar

The demise of the dollar

In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading

By Robert Fisk

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars.

financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

Secret meetings have already been held by finance ministers and central bank governors in Russia, China, Japan and Brazil to work on the scheme, which will mean that oil will no longer be priced in dollars.

The plans, confirmed to The Independent by both Gulf Arab and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong, may help to explain the sudden rise in gold prices, but it also augurs an extraordinary transition from dollar markets within nine years.

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The Americans, who are aware the meetings have taken place – although they have not discovered the details – are sure to fight this international cabal which will include hitherto loyal allies Japan and the Gulf Arabs. Against the background to these currency meetings, Sun Bigan, China’s former special envoy to the Middle East, has warned there is a risk of deepening divisions between China and the US over influence and oil in the Middle East. "Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable," he told the Asia and Africa Review. "We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security."

This sounds like a dangerous prediction of a future economic war between the US and China over Middle East oil – yet again turning the region’s conflicts into a battle for great power supremacy. China uses more oil incrementally than the US because its growth is less energy efficient. The transitional currency in the move away from dollars, according to Chinese banking sources, may well be gold. An indication of the huge amounts involved can be gained from the wealth of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar who together hold an estimated $2.1 trillion in dollar reserves.

The decline of American economic power linked to the current global recession was implicitly acknowledged by the World Bank president Robert Zoellick. "One of the legacies of this crisis may be a recognition of changed economic power relations," he said in Istanbul ahead of meetings this week of the IMF and World Bank. But it is China’s extraordinary new financial power – along with past anger among oil-producing and oil-consuming nations at America’s power to interfere in the international financial system – which has prompted the latest discussions involving the Gulf states.

Brazil has shown interest in collaborating in non-dollar oil payments, along with India. Indeed, China appears to be the most enthusiastic of all the financial powers involved, not least because of its enormous trade with the Middle East.

China imports 60 per cent of its oil, much of it from the Middle East and Russia. The Chinese have oil production concessions in Iraq – blocked by the US until this year – and since 2008 have held an $8bn agreement with Iran to develop refining capacity and gas resources. China has oil deals in Sudan (where it has substituted for US interests) and has been negotiating for oil concessions with Libya, where all such contracts are joint ventures.

Furthermore, Chinese exports to the region now account for no fewer than 10 per cent of the imports of every country in the Middle East, including a huge range of products from cars to weapon systems, food, clothes, even dolls. In a clear sign of China’s growing financial muscle, the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, yesterday pleaded with Beijing to let the yuan appreciate against a sliding dollar and, by extension, loosen China’s reliance on US monetary policy, to help rebalance the world economy and ease upward pressure on the euro.

Ever since the Bretton Woods agreements – the accords after the Second World War which bequeathed the architecture for the modern international financial system – America’s trading partners have been left to cope with the impact of Washington’s control and, in more recent years, the hegemony of the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.

The Chinese believe, for example, that the Americans persuaded Britain to stay out of the euro in order to prevent an earlier move away from the dollar. But Chinese banking sources say their discussions have gone too far to be blocked now. "The Russians will eventually bring in the rouble to the basket of currencies," a prominent Hong Kong broker told The Independent. "The Brits are stuck in the middle and will come into the euro. They have no choice because they won’t be able to use the US dollar."

Chinese financial sources believe President Barack Obama is too busy fixing the US economy to concentrate on the extraordinary implications of the transition from the dollar in nine years’ time. The current deadline for the currency transition is 2018.

The US discussed the trend briefly at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh; the Chinese Central Bank governor and other officials have been worrying aloud about the dollar for years. Their problem is that much of their national wealth is tied up in dollar assets.

"These plans will change the face of international financial transactions," one Chinese banker said. "America and Britain must be very worried. You will know how worried by the thunder of denials this news will generate."

Iran announced late last month that its foreign currency reserves would henceforth be held in euros rather than dollars. Bankers remember, of course, what happened to the last Middle East oil producer to sell its oil in euros rather than dollars. A few months after Saddam Hussein trumpeted his decision, the Americans and British invaded Iraq.

A Video Tape of Abbas Asking Barak to continue the war on Gaza?!

Abbas Pressured to Quit over Report, Threatened with a Video Tape?!

Batoul Wehbe Readers Number : 96

06/10/2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is facing unusually harsh criticism from within Fatah and other Palestinian groups for his decision last week to withdraw a draft document requesting the United Nations Human Rights Council pursue the adoption of the Goldstone report which could have led to the prosecution of Israel for war crimes during its aggression in Gaza.

Senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Zahar has demanded that the Palestinian president resign for supporting the postponement of the UN vote. Al-Zahar told Al Jazeera that Abbas was guilty of “a very big crime against the Palestinian people” over the Palestinian Authority’s support to defer endorsing the report, which was highly critical of Israel’s conduct during the Gaza war.

“He is encouraging the Israeli military leaders to attack Gaza, to kill Hamas, and to kill people because they voted for Hamas; to postpone a very important report concerning the Israelis committing crimes against human beings,” al-Zahar said on Monday. “He should resign and he should seek a fair trial. He is not representing any of the Palestinian people.”

Hundreds of people in the West Bank city of Ramallah protested against the Palestinian Authority’s decision to support a delay to a UN vote on whether to endorse the findings of the report, which was authored by Richard Goldstone, a former South African judge. Protesters gathered on Monday waving placards saying the delay “insults the blood of the martyrs and wounds our people”.

Protests were also held in Jerusalem, where pro-Palestinian activists demanded an apology from Abbas. “If the government had anything to do with the decision we want it to resign,” Muhammad Jadallah, the head of the Coalition for Jerusalem, said.

Thirty-two Palestinian groups in Europe also called on Abbas to immediately step down from office. In a statement, the groups said “the step to delay the endorsement was not less dangerous than the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza”. During the three-week Gaza war, more than 1,400 Palestinians – one-third of them women and children – were killed.

Israel, meanwhile, has changed its diplomatic policy on the report, which it had vocally rejected as “biased”. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has instructed Israeli spokesmen not to comment on the report.

The adoption of the report by the 49-member UN Human Rights Council was seen as a key step towards eventually bringing war crimes charges against Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The 575-page report blamed both the Israeli military and the Palestinian fighters for war crimes during Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip between December and January, but was more critical of Israeli troops for “targeting and terrorizing civilians”.

But the council on Friday deferred endorsement of the report until March, as requested by sponsors of the resolution, acting on behalf of the Palestinians. Sources have said that Abbas bowed to US pressure on the resolution, but the Palestinian president on Sunday dismissed the criticism.

Human rights organizations and Palestinian political factions – including the president’s own Fatah movement – had been escalating their expressions of anger and condemnation about their leadership’s decision to support the withdrawal. And many questions were being asked about how the crisis would affect ongoing efforts to reach national reconciliation.

Hamas, which has de facto control of Gaza and is the main political rival to Abbas’s Fatah faction, has appeared to rule out reconciliation under the present circumstances. Egypt has invited Hamas and Fatah to Cairo for negotiations on October 26 towards the formation of a national unity government, but al-Zahar said that the PA’s position on the Goldstone report made such a meeting futile.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused Abbas of personally instructing his representative in Geneva to revoke the representative’s demand that the Goldstone Report be adopted, and accused him of “betrayal” of his people. Haniyeh said that this was typical of the PA and that Palestinian unity talks would not succeed unless there was change in Ramallah.

There has been strong dissension within Fatah over the delay as well, with an unnamed official saying “the consent to defer the vote had cost us dear. We’ll need years to fix this mistake”.

The Palestinian Shahab agency quoted well-informed US sources as saying that a video was behind the Palestinian Authority’s decision to withdraw support for Goldstone report. The agency said that a meeting was held in Washington in recent days between the representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Israeli delegation on the Gaza report. The sources pointed out that the PA representatives strongly rejected the Israeli request to defer the report and insisted on their position, until the Israeli Colonel Eli Avraham presented a video file displaying a dialogue which took place between Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the presence of the former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

According to the same source, Abbas appeared in the video as trying to persuade Barak to continue the war on Gaza, while Barak seemed reluctant to the enthusiastic support from Abbas and Livni to continue the war.

The source pointed out that Avraham also introduced to the PA delegation a telephone conversation between the Israeli Chiefs of Staff office director Dov Weisglass and Tayeb Abdel Rahim, secretary general of the Palestinian presidency. Abdel Rahim was quoted as telling Weisglass that “conditions are ripe and ready for the Israeli army to enter Jabalia and Shatea camps”, adding that the downfall of the camps will end the rule of the Islamic Resistance (Hamas) in Gaza Strip.

According to the tape record, Weisglass told Tayeb Abdel Rahim that this will cause the killing of thousands of civilians. Abdul Rahim replied that “they all elected Hamas, they have chosen their own destiny, not us.” So, Israel blackmailed the PA with the video and tape in order to win against the Goldstone report.

Israeli Maariv newspaper had previously quoted the Israeli occupation Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi as saying that the Palestinian Authority represented by its president, went to war with Israel in Gaza. Ashkenazi sent a letter to the Israeli Attorney, in which he revealed that the Abbas maintained unprecedented cooperation with the Israeli occupation army during the Gaza war



The American dollar may not long remain the natural in-ternational currency, job los-ses may be hurting Americans more than others and President Obama may no longer look like the magic man he was thought to be. But don’t underestimate America. It will continue to control the world as tightly as ever.

Even at the height of its superpower omnipotence, it was not the military-economic might that really gave America the power it wielded. Arms were just the icing. The cake was the cultural hold America established over the hearts and minds of people across the world through music and cinema, education and books, food and drinks and glamorous drugs, jeans and T-shirts and brandnames and the thousand tantalising ingredients of pop culture. Each of these ingredients is a throbbing organism with the power to enslave those who come in contact with it. America is the only nation in history to rule others through civilisational conquests.

Look at the number of emotionally charged national symbols it wields. If the first US astronaut, upon landing on the moon, had planted there a bottle of Coca-Cola instead of the American flag, it would have been just as natural. For Americans the Bottle and the Flag are equal in status. The McDonald Arch, another national emblem, proclaims American supremacy as emphatically as a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier in the Bay of Bengal. The way Hollywood has cut across linguistic and cultural barriers around the globe, Bollywood can never match even if Raj Kapoor is a household name in Russia, Amitabh Bachchan in Morocco and Rajnikant in Japan.

Perhaps the most deep-going, subliminal — if also pernicious — mind control weapon at America’s disposal is its news media. We hardly notice it, but we get most of our information about the world through American sources. CNN is the ubiquitous presence in every respectable hotel room in every city in the world. In India this presence is not confined to hotel rooms; CNN is directly involved in one of our national news channels. Rupert Murdoch owns a major entertainment channel.

Our newspaper mughals make much patriotic fuss against foreign direct investment in our media. They forget that even without any investment in share-holdings, foreign interests control their news and features columns. Almost all our papers are dependent on Reuters, AP, AFP and Western Syndicates becau-se our mughals, for all their patriotism, know that maintaining their own bureaus abroad will cost big money. Dependence is cheaper than independence.

American media has been forced to become cost conscious lately, with major newspapers closing and network TV scaling down. But what is left of it is enough to control news and opinion that reach — and influence — much of the world. This was brought freshly home to Asia when the Far Eastern Economic Review formally shut down in Hong Kong a few days ago.

From the late 1940s, the Review was the most influential weekly in Asia and countries interested in Asia. Its monopoly of influence was broken only in 1975 when Asiaweek quickly gained ground by being proudly Asian as opposed to the Review’s perceived Western (British) stance. But soon the twists and turns of business saw both magazines falling into American hands, the Review into Dow Jones’s and Asiaweek into Time Inc.’s.

In due course, Time Inc. killed Asiaweek and Dow Jones (now a Murdoch property) killed the Review. Murdoch-Dow’s Wall Street Journal and Time Inc.’s Time magazine now fly the American flag over Asia, unchallenged by lesser flags.

‘Asia through Asian eyes’ was the slogan that helped Asiaweek rise. Forget it. You can only have Asia, and the world itself, through American eyes. Hungry kya? Have a McChicken with Coke. You’ve no choice.



Surprise! Pakistan Siphoned off Billions in U.S. Military Aid


Surprise! Pakistan Siphoned off Billions in U.S. Military Aid

pakarmyBetween 2002 and 2008, the United States paid out $6.6 billion in direct support to the Pakistani military. Now, it appears only a fraction of that amount — around half a billion — actually made it to the intended recipients.

That’s the story two anonymous Pakistani army generals tell the Associated Press. And their allegations are bolstered — on the record — by retired Gen. Mahmud Durrani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. under President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistani generals tell AP veteran Kathy Gannon that the government of Musharraf diverted the funds to economic subsidies to bolster his domestic ratings. “It went to things like subsidies, which is why everything looked hunky-dory,” Durrani said. “The military was financing the war on terror out of its own budget.”

Post-9/11, Pakistan has received around $12 billion in military and economic aid for lending support to the U.S. anti-terror fight. The biggest chunk has been in so-called “coalition support funds,” reimbursement for sending their troops to reinforce the border with Afghanistan and fight militants in tribal areas. As of mid-2008, this program accounted for over half of all U.S. funds given to Pakistan since 2001.

It’s long been suspected that Pakistan was playing fast and loose with U.S. military assistance. Last year, a Government Accountability Office report suggested (in careful bureaucratese) the Pakistani government was overbilling the U.S. government for military operations — and that the Defense Department had paid out billions in reimbursement claims without proper documentation.

But coalition support funds aren’t the only pot of money to play with. Section 1206 funding (which allows the Department of Defense to reprogram funds to train and equip foreign security forces in coordination with the Department of State) has helped pay for new equipment; the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund is supposed to pay for counterinsurgency operations; and Congress just voted to triple non-mililtary aid to Pakistan.

The latter point is especially important. As USA Today’s Ken Dilanian recently reported, the State Department is rethinking the way it delivers aid to the region. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wants to reduce the U.S. Agency for International Development’s dependence on Beltway bandits contractors to deliver aid to the region — but it’s unclear how, exactly, steering more money through the Pakistani government might improve the situation.

ElBaradei Says Nuclear Israel Number One Threat to Mideast: Report

By Chinaview

October 05, 2009 “Chinaview” — TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that “Israel is number one threat to Middle East” with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

At a joint press conference with Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran, ElBaradei brought Israel under spotlight and said that the Tel Aviv regime has refused to allow inspections into its nuclear installations for 30years, the report said.

“Israel is the number one threat to the Middle East given the nuclear arms it possesses,” ElBaradei was quoted as saying.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear capabilities, although it refuses to confirm or deny the allegation.

“This (possession of nuclear arms) was the cause for some proper measures to gain access to its (Israel’s) power plants … and the U.S. president has done some positive measures for the inspections to happen,” said ElBaradei.

ElBaradei arrived in Iran Saturday for talks with Iranian officials over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Leaders of the United States, France and Britain have condemned Iran’s alleged deception to the international community involving covert activities in its new underground nuclear site.

Last month, Iran confirmed that it is building a new nuclear fuel enrichment plant near its northwestern city of Qom. In reaction, the IAEA asked Tehran to provide detailed information and access to the new nuclear facility as soon as possible.

On Sunday, ElBaradei said the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran’s new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.

Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions

Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured

To Make False Confessions

Email Andy Worthington

Fouad al-Rabiah

In four years of researching and writing about Guantánamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the US government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.

The background: lies hidden in plain sight for five years
To establish the background to this story, it is necessary for me to return to my initial response to the ruling a week last Friday, before these revelations had been made public, when, based on what I knew of the case from the publicly available documents, I explained that I was disappointed that the Obama administration had pursued a case against al-Rabiah, alleging that he was a fundraiser for Osama bin Laden and had run a supply depot for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains, for two particular reasons.

The first was because a CIA analyst had interviewed al-Rabiah at Guantánamo in the summer of 2002 and had concluded that he was an innocent man caught at the wrong time and in the wrong place; and the second was because, although al-Rabiah had said that he had met bin Laden and had been present in the Tora Bora mountains, he had provided an innocent explanation for both occurrences. He had, he said, been introduced to bin Laden on a trip to Afghanistan to investigate proposals for a humanitarian aid mission, and he had been at Tora Bora — and compelled to man a supply depot — because he was one of numerous civilians caught up with soldiers of al-Qaeda and the Taliban as he tried to flee the chaos of Afghanistan for Pakistan, and had been compelled to run the depot by a senior figure in al-Qaeda.

These appeared to be valid explanations, especially as al-Rabiah, a 42-year old father of four children, had no history of any involvement with militancy or terrorism, and had, instead, spent 20 years at a management desk job at Kuwait Airways, and had an ownership interest in some health clubs. Moreover, he had a history of legitimate refugee relief work, having taken a six-month approved leave of absence from work in 1994-95 to do relief work in Bosnia, having visited Kosovo with the Kuwaiti Red Crescent in 1998, and having made a trip to Bangladesh in 2000 to delivery kidney dialysis fluid to a hospital in the capital, Dhaka.

As a result, it appeared to me a week last Friday that Judge Kollar-Kotelly granted al-Rabiah’s habeas petition because neither his meeting with bin Laden nor his presence in Tora Bora indicated that he was either a member of, or had supported al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
However, now that Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling has been issued, I realize that the account given by al-Rabiah during his Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantánamo in 2004 — on which I based my account of his activities — was a tissue of lies, and that the truth, hidden for over six years, is that, like torture victims groomed for show trials throughout the centuries, he made up false stories under torture, and repeated them obediently, fearing further punishment and having been convinced that he would never leave Guantánamo by any other means.

An introduction to the torture revelations, and an endorsement of al-Rabiah’s explanations about his time in Afghanistan
In her ruling, Judge Kollar-Kotelly methodically dissected the government’s case to reveal the chilling truth. After noting, initially, that the “evidentiary record” was “surprisingly bare,” because the government “has withdrawn its reliance on most of the evidence and allegations that were once asserted against al-Rabiah, and now relies almost exclusively on al-Rabiah’s `confessions’ to certain conduct,” she added, with a palpable sense of disbelief:
Not only did al-Rabiah’s interrogators repeatedly conclude that these same confessions were not believable — which al-Rabiah’s counsel attributes to abuse and coercion, some of which is supported by the record — but it is also undisputed that al-Rabiah confessed to information that his interrogators obtained from either alleged eyewitnesses who are not credible and as to whom the Government has now largely withdrawn any reliance, or from sources that never even existed … If there exists a basis for al-Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this Court.

In dealing with al-Rabiah’s background, and his reasons for traveling to Afghanistan, Judge Kollar-Kotelly was required to consider his own assertion that, after a preliminary ten-day visit in July 2001 to identify areas where humanitarian aid might be delivered, he returned in October 2001 “to complete a fact-finding mission related to Afghanistan’s refugee problems and the country’s non-existent medical infrastructure,” against the government’s claim that he was “`not an aspiring aid worker caught up in the front lines of the United States war against al-Qaeda’ but instead was someone who traveled to Afghanistan in October 2001 as a `devotee of Osama bin Laden who ran to bin Laden’s side after September 11th.’”

Concluding that “The evidence in the record strongly supports al-Rabiah’s explanation,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly noted that he had officially requested leave prior to his departure, and quoted from two letters sent to his family. In the first, on October 18, 2001, he explained that “for ten days he assisted with the delivery of supplies to refugees and that he was able to take video `reflecting the tragedy of the refugees,’ but that he was unable to leave Afghanistan through Iran (the route he took to enter the country) because the borders had been closed.” As a result, he “wrote in his letter that he and an unspecified number of other persons decided `to drive four trucks to Pakistan making our way to Peshawar,’” and he also asked his brother to notify his boss at Kuwait Airlines that he was having difficulties returning to Kuwait on time.

After noting that “The evidence in the record establishes that al-Rabiah did, in fact, travel across Afghanistan towards Peshawar, ultimately getting captured (unarmed) by villagers outside of Jalalabad … on approximately December 25, 2001″ (with Maher al-Quwari, a Palestinian who also ended up in Guantánamo), Judge Kollar-Kotelly quoted from a second letter sent to his family, in which — ironically, in light of what was to come — he wrote that he was “detained by the American troops and thanks to God they are good example[s] of humanitarian behavior.” He added that he was “detained pending verification of [his] identity and personality,” and that the “investigation and verification procedures may last for a long time due to the great number of detained Arabs and other persons” who had been fleeing the situation in Afghanistan, which “turned upside down between one day and night and every Arab citizen has become a suspect.”

Discrediting the government’s unreliable witnesses

Moving on to the government’s key allegations — about Osama bin Laden and Tora Bora — Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the allegations regarding al-Rabiah’s supposed activities in Tora Bora, which were made by another prisoner who claimed that he “was told that al-Rabiah was in charge of supplies at Tora Bora,” by noting that, “Although his allegations are filled with inconsistencies and implausibilities, the Government continues to rely on him as an eyewitness.” She also noted that, although the witness had identified al-Rabiah as the man under discussion, from his kunya (nickname), Abu Abdullah al-Kuwaiti, the government had conceded that another Abu Abdullah al-Kuwaiti, an actual al-Qaeda operative named Hadi El-Enazi, was present in Tora Bora, and also noted that an interrogator had expressed doubt about the supposed eyewitness at the time (much of the ruling is redacted, but this seemed to involve a claim that al-Rabiah’s oldest son was with him in Afghanistan, when this was demonstrably not the case).

Judge Kollar-Kotelly also dismissed two other sets of allegations by the supposed eyewitness. Noting further “inconsistencies and impossibilities” in his accounts, she stated that “the Court has little difficulty concluding that [his] allegations are not credible,” and explained that, to reach this conclusion, she had also drawn on statements provided by al-Rabiah’s lawyers, which further undermined his reliability, “based on, among other things, undisputed inconsistencies associated with his allegations against other detainees,” and his medical records, which obviously indicated mental health problems (although the description was redacted). “At a minimum,” she added, “the Government would have had to corroborate [his] allegations with credible and reliable evidence, which it has not done.”

Osama bin Laden, it then transpired, appeared in allegations made by a second prisoner, who “alleged that al-Rabiah attended a feast hosted by Osama bin Laden,” where he “presented bin Laden with a suitcase full of money.” This source also alleged that al-Rabiah “served in various fighting capacities in the Tora Bora mountains,” and that he “funneled money to mujahadeen in Bosnia in 1995.”

After noting that the government had dropped “almost all” of these allegations, except for the one relating to Bosnia, Judge Kollar-Kotelly stated, witheringly, “the only consistency with respect to [these] allegations is that they repeatedly change over time.” For particular condemnation, she singled out one claim that the feast had taken place in August 2001 (when al-Rabiah was in Kuwait, before his return to Afghanistan in October 2001), amongst other more outlandish claims, including an absurd allegation that al-Rabiah had trained the 9/11 hijackers.

As with the first supposed eyewitness, Judge Kollar-Kotelly noted that there were “multiple exhibits in the record demonstrating [his] unreliability as a witness” (although, sadly, the exact number of prisoners against whom he had made verifiably false allegations was redacted), and concluded that, although the many “inconsistencies and impossibilities” in his statements “raise, at a minimum, a serious question about [his] mental capacity to accurately make allegations against al-Rabiah,” the government “did not address them at the Merits Hearing” in August.

After dismissing a third supposed eyewitness, because he had withdrawn his allegation (which was redacted) several months after making it, Judge Kollar-Kotelly dismissed a fourth, even though it was “undisputed” that al-Rabiah actually had contact with him in Afghanistan. Despite redactions, it seems that this man was Maher al-Quwari, and that his statement involved second-hand hearsay about al-Rabiah being seen with a gun. While this was sufficiently weak for the judge not to accept it without further corroboration, she also made a point of discounting it because the supposed witness only “made this allegation while he was undergoing a cell relocation program at Guantánamo called the `frequent flier program,’ which prevented a detainee such as [redacted] from resting due to frequent cell movements.”

While the description of a “cell relocation program” sounds relatively benign, Judge Kollar-Kotelly made a point of noting that it was, in fact, a program of sleep deprivation, adding that, “According to a report published by the Senate Armed Services Committee concerning the treatment of detainees in United States custody, sleep deprivation was not a technique that was authorized by the Army Field Manual.” Although she also noted that “sleep deprivation became authorized at Guantánamo by the Secretary of Defense on April 16, 2003, the guidance issued by the Commander of USSOUTHCOM on June 2, 2003 prohibited the use of sleep deprivation for more than `four days in succession,’” whereas the supposed witness’s “allegation against al-Rabiah was made after one week of sleep deprivation in the program, and he did not repeat this allegation either before or after the program.”

False confessions obtained through torture

Despite ruling out all of the government’s supposed eyewitnesses, and noting that the government had withdrawn “most of its reliance on these witnesses” by the time of the Merits Hearing, Judge Kollar-Kotelly added that “it is very significant that al-Rabiah’s interrogators apparently believed these allegations at the time they were made, and therefore sought to have al-Rabiah confess to them” — despite the well-chronicled unreliability of the first two supposed witnesses, the withdrawing of the statement made by the third, and the fact, easily perceived by the judge, that the fourth made his statement only after being subjected to sleep deprivation that exceeded established guidelines and that was, therefore, not only unreliable, but also abusive.

The judge also noted the significance of the evidence in the record indicating that al-Rabiah “subsequently confided in interrogators [redacted] that he was being pressured to falsely confess to the allegations discussed above,” and also the significance of the fact that, although “al-Rabiah’s interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him,” they “never believed his confessions based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports.”

After noting — again with a palpable sense of incredulity — that “These are the confessions that the Government now asks the Court to accept as evidence in this case,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly proceeded to demolish them all, breaking them down into three periods: the first, when “there were no allegations directed toward al-Rabiah and al-Rabiah provided no confessions”; the second, when the supposed eyewitnesses “made their now-discredited allegations and al-Rabiah was told of the allegations against him, but al-Rabiah nevertheless made no confessions”; and the third (which, shockingly, continued “until the present”), when “al-Rabiah confessed to the now-discredited allegations against him, as well as to other `evidence’ that interrogators told him they possessed, when, in fact, such evidence did not exist.”

In the first phase, Judge Kollar-Kotelly noted that there was no indication “that interrogators believed al-Rabiah had engaged in any conduct that made him lawfully detainable,” and explained that, “To the contrary, the evidence in the record during this period consists mainly of an assessment made by an intelligence analyst that al-Rabiah should not have been detained.” As discussed in my previous article, this analyst was “a senior CIA intelligence analyst, who, almost uniquely, was also an Arabic expert,” but although I wrote that “it amaze[d] me that no one in the Justice Department, under President Obama, investigated the CIA analyst’s report,” the truth, as revealed in the unclassified ruling, is even bleaker.

It transpires that Justice Department officials had read the report, but tried to discredit the analyst’s verdict, “arguing that it represented the opinion of only one analyst,” ignoring his well-chronicled expertise, and obliging the judge to point out that, “according to the Government’s own evidence, `[i]ntelligence analysts undergo rigorous tradecraft training [and] employ specific analytical tools to assist them in sorting and organizing various pieces of information,” and are also “trained to recognize and mitigate biases, not only in the information presented to them, but their own cognitive biases as well.”

In the second phase, despite extensive redactions to the ruling, it is clear that al-Rabiah was repeatedly interrogated, although he “express[ed] frustration to FBI agents that he was repeatedly asked, among other questions, whether he had ever seen Osama bin Laden, and remark[ed] that his answer was `no’ and would continue to remain `no.’” What happened next, in a “new three-pronged approach,” is unknown, as the details are severely redacted, but it “did not result in any confessions. Al-Rabiah repeatedly denied the allegations against him.”

After this, apparently following some kind of advice given to the lead interrogator (by an unknown party whose identity and suggestions were redacted), the interrogators “began using more aggressive interrogation tactics.” Again, the details are redacted, but enough information is available from passages that were not redacted earlier in the ruling to indicate that these “tactics” included sleep deprivation (the “frequent flier program”), which, as I explained in my previous article, led three British men released in March 2004 — the so-called “Tipton Three,” whose story was dramatized in the film “The Road To Guantánamo” — to explain that al-Rabiah was moved every two hours, over an unspecified period of time (but one that clearly exceeded the four-day recommendation by a substantial margin), leaving him “suffering from serious depression, losing weight in a substantial way, and very stressed because of the constant moves, deprived of sleep and seriously worried about the consequences for his children.”

Possibly in reference to the use of sleep deprivation (although it could also have been another “enhanced interrogation technique”), Judge Kollar-Kotelly explained that, “Once it became authorized, it could not be used on a detainee until `the SOUTHCOM Commander ma[de] a determination of “military necessity” and notif[ied] the Secretary [of Defense] in advance’ of its use,” and also made a point of noting that “the Government was unable to produce any evidence that [the interrogator] obtained authorization to use the [redacted] technique with al-Rabiah despite requests by the Court at the Merits Hearing for such evidence.”

Although the other techniques are not described, they undoubtedly included some or all of the following — prolonged isolation, the use of extreme heat and cold, short-shackling in painful stress positions, forced nudity, forced grooming, religious and sexual humiliation, and the use of loud music and noise — because this whole package of techniques, including sleep deprivation, was approved for use at the highest levels of the Bush administration, as a Senate Committee explained in the detailed report in April this year that was cited by the judge (PDF). The program was based on reverse engineering techniques taught in US military schools (the SERE program — Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) to train recruits to resist interrogation if captured by enemy forces.

These techniques were acknowledged to be illegal and, moreover, were intended to produce false confessions, but this did not prevent senior Bush officials from pushing for their implementation, and, in al-Rabiah’s case, they duly led to his conversion from an innocent man who refused to falsely confess to allegations produced by unreliable witnesses into a modern-day version of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition, the seventeenth century “witches” of Salem and elsewhere, the victims of Stalin’s show trials, or the captured US pilots on whom the North Koreans had practiced the techniques adopted by the SERE schools: a broken man prepared not only to falsely confess to any lies put before him, but also prepared to learn these confessions and repeat them as his masters saw fit.

As the ruling makes clear, between redactions, “The following day marked a turning point in al-Rabiah’s interrogations,” and “From that point forward, al-Rabiah confessed to the allegations that interrogators described to him.” Despite the extensive redactions, the following passage from the ruling makes clear the full horror of his confessions:

Al-Rabiah’s confessions all follow the same pattern: Interrogators first explain to al-Rabiah the “evidence” they have in their possession (and that, at the time, they likely believed to be true). Al-Rabiah then requests time to pray (or to think more about the evidence) before making a “full” confession. Finally, after a period of time, al-Rabiah provides a fill confession to the evidence through elaborate and incredible explanations that the interrogators themselves do not believe. This pattern began with his confession that he met with Osama bin Laden, continued with his confession that he undertook a leadership role in Tora Bora, and repeated itself multiple other times with respect to “evidence” that the Government has not even attempted to rely on as reliable or credible.

In the following pages of the ruling, which are again fill of redactions, it is nevertheless possible to glimpse the progress of this game that was not only grim and cynical, but also potentially deadly (because, as a prisoner put forward for a trial by Military Commission, it was always possible that the government would have pressed for the death sentence had al-Rabiah been convicted).

For page after page the distressing truth peeks out: al-Rabiah “did not know what to admit” when his interrogators explained that his “full confession did not incorporate a description concerning a suitcase full of money that he allegedly gave bin Laden”; they “began to question the truthfulness of his confessions almost immediately”; they “began `grilling’ al-Rabiah concerning [redacted]“; al-Rabiah “was interrogated [redacted] during which he made a full confession regarding his activities at Tora Bora”; interrogators “pressed for additional details concerning Tora Bora”; they “became increasingly convinced that his confessions [redacted]“; they “concluded in one interrogation report [redacted]“; “One week later, his interrogator concluded [redacted]“; “After several additional interrogation sessions, al-Rabiah’s interrogators concluded simply [redacted].”

Readers can fill in the gaps through the judge’s response to the redacted passages. “Incredibly,” she wrote, “these are the confessions that the Government has asked the Court to accept as truthful in this case.”

Al-Rabiah explains his cooperation with the interrogators; threats and punishment described

Judge Kollar-Kotelly then dismissed further allegations, which again, were mostly redacted but included the following ironic gem: “The Government has not even attempted to explain how someone with no known connection to al-Wafa [a Saudi charity regarded, during Guantánamo's "witch-hunt" phase, with particular suspicion] and who had never even been to Afghanistan longer than a few weeks could ascend to such an honored position, and no credible explanation is contained in the record.”

She then moved on to al-Rabiah’s own explanations of how he came to make false confessions, noting that he had stated that, shortly after his arrival at Guantánamo, “a senior [redacted] interrogator came to me and said, `There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

This is deeply disturbing, of course, as it indicates that at least one senior interrogator recognized that the Bush administration’s refusal to recognize that there were innocent men at Guantánamo — and it has been clear for many years that hundreds of innocent men were held, who had no connection whatsoever to any form of militancy, let alone terrorism — had set in motion a system in which, whether voluntarily or not, all the innocent men at Guantánamo were expected to make false confessions, either so that they could continue to be labeled as “enemy combatants” on release, to maintain the illusion that Guantánamo was full of “the worst of the worst,” or, as in al-Rabiah’s case, so that they could be tricked and transformed into terrorist sympathizers and facilitators.

For some (and it has been confirmed by a former interrogator that at least 100 prisoners in Guantánamo were subjected to SERE-derived “enhanced interrogation”), confessions clearly came easily, and without the use of abuse or torture, but for others, including al-Rabiah, “pressure” was involved. Judge Kollar-Kotelly drew on a declaration from March this year, in which he explained that his confessions arose out of “scenarios offered … by [his] interrogators … which [he] believed to be the story they wanted [him] to tell and which [he] felt pressured to adopt” (emphasis added). As he also explained:

[M]y interrogators told me they knew I had met with Osama bin Laden, that other detainees had said I met with Osama bin Laden, that there was nothing wrong with simply meeting Osama bin Laden, and that I should admit meeting him so I could be sent home … In about August 2004, shortly before my CSRT hearing [the tribunal at which al-Rabiah repeated his approved confessions in detail], my interrogators told me the CSRT was just a show that would allow the United States to “save face.” My interrogators told me no one leaves Guantánamo innocent, and told me I would be sent home to Kuwait if I “admitted” some of the false things I had said in my interrogations. The interrogators also told me that I would never go home again if I denied these things, because the United States government would never admit I had been wrongly held.

In a key passage, he spelled out what being “pressured” meant. As the judge explained, he stated that “he made his confessions to reduce the abuse meted out by his interrogators `to obtain confessions that suited what [they] thought they knew or what they wanted [him] to say.’ He maintained his confessions over time because `the interrogators would continue to abuse me anytime I attempted to repudiate any of these false allegations.’” As she also noted:
There is substantial evidence in the record supporting al-Rabiah’s claims. The record is replete with examples of al-Rabiah’s interrogators emphasizing a stark dichotomy — if he confessed to the allegations against him, his case would be turned over to [redacted] so that he could return to Kuwait; if he did not confess, he would not return to Kuwait, and his life would become increasingly miserable.

Through the veil of redactions, it is clear that al-Rabiah attempted, on more than one occasion, to withdraw his confessions, but that his interrogators threatened to withdraw something (food? comfort items?) as a result, and Judge Kollar-Kotelly also noted that punishment, as well as the threat of punishment, was meted out to him. “The record,” she wrote, “also supports al-Rabiah’s claims that he was punished for recanting.” Examples provided by the judge were redacted, but the following passage, in which she discussed further abuse as a result of the interrogators’ frustrations regarding al-Rabiah’s inability to invent a coherent false narrative, was not. She wrote:

The record contains evidence that al-Rabiah’s interrogators became increasingly frustrated because his confessions contained numerous inconsistencies or implausibilities. As a result, al-Rabiah’s interrogators began using abusive techniques that violated the Army Field Manual and the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. The first of these techniques included threats of rendition to places where al-Rabiah would either be tortured and/or would never be found.

These threats were made on at least four occasions, and, as the judge explained, “were also reinforced by placing al-Rabiah into the frequent flier program,” discussed above. It is also apparent that the threats continued throughout this period, as the judge also noted that “al-Rabiah’s interrogators continued to threaten him [redacted].”

After making a point that, as explained in the Army Field Manual, “prohibited techniques [are] not necessary to gain the cooperation of interrogation sources,” and, in fact, that the use of these methods is likely to “yield unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly added that, “Underscoring the impropriety of these techniques is the fact that [redacted], al-Rabiah’s lead interrogator, was disciplined for making similar threats during the same period toward a Guantánamo detainee who was also one of the alleged eyewitnesses against al-Rabiah … for which he was disciplined” (the details, predictably, were redacted).

Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s devastating conclusions

Judge Kollar-Kotelly added, pointedly, “These abusive techniques did not result in any additional confessions from al-Rabiah, although he continued to parrot his previous confessions with varying degrees of consistency,” and then reached her devastating conclusion:

The Court agrees with the assessment of al-Rabiah’s interrogators, as well as al-Rabiah’s counsel in this case, that al-Rabiah’s confessions are not credible. Even beyond the countless inconsistencies associated with his confessions that interrogators identified throughout his years of detention, the confessions are also entirely incredible. The evidence in the record reflects that, in 2001, al-Rabiah was a 43 year old who was overweight, suffered from health problems, and had no known history of terrorist activities or links to terrorist activities. He had no military experience except for two weeks of compulsory basic training in Kuwait, after which he received a medical exemption. He had never traveled to Afghanistan prior to 2001. Given these facts, it defied logic that in October 2001, after completing a two-week leave form at Kuwait Airlines where he had worked for twenty years, al-Rabiah traveled to Tora Bora and began telling senior al-Qaeda leaders how they should organize their supplies in a six square mile mountain complex that he had never previously seen and that was occupied by people whom he had never met, while at the same time acting as a supply logistician and mediator of disputes that arose among various fighting factions.

It remained only for Judge Kollar-Kotelly to replay some of the more obvious discrepancies in al-Rabiah’s “confessions” to demolish the government’s claims that they should be accepted as “reliable and credible,” and to refute the government’s argument that, “even if al-Rabiah’s confessions in 2003 were the product of abuse or coercion … the taint … would have dissipated” by the time of his CSRT in 2004, when he provided the painstakingly detailed and superficially plausible false confession that was the only publicly available account of his activities until Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling was released.

Taking exception to the government’s argument “for both factual and legal reasons,” the judge took particular note of the role played by al-Rabiah’s lead interrogator, “who extracted al-Rabiah’s confessions and punished his recantations,” noting that he “continued to make `appearances’ at al-Rabiah’s interrogations at least as late as [redacted] — after al-Rabiah’s testimony in his CSRT proceedings.”

She also explained, “Such `appearances’ appear to have been terrifying events for al-Rabiah given the description included in a [redacted] interrogation report” (the details of which were, again, redacted).

On a legal basis, she dismissed the government’s argument by explaining that, although “it is certainly true in the criminal context that coerced confessions do not necessarily render subsequent confessions inadmissible because the coercion can be found to have dissipated,” there needs to be evidence of “a `clean break’ between the coercion and the later confessions,” which is simply not available in al-Rabiah’s case. “If anything,” she concluded, “the evidence suggests that there was not a `clean break’ between the coercion and his later statements because there is evidence that [redacted] continued to appear at al-Rabiah’s interrogation sessions through at least September 2004″ (the date redacted in the paragraph above).

As a final stab at the government, she mentioned a statement made by al-Rabiah in May 2005, and submitted to his first annual Administrative Review Board (the military panels that reviewed the bases for prisoners’ ongoing detention), which had not surfaced until the Merits Hearing, in which al-Rabiah attempted to set the record straight, “recant[ing] all of his previous confessions with the sole exception of one admission that he saw [but did not meet] Osama bin Laden during his July 2001 trip to Afghanistan.”

After dealing with a few more ingenious but flawed claims by the government, it remained only for Judge Kollar-Kotelly to recap the whole sorry saga, and to deliver the final words to restore Fouad al-Rabiah’s liberty:

During the merits Hearing, the Government expressly relied on “Occam’s Razor,” a scientific and philosophic rule suggesting that the simplest of competing explanations is preferred to the more complex … The Government’s simple explanation for the evidence in this case is that al-Rabiah made confessions that the Court should accept as true. The simple response is that the Court does not accept confessions that even the Government’s own interrogators did not believe. The writ of habeas corpus shall issue.

Final words

Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling will, hopefully, be recalled in years to come as one of the most significant examples of a judge attempting to redress some of the most egregious injustices perpetrated in Guantánamo’s long, dark history. The shocking sub-text to this story is that al-Rabiah is not the only prisoner to have been brutalized into making false confessions, and then being required to repeat them. Ahmed al-Darbi, a Saudi put forward for a trial by Military Commission, made similar claims in a statement posted here, and, as I mentioned above, it is also clear that SERE-derived “enhanced interrogation techniques” were applied to at least 100 prisoners in Guantánamo between 2002 and 2004, above and beyond those like Mohammed al-Qahtani and Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose stories are well-known. Many of these men — all the Europeans, other Arabs who had the misfortune to speak good English or to have visited the United States — have been released, their false confessions (like those made by the “Tipton Three” after months of abuse, before their lawyers proved one of them was working in a shop in England when he was supposedly videotaped at a training camp) filed away, used to justify their lifelong label as “enemy combatants,” but not leading, as with Fouad al-Rabiah, to a court appearance where the supposed evidence will ever be tested.

Al-Rabiah was fortunate to meet a judge with an inquiring and diligent mind, and an acute awareness of the many problems with the gathering and interpretation of information at Guantánamo, but others have not yet had an opportunity to do the same, and although further habeas petitions are forthcoming, and others are scheduled to face either trials by Military Commission or federal court trials, where similar patterns of false allegations followed by torture and false confessions may be detected, it troubles me that the 50 or so prisoners identified by officials last week as being candidates for indefinite detention — described by the New York Times as those who “are a continuing danger to national security but who cannot be brought to trial for various reasons, like evidence tainted by harsh interrogations” — may also have been caught up in a cynical cycle of false allegations, torture and false confessions.

As David Cynamon, one of Fouad al-Rabiah’s attorneys, explained to me in an email exchange:

To date, the debate about torture in the US has been skewed by the fact that the admitted victims of torture are also admitted al-Qaeda leaders, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. This gives the Cheneys and Wall Street Journal types the argument that torture was justified to get valuable information from these hardened terrorists. I know this argument is wrong, but it’s being made, with some effect. But what happens when you declare the Geneva Conventions “quaint,” and lift all limits, is that pretty quickly the abusive interrogation techniques are not being limited to the KSMs but are being applied to innocent prisoners like Fouad al-Rabiah, who have no valuable intelligence because they have no connection with al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Instead, they are tortured in support of a cynical and misguided dictum that there can be no innocent men in Guantánamo.

It is hard to believe that the US could ever have sunk so low. And that the new Administration is keeping us down there. The Obama Department of Justice, with Attorney General Holder piously proclaiming that this Administration repudiates torture, and follows the rule of law, in fact is following the Bush playbook to the letter. In this case, the DoJ defended the abusive and coercive interrogation techniques used against Fouad. Thank God, though, that we have an independent judiciary. The importance of the writ of habeas corpus and independent judges has never been more clear.

Tensions High in Jerusalem, As Christian-Zionists Join Sukkot Marches

Police deployed in Jerusalem as tensions simmer

Posted: 06 October 2009 1635 hrs

Photos 1 of 1

Israeli border policemen detain a Palestinian stone-throwing youth

JERUSALEM : Israeli police deployed in force throughout Jerusalem on Tuesday ahead of a mass annual march, as tensions simmered in the Holy City after two days of clashes with Palestinian youths.

“We are maintaining a state of alert and are deploying in force,” Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Rubi told AFP, adding that about 2,000 police officers and border guards were on the streets.

Thousands of people were expected to march through the streets of Jerusalem later on Tuesday for the Jewish festival of Sukkot, with at least one march passing through the mostly Arab eastern part of the city.

Tensions have run high in Jerusalem over the past several days after clashes broke out near the flashpoint site of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, revered by both Jews and Muslims, on Sunday for the second time in a week.

On Monday, Palestinian youths hurled stones at Israeli police in several neighbourhoods of east Jerusalem, with one officer lightly wounded after being stabbed in the neck.

About 20 Palestinians were arrested following the clashes, police said.

Israeli authorities continued on Tuesday to limit access to the mosque compound in the Old City to Muslim men aged 50 and over, with no restrictions for women, after Sunday’s clashes in which seven Palestinian protesters were injured and three arrested.

The annual Sukkot marches in Jerusalem, with participants varying from Israeli health enthusiasts walking for the sport to evangelical Christians from abroad marching to show support for the Jewish state, have increasingly taken on a nationalist flavour over the past several years.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the international community.

It considers Jerusalem to be its “eternal, indivisible” capital while the Palestinians want to make the eastern part of the city the capital of their promised state.

Tension flared on Sunday after police closed access to the Al-Aqsa compound — known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Clashes broke out after more than 150 people gathered to pray outside the compound. After the prayers, worshippers threw stones and security forces responded with stun grenades and a water cannon.

Rumours had earlier swept through the Old City that the Israeli authorities would allow right-wing Jewish settlers to enter the compound during the week-long festival of Sukkot.

The site of the Al-Aqsa compound is the holiest in Judaism and third holiest in Islam, and it has often been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The second Palestinian intifada broke out there in September 2000 after a visit by Ariel Sharon, the right-wing politician who became Israeli prime minister the following year.

Muslim Marine Vet Truther Targeted in Massive DHS Raid

Muslim Marine Vet Truther Targeted in Massive DHS Raid

by Kevin Barrett, truthjihad.com

Muhammed Abdullah, a Pomona, California Marine corps veteran and 9/11 truth activist, was raided on September 24th by a team of apparent Department of Homeland Security-coordinated agents.

Abdullah described the DHS assault: “At 7 o’clock on the 24th I was in my living room when I noticed a bunch of people outside in black uniforms shuffle by. Then I heard a loud bang at the door: ‘Police, open up!’ I opened the door and saw all these guys in black uniforms with a battering ram. ‘Are you Muhammed Abdullah?’ I said yes. ‘Is anyone else in the house?’ ‘Yes, my wife and children.’ ‘Come outside, please.”

The ten to fifteen black-uniformed individuals handcuffed Abdullah and took him outdoors without giving him a chance to get dressed (he was in his underwear). They showed him a search warrant that included allegations of welfare fraud against someone with a completely different Social Security number than Abdullah’s.

The black-uniformed individuals then forced Abdullah’s wife to exit the house. They told Abdullah’s wife that her husband was a felon with a New York armed robbery conviction. In fact, Abdullah has no criminal record and has never been to New York.

The government agents began questioning Abdullah and his wife about their difficult economic situation. Since Abdullah was fired from his security job with Union Pacific due to his 9/11 activism, his wife has been working to make ends meet, but they recently fell behind on the rent. The agents asked Abdullah’s wife “what do you think about his (Abdullah’s) youtube video? What do the kids think about it?”

The agents asked Abdullah whether he had heard of Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaki. Abdullah said that he had, since Shaykh al-Awlaki used to be an imam in San Diego until he was banned from the USA for political reasons. They asked what he thought of the Shaykh. Abdullah said that as best he could tell, Shaykh al-Awlaki “comes from Qur’an and Sunnah.”

The agents asked Abdullah his opinion about jihad, and about Shaykh al-Awlaki’s article “44 ways of supporting jihad.” Abdullah said that he thought everybody had the right to self-defense. He quoted a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him: “Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith.”

According to Abdullah, “They (the agents) were trying to entrap and entice me. They asked things like, ‘how far would you be willing to go? If you knew your wife and children would be taken care of, would you do this and this” (i.e. commit a terrorist attack).

Abdullah turned the conversation to 9/11. He explained to the agents what false-flag attacks are, how they are set up to involve patsies and useful idiots, and how many terrorist attacks blamed on Muslims are not what they seem.

Before the team of officers left, they took Abdullah’s computers, CDs, cassettes, and bank statements.

The raid, which involved between ten and fifteen officers including an apparent FBI agent and someone from the Pomona DA’s office, appears to be another unconsitutional effort to infringe on Muhammed Abdullah’s First Amendment rights. The Pomona Police Department had filed for a restraining order last spring to force Abdullah to stop distributing 9/11 truth literature on the sidewalk in front of the police station, where he was getting many thumbs-ups from cops. The judge refused to issue a restraining order after Abdullah agreed to keep a certain distance away from the Police Department. Abdullah speculates that someone in the Pomona Police Department or DA’s office may be unhappy about their failure to win a restraining order, and that this might have something to do with the raid on his house.

Abdullah, who was fired from his job due to his off-the-job 9/11 activism, is pursuing a case against his former employer, Union Pacific.

Muslims for 9/11 Truth will continue to cover this story as it develops.

When Leaders Fail; We the People Must Lead

When Leaders Fail; We the People Must Lead

Eileen Fleming

On October 2, 2009, The Washington Times reported that “Obama agrees to keep Israel’s nukes secret [and] reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections.” [1]

Three “officials spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Mr. Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May.

“Under the understanding, the U.S. has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs.

“The chief nuclear understanding was reached at a summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that began on Sept. 25, 1969. Avner Cohen, author of “Israel and the Bomb” and the leading authority outside the Israeli government on the history of Israel‘s nuclear program, said the accord amounts to “the United States passively accepting Israel‘s nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon.”[Ibid]

In 2007, the Nixon library declassified a July 19, 1969, memo from Henry Kissinger, the national security adviser stating: “While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact.”

Another “leading authority” that “established [the] international fact” in 1986, was Mordechai Vanunu who told the truth and provided the proof of Israel’s seven story underground WMD Facility that can be viewed on You Tube:

Israel’s Dimona Nuclear Weapons Factory In 3D

The Israeli and USA government lacked the imagination to comprehend that the truth cannot be shut up or buried “under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”- Emile Zola

America’s blind allegiance to the Jewish State-and I use that term because as Vanunu said-”Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew” has resulted in the equivalent of “don’t ask, don’t tell” but the truth is out there and “the truth will set you/US free.”-John 8:32

Silence is complicity and knowledge brings responsibility and if we truly “hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; and, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.” The Declaration of Independence

We must rise up, for “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends…I believe that as soon as people want peace in the world they can have it. The only trouble is they are not aware they can get it.”-John Lennon

Reading and disseminating information is all well and good; but the highest good is rising up and holding leaders to their promises for “words must mean something” as President Obama promised in Prague when he declared his administration’s goal of a world without nuclear weapons.

By Obama’s complicity is colluding with Israel’s “secret” America’s efforts to bring into force the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, are doomed!

An anonymous Senate staffer admitted, that Obama’s failure to hold Israel to the same standard as Iran, “calls into question virtually every part of the president’s nonproliferation agenda. The president gave Israel an NPT treaty get out of jail free card.”

This is not a game of Monopoly we play, but it is the future of all the children of the world that is at stake!

For far too long, the American Government has failed to uphold the values that we the people of this land hold most dear; honesty, integrity, justice, accountability and the rule of law!

For those of US who love America and Israel and desire her Security, we comprehend that only by holding her to the same standards that we hold Iran can America‘s and Israel‘s stated goal of achieving a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction is even possible!

We the people are culpable and accountable for what our government does-and does not!

Do Something: Remind the White House that honesty is always the best policy and Israel must open up their WMD Facilities and sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Phone, fax and email the White House and insist that “words must mean something” and a nuclear free Middle East and World includes US and Israel too!

CONTACT President Obama:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

E-mail: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

(202) 456-1414
(202) 456-1111

Fax: (202) 456-2461

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
State Department Public Information Line:
(202) 647-6575

PHONE LINES are only open 9-5 PM EST.

  1. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/02/president-obama-has-reaffirmed-a-4-decade-old-secr/

Only in Solidarity do “we have it in our power to begin the world again.”-Tom Paine

Eileen Fleming, A Feature Correspondent for The Palestine Telegraph and Arabisto.com
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

Waziristans Wild Card under Siege?

Waziristans Wild Card under Siege?

By Imtiaz Gul October 02, 2009
Pakistan’s embattled army appears set to move into what it calls a “black hole” for security and intelligence forces i.e. South Waziristan. Parts of the wild and inhospitable region bordering Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province – the mountainous and rugged Mehsud area – are being branded as al Qaeda’s nest, where the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan reportedly has entrenched itself. For the army chief, General Ashfaq Kiyani, says a senior military commander dealing with the tribal regions, the Uzbeks have meanwhile assumed a “wild card” status in a region where space has gradually been shrinking on the Uzbek militants, largely driven by the al-Qaeda ideology under Tahir Yuldashev.

“It is a do or die situation for them (Uzbeks) so they are scrambling for protection and would do anything for survival” says the official, adding this was one reason why common people are scared to rise against them.

Based on recent intensive army and intelligence high command consultations, officials believe that the dynamics of Waziristan would change if “we take out the Uzbeks because they represent the most dedicated al-Qaeda ally in Waziristan.

Does it mean the Pakistani army is about to unleash a new campaign against this “wild card.” Officials refrain from a direct answer but they seem united in their conclusion; the security forces must cleanse Waziristan of elements that pose a direct threat to the government writ.

How Uzbeks found sanctuary in Waziristan:

Regardless of their exact numbers, which vary between 500-1000, most of the ferocious Uzbek militants had moved into the Waziristan region following the December 2001 defeat of their host regime – the Taliban.  Led by Tahir Yuldashev, these IMU militants faced little problem in finding support and shelter amongst the Ahmadzai Wazir tribesmen. Yaldashev soon became a star-speaker at mosques in the Sheen Warsak region near Wana; the administrative headquarter of southern Waziristan.

Once well-entrenched, Yuldashev founded an organization Mohajireen-o-Ansar, to pursue his agenda, which essentially converged with that of al Qaeda. One of the Pakistani Punjabi fugitives Qari Mudassir, used to act as their spokesman. Yuldashev also set up a private jail to try and punish enemies and dissidents.

Yuldashev’s revered status took a hit when his vigilantes began targeting Pakistan army and government officials since late 2006. These anti-army strikes turned the Uzbeks from revered heroes to villains. The pro-government Ahmedzai Wazir Taliban commander Mullah Nazir disapproved of targeting the Pakistani army and civilians.

This led to bloody fights between Mulla Nazir’s men and the Uzbeks in March 2007, and eventually forced the IMU zealots to take refuge in the Baitullah Mehsud dominated area Mehsud and North Waziristan.

Despite the limits that the new geo-military situation puts on the IMU area of influence, most intelligence and local sources agree that this organization has indeed morphed into a lethal non-Arab Al Qaeda entity; from the late 1990s, when they opened their first training camp near Mazare Sharif in northern Afghanistan, to their escape to South Waziristan from the US-led Operation Anaconda, most of the Uzbeks from the former Soviet Central Asian republics are probably now making their last stand in a region that is under sharp CIA focus because of the presence of all the al Qaeda driven militant outfits there.

Operational Handicaps

For the time being, efforts are afoot to mobilize the local community in support of a military campaign in Waziristan. But two factors put certain limitations to these endeavors. Firstly, the locals are scared to mobilize local opposition to the Uzbeks. And secondly, lack of adequate and actionable intelligence makes the choices harder.

“Waziristan is like a black hole for the intelligence and any action there requires extreme care for an effective campaign,” says a general involved in recent military operations.

At least 800 pro government tribal elders and intelligence officials have lost their lives to Taliban and al Qaeda assassins, most of them in the last four years. Execution and beheading of “spies” reached alarming levels particularly in North and South Waziristan since early 2008 as a result of target-killings.

This severely eroded Pakistani intelligence ingress into the Waziristan region, which apparently also resulted on the one hand in greater intelligence-sharing with the US-NATO forces based across the Durand Line. Pakistani authorities now claim the intelligence network in the Waziristan region is being vigorously revived to help the army conduct an intelligence-based precision crackdown on what it calls “anti-state miscreants.”

Secondly, the erosion of the intelligence capacity also meant an increasing reliance on the CIA-guided drone attacks – over five dozen since February 2008 – to hunt down al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents.

Publicly, Pakistani military and civilian leadership continues to oppose the Hellfire missiles being fired into suspected al Qaeda hideouts in Waziristan as an “impingement on sovereignty”. Privately, however, they see it as an unwanted though welcome faite accompli; as long as these missiles eliminate enemies such as Baitullah Mehsud, a feared militant leader killed in an August 5 lethal strike, it makes little sense to oppose them.

Concerned officials within the defense and foreign ministry still argue against formalizing the drone strikes through a bilateral agreement. They believe this might prompt other countries with vested interest in the region to demand the same. Maintaining ambiguity, they opine, would perhaps be the best course in the current situation rather than openly acknowledging the tacit understanding on the drone strikes.

The desire to fixing internal stability seems to be one of the factors that is bringing both Pakistan and the United States closer. Discussions with very senior government officials underline – probably for the first time – a new admission that brushes aside the widely-held perception on the “American designs to destabilize Pakistan.”

“Why should the United States destabilize Pakistan if its entire leadership considers a stable Pakistan as the key to stabilizing Pakistan,” remarked a very senior government official in the ministry of foreign affairs.

This formulation amounts to a turn-around – at least on highest political and military level; most Pakistanis – officials and public at large alike – somehow have long remained incensed with purported CIA plans to create instability in Pakistan for justifying direct US intervention there.

This also underscores a new confidence within Pakistan’s ruling establishment which seems willing – more than ever – to act against militant networks that it meanwhile perceives as a threat to the long term interests of the country.

Unlike the days, former president Pervez Musharraf, the present ruling troika – President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani and the chief of Army Staff Gen. Kiyani – agrees that:

a) The Taliban movement as well as al Qaeda today stands discredited than ever before

b) Defeating these forces is a must to reverse the insurgency and the wave of religious extremism,  and

c) The US-led foreign forces will not leave Afghanistan “lock, stock and barrel.”

The troika also understands the international pressures being mounted for actions against all shades of militancy presently operating on the Pakistani territories.

The Kerry-Lugar Aid Bill also reflects those pressures. For instance, the article 2 is exclusively focused on the conduct of the Pakistan army and expects it not to lend any direct or indirect support in any form to militant groups that pose a threat to Pakistan and the world.

One would have to wait and see as to whether the Pakistani military receives these conditions as “directed against national interests.” This would perhaps also determine the course and level of future military cooperation because if these conditions are viewed as “coercion” this might prompt elements within the civil-military establishment to stonewall the aid and obstruct military cooperation.

Moving with mutual trust is essential for any effective and whole-hearted crackdown in Waziristan; if the security forces do manage to disrupt militant networks including those of  Haqqani and Hekmetyar, which have been the main supporters of the vicious Tehreeki Taliban Pakistan (TTP), it would create space not only for Pakistan but for the entire international community to assert itself vis a vis obscurantist forces which don’t promise development but destruction  and ignorance only.

(Imtiaz Gul is the chairman of the independent Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad and the author of The Al Qaeda Connection: Taliban and Terror in Tribal Areas. Email: imtiaz@crss.pk)

Source : http://www.weeklypulse.org/pulse/article/4247.html

Bara operation and Peshawar Rocket Attacks

Bara operation

By Imtiaz Hussain

NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani said the government was forced to launch an operation in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency after the militants of the banned Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) challenged the writ of government in the area.

He was talking to an eight-member delegation of notables of Bara Tehsil led by the Federal Minister for Environment Hamidullah Jan Afridi, who called on him at the Governor’s House. The delegation discussed the prevailing situation in Bara and stressed the need for bringing peace and stability to the area. They also put forth proposals to the governor in this regard.

The delegation also sought evacuation of the innocent people stranded in Bara during the operation, release of the innocent people arrested recently and an end to the ongoing operation.

It is to be mentioned here that Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hameedullah Jan Afridi was asked by LI chief Mangal Bagh to quit the ministry in protest against the ongoing operation in Bara. He was, many a times, threatened by LI for getting funds for their organization, and for putting pressure on the government for the release of arrested militants.

Meanwhile, separate protest rallies were held in Peshawar by People’s Students Federation (PSF) city chapter, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) Khyber Agency chapter and a group of students belonging to the agency outside the press club. The objective was to record protest against the ongoing offensive launched in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency.

In the PSF rally led by the student body president Khaista Khan, protesters carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans against the military action in the agency. They also chanted slogans against the political administration of Khyber Agency.

Addressing the rally, PSF leaders alleged that a large number of innocent people including women and children had been killed during the operation, which failed as despite underway for three weeks, the network of miscreants could not be dismantled. “The people of the agency did not find any time to flee the troubled areas as government did not make any announcement prior to the launch of the operation,” student leaders lamented, adding that locals faced immense difficulties during the holy month of Ramazan owing to prolonged curfew.

Activists of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), Khyber Agency chapter, also staged a protest demonstration, demanding that the government should immediately halt the action and take concrete steps for rehabilitation of the affected people. Holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans like “Stop killing of innocent tribesmen” and “Pay compensation to affected families”, the demonstrators also yelled slogans against the government.

Speaking to protesters, provincial vice president of PTI Muhammad Iqbal Afridi and others said innocent tribesmen were being targeted during the operation which had been launched at the behest of the United States. “We urge the government to stop pursuing pro-US policies and the carnage of innocent people in tribal areas, otherwise the fire of hatred will engulf the entire country”, speakers warned.

On the other hand, the Khyber Agency chapter of Al-Khidmat Foundation has demanded that the government should provide first aid and food to the families affected by the ongoing military operation. Speaking at press conference, President of the Khyber Agency chapter of the Foundation, Awal Gul Afridi, said people were facing enormous difficulties because of prolonged curfew in the area. He said because of excessive bombardment and shelling by gunship helicopters and indiscriminate artillery firing, people were stranded in their houses.

He said more than 65,000 people had been displaced in the recent military operation in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency. Giving details of relief activities carried out by them, he said the organization had step up relief camps in Pushtakhara and Krapa, where about 1,775 families had been registered. He said the organization had also facilitated 532 families by providing them food packets. Likewise, around 160 families were given transportation facilities after their displacement from respective areas. He said the Foundation’s health unit was also working in Bara for the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, Taliban activities are surging in and around Peshawar. Reacting to this situation, traders staged a protest against what they called the government’s failure to curb the increasing incidents of abduction and blasts. A suicide attack, several bomb blasts, rockets attacks and many incidents of kidnappings for ransom have been reported during the last one month.

Panic gripped the whole city when several mortar shells hit various areas of the city leaving several injured, while 25 suspects were arrested in search operations in Charsadda. According to reports, militants fired five mortar shells, out of which three fell on a house in labor colony and two fell on another house in Hayatabad. The walls of the houses were partially damaged. After the incident, the security forces started firing at the militant positions, while the militants opened indiscriminate fire on check posts at Shahkas, an area of Khyber Agency. After the firing, the security forces started to conduct search operation against the militants. The police conducted raids at Angoor area of Shabqadar and arrested twenty five suspects. The security forces also imposed curfew in Oklay area of Dara Adam Khail.

Following the incidents of rocket firing, the local police have registered a case against banned Lashkar-i-Islam chief Mangal Bagh for attacking different localities of Peshawar. Police said Mangal Bagh and his naib amirs (deputies), Saifur Rehman, Wahid and some others have been charged in the case. It is to be mentioned here that rocket attacks at Peshawar have intensified after a massive operation launched against the militants in Khyber agency.

Mangal Bagh and his militants have denied their hand in the rocket attacks. Talking to media, Mangal Bagh said he was against challenging the writ of the government. It is to be recalled here that militants of Mangal Bagh have twice accepted responsibility of attacks at police parties, after which, local police have registered two separate cases against him at Pishtakhara and Nasir Bagh police stations.

Mangal Bagh developed a parallel administration in Bara in 2003 and openly challenged the writ of the government through his broadcasts over an illegally run FM radio station. Haji Namdar was his rival, who was later killed. It is said that over one thousand Afghan criminals, patronized by Mangal Bagh, are presently hiding in Bara and its suburbs. They could be used at any time against the government and that was one of the reasons to launch the operation in Bara.

Source : http://www.weeklypulse.org/pulse/article/4262.html




Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.

In a lecture in Baltimore USA , Pervaiz Mushraff who was lecturing the US citizens and Think Tanks , after taking millions of Dollars for this lecture. To show his Mind to the World a Balauch National Present in the Audience rose up and asked him.

Are you a Dictator and Are you involved in Massacre of Baluch People? He replied you must be Indian Citizen. To shock of Mushraff, he replied he was a Pakistani Baluch.

Mushraff replied, Yes I am a Dictator for You Balauch people. This is first time that Coward American Feet kisser said something, which is so true. How true when under pressure one can Glimpse the True Mind of Such Miserable Dictators. While he bended backwards to American Pressure and stooped low and accepted all their demands.  While he was doing it he was killing the Innocent Balauch people and massacring them. Even when Floods occurred during, that, Military Operation.

Nothing was offered to millions of poor Starving Baluchs as Army and its Equipments were busy and were being used in Counter Insurgency against the Baluchs. I must say that Mushraff was only Pro-MQM, Pro – American and Pro – Punjab leader while he was a Dictator for Sindhis, Baluchis, NWFP and FATA.  He clearly divided Country in Two Halves.

This shows that he was Racist too, and behaved like that too for Different Races of Pakistan.

In NWFP for last 40 Years, not a single hospital was made in Capital of NWFP and the City of Peshawar , while in this year a 165 Bomb Blasts have occurred and all the Casualties are all referred to Peshawar Hospitals who are over burdened and Failing to cope with the Load. Even all Causalities from FATA are referred to Peshawar too which further aggravates the Conditions.

It may be noted that after 63 Year of Pakistan’s Existence not a single complete medical Facility providing Hospital Exists in all the 7 FATA and 8 FR Regions and for 3.5 Million people of FATA . They all depend on NWFP for Their Medical facilities.

On the Roads front, He never made the M1 Motorway from Islamabad to Peshawar while all the War on Terror Traffic was diverted to Peshawar and from here to Afghanistan as 90% of All Export passed on Old road constructed During British era 100 Years ago.

He delayed M1 Motorway for 8 Years deliberately even while he received about 15 Billion Dollars un Accounted and un Audited.   He even received according to New York Times another 300 Million Dollars for just the Roads separately and even acknowledged by US embassy in Pakistan in 2008. That Motorway was finished only in 2007 when he left the power.

Even Today all the Afghanistan Bound Traffic Passes Through Peshawar and Posh Areas of Hayatabad and its Narrow lanes among the schools where children study with American Arms and Ammunitions Jet Fuels and Humvees Jeeps and heavy Military Trucks as  he  Misappropriate that money and did not Bother to make a complete Ring Road Around Peshawar .  The Existing ring Road is also in Shambles.  He obviously Hatred of the Pashtuns and he clearly thinks of them as someone who can be crushed under His Military boots

His hate for Pashtuns is evident from His Previous Statement that he gave to Think Tanks. That it is only the Pashtun Terrorists who are Fighting the American and not others. While Our Interior Minister Rehman Malik has accepted Fact of 5000 to 10000 Punjabi Taliban, exist in Southern Punjab and were involved in FATA and Swat. Governor NWFP , who was protégé of Mushraff and was appointed by him, has also accepted Punjabi Taliban Fact mentioned by Him many times.

While being the Most powerful President in History of Pakistan , even more then Field Marshal Ayub Khan , he did not Implement Taxes on Punjabi Landlords , he completely Forgot the Karachi Big and Fat  Stock Market buddies , who are raking in Billions and pay just 22, 000 a month Parking Fee for their Cars at Karachi Stock Exchange .  He did not slap them with Any Tax. They all pay Zero Tax for Pakistan all Traitors of Pakistan are his Personnel Friends who do not feel they have to serve the country they are born in.

Who do not have an iota of responsibility and love for Pakistan that feeds them and makes them FAT.  He handed Contract of Commercial land of Gawader port to His Fat Stock broker Friend, who Invested just Peanuts in Gwader ports and only installed one or two cranes there.

Mushraff and his Fat Broker Friend, deliberately failed the Gawader project, as no Money could be generated for starting the Project by His Fat Broker Fat and their Fake Karachi registered Port of Singapore Company which has the contract of Gawader Port. which has no relation of with the Original Port of  Singapore as Claimed by “The Herald Magazine “ , of The Dawn Group of Newspapers.

Gawader project cannot run on its two Feet even today as Gen Mushraff did not construct the link Roads to Gawader and even made sure that only 9% Share of profits should be given to Provincial government of Balauchistan.  Which is not even enough to generate the 1 Billion rupees cost just to run the Gawader Port project for one year.

As a result Mushraff Offended the Chinese Government our only true friends, as he created the law and order Situation in Baluchsitan Deliberately by Massacring Balauchs and Pashtuns of Baluchsitan and  by Killing Akbar Bugti the Leader, who advocated  Joining Pakistan to our Quaid –I- Azam in 1947 himself .

He was Successful in Stopping the Progress of Chinese to Warm waters of Persian Gulf to serve his masters the Americans who did not wanted it so.

While in NWFP where on Average one Bomb Blast occurs every 48 Hours, was never declared it War zone and calamity Hit Area , he never even visited it once . Not a single Hospital or University was constructed in FATA, NWFP, and Baluchsitan in His tenure while he was racking in 15 Billion dished out to Him for free without any Strings attached.  This money equal to 1245 Billion rupees was enough to  make a Gawader Port made of Gold .

Even when Biggest Displacement in human History,  has occurred with 3.5 Million, to 4 Million IDP all Pashtuns of NWFP , who lost 35 Billion Dollars, worth of Infrastructure in NWFP. Taxes are never exempted even Today and Million More will be Displaced,  after operation are underway in Khyber, Orakzai, Parachinaar and then in North and South Waziristan too where troops have surrounded the Areas and not allowing the people to move from one place to another.

Taxes and Bills are collected from NWFP as if Business as Usual from people In Swat and NWFP . While the Punjabi Landlords are exempted from it , who are living in Peace and only 15 bomb blast have occurred so Far in whole Year there and that too in Rawalpindi Islamabad Area.

Mushraff Represent Clearly the Mind of our Establishment too, as according to Author Moshraff Zaidi who wrote in The News , it is Hindu Indian Hating , Sikh Loving , Afghan Hating and Kashmir Loving Establishment . Who Sacrifices Pakistani Nationals and Pakistani National Interests to Serve the American Interest and Will Kill Their own People for it.

It may be noted that , it was Mushraff who first Mentioned the Word Quetta Shura of Taliban and Mullah Omar  , and of the Taliban leadership was mentioned in his Speech to Think Tanks . He violated the official Secret Act when he said something that is Endangering the Pakistan sovereignty as America in Veiled words has warned of Attacks on Quetta now after these facts were pointed out .

Clearly, Mushraff Racism can be demonstrated from His Hate of Pashtuns when through his Loyal Friend MQM and Altaf Hussian , the terrorist in Hiding in UK the and Involvement of DG Ranger Sindh Maj.  Gen Rangers Javaid Zia, he Created a Massacre of Pashtuns on 12 May 2007 ; He raised his hands and said that it is peoples Power. While the Media showed Pashtun people Killed Live on Screens. He fired and Imprisoned the Chief Justice and he stopped the Cases from being filed against MQM in UK as well as in Pakistan .

While he is Charged with Double game by Aiding the Taliban by USA and Its Think Tanks, and for fighting a Fake war on Terror by many American Authors . The VIP treatment in UK of Mushraff, where he is currently Hiding from judicial Processes of Pakistan for his Crimes.

Official Protection offered to Him, by the British Government and its intelligence Agencies and the American Government and the CIA at Tax Payers Money of these Countries is Questionable Action.

The Protocol offered to Him in USA and UK is Questionable and raises many eye Brows in by the Pakistan and the US citizens too for someone who was a Cruel and Criminal Dictator and came to Power through the back Door.

He came to Power by breaking constitution and Breaking the Law of Land and by Imprisoning more then 200 judges and Magistrates of Pakistan who stood in the way of Law of jungle of this shameful Dictator who never be judged kindly by the history .