Pak SC makes history by issuing notices to spymasters in missing persons case

Pak SC makes history by issuing notices to spymasters in missing persons case

The Pakistan Supreme Court made history on Friday by putting on notice the powerful spymasters of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) in abduction case of 11 citizens from the Adiala Jail, after their court acquittal on terrorism charges.

According to The News, the court’s order has been hailed by families of missing persons, the lawyers’community and others.

Prominent lawyer Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood termed it a bold decision that had set a new milestone in the court’s history, adding, “Well done. It is a giant step indeed. We must give its credit to the learned court.”

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairman IA Rehman however refused to either appreciate or criticise the bold step. The HRCP chairman, whose organisation had moved the apex court on forced disappearances in Balochistan, remained silent when approached for comments.

“We don’t comment on cases pending in court,” he said.

Never in the history of Pakistan, have spy chiefs been served notices directing them to explain their position on forced disappearances that have been escalating since the military rule of Gen Pervez Musharraf, the paper said.

In the past two years, around 72 persons have been allegedly abducted by the intelligence agencies and a majority of them are from the Punjab, said Amina Masood Janjua, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights, whose own husband has been missing since 2005 with no clue about his whereabouts so far.

The paper quoted Janjua, as saying that according to a rough estimate, the figure of missing persons had crossed the 8,000 mark. However, her organisation had registered some 950 people whose families had approached her.

Organisations like the Defence of Human Rights, Pakistan and Voice of Balochistan Missing Persons have reportedly compiled separate lists of missing persons, with DHRP has registering 950 missing persons while VBMP has a separate list of 1,200 missing Baloch.

The intelligence agencies have been represented in the past mostly through the Defence Ministry and whenever their presence was made mandatory in the court, it was always through mid-ranking officers like Major or Colonel, said a court reporter covering the proceedings of the missing persons case.

There are numerous examples of abducting people allegedly by agencies under the garb of terrorism charges with evidence in this respect not produced before the court of the law. They are instead kept for good or released shortly before their death, the paper added.

In 2007, Amnesty International had issued a statement saying that it did not know if those subjected to forced disappearances were guilty or innocent, but it was their fundamental right to be charged and tried properly in a court of law.

By holding people in secret detention the government of Pakistan had not only violated their rights but also failed in its duty to charge and try those suspected of involvement in attacks on civilians, Amnesty had added. (ANI)

China newspaper warns of disaster over Fed move

Washington’s latest move to print more money is a form of indirect currency manipulation that could lead to a new round of currency wars and even global economic collapse, a leading Chinese newspaper warned on Monday.

The United States last week announced it would inject an extra USD 600 billion into its banking system in its latest effort to boost a fragile economic recovery, prompting criticism from a number of countries, notably China and Germany.

China newspaper warns of disaster over Fed move

The overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily said in a front page commentary that this quantitative easing was bad for China and bad for the world.

“In essence this is an uncontrolled increase in money supply, equal to indirect exchange rate manipulation,” Shi Jianxun of Shanghai’s Tongji University wrote in the guest commentary.

The US Federal Reserve’s actions will “touch off a global competition to devalue currencies … (leading to) a ‘currency war’ and trade protectionism, threatening the global economic recovery”, Shi wrote.

“Exchange rate wars are in fact trade wars, and if they set off a trade war it won’t only threaten the global economy, it will perhaps cause a collapse … and everyone’s interests will be harmed,” the academic added.

The comments were the latest in a string of strongly worded criticisms of US economic policies by Chinese economists and government officials ahead of the G20 summit in Seoul this week.

On Friday, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai suggested the move by the Federal Reserve would add to financial instability in China and other countries.

For his part, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in recent days has been defending the bond-buying, saying the measures to help restore a strong U.S. economy were critical for global financial stability.

“We are committed to our price stability objective,” he said. “I have rejected any notion that we are going to raise inflation to a supra-normal level.”

However, the People’s Daily commentary asserted that the Fed’s actions will increase inflationary pressure on China and other holders of foreign debt and cause “huge losses” for China’s foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest at USD 2.65 trillion as of the end of September.

Cash will flood into financial institutions and go overseas, creating new asset bubbles and “lie in ambush” for future inflation, Shi added.

“Given the present international financial situation, countries should join together to restrain America’s irresponsible behaviour of issuing excessive amounts of money,” Shi wrote.

“Emerging economies should cautiously raise interest rates … to avoid large rises in the value of their currencies,” he said, adding they would need to deal with trade disputes as well as managing inflation and hot money inflows.

The United States and China on Saturday appeared to take a step back from mounting criticism of each other’s economic policies, but Beijing made clear it was still wary of Washington’s latest move to print more money.

That temporary less-confrontational tone emerged after a two-day meeting of Asia Pacific finance ministers who gave their backing to last month’s Group of 20 agreement to shun competitive currency devaluations and be vigilant against volatile exchange rate movements.

THE SECRET TEAM in Control of the United States and the World

THE SECRET TEAM

The CIA
and Its Allies
in Control of the United
States and the World

L. FLETCHER PROUTY
Col., U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Copyright © 1973, 1992, 1997 by L. Fletcher Prouty
All Rights Reserved

Collected Works CD coverMarch 1997:

This 1997 edition of the book is available in its entirety on Len Osanic’s rip-roaring 1997 CD-ROM, The Collected Works of Col. L. Fletcher Prouty along with ~600MB of 70+ articles, 100 images, 30 topics and 6 hours of audio material. Read all about it and how to order your own copy by going to: www.prouty.org

Here on ratical we will be hooking up the rest of the book in HTML and ASCII formats over the next 7 months. Each month will see the following chapters come online:

May: Chapters 3-6
June: Chapters 7-10
July: Chapters 11-15
August: Chapters 16-19
September: Chapters 20-23
October: Appendices I-III

The online copy of this book was made possible by the efforts and generosity of Len Osanic. We thank him for his support. Be sure to check out the details on the complete CD if you are interested in this book. There is a great deal to recommend it for anyone who wants to study the writings, interviews and perceptions of Colonel Prouty. The significance of Prouty’s level and depth of first-hand experience of World War II and direct participation in the ensuing birth and rise of the National Security State is provided in great detail on The Collected Works CD.

ASCII text format )

Remembering Heritage Foundation Justification for Contra Terrorism

[By reading the following defense of contra “freedom fighters” in Nicaragua by ultra-right-wing Congressman Jack Davis, in light with the known historical record, it becomes easy to see the new Office of Public Diplomacy efforts of Ollie North and Heritage in action (SEE:  Robert Parry’s “Iran-Contra’s ‘Lost Chapter“).  By interweaving reports of known contra terrorism with false claims about the size and popularity of the militant insurgency, “news” was created and the legendary prowess of the American mercenary forces was inflated in the mind of the American people.  It was always pure bullshit wrapped in a pretty package.  Suggestions for creating a fake “government in exile” to legitimize the subversive illegal operations amounted to taking the terror movement mainstream, in order to authorize massive shipments of large weaponry to American proxy forces.  To read the Heritage report, for all of its typos, is an exercise in dropping personal disbelief (much like going to a movie), in order to accept the new false belief that equates freedom fighters from the American Revolution with terrorists.]

A New Freedom Fighter Aid Strategy

Published on July 28, 1987

Heritage Foundation
A NEW FREEDOM FIGHTER AID STRATEGY

by Representative Jack Davis

Is it fair to expect our friends the Contras to defeat our enemies the Sandinistas with only one-tenth the arms and equipment? Is it fair to expect our friends the UNITA in Angola to defeat the communist government army with $1 billion in Soviet aid and 25,000 Cuban troops on hand? Is it fair to expect the Afghan MuJahadeen to defeat the Soviet Red Army. with 1903 Enrights and pack mules?

The Contras have received no more than $200 million in outside aid, while the Sandinista junta has received some $2.8 billion in arms and aid from the Soviet bloc.

When the Sandinistas came to power in 1979, the Nicaraguan Army had only three battle tanks–count ‘em, three. Today the Sandinista army has 150 Soviet main battle tanks, along with 220 armored personnel carriers to move troops into combat.

lArgest Army in Central America. In the first four months of this year, the Sandinistas received more arms deliveries than the Contras have had in the last six years.

The Sandinistas now have 56 helicopters, including a dozen MI-24 Hind Ds, the most heavily armed helicopter gunship in the world, with 20 more of these “flying tanks” on order from the Soviet Union.

The Sandinista army is now the largest in Central America, with more than 100,000 troops.

The Sandinistas have installed 400 antiaircraft guns and 300 surface-to-air SAM antiaircraft missiles.

Today there are more than 75 Soviet advisors in Nicaragua, 7,500 Cuban advisers, and the usual collection of East Germans, North Koreans, and Romanians to ran the secret police, the torture chambers, and the political prisons.

How can anyone expect the Contras to defeat an enemy six times their size with only 5 percent of the enemy’s weapons and materiel?

Congressman Davis, a Republican, represents the 4th District of Illinois.

He spoke at The Heritage Foundation on April 30, 1987, as part of a lecture series featuring freshman Members of Congress.

ISSN 0272-1155. Copyright 1987 by The Heritage Foundation.

Cbsknidim the Debate. The debate in Congress over Contra aid has been fundamentally changed by the revelations of the Iranscam investigations. Since 1982, when President Reagan began aid to the Contra s, Congress has insisted on a two- track strategy: aid the Contras, and push for a negotiated settlement. In the wake of Iranscam, liberals in Congress have shifted the debate from negotiations for aid to no aid at all because “the Contras can’t win.”

Perhaps we conservatives should -thank our opponents in- Congress for changing the terms of the debate, for now we can raise two telling questions that go straight to the heart of the issue:

1) Can the Contras win?

2) If not, why not?

T’here are two important groups who think the Contras can win: the Contras and the Sandinistas.

Ten thousand Nicaraguans are not in armed rebellion for the pleasures of camping out. They obviously believe they can make substantial changes in Nicaragua by taking up arms @ga inst Sandinista oppression. They are in rebellion because they think they can win.

It is, in fact, the sacrifice of the rebels of their own lives and the suffering of their countrymen that provide the overriding moral imperative for U.S. support of the Contras.

A List of Grievance& Charles Krauthammer wrote a very useful essay on the morality of guerrilla war in the September 8, 1986, New Republic “We believe in freedom,” Krauthammer wrote. “And when indigenous rebels, cl their right to freedom, rebel aga inst oppression and call for American support, it is hard to see what morally proscribes us from responding.”

You do not have to equate Adolfo Calero with Tbomas Jefferson to see that the Contras have compiled an impressive list of grievances, the redress of which is morally superior to continuing to acquiesce to Sandinista oppression.

What about popular support? Liberals in Congress are laboring mightily to pooh-pooh any claims of popular support for the rebellion. But what better barometer of public sup port is there than that a quarter million Nicaraguans have chosen exile over continued acquiescence in Sandinista oppression?

The resistance, itself, decentralized and fought on many fronts, represents what Arturo Cruz called a “revolt of Nicaraguans agai nst the oppression of other Nicaraguans.” Oppression and Some of the Contra support is armed, some unarmed. Cardinal Obando y avo and U Emnsa editor Pedro Joaquin Chamorro

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are both clearly in open support of the resistance and paying the price in Sandinista oppression and harassment.

Are the Contras a majority? Nobody knows. Despotisms do not permit such facts to be ascertained. What counts is that large sectors of the nation are in resistance. One out of ten Nicaraguans has simply left the country since the Sandinista coup. True, there is not yet much action in the cities. But it is supremely difficult to move against an efficient secret police, such as that headed by Sandinista Interior Minister Tomas Borge. Borge has admitted to holding 5,000 pol itical prisoners. Other observers put the number closer to 7,000. Suffice it to say, the Sandinistas have built four new prisons.

But is the Nicaraguan resistance any less popular than the Sandinista resistance was in its sixth year before it came to power? Or the Sandinista dictatorship today?

Widespread Opposition. You can pick up any edition of the daily Foreign Broadcast Reports for Latin America and find a news item from Nicaragua that would suggest the opposition to the regime is both common and widespread. In early April, the FBIS reported a flurry of opposition from Nicaragua:

Arsonists were reported by the Managua domestic service April 7 to have destroyed 65 sugar cane manzanas ready for harvesting bringing to 760 the number of manzanas dest royed during 200 days of harvest. Another April 7 item reports a UNO [United Nicaraguan Opposition] communique claiming the downing of two Soviet-built NH-24 helicopter gunships and serious damage to a third.

April 8, we see a copy of a Sandinista Foreign Ministry protest note to the U.S. complaining of mercenary agents destroying electric cables. An April 9 item, dateline San Jose, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, son of the martyred editor of Managua’s ILA PRENSA and a new member of the UNO directorate, says “80 percent of our fighting force is inside Nicaragua.”

Also on April 9, we see that BARRICADA, the Sandinista PRAVDA, has attacked the “Yankee ultraright organization … the infamous Heritage Foundation” for a “furious attack” on the constitutional progress of the Sandinista regime.

Contra sabotage of power lines was reported on three separate occasions in the first two weeks of April.

Impressive Victories. Altogether, the Foreign Broadcast Reports are a daffy journal of the struggle of a substantial number of Nicaraguans against the Sandinista regime.

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Inside Nicaragua, the Contras have recently scored impressive guerrilla victories. They have brought down seven Soviet helicopter gunships this year, according to the authoritative Jane’s Defense Weckl y. In recent weeks, the Contras have bombed targets on the Rama River, deep inside Nicaragua, and won a major firefight at Jinotega, a mere 75 miles from Managua.

The fact that Contra units can penetrate so deeply into Nicaragua without being betrayed by farmers.and villagers speaks volumes about the public support for the Contras. Today the Contras control an area of Nicaragua larger than El Salvador.

Who else believes the Contras can win? The Sandinista junta. The junta has asked for 20 more Soviet helicopter gunships, an obvious response to the unproved firepower of Contra units since U.S. aid began to flow, again, last October.

The Sandinistas have also launched raids across the Honduran border, again, aimed at knocking out Contra bases. Jane’s report s a strong offensive April 24 by the Sandinista People’s Army in the Bocay valley aiming to drive an estimated 600 to 800 Contras back across the border.

IMe Cork in the Bottle. This raises the question of the nature of the Contra military strategy. Are they a guerrilla insurgency? Or only a cross-border raiding force, as General Paul Gorman, the ex-chief of the U.S. Southern Command in Panama, said recent ly?

From the point of view of purely American self-interest, it hardly matters. As a cross-border raiding force, the Contras are the cork in the bottle. The Contras are what keeps the Sandinista army from the throats of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Be lize, and Mexico.

A Sandinista break-out is not a pleasant picture to contemplate. President Reagan was not kidding a year ago when he said the Sandinistas could be in South Texas in a matter of days.

It is not completely clear that a Sandinista army would not be welcomed on Chapultepec Boulevard in Mexico City by major elements of the Mexican government and political apparatus.

The threat to the U.S. comes first in more subtle ways. The operation of America’s second largest national news wire service, U nited Press International, is now under the control of some of the most radical and cynical elements in Mexico. Control of UPI now rests with the Echeverria family, the wonderful people who brought you the U.N.’s famous Third World Information Order, the final insult that drove the U.S. out of UNESCO.

Political Soap Operas and Uiberation News. Spanish language television in the U.S. has long been under the control of Mexican left-wing political forces. Illegal control, as it turns out. The Federal Communic ations Commission last year stripped the Mexicans of five major market TV stations because of illegal foreign ownership. Mexican television has been little more than political soap operas and “fiberatioY

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news. The Azcarraga clan has yet to comply w ith FCC divestment orders, and a movement is under way in Congress to compel divestiture by the Mexicans. Fortunately, there are a couple of Hispanic-American groups standing by to take up the Mexican operations in the U.S.

But not everyone is sure the Co ntras can win. They see the Soviet arms build-up in Nicaragua reaching overwhelming proportions in short order. The tanks, troop carriers, aircraft, and helicopters- continue to flood into Nicaragua at the rate of 2,000 tons per month.

The Sandinista Army lacks only air superiority capability of their own. But the buildins of three new air fields means Soviet MiG fighters can be moved from Cuba to Nicaraguan bases in a matter of hours.

Piddling U.& Assistance. Soviet main battle tanks cannot be defeated b y M- 16s. Molotov cocktails are a lot more glamorous than effective. Ask the Hungarian Freedom Fighters or the Czech veterans of the Prague Spring. Hind gunships do not submit to rifle fire. Ask the Afghan Mujahadeen rebels. In fact, U.S. aid to the Contr as has been truly piddling. Averaging only $33.3 million a year over the past six years, Contra aid Fompares unfavorably with security assistance granted to other governments in the region:

Jamaica, $51.3 million requested for FY 88;

Haiti, $34.6 million;

Dominican Republic, $38.0 million.

Maybe the State Department is expecting an invasion from the Caribbean islands.

U.S. security assistance to the three frontline states in Central America looks like this:

Costa Rica, $92.4 million requested for FY 1988;

El Salvador, $319 million;

Honduras, $181 million.

For a total of $493.8 million requested for FY 1988. Contra aid is only 7 percent of the security assistance to the front line Central American states. The argument might be made that our aid priorities are somewhat out of whack in Latin America.

Getting it Backwards. Counterinsurgency and guerrilla war experts estimate that to be successful the level of support for the Contras has to be at least 75 percent of the Soviet bloc support to the Sandinistas, or a sum close to $2 billion.

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Is the U.S. Congress going to vote $2 billion for the Contras? This year? Over the next five years? Will it be four times the current level next year? Twelve times th e five-year average next year? Don!t count on it. Current thinking on Capitol Hill seems to be that some kind of “humanitarian” assistance will be continued in the wake of the Iranscam revelations. But direct military assistance will once again be cut off . But Congress has got it backwards. Iranscam is not something the Contras did to us. It is what the U.S., in effect, did to the Contras. Yet liberals in Congress want to cut off aid to the Contras because of screw-ups in the White House. More fair that Co n gress should enforce the “Son of Sam” law against the ill-gotten gains of Mr. Donald T. Regan. Foul-ups, Bleeps and Blunders. The Select Committee and the national news media have created a monster that might be called “Contra, Incorporated,” and are tryi ng to make the Nicaraguan rebels take the fall for the foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders in the West Wing, at the NSC, at State, Defense, and the CIA, not to mention in the Vice President’s office.

After all, you can buy the book that laid out many of the ope rations strategies Fmployed by Colonel Oliver North at the Government Printing Office for $4.25. It is a mystery only to the Select Committee and the press what Colonel North was UP to. As a member of the Special Operations panel of the House Armed Servic e s Committee, I have taken an interest in the use of special operations to achieve policy and geopolitical goals. The ham-handed manner in which the Contra aid scheme was handled will put a sharp brake on the development of a useful and appropriate nationa l strategy. And the Contras will pay the price. A Strategy for the IAng Haul- So the real friends of freedom, the honest anti-communists, the true supporters of the Reagan Doctrine are going to have to come up with another strategy. A strategy for the long haul. A strategy to be in place when the crunch comes next time. A strategy to go into effect when the Sandinistas finally launch their break-out. There are two situations that would provoke U.S. public support for U.S. military measures against the Sandi nistas according to opinion polls: introduction of MiG fighters into Nicaragua and the installation of offensive missiles. The new Contra aid strategy has three elements to it:

Cancel U.S. diplomatic recognition of the Sandinista junta.

Recognize a Nicaraguan government-in-exile.

6

Award the evernment-in-exile standing to negotiate security @ksistance agreements directly with the U.S., including access to Lend Lease provisions.

a Government in Fxfle. Revoking diplomatic recognition of the Sandinista junta is the easy part. It can be done by executive order as well as by legislation. I have joined a dozen of my colleagues both in submitting legislation and in writing to the White House to ask that diplomatic recognition of the Sandinis ta dictatorship be dropped. My amendment to the Defense Authorization bill was, in fact, the first time the question of diplomatic recognition of the Sandinista regime has been voted on by Congress.

There is more than ample precedent for U.S. recognition o f a Nicaraguan government-in-exile. France, for instance, broke with tradition by recognizing the United States during our Revolutionary War. Washington was the home of the Philippine government during World War II. Governments-in-exile were recognized fo r France, Holland, Greece, Norway, Poland, Belgium, Yugoslavia, and Luxembourg as well.

The Nicaraguan rebels can, in fact, lay claim to the three criteria usually observed for recognition of a government-in-exile:

hostile occupation of a nation’s territory;

efforts under way to gain effective control of the country; and

public support.

Police State TacticL The occupation of Nicaragua by a Soviet-sponsored military dictatorship must surely be considered hostile to the peace and freedom of the Nicarapan people. The deployment of some 15,000 armed rebels inside N!’caragua is ample evidence of an attempt to regain control of the country by the Nicaraguan opposition. Even in the face of eight years of vigorous police state tactics, it is still possible to d etect signs of public support for the Nicaraguan rebels.

The tricky part of a new Contra aid strategy is to get the Contras access to regular U.S. security assistance programs such as foreign military sales, military sales credit financing, and lend-lease arrangements. The precedent, of course, is tile famous Lend Lease program of World War 11 that made the U.S. the arsenal of Democracy and turned the tide against the Nazi Third Reich and the East Asian Co-Prosperity Zone.

As in the Lend Lease of World War 11, the emphasis of a new Lend Lease strategy is on the movement of material assistance, weapons, supplies, transportation, and equipment to our allies. The support levels of World War H were not measured in dollars, but in ships, aircraft and tanks deli vered. We got rid of what President Roosevelt called the “silly, foolish old dollar sign.”

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A New Lend Irase. Lend Lease was backed by Congress in 1941 for the same reasons it should be backed in 1987: To help our allies defeat aggression and oppression and at the same time keep America out of the conflict. The Lend Lease program proclaimed a ta c it, nonshooting alliance with Britain, the historian Thomas Baily wrote, and other nations whose resistance to aggression merited American support. The isolationists of an earlier day denounced Lend Lease as. a ‘blank check, dictator war, bankruptcy bill. ” Senator Bob Taft scoffed that “Lending war equipment is a good deal like lending chewing gum. You don’t want it back.”

Winston Churchill called Lend I-ease “the most unsordid act in the history of any nation.”

The central feature of the new I-end I-ease is a simple equivalence requirement. It works like this: When the Sandinistas receive a shipment of Soviet arms, the Contras would receive Erom the U.S. an equivalent amount of similar equipment or defense equipment to counter the weapons received by the Sandinistas.

When the Sandinistas get another dozen Soviet “Flying Tanks,” the Contras should get one hundred Stinger or Redeye antiaircraft ssiles.

When the Sandinistas receive another boatload of Soviet battle tanks, the Contras get a shipment of TOW and AT4 antitank missiles. And so forth.

Parity for the Contras. But first, the U.S. has to bring the Contras up to some kind of parity with the $2.8 billion in arms already received by the Sandinistas. According to Defense Department figures, the Sandinis tas have 150 tanks, 200 armored personnel carriers, 43 airplanes, and 56 helicopters. To counter those weapons ‘the new Lend Lease would ship sufficient antiaircraft missiles to the Contras. A similar formula would apply to antitank weapons.

The new I-end Lease has a number of advantages.

The Contras are not a White House “pet project!’ any more.

Congress retains control.

It does not break the bank.

Under regular security assistance status the Nicaraguan government-in-exile would negotiate for the equipment, supplies, training, and weapons they think they need, instead of what dollar figure the White House thinks it can slide through Congress.

Congress would have all’thb veto power they now exercise over security assistance, arms export controls, and all the rest, just as they do for Saudi AWACS sales and Honduran F-5 fighter aircraft sales.

8 -An Idea Whose Thm Has Come. By emphasizing equivalency, pari ty, @nd countervailing force, the new Lend Lease provides security assistance at bargain basement prices. One $10,000 Stinger antiaircraft missile can bring down one $15 million helicopter gunship, for instance. The House vote on dropping diplomatic relat i ons with the Sandinista junta and extending recognition to a Nicaraguan government-in-exile was only the first of a number of. opportunities to present – a new Freedom Fighter aid strategy in the 100th Congress. The need is no less today than it was in 19 41 to support the enemies of oppression with U.S. industrial might.

The new Lend Lease is an idea whose time has come again.

Costa Rica, 1987, Isla Calero Dispute, Same Area as Today–original Contra war

Costa Rica Journal; In the War on Want, Is There a Military Front?

By JAMES LeMOYNE, Special to the New York Times

Published: July 14, 1987

LIBERIA, Costa Rica— The red clay roads, newly cut into the jungle, are still being smoothed by bulldozers. Logging trucks and farmers with their herds of cattle will not be far behind.

The tropical savanna of northern Costa Rica seems to roll on forever, but from a high point you can see it end, falling abruptly to the shore of Lake Nicaragua. There it forms a volatile frontier that has often been fought over in recent years by Nicaraguan rebel units and Sandinista patrols.

In this wilderness area, the Reagan Administration and the Costa Rican Government have carried out what appears to be one of the most successful American-backed development projects in Central America.

The project, estimated to cost $20 million, appears intended to deal with security matters while offering economic and political development for a remote area that the Costa Rican Government and American officials fear is susceptible to Sandinista influence. This concern has grown as tens of thousands of Nicaraguan refugees fleeing the war in their homeland have moved into the region.

”It’s a key area for Costa Rica,” said an American official here. ”We are doing good development work where it is needed.” Used by the Sandinistas

Although American officials do not mention it, the work also appears to offer rapid military access to frontier airports and a key stretch of border if ever hostilities with Nicaragua grow or if the United States should one day decide to invade that country.

The large area affected stretches along the border with Nicaragua from the Pacific costal highway almost to the town of Los Chiles and then south into the swampy, fertile jungle and plains of Guatuso.

In the late 1970’s, it was a center for secret Sandinista guerrilla training camps and supply lines used to attack and eventually overthrow the Somoza family dictatorship in Nicaragua. In the final push across the border, Cuban supply planes landed at night near the border laden with weapons and Cuban advisers slipped into Nicaragua with Sandinista units, according to several former Sandinistas who fought here.

As American hostility and resistance within Nicaragua to the Sandinistas’ Marxist policies grew, the border once again became a military zone. Between 1982 and 1985, the rebel leader Eden Pastora Gomez dotted the frontier with guerrilla camps, backed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Costa Rican Government finally closed the camps a year ago, and Mr. Pastora disbanded his force, but there is a lingering sense that this is a region where authority was imposed by men with guns and civil government is still a somewhat novel concept. Basic Services for the People

American-backed development work was planned in 1983 and the years since have been spent driving roads into the area and bringing basic services to its isolated and impoverished communities. The prime objective, according to American and Costa Rican officials, is to bring the zone under the control of the central Government and to enable Costa Rica’s paramilitary rural police to monitor it. The rural police have been trained and armed in recent years by the United States.

The region has several small airstrips and larger ones at Liberia, Upala and Los Chiles, as well as a once-secret landing field on the Pacific coast built for the contras with the help of American officials. The airstrip at Los Chiles was extended and paved in recent years and would appear to be easily able to take military planes.

American officials deny that any United States funds went into the construction, but local residents recall that the American Ambassador and the commander of American regional military forces landed at the airstrip on a visit three years ago.

There is also a deepwater port on the coast at Murcielago. The coast route south to Panama is in poor condition, but troops and equipment could probably be moved by land from the main regional American base in Panama up to the Nicaraguan border within 24 hours.

American Army engineers have built or improved at least 15 bridges in one of the worst parts of the coastal route to Panama, near the village of Dominical to the south. A spokesman for the American Embassy said the bridges were built in a ”civic action” project purely to aid impoverished Costa Rican communities in an area that in the past was cut off for days when the rainy season swelled the rivers.

But the bridges, like the development project on the northern border, appear to address both security concerns and political and social needs, offering military access if needed while satisfying local demands for long-needed improvements. A.I.D. Official Oversees Work

A key element in the success of the work along the border is that it is being overseen by an official from the Agency for International Development, the operating arm of American economic aid in developing countries.

Now that almost 100 miles of primary roads have been opened, according to the official, Harry Peacock, the next step is to build access roads to small villages and begin community development by helping in land distribution and tasks such as building wells and rural clinics. The villages are asked to contribute to and help plan what they need, a demand that they have eagerly accepted, Mr. Peacock said.

”I see a real change in local attitudes,” he said in an interview near the border. ”They want development – it’s a very significant signal when people become future oriented.”

Eighty percent of the land in the region is believed to be arable and Government officials now expect Costa Ricans to begin moving in and local young people to stay, instead of looking for work in the cities.

But there may be one lasting cost for what otherwise appears to be a highly beneficial development project. The border region contains some of the most extensive tracts of Central America’s rapidly dwindling virgin jungle.

The trees and wildlife almost certainly will not survive the easy access now offered to local lumber companies whose sawmills are already hard at work slicing giant trees that cannot be replaced into boards for the construction projects now springing up in the region.

Photo of a bridge under construction in the northern border area of Costa Rica. United States Army engineers have built or improved at least 15 bridges in one of the worst parts of coastal route to Panama, near the village of Dominical. (The New York Times/James Lemoyne)

Sandinista “Commander Zero” Behind Google Map Dispute Over Isla Calero

[The dispute is over a thin strip of land which coincidentally happens to be the shortest distance between the Pacific and Lake Nicaragua, the largest body of fresh water in all of Central America.  Perhaps this is all about the US seizing the water in the region, perhaps it is something much bigger, like a new, bigger canal, to allow passage of supertankers and possibly aircraft carriers.

If there is a secret deal in the works to build a new canal, then it might tie-in to the recent murder of Nicaragua’s consul general in New York.  It would be nice to know who or what motivated the folks at Google Maps to move the border line in this area?  There is way more to this story than anything that we have heard so far, some big geostrategic event.  Nothing else would explain the 46 US warships coming to Costa Rica, or the Columbian/Venezuelan border escalation, in conjunction with recent bidding for oil-drilling blocks in the Caribbean.  To Hell with the war in Central Asia; it looks like the big war is really coming over here.

The use of Commander Zero (Eden Pastora) suggests that this particular international incident is “neo-Soviet” in nature, since Zero was Russia/Cuba’s main man, the Jesuit-trained militant who launched the Sandinista movement.  This could be Putin’s move to change the location of the big war (formerly known as the “pipeline wars”) from Russia’s back yard to our own.  On the other hand, with shadowy figures like Pastora, who have worked for both East and West in Central America, it may be possible to interpret his presence as the visible proof of covert wars, but it may also be impossible to tell which side he currently represents.  Maybe the “reset” with Russia covers covert wars in our hemisphere as well?

“In May 1987, Eden Pastora acknowledged publicly that the CIA had supplied war material and accused Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, directly involved in the Irangate, of being behind the assassination attempt on Pencas in 1984.”

American moves in the region were possibly made in anticipation of disrupting this FSB (new KGB) psywar with a CIA counter-psywar.   But it may all be simply more extravagant stage-managing, before the real big event actually begins, with the US and Russia cynically manipulating public opinion to usher in their jointly managed New World Order.]

On 1 July 2010, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly authorized the U.S. military to undertake policing duties in Costa Rica

Nicaraguan Diplomat Found Dead in the Bronx

U.S. Willing To Help In Costa Rica – Nicaragua Dispute If Asked

By Adam Williams and Tim Rogers
Google responds: By no means should Google Maps be used as a reference to decide military actions between two countries.
Isla Calero Map

The Nicaragua-Costa Rica border on Google Maps and Bing Maps. Google said it plans to make changes to its map to reflect the border more accurately. Courtesy of Search Engine Land.

The Internet application Google Maps has found itself in the middle of the ongoing border dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Costa Rican media sources this week expressed outrage that the Google Maps image of the northeast border region shows Isla Calero, the disputed land between the two countries at the mouth of the Río San Juan, is in Nicaraguan territory.

The Costa Rican media alleges that former guerrilla leader Edén Pastora, who is heading Nicaragua’s river-dredging operation, used the Google Maps application as a justification for his incursion into Costa Rica territory. Pastora, however, has made no claims about relying on Google Maps to determine the border.

On the contrary, Pastora said in statements to the Nicaraguan press this week that his understanding of the border is based on the original text of the 1858 Cañas-Jerez Treaty.

“The maps are not going to tell me where the borders are; the treaties are,” Pastora said.

However, the international media has already picked up on the invented Google Maps scandal, prompting the company to respond. Daniel Helft, senior manager for public policies for Google Latin America, wrote on a public Google blog that while “Google maps are of very high quality and Google works constantly to improve and update existing information, by no means should they be used as a reference to decide military actions between two countries.”

Helft added, “In this instance Google has determined that there was an inaccuracy in the shaping of the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and is working to update the information as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos sent his own letter to Google representatives on Nov. 4, saying that the contentious map is “absolutely correct” and that Google shouldn’t make “any modifications” to the border coordinates.

PM Gilani’s Office Pushing Sale of 70,000 Acres of Baloch Coastal Land to Arab Billionaires

The Speaker of Balochistan Assembly, Mohammad Aslam Bhoothani, dropped a bombshell on Friday saying that the office of Prime Minister was endeavoring to sell Balochistan’s seventy thousand (70,000) acre land to Arab sheiks at a throwaway price. According to him, the Arabs were trying to acquire the land in areas close to the Baloch Coast on the banks of Mekran Coastal Highway.

Besides the will of Balochistan government being totally snubbed, this scheme is strongly backed by some quarters in the Prime Minister House in Islamabad. Uncertain if a thorough gentleman like Prime Minister Syed Yousfa Raza Gillani could personally become a part of such a shocking scheme, Bhoothani decided to chose his words very carefully. He said he was not sure whether the Prime Minister was directly involved in this plot or some elements in the Prime Minister House were secretly working to accomplish their nasty designs. If the Prime Minister is not personally a part of this conspiracy then he should take immediate notice of the matter and clarify his involvement in the matter.

Bhoothani, who was elected as a member of the Balochistan Assembly from Lasbela District, made these startling revelations in a rare press conference at Quetta Press Club. The Speaker address the press only under extraordinary circumstances and situations demanding urgent attention.

He disclosed that the Balochistan government was being pressurized from the Prime Minister House to quickly pass a summery via Revenue Department to provide seventy thousand acre lands to Arab shieks. The local population, after coming to know about the discreet plans, has strongly protested and said it there was no question about surrendering their ancestral lands on which they had been living for generations in return of some money.

When a journalist asked Bhoothani what if the Arabs agreed to pay the amount for the land, he came up with a counter-question: “would the government sell the whole of Balochistan if some outsiders paid a handsome amount?”  Bhoothani expected that Chief Minister Raisani would take stern notice of the issue and make every effort to block the summery pending at the Revenue Department. He lauded Chief Minister Raisani for his leadership and firm stance he had recently taken on the controversial Gwadar Port and Reko Diq projects.

“Balochistan is our mother land,” said the Speaker of the provincial legislative body, “We own the coast and the resources of this province as the sons of the soil. We will not sell our mother land to anyone in return of some money.” He admitted that the Arab sheiks were allowed to visit Balochistan, establish tents to stay here for hunting. “Now, it seems they want to permanently settle here and construct huge bungalows on our lands. We have our serious concerns on these developments,” he added.

He further noted that the Arab sheiks were also regularly using the Shamshi Airbase in Chagai area.

Bhoothani is indeed a very brave politician of the mega-sensitive Balochistan province. His critics say the only bad bone Bhoothani has got in his body is that of his affiliation with pro-Pervez Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Quaid-e-Azam). Otherwise, he has stood time and again very bravely for the rights of the people of Balochistan. He was in fact the only politician to raise voice against the Pakistan Navy for illegally grabbing the public lands for a test firing range. He battled the case with such a great determination that the Balochistan Assembly ultimately had to pass a resolution against the illegal land acquisition.The Navy had to surrender before a steadfast Bhoothani.

We admire Bhoothani for taking such a bold initiative in the broader public interest. It is earnestly hoped that Chief Minister Raisani will , firstly, ensure the blockade of the summery at the Revenue Department and, secondly, offer complete support ot Bhoothani on this matter. There is already a lot of anger and frustration among the Balochs over their natural resources being usurped. Now that a top official like Bhoothani has publicly accused the office of Prime Minister for pressurizing the Balochistan government for selling land to the oil-monarchs, the Baloch sense of insecurity further gets validated. Balochs would believe that the plot to colonize them is very deep-rooted and officially sponsored.

Bhoothani’s staggering revelation has come at at a time when Balochs hold the Punjab and its leaders responsible for exploiting their resources. Raising fingers at a prime minister who belongs to the Punjab province may trigger massive reactions from the Baloch nationalists. Furthermore, this development is coinciding with the time when the province is struggling to ensure its control over multi-billion Reko Diq gold and copper project.

With Prime Minister Gilani being implicated in this scam, we would urge President Asif Ali Zardari to personally take urgent notice of the matter. The people of Balochistan should be taken into confidence before taking any decision. The people of Balochistan will not happily endorse any official decision to sell the Baloch land to foreigners in return of kickbacks.