Botched Mumbai Arrest Highlights India’s Intel Failures


Botched Mumbai Arrest Highlights India’s Intel



As if they weren’t in enough hot water over their handling of the Mumbai massacre, Indian security forces have added yet another blunder to the growing list of lapses before and after last month’s attacks: the arrest of Mukhtar Ahmed. Ahmed was held by the West Bengal police on Friday night for procuring mobile phone cards for Lashkar e Toiba, the organization suspected of staging the Mumbai attacks. His arrest might have counted as a coup against the extremist group, except for the fact that Ahmed is reported to be an undercover intelligence operative for the Jammu and Kashmir police. Having infiltrated their networks, he had been supplying militants with phone cards, and that had enabled the security forces to monitor some of the militants’ communications.

The picture of ineptitude and lack of coordination among the different security forces involved was compounded by the fact that the cops who arrested Ahmed failed to check with the J&K police to see whether Ahmed’s claims to be an agent were true; instead they divulged details of his arrest and identity to the media, resulting in his cover being blown, his family being put at risk, and the Indian intelligence community losing a valuable intelligence-gathering asset. (See pictures of Mumbai picking up the pieces)

The Ahmed debacle has amplified the indignant chorus demanding an overhaul of India‘s intelligence and security apparatuses in the wake of the Mumbai massacre. But experts say little concrete action has been taken so far. One reason is the scale of the problem: India is a country of 1.1 billion people and is regularly (and increasingly) targeted by terrorists, but its internal security agency, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), has less than 3,000 field operatives. Only 400 of these operatives are assigned to counter-terrorism operations.

External intelligence gathering is the responsibility of the Research and Analysis wing (R&AW), India’s equivalent of the CIA. But operations by Pakistan-based terror groups inside India involves some overlap in responsibility with the IB. Coordination between India’s more than 12 intelligence agencies, and between the intelligence establishment and other security services, has often been poor. “Take the case of the National Technical Research Organization which was carved out of the R&AW,” says Wilson John, Senior Fellow at New Delhi-based think-tank Observer Research Foundation and author of Karachi: A Terror Capital in the Making. “Despite being sister organizations, they are consumed by rivalries. The result is that they are both doing overlapping technical and human intelligence, but not sitting down together to exchange notes.”

John also points out the absence of a system of “tagging” intelligence inputs in a way that signals their relative seriousness and priority. Following the Mumbai attacks, all security agencies concerned – from the coast guard to the navy to the local police – claimed that the intelligence inputs they had received were not “actionable”.

“Given the heightened threat perception over the last three to four years, there has to be a system of tagging to let the local police know which threats to take seriously,” John says. He argues that the system also needs a federal mechanism to follow up on what action is taken on intelligence disseminated among the security agencies.

For years, experts have warned that India’s security services are in desperate need of an upgrade in skills and technology. M.K. Dhar, who served for three decades as an IB operative, wrote in his 2005 book Open Secrets – India’s Intelligence Unveiled, “An average IB officer does not even know the difference between various explosive devices and triggering mechanism” and that “an average IB officer is not oriented with the techniques of war pursued by mujahideen and fedayeen fanatics.” He also asserted that political interference had led to a servile “police culture” in the IB, and even charged that sincere IB efforts to nab Pakistani agents had been thwarted by leading politicians.

Following the Mumbai attacks, the government announced that it would create a federal investigative agency to improve coordination among intelligence agencies and between them and the various state police forces. Tougher terror legislation is also being framed to expand the tools available to the security agencies. Wilson John says there have been improvements in civilian and military coordination and an informal system of tagging threats haa been introduced since Mumbai. “But these are not institutionalized yet,” he says.

Ajai Sahni, director of the South Asia Terrorism Portal, is dismissive of what he calls “small, incremental” steps so far. “There may be some symbolic movements to hold them up to the public for political impact. But that’s it,” he says. “We need manpower and technology and materiel on war footing. Normal bureaucratic practice will not work, we need to reinvent procedures. It can be done overnight…if you are flexible and in action mode.” Even after the Mumbai carnage, he claims, the requisite political will and sense of urgency remains lacking. “We have such an incoherent and incapable leadership, and across all political parties.” While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seems to understand the scale of the challenge, Sahni says, “he doesn’t seem to carry the weight with his own cabinet colleagues. And the irrational opposition has been blocking all forward-looking steps, irrespective of national interest.”

Sahni warns that India‘s intelligence and security capability is woefully lacking in proportion to the scale of the threat it faces, and to its status as an emerging economic superpower that is under constant jihadist threat. “We cannot afford to be a tin-pot operation with no capacity to prevent and respond to terror, and bring terrorists to book,” says Sahni, “That will not be the kind of country where people would like to invest.” And the Mumbai massacre has provoked millions of Indians to demand that the government do a better job of protecting them. So, even if political leaders are inclined to drag their feet, those feet will be held to the fire of mounting public anger.

Report: Israel arresting West Bank Palestinians by the hundreds

Report: Israel arresting West Bank Palestinians by the


Palestinian women hold photographs

of relatives jailed by Israel on 10 Nov.

2008 in the Gaza Strip [Ma’anImages]56665_200x150

Gaza – Ma’an – The Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Prisoners and Prisoners’ Affairs on Thursday accused the Israeli government of carrying out multiple arrest operations in West Bank towns and cities.

The accusation comes just after Israel announced intentions to release 231 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The release, originally slated to take place before Eid Al-Adha – 8 December – has been postponed until 15 December.

In a report obtained by Ma’an, the ministry documents more than 300 incursions and invasions carried out by Israeli forces in Palestinian towns and cities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel also arrested 390 Palestinian residents, including 87 in the city of Hebron, of whom more than a dozen are patients, bringing the total number of people arrested by Israel since the beginning of this year to more than 5,000, including 700 from the Gaza Strip.

Last month also saw a noted increase in the detention of children below 18 years of age, as Israeli forces seized 65 children, compared with 33 in October.

According to a report published on the 21st anniversary of the first Intifada, the Israeli authorities have arrested approximately 800,000 Palestinians since 1967, which is about 20 percent of the population.

The report notes that more arrests were made during the first Intifada than the second, as “direct contact” between Palestinian citizens and occupation forces was higher. During the first Intifada, Israel had more control of the Palestinian territories than it does today, citing recent agreements that allow more areas to be controlled by the PA.

There are still 339 prisoners in Israeli jails that were detained during the first Intifada; Israel has still refused to release them on the condition that they have “Jewish blood on their hands.” Among them are 136 prisoners from the West Bank and 134 from the Gaza Strip, according to the report.

India, Pakistan Air Forces on High Alert

India, Pakistan Air Forces on High Alert

Jason Ditz

December 10, 2008

Gilani Hits Out at “Jingoistic” India as Tensions Worsen

Pakistani F-16s were seen flying over the capital of Islamabad today as the air forces of both Pakistan and neighboring India were reportedly placed on high alert. The navies of both nations are also aggressively patrolling in the Arabian Sea.

Indian media reported earlier that the leaves of all key personnel near Pakistan have been canceled and the level of readiness raised in response to rumors of an upcoming air attack. A spokesman for the Pakistani Air Force has said they are also on alert in the event of “aggression” from India.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani insists that his nation is doing everything it can to defuse tensions diplomatically, saying his “peace-loving nation” will not be provoked by its long-time rival’s “jingoistic attitude.”

Relations between India and Pakistan had been on the mend until last month’s massive terrorist attack in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai. Since then tensions have spiraled to their worst level since 2002 amid reports from Mumbai police that all of the attackers came from Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has received international praise for its recent arrests of suspects in the Mumbai attacks, seen as an effort to silence concern about the nation’s alleged role in one of the worst terrorist attacks in Indian history. One anonymous Indian official dismissed the arrests as “an eyewash,” insisting there was “no modicum of doubt” about the complicity of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in the attack.

The Persecution of Syed Fahad Hashmi

The Persecution of Syed Fahad Hashmi

by Stephen Lendman

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui – “Prisoner 650” A brief word about Aafia. She’s a highly educated researcher with a doctorate in genetics from MIT. She mysteriously disappeared from Karachi in March 2003 with her three children, after which Pakistani officials denied any knowledge of her whereabouts. It was later learned she was at Bagram under draconian conditions with her children (aged one month to seven years). She’s incarcerated now in New York, but it’s not known if her children are still alive and if so where they’re held. Human rights organizations, British journalist Yvonne Ridley, and MP Lord Nazir raised questions about her detention, and, according to Nazir “she (was) physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at the prison” – for over four years. Chalk it up to “Western values” that (in a post-9/11 climate) view Muslims as sub-humans to be subjected to unlimited degradations. Ridley called Aafia a “grey lady” “because she (was) almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her. This would never happen to a Western Woman.” It did to Aafia, and her ordeal continues under US detention.   (read here)

UN attacks Israeli rights ‘crimes’

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Human rights declaration ‘under threat’

It is now 60 years since the signing of the universal declaration of human rights, proclaiming: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

Translated into more than 360 languages and incorporated into many national laws, the document condemns discrimination, slavery, torture and arbitrary arrest.

But, six decades on, many of those principles are under threat around the world.

Al Jazeera’s Rosie Garthwaite’s report contains images that may disturb or offend some viewers.

UN attacks Israeli rights ‘crimes’

The delivery of essential aid to Gaza has been stemmed by the Israeli blockade [AFP]

Israel’s policies against the Palestinians are tantamount to a “crime against humanity”, the United Nations’ human rights rapporteur has said.

Richard Falk said in a statement on Tuesday that the UN must “implement the agreed norm of a responsibility to protect a civilian population being collectively punished by policies that amount to a crime against humanity”.

The statement came on the same day that the UN Human Rights Council urged Israel to implement 99 measures to improve its rights record.

Falk said it would seem “mandatory” that the UN’s International Criminal Court investigate Israel’s policies in regard to the Palestinians.

“[The court could] determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law,” he said.

The Israeli government has faced a level of criticism by “normally cautious UN officials” not seen since the “the heyday of South African apartheid,” Falk said.

“And still Israel maintains its Gaza siege in its full fury, allowing only barely enough food and fuel to enter to stave off mass famine and disease.”

Israel has maintained tight controls on what supplies enter the Gaza Strip, home to about 1.5 million Palestinians, since Hamas, a Palestinian group, took control of it in June 2007.

The Israeli and US governments say that Hamas is a terrorist organisation.

Rights recommendations

The Human Rights Council said in its list of 99 recommendations that Israel must completely end its blockade of Gaza, while also calling for it to release Arab detainees.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva said that “Israel remains committed to reinforcing areas in which we are succeeding and bettering those areas that need improvement.”

Aharon Leshno Yaar said the dialogue had been “positive and productive”.

Israel is due to report to the UN council in March on how it will address the recommendations.

Deliveries allowed

The Israel military allowed dozens of lorries carrying humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and permitted the delivery of diesel to Gaza’s main power plant on Tuesday.

The Karam Abu Salam crossing allowed about 40 lorries carrying supplies into the territory, while 30 lorries with grain, wheat and bird feed passed through the Karni crossing.

The Nahal Oz fuel terminal allowed in some industrial fuel for Gaza’s only power plant, as well as cooking gas for the general public and petrol for UN operations.

The Erez crossing was also open for journalists and humanitarian workers coming into Gaza.

But Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the Palestinian coastal strip, said the amount of supplies allowed into Gaza was of limited quantity and would only probably last for a few days.

Zardari, Gillani Working with Indian RAW and US CIA to Divide Pakistan

Zardari, Gillani Working with Indian RAW and US CIA to Divide Pakistan

India and America exploit Mumbai attacks for propaganda against

By Taji Mustafa

( – While ordinary people across the world have been
shocked by the Mumbai attacks, [corrupt] politicians in India and the
United States have chosen to exploit the [tragic] situation for their
own political ends. In response, [PPP] President [Asif Ali] Zardari [a
corrupt mercenary of the U.S. CIA] and [PPP] Prime Minister [Yousaf
Raza] Gillani [another corrupt mercenary of the U.S. CIA] have
repeated their unconditional cooperation with [the Terrorist Mafia
Tyrants of] India giving the Indians [Hindus] what appears to be a
blank check to do whatever they wish with Pakistan.

It is well known that Hizb-ut-Tahrir [HuT] holds the opinion of Islam
that it is forbidden to attack and kill innocent people. Yet, that
does not excuse the dangerously weak and irresponsible response of the
Pakistan Government faced with serious [American, Indian and Israeli]
threats against the country.

India’s premature blaming of Muslims from Britain and then retracting
this and then pointing the finger at Pakistan indicates how this
[Mumbai] incident is being used to further their [anti-Pakistan]
political agenda. We should not forget how the United States used its
political capital from the 9/11 attacks to launch two [illegal] wars
[against Afghanistan and Iraq].

India has an obvious desire to deflect attention from its own security
failings and its [massive human rights] abuses in [Hindu-Occupied]
Kashmir, where [Indian-Hindu] security services routinely imprison,
torture, kill and rape without fear of criticism from the U.S. and its
[terrorist] allies. Zardari and Gillani could have exposed these
issues instead of colluding with India.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is being pressurised to maintain its troops on its
western border to keep fighting America’s [unlawful] war, weakening
its eastern frontier. Furthermore, it could remind the world that
India has a history of political violence of its own making, without
any need of outside interference. Two of its [Indian-Hindu] Prime
Ministers were murdered by Sikh separatists and by Tamil militants.

[Israeli ZionCon] President-elect [Barack] Obama has increased the
[false and stupid] rhetoric by describing the [South Asian] region as
the “single most important threat against the American people” and
that the U.S. would “have to bring the full force of our power – not
only military but also diplomatic, economic and political – to deal
with those threats.” These [ridiculous and dangerous] statements
indicate that the only change Obama will bring is a ‘surge’ in death,
destruction and havoc to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The reality is that the spineless Zardari-Gillani Government will do
no more than facilitate the US/Indian plan to weaken and dismember
Pakistan. Pakistan faces a crisis unprecedented in its history. The
only way to save the country is to establish a sincere Islamic
leadership, a Khilafah, that will unify the country and defend it from
the [US-NATO-Indian] state terrorism that is raging on its western and
eastern borders. – [3 December 2008]

Zardari-Gillani Compliant as U.S. Steps up its Campaign Against

By Taji Mustafa

( – Reports from the American Forces Press Service
[AFPS], quoting [U.S. Army] Major General Michael [S.] Tucker, later
reported in the [pro-ZionConism] Times of London reveal that the
United States is building a massive new barracks as part of its
[illegal] plans to inject at least a further 20,000 troops into
Afghanistan next year.

At the same time senior U.S. politicians [war criminal] Condolezza
Rice, Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham have
been making diplomatic visits to India then on to Pakistan, all
looking for concessions from the Pakistani Government.

20,000 more troops in Afghanistan cannot achieve the claims the United
States has made for its declared [anti-Pakistan] agenda in the region
– especially since [over] 100,000 troops in Iraq have failed to
adequately pacify that region. Major General Tucker has made it
abundantly clear who will be doing the fighting when he said:
“Pakistani [mercenary] infantry troops continue to assist the
[illegal] war effort by targeting and attacking insurgents… and
providing increased protection for coalition supply convoys that
transit Pakistan before entering Afghanistan.”

Moreover, India’s hostile anti-Pakistan propaganda has escalated,
heightening emotions in the [South Asian] region. U.S. politicians
visiting the regions are exploiting these heightened tensions to
impose their desire to get further concessions from Pakistan. In
particular to maintain its troops on the western border, fighting
America’s [unlawful] war, instead of strengthening its defences
against the Indian threat; clamping down on Islamic groups within
Pakistan; and furthering the ‘peace talks’ with India, which are aimed
at securing India’s security.

It is clear to anyone who is looking at the developing situation that
Pakistan is being attacked politically and diplomatically by two
hostile foreign powers: India and America. Yet the [PPP] regime has
made no substantial measure – neither political nor military – to
counter this. Moving troops to defend against India is one essential
step; cutting essential fuel and vital supply routes to the U.S.
[NATO] military is the second step; and responding and exposing the
Indian and Western propaganda [maliciously] portraying Pakistan as a
‘rogue’ state is the third.

As each day passes the [PPP] Government’s inaction and complicity with
the American and Indian agenda is further proof that it is unfit and
unable to provide the leadership Pakistan needs at this time. Zardari
and Gillani greet these U.S. politicians [like American slaves] by
simply accepting their orders. They respond to India’s calls for
action regarding Mumbai in a way that seems to accept some Pakistani
link. They have not said one word about India’s ongoing atrocities in
[Hindu-Occupied] Kashmir, nor about the increasing lies about Pakistan
in the [corrupt] Indian [mercenary] media.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir [HuT] in Pakistan has been energetically setting the
agenda on the ground – providing solutions for Pakistan’s problems,
offering a New Leadership and a New System, and rallying grass-roots
support against this American [Indian-Hindu, RAW, CIA, Mossad, SIS]
plan to weaken and divide Pakistan. – [7 December 2008]

[Mr. Taji Mustafa is a media coordinator of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT)
Britain based in London, UK. ]

[Information Press Chief Editor, Journalist SYED ADEEB rightly wrote
on 6 December 2008: “Al-Qaida is the top secret code name of special
covert operations of the U.S. CIA, Israeli Mossad, British SIS, Indian
RAW and Pakistani ISI. Al-Qaida is a fake name, an imaginary illusion,
a deceptive fraud, a fictitious hoax and a fraudulent scam of the
unlawful war of terror, which is still being cunningly and
clandestinely supported and promoted by the CIA, Mossad, SIS, RAW, ISI
and the Corrupt Mercenary Media (CMM) to frame, blame, defame, harm
and kill Pakistanis, Kashmiris, Afghans, Arabs, Muslims and other
innocent humans by falsely and maliciously labeling them as the Al-
Qaida militants, extremists, or terrorists. Actually, Al-Qaida or Al-
CIA-da is the CIA. Al-Qaida is the Mossad. Al-Qaida is the SIS. Al-
Qaida is the RAW. Al-Qaida is the ISI. Al-Qaida is the CMM. The CIA,
Mossad, SIS, RAW, ISI and the CMM are the real Al-Qaida or ‘the Evil
6’. For the sake of international peace, reform or abolish the CIA,
Mossad, SIS, RAW and the ISI; oppose and expose the CMM; and end the
illegal war of terror now to reduce global terrorism. Indeed,
imperialistic military occupation of any country, state, or nation is
state terrorism. Civil terror is a natural reaction to government
terror.” – ]

(1) Sooper Media:

(2) DW:

(3) Pakistan Army’s ex-ISI Chief Lt. General Hamid Gul: Mumbai and
9/11 Both “Inside Jobs”

(4) Free Kashmir:

(5) Free Khalistan:

Dawood message to Zardari: cooperate with U.S. and India in extradition and more of your trucks will be toasted

Dawood message to Zardari: cooperate with U.S. and India in extradition and more of your trucks will be toasted

By Wayne Madsen

(WMR) — The recent arson attack against a Pakistani supply depot used to supply U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan has, according to WMR’s Asian intelligence sources, the hallmarks of additional paybacks from exiled Indian mob chieftain Dawood Ibrahim.

The attack on the depot in Peshawar destroyed over 150 vehicles. The Pakistan truck route to Afghanistan supplies some 75 percent of the fuel, food, and other supplies used by American and NATO forces in landlocked Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been under pressure from India and some quarters in the United States to extradite Ibrahim from Pakistan to India for his alleged role in the most recent, as well as past terrorist attacks on Mumbai. Pakistan claims that Ibrahim, an Indian national, is not in Pakistan. WMR previously reported that Ibrahim, who has provided assistance to the U.S. military and CIA in the past, is being protected by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in Quetta, Pakistan.

One of the “services” Ibrahim, dubbed the “King of Karachi” for his extensive legitimate and illegal business interests in the city, has provided to the United States and Pakistan is ensuring the security of the truck convoys that travel from Pakistan, including through the rugged Khyber Pass, to Afghanistan and back. WMR has also learned that the truck fleet that was torched by elements, termed “militants” by the corporate media, is owned by Pakistan President Asif Zardari, who has, like Ibrahim, been accused of running illegal business enterprises in Pakistan.

For years, Zardari relied on the Taliban to ensure the safety of his truck fleet that plied the roads from Pakistan to Afghanistan and onward into Central Asia. During their tenuous truce, Ibrahim has helped to ensure the safety of Zardari’s truck fleet. Security for Zardari’s truck convoys has been all the more important due to the cargo the vehicles often transport: gold. In 1998, Pakistani investigators discovered that Pakistani-owned ARY Gold of Dubai, the city that also serves as Ibrahim’s financial base of operations, paid $10 million to Zardari, whose wife Benazir Bhutto was then Pakistan’s Prime Minister, for a two-year monopoly on the import of gold into Pakistan from Dubai. Some of the gold moved from Pakistan on Zardari’s trucks to Central Asia to support the maintenance of Islamic hawala banking operations in countries like Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Ibrahim has not only sent a warning to his friends in the CIA, as well as his criminal rivals in Mumbai and Tel Aviv, with his attack on Mumbai, but the attack on te Peshawar depot also sent a stark warning to Zardari and the American military in Afghanistan that he will not be double-crossed in any secret deals between the Pakistani government, Washington, and Delhi.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2008

Australian SAS Units Function as Death Squads in Afghanistan

Australian SAS Units Function as Death Squads in Afghanistan

By James Cogan

December 11, 20008 “WSWS” — An Australian Defence Department (ADD) report published in October, and highlighted on November 26 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Lateline” program, provides a rare account of the shameful operations being performed by the Australian military as part of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

The units most involved are from the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) and the Fourth Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR), the Army’s designated commando battalion. These are highly trained troops and their ostensible role in times of war is to carry out long range reconnaissance, surveillance, harassment or raids on enemy targets. In the so-called “war on terror”, they are being used as little more than death squads.

The ADD report presents the findings of an inquiry into a September 17 Australian operation that resulted in the mistaken killing of Rozi Khan, the pro-occupation governor of Chora district in Uruzgan province and a long-time colleague of Afghan president Hamid Karzai. The intended target, codenamed “Musket” by the Australian military, was an alleged member of the Islamist Taliban movement. While much of the mission statement remains censored, it is apparent that a squad was sent out to storm into the man’s house in the dead of night and execute him in cold blood.

The possibility for things to go wrong is inherent in such operations in civilian areas, and on September 17, they went terribly wrong. Just days before the hit on “Musket” was ordered, the Taliban had issued threats against residents of a village, which lay on the route being taking by the Australians. Rozi Khan had encouraged the villagers to resist any attack and promised to come to their aid with his armed followers.

As the Australian troops moved close to the village, sentries atop houses spotted them and assumed they were Taliban intruders. Within minutes, dozens of villagers were firing on the Australians from the east, west and north. Khan and his men, alerted by the gunfire, began moving toward the fighting, as did local Afghan police.

Troops in an Australian back-up unit, who had manoeuvred to try and flank what they believed to be Taliban, engaged Khan’s group and, the inquiry found, most likely inflicted fatal wounds on the district governor. It was not until a police vehicle arrived that the Australians made efforts to communicate with the men they were attacking.

After realising their mistake, the Australian troops aborted their “Musket” mission—at the cost of two dead and five wounded Afghans. The Defence Department inquiry ruled: “That Rozi Khan was among the casualties is resultant of his unfortunate intervention into a complex situation, albeit with altruistic motives.”

The September 17 mission was no isolated incident. It was part of a broader and ongoing operation codenamed “Peeler” that tasks the Australian special forces with “disrupting [i.e., killing or capturing] Taliban leadership or improvised explosive device facilitators”.

Not all missions result in the target’s assassination. Last month, the alleged Taliban “shadow” governor of Uruzgan, Mullah Bari Ghul, was detained in a raid that was most likely conducted by Australians.

Other missions result in massacres. On November 23, 2007, Private Luke Worsley of 4RAR was killed during an assault on a residence in Chenartu village in Uruzgan. Because of the Australian fatality, details of the incident were made public. The target was Taliban leader Mullah Baz Mohammed, who was expected to be at the house that night.

Australian troops crept up under the cover of darkness, blew the outer doors off the housing compound and rushed in. They left the Daad family—three men, two women and one female child—dead on the floor. A neighbour, Faiz Mohammed, told Time magazine: “There was blood everywhere.” Worsley was shot as he entered the house. Mullah Baz Mohammed was not there.

“Lateline” commented that the Defence Department report “prompts questions about the legality and the ethics of targeted killings, even in the dusty and chaotic battleground of Afghanistan”.

Tim McCormack of Melbourne University, a professor of Humanitarian Law consulted by the program, provided reassurances. “International law is not pacifist law,” he said. “It does allow the killing of enemy combatants and civilians who take a direct part in hostilities—just as it’s also legal for the Taliban to hunt down an Australian SAS person or anybody on the Australian side or any of the allied side”.

McCormack’s remarks, however, serve only to obscure the essential issues. They ignore the thoroughly predatory and, therefore, criminal motives behind the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. The September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington were utilised as the pretext to deploy military forces into the desperately impoverished country with the aim of securing long term bases in the very heart of Central Asia, a region rich in untapped resources. Over the past seven years, the Afghan war has evolved into a component of the struggle for regional dominance between the US—supported at present by its European NATO allies—and Russia and China.

The existence of Al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan had nothing to do with the decision to send in troops. Not only did the Bush administration reject offers by the Taliban to hand Osama bin Laden over to a third country if evidence were presented of his involvement in 9/11, but virtually no steps were taken by the US military to prevent the bulk of Al Qaeda simply moving across the border into Pakistan’s tribal agencies—where it has largely operated ever since.

Australia’s involvement in the war was the result of the most cynical calculations. By sending troops to fight in Afghanistan and then Iraq, the former Howard government hoped to cement Washington’s backing for a series of military operations that would secure Australian strategic and economic interests in the South Pacific, as well as a free trade agreement with the United States. The Rudd Labor government is continuing the same policy.

There is a stark difference—both politically and morally—between the activities of citizens resisting the invasion of their country and those of the invading army. Afghans are fighting for the right to determine their own future free from foreign domination. The Australian military in Afghanistan is an instrument of imperialist aggression. It is conducting a campaign of terror throughout Uruzgan province to force the population to accept a US puppet government.

One obvious parallel to the Afghanistan operation is the Vietnam War’s Operation Phoenix. Over a five-year period, American and South Vietnamese death squads assassinated tens of thousands of Vietnamese on the grounds they were supporting the Viet Cong (VC) liberation movement. Only the most craven apologist for US imperialism would claim that such atrocities were “legal” on the basis that many of the victims belonged to the VC.

The Labor government repeatedly tries to ennoble the Afghan war with flowery descriptions of Australian soldiers as “heroes” who are “putting their lives on the line for the rest us”. The truth is they are killing and maiming people, including entirely innocent civilians, of an oppressed country for a thoroughly reactionary, neo-colonial cause.

The US, Pakistan and the “terrorist” Hamid Gul


The US, Pakistan and the “terrorist” Hamid Gul

10 December 2008

In the wake of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the name of retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistani military intelligence—the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI)—has appeared prominently in the international press. Various newspapers have reported that the Bush administration is seeking to have Gul, together with at least three other Pakistani citizens, blacklisted at the UN for their alleged support for various terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is accused of orchestrating the Mumbai atrocity.

While the US State Department is yet to confirm the step, the Pakistan-based News leaked details last weekend of a US charge sheet sent to the Pakistani government. Among other accusations, it alleged that Gul had “maintained extensive contacts over the years with Taliban and Al Qaeda,” had in 2005 provided “overarching guidance” to the Taliban on “operational activities in Afghanistan,” and had helped in recruiting and training anti-US insurgents.

While making no secret of his hostility to the US, Gul flatly rejected allegations that he supported terrorism as “fictitious”. Speaking to the press on Monday, he declared that he would call on the UN to set up an international commission in Pakistan at which he would “present myself for inquisition”. Referring to Washington’s accusations, he declared: “I was quite a darling of theirs at one time. I don’t know what this is about. It looks like they have a habit of betraying their friends.”

Gul’s comment highlights an inconvenient fact barely referred to in the commentary about the Mumbai attacks in particular and the “war on terrorism” in general. The nexus between the Pakistani establishment, the army and the ISI, and various Islamist organisations was forged in the CIA-backed jihad in the 1980s against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It was not only Gul who was Washington’s “darling” but the ISI as a whole as well as the Afghan “freedom fighters” that now form the backbone of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and various Islamist terrorist organisations around the world.

Throughout the Cold War, the US regarded Pakistan as a key “frontline” anti-Soviet state. The prominence of the military in Pakistani society is in no small part due to US support for a succession of juntas in Islamabad as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and its ally in South Asia, India. Washington supported the seizure of power by General Zia ul-Haq in 1977 and turned a blind eye to his execution of ousted Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1979, his transformation of Pakistan into an Islamic state and his repression of any domestic opposition.

General Zia was a crucial partner in American efforts to destabilise the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan. In what marked a key turning point in the Cold War, the US, first under President Carter then President Reagan, jettisoned the previous policy of détente and actively sought to destabilise the Soviet Union by transforming Afghanistan into “Moscow’s Vietnam”. In its largest ever “covert” operation, the CIA worked hand-in-hand with the ISI and Saudi intelligence in recruiting, funding, arming and training a huge network of Afghan mujahedin backed by tens of thousands of Islamist fanatics from across the globe.

The consequences for both Afghanistan and Pakistan were devastating. With US backing, Zia actively promoted religious backwardness and right-wing Islamic parties as a battering ram against the working class, attacked the rights of women and inflamed sectarian divisions. The ISI-coordinated guerrilla war was funded in part by drug-running on a vast scale, which led to the development of a drugs and gun culture that continues to corrode Pakistani society today.

Gul was the quintessential product of this reactionary policy. Zia appointed him as ISI head in 1987 at the height of the war in Afghanistan. Following Zia’s assassination in 1988, he continued in that post after Bhutto’s daughter Benazir took over as prime minister. The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan allowed the ISI to capitalise on a wave of anger and disaffection in 1989 in Indian-controlled Kashmir and forge links with the emerging Kashmiri insurgency. Gul was transferred from his ISI post in 1989 after he promoted the formation of a right-wing Islamist coalition in opposition to Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Washington continued to rely on Pakistan as its key ally on the Indian subcontinent well into the 1990s. As Afghanistan descended into a chaos of conflicting militias following the Soviet withdrawal, the US tacitly supported the formation of the Taliban movement by Pakistan and the ISI in 1993. American oil interests were seeking a stable Afghanistan as a route for planned oil and gas pipelines out of Central Asia. It was only in the late 1990s in response to Al Qaeda attacks on US targets that Washington turned sharply against its former allies—attacking alleged Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan in 1998.

Subsequent US demands that Pakistan take action to pull the Taliban regime into line were bound up with a broader strategic shift toward India that was rapidly emerging as an important economic power. In 1999, President Clinton pressured Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to order the military to end its support for armed Kashmiri separatists who had seized the Kargil heights in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Sharif’s backdown produced seething resentment inside the Pakistani army, leading to the seizure of power by General Pervez Musharraf just months later.

Having helped transform the Pakistani military into a bastion of Islamist reaction, the US demanded an abrupt about-face in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. As Musharraf later explained in his autobiography, the Bush administration made an offer that Pakistan could not refuse. US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage bluntly told Musharraf that the country would be bombed back to “the Stone Age” if he did not immediately end all support for the Taliban regime and assist the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The US invasion of Afghanistan has only compounded the crisis in that country and neighbouring Pakistan. The anger fuelled by seven years of US occupation is providing a steady stream of recruits to various Islamist militias operating inside Afghanistan and the neighbouring border areas of Pakistan. It is hardly surprising that a section of the Pakistani military and ISI remains resentful toward Washington and supportive of the Taliban as well as the Kashmiri militants. Gul, now retired, speaks for this layer.

The transformation of Gul from Washington’s “darling” into candidate for the UN terrorist list is the product of shifting US policies. By making an example of him, the White House is seeking to discipline the Pakistani establishment as a whole as it recklessly pursues US economic and strategic interests throughout the region.

Peter Symonds

Obama to offer Israel ‘nuclear umbrella’ against Iranian attack

Obama to offer Israel ‘nuclear umbrella’ against Iranian attack

By Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent

December 12, 2008 “Haaretz.” — – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama’s administration will offer Israel a “nuclear umbrella” against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American source said earlier this week. The source, who is close to the new administration, said the U.S. will declare that an attack on Israel by Tehran would result in a devastating U.S. nuclear response against Iran.

But America’s nuclear guarantee to Israel could also be interpreted as a sign the U.S. believes Iran will eventually acquire nuclear arms.
Secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton had raised the idea of a nuclear guarantee to Israel during her campaign for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency. During a debate with Obama in April, Clinton said that Israel and Arab countries must be given “deterrent backing.” She added, “Iran must know that an attack on Israel will draw a massive response.”

Clinton also proposed that the American nuclear umbrella be extended to other countries in the region, like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, if they agree to relinquish their own nuclear ambitions.

According to the same source, the nuclear guarantee would be backed by a new and improved Israeli anti-ballistic missile system. The Bush administration took the first step by deploying an early-warning radar system in the Negev, which hones the ability to detect Iranian ballistic missiles.

Obama said this week that he would negotiate with Iran and would offer economic incentives for Tehran to relinquish its nuclear program. He warned that if Iran refused the deal, he would act to intensify sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Granting Israel a nuclear guarantee essentially suggests the U.S. is willing to come to terms with a nuclear Iran. For its part, Israel opposes any such development and similar opposition was voiced by officials in the outgoing Bush administration.

“What is the significance of such guarantee when it comes from those who hesitated to deal with a non-nuclear Iran?” asked a senior Israeli security source. “What kind of credibility would this [guarantee have] when Iran is nuclear-capable?”

The same source noted that the fact that there is talk about the possibility of a nuclear Iran undermines efforts to prevent Tehran from acquiring such arms.

A senior Bush administration source said that the proposal for an American nuclear umbrella for Israel was ridiculous and lacked credibility. “Who will convince the citizen in Kansas that the U.S. needs to get mixed up in a nuclear war because Haifa was bombed? And what is the point of an American response, after Israel’s cities are destroyed in an Iranian nuclear strike?”

The current debate is taking place in light of the Military Intelligence assessment that Iran has passed beyond the point of no return, and has mastered the technology of uranium enrichment. The decision to proceed toward the development of nuclear arms is now purely a matter for Iran’s leaders to decide. Intelligence assessments, however, suggest that the Iranians are trying to first accumulate larger quantities of fissile material, and this offers a window of opportunity for a last-ditch diplomatic effort to prevent an Iranian bomb.

Reflections on the Arrogance of Power

Reflections on the Arrogance of Power

News Commentary – December 11, 2008

Dear Radical Reader,

This really is a classic example of chutzpah on the part of the Zionist New Worlders who own The Financial Times. It takes me back many, many years to the time when I first came across Gary Allen’s now famous little treatise on the world banking cartel called, None Dare Call It Conspiracy (Concord Press, 1971). In that small, yet fiercely trenchant 141 page book, Alan used a number of quotes from the late Professor Carroll Quigley’s massive 1300 page tomb, Tragedy and Hope, subtitled: A History of the World in our Time (published in 1966).

Professor Quigley was a highly regarded historian who moved in the upper circles of the then Liberal establishment in the USA and could not, in any sense of the word, be considered a radical. The former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was once a student of Quigley’s.

Quigley knew in intimate detail the workings of the network that he wrote about and had been privy to the private papers and personages of his day who were the “Insiders” and he made no bones about revealing the details of what these power hungry people wanted and how they intended to accomplish their agenda. He did it because he felt even then in the mid-1960s, that this group was so powerful and influential that it didn’t make a difference any longer if the whole world knew about their plans for a one world government, because no one would be able to stop them.

Bearing this in mind as one reads the words of the FT’s Gideon Rachman, it appears to be precisely the same attitude – matter of fact, cold, sinister, ominous and arrogantly threatening.

Seems like Gary Allen and the rest of us “conspiracy theorists” weren’t wrong after all (as if WE needed to know that! :-) ). Enjoy and please pass this along if you can.

Shine your Light for Love & Peace & Justice for All,

Arthur Topham
The Radical Press
Canada’s Radical News Network
“Digging to the root of the issues since 1998”


Financial Times Editorial Admits Agenda For Dictatorial World Government
Paul Joseph Watson – Prison December 9, 2008

The Financial Times, one of the most respected and widely read newspapers on the planet, features an editorial today that openly admits the agenda to create a world government based on anti-democratic principles and concedes that the term “global governance” is merely a euphemism for the move towards a centralized global government.

For years we were called paranoid nutcases for warning about the elite’s plans to centralize global power and destroy American sovereignty. Throughout the 1990’s people who talked about the alarming move towards global government were smeared as right-wing lunatics by popular culture and the media.

Now the agenda is out in the open and in our faces, the debunkers have no more ammunition with which to deride us.

A jaw-dropping editorial written by the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman entitled ‘And now for a world government’ lays out the plan for global government and how it is being pushed with deceptive language and euphemisms in order to prevent people from becoming alarmed.

“For the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible,” writes Rachman, citing the financial crisis, “global warming” and the “global war on terror” as three major pretexts through which it is being introduced.

Rachman writes that “global governance” could be introduced much sooner than many expect and that President elect Barack Obama has already expressed his desire to achieve that goal, making reference to Obama’s circle of advisors which includes Strobe Talbott, who in 1992 stated, “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”

Rachman then concedes that the more abstract term “global governance,” which is often used by top globalists like David Rockefeller as a veil to offset accusations that a centralized global government is the real agenda, is merely a trick of “soothing language” that is used to prevent “people reaching for their rifles in America’s talk-radio heartland”.

“But some European thinkers think that they recognise what is going on,” says Rachman. “Jacques Attali, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, argues that: “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government.” As far as he is concerned, some form of global government cannot come too soon. Mr Attali believes that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law”.

Rachman proceeds to outline what the first steps to an official world government would look like, including the creation of “A legally binding climate-change agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN and the creation of a 50,000-strong UN peacekeeping force”.

“A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations,” writes Rachman. “It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.”

“So, it seems, everything is in place. For the first time since homo sapiens began to doodle on cave walls, there is an argument, an opportunity and a means to make serious steps towards a world government,” concludes Rachman, before acknowledging that the path to global government will be “slow and painful”.

Tellingly, Rachman concedes that “International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic,” citing the continual rejection of EU expansion when the question is put to a vote. “In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters,” writes Rachman.

So there you have it – one of the world’s top newspapers, editorially led by chief economics commentator Martin Wolf, a top Bilderberg luminary, openly proclaiming that not only is world government the agenda, but that world government will only be achieved through dictatorial measures because the majority of the people are dead against it.

Will we still be called paranoid conspiracy theorists for warning that a system of dictatorial world government is being set up, even as one of the world’s most influential newspapers admits to the fact? Or will people finally wake up and accept that there is a globalist agenda to destroy sovereignty, any form of real democracy, and freedom itself in the pursuit of an all-powerful, self-interested, centralized, unrepresentative and dictatorial world government?

Global demand for oil to plummet

[who can buy gas with no money and no jobs?]

Global demand for oil to plummet

Tuesday Dec 9 2008 15:15

Global oil demand will collapse next year and commodities will not return to the highs they reached this summer in the foreseeable future, two authoritative reports said on Tuesday as they forecast a long and painful worldwide recession.

The stark conclusions came as the World Bank‘s chief economist predicted that the world faced “the worst recession since the Great Depression“.

The US energy department said global oil demand will fall this year and next, marking the first two consecutive years’ decline in 30 years.

Interest rate on US T-bills turns negative

Interest rate on US T-bills turns negative

Tuesday Dec 9 2008 18:30

Nervous investors on Tuesday paid for the privilege of owning US government debt, pushing interest rates on three-month Treasury bills to negative levels for the first time in postwar history.

The implied yield for three-month bills briefly traded at negative 0.01 per cent – the first time that has happened since 1940, traders said. At such a level, an investor is essentially paying someone to own the security.

The flight to safety helped the Treasury sell $30bn in four-week bills at a discount rate of zero per cent for the first time. That auction followed the sale of $27bn in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.005 per cent on Monday.

Interest on T-Bills Falls to Zero

Interest on T-Bills Falls to Zero


NEW YORK (Dec. 9) – Investors are so nervous they’re willing to accept the same return from government debt that they’d get from burying money in a coffee can — zero.

The Treasury Department said Tuesday it had sold $30 billion in four-week bills at an interest rate of zero percent, the first time that’s happened since the government began issuing the notes in 2001.

And when investors traded their T-bills with each other, the yield sometimes went negative. That’s how extreme the market anxiety is: Some are willing to give up a little of their money just to park it in a relatively safe place.

“No one wants to run the risk of any accidents,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP, a research company that specializes in government finance.

At last week’s government auction of the four-week bills, the interest rate was a slightly higher but still paltry 0.04 percent. Three-month T-bills auctioned by the government on Monday paid poorly, too — 0.005 percent.

While everyday people can keep their cash in an interest-earning CD or savings account at the bank, institutional investors with hundreds of millions of dollars on their hands often use government debt as part of their investment strategy.

In the Treasury market, the U.S. government, considered the most creditworthy of borrowers, issues IOUs of varying durations to raise money.

The zero percent interest rate is no reason to panic. As recently as Monday, investors were plowing cash into stocks, and averages like the Dow industrials are off their lows.

And long-term government bonds, while near record lows, are still paying decent money considering the tumultuous climate. The yield on a 30-year bond on Tuesday was a little higher than 3 percent.

There’s good news in all this for taxpayers: Low interest rates on government debt mean the United States is financing its $700 billion bailout of the financial system very cheaply. The Treasury has sold mountains of debt to pay for it.

But the trend also underlines stubborn anxiety in the financial market that could keep the economy sluggish for years to come, and it translates into stagnant returns for people who have their money in places like money market funds.

“There’s a price for safety,” said Peter Crane, president of money market mutual fund information company Crane Data LLC. “Down slightly is the new up.”

As the stock market has taken its alarming plunge, people have been moving money from riskier assets to safer ones. According to Crane Data, funds invested purely in Treasurys have surged more than 150 percent over the past year, to $726 billion.

Earning zero percent on an investment for a short while may not seem that dire for the average person. But a zero percent rate has serious consequences for the complex credit markets.

Those markets have been dysfunctional since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bankrupt in September, scaring away investors who normally buy bonds from seemingly creditworthy borrowers. Lending, the lifeblood of the economy, has frozen up.

One corner of the credit markets is the repurchase markets, known as “repo,” where banks and securities firms make and receive short-term loans backed by collateral, usually Treasury bills.

When those T-bills are yielding nothing, there’s little incentive to deliver them on time. If the holder loses the interest, it’s no big deal.

“This is a particular problem in a time like this, because people are buying Treasury securities for their security, for their safety. It’s important that they’re delivered,” Crandall said.

And high demand for government debt rather than corporate debt could stifle economic growth.

Corporate bond rates have been surging to record levels compared with Treasurys, which makes it more expensive for companies to raise money. And when companies can’t raise money, they often have to cut costs, sometimes through layoffs.

Only a few corporate bond deals have been going through lately, and most have been through the government, which has agreed to guarantee financial institutions’ bond sales. American Express Co., for one, said Tuesday it has issued $5.5 billion through the government program.

Many worry that the government will become the most attractive lender and borrower in the market — crowding out others in the private sector.

“Because they have a printing press, they can borrow ever greater quantities,” said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

The 2-year note rose 6/32 to 100 25/32 and its yield fell to 0.85 percent from 0.94 percent late Monday. The 10-year note rose 25/32 to 109 17/32 and its yield fell to 2.65 percent from 2.75 percent. The 30-year bond rose 2 21/32 to 128 5/32 and its yield fell to 3.04 percent from 3.16 percent.

The three-month Treasury bill by late trading yielded 0.03 percent, up marginally from 0.02 percent late Monday. The discount rate was 0.02 percent.

And bank-to-bank lending rates slipped. The London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, for three-month loans in dollars fell nearly 0.03 percentage points to just over 2.16 percent, according to the British Bankers’ Association.

AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger reported from Washington.


By Brother Nathanael Kapner

THE KEY TO NATIONAL POWER & INDEPENDENCE is manufacturing. America’s needs, whether it be food, clothing, habitation, or defense, was once bound up and provided for through its domestic manufacturing base.

As the US Recession deepens and job losses set records, (530,000 jobs were lost in November 2008), the blame must be pointed at the Zionist bankers of the privately-owned Federal Reserve Bank who gouge our money supply with unconstitutional interest rates.

These interest rates, which create continual inflation, prompt manufacturers to outsource & relocate their industries. By 2015, Forrester Research forecasts that as many as 3.3 million more US jobs will be moved to India & China.

The Jewish-occupied garment industry is one of the most globalized industries existing today. In recent years, Jewish-owned American chains such as The Gap, The Limited, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, and Reebok, have been purchasing from sweatshops located in China, East Asia, and Bangladesh. By the year 2000 at the turn of the century, over 60% of America’s clothing needs were exported from overseas.

Regarding industrial outsourcing, Pat Buchanan, author of Day Of Reckoning, wrote that “in 2002, 25 Steel Companies had gone bankrupt and the International Trade Commission had identified dumping as the industry killer.”

BONDAGE TO THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATIONAMERICAN MANUFACTURERS ARE IN BONDAGE to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 1994 – owing to the machinations of President Clinton’s “Kosher Kitchen Cabinet” – Clinton brought America into the WTO where the US is outvoted 15-1 by the European Union. By joining the WTO, Clinton subordinated US law to a foreign entity.

Clinton was in gross violation of the US Constitution which according to Article 1 Section 8 gives Congress the exclusive power to “to lay and collect duties and to regulate commerce with foreign nations.” (So much for our founding fathers’ intent to protect America from foreign interference.)

The World Trade Organization was established in 1994 as the successor organization to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and represents 146 countries in an effort to ‘globalize’ commerce. Many consider the WTO to be the primary mechanism of corporate globalism effecting an economic World Take Over.

In February of 2000, the WTO held that US exporters such as Caterpillar, Ford, General Motors, and Microsoft, all of which were granted by Congress to receive tax benefits, violated WTO rules of ‘free trade’ calling the tax breaks, ‘illegal.’ In 2002, the WTO threatened to impose $4 billion in tariff penalties on US exports if Congress failed to rewrite the tax laws to conform to WTO dictates.

The US Trade Representative, Zionist Jew Robert Zoellick, pressured Congress to repeal the offending parts of the tax laws, saying, “America respects its WTO obligations and will seek to cooperate with the EU in order to resolve this dispute.” In May of 2006, Congress cow-towed to the Zionist agenda, and repealed the tax breaks just prior to an EU deadline.

The Zionist New World Order is gradually deteriorating the American economy. We are now experiencing the Zionist World Take Over of our own manufacturing base. “So Bye Bye Miss American Pie! Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry. Those good ‘ol boys…”

Emergency Storage Food Among Products in Highest Demand

Emergency Storage Food Among Products in

Highest Demand

At the end of 2008, there are three consumer marketplaces that are experiencing record sales volumes—firearms, precious metals, and emergency storage food. Crisis preparedness is increasingly the theme for those seeking a refuge for their money and comfort from their concerns.

Minneapolis (Vocus/PRWEB ) December 6, 2008 – Gun dealers all over the United States are having a hard time keeping any inventory on hand for anxious customers. Reports are that guns and ammunition are selling at levels up to 50% higher than previous records.

25 Mountain House cases
25 Mountain House cases

Anxiety and bearish outlooks abound wherever one cares to look today. There’s precious little a concerned citizen can do in reaction to global forces spinning out of control. But we all do what we can. At Safecastle, we’re particularly happy to give our customers this holiday-season opportunity to become better positioned for what looks like rough times ahead.

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–> The demand for gold has similarly erupted—Q3 of 2008 showed global sales 45% higher than the quarter before, which itself set the previous high-water mark.

Survival gear and emergency food producers are shipping product as fast as they can get it through their facilities and onto the loading docks. Using packaging technologies that deliver shelf lives measured in years and even decades, producers of storage food are experiencing unprecedented demand today for their products.

Victor Rantala, owner of the crisis preparedness company Safecastle LLC, said: “Our business volume this year will triple over last year, and most of this increased activity has come in the last 3-4 months.

“By far, our best seller right now is Mountain House freeze-dried food. It stores for more than 25 years, it’s easy to prepare, and it tastes great. Outdoorsmen and adventurers consider it a preferred staple. Our customers, those who are looking at a future that looks very uncertain, see it as a way to lock in today’s prices and to ensure a level of peace of mind that is hard to otherwise put a value on.”

In response to the overwhelming demand for storage food and strains on customers’ budgets, Safecastle is offering an end-of-the-year sale on Mountain House freeze dried food in cans—which offer the longest shelf life of any storage food on the market. All Mountain House cans are 25% off list and ship for free to the continental U.S.A. The sale is running at the Safecastle Royal Buyers Club from December 6 to December 19.

Said Rantala, “Anxiety and bearish outlooks abound wherever one cares to look today. There’s precious little a concerned citizen can do in reaction to global forces spinning out of control. But we all do what we can. At Safecastle, we’re particularly happy to give our customers this holiday-season opportunity to become better positioned for what looks like rough times ahead.”

Ohio sheriff orders deputies not to evict

Ohio sheriff orders deputies not to evict

December 10, 2008 07:44 EST

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A sheriff in southwest Ohio has ordered deputies to ignore eviction orders when people have nowhere else to live.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says evictions in winter weather and during an economic recession are heartless and those cases should be sent back to the courts and resolved some other way.

Jones on Tuesday ordered deputies to ensure that people have shelter before they’re forced out of their homes. He also sent a letter to Gov. Ted Strickland asking him to issue a state order to stop forced evictions for at least the winter months.

The sheriff could face court action if a bank or landlord challenges his refusal to honor a court-ordered eviction. Jones says he will face any consequences of his order

Trento’s Column: Control Information and You Control the Battlefield, We’re the Battlefield


Trento’s Column: Control Information and You Control the Battlefield, We’re the Battlefield

by Joseph Trento

Dave Barstow’s story on April 20 in The New York Times on how former military officers were being fed information by the Pentagon for their paid television appearances as unbiased analysts is unfortunately the latest example of how governments and intelligence services use propaganda to influence public opinion. In this case, defense contractors and the bloated Pentagon bureaucracy worked together to mislead the American public.


(Photo: The Daily Show)

Brian Williams, who wrote a spirited defense of his friends Wayne Downey and Barry McCaffrey – the generals he used on the air – might try a little less blogging and a little more reporting so he and his colleagues stop being scammed by the Pentagon.

This is not just a matter of a few brown-nosing officers getting the networks on message to placate a White House in desperate straits because of an unwise war. To the bureaucratic overlords at the Pentagon, Bush and his team are merely part of Washington’s passing circus; another will soon come to town and will have to be whipped into shape. Selling the Pentagon has been their job for fifty years.

The brilliant part of the Pentagon partnership with its profit-driven contractors is that they have successfully convinced the American public and Congress that if you don’t fund and support everything we want, then you are unpatriotic. They have accomplished this feat and ingrained it into our consciousness generation after generation despite the fact that one of our greatest generals, Dwight David Eisenhower, actually warned us about them in December 1960. Ike’s speech – the best and most important of his presidency – detailed his fears about the military industrial complex. Now, nearly five decades later, the corporate arms industry has melded with the corporate media. In Brian William’s case, his bosses are one in the same.

Democrats and Republicans have all bought into the game. Contractors responsible for once only building weapons are now training troops, feeding them, vetting them, fighting with them, and even digging the latrines – anything for a profit. Hiring contractors was supposed to save the taxpayers money. Private companies were supposed to perform the duties cheaper and more efficiently. An outrage in 1990 was that the B-1 Bomber cost more than its weight in gold. The outrage now: That would seem like a bargain.

So how did the American public confuse patriotism with commerce? How did we get snookered into believing that a politician or reporter who questions a faulty weapons system or wants to know about contractor fraud is the enemy?

The answer is that military bureaucrats are in partnership with the corporations. There is no “revolving door.” The door is wide open to those who play the game to go and come as they please. Inside the door, they hand out the contracts. Outside the door, they collect the money. They give the media who play the game – just like their “message- force-multiplier” analysts –the illusion of access. They play the patriotism card to scare off aggressive reporters. The public knows no difference.

The Pentagon over the last 40 years has fulfilled all of President Eisenhower’s worst fears. The genius of the corporate partnership with the Pentagon is how they convinced Americans that support for outlandish spending equates with patriotism. The scale of the Pentagon effort is huge.

The National Security News Service has been exposing Pentagon media manipulation since 1990. Providing talking points to retired brass who have big time TV outlets was useful in selling Pentagon tactics and contractors’ weapons, but it is just a tiny part of a propaganda machine that puts Proctor & Gamble to shame.

It is easy to get news reporters and anchors to use former government officials as “experts.” But reaching the larger public who get their information from entertainment is even easier. The Pentagon and other government agencies have Hollywood offices. Slick, expense-accounted officers, cast for their Hollywood roles, meet with producers and writers and pitch them on the virtues of having the Pentagon on their side in film and series production. The dirty little secret, of course, is that in exchange for the big partner providing all the free gear and manpower, the writers and producers just have to sacrifice their creative souls and give the brass in Washington a little thing called “script approval.” In Hollywood, being able to offer up submarines, rockets, and aircraft carriers speaks to a studio’s bottom line. And General Electric –a large defense contractor – has a studio as well as a television network.

The Pentagon’s all time home run was Tom Cruises’ Top Gun. After that giant success for the Navy, admirals and generals got interested in this part of the public relations process. Flack schools and command structures changed. Flag officers were put in charge of public relations. Unfriendly media were targeted and reporters too good at their jobs were blacklisted.

David Barstow’s story demonstrated that it is not just greedy Hollywood types who have sold out for profit. The news executives at the networks called their friends at the Pentagon and received suggestions on who might be good on the air. The Pentagon facilitated networks hiring retirees who could comment effectively on the war. Think about it. Imagine the idea: News executive asking Pentagon PR buddies who they should hire to comment on a war the Pentagon is prosecuting.

The news executives who hired these officers should be banished once and for all to the PR world where they belong. They defend themselves by saying that they were assured that by hiring the high-level military retirees that these commentators had the knowledge and would get the access necessary to give their networks the real scoop in Iraq. Their real motives are that pro war meant higher ratings and the more pro war the network was the higher the year-end bonus. Even the embarrassing cable networks waved the flag to get the ratings. People were promoted for making their networks appear patriotic. Skeptics were quietly let go. In turn, the networks accepted the Pentagon rules. They didn’t go undercover to show the coffins coming home or cover the horrible treatment of veterans or other casualties of war.

The entire operation – the small army of now tarnished ex-Pentagon brass who took their media marching orders from a politically-motivated Pentagon PR machine to sell the Iraq war to willing reporters – has a long and ugly pedigree.

Manipulating the American public and media goes back to the Revolutionary War. The more recent and darker techniques were perfected under Major General Ralph Van Deman before World War I. Later as a retired general in San Diego, Van Deman used to share with favored reporters, politicians, and Hollywood executives his hundreds of thousands of secret files he had illegally collected on Americans. His goal was to ruin careers of suspected journalists, actors, personalities, and just about everyone who disagreed with him. Van Deman was the man behind the infamous “black list.” You see, the media and the entertainment industry have always been afraid of the government. You do not become a television news executive if courage is your strong suit. That went out with Edward R. Murrow.

The nefarious use of the media is not limited to the Pentagon. During the cold war the CIA actually convinced newspaper reporters and network types to work as intelligence agents. In the newspaper world the late James Copley was so generous he put his flagship newspaper in San Diego at the disposal of the Pentagon, the CIA, and FBI. He allowed Copley News Service to provide intelligence cover for the CIA all over Latin America. He was so smitten with the military, he hired an ex-Marine general nicknamed “Brute” Krulak to actually run his beloved San Diego Union.

Copley was not alone. A host of reporters, publishers, and editors all cooperated with the government. Yes, even The New York Times.

By 2002 the government did not need to recruit reporters to cooperate. The Pentagon and White House could easily “spoon feed” reporters information as if it were true, as we all learned with Judy Miller’s fanciful dispatches. The intelligence agencies call these reporters “tamed.”

There will be more to come on military media commentators. There will be stories about how they pushed the interests of their defense contractor bosses on the air. This story is not about mendacity or ego.  This is not about a small group of ex-brass who are attention starved and lap up being saluted by moronic TV anchors. This is not about getting that old feeling of “yes sir” back. This is about former senior officers putting in a good word for a company they are affiliated with to make a buck. The Pentagon gets a contract it may or may not need; the networks fill air time with cheap commentators with whom they feel comfortable; the former military officers get well-paid positions at companies or on their boards and are available to move back into the government whenever necessary to keep the whole process going. All of it courtesy of  the American taxpayers. We are paying to fool ourselves.

If you are a news professional, sometimes you just have to tell your bosses: “No.” Yeah, you might get fired. But that’s journalism. Either you’re pursuing the truth or you’re not.

The military’s latest PR effort is to create the illusion that the Pentagon and its contractors are green. The political head of the Pentagon – the Office of the Secretary of Defense – is letting out contracts not to just let Americans know that the contractors’ killer weapons are a great value, but also that they are environmentally sensitive.

U.S., NATO seek less dependence on supply routes

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khyber_passKHYBER PASS

U.S., NATO seek less dependence on

supply routes

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and NATO, hit by an upswing in attacks on Afghan-bound supply convoys in Pakistan, are stepping up efforts to secure alternative routes amid signs militants have chosen a troubling new tactic in their war with the West.

U.S. defense officials said militant attacks on the main overland supply route through Pakistan, from the seaport of Karachi to the Khyber Pass, had recently grown more frequent and intense, culminating in two daring assaults near the city of Peshawar last weekend.

The attacks, which occur beyond the reach of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, have become more spectacular with the arrival of insurgents driven out of former militant safe havens in the Bajaur region by Pakistan’s army and paramilitary Frontier Corps, U.S. military officials said.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged growing worries about the security of the vital overland route, saying vigorous discussions with Pakistan had been taking place for some time.

“We’re all increasingly concerned. But in that concern, we’ve worked pretty hard to develop options,” the top U.S. military officer told reporters Wednesday.

About 75 percent of the vehicles, parts, weapons, fuel, water and food needed to sustain more than 60,000 Western troops against Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency move through the Khyber Pass and a second overland supply route farther south between Quetta and Kandahar.

NATO and the Pentagon have played down recent attacks, calling their effects insignificant. “They were barely measurable on the graph of what goes into Afghanistan on a daily basis,” NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.

But analysts warn that while the immediate impact has been negligible, convoy attacks constitute a developing threat that could easily become more serious.


“If you look at the growth of Taliban influence, they could extend this type of attack over a much broader area,” said Anthony Cordesman of the Washington-based Center for Security and International Studies.

“And it’s not simply our supply route. They’re attacking the economic lifeline between Kabul and the outside world.”

Military planners have examined a number of options, from building up the southern route into Kandahar to flying supplies to countries north of Afghanistan and trucking them south.

But U.S. planners have placed an emphasis on finding new routes by sea and land, possibly across the Black Sea and Caspian Sea into Afghanistan’s northwest, outside the grasp of Pakistan-based militants.

The objective would not be to abandon the overland routes through Pakistan but to make U.S. and NATO forces less dependent on them by adding routes beyond the reach of insurgents.

A senior U.S. official said NATO had been talking to Afghanistan’s three northern neighbors — Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan — over the past six to 12 months and that fuel was already entering the country from the north.

A NATO official said the negotiations had also included Ukraine and would allow the transit of supplies through Russia.

Russia has had strained relations with the United States and NATO since its August conflict with Georgia. But the NATO official said there had been no interference from Russia.

“On the contrary, they also see an interest in having this done as quickly as possible,” the official said.

In the meantime, U.S. and NATO officials hope for increased security for supply shipments that continue to pass through Khyber. Top military officials in Afghanistan say Pakistan has agreed to double the number of troops assigned to convoy security to two battalions.

U.S. and other governments also have urged the commercial contractors who maintain the convoys to add more private security guards.

“Companies should also take responsibility,” Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Wednesday.

Trento’s column: Obama’s Challenge—The Saudi Princes and Afghanistan

Trento’s column: Obama’s Challenge—The Saudi Princes and Afghanistan

Written by Joseph Trento
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
life magazine cover

JFK took full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs’ failure.

Barack Obama is a very smart man. But smart men have been president-elect before and have been conned by their predecessors. One of the smartest was John F. Kennedy. Like Obama, Kennedy was trying to forge a unity government. He put Republicans in his cabinet (McNamara at Defense, C. Douglas Dillon at Treasury). When he went into a series of meetings with intelligence officials, JFK learned about the nearly completed training and planning for a U.S.-backed invasion of Cuba to overthrow Fidel Castro. Kennedy, who also discussed the issue with President Eisenhower, ultimately convinced himself that Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles’ and CIA Director of Plans Richard Bissell’s CIA invasion plan would work.

When he took office, the new President actually thought the CIA knew what it was doing. But by the spring of 1961, the planned invasion became the fiasco known as the Bay of Pigs, for which Kennedy took full responsibility. He fired Dulles at the CIA and made his brother Bobby his watchdog at the agency. JFK soon discovered that Bobby fell in love with the idea that the CIA could make problems “disappear” through covert action. It took JFK two years and ten months to learn it was all nonsense. By the time he realized the truth, the Agency had botched the overthrow of the South Vietnamese Diem regime. Kennedy decided to close down the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and merge its functions into the Pentagon. Days before he was gunned down, President Kennedy called in Marine General David M. Shoup and asked him to take over the CIA in Kennedy’s second term for the purpose of “… taking it apart board by board and scattering it to the four winds.”

Kennedy never got the chance. If Barack Obama is serious about applying the lessons of history, he needs to pay close attention to what nonsense the policy community is selling these days. One way he might have done that was to recognize that his reappointment of Robert Gates as the Secretary of Defense was hardly charting a new course. Gates has a long and fairly ugly political history. He earned his bones helping the Reagan campaign in a long-forgotten scandal called “Debategate.” Gates worked on Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council at the time Carter’s foreign policy briefing book was secreted to the Republican campaign, thus giving Ronald Reagan a huge advantage. Gates also played a major role in George H. W. Bush’s secret arming of Saddam’s operations in the mid-1980s. Longevity gave Gates a patina of respectability as the distance from the Iran-Contra scandal grew. By the time George W. Bush replaced  “Rummy” with Gates, Americans were all so happy Rumsfeld had been forced out that only a handful of aging journalists remembered Gates’ not-so-secret history.

Barack Obama assures us he will be in charge and will make the decisions. Well let’s see what he does in Pakistan as his generals and Secretary of Defense are secretly pulling a plan together that will pay off elements of the Taliban to essentially stop fighting and cooperating with Al-Qaeda.

Is this change you can believe in?

This effort could easily be Barack Obama’s 2009 version of the Bay of Pigs. The irony, in a thicket of ironies, is that the Saudi royal family and our old friend, Prince Bandar is pushing the idea of “negotiating with the Taliban” to bring peace to Afghanistan. So far, representatives of the Taliban, which now controls 72% of Afghanistan, are not taking the proposal or the United States very seriously.

The news that the withering Bush Administration is considering negotiations with the Taliban is an acknowledgement of the tragic waste of the United States military in pursuing Al-Qaeda. From the dark day we prevented our own forces from going after Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora and farmed out the job to local tribal leaders, our policy has been dictated by the Saudis who funded the 9/11 terrorists. The ugly truth is that our military is fighting two wars under a President who permitted the Saudi royal family to have veto power over our actions against Al-Qaeda. Are we going to compound this terrible mistake by listening to the Saudis and trying to make a peace deal with the same Taliban who stuffed bin Laden’s featherbed in Afghanistan as he trained his forces to kill Americans?

Now, in what is the most poignant and awful turn in the war on terror, General Petraeus wants to transfer the methods his team used in Iraq  (where violence is already on the upswing) to Afghanistan: from paying off Sunni chiefs in Iraq to paying off Taliban chiefs to rat on Al-Qaeda. Out of fairness, this idea did not originate with the General, it originated with the House of Saud, home of the very princes who funded and sent jihadists into America, Iraq, and Afghanistan to murder. This is not the first or only time we have embraced this policy. The Bush Administration looked the other way as the Saudis paid for and sent a steady supply of jihadists to kill Americans in Iraq. Instead of going after our enemies in Saudi Arabia, we decided to pay off Sunni sheiks – before the surge – to create the “the awakening.” Our efforts at segregating Sunni from Shi’a in Iraq tamped down the bombings and violence while negotiations on who would be in the government and how the oil revenue would be divided dragged on. Our policy was to pay sectarians not to kill Americans to buy time for a stronger Iraqi government to take charge. When it became obvious that the Shi’a were not playing ball, the violence began anew.

As we learned from last month’s  triple bombing of a girls’ school, “the awakening” can quickly lapse into the pre-surge pattern of Sunni/Shi’a violence. So the solution in Afghanistan is to give money to Al-Qaeda protectors not to kill us. The more rational approach might be for the new President to go to the House of Saud and say: If you don’t stop funding these murderous thugs, we will do what George Bush originally promised the American people: The United States will destroy anyone who provides material support to Al-Qaeda.

bush-saudi prince

George W. Bush holds hands with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah

Only the Saudis could sell the Bush Administration on the idea of negotiating with the Taliban. The ugly reality is those who harbor terrorists are terrorists. Making a deal with the Taliban, brokered by the Saudis, may put a Band-Aid on the troop-starved U.S. effort in Afghanistan. But such a deal will simply cover a festering wound.  Out of that wound will come more Saudi-paid terrorists. To complicate matters, the Bush Administration has encouraged the Saudis to dispatch jihadists into Lebanon to counter Hezbollah. Our policy is an inconsistent mess, but the one thing that remains consistent is a refusal to recognize that because the Saudis sell us oil we will turn the cheek again and again. At what point do those who pay for killing our soldiers become our enemies?

We have been waiting seven years for George Bush to do what he pledged to do: hunt down bin Laden and his followers. Bush always stopped short because to do the job would expose the Saudi regime for what it is: Thousands of spoiled princes bribing religious extremists to hang on to oil wealth and power.

The path President-elect Obama follows will define his Presidency. What President Obama will face in a few weeks is volatile and complex and requires an understanding that we can no longer exempt the Saudis from their responsibility for funding and encouraging extremists. Writer Gerald Posner’s sources are telling him the Saudis also are funding the recent terrorism in India. If what Posner discovered is verified, one can only hope we have a new President  with the intestinal fortitude to confront the funding of terrorism by the princes of Saudi Arabia.