Groups Call on Attorney General Holder to Appoint Independent Special Prosecutor to Investigate Torture

Groups Call on Attorney General Holder to Appoint Independent Special Prosecutor to Investigate Torture

Press Release from VelvetRevolution.US

Holder Warned that Limited Investigation and Selective Prosecution Would Violate the Law and Further Undermine Credibility of DOJ

Washington, DC: Yesterday, the Disbar Torture Lawyer coalition, consisting of more than 150 NGOs representing over a million members, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on him to appoint a special prosecutor, independent of the Justice Department, to fully investigate the use of torture, and to prosecute all officials and employees who advocated, ordered and committed acts of torture against people held by the United States.

The letter, see below, signed by coalition attorney Kevin Zeese, who is Executive Director of Voters for Peace, carefully analyzed the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), which was signed by President Reagan, to underscore that Mr. Holder has no discretion to ignore its mandates. CAT is written in mandatory language, and it requires the investigation of all acts or torture and the prosecution of all those who conspired to and did commit torture.

The media has reported that Mr. Holder is reluctant to prosecute torturers because most of them were “following orders.” The letter to holder points out that CAT specifically prohibits reliance on extraordinary circumstances or the orders of superiors as justifications of torture. CAT provides no discretion, if torture occurred countries must investigate and prosecute those responsible.

“Selective prosecution of low-level officials who conducted some acts of torture, while ignoring those who created the policy and facilitated torture would violate the law,” noted Zeese. “Every history student knows from the Nuremberg trials that there is no ‘I was just following orders’ defense allowed for war crimes, yet this is the precise argument now being used to argue against the prosecution for the war crime of torture. Mr. Holder took an oath to uphold the law, and repeatedly promised to remain above politics and restore the integrity of the DOJ. He can accomplish these by appointing a special prosecutor to follow the evidence where it leads without restriction. The Rule of Law applies to all Americans, no matter what office they hold.”

The letter concludes: “You can restore our moral high ground and the Department of Justice’s reputation as an agency that follows the law by appointing a special prosecutor, independent of the Department of Justice, with the very clear mandate – investigate the facts and apply the rule of law wherever it leads – as required by the Convention Against Torture.”

The letter warns that a limited investigation that selectively prosecuted only some of those involved in torture, and excluded those who developed the torture policy, would violate the law and would likely to lead to litigation.

* * *

August 10, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Re: The Convention Against Torture Requires the Investigation and Prosecution of Torture by an Independent Prosecutor Mandated to Investigate the Facts and Apply the Law. Selective Prosecution of Some Instances of Torture, or Limiting Prosecution to Low Level Officials, Will Not Satisfy the Requirements of the Convention Against Torture or Other Laws Proscribing Torture.

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

I am writing as the attorney for the Disbar Torture Lawyers Campaign, a coalition of more than 150 organizations representing over a million members, in order to request that you appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate all aspects of the torture issue, and to then follow where the evidence leads. We are concerned, based on various media reports quoting anonymous sources in your office, that you will soon announce a very narrow probe focusing limited instances of torture rather than the full investigation required by law. If the Department of Justice is going to restore its credibility and America’s reputation as a nation of laws, then it must even handedly apply the rule of law, especially in tough situations such as torture.

Our coalition has been involved with this issue for some time, and we recently filed disciplinary complaints against 15 lawyers who were instrumental in formulating and advocating the use of torture, including all those who prepared the now rescinded OLC memos. The critical law proscribing torture, which the United States must follow, is the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), adopted by the United States and signed by President Ronald Reagan. CAT is written in mandatory language in order ensure that prosecutorial discretion does not come into play when dealing with state sponsored torture. I have attached a copy of CAT and highlight key portions in this letter.

In the Preamble, CAT notes that that it was enacted to “make more effective the struggle against torture..” Article 1 defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” Emphasis added. Because torture under CAT requires “instigation, consent, or acquiescence” of a government official, the selective prosecution of a few government employees who followed orders, while giving immunity for government officials who gave those orders, would undermine our bedrock rule of law that it applies equally, no matter what position a person holds.

Article 2(2) lays out our position in very clear terms: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” [Emphasis added.] In the case of torture by the United States, it has been said by various officials from both parties that, in light of the shock of 9/11, extreme means were necessary and that officials “were scared” and had to act to stop additional attacks. But CAT specifically prohibits such justifications.

Article 2(3) underscores our position: “An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” The media is reporting that you do not intend to investigate and prosecute the public officials who created the torture policy of the previous administration, and that you do not intend to investigate or prosecute those who followed the OLC memoranda because they were complying with legal opinions and orders issued by the DOJ. But this type of justification is precisely what the CAT forbids. Indeed, the DOJ involvement with justifying torture is one reason why it is critical that the prosecutor be a special prosecutor independent of the DOJ. If legal memoranda could be used to change the definition of torture – which is quite clear under CAT – and justify torture, then the Convention would be meaningless because a government that wanted to use torture would merely have their legal officials provide memoranda to allow it.

Moreover, the “I was just following orders” defense, made famous in the Nuremberg trials after World War II, has been rejected for decades. Nuremberg Principle IV states: “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.” This “defense of superior orders” is not a defense for war crimes, although it might influence a sentencing authority to lessen the penalty.

Article 4(1) states: “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.” The United States has complied with this by enacting a criminal statute prohibiting torture under 18 USC 2340. This is clearly an enabling statute that cannot be ignored. Moreover, in order to comply with Article 4(2) to prohibit “complicity” to torture, the Patriot Act, passed during the same time period as much of the torture of detainees, added this language to Section 2340 under subsection (c): “Conspiracy.- A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.” Clearly, those who conspired to torture, such as those who used their official position to justify and order it, cannot be excused from the dictates of CAT Article 4 or Section 2340.

Article 5 requires the establishment of jurisdiction over persons covered under Article 4, including citizens of that country, and in cases where the persons are not extradited to face prosecution for torture in another country under Article 8. Clearly, this gives you jurisdiction to prosecute American citizens who committed torture and places the burden on you to do so unless you intend to rely on Article 8 to extradite Americans who may be indicted for torture by a foreign State Party.

Article 6 requires, “after an examination of information available,” that a person who committed torture be taken “into custody” and then that “a preliminary inquiry into the facts” be immediately undertaken. There have been vast amounts of information released, leaked and uncovered, which document who ordered and who committed torture. No doubt an independent investigation would find more evidence of who was responsible for committing these crimes. In our ethics complaints, we included over 600 pages of exhibits, including both the Senate and Red Cross detainee treatment reports and many of OLC memos. See www.DisbarTortureLawyers.com for copies of all exhibits filed. Clearly, this and your own internal “examination of information available” require that you take the known torturers into custody and conduct a more thorough investigation.

Article 7 requires a State Party, unless it extradites a torturer to another country for prosecution, “to submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.” Again, this is not discretionary. In order to follow the law you must investigate and prosecute all those involved with torture and not selectively prosecute certain low level officials involved in only some acts of torture. In the case of American torturers, despite the widespread torture of hundreds of individuals, including at least 98 deaths, not a single case has been submitted for prosecution, “Command’s Responsibility: Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan” by Hina Shamsi and Edited by Deborah Pearlstein, Human Rights First, February 2006 http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/etn/dic/exec-sum.asp.

Article 8 states that torture is a required extraditable offense between State Parties. It may be that you do not intend to prosecute American citizens for torture in the United

States because a foreign State Party has notified you of an impending indictment and you intend to extradite those indicted. If that is the case, please confirm that in writing. It has been widely reported that other countries are well on their way to initiating torture charges against Americans.

Article 9 requires each State Party to assist each other in connection with torture prosecutions, “including the supply of all evidence at their disposal necessary to carry out the proceedings.” The United States must therefore, once notified, provide all torture evidence in its possession to foreign State Parties working on torture prosecutions.

Articles 10 requires the education about the rules against torture of all persons involved with detainees, and Article 11 requires the review of all interrogation and custody rules for detainees “with a view to preventing any cases of torture.” This is another powerful reason why the “I was just following orders” defense cannot be used to provide immunity to people who committed torture and why officials who created the torture policy must also be investigated and prosecuted.

Article 12 provides the strongest language for the appointment of a special prosecutor: “Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and

impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.” Clearly, in the case of torture by American citizens, there is indisputable evidence in various official reports and news articles to require an impartial investigation by a special prosecutor.

Article 13 requires a State Party to investigate all complaints of torture made by persons who have been tortured. Clearly, your office has received many complaints about torture either directly, such as in the case of Jose Padilla, or through proxies such as attorneys representing Guantanamo prisoners, the Red Cross, ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, and Amnesty International. Because victims have complained, you must appoint a special prosecutor with broad authority to investigate all acts of torture.

Mr. Attorney General, you have repeatedly stated, in your confirmation hearings and in public statements, that your Department of Justice “will follow the law.” That law, as specified by CAT, outlined above, not only prohibits the use of torture, but requires the investigation and prosecution of those who committed or conspired to commit torture. Applying the rule of law evenly is a key component of our American jurisprudence, and that is why the scales of justice should not be weighted in favor of those who hold positions of power. Our nation suffered a grievous blow to her reputation and moral standing when the previous administration intentionally violated the law by advocating and instituting wholesale torture of detainees. You can restore our moral high ground and the Department of Justice’s reputation as an agency that follows the law by appointing a special prosecutor, independent of the Department of Justice, with the very clear mandate – investigate the facts and apply the rule of law wherever it leads – as required by the Convention Against Torture.

American citizens who ordered and committed acts of torture should be prosecuted in the United States where they will be given the full panoply of legal protections under our Constitution. At trial, they should be allowed to present any defense under the law, and they should be able to argue whatever mitigating factors are applicable during sentencing. They should also be allowed to ask for a pardon or commutation from the President after conviction. However, they should not be granted immunity from prosecution, tantamount to amnesty, in advance of a complete criminal investigation.

Failure to hold those accountable for torture will have numerous repercussions. We believe that anything less than a full torture investigation mandated by your office will result in indictment of American citizens by other CAT State Parties, which will then require you to extradite those citizens and provide evidence against them. It is also likely to result in litigation requesting that the federal court compel your office to comply with your duty to follow the dictates of CAT. We also believe that the failure to prosecute will embolden other Party States and non-party states to ignore international treaties and laws protecting Americans, resulting in future atrocities against our own citizens. Failure to prosecute will also create a de facto exception for future administrations that may decide that torture, or any other atrocity, should be U.S. policy.

In closing, we strongly urge you to quickly appoint a special prosecutor, independent of the DOJ, to investigate and prosecute torture wherever the facts lead, as required by CAT. If I can be of assistance in your investigations, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Kevin B. Zeese
Attorney

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Progress in Central Asia

Priority projects of the Kyrgyz Railway Company

BY MARIA LEVINA

TCA CORRESPONDENT

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan is helping in the construction of the Chinese-Kyrgyz-Uzbek railway, said General Director of the Kyrgyz Temir Jolu (Kyrgyz Railway) National Company, Asan Rysmendiev, during celebrations of the 85th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Railways.

Construction of the Chinese-Kyrgyz-Uzbek railway is expected to be hugely beneficial to the Kyrgyz economy. The project will create a southern corridor in the Eurasian transcontinental railway, connecting Kyrgyzstan with ports in both the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf .

“The new railroad will help these Central Asian countries to integrate into the global transportation infrastructure, and establish new trade and economic ties with the outside world. Moreover, the railroad will help to intensively develop regions adjacent to it,” said Rysmendiev.

At 268.4 km , the Chinese-Kyrgyz-Uzbek railway will travel from the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang, northwest China, to the Kyrgyz-Chinese border, subsequently passing through the Torugart pass, the Tuzbel pass, the Arpa valley, the Fergana Ridge and the town of Kara-Suu, eventually connecting with Uzbekistan’s railway network.

In 2002, China and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement to study how feasible the Kyrgyz section of railway would be. According to the agreement, China provided 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) worth of financial aid to this study.

Electrification of the railway

Among the project’s priorities is the electrification of the Bishkek-Lugovaya section of the railway. The company is unable to achieve this without investors’ assistance. In order to attract foreign investment, Kyrgyz Temir Jolu is negotiating with the Asian Development Bank and Chinese investors.

Despite being relatively small ( 154 km ), Bishkek-Lugovaya section is a major artery connecting Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan and Russia .

The company is planning to replace diesel locomotives with electric ones, bringing with it numerous advantages to both the company and to its passengers. Travels should be smoother and more comfortable. Trains will increase their speed from the current 60 km/h to 100- 120 km/h . Those living in the Chui oblast will be able to commute to Bishkek, thus reducing (it is hoped) the Chui oblast’s relatively high rate of migration.

Development programs

Kyrgyz Temir Jolu, which employs approximately five thousand people, has refrained from any of the more drastic actions that other companies have resorted in relation to the global economic crisis, said Asan Rysmendiev. The company did not fire its workers but did temporarily move to a four-day working week: “Now the situation has stabilized and we have returned to business as usual,” said Rysmendiev.

Developing the railway has not been easy. Employees of the company recall the days when Kyrgyz Temir Jolu could neither properly maintain its rolling stock and railway equipment, nor pay wages on time.  In a relatively short time, however, the enterprise has successfully undertaken a number of large-scale development programs.

In recent years, the company has become one of the most promising enterprises in the country. According to the General Director, the company’s earnings have increased by more than three times since 2005, and the average monthly salary has doubled.

Without outside help, the company overhauls and reconditions passenger cars, increasing their life by another 10-15 years. Over the past five years, 53 rail cars have been put into operation, said Rysmendiev.  Temir Jolu specialists use similar methods of Russian car-mechanics and use modern inspection and maintenance facilities.

Russian partners support the company. They leased the company six locomotives and 60 passenger cars, said Rysmendiev.

Passenger service

The company is always keen to improve the quality of service. Cashier’s offices for ticket sales are located in almost every region of the country. The offices are equipped with an automated system that allows passengers to buy tickets to any CIS and Baltic country.

Their service is expanding to Russia , the press service of Kyrgyz Temir Jolu said. Since June 25 2009, the Bishkek-Sverdlovsk service runs three times a week. In mid-June, the direct service between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan reopened, having not worked for the past eleven years. The Tashkent-Balykchy ( Issyk-Kul ) route will develop both economic and cultural relations between the two countries.

Pumping up regional security

Pumping up regional security

By Charles van der Leeuw

special to TCA

ALMATY – A petty war of words has prevailed following the agreement between Kyrgyzstan and Russia to open a second Russian military facility within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), (which includes Russia , Kyrgyzstan , Kazakhstan , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , Belarus and Armenia ). Failure to ensure preliminary consent from neighboring Uzbekistan, with the new base’s future location being close to the Uzbek border and situated in an area where ethnic Uzbeks form a narrow majority of the population, has most likely been no more than a diplomatic slip-up. But suggestions that this will drive Uzbekistan into the arms of the Pentagon are absurd.

The Taliban and their likes will never trigger anything but resistance in the CIS, where the preference for secular states largely prevails. This not to say, however, that America ’s crusade against the Taliban has not fostered a Yankee-go-home sentiment among Central Asia ‘s communities. Since the murder of a Kyrgyz driver by an American soldier at the US military air base near Bishkek, after which the gunman was swiftly removed from the scene, the USA has lost much of the region’s sympathy despite its crackdown attempts on the spectre of Afghanistan ‘s Taliban.

The Kremlin for one has substantially more ammunition to impose itself on Central Asia than just momentary mishaps. Truth be told, America and its NATO allies have been less than successful in getting the Taliban on its knees (Soviet war veterans could well smile and say: we told you so…). By contrast, Russia ‘s armed forces have taught the northern Caucasus a lesson they are unlikely to forget. Of course, neutralizing Chechen die-hards and their mercenaries from the Middle East means human rights abuse in the eyes of Washington ‘s stage directors; anyone who points a weapon at an American soldier is automatically a terrorist.

The tragic side of this bitter comedy is that an overwhelming majority of Russia ’s population simply does not see things that way – and Central Asia ‘s public tends to agree. Today, the northern Caucasus is a lot safer for travelers than Afghanistan ever was, or will be likely to become in the foreseeable future. The most curious detail of that story is that the northwestern parts of Afghanistan, dominated by ethnic Uzbeks, Tajiks and Kyrgyz (and controlled by local warlords, also in charge of the production and sales of the hashish), is the only part of Afghanistan that has remained aloof throughout the worst period of Taliban terror in the rest of the country and even today is the only area where one would remotely think of traveling. They form a buffer between the current Afghan war-zone and Central Asia ‘s ex-Soviet states.

There is no disagreement between CIS governments and the Kremlin concerning this aspect of geopolitics. Tashkent ‘s protest against the recent agreement signed between Moscow and Bishkek is more of protocol than anything else. It is only natural that within a multilateral treaty organization – however inert it may be – bilateral deals that bypass other members are seen as impolite. Those who feel bypassed have every right to say so and demand a procedure correction. Sideliners who sum it up with such rhetoric as the “New Great Game” fail to take into account the complexities of the situation.

Memories can dim: during the USSR ‘s invasion of Afghanistan , Tashkent served as its main strategic hub, enthusiastically supported by a population fearing for its compatriots across the Afghan border. The only feasible argument is that Uzbekistan desires to control water and energy resources in the region, most of which are located on Kyrgyz and Tajik territory. But then, stable supplies of natural gas, cheap hydroelectric power and inexpensive irrigation water are in the interest of all parties in the region. The only ones having trouble becoming aware of it are Western politicians. It would be surprising if this non-affair did not blow over very soon.

Car Bomb In Front of NATO Headquarters in Afghan Capital

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Ambulances and police rushed to the scene of the attack

A suicide car bomb has exploded outside the Nato headquarters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing up to seven people, the defence ministry says.

The presidential palace and several embassies are also located in the area.

The attack comes ahead of presidential and provincial elections due on Thursday which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt.

The BBC’s Martin Patience says a group affiliated to the Taliban is likely to be responsible for the attack.

‘People lying there’

Initial reports said three people, all Afghan civilians, had been killed and 70 people injured.

Afghan defence ministry issued a statement later saying that it believed seven people had been killed.

The blast hit the heavily fortified area of the city at about 0830 local time on Saturday morning.

Ian Pannell
Ian Pannell, BBC News, Kabul
This is one of the most heavily guarded streets in Kabul. You have to go past huge concrete blast walls. There are men with guns almost everywhere, Afghan forces, international forces. There are barriers and chicanes. It is not an easy area to get into.

Security sources are telling us there isn’t enough co-ordination between the different security agencies, the Afghan security forces, the police, the special forces and the international forces and that has created a real sense that they are not on top of the security situation.

It is very surprising the attackers were able to get into this area. Normally you have to show a pass, the car is looked at, the passengers are questioned. But it seems they were able to get past the first checkpoints and approach the Nato headquarters where the bomb exploded.

“It was a suicide bombing carried out in a car right in front of Isaf (the Nato-led peacekeeping force)”, Afghan defence ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said, speaking from the scene.

Sirens blared as police and ambulances rushed to the area which was sealed off by international forces.

“As I was walking into the Nato compound I heard a loud explosion and fell to the ground,” one man, Ahmad, told the BBC.

“People were screaming and I saw flames from the headquarters. We all left the area, as we were worried there might be a second bomb.”

One of the injured was the female MP Hawa Alam Nuristani, who is also working for President Hamid Karzai’s election campaign.

Some of those taken to hospital have been undergoing surgery to treat severe wounds.

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Kabul says there will be real concern that there will be more attacks in the city in coming days.

He says that attacks inside the capital are relatively rare but have tended to be big ones.

The last major attack on the capital was in February when several gunmen, some wearing suicide vests, attacked the Ministry of Justice.

In July, 2008, a massive car bomb killed more than 50 Afghans and two diplomats outside the Indian embassy.

These two attacks were believed to have been carried out by a group called the Haqqani network, our correspondent says.

It is named after the veteran Afghan militant Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is based in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. He is an old man now and the group is led by his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Spy-vs-Spy In Lockerbie

Spy vs Spy

[This is an extremely long complex expose’ of the Lockerbie bombing case that should be read by every student of the Iran/Contra conspirators, or any conscientious “conspiracy theorist.”  Aangirfan reveals another rift within the military/intelligence community that erupted into open violence, with one agency goon squad attacking another, resulting in the loss of 290 lives.]

Lockerbie links to Franklin, Dutroux, Mossad, McKee


The Lockerbie bomb has links to:

1. Mossad

2. Iran-Contra

3. The Dutroux and Franklin child abuse scandals

4. Major Charles McKee.

According to a BBC report (BBC News Lockerbie: Conspiracy theories):

A Pan Am investigation is believed to have concluded that the Lockerbie bomb was targeted specifically to kill a small band of US Defence Intelligence Agency operatives (including Major Charles McKee) who had uncovered a drugs ring run by a CIA unit in Lebanon.

The drugs-ring is said to have been set up by Israeli Mossad agents.

Reportedly, the drugs ring involved ‘CIA-asset’ Monzer al-Kassar, a Syrian with links to the brother of Syria’s President Assad.

Reportedly Monzer al-Kassar was involved with Lt-Colonel Oliver North, of Iran-Contra fame.

According to the site ISGP.:

“The CIA and its allies allowed the Contras to ship huge amounts of cocaine into the United States and sell it to mafia families in New York, Los Angeles, Texas, Miami, and a number of other places.

“The proceeds of these sales allowed the Contras to buy (third-rate) arms and other supplies from the United States…

“The Israelis played a major role in the whole Iran-Contra affair.

“They were used as an intermediary to sell the arms to Iran.

“They also supported the United States in training the Contras, and apparently also in shipping the drugs and assassinating those who tried to expose these schemes…”

Paul Vanden Boeynants (left) Child abuse, fascist networks and Bilderberg.

Certain people called Boas, Mathot, Vanden Boeynants and Beaurir reportedly had their names linked to the Dutroux child abuse scandal in Belgium, and to Iran-Contra.

According to a book on the Franklin Affair, “A former security guard for (Larry) King has sworn that he saw (Oliver) North attend at least one of King’s parties, a party at which children were also present.”

“Incredibly, not only have the Belgians that were involved in Iran Contra been accused of child abuse (Boas, Mathot, Vanden Boeynants and Beaurir), but North and his employer, vice president and later president George Bush, were uncomfortably close to the Franklin child abuse affair in the United States.

“Both were mentioned by witnesses as having attended the parties of alleged child abuser, Satanist, Contra supporter, money launderer and drug dealer Lawrence E. ‘Larry’ King.”


TIME magazine, 27 April 1992, tells us more about Major Charles McKee (Pan Am 103 Why Did They Die? – TIME)

According to Time Magazine, Charles McKee’s mother suspects that it was a government action that indirectly led to her only son’s death.

Beulah McKee is quoted as saying: “For three years, I’ve had a feeling that if Chuck hadn’t been on that plane, it wouldn’t have been bombed… I’ve never been satisfied at all by what the people in Washington told me.”

In Beirut, McKee was a military attache assigned to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

An investigation by Time disclosed that:

According to “an FBI field report from Germany”, the bomb probably went onto the plane in Frankfurt, not in Malta.

The flight may have been targeted “because on board was an intelligence team led by Charles McKee.”

Pan Am’s lawyers hired Interfor, a New York firm run by Juval Aviv.
Al Kassar

The central figure in the Interfor investigation is Syrian arms and drug trafficker, Monzer al-Kassar.

Kassar “was part of the covert network run by U.S. Lieut. Colonel Oliver North.”

A CIA unit code-named COREA, based in Wiesbaden, Germany “was reported to be trafficking in drugs and arms…”

According to Aviv, “agents in COREA’s Wiesbaden headquarters allowed al- Kassar to continue running his smuggling routes to American cities…”

It is assumed that Al-Kassar “wouldn’t want anything to disrupt his profitable CIA-assisted drug and arms business.”

Reportedly, Al-Kassar figured out that Pan Am Flight 103 was a target and “notified the COREA unit.”

In Frankfurt, a polygraphist administered lie-detector tests to Pan Am baggage handlers Kilin Caslan Tuzcu and Roland O’Neill.

Pan Am believes that they were the only ones who were in a position to place the bomb-laden bag aboard Flight 103.

The polygraphist testified thatTuzcu “was not truthful when he said he did not switch the suitcases.”

The polygraphist also told the grand jury, “It is my opinion that Roland O’Neill wasn’t truthful when he stated he did not see the suitcase being switched, and when he stated that he did not know what was in the switched suitcase.”

Coleman

In 1987, Lester Coleman, an undercover Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) operative, was transferred from Lebanon to Cyprus, where he began work for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

In Nicosia, Coleman saw CIA (COREA) shipments of heroin “grow into a torrent”.

The drugs couriers with their heroin arrived by ferry from the Lebanon.

The drugs couriers then received their travel orders from the DEA.

The couriers “were escorted to the Larnaca airport by the Cypriot national police and sent on their way to Frankfurt and other European transit points”.

Coleman says the DEA paid him with unsigned Visa traveler’s checks issued by B.C.C.I. in Luxembourg.

Coleman says that informant Ibrahim el-Jorr told him that that in Frankfurt airport suitcases containing heroin were put on flights to the U.S. by agents or other sources working in the baggage area.

Reportedly, Germany’s BKA federal police was involved in the plot, as was the UK Customs and Excise service.

Coleman became a witness for Pan Am.

Informants had told Coleman that al-Kassar and the Syrian President’s brother Rifaat Assad were taking over drug production in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, under protection of the Syrian army.

Coleman says he learned that the main European transfer point for their heroin shipments was the Frankfurt airport.

Charles McKee’s team in Beirut got wind of Al-Kassar’s CIA connection.

The team was outraged that the COREA unit in Wiesbaden was doing business with a Syrian who had terrorist connections.

A key member of the team was Matthew Gannon, 34, the CIA’s deputy station chief in Beirut.

McKee and Gannon expressed their anger about al-Kassar to the CIA HQ in Langley in the USA, but they got no response.

Gannon’s father-in-law Thomas Twetten was then chief of Middle East operations based in Langley. He was also Oliver North’s CIA contact.

McKee, Gannon and three other members of the team decided to fly back to CIA HQ and expose the COREA unit’s secret deal with al- Kassar.

They booked seats on Pan Am 103.

In his book, Lockerbie: The Tragedy of Flight 103, Scottish radio reporter David Johnston described how CIA agents helicoptered into Lockerbie shortly after the crash. They were looking for McKee’s suitcase.

“Having found part of their quarry,” Johnston wrote, “the CIA had no intention of following the exacting rules of evidence employed by the Scottish police. They took the suitcase and its contents into the chopper and flew with it to an unknown destination.”

Several days later the empty suitcase was returned to the same spot, where Johnston reported that it was “found” by two British Transport Police officers, “who in their ignorance were quite happy to sign statements about the case’s discovery.”

M. Gene Wheaton, a retired U.S. military-intelligence officer, said: “A couple of my old black ops buddies in the Pentagon believe the Pan Am bombers were gunning for McKee’s … team.”

Victor Marchetti, former executive assistant to the CIA’s deputy director, and co-author of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, said of the plot against PanAm 103: “The Mossad knew about it and didn’t give proper warning.”

Pan Am 103 Why Did They Die? – TIME

Posted by Anon at 7:25 PM 0 comments

LOCKERBIE DISASTER


Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, has applied to abandon his second appeal against his conviction, his lawyers said on 14 August 2009.

(BBC NEWS UK Scotland Lockerbie bomber withdraws appeal)

South of Scotland SNP MSP Christine Grahame said:

“I know from the lengthy discussions I had with him that he was desperate to clear his name, so I believe that the decision is not entirely his own.

“There are a number of vested interests who have been deeply opposed to this appeal continuing as they know it would go a considerable way towards exposing the truth behind Lockerbie.

“Some serious scrutiny will be required to determine exactly why Mr Megrahi is now dropping his appeal and examination of what pressure he has come under.

“In the next days, weeks and months new information will be placed in the public domain that will make it clear that Mr Megrahi had nothing to do with the bombing of Pan Am 103.”


Robert Gates, (Lockerbie, October Surprise, Iran-Contra)

A. According to The Herald, 19 February 2009, the Crown is fighting to keep 48 pieces of Lockerbie trial evidence secret

“Prosecutors are trying to keep secret 48 pieces of evidence relating to the Lockerbie trial, including a secret fax that could discredit a key Crown witness.

“Lawyers for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 bombing, yesterday began a challenge over material they believe will free their terminally ill client.

“But the Crown Office and the UK Advocate General are fighting against disclosure.”

B. Lockerbie witness ‘put up for reward’

Tony Gauci was a key Lockerbie witness.

According to The Herald, on 20 February 2009, previously undisclosed documents show that Scottish police recommended to US authorities that both the main witness in the Lockerbie trial (Gauci) and his brother should be paid up to $3m.

In 1988, the FBI’s Robert Mueller (above) supervised the Lockerbie Bombing investigation.

“He successfully kept the CIA’s connection to the bombing from becoming public.

“The CIA and FBI took control of the crash scene for the first day (keeping Scottish police at bay), searching through and removing numerous pieces of evidence and luggage from the wreckage to obscure the connections of the bombing to the CIA special team that was on board the aircraft.

“One CIA defector has said that the team had been returning to the states against orders to blow the whistle on CIA drug and terrorist connections in the Middle East.” – FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ·

Edward Bollier of MEBO

In the Lockerbie Bombing (PanAm 103) case, it appears that the CIA and its friends arranged to have a ‘timer’ stolen from the Swiss firm of MEBO.

It appears that the security services then pretended that this ‘timer’ was the one used in the Lockerbie Bombing.

The Herald letters column, 23 August 2008, has a letter about the PanAm 103 – Lockerbie Bombing entitled High Court decision rapid and welcome

The author of the letter writes:

“Probably the most crucial item of physical evidence, namely the timer fragment PT35B, was not even tested for explosive residues.

Some of the comments on the Herald website are as follows:

Posted by: Edwin & Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO, Zurich

“MEBO LTD and myself have obviously been misused by the Scottish Justice and Lord Advocate Colin Boyd to construct a wrong link from Lockerbie to Libya… More news on our webpage: http://www.lockerbie.ch/… (Homepage www.mebocom-defilee.ch & www.lockerbie.ch)

“Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. give the Crown, Lord Advocate General and the Appeal Court, the full warranty that the manipulated MST-13 timer fragment (PT-35B) does not come from a timer supplied to Libya and therefore cannot be brought in connection with Libya…

Libya did pay the compensation under explicit objection that Libya had absolutely nothing to do with the PanAm 103 Lockerbie-Tragedy and could therefore not be made responsible. In the world media this objection is never mentioned.

“This tricky suppression of the whole statement by the world’s leading news agencies leads to the generally accepted but nevertheless totally wrong notion: If they paid, they did it.

Why Libya pays?: > Regain full diplomatic and economic status. This would allow oil companies to negotiate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of contracts, to drill the state’s oilfields.

“US President Bush signed on August 4, 2008 into law: S.3370, the ‘Libyan Claims Resolution Act.’ The bill that grants Libyan immunity law and full diplomatic and economic status.”

Lockerbie from commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Lockerbie.jpg

Posted by: Mark Boyle, Johnstone

“Jeez Edwin & Mahnaz Bollier, you’ll find few in Scotland that don’t know that al Megrahi was just the fall guy (the main reason for the Yanks wanting him jailed was his expertise as Libya’s No 1 sanction buster via Malta).”

Posted by: Peter Biddulph, Worcestershire, England

“Few folks will be aware of two important background features of the Lockerbie investigation and trial. Both are verified by historical and declassified documents and available for easy reference.

“1. The forensic scientist who claimed to be the first to find the famous bomb fragment was, a year after finding it, revealed by a Parliamentary investigation by Sir John May to be a co-conspirator with two colleagues in the with-holding of evidence in the trial of the alleged IRA Maguire Seven.

“The Maguires were released on appeal.

“This aspect was under-investigated by the Lockerbie trial defence, and ignored by the judges in the Lockerbie judgment.

“2. The career of the American agent in overall charge of the investigation includes several years involvement with the murderous Nicaraguan campaign, working alongside Colonel Oliver North in the Iran-Contra affair of the mid-eighties, and the covert arming of the Afghanistan Mujahadeen in the late eighties.

“The man was not called to give evidence at the Lockerbie trial.

“In an on-camera interview, he admitted that his name was on the original list of witnesses, but he presumed that the US authorities had removed it.

“We shall have to wait and see whether these two aspects will fully emerge during a second appeal.

Timer device

Two years after the Lockerbie bomb, investigators allegedly found a fragment of a timer device.

It has been alleged that the evidence concerning the timer fragment was fabricated by the CIA and its friends in order to implicate Libya in the bombing.

In the summer of 2007, a report from Darik Radio DARIK News revealed a confession:

“Ulrich Lumpert, a Swiss electronic engineer and former employee at the Zurich-based MEBO Ltd Telecommunication, has admitted that he stole from the company a hand manufactured MST-13 Timer PC-Board that was later used as evidence against the defendant, Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi.

Lumpert says: “I realized that the MST-13 PC-board, after it was handed over by me without permission was misused for deliberate politically criminal ‘action’.” – Lockerbie Bombing Trial Faces U-Turn after Perjury Confession

Thomas Thurman

On 19 February 2006, The Mail on Sunday reported that new forensic tests have been carried out by the lawyers representing Al Megrahi, the Libyan jailed in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.

Defence experts simulated the Lockerbie explosion. The results showed that the device which detonated the bomb could not have survived the explosion.

According to The Mail on Sunday: “Sources close to Megrahi’s lawyers said the new tests pointed to the evidence having been planted at the scene of the crash…

“The source added that Megrahi’s legal team claimed they had obtained ‘clear proof’ that investigators had ‘planted and manipulated’ evidence…

“He said… if there is any justice in Scotland… certain Scottish police officers will be jailed for their part in the proceedings…

“Megrahi’s lawyers already have a sworn statement from a retired Scottish police officer confirming that evidence had been planted to secure the Libyan’s conviction.

“A similar claim was made by a former CIA agent…

“The ex-CIA man (claimed) that the fragment of circuit board had been planted under orders from a very high level in the organisation…

“The fragment was found by two policeman during a search of a wood near Newcastleton, 35 miles from Lockerbie.

“It was later identified by the CIA’s Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device made by the Swiss firm of Mebo.

“Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials…”

Orr

Who were the people involved in the Lockerbie investigation and trial?
John Orr, joint head of CID in Strathclyde police, was the chief investigating officer in the Lockerbie case. Sir John Orr got promoted to Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police (1995 to 2001). (The Herald : News: OTHER NEWS)
‘The Golfer’ is the former Scottish police chief who has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated. ‘The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.’ (Scotsman.com News – Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked)

Two state prosecutors from the US Department of Justice played an important role in the Lockerbie trial. The United Nations observer at the Lockerbie trial, Dr Hans Kochler, reported that two state prosecutors from the US Department of Justice were in court, and, although not listed in any of the official documents about the Court’s officers, they were constantly briefing Scottish prosecutors. ( UN Claims Lockerbie Trial Was Rigged)

Lord Fraser was the lord advocate (1989-92) who initiated the case against Megrahi. On 20 December 2006 Lord Fraser was detained by police after they were called to Dundee Airport following reports of a disturbance on board an aircraft. Lord Fraser was charged with disorderly conduct. It was announced on 2 February 2007 that the Crown Office had dropped these charges due to insufficient evidence that an offence had been committed.

Lord Hardie, as Lord Advocate 1997-2000, was due to lead the prosecution team in the Lockerbie trial. Lord Hardie resigned just before the Lockerbie trial began. There were rumours that there was a lack of evidence to convict the Libyans.

Colin Boyd was Lord Hardie’s successor as Lord Advocate. He became Lord Boyd of Duncansby.

Norman McFadyen, then regional procurator-fiscal for Edinburgh, headed the Crown Office trial team at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. He got promoted to Crown Agent, head of department for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Alan Turnbull, QC, was one of the two senior counsel leading the Crown team in the Lockerbie trial. In 2006, he became Scotland’s youngest judge at the age of 47.

Advocate-depute Alastair Campbell, QC, was senior prosecution counsel in the Lockerbie trial. In 2003, he was appointed a judge and became Lord Bracadale.

Bill Taylor, QC, was defence counsel for Megrahi at Camp Zeist. He has been heavily criticised for failing to defend Megrahi successfully. ( We have removed an error here pointed out to us by The Lockerbie Case )

Alistair Duff was the defence lawyer for Megrahi.

Professor Hans Koechler, the United Nations’ observer at the Lockerbie trial and appeal, has accused Mr Taylor and Mr Duff of betraying Megrahi by failing to represent him properly.

Eddie MacKechnie was solicitor to Fhimah who was acquitted.

Tony Gauci was the key crown witness and owner of the Maltese shop where Megrahi was said to have bought the clothing reportedly placed around the bomb.

At the trial, Tony Gauci was uncertain about the date he sold the clothes in question, and was not sure that it was Megrahi to whom they were sold.

Gauci gave two earlier statements in which he identified convicted Egyptian terrorist Abu Talb as the person who bought clothing.

Gauci gave earlier statements saying he did not sell a shirt to the man but six months later remembered selling shirts and the man. Two of Gauci’s statements are missing.

A babygro said to have been wrapped around the bomb and shown to the court blown to pieces was recovered intact, according to a statement from the woman who found it.

Five years after the trial, Lord Fraser allegedly described Gauci as a “simple” man who might have been “easily led”. Lord Fraser was the lord advocate (1989-92) who initiated the case against Megrahi.

The Strathclyde police reportedly arranged for Gauci to go fishing, hillwalking and birdwatching in the Scottish Highlands. The Mail on Sunday newspaper said Gauci had been recorded on tape talking about five or six visits he had made to Scotland since 1988. Four members of Gauci’s family are also said to have received some form of police hospitality during the investigation. (The Scotsman – Scotland – Lockerbie trial row over witness’s trip)

J Thomas Thurman was the FBI man who identified a fragment of a circuit board from a timing device which, he said, was from the Lockerbie bomb. Thurman was later removed from his FBI job after a US Department of Justice investigation concluded his FBI forensics lab had a record of fabricating evidence.

Edwin Bollier is head of the Swiss-based Mebo group which was supposed to have sold the timing device reportedly used in the Lockerbie bomb. Bollier claims that one of his employees supplied the Scottish police with a stolen timing device, which was then presented in the trial as having been found amidst the plane’s wreckage.

The other two judges were Lord Coulsfield and Lord MacLean.

Lord Cullen was head of the five-judge panel which presided over the appeal of Megrahi at Camp Zeist in 2002. The other four judges were: Lord Kirkwood, Lord Osborne, Lord Macfadyen, and Lord Nimmo Smith.

~~

MEBO breakthru

DARIK News

Perjury confession in Lockerbie bombing trial

Click here to see A Just Dispatches, Just Television Production for Channel Four Television

http://www.lockerbie.ch/

aangirfan: Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked

Lockerbie – new forensic tests suggest evidence was planted by the CIA

Aug. 15, 1947, A Day of Unity, The End of Empire

29-01-06-fay-delwar-113000638851501_sclzzzzzzz_

FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT

By Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

UNGOVERNABLE INDIA

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”
Jawaharlal Nehru, in a speech to the Indian Constituent Assembly on Aug. 15, 1947.

nehru-ghandi2

Australian government boosts terror laws, while modifying “lexicon”

Australian government boosts terror laws, while modifying “lexicon”

By Mike Head
Monday, July 27, 2009

While expanding the former Howard government’s “anti-terrorism” laws—which the Labor Party helped introduce between 2002 and 2006—the Rudd Labor government has moved to abandon the term “war on terrorism”.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is anxious to distance his government from the now largely discredited terminology that was used to justify the unprecedented police-state measures.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland last week foreshadowed a “package of reforms” that would include a new sweeping offence of “inciting violence” against an individual on the basis of race, religion or nationality. This would, he said, “expand the opportunity for prosecuting those who attempt to induce others, including vulnerable youths, to commit acts of politically motivated violence”.

The term “politically motivated violence” is a catch-all expression that can be applied to political opponents, extending the scope of the legislation further than the already broad definition of terrorism. “Inciting” can cover expressing sympathy or understanding for such conduct.

From September 2001, the Howard government joined hands with the Bush administration in the US and the Blair Labour government in Britain to whip up and exploit fears of terrorism in order to justify the criminal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and to introduce domestic laws that undermined the most fundamental democratic rights.

Former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Blair, and US president George Bush have, during the past period, all been ousted—in no small part due to popular opposition to their militarist and anti-democratic agendas. Now their replacements are continuing and deepening those agendas, albeit with the use of new language.

Attorney-General McClelland announced earlier this month a “Lexicon of Terrorism” project to modify the official terminology. Describing the previous lexicon as “counter-productive,” McClelland said: “We need to use language that does not inadvertently glorify terrorism but rather describes it in terms of base criminal behaviour of the most reprehensible kind.”

McClelland said work on the lexicon project was being led by Victoria Police, in partnership with the Victorian government and the Australian Multicultural Foundation, which would conduct “community focus groups” to develop alternatives to such terms as “war” and “jihad”.

The project is based on those being implemented by the Obama administration and the Brown government, both of which have undertaken similar linguistic realignments, as they extend the powers put in place by their predecessors. In the US, Obama has dropped the term “war on terrorism” but continued its substance, including the “surge” in Afghanistan and military detention and trials. In Britain, government leaders have begun avoiding making explicit links between Islam and terrorism, while maintaining their commitment to the Afghanistan war and lengthy detention without trial.

Interviewed by the Australian, McClelland reiterated the Rudd government’s support for Howard’s laws. “I think a lot of good work has been done in Australia in terms of developing law enforcement capability, intelligence capability and, indeed, the legal framework,” McClelland said. “But I think the area of countering violent extremism has been neglected.”

By shifting the focus from terrorism to “extremism”, Labor is seeking to widen the applicability of the laws. The term “extremist” can be applied to numerous kinds of groups and organisations. The legislation includes four types of detention without trial, executive powers to ban organisations, provisions for semi-secret trials and a definition of terrorism that is so wide that it covers many forms of political dissent and industrial action.

The Rudd government has not modified a single aspect of the laws, despite the public outcry, prior to the last federal election, over the detention of an innocent Indian-born doctor, Mohamed Haneef, the unlawful police coercion of a Muslim medical student, Izhar ul-Haque, and government support for the Bush administration’s incarceration of Australian citizen David Hicks at Guantánamo Bay.

Instead, the government last month unveiled a bill to appoint a National Security Legislation Monitor to review the “effectiveness” of the counter-terrorism legislation, copying the British government’s efforts to head off demands for the abolition of draconian powers.

In essence, the Rudd government is making a tactical shift to distance itself and the police and intelligence agencies from the damage done to the credibility of the terrorism measures by the Haneef, ul-Haque and Hicks affairs, while seeking to strengthen the security apparatus and legitimise the tearing up of basic rights.

Part of the adjustment is designed to forge closer links with selected “community leaders”—i.e., members of religious and ethnic elites—to better detect, monitor and combat disaffection through more intensive surveillance. “We should also be conscious of not alienating broad ethnic and religious groups by labelling them in a way that causes prejudice or leads to misunderstanding,” McClelland said in his “lexicon” media announcement.

Like its US and British counterparts, the Rudd government is also broadening the focus of “national security”, particularly to concentrate on the impact of the global financial crisis. McClelland elaborated on the shift in a March 23 speech to a National Security Australia conference.

The attorney-general said that at the “grass roots level”, the Australian Federal Police had developed a National Community Engagement Strategy and “community liaison teams” to work closely with “communities at risk”. He emphasised that a terrorist attack could emanate as much from “a disgruntled and alienated Australian youth” as from an overseas terrorist organisation.

McClelland foreshadowed the establishment of two new agencies, a National Intelligence Coordination Committee of senior officials to “oversee and better integrate the full range of Australia’s foreign, defense, security and law enforcement intelligence priorities,” and a Crisis Coordination Centre to “improve support for government decision making during a crisis”.

Australian government boosts terror laws, while modifying “lexicon”
By Mike Head
Monday, July 27, 2009
http://atheonews.blogspot.com/2009/07/australian-government-boosts-terror.html

While expanding the former Howard government’s “anti-terrorism” laws—which the Labor Party helped introduce between 2002 and 2006—the Rudd Labor government has moved to abandon the term “war on terrorism”.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is anxious to distance his government from the now largely discredited terminology that was used to justify the unprecedented police-state measures.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland last week foreshadowed a “package of reforms” that would include a new sweeping offence of “inciting violence” against an individual on the basis of race, religion or nationality. This would, he said, “expand the opportunity for prosecuting those who attempt to induce others, including vulnerable youths, to commit acts of politically motivated violence”.

The term “politically motivated violence” is a catch-all expression that can be applied to political opponents, extending the scope of the legislation further than the already broad definition of terrorism. “Inciting” can cover expressing sympathy or understanding for such conduct.

From September 2001, the Howard government joined hands with the Bush administration in the US and the Blair Labour government in Britain to whip up and exploit fears of terrorism in order to justify the criminal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and to introduce domestic laws that undermined the most fundamental democratic rights.

Former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Blair, and US president George Bush have, during the past period, all been ousted—in no small part due to popular opposition to their militarist and anti-democratic agendas. Now their replacements are continuing and deepening those agendas, albeit with the use of new language.

Attorney-General McClelland announced earlier this month a “Lexicon of Terrorism” project to modify the official terminology. Describing the previous lexicon as “counter-productive,” McClelland said: “We need to use language that does not inadvertently glorify terrorism but rather describes it in terms of base criminal behaviour of the most reprehensible kind.”

McClelland said work on the lexicon project was being led by Victoria Police, in partnership with the Victorian government and the Australian Multicultural Foundation, which would conduct “community focus groups” to develop alternatives to such terms as “war” and “jihad”.

The project is based on those being implemented by the Obama administration and the Brown government, both of which have undertaken similar linguistic realignments, as they extend the powers put in place by their predecessors. In the US, Obama has dropped the term “war on terrorism” but continued its substance, including the “surge” in Afghanistan and military detention and trials. In Britain, government leaders have begun avoiding making explicit links between Islam and terrorism, while maintaining their commitment to the Afghanistan war and lengthy detention without trial.

Interviewed by the Australian, McClelland reiterated the Rudd government’s support for Howard’s laws. “I think a lot of good work has been done in Australia in terms of developing law enforcement capability, intelligence capability and, indeed, the legal framework,” McClelland said. “But I think the area of countering violent extremism has been neglected.”

By shifting the focus from terrorism to “extremism”, Labor is seeking to widen the applicability of the laws. The term “extremist” can be applied to numerous kinds of groups and organisations. The legislation includes four types of detention without trial, executive powers to ban organisations, provisions for semi-secret trials and a definition of terrorism that is so wide that it covers many forms of political dissent and industrial action.

The Rudd government has not modified a single aspect of the laws, despite the public outcry, prior to the last federal election, over the detention of an innocent Indian-born doctor, Mohamed Haneef, the unlawful police coercion of a Muslim medical student, Izhar ul-Haque, and government support for the Bush administration’s incarceration of Australian citizen David Hicks at Guantánamo Bay.

Instead, the government last month unveiled a bill to appoint a National Security Legislation Monitor to review the “effectiveness” of the counter-terrorism legislation, copying the British government’s efforts to head off demands for the abolition of draconian powers.

In essence, the Rudd government is making a tactical shift to distance itself and the police and intelligence agencies from the damage done to the credibility of the terrorism measures by the Haneef, ul-Haque and Hicks affairs, while seeking to strengthen the security apparatus and legitimise the tearing up of basic rights.

Part of the adjustment is designed to forge closer links with selected “community leaders”—i.e., members of religious and ethnic elites—to better detect, monitor and combat disaffection through more intensive surveillance. “We should also be conscious of not alienating broad ethnic and religious groups by labelling them in a way that causes prejudice or leads to misunderstanding,” McClelland said in his “lexicon” media announcement.

Like its US and British counterparts, the Rudd government is also broadening the focus of “national security”, particularly to concentrate on the impact of the global financial crisis. McClelland elaborated on the shift in a March 23 speech to a National Security Australia conference.

The attorney-general said that at the “grass roots level”, the Australian Federal Police had developed a National Community Engagement Strategy and “community liaison teams” to work closely with “communities at risk”. He emphasised that a terrorist attack could emanate as much from “a disgruntled and alienated Australian youth” as from an overseas terrorist organisation.

McClelland foreshadowed the establishment of two new agencies, a National Intelligence Coordination Committee of senior officials to “oversee and better integrate the full range of Australia’s foreign, defense, security and law enforcement intelligence priorities,” and a Crisis Coordination Centre to “improve support for government decision making during a crisis”.

I Shouldn’t Read the News. I Really Shouldn’t.

I Shouldn’t Read the News. I Really Shouldn’t.

by Fred Reed

I love it. The following is an account of Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talking to Albert Jazeera:
“When asked why the United States was not in FATA despite having the knowledge that Al Qaeda was present there, he [Admiral Mullen] said, `Because FATA is in Pakistan and Pakistan is a sovereign country and we don’t go into sovereign countries.'”

Hahn? The hell we don’t. What was this buoyant cannibal thinking? The US loves to go into sovereign countries. It hardly does anything else. I suppose Iraq wasn’t sovereign. It isn’t now, but it was. How about Panama, Laos, Cambodia? We gave Pakistan, until recently sovereign, the choice of inviting us to kill its people with drones, or else be bombed into the Stone Age. Recently we have bombed Somalia, technically sovereign.

When the Pentagon’s alpha-floater says something so transparently nonsensical, so patently false, one wonders: Is he merely lying, or does he somehow actually believe this stuff? I mean, drugs are supposed to be discouraged by the Navy.

Next, more comic-book moral leadership, this time from Ralph Peters, the pay-per-view Clausewitz for Fox News. Walphie, a retired colonel, is hugely in favor of the war against Islam. Grrrrr. Fierce he is. He is a retired “intelligence” officer, and therefore all-wise in things military. And he is Upset. Good.

Before exploring his upsettance, we might note that Walph is of the school of martial ferocity holding that other people should go get killed. Not Walph. He is what in a forgotten war in Asia we called a REMF. That’s Rear-Echelon Motherfucker. It refers to paper-pushers who sit safely way behind the lines while men in the military fight. Walph spent his career largely in Europe, a real hardship post. I mean, sometimes your martini might not be properly chilled. A veritable Tamerlane of the cocktail circuit, Walph.

But don’t underestimate him. The blood lust of a podium doughnut is a thing to reckon with, I reckon. Kings faint. Empires quail.

Another point worth considering is that “intelligence officer” doesn’t mean “an intelligent officer.” Except during WWII, the intel analysts have had a dismal record. Just off the top of my head, Naval Intelligence didn’t know where the Japanese fleet was in 1941, oops.

The Korean War caught the spooks flatfooted, as did the entry of the Chinese into the war. The intel weenies didn’t predict that the Viets would fight, though the French experience wasn’t secret. There was the comic-opera Son Tay raid, in which the military choppered into Hanoi to rescue American POWs, only to find that the spooks hadn’t noticed the prisoners had been moved. The CIA didn’t predict that the Cubans would fail to turn against Castro in the Bay of Pigs. They were surprised when the Berlin Wall went up, and when it came down, and again when the USSR, its chief object of study, went tits up. There was the clownish business of the Glomar Explorer. The Air Force bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade because the weenies didn’t know where it was (try the phone book, maybe?). They didn’t warn that the Arabs might fight in Iraq, perhaps never having heard of Israel. They didn’t predict 9/11, and can’t find bin Laden.

I’m impressed, Walph. You’re an intelligence officer.

Now, why is Peters all wrought up? It seems that an American private by name of Bowe Bergdahl got captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, or got tired of killing Afghans and deserted, or something. Bergdahl then showed up all over the internet drinking tea with his captors in a video in which he pleaded for America to bring its troops home. Peters waxed wroth over this “disloyalty,” and opined that it would be a good thing if the Taliban killed the kid to save the cost of a trial.

There is something unseemly in this over-promoted clerk, for whom a war wound would mean a paper cut, savaging a young man in the hands of the Taliban. If Bergdahl was captured against his will, and the Taliban are as bad as the Walphies tell us, he faces torture if he doesn’t cooperate. How manly of Walph to urge that Bergdahl be peeled alive and have his joints crushed. Typical officer.

After the death of my father, a veteran of the Pacific in WWII, I found a published letter he had written to the Washington Post during Korea. Dad, who spent his life as a weapons-development mathematician, was no peacenik. He said that captured American troops should be told to confess to anything whatever rather than be tortured.

You are a hell of a man, Walph. You really are.

But suppose that Bergdahl got tired of killing people he had no reason to kill, and escaped to the Taliban. Why would this be disloyalty to the United States? Where is the benefit of the war to America? The Pentagon is killing GI after GI after GI for no reason. It is also killing Afghans for no reason. Loyalty to America would seem to consist in refusing to do it.

There are countervailing retired colonels. Try Ltc. Karen Kwiatkowski, (she has an archive at lewrockwell.com). She suspects that Peters is worried because the Bergdahl affair may indicate that the troops are getting fed up and preparing to bail by one route or another. True? I don’t know. Yet it has to be the prevailing nightmare in the Five-Sided Death Box. This sure happened in our Asian foray into the dissemination of democracy. Fraggings were the most conspicuous form of disagreement, but there were enough unreported mutinies and refusals to fight.

Then I find this: “A U.S. military spokeswoman in Afghanistan, Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, said the Taliban was [sic] using their captive for propaganda. `They are exploiting the soldier in violation of international law,’ she said. U.S. military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian added, “We condemn the use of this video and the public humiliation of prisoners.”

Most harrumphish, Christine is. This brings me back to the question of Admiral Mullen’s assertion of the obviously untrue. Humiliation of prisoners? Does this twit Christine Whatever compartmentalize her mind to the point that she isn’t aware of Guantanamo? As for international law, I have the impression that torture of prisoners transgresses it. Torture is American national policy. Anyway, who was humiliated, the prisoner or the Pentagon? Christine will of course say whatever she is told to say, that being the function of flacks, flacks being the low-rent Goerings that they are. I need a drink.

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and the just-published A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. His latest book is Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle. Visit his blog.

Kadeer’s US sponsor has ulterior motives

Rebiya Kadeer

Reuters
BANISHED: Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer talks outside the US Capitol in Washington in July.

Kadeer’s US sponsor has ulterior motives

www.chinaview.cn

BEIJING, Aug. 12 — The National Endowment for Democracy’s financial support to Xinjiang separatist organizations led by Rebiya Kadeer is a direct interference in China’s internal affairs, says an article in Global Times.

Excerpt:

There is evidence to prove that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) of the US has for years been sponsoring separatist activities in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, led by Rebiya Kadeer, chairman of World Uygur Congress (WUC). A staff in NED, who didn’t want to be named, has said the NED plans to grant more than $500,000 to WUC this year.

Xinjiang separatist Kadeer has had close connections with the NED for a long time. In 2005, with the help of NED president Carl Gershman, Rebiya fled to the US after Xinjiang authorities released her on bail for medical treatment on the promise that she would never do anything against her motherland China. Later, she became president of the International Uygur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation (IUHRDF). Gershman also offered the initial funds to set up the foundation.

After the July 5 riots in Urumqi, two US congressmen advanced a proposal and pressured the US government to support Kadeer. It was Gershman again who introduced them to Kadeer.

Facts show the NED has been offering financial support to “East Turkistan” organizations operating from abroad since 2004. Till June 2009, it had given about $2.24 million to them.

The separatist organizations usually get the NED funds under two heads: directly sponsored “programs” or in the name of “private funding”. Apart from supporting separatist activities, the funds have also been used on Washington political lobbyists as “political investment”.

A Xinjiang official said the funds Kadeer got from the NED have been directly related to the troubles in the region.

An article in the Canadian think tank, Global Research, says Washington’s interference in Xinjiang have nothing to do with human rights. Instead, it is aimed at the strategic importance of Xinjiang in economic and energy resources fields. These indicate that the US government wants to interfere in China’s internal affairs by supporting Xinjiang separatist activities in the name of NED.

(Source: China Daily)

Rebiya Kadeer

Reuters
BANISHED: Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer talks outside the US Capitol in Washington in July.

“Al Qaida”-Linked Terror Opens New Chapter In Gaza

Abdel-Latif Moussa was surrounded by armed supporters at the mosque

Abdel-Latif Moussa was surrounded by armed supporters in the mosque

At least 13 people have been killed and at least 85 injured in a fierce gun battle in Gaza, emergency services say.

Eyewitnesses say hundreds of Hamas fighters and policemen surrounded a mosque where followers of a radical Islamist cleric were holed up.

Hamas fired rocket-propelled grenades at the mosque and stormed the leader’s house in Rafah, near the Egypt border.

It is thought that at least 100 supporters of the al-Qaeda-linked group, Jund Ansar Allah, were inside.

At least one Hamas fighter was killed by a grenade fired from the mosque but most of those killed were supporters of the cleric. One child was also killed.

The entire neighbourhood was sealed off as the shooting continued after dark – in what was one of the most violent incidents in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip since an Israeli offensive in December and January.

It was not immediately clear if the mosque’s imam, Abdul-Latif Moussa, was captured during the fighting.

Fighting pledge

Earlier, during Friday prayers, hundreds of worshippers at Ibn-Taymiyah mosque declared Gaza an “Islamic emirate”.

These declarations [of an Islamic emirate] are aimed towards incitement against the Gaza Strip
Ismail Haniya,
leader of Hamas in Gaza

Abdul-Latif Moussa and armed supporters swore to fight to the death rather than hand over authority of the mosque to Hamas.

During his own Friday sermon, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, dismissed Mr Moussa’s comments.

“These declarations [of an Islamic emirate] are aimed towards incitement against the Gaza Strip and an attempt at recruiting an international alliance against the Gaza Strip.

“And we warn those who are behind these Israeli Zionist declarations: the Gaza Strip only contains its people.”

Jund Ansar Allah (Army of the Helpers of God) gained some prominence two months ago when it staged a failed attack on a border crossing between Gaza and Israel.

The group is very critical of Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007, accusing the Islamist group of not being Islamist enough.

Hamas has cracked down on al-Qaeda-inspired groups in the past, the BBC’s Middle East correspondent Katya Adler says.

Hamas is concerned they may attract more extremist members, and has forbidden anyone except what it describes as Hamas security personnel from carrying weapons in Gaza, our correspondent says.

Medvedev: Caucasus Murders Aim At Destabilizing S. Russia

Medvedev: Caucasus Murders Aim At Destabilizing S. Russia

Journal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says he believes the recent murders of prominent figures in the Caucasus are aimed at undermining stability in southern Russia.

The Russian leader specifically mentioned the murders of several human rights activists and local officials in the area, blaming the killings on unidentified foreigners. He also instructed pro-Kremlin Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to find and punish those responsible for the latest killing.

Pres. Dmitri Medvedev (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel walk at Bocharov Ruchei pres. residence in Sochi, southern Russia, 14 Aug 2009Mr. Medvedev spoke in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi after talks with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader strongly condemned the recent murders, including that of Chechen rights activist Zarema

Sadulayeva and her husband and urged Russian authorities to punish those responsible.

Earlier, Russian authorities reported four police officers and five militants killed Friday in shooting incidents in Chechnya and Dagestan.

Talks between the two leaders focused on economic issues.

They included the ongoing negotiations for Canada’s Magna International and Russia’s Sberbank car companies to buy Opel, the German unit of bankrupt American automaker General Motors.

Germany is Russia’s biggest trade partner in Europe.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

Confessions of a Former KGB was Issued in BBC Newsnight

[Former Uzbek Security man claims IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) is govt. creation.]

Confessions of a Former KGB was Issued in BBC NewsnightJournal of Turkish Weekly (JTW)

Confessions of a Former KGB was Issued in BBC Newsnight

Ikram Yakubov, who is claiming to be a former Uzbek National Security Service (SNB) Major in Uzbekistan, talked to BBC Newsnight on Tuesday. Yakubov shared his striking experiences as an intelligence officer in Uzbekistan who fled to England after harsh oppression from his government.

Ikram Yakubov claimed to be involving numerous cases which were produced against innocent people in Uzbekistan. His grandfather was the founder of the KGB in Uzbekistan and his father was too a spy who was working under the order of his state. Yakubov stated that being an intelligence officer was his dream when he was a child which apparently turned into a nightmare after the things have changed.

According to the BBC news, Yakubov was collecting opinions and information among students as a loyal officer of his state. He also told that the young intelligence officers were thought by Russian intelligence service to learn how to kill and to profess in spying.

He admitted planning violence including the assassination attempt to Uzbek opposition leader in an exile in Turkey. Yakubov also said that he was following the direct orders of the Uzbek President Islam Kerimov. He had to fulfill Kerimov’s orders, otherwise he would destroy him, Yakubov claimed.

Craig Murray who was the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan between the years 2002-2004 also told to BBC reporters that torture in Uzbekistan is not occasional but it is happening to thousands of people in the country.

Moreover, Ikram Yakubov claimed that intelligence officers were systematically torturing innocent people to sign confession documents as well. Yakubov, who has defected from Uzbekistan, has also said that the government of Islam Kerimov organized false flag terrorist attacks to blame them on Islamist extremists in Uzbekistan. Yakubov also claimed that many Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) leaders, who are designated terrorists by the US State Department, were taught by the Uzbek government, which supported their bombings in Tashkent and in the 2005 Andijan uprising as well.

“The opponents of the Regime were being threatened and said to stop their activities against the President” Yakubov said. He also told that he reached a personal breaking point when Kerimov Regime blamed the opponents for the terrorist bombings occurred in Tashkent which he knew were organized by his own colleagues.

Ikram Yakubov is now living in England as a political refugee.