Sayyed: Saad Hariri ‘You Are Your Father’s Killer until You Punish the Forgers’

Sayyed: Saad Hariri ‘You Are Your Father’s Killer until You Punish the Forgers’

General Jamil al-Sayyed accused Saad Hariri Sunday of agreeing to four years of falsification in the international tribunal, in one of his strongest-worded attacks yet against the premier-designate and his political and security team.

He was speaking at a press conference on the fourth anniversary of his arrest in connection with the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri.

“Saad Hariri lost right in the international tribunal when he agreed to falsification and the country’s ruin during a period of four years,” Sayyed said.

He said former premier Rafik Hariri was murdered three times. “The first was on February 14 (2005). The assassins remain at large thanks to some officers and politicians surrounding (Saad) Hariri,” he said.

“The second time Rafik Hariri was killed was when the four generals were arrested after false witnesses were told what to say by politicians, officers and journalists,” he added.

“The third time that Hariri was killed was when the four generals were released,” he added.


Sayyed was among four top generals who were released in April after four years in custody in connection with Hariri’s assassination, no one has ever been formally charged.


The other three are the former head of the presidential guard, Mustafa Hamdan, 53, domestic security chief Ali Hajj, 52, and military intelligence chief Raymond Azar, 56.

Sayyed said the “criminal state keeps among its ranks people like (public prosecutor) Saeed Mirza.” He called on Hariri to hold accountable those who committed forgery such as “Wissam al-Hassan, Saeed Mirza and Samir Shahadeh.”

Addressing Hariri, Sayyed said: “You are your father’s killer until you hold them accountable.”

“If you are brave enough you will place a picture of Mohammed Zuhair al-Siddiq next to your father’s when welcoming your guests,” he said in reference to the main suspect in the investigation into Hariri’s assassination.

Addressing President Michel Suleiman, Sayyed said: “It is a shame that you have been made prisoner. And yes to the amendment of Taef.”

He asked MP Walid Jumblat “where was your political voice in the international tribunal’s file.” He said those who take Jumblat as an ally were committing a mistake.

Sayyed also thanked Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir for promoting the cause of the four generals when they were still in custody.

He then criticized Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani and asked for an apology to his daughter Sara al-Sayyed for the accusations against her father.

BRIG IMTIAZ OF ISI AND HIS BARRAGE OF TRUTHS

BRIG IMTIAZ OF ISI AND HIS BARRAGE OF TRUTHS

Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.

The Recent, Revelation about Parliamentarian of Punjab Mustapha Khar from the mouth of Ex-ISI and IB officer Brigadier Imtiaz retired, and it is very interesting. A Controversy has been generated that who is telling the Truth and who is not . Brig Imtiaz Ex –ISI officer or the Parliamentarian of Punjab Mr. Mustapha Khar.

Brig Imtiaz mentions that Khar had Planned to Blow GHQ with all the top officers in conspiring with some officers of Pakistan Army, who were court Martialled and thrown out of the Army.

Mustapha Khar who according to Brig Imtiaz had links with RAW, the Indian counterpart of ISI.  According to Brig Imtiaz had supplied the weapons and Bombs to these officers after his visits to India .

In My Opinion Brig Imtiaz is telling the Truth as a Mustapha Khar who does not care about his Kith and kin and is responsible for Kicking out a Serving chief like the Honest Pashtun, Gen Gul Hassan.  Who never could own a house, as he could not afford one, as he was such an honest person and he never had a personnel car in his possession.  He kicked him out of Service because he was Pashtuns and fed this into ear of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by spewing hatred against Pashtuns.

He actually died Broke and without Money in an Armored Corps mess in Rawalpindi in 2004.  Just a Few Yards from Gen Aslam Begs ( Army Chief and Head ) Castle , the Army Chief who took after Gen Zia After Being involved Red handed in His C-130 Crash as you I may call it, the same man who ordered an Operation Midnight Jackal .

Midnight Jackal operation was done with the Help of Brig Imtiaz to topple , Benezir Bhutto the Legitimate Elected  Peoples Leader of Pakistan.  She was an elected and brilliant representative of the People of Pakistan.

Khar had also shown A Revolver Gun to Chief of Pakistan Army, Gen Gul Hassan and abducted him on Gun Point in his Car , to force him to resign as Gul Hassan Himself mentioned it in his own Book about his Life History.

Bhutto In Fact had made Himself, weak by himself uprooting democratically Elected Pashtun ANP Led governments In NWFP and Balauchistan. That Mistake cost him his Life and government. As Jammat Islami walked into the Power Vacuum created in NWFP and Balauchistan.

Latter a Potent Smear Campaign was launched against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by these same pro-Establishment Jammat Islami , Religious political parties whom were on Pay role of the ISI as Brig Imtiaz claimed it to eliminate PPP for Ever.

So he was the one who the paved way for Gen Zia ul Haq. A man who destroyed Pakistan with Drugs, Weapons, and Religious Hate and Sectarianism. In Fact a CIA / Mossad Agent, who wanted to Destabilize Pakistan after going out of the way to serve American and Israeli Interests ?

When today one, Muslim is cutting another Muslims throat when they are both Muslims. Gen Zia promoted Religious hate Parties like Sipah Sahaba, who now have broken down to Lashker Taiba and Lashker Jhangvi, The banned terrorist parties  and are part of Tehrik Taliban Pakistan too nowadays and received the money from ISI and IB to Form the IJI.

In fact in the list given by Gen Asad Durrani ISI Chief at that time with an Affidavit submitted in Supreme court of Pakistan, Rs 50 Lakhs were given to small Religious parties, who are Sipah Sahaba etc formed on Behest of CIA and Mossad and Raw.

These Small parties are same Sipah Sahaba and likes of such Hate Mongering by these same religious parties. The Same Religious Parties who formed IJI with Nawaz Shareef and even today one of  the Sipah Sahaba leader Allama Sajid Mir is a sitting senator with PML-N.

Even Jammat Islami who Trumpets as Moral Religious Force of Pakistan took 50 lakhs for being part of IJI, all these, Anti PPP parties who were formed as an IJI Alliance to grab control of Punjab from PPP .  The Present Nawaz Shareef Alliance PML-N is out come of that IJI.

JUI has the same old story that, s Getting of Free Plots from GHQ, Shaheed officers Quota is very famous too for corruption.  These parties had formed the 17th Amendment that gave powers to make laws without the parliament input . Musharaff was in power because of these Same Religious Parties.

All this to make PPP Government fail, but what nobody mentions is another Fact? . That is it because PPP is the true voice of People of Pakistan and it had great leaders Like Zulfiqar Bhutto and Benezir Bhutto who understood pulse of people of Pakistan .

All this was done to further the rule of Gen Zia, who had reportedly massacred the Poor Muslim Palestinians in Jordon in the Famous Black September 1968 operation. When he massacred thousands, of Palestinians, to please, the Zionists and Israelis and be Blue eyed Boy of CIA and Mossad and confirm himself as their Agent in Establishment

In Fact Zia was in partnership with Mossad Israeli Agency when he, Used the Israeli weapons to Fight the Afghan Jihad with Russia . As George Crile , mentions in His Book the Operation cyclone” of CIA .  The Star of David was conveniently erased on weapons Crates, so that Pakistani people would not know it.

It means Mustapha Khar had nod of these Mossad and Indian Raw and CIA too when he removed a Pretty honest general like Gul Hassan and Installed a CIA Mossad agent like Gen Zia. Ul Haq and Agent of CIA ,  and Mossad.

IN Fact he is the one who spread hate against the Pashtuns and has been very active in Hate Mongering and promoting hate against Pashtuns who are loyal subjects of Pakistan and saved many time Pakistan from Disasters in n1948 , 1965 and Afghan Jihad etc.

He was very vocal for Kalabagh Dam and did not care for even feelings of three provinces apart from Punjab .  He being Politicians did not care even for the Ordinances passed in three out of four Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan against Kalabagh Dam .

He was instrumental in Hampering Progress of Pakistan development. His Niece Hina Rabbani Khar is another person who wanted to destroy Inter-provincial harmony. She was wisely removed from NFC award recently.

He was saved from conviction when ISI had proven him as a Traitor because of Being a Punjabi and friend of Gen Gul Hameed and the GHQ who failed to raise any case in Judiciary against him even he was Branded a Traitor.  As in Pakistan a Punjabi, either in Uniform or without uniform are rarely punished for Treason. Or Being a Traitor  This Tradition is set for Non Punjabis only Like Balauchs, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Mohajir,s  only.

If Pakistan had left the Affairs of Afghanistan like that Before as Wali Khan had proposed and Gen Zia had not occurred, we would not have been in trouble like we are now. When our so-called friends USA for whom we sacrificed 1.5 million people, in Afghan Jihad, and defeated Russian are calling us Al-Qaeda and terrorism supporters while we are not.

When our Peaceful and Innocent citizen s Like the Students belonging to NWFP languishing in Max –security jail in UK with Murders and terrorists when they are innocent and no Charges are brought against them. Same is the case with Dr. Afia Siddique a PHD Doctor Languishing is US jails without a Fair Trial.

These people have turned ordinary and Innocent Pakistanis into Terrorists and Pakistanis are suffering with Dishonorable Naked strip-searches when one reaches UK Airports and US as if we are criminals.  The same people who defeated the enemy of USA are treated like Dirt by it.

Our whole country is now been Surrendered to Zionists, the CIA and the American Establishment by likes of these people are enjoying Service Like 5 Air Bases in Pakistan for Drones and Deaths of Our Soldiers For free .  While we are killing, our own Pashtun citizens to protect the American and its Economic interests of Great Game wars , which it cannot sustain without our help. While we are not even given money to salvage, our economy as America dishes to Egypt and Israel .

Where America and NATO has miserably failed in front of Taliban , Pakistan is successful here. America Should Leave us or behave like a friend.  As this America with intervention in our politics has proved American is Pro Dictator Country Rather then Freedom loving Pro-Democratic Country. It feed lies to its own US people when it says that it Favors Democracy.
Khurrumuk@gmail.com

Mother Jones: The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina

Mother Jones: The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina

Mother Jones

| James Ridgeway

http://qwstnevrythg.com/2009/08/mother-jones-the-secret-history-of-hurricane-katrina/


There was nothing natural about the disaster that befell New Orleans in Katrina’s aftermath.

Confronted with images of corpses floating in the blackened floodwaters or baking in the sun on abandoned highways, there aren’t too many people left who see what happened following Hurricane Katrina as a purely “natural” disaster. The dominant narratives that have emerged, in the four years since the storm, are of a gross human tragedy, compounded by social inequities and government ineptitude—a crisis subsequently exploited in every way possible

for political and financial gain.

But there’s an even harsher truth, one some New Orleans residents learned in the very first days but which is only beginning to become clear to the rest of us: What took place in this devastated American city was no less than a war, in which victims whose only crimes were poverty and blackness were treated as enemies of the state.

It started immediately after the storm and flood hit, when civilian aid was scarce—but private security forces already had boots on the ground. Some, like Blackwater (which has since redubbed itself Xe), were under federal contract, while a host of others answered to wealthy residents and businessmen who had departed well before Katrina and needed help protecting their property from the suffering masses left behind. According Jeremy Scahill’s reporting

in The Nation, Blackwater set up an HQ in downtown New Orleans. Armed as they would be in Iraq, with automatic rifles, guns strapped to legs, and pockets overflowing with ammo, Blackwater contractors drove around in SUVs and unmarked cars with no license plates.

“When asked what authority they were operating under,” Scahill reported, “one guy said, ‘We’re on contract with the Department of Homeland Security.’ Then, pointing to one of his comrades, he said, ‘He was even deputized by the governor of the state of Louisiana. We can make arrests and use lethal force if we deem it necessary.’ The man then held up the gold Louisiana law enforcement badge he wore around his neck.”

The Blackwater operators described their mission in New Orleans as “securing neighborhoods,” as if they were talking about Sadr City. When National Guard troops descended on the city, the Army Times described their role as fighting “the insurgency in the city.” Brigadier Gen. Gary Jones, who commanded the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force, told the paper, “This place is going to look like Little Somalia. We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”

Ten days after the storm, the New York Times reported

that although the city was calm with no signs of looting (though it acknowledged this had taken place previously), “New Orleans has turned into an armed camp, patrolled by thousands of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, as well as National Guard troops and active-duty soldiers.” The local police superintendent ordered all weapons, including legally registered firearms, confiscated from civilians. But as the Times noted, that order didn’t “apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property…[who] openly carry M-16’s and other assault rifles.” Scahill spoke to Michael Montgomery, the chief of security for one wealthy businessman who said his men came under fire from “black gangbangers” near the Ninth Ward. Armed with AR-15s and Glocks, Montgomery and his men “unleashed a barrage of bullets in the general direction of the alleged shooters on the overpass. ‘After that, all I heard was moaning and screaming, and the shooting stopped. That was it. Enough said.’”

Malik Rahim, a Vietnam veteran and longtime community activist, was one of the organizers of the Common Ground Collective, which quickly began dispensing basic aid and medical care in the first days after the hurricane. But far from aiding the relief workers, Rahim told me this week, the police and troops who began patrolling the streets treated them as criminals or “insurgents.” African American men caught outside also ran the risk of crossing paths with roving vigilante patrols who shot at will, he says. In this dangerous environment, Common Ground began to rely on white volunteers to move through a city that had simply become too perilous for blacks.

In July, the local television station WDSU released a home video

, taken shortly after the storm hit, of a local man, Paul Gleason, who bragged to two police officers about shooting looters in the Algiers section of New Orleans.

“Did you have any problems with looters,” [sic] asked an officer.

“Not anymore,” said Gleason.

“Not anymore?”

“They’re all dead,” said Gleason.

The officer asked, “What happened?”

“We shot them,” said Gleason.

“How many did you shoot?

“Thirty-eight.”

“Thirty-eight people? What did you do with the bodies?”

“We gave them to the Coast Guard,” said Gleason.

Gleason told his story with a cup of red wine in one hand and riding a tractor from Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World.

Although the government’s aid efforts were in chaos, those involved in the self-generated community rescue and relief efforts were often seen as a threat. Even so, Common Ground, founded in the days after Katrina hit, eventually managed to serve more than half a million people, operating feeding stations, opening free health and legal clinics, and later rebuilding homes and planting trees. But they “never got a dime” from the federal government, says Rahim. The feds did, however, recruit one of Common Ground’s founders, Brandon Darby, as an informant, later using him to infiltrate groups

planning actions at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

And while the government couldn’t seem to keep people from dying on rooftops or abandoned highways, it wasted no time building a temporary jail in New Orleans.
Burl Cain, the warden of the notorious Angola Prison, a former slave plantation that’s now home to 5,000 inmates, was rushed down to the city to oversee “Camp Greyhound” in the city’s bus terminal. According

to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the jail “was constructed by inmates from Angola and Dixon state prisons and was outfitted with everything a stranded law enforcer could want, including top-of-the-line recreational vehicles to live in and electrical power, courtesy of a yellow Amtrak locomotive. There are computers to check suspects’ backgrounds and a mug shot station—complete with heights marked in black on the wall that serves as the backdrop.”

In the virtual martial law imposed in New Orleans after Katrina, the war on the poor sometimes even spilled over into the war on terror. In his latest book Zeitoun, published in July, Dave Eggers tells the story of a local Syrian immigrant who stayed in New Orleans to protect his properties and ended up organizing makeshift relief efforts and rescuing people in a canoe. He continued right up until he was arrested by a group of unidentified, heavily armed men in uniform, thrown into Camp Greyhound, and questioned as a suspected terrorist. In an interview with Salon

, Eggers said:

Zeitoun was among thousands of people who were doing “Katrina time” after the storm. There was a complete suspension of all legal processes and there were no hearings, no courts for months and months and not enough folks in the judicial system really seemed all that concerned about it. Some human-rights activists and some attorneys, but otherwise it seemed to be the cost of doing business. It really could have only happened at that time; 2005 was just the exact meeting place of the Bush-era philosophy towards law enforcement and incarceration, their philosophy toward habeas corpus and their neglect and indifference to the plight of New Orleanians.

Through all the time that the federal and local governments, in concert with wealthy New Orleanians, were pitching their battle, there was virtually no one fighting on the other side. Reviewing the “available evidence” a month after Katrina, the New York Times concluded that “the most alarming stories that coursed through the city appear to be little more than figments of frightened imaginations.” The reports of residents firing at National Guard helicopters, of tourists being robbed and raped on Bourbon Street, and of murderous rampages in the Superdome—all turned out to be false.

Since then it has become increasingly clear that the truth of what happened in New Orleans—vigilantism and racially tinged violence, a military response that supplanted a humanitarian one—is equally sinister.

James Ridgeway is a senior correspondent at Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here

Salon exclusive: The Abu Ghraib files

Salon exclusive: The Abu Ghraib files

Never-published photos, and an internal Army report, show more Iraqi prisoner abuse — evidence the government is fighting to hide.
prisoner1.jpg
It is with tremendous agony and deepest outrage that
World Prout Assembly posts a few of the newly exposed photos of Abu Ghraib. Along wtih the photos is a typed statement saying such and such prisoner was found innocent. It became unbearable to post more of the photos. The people involved are criminals. The men at the top, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld, are the supreme criminals. The fact that sadistic criminals are running America and controlling the world must be comprehended by the American people. The fact that the American people have all but forgotten the original set of crimes at Abu Ghraib is the worst reflection on this country. According to the Red Cross, these crimes were committed all across Iraq, and they continue to be committed!!! The extreme selfishness and self-centeredness that abounds in this culture, that causes Americans to forget the images, that causes them to flippantly disregard the brutal, barbaric crimes of their government – is the worst statement about this country. Daily we hear American commentators talking about the future of Iraq. In Fallujah white phosphorus was used, which melts bodies into charcoal. Combined with Abu Ghraib, the American government, the American journalists and broadcasters, and the American people have lost all moral right to talk about the future of Iraq. Only one thing the American journalists, broadcasters and people should do is to get on their knees and beg forgiveness from the people of Iraq.
blood1.jpg


By Mark Benjamin

Feb. 16, 2006 | Salon has obtained files and other electronic documents from an internal Army investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal. The material, which includes more than 1,000 photographs, videos and supporting documents from the Army’s probe, may represent all of the photographic and video evidence that pertains to that investigation.

The files, from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID), include hundreds of images that have never been publicly released. Along with the unpublished material, the material obtained by Salon also appears to include all of the famous photographs published after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke in April 2004, as well as the photographs and videos published Wednesday by the Australian television news show “Dateline.”
prisoner2.jpg
Saddam Hussein did not personally kill or torture others. He, however, is being rightfully blamed for the acts of his subordinates. Why aren’t Bush and Rumsfled being held to the same standard?!

The source who gave the CID material to Salon is someone who spent time at Abu Ghraib as a uniformed member of the military and is familiar with the CID investigation.

The DVD containing the material includes a June 6, 2004, CID investigation report written by Special Agent James E. Seigmund. That report includes the following summary of the material included: “A review of all the computer media submitted to this office revealed a total of 1,325 images of suspected detainee abuse, 93 video files of suspected detainee abuse, 660 images of adult pornography, 546 images of suspected dead Iraqi detainees, 29 images of soldiers in simulated sexual acts, 20 images of a soldier with a Swastika drawn between his eyes, 37 images of Military Working dogs being used in abuse of detainees and 125 images of questionable acts.”
prisoner3.jpg
The photographs we are showing in the accompanying gallery represent a small fraction of these visual materials. None, as far as we know, have been published elsewhere. They include: a naked, handcuffed prisoner in a contorted position; a dead prisoner who had been severely beaten; a prisoner apparently sodomizing himself with an object; and a naked, hooded prisoner standing next to an American officer who is blandly writing a report against a wall. Other photographs depict a bloody cell.

The DVD also includes photographs of guards threatening Iraqi prisoners with dogs, homemade videotapes depicting hooded prisoners being forced to masturbate, and a video showing a mentally disturbed prisoner smashing his head against a door. Oddly, the material also includes numerous photographs of slaughtered animals and mundane images of soldiers traveling around Iraq.

Accompanying texts from the CID investigation provide fairly detailed explanations for many of the photographs, including dates and times and the identities of both Iraqis and Americans. Based on time signatures of the digital cameras used, all the photographs and videos were taken between Oct. 18, 2003, and Dec. 30, 2003.
prisoner4.jpg
It is noteworthy that some of the CID documents refer to CIA personnel as interrogators of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. But no CIA officers have been prosecuted for any crimes that occurred within the prison, despite the death of at least one Iraqi during a CIA interrogation there.

Human-rights and civil-liberties groups have been locked in a legal battle with the Department of Defense since mid-2004, demanding that it release the remaining visual documents from Abu Ghraib in its possession. It is not clear whether the material obtained by Salon is identical to that sought by these groups, although it seems highly likely that it is.

Barbara Olshansky, deputy legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, “We brought the lawsuit because we wanted to make sure the public knew what the government was doing, particularly at these detention facilities,” and, “It is the public’s right to know.”

Based on a verbal description of the files and images, Olshansky said she believes that the material obtained by Salon represents all of the Abu Ghraib images and video the Pentagon has been fighting to keep confidential. “I’m guessing that what you have is a pretty rare and complete set,” she said.

The Pentagon initially argued in federal court that release of more Abu Ghraib images would violate the privacy rights of the Iraqi prisoners. Later, government lawyers argued that public release of the records might “endanger” soldiers in Iraq because publication of the pictures could incite further violence.
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The government’s argument was rejected by a federal district court last September. Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in his ruling, “Terrorists do not need pretexts for their barbarism.” Release of the photographs in the suit has been delayed as the government appeals Hellerstein’s decision.

Meanwhile, military trials of the soldiers who served at Abu Ghraib continue. Next month, two more enlisted men, both dog handlers, will face a military court at Fort Meade in Maryland. No high-ranking officer or official has yet been charged in the abuse scandal that blackened America’s reputation across the world.
_______________________________

Additional reporting by Mark Follman, Page Rockwell and Michael Scherer.

Hey NY Times, How About the “Palestinian Hanging” Torture?

Hey NY Times, How About the “Palestinian Hanging” Torture?

Ralph Lopez

ph-28-3857146424_86d7dbed80.jpg

August 28, 2009 – Daily Kos

It’s pretty clear the media strategy in this torture thing is to limit the coverage to the more milquetoast-ee tortures like pouring cold water on guys and making it look like they were trying to be careful about it.  This is why newspapers are losing circulation and going under: there’s no news.  The Internet has emerged the supreme source of information.  Why pay for a paper when I can find out a lot more at work surfing DKos every now and then (Ha!  Caught you guys!  Get back to work!)

Hey New York Times, what about the Palestinian Hanging?  You need look no further than Major General Anthony Taguba’s definitive report to find out about it.  You are hung with your arms behind you often causing dislocation of the arms from the sockets.  A tweaked version was to put your feet on an electrified drum through which to deliver shocks.  Since Obama will not release the torture photos, this is what it looks like:

This is the position in which al-Jamadi died, the prisoner in the famous Abu Ghraib photo of his body packed in ice.  The torture causes pulmonary damage.  As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, a witness said, blood gushed from his mouth “as if a faucet had been turned on.”

Then you’ve got the plain bloody murder, but we won’t talk about that, will we?  The media has ignored the large number of interrogation subjects who were “interrogated” until lights out.  At least 51 of these have died since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004.

Oh yes, then you have the child rape.  Sy Hersh said:

” Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said at the time:

“The American public needs to understand, we’re talking about rape and murder here. We’re not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We’re talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.”

A compilation in November2008 of other evidence of alleged incidents involving children at the time recounts:

– Iraqi lawyer Sahar Yasiri, representing the Federation of Prisoners and Political Prisoners, said in a published interview there are more than 400,000 detainees in Iraq being held in 36 prisons and camps and that 95 percent of the 10,000 women among them have been raped. Children, he said, “suffer from torture, rape, (and) starvation” and do not know why they have been arrested. He added the children have been victims of “random” arrests “not based on any legal text.”

– Iraqi TV reporter, Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, arrested while making a documentary and thrown into Abu Ghraib for 74 days, told Mackay he saw “hundreds” of children there. Al-Baz said he heard one 12-year-old girl crying, “They have undressed me. They have poured water over me.” He said he heard her whimpering daily.

– German TV reporter Thomas Reutter of “Report Mainz” quoted U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Provance that interrogation specialists “poured water” over one 16-year-old Iraqi boy, drove him throughout a cold night, “smeared him with mud” and then showed him to his father, who was also in custody. Apparently, one tactic employed by the Bush regime is to elicit confessions from adults by dragging their abused children in front of them.

– Jonathan Steele, wrote in the British “The Guardian” that “Hundreds of children, some as young as nine, are being held in appalling conditions in Baghdad’s prisons…Sixteen-year-old Omar Ali told the “Guardian” he spent more than three years at Karkh juvenile prison sleeping with 75 boys to a cell that is just five by 10 meters, some of them on the floor. Omar told the paper guards often take boys to a separate room in the prison and rape them.

– Raad Jamal, age 17, was taken from his Doura home by U.S. troops and turned over to the Iraqi Army’s Second regiment where Jamal said he was hung from the ceiling by ropes and beaten with electric cables.

Keep it up, NY Times! Bloggers want the advertising rev you are losing every time your circulation goes down!


Call the Office of the Attorney General, “NO WHITE WASH!” at (202) 353-1555. Then email the Justice Department.


:: Article nr. 57432 sent on 29-aug-2009 05:15 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=57432

The U.S. Invades and Occupies Pakistan

The U.S. Invades and Occupies Pakistan

By Talha Mujaddidi.

Axis of Logic

We are watching it happen in the streets. The recurring nightmare has become a grim, new reality for the people of Pakistan. After watching the horrors of the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and neighboring Afhanistan for 8 years, the “war on terror” has finally arrived in The Land of the Pure. Obama is fulfilling his campaign promise to Pakistan. The sudden arrival of U.S. marines, U.S. military Hummers, the hired killers of Blackwater, houses barricaded for U.S. personnel in Islamabad and the construction of the world’s largest U.S. “Embassy” are terrorizing this nation of 180 million people. The U.S. slaughter and destruction in Iraq and neighboring Afghanistan for the last 8 years warn them of what may lie in store for them, their families, their land.

The U.S. Marines

On 9/21/08 a bomb ripped through the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killing scores of people and injuring hundreds. Prior to the bombing, U.S. marines off-loaded steel boxes from a truck, by-passed security and took them to the 4th floor of the building. US officials refused to cooperate with the government’s attempts to investigate their activities. One year later, U.S. Marines are leading the occupation of Pakistan.

Until this landing of U.S. forces, the nation’s spokesman for Foreign Affairs had been denying that 1000 U.S. marines were on their way to Islamabad. The thousand marines are now in the capital city of Islamabad. Some of them may be quietly slipping into Balochistan where the presence of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) have been reported by foreign journalists. But most are here to defend what will be the largest U.S. embassy/fortress in the world, now under construction and to spearhead the invasion and occupation.

Costs to the U.S. Taxpayer

US Ambassador in Pakistan Anne W. Patterson

The total cost for housing and and general support for the marines alone will be US$112.5 million. US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson said the money is allocated as follows: “$5 million was for Marine quarters, $53.5 for housing infrastructure, $18 million for improvement of general services office area, and $36 million for temporary duty quarters and community support facilities.”

In Patterson’s explanation of the massive expansion of the U.S. Embassy she talked about 4 Billion (that’s with a “B”) dollars:

“The embassy expansion, she said, was a reflection of the long-term commitment that the US intended to have with Pakistan. Moreover, she said, quadrupling of the social, economic and military assistance that would touch $4 billion a year over the next 18 months, necessitated staff increase.”

Ambassador Patterson did not clarify whether the $4 Billion covers the construction which will make this embassy the largest in the world. When this construction is seen in context and coordination with the new level of U.S. occupation of Pakistan, it looks more like a permanent military base than an embassy for running military and covert operations not only in Pakistan but also in the region.

Weapons and Hummers

Eye witnesses and informed journalists have been reporting sightings of U.S. personnel in Islamabad for the past week or so, but now they are seen moving freely throughout the capital. The law (Section 144) provides that Pakistanis who own guns are not permitted to carry them in Islamabad. But U.S. personnel are showing Pakistanis that they are above the law as they openly brandish their weapons. It has also been confirmed that 3,000 U.S. military Hummers, locked and loaded are awaiting dispatch in Karachi’s Port Qasim. For millions of Pakistanis news of these Hummers conjures up images of U.S. troops charging through the streets of Iraqi cities, armed to the teeth, terrifying and often killing unarmed civilians.

On Feb. 23, 2009 the Pentagon revealed that over 70 U.S. military advisers had been secretly working in Pakistan.

Blackwater and the CIA

Pakistanis have known about the 300 U.S. military “advisers” lodged in Tarbela. But news of the arrival of the notorious Blackwater mercenaries in addition to the thousand U.S. marines are riveting their attention. In Pakistan, Blackwater is trading its tainted name for a telling name “Xe Worldwide”, – the name behind which these paid killers are now hiding.

Also, last week, Creative Associates International Inc (CAII), a CIA front, has been operating in Peshawar. They have now sealed off a road and set up shop near the houses of senior Pakistani officials in Islamabad, directly across from a school.

Dr. Shireen Mazari

Dr. Shireen M. Mazari is a scholar and commentator on Strategic Studies and Political Science from Pakistan. She has a Ph.D. from Colombia University and was Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan and former Chairperson of Department of Defense and Strategic Studies at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She is critical of the relationship the Pakistan government has with the United States and India. Speaking for an opposition political party (Tehreek-e-Insaaf), Dr. Shireen Mazari speaks about the new arrival of U.S. forces in Pakistan:

“Will some of these go to the Pentagon’s assassination squads, who may take up residence in some of the barricaded Islamabad houses and with whom the present US commander in Afghanistan was directly associated? Ordinary officials at Pakistani airports have also been muttering their concerns over chartered flights flying in Americans whose entry is not recorded – even the flight crews are not checked for visas and so there is now no record-keeping of exactly how many Americans are coming into or going out of Pakistan. Incidentally the CAII’s (CIA/Blackwater) Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar! And let us not be fooled by the cry that numbers reflect friendship since we know what numbers meant to Soviet satellites.”

The Pearl Continental, a luxury hotel in Peshawar was bombed on June 9, 2009. The U.S. routinely blames these attacks on Muslim terrorists. The U.S. has also routinely sabotaged peace agreements between the Pakistan government and various resistance groups in Pakistan. Attacks like this are used to justify the current invasion and occupation by the United States.

Given little attention in the corporate media, Peshawar’s Pearl Continental Hotel was bombed on June 9, 2009. At the time of the bombing, Pakistani media reported officially that it was housing U.S. personnel at the time but did not mention Blackwater. However, Blackwater’s name began to surface in rumours and unofficial reports after the Peshawar bombing.

Ahmed Quraishi

On August 5, 2009, Ahmed Quraishi, political analyst, columnist and independent owner of a news website reported on the insertion of U.S. Marines, Blackwater, the CIA and military hardware into Pakistan:

“Pakistanis ask, ‘Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans? And who let them in?’

“Three weeks ago a group of concerned Pakistani citizens in Peshawar wrote to the federal interior ministry to complain about the suspicious activities of a group of shadowy Americans in a rented house in their neighborhood, the upscale University Town area of Peshawar. A NGO calling itself Creative Associates International, Inc. leased the house”. According to its Website, CAII describes itself as ‘a privately-owned non-governmental organization that addresses urgent challenges facing societies today … Creative views change as an opportunity to improve, transform and renew …’ The description makes no sense. It is more or less a perfect cover for the American NGO’s real work: espionage…

“In Peshawar, CAII, opened an office to work on projects in the nearby tribal agencies of Pakistan. All of these projects, interestingly, are linked to the US government. CAII’s other projects outside Pakistan are also linked to the US government. In short, this NGO is not an NGO. It is closely linked to the US government.

Meanwhile, when asked about the expansion of the embassy, U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson was “visibly shaken” and replied, “I’m speechless. To spy on Pakistan we don’t need a big US embassy.” Quickly recovering, she added, “And we don’t need to spy either.” Patterson went on to say that Pakistan could turn into a “family station” – whatever that means to a U.S. colonial bureaucrat.

Ahmed further explains the CIA’s cover for the Blackwater mercenaries:

“In Peshawar, CAII told Pakistani authorities it needed to hire security guards for protection. The security guards, it turns out, were none other than Blackwater’s military-trained hired guns. They were used the CAII cover to conduct a range of covert activities in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. The infamous Blackwater private security firm operates as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places. Blackwater is anything but a security firm. It is a mercenary army of several thousand hired soldiers.

“Pakistani security officials apparently became alarmed by reports that Blackwater was operating from the office of CAII on Chinar Road, University Town in Peshawar. The man in charge of the office, allegedly an American by the name of Craig Davis according to a report in Jang, Pakistan’s largest Urdu language daily, was arrested and accused of establishing contacts with ‘the enemies of Pakistan’ in areas adjoining Afghanistan. His visa has been cancelled, the office sealed, and Mr. Davis reportedly expelled back to the United States.

“It is not clear when Mr. Davis was deported and whether there are other members of the staff expelled along with him. When I contacted the US Embassy over the weekend, spokesman Richard Snelsire’s first reaction was, ‘No embassy official has been deported’.”

Keep in mind that Dr. Shireen Mazari who is in a position to know, stated flatly, “CAII’s Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar!”

But Ahmed Quraishi explains the denial by the U.S. embassy:

“This defensive answer is similar to the guilt-induced reactions of US embassy staffers in Baghdad and Kabul at the presence of mercenaries working for US military and CIA. I said to Mr. Snelsire that I did not ask about an embassy official being expelled. He said he heard these reports and ‘checked around’ with the embassy officials but no one knew about this. ‘It’s baseless’ [he said]. So I asked him, “Is Blackwater operating in Pakistan, in Peshawar?” ‘Not to my knowledge’. [he answered].

“Fair enough. The US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul never acknowledged Blackwater’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan either. This is part of low-level frictions between the diplomats at the US Department of State and those in Pentagon and CIA. The people at State have reportedly made it clear they will not acknowledge or accept responsibility for the activities of special operations agents operating in friendly countries without the knowledge of those countries and in violation of their sovereignty. Reports have suggested that sometimes even the US ambassador is unaware of what his government’s mercenaries do in a target country.”

Finally, Ahmed discusses a U.S. diplomat met secretly with an Indian diplomat inside Pakistan, knowing full well that India is considered to be an enemy state of Pakistan:

“In May, a US woman diplomat was caught arranging a quiet [read 'secret'] meeting between a low-level Indian diplomat and several senior Pakistani government officials. An address in Islamabad – 152 Margalla Road – was identified as a venue where the secret meeting took place. The American diplomat in question knew there was no chance the Indian would get to meet the Pakistanis in normal circumstances. Nor was it possible to do this during a high visibility event. After the incident, Pakistan Foreign Office issued a terse statement warning all government officials to refrain from such direct contact with foreign diplomats in unofficial settings without prior intimation to their departments”.

NGOs that are not NGOs

In addition, many U.S. sponsored NGO’s are working to create news reports in mainstream media which are pro-U.S. For this purpose, many Pakistani analysts, retired generals, businessmen, journalists, and academics are being recruited. As Ahmed Quraishi said, “this NGO is not an NGO”, i.e. some Non Governmental Organizations operate under the control and direction of governments who use them for covert operations in foreign countries and fund them surreptitiously.

Conclusion

It’s clear that the current government has given full privileges to the US. They neither know how, nor want to draw a line against U.S. interference in Pakistani affairs. To put it bluntly, they are surrendering the sovereignty of Pakistan to a foreign power. Dr. Shireen Mazari says, “Whatever the US embassy gives out … the terrified Pakistani leadership echoes.” The objectives of the U.S. are clear: Deeper U.S. penetration will result in the destabilisation of Pakistan, leading to destabilization of the entire region. These U.S. military installations also strengthening their encirclement of Iran. The Pakistani political opposition parties are lip stuck at all these developments. The main reason for their silence is that they are as corrupt as the ruling PPP. No political party in Pakistan is in the mood to resist US hegemony. The Pakistan Army no longer shows any interest in directly interfering with political decisions. After the disastrous eight years under the military dictatorship of Musharraf, the people are also not ready for the Pakistan military to intervene in the political life of the country. The TTP terrorists have just been brought under control – barely. Now millions of Pakistanis are terrified by their new, unwelcome guests from the west – the U.S. terrorists. We will now have to learn to tolerate and survive under this growing and increasingly dangerous U.S. colonization of Pakistan.

(edited by Axis of Logic)

Iraq Ministry Bombers were Recently Freed by US: Ministry Official

Iraq Ministry Bombers were Recently Freed by US: Ministry Official

Readers Number : 18

30/08/2009 Two truck bombers who killed 95 people in devastating attacks on the Iraqi finance and foreign ministries were recently released from US custody, a senior interior ministry official said on Sunday. “The suicide bomber who blew himself up at the ministry of foreign affairs was released three months ago from Camp Bucca,” the official said on condition of anonymity, referring to the US jail near Basra.

“The suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the ministry of finance was also released a few months ago from the same jail.” The August 19 attacks in Baghdad also wounded 600 people in the worst day of violence to hit the country for 18 months. “We have no proof that a former detainee was involved in the bombings,” a US army spokesman said on Sunday. “The government of Iraq is still investigating the attacks, and it would be inappropriate for us to speculate as to who may have been involved while the investigation is ongoing.”

Taliban growth in northern Afghanistan threatens to expand war

Taliban growth in northern Afghanistan threatens to expand war

By Jonathan S. Landay, Mcclatchy Newspapers Fri Aug 28, 2:26 pm ET
BAGHLAN-I-JADID, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents have taken over parts of two northern provinces from which they were driven in 2001, threatening to disrupt NATO’s new supply route from Central Asia and expand a war that’s largely been confined to Afghanistan’s southern half, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

Insurgents operating out of Baghlan district along the highway from Tajikistan launched coordinated attacks during the Aug. 20 presidential elections, killing the district police chief and a civilian, while losing a dozen of their own men, local officials said. It was the worst bloodshed reported in the country that day.

The violence has been on the rise in recent months, however, as the Taliban and al Qaida -linked foreign fighters have staged hit-and-run attacks, bombings and rocket strikes on German, Belgian and Hungarian forces in Baghlan and neighboring Kunduz provinces.

The insurgents now control three Pashtun-dominated districts in Kunduz and Baghlan-i-Jadid, a foothold in a region that was long considered safe. With a force estimated at 300 to 600 hard-core fighters, they operate checkpoints at night on the highway to the north, now a major supply route, local officials said, and are extorting money, food and lodging from villagers.

“The Taliban want to show the world that not only can they make chaos in southern Afghanistan , but in every part of Afghanistan ,” Baghlan Governor Mohammad Akbar Barekzai said. “This is a big problem. We don’t have sufficient forces here.”

For U.S. commanders, whose stretched forces have been unable to pacify the south and are taking record casualties, it’s another looming problem.

“What can we do to mitigate the risk? It’s a question of means,” said a senior U.S. defense official, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. “Clearly, the main effort is in the south. But we can’t allow other areas of the country to be destabilized.”

The official said he’s begun discouraging Western aid workers from visiting projects in those areas.

The growing Taliban presence also threatens to aggravate long-standing tensions into violence between the region’s Pashtuns — the ethnic group that dominates the Taliban — and Tajiks.

Many Pashtuns, descendents of settlers from southern Afghanistan awarded lands in the north in the early 20th century, supported the Taliban’s rule of the 1990s, while many Tajiks fought against the religious militia.

Another potential danger is that al Qaida -linked foreign extremists could use Taliban sanctuaries in the north to stir up trouble in the adjacent former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan , whose authoritarian rulers have brutalized their Muslim populations.

” Al Qaida wants to have a base there,” said retired Afghan Gen. Hillaluddin Hillal, a parliamentarian from Baghlan. ” Al Qaida’s support is behind them (the Taliban ). Al Qaida has an interest in Central Asia .”

A senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed that Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks and Pakistanis affiliated with al Qaida have been making their way into Baghlan and Kunduz from Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The new NATO supply link, established after Pakistani insurgents began attacking the main logistics route from the Pakistani port of Karachi , consists of two roads, one from Uzbekistan and one from Tajikistan . After merging in Baghan Province outside the city of Pul-i-Khumri, the highway runs south through the towering Hindu Kush mountains to the main U.S. base at Bagram and to Kabul .

“The concern is if we don’t stunt the ( Taliban ) growth, it could cause problems with our northern distribution network,” said the senior intelligence official, who asked not to be further identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. “A couple of years ago, ( Taliban leader) Mullah Omar said ‘We need to open up new fronts in the north and cause a dissipation of (U.S.) resources.’ To a degree, it’s working.”

Northern Afghanistan’s nine provinces, dominated by ethnic minorities who opposed the Taliban , have mostly been peaceful since local forces aided by U.S. support ousted the militia in late 2001. About 5,700 German-led international troops have been overseeing major aid and reconstruction efforts from their headquarters in Kunduz.

The Taliban infiltration into Kunduz and Baghlan began 18 months ago with the return from Pakistan of insurgent leaders who ran the provinces during the Taliban rule of Afghanistan , U.S. and Afghan officials said. The establishment of the new NATO supply route may be a factor that drew Taliban from the south.

The Taliban are blamed for the killings of local officials and for one recent unsuccessful attack on former President Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kunduz, and another on a minor presidential candidate, Abdul Salam , a former Taliban commander known as “Mullah Rocketi,” in Baghlan-i-Jadid.

The Taliban “have become stronger in the last five to six months,” said Gul Agha, who heads Baghlan-i-Jadid’s criminal investigation department. “Before, they moved in very small groups. Now they are moving in groups of 30 to 40 and they have a leader of each group. They have a (shadow) governor, district leaders and recruiters.”

The senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed that the Taliban have set up “shadow governments,” a tactic they’ve used to exercise control elsewhere in Afghanistan by punishing crimes and settling feuds that usually linger in corrupt, incompetent government institutions and courts.

Agha said that the insurgents “have influence” in all of Baghlan-i-Jadid’s 268 villages, nestled amidst lush groves and rice paddies fed by the Southern Salang River , and that the local administration’s authority doesn’t extend beyond the district center of the same name.

The district shares its northern border with Chahar Dara, which Afghan officials identified as one of the three Kunduz Province districts controlled by the insurgents.

“There is only one mountain between us,” said Amir Gul Baghlani , the Baghlan-i-Jadid district chief. “When they are under pressure over there, they come to this side. When they are under pressure here, they cross to the other side. We don’t have enough security.”

The district has only 90 police officers and has been recruiting and arming tribal militias in an effort to fill the gap, local officials said.

However, several residents charged that the militias, known as arbakai, have become part of the problem.

“These arbakai take food from villagers by force and taxes by force. My relatives went several times to complain to the authorities. When the arbakai found out, they beat my relatives. So they joined the Taliban to keep their prestige and honor,” said Mohammad Ghulam , deputy director of the district’s agricultural high school. “Now they are fighting the government.”

Several U.S. military officials said Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal , the recently installed U.S. commander in Afghanistan , hopes to stem the problem by deploying additional Afghan troops accompanied by U.S. military trainers, an idea that appealed to local officials who fear an influx of American soldiers would fuel violence and bloodshed.

Barekzai, the Baghlan governor, said that he only has about 1,400 police officers and 500 Afghan troops to call on. About 200 Hungarian forces deployed to secure aid projects in are barred from conducting offensive operations.

It isn’t too late, however, to neutralize the Taliban presence, but time is running out, he continued.

“Give me resources and more police. The Taliban are like microbes. We need to use a strong antibiotic,” he said. “If we don’t do it now, then later on, say in six months, it will require more forces, more resources and more weapons and we will probably have more casualties.”

( McClatchy special correspondent Hashim Shukoor contributed to this article.)

Karzai Using Rift With U.S. to Gain Favor With Afghans

Karzai Using Rift With U.S. to Gain Favor With Afghans

By HELENE COOPER The New York Times August 29, 2009
OAK BLUFFS, Mass. — A little over 24 hours after the polls closed, President Obama stepped out on the White House South Lawn last week to pronounce the Afghanistan presidential elections something of a success.

“This was an important step forward in the Afghan people’s effort to take control of their future, even as violent extremists are trying to stand in their way,” Mr. Obama said. “I want to congratulate the Afghanistan people on carrying out this historic election.”

But now, as reports mount of widespread fraud in the balloting, including allegations that supporters of the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, illegally stuffed ballot boxes in the south and ripped up ballots cast for his opponents, Mr. Obama’s early praise may soon come back to haunt him.

Afghanistan’s Electoral Complaints Commission said Friday that it had received more than 2,000 complaints of fraud or abuse in last week’s election. Mr. Karzai’s biggest rival, Abdullah Abdullah, showed reporters video of a local election chief in one polling station stuffing ballot boxes himself.

The vote count has progressed very slowly in Afghanistan — as of Friday, preliminary results with 17 percent of the vote in gave Mr. Karzai 44 percent and Mr. Abdullah 35 percent. If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote, a runoff must be held between the top two candidates.

For Mr. Obama, who is on vacation here in Martha’s Vineyard, and his administration, it is the worst of all possible outcomes. Administration officials have made no secret of their growing disenchantment with Mr. Karzai, who is viewed by the West as having so compromised himself to try to get elected — including striking deals with accused drug dealers and warlords for political gain — that he will be a hindrance to international efforts to get the country on track after the election.

But Mr. Karzai, in a feat of political shrewdness that has surprised some in the Obama administration, has managed to turn that disenchantment to an advantage, portraying himself at home as the only political candidate willing to stand up to the dictates of the United States, according to Western officials.

Case in point: a meeting the day after the elections last week between Mr. Karzai and Richard C. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, at Mr. Karzai’s presidential palace in Kabul.

A person familiar with the meeting, which also included Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, and the deputy ambassador, Francis J. Ricciardone Jr., said that the three Americans went in to see Mr. Karzai and discussed two things: how Mr. Karzai would govern if he were re-elected, and how the elections had gone.

The three Americans told Mr. Karzai, the person said, that the United States was maintaining a neutral position in the elections, and that it would leave decisions about whether a runoff was needed to the Afghan elections commission and the electoral complaints commission.

Mr. Karzai told the Americans, according to this account, that he believed that he had won. Mr. Holbrooke, administration officials said, did not demand a runoff during the meeting, but did express concern about the complaints about fraud and ballot-box stuffing. The Americans left the meeting and described it as routine.

A few days after, reports surfaced in international and Afghan news outlets that Mr. Holbrooke had demanded a runoff election in what one report characterized as the “explosive” meeting with Mr. Karzai, a charge which the Americans deny vociferously.

The administration officials accused Mr. Karzai’s agents of leaking to the news media select portions of the exchange between the two men, in order to make it look as if Obama administration were trying to force the rightful winner of the Afghan presidential elections — Mr. Karzai — into holding a runoff to satisfy American demands.

Mr. Karzai, a senior administration official said, “has a longstanding pattern of creating a straw man of America’s positions, and rallying people around that. But contrary to those reports, no one shouted, no one walked out” of the meeting, he said.

Whatever the case, the atmosphere may now have become so poisoned between the United States and Mr. Karzai that the Obama administration will be hampered no matter what course it takes. Administration officials said initial characterizations of the success of the elections referred solely to the fact that they took place at all, despite threats by the Taliban and more than 200 rocket attacks in southern Afghanistan on election day.

“Those comments about the relative success of the elections were coming at a time when there was the fear that the Taliban would disrupt the process,” another senior administration official said. The Taliban, the official said, “launched hundreds of rocket attacks, and Afghans still voted.”

Publicly, the administration line remains that Mr. Obama is waiting for the Afghan complaints commission to rule on the validity of the vote tallies and on less numerous fraud allegations lodged against Mr. Abdullah. The process may take weeks.

Asked if Mr. Obama regretted his initial assessment that the elections appeared to have been successful, a White House spokesman, Bill Burton, said, “The president’s view is we’re all waiting for the results to trickle in just like everybody else.”

Mr. Burton added: “We think that, with the mechanisms in place to address any allegations of fraud, that they will work.”

That may not be enough for Afghans. “The allegations of fraud are very serious, throughout the country, and the international community has an obligation to ensure that the complaints commission investigates all of these complaints,” said Saad Mohseni, head of the Moby media group of radio and television stations based in Kabul.

“We had rockets raining on some towns, suicide bombers in the cities, gunfire, and yet people turned out to vote,” Mr. Mohseni said. “People took their lives in their hands, and therefore they deserve better.”

Britain’s u-turn on Lockerbie bomber ‘for oil’

Britain’s u-turn on Lockerbie bomber ‘for oil’

Posted: 30 August 2009 1650 hrs

LONDON : The British government decided two years ago it was “in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom” to make the Lockerbie bomber eligible for return to Libya, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Leaked letters show Justice Secretary Jack Straw informing his Scottish counterpart, Kenny MacAskill, of the decision to include Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement, the report said.

Five months earlier Straw had said he favoured excluding Megrahi from the agreement.

The Sunday Times said Straw changed his position after discussions between Libya and BP over a massive oil exploration deal had become bogged down, but they were resolved soon afterwards.

Megrahi was not eventually released under the prisoner transfer agreement. MacAskill freed him from a Scottish prison this month on compassionate grounds because he has terminal cancer.

However, the disclosure of the letters will raise questions about Britain’s stance on the release of Megrahi, the only person convicted for killing 270 people when a Pan Am jet was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

The British government has insisted the decision was made solely by the Scottish authorities and has refuted allegations that Megrahi was granted freedom as part of a deal to help facilitate contracts with oil-rich Libya.

In a letter dated July 26, 2007, Straw said he favoured an option to omit Megrahi from the prison transfer agreement by stipulating that any prisoners convicted before a specified date would be ineligible for transfer.

On December 19, 2007, Straw changed his decision as Libya used its deal with BP as a bargaining chip to insist the Lockerbie bomber was included, The Sunday Times said.

BP denied that political factors played a role in the deal’s ratification.

In a statement responding to the report, Straw said the proposed exclusion of Megrahi from the prisoner transfer scheme had been dropped because “it went beyond the standard form”.

“It was always made clear to the Libyans that, as with all other such agreements, the sentencing jurisdiction — in this case Scotland — had a right to veto any individual application including that of any application from Mr Megrahi,” Straw said.

He added that the Scottish authorities “wanted a specific carve out from the PTA (Prisoner Transfer Agreement) treaty in respect of Mr Megrahi.

“I gave instructions to British negotiators to try to secure this.

“However, such an exclusion went beyond the standard form of PTA treaties and in the event an agreement for a PTA in the standard form — including the rights of veto of any application — was agreed.

“All this, however, is academic as Mr Megrahi was not released under the PTA treaty but quite separately by the Scottish Executive on compassionate grounds.”

Megrahi, who insists he is innocent, told another British newspaper on Saturday that he supported calls by relatives of the Lockerbie victims for a public inquiry into the atrocity.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE MUST DIE

THE FEDERAL RESERVE MUST DIE


The Federal Reserve in collaboration with the giant banks has created the greatest financial crisis the world has ever seen. The foolish notion that unlimited amounts of money and credit created out of thin air can provide sustainable economic growth has delivered this crisis to us. Instead of economic growth and stable prices, (The Fed) has given us a system of government and finance that now threatens the world financial and political institutions. Pursuing the same policy of excessive spending, debt expansion and monetary inflation can only compound the problems that prevent the required corrections. Doubling the money supply didn’t work, quadrupling it won’t work either. Buying up the bad debt of privileged institutions and dumping worthless assets on the American people is morally wrong and economically futile.

by Jim Quinn
(libertarian)

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value —- zero.” Voltaire

“The Federal Reserve in collaboration with the giant banks has created the greatest financial crisis the world has ever seen. The foolish notion that unlimited amounts of money and credit created out of thin air can provide sustainable economic growth has delivered this crisis to us. Instead of economic growth and stable prices, (The Fed) has given us a system of government and finance that now threatens the world financial and political institutions. Pursuing the same policy of excessive spending, debt expansion and monetary inflation can only compound the problems that prevent the required corrections. Doubling the money supply didn’t work, quadrupling it won’t work either. Buying up the bad debt of privileged institutions and dumping worthless assets on the American people is morally wrong and economically futile.” - Representative from Texas Ron Paul questioning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

I’ve read and witnessed various pundits during the Presidential campaign describe Ron Paul as crazy. The corrupt tax and spenders in Congress know their days would be numbered if they followed his vision of government. After reading his tremendously sane rebuke of Ben Bernanke and the policies of his Federal Reserve, I’m reminded of a classic scene from Seinfeld.

Jerry: “Ah, you’re crazy.”
Kramer: “Am I? Or am I so sane that you just blew your mind?!”
Jerry: “It’s impossible!”
Kramer: “Is it? Or is it so possible that your head is spinning like a top?!”
Jerry: “It can’t be.”
Kramer: “Can it? Or is your entire world just crashing down all around you?”
Jerry: “Alright, that’s enough.”
Kramer: “Yaaaaaaahhh!!!”

Ron Paul’s scathing assessment of the Federal Reserve’s primary role in creating the financial crisis and his raking of Chairman Bernanke over the coals is so accurate, truthful and sane that it should blow your mind. Mr. Bernanke must have felt like his head was spinning like a top while Ron Paul gave him a tutorial in basic economics. Mr. Paul’s noble efforts to Audit the Fed (HR 1207) and eventually to rid the country of its insidious control over our lives will bring the pillars of the Federal Reserve building crashing down upon Mr. Bernanke in his mahogany paneled, gold plated boardroom with ornate chandeliers.

The worldwide financial system experienced a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in September 2008. The very foundations of our economy were shaken to their core. The fear exhibited by government officials, politicians, and the public was palpable and real. For a few weeks there was the distinct possibility that the system would come crashing down. A massive printing of dollars by the Federal Reserve, the clandestine buying up of toxic assets by the Federal Reserve, behind the scenes deals with the biggest banks, covert currency swap deals with foreign Central Banks, and forcing the FASB to change accounting rules to allow banks to fraudulently value bad loans, temporarily staved off the final chapter in the 96 year old diabolical experiment in currency manipulation.

The moment when the system stopped functioning was our “Minsky Moment”. Hyman Minsky was an American economist and professor of economics at Washington University. Dr. Minsky put forward theories linking financial market vulnerability, in the normal life cycle of an economy, with speculative investment bubbles produced by financial markets. Minsky declared that in good times, when corporate cash flow rises beyond what is needed to pay off debt, a speculative bubble develops, and soon thereafter debts exceed what borrowers can pay off from their incoming revenues, which in turn produces a financial emergency. As a result of such dangerous debt bubbles, banks tighten credit availability, even to companies with good credit, and the economy enters recession.

This movement of the financial system from stability to crisis is the “Minsky Moment”. At this point, a major selloff begins due to the fact that no counterparty can be found to bid at the asking prices previously quoted, leading to a swift and steep collapse in markets and a dramatic drop in market liquidity. What Dr. Minsky failed to address was that the Federal Reserve has been responsible for every financial crisis in the United States since 1913.

A History of Crisis & Political Influence

Creation

The history of the Federal Reserve is shrouded in mystery, with bankers and corrupt politicians calling the shots from the very outset. On the evening of November 22, 1910 , Senator Aldrich and A.P. Andrews (Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department), Paul Warburg (a naturalized German representing Baron Alfred Rothschild’s Kuhn, Loeb & Co.), Frank Vanderlip (president of the National City Bank of New York), Henry P. Davison (senior partner of J.P. Morgan Company), Charles D. Norton (president of the Morgan-dominated First National Bank of New York), and Benjamin Strong (representing J. P. Morgan), left Hoboken, New Jersey on a train with a mission to gain complete control over the currency of the United States.

Forbes magazine founder Bertie Charles Forbes described the meeting on Jekyll Island, South Carolina that brought about the Federal Reserve:

“Picture a party of the nation’s greatest bankers stealing out of New York on a private railroad car under cover of darkness, stealthily riding a hundred of miles South, embarking on a mysterious launch, sneaking onto an island deserted by all but a few servants, living there a full week under such rigid secrecy that the names of not one of them was once mentioned, lest the servants learn the identity and disclose to the world this strangest, most secret expedition in the history of American finance. I am not romancing; I am giving to the world, for the first time, the real story of how the famous Aldrich currency report, the foundation of our new currency system, was written… The utmost secrecy was enjoined upon all. The public must not glean a hint of what was to be done. Senator Aldrich notified each one to go quietly into a private car of which the railroad had received orders to draw up on an unfrequented platform. Off the party set. New York’s ubiquitous reporters had been foiled… Nelson (Aldrich) had confided to Henry, Frank, Paul and Piatt that he was to keep them locked up at Jekyll Island, out of the rest of the world, until they had evolved and compiled a scientific currency system for the United States, the real birth of the present Federal Reserve System, the plan done on Jekyll Island in the conference with Paul, Frank and Henry… Warburg is the link that binds the Aldrich system and the present system together. He, more than any one man, has made the system possible as a working reality.”

On December 19, 1913 Congress had two versions of a Federal Reserve bill with forty major differences. Many Senators left town for the Christmas break and President Wilson didn’t anticipate a final bill until January. In a matter of hours, the forty differences were reconciled and the bill was voted on with 22 of the 88 Senators not in town. It passed and was on Wilson’s desk for signature by December 22. He refused to sign it, until convinced by Bernard Baruch, a major contributor to his campaign and Wall Street millionaire. The passage of the Federal Reserve Act became known as “the Christmas massacre”

During the legislative process Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. wisely pointed out the bleak future we would endure by giving bankers control over our destiny.

“The powers vested in the Federal Reserve Board seem to me highly dangerous especially when there is political control of the Board. I should be sorry to hold stock in a bank subject to such dominations. The [Federal Reserve] bill as it stands seems to me to open the way to a vast inflation of the currency. I do not like to think that any law can be passed that will make it possible to submerge the gold standard in a flood of irredeemable paper currency.”

Congressman Charles A.Lindbergh Sr. had this to say after the passage of the bill:

“This [Federal Reserve Act] establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized….the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill. The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board administers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is Private,

conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money. From now on, depressions will be scientifically created.”

Mandate(s)

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Federal Reserve Bank with the following mandate:

An Act To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes.

The original mandate was clearly limited. The idea was that a Central Bank would be able to keep the periodic panics like the Panic of 1907 from ever happening again. It appears that four innocuous words opened up Pandora’s Box and unleashed evils upon all mankind – “and for other purposes”. The bankers who control the Federal Reserve along with their politician protectors have dramatically expanded the scope, authority and influence of the Federal Reserve with each scientifically created crisis that has occurred in the last 96 years. They are attempting to grab more power as we speak.
Since 1913 the Federal Reserve has amassed more and more authority and now has vast responsibility and control over our lives. The Federal Reserve website lists the following functions:

  • conducting the nation’s monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates
  • supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers
  • maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets
  • providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system

By any reasonable measure, the Federal Reserve has failed miserably in all their responsibilities. When organizations fail in a capitalist system, they are supposed to be replaced, not given more responsibility. They are now an immense entity with its insidious tentacles throughout the worldwide financial system.   (more here)

Israel threatens Lebanon and Obama

Israel threatens Lebanon and Obama

Obama is sending shockwaves through the pro-Israel lobby community, if not for his actions then his reluctance to tow the traditional Zionist line, writes Franklin Lamb from South Lebanon.

Suddenly they were all over the place, arriving not as singles but in battalions. Many, like Maryland’s 5th District Rep Steny Hoyer had been to Israel nearly a dozen times; career stalwarts once more showing fealty to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine while lamely telling their constituents that they were on a legitimate “fact finding mission”. For many, their real purpose was to signal their president that there must be no change in the US policy of coddling Israel’s increasingly apartheid regime.

Among the nearly four-dozen members of Congress were some of the most Islamophobic and anti- Arab ever to be elected by American voters.

House majority leader Hoyer, leading a delegation of 29 Democratic congressmen, appeared to read from a cue card as he explained in Jerusalem that he had misgivings about Obama’s insistence on stopping colonial expansions (euphemistically called by the Israel lobby “settlements”). Hoyer downplayed Obama’s demand to stop the expansions and informed the White

House that the issue “should be a subject of negotiations”. Hoyer refused comment on Kadima leader Tzipi Livni’s “leak” of part of last year’s CIA study that Hoyer helped the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bury on Capitol Hill. Appearing to quote from the now withdrawn “study”, Livni declared in a former Palestinian village now renamed Tirat Hacarmel: “I see the despair and desperation of many Israelis. Hundreds of thousands see what is happening and arrange for a foreign passport, send their children to study abroad, and even buy a house overseas.”

Livni got it right. Israeli officials see the writing on the wall, and there is not deep affection for Israel on Capitol Hill. Most feel the US will sooner or later “cut Israel loose”, but still they don’t want its domestic lobby on their case. Many outside of Washington don’t understand this, and Americans in the Middle East are sometimes queried “Why do you Americans love Israel so much when you claim you oppose colonialism elsewhere?”

Hoyer remained focussed on undermining Obama: “I don’t think settlements are nearly the big issue that confronts the Palestinians and the Israelis in reaching an agreement. President Obama has called for a stop to any additional settlements. But that is a thorny, tough issue,” he said, adding: “It’s an issue that has to be solved at the bargaining table, even if it takes a while.” Hoyer’s comment presumably warmed the hearts of his hosts and handlers even as it reportedly infuriated some in the now divided White House.

Remarkably, Hoyer, now in his 14th term in Congress (on 3 June 2008 Steny set the all-time record for the longest serving member from Maryland) has yet to find a single aspect of Israel’s occupation, numerous wars against Lebanon, assassinations, slaughter of innocents and massive violations of international humanitarian law and violations of US laws (Arms Export Control Act of 1976, the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, and rack of other laws) “a big issue”.

But God forbid some misguided Palestinian preteen lobs a piece of gravel at one of Israel’s 400+ US funded (now $6 million each!) 130,000 pound, 1,200 horsepower, 30 foot long, 13 foot wide, Merkava IV, triple impenetrable (except to Hizbullah rockets we recently learned) tanks and Hoyer is on the House floor crying “Palestinian terrorism!” and ready to support another AIPAC congressional resolution demonising Arabs and Islam.

GET OVER THERE AND DO SOME GOOD! Earlier this month, AIPAC dispatched two congressional delegations to Israel. Their primary purpose, as they nearly stumbled over one another, was to warn President Obama to “back off Israel”.

Both delegations accomplished their mission as they interviewed victims of last year’s rocket attacks at Siderot for the umpteenth time while avoiding swine flu Gaza and its victims of 60 years of Israeli occupation and terrorism.

One delegation was led by minority whip Eric Cantor from Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress. The delegation of 25 Republicans said the week-long mission to Israel was designed to promote Mideast peace and that the delegation remained “troubled” by Obama’s “policy on Israel”.   (more here)

Going for the Gas–Pakistan to Defy Saudi, American and ISI Advice

Where there is gas, there will be fumes

By Khalid Mustafa

ISLAMABAD: In clear defiance of two immensely powerful foreign capitals which are fuming over Pakistan’s pertinence, Islamabad is going ahead with the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas line project and has initiated the process of arranging finances to the tune of $1.245 billion (Rs106 billion) required for laying the 800 km long pipeline from Pak-Iran border to Nawab Shah. This was revealed by the minutes of the last meeting of Steering Committee of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on IP gas line project held in Karachi on August 22.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Pakistan will also be importing 1.05 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd) from Iran, at 78 per cent of crude oil parity price. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and Iran have already signed Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for importing 750 million cubic feet gas per day (mmcfd), which will be used to generate 4,500 MW of electricity and would be a cheaper alternative to the present exorbitantly expensive and imported furnace oil being used in the existing thermal power houses.

The Economic Coordination Committee has already approved the import of 750 mmcfd gas, but in the wake of demand of Balochistan for 250 mmcfd gas from Iran for its industry in Gwadar, the government has now decided to import just over one bcfd gas from Iran.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources will now reportedly move the summary in this regard seeking permission to import 250 mmcfd more gas for Balochistan at the same rates (i.e. at 78 per cent of crude oil parity price).

In the wake of increase in gas volume from 750 mmcfd to 1.05 bcfd to be imported through IP gas line, the diameter of the planned 800 KM pipeline too has been increased to 48 inches from the previous 42 inches.

Considering the magnitude and strategic nature of the project, the government has adopted a public-private partnership approach for financing the project to lay 800 KM pipeline with debt equity ratio of 70:30 under which the government of Pakistan will be providing 51 per cent equity. This equity would be injected upfront through selected Public Sector Entities (PSE) that include OGDCL (Oil and Gas Development Company Limited), PPL (Pakistan Petroleum Limited),GHPL (Government Holding Private Limited), EOBI (Employees Old Age Benefits Institution) and SLIC (State Life Insurance Corporation).

The debt will be sourced from the market backed by the government guarantees for transportation tariff. Reportedly, in the above cited ECC meeting, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin mentioning the debt portion agreed that in case of any gap in raising the required debt from market, the funds will be ensured from PSDP allocations.

Mr Tarin in the same meeting on the issue of Return to Investors advised that instead of a fixed 18 per cent return on equity over the life of the project, the investors should be offered “sovereign bond yield plus risk premium of 6 per cent dollar dominated, net of taxes.”

The committee agreed to this overall approach to fund the project and advised that a summary to this effect must be moved to ECC for approval. Since the volume of the finances required for the project is considerably high and ensuring the funding available on time is an uphill task under the prevalent depressed international investment climate, the government has also decided to appoint a top notch financial adviser for the project, who would be responsible for arranging private equity and debt financing.

The selection of financial adviser will be made through international bidding and will be given a firm time line for achieving the financial close.

CIA head in furious torture row

CIA head in furious torture row

The head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, erupted in an expletive-filled tirade and threatened to resign over the appointment this week of a special prosecutor into the torture of detainees by the CIA.

By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 8:47PM BST 29 Aug 2009

In a heated argument with a senior White House staff member, Mr. Panetta argued that the inquiry would cause long-term damage to the agency and that the few rogue elements who engaged in torture had already been disciplined, according to a report in the New York Times.

He lost the argument and the prosecutor John Durham will begin investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against those who exceeded orders.

Mr Durham is already examining possible criminal charges against the CIA officers who destroyed ninety-two videotapes showing Abu Zubaydah and other detainees being water-boarded and otherwise abused over 200 times.

The CIA Director once had direct access to the president and was seen as America’s leading intelligence officer, but no more. Admiral Dennis Blair is the current Director of National Intelligence, heading all sixteen of America’s intelligence agencies.

He has also infuriated Mr Panetta by insisting on the right to appoint officers from other intelligence agencies to the most senior foreign postings. This has traditionally been a prerogative of the CIA.

The agency has also been stripped of interrogation and detention responsibilities for “high value detainees.” That will now be handled by several agencies led by the FBI.

Even General Petraeus, the head of Central Command is setting up his own intelligence service to look at Afghanistan and Pakistan. The CIA will continue to fly the drones that are killing Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, however.

A spokesman for the CIA refuted suggestions that Mr Panetta threatened to quit. There seems little doubt that there was a “profanity-laced screaming match” at a White House as Mr Panetta vented his spleen. He was particularly angry to have learned of Mr Dunham’s appointment from reading an article in Newsweek magazine.

Sometimes torture has been treated as a capital crime in the US and the prospect of a lengthy investigation into CIA torture has thrown the agency into turmoil.

The Convention Against Torture, which the US ratified in 1994, requires a government to prosecute all acts of torture. America’s failure to do so would itself be considered a breach of international law.

Harrowing details emerged this week in Justice Department documents about CIA agents threatening a captive with a power drill and gun during an interrogation.

They described a prisoner being choked almost to the point of death, and of threats being made to rape one detainee’s wife and kill another’s children.

Three prisoners are known to have died in CIA hands.

Mr Panetta has already said the legal fees paid of agents will be paid for, in an attempt to maintain morale at the agency,

A confidential Red Cross report as well as declassified government documents, shows that scores of terror suspects were subjected to long session of physical and psychological cruelty in secret prisons and in Guantanamo Bay. The prisoners were shackled in contorted positions for weeks; left naked and chained from the ceiling; and hurled head first against walls.

Mr Panetta’s appointment by Barack Obama caused considerable unease at the agency which does not like outsiders. At 70 years of age, Mr Panetta is also the oldest CIA Director in the agency’s history.

The son of Italian immigrants, who once washed dishes in his parents’ restaurant, Mr Panetta is known for his passionate temper. A former Democratic Congressman and Clinton chief of staff, he had little experience with intelligence matters before Mr Obama asked him to take the job.

John O Brennan was Mr Obama’s first choice for the job, but he was forced to withdraw his name for his alleged role in drawing up the harsh interrogation programme after September 11.

Mr Obama wanted someone at the CIA who would be straight with him. The CIA now finds itself a scapegoat for political and military efforts, as has happened many times since the agency was created in 1947.

Before taking over the CIA, Mr Panetta was one of its harshest critics.

He wrote a powerful essay against torture in which he said: “Those who support torture may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values, but that is a false compromise.”

He also wrote: “We cannot and we must not use torture under any circumstances. We are better than that.” Now Mr Panetta must work closely with agents who designed the torture sessions.

These CIA officers and the 12 who carried out the harsh interrogations at various “black site” prisons may soon be testifying under oath.