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  A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
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   Author  Topic: A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.  (Read 4853 times)
Hermit
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A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« on: 2006-04-15 10:43:15 »
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A little known fact about the horrific (but effective) "UAE" and car bomb attacks in Iraq is that they are yet another example of an "own goal," as these techniques were originally introduced into that environment by the United States; making the United States' objections to these tactics another stunning example of hypocrisy at work. In June 2004 the New York Times reported:
Quote:
"Iyad Allawi, now the designated prime minister of Iraq, ran an exile organization intent on deposing Saddam Hussein that sent agents into Baghdad in the early 1990s's to plant bombs and sabotage government facilities under the direction of the CIA, several former intelligence officials say. Dr. Allawi's group, the Iraqi National Accord, used car bombs and other explosives devices smuggled into Baghdad from northern Iraq… One former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was based in the region, Robert Baer, recalled that a bombing during that period 'blew up a school bus; schoolchildren were killed.'"

According to one of the Times' informants, the bombing campaign, dead school kids and all, "was a test more than anything else, to demonstrate capability." It allowed the CIA to portray the then-exiled Allawi and his suspect group of ex-Baathists as a serious opposition to Saddam Hussein and an alternative to the coterie (so favored by Washington neoconservatives) around Ahmed Chalabi. "No one had any problem with sabotage in Baghdad back then," another CIA veteran reflected. "I don't think anyone could have known how things would turn out today."


I bet they didn't.

Why is terrorism apparently an acceptable tactic when it is sponsored by the US, but not when it is used by guerillas attempting to resist an American occupation of their country (which is, of course, how America portrayed its leadership and assistance to the even more bloody Muhiddin insurgents against the communist government in Afghanistan). So why are they the heroic resistance when they are ours, and insurgents when theirs?

Why are some of the NeoConned claiming that the illegal elections in Afghanistan, held to change the government during an occupation (which itself was a product of the International community's bowing to the threats and bribes of America) "freeing" the Afghans and from what, when the elections, held during the Soviet occupation (and of course just as illegal as those held during the American occupation) were strenuously protested by the United States, seeing that the Soviets did not hand pick the candidates, while the Americans most certainly did? Surely the Soviets also freed the Afghans? Did the Americans, who created the Muhiddin which became the Taliban enslave the Afghans when they instigated civil revolt and, let's face it, terrorism? Curious minds would like to know.

On a mainly unrelated topic, yesterday being the anniversary of what I remembered as the Masada suicides, I did some reading into the matter. And discovered (now why am I not surprised?) that the "heroic legend" of Masada I was introduced to in the 1970s is in fact in the same Tonypandy league as most NeoConeHead assertions about Afghanistan and Iraq – and indeed, in the same class as most Judeo Christian assertions about the Palestine and Palestinians; mainly myth, sometimes with a slight nod to underlying realities which serve only to introduce a spurious accent of synthetic verisimilitude.

Just as in the accusation the genocidalists in Jerusalem are keen to make about Palestinians, and the American friends to the Zionist genocidalists seem keen to believe, the Sicarii "gained their notoriety for killing not just Romans but also moderate Jews--whom they viewed as collaborators". In addition, just like the Sunni Iraqis fighting the Iranian and American make-over of their country are described as doing by the Americans (who are still in denial about handing most of Iraq over to Iranian proxies); and as the Americans engaged in bringing a holocaust to the civilians of the Middle East (whom they cynically claim to be "freeing" from tyranny) are also arguably engaged in doing, "Masada's Sicarii massacred over 700 women and children in the nearby town of Ein Gedi. Yet Yadin described the rebels as defenders or patriots". These quotations are from a seemingly good (though probably too sympathetic) source, "The Last Stand New questions about an ancient tale of Jewish defiance–and about the uses of archaeology".

The last line of this article undoubtedly offers a generally appropriate lesson. "Never get trapped on a mountain with no good options," he says. "Instead, make alliances; negotiate your way." A lesson that the NeoConned, any of whom yet in the fold having proved themselves terminally "learning challenged", will probably never grasp. Which is why I think that future history books will probably regard the current series of "own goals" as a quasi ironic "Fin du Régime" to the great American experiment. Which if the American Republicans, like the Romans before them, were even half so nice as they believe themselves to be, would surely lead somebody, somewhere, to say, "what a pity!" Instead, we are more likely to be compared to the notorious Tyrant of Syracuse (from whose name we get the words "tyranny" and “tyrannical”); whose proximity was dangerous, whose rule was merciless, whose policies were erratic - and whose end was, in consequence, widely celebrated.
« Last Edit: 2006-05-13 08:41:57 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals" hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #1 on: 2006-04-15 13:32:04 »
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For what its worth, I happen to think invading Afghanistan was called for after 9-11, but it wasn't done right because the administration placed avenging daddy bush in a higher priority.  Even if they got the priority right, I'm afraid their righteous incompetence would have probably screwed things up regardless.  So in retrospect, it might have been better for them to do nothing, get voted out in 2004, so we could have a competant administration do the job right.  The world would have been a better place by now.
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #2 on: 2006-04-15 15:45:48 »
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As I noted at the time, the situation reminded me of nothing so much as the Austro-Hungarian demands made on Sarajevo after the assassination of the Archduke and his wife. Demands which effectively meant that Sarajevo would have yielded sovereignty to Austria-Hungary. Sarajevo actually complied on all but one of the demands, Austria-Hungary announced that this was equivalent to refusing to cooperate and invaded Sarajevo, effectively starting WW I.

Let me attempt to provide some context here, if I may. The world was then with America, not against it. That included Afghanistan - who were in power because America had trained them, supported them and supplied them until they had power and supported them intermittently after that with moderate funding. Indeed in the months leading up to the invasion, the US was still paying the Taliban government for "managing" the opium situation.

The US then demanded that the Taliban hand bin Laden to them.

The Taliban noted that bin Laden was a valued guest (which is very significant in most Middle Eastern cultures); that they had no extradition treaty with the US; that the US was dealing with them, but had not formally recognized them; but that nevertheless, if the US would provide their courts with evidence to allow them to make a determination as to the likelihood of guilt being proven, that the Taliban would evaluate this evidence and if supported, would extradite bin Laden to the US; or to some other country which did have an extradition treaty with the US (IIRC Germany was suggested, partly because most of the 9/11 plotting which was not performed in the USA is alleged to have happened there). The US would have had what it wanted - and so would the Taliban.

The US responded that they would not deal with the Taliban and that they would not provide any evidence as this would disclose too much about America's (we now know, non-existent) information gathering structures. The Taliban replied that they could not extradite anyone on this basis but would discuss the matter in the UN. The US responded by asserting that the Taliban were an "illegitimate government" and instead invaded Afghanistan, mislaying bin Laden, but appointing a US friendly occupation authority that rules, tenuously, over Kabul, and agrees (with appropriate baksheesh) to American pipelines traversing their territory, but has, by and large, abandoned the rest of Afghanistan to anarchy "moderated" by occasional high lethality air strikes.

How is this justified or justifiable?

Now we should note that Germany and Spain have both refused to hand over alleged Al Q'aida members on similar grounds - as well as when the US has refused to agree that such suspects be tried in the courts rather than by tribunals, and when the US has not agreed not to seek the death penalty (which to the Europeans makes America appear as primitive and brutal as the Taliban) in such cases. Today I suspect that a terror suspect arrested in Europe could successfully fight extradition to the US on the grounds that torture would likely be a component of American custody, and I suspect that the European courts would agree. Despite this congruency with the Afghan position, the United States has not yet invaded Germany or Spain on these issues. Why ever not? After all, the US still has the embarrassing, "bomb the Hague" legislation on the books which is intended to protect American citizens from the jurisprudence of the World Court.

Now lets play a nice game of “vice versa”. Looking at it the other way around, there is Posada Carriles. There is no argument that Posada Carriles was a CIA hitman. Posada Carilles is also considered a “terrorist” by most of Latin America. He is accused of (at least):

  • involvement in drug trafficking.
  • establishing CORU, the “terror” group which assassinated Orlando Letelier of Chile.
  • Placing the bomb on a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976.
  • attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro during Castro's visit to Panama in 2000.

Both Cuba and Venezuela have applied for his extradition from the US for years. Cuba's request has simply been ignored. In September of last year, a Texan Judge refused to grant the Venezuelan request on the grounds that the US government asserted that it feared that Posada Carriles might be tortured and refused to extradite him. It is reported that the US is considering freeing him to live with his family in Miami despite the fact that he entered the US illegally*. A state department official described this farce (the word used to describe it by the ex US Interest Representative in Havana) as, "It's bad enough when the world knows that we're rendering suspected Islamic terrorists to countries that routinely use terror, but here we have someone who we know is a terrorist, and it's clear that we're actively protecting him from facing justice. We have zero credibility." I'm still very sure that if Venezuela or Cuba invaded the US to effect an arrest or engage in “regime change” that some Americans might take it badly. Do you think we would engage in resistance? Or insurgency? Hypocrisy?

How about the difference between "Zero Credibility" America and the willing but principled previously and currently disassembled Afghanistan? Other than in our ability to kill Afghans without their having any meaningful recourse I mean. Our hypocrisy?

We have a President who has lied us into two completely unjustified and unjustifiable wars while claiming we are the good guys. This is hypocrisy. We have a president who orders “spontaneous unannounced declassification” of cherry picked document excerpts – and then promises to find out who “leaked” the information. This is hypocrisy. We have killed thousands of Afghans and at least a hundred thousand Iraqi (possibly three times that) – and claim we are spreading “freedom” rather than death. This is hypocrisy. We are “losing the peace” in Afghanistan and have lost any credible hope of extinguishing the civil war we have ignited in Iraq and claim we have brought freedom. This is hypocrisy. We support a genocidal nation, Israel without reservation at enormous cost to ourselves, while banning not just aid and assistance, but even dialog with her victims the Palestinians, while imagining that we are just. This is hypocrisy. We accuse a non-nuclear armed Iran of being a threat – and create a specter of “preemptive attacks” on her; while ignoring the very real WMDs held by Israel, her repeated threats and attacks on her neighbors and the effect of our threats and actions on the Middle East. That is hypocrisy. We say that this is ok because the world changed on 9/11 when America took nearly 3,000 casualties (not all American of course), as if this has given us the right to kill in excess of one hundred thousand people who had nothing to do with 9/11. Is an American worth more than an Afghan or Iraqi? Clearly not, because our murderously wrong minded attacks on the Middle East have caused some 20,000 casualties and killed well over 2000 Americans. Seeking vengeance – even had it not been on the uninvolved – is never just, even if we call it liberation. We know that. So the assertion that we are generously freeing others is hypocrisy. When we say that we are good, that the Islamic people must be mad to attack us, that they hate us for what we are, rather than what we do, when we pretend that we act fairly and justly when we support Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinians- and pretend to ourselves that the Islamic people are too stupid to see through this, this is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy generously enabled by the 62,040,610 Americans who voted for Bush, as well as the 150 million plus adult Americans too stupid to find a viable alternative.

The dangerous threats to this planet are not located in the Middle East, they are in America. Any other conclusion would be hypocrisy. And hypocrisy, in my book,  is not a virtue.


*An additional issue is that Gary Webb, the reporter who exposed Posada Carriles CIA connections was found dead in late 2004. The US ruled the death a suicide, and declined to investigate further. Strangely, Gary Webb's death was caused, according to the coroner, of two gunshots wounds to the back of the head. I suggest that you try holding a toy pistol and trying to figure out how you would kill yourself by shooting yourself twice in the back of the head.

** I should perhaps also say that we have Democrats saying that all we need to do in Iraq is to be tough and show the Iraqi that we really mean to free them, but that would just be dangerous racist idiocy, not hypocrisy.

PS I don’t mean to suggest that the Taliban were not a truly horrible government because they undoubtedly were. Brutal and nasty, but they were our creation, and like Nepal, which I noted then was another desperate situation (and still is), the solution was in our hands all the time. All that was needed was for us to grant the Afghans a little of the dignity we seek as our inalienable right, and to have spent a tiny fraction of the $50 billion we have wasted in a fruitless assault on the roots of the Pamir, Karakorum and Himalayas in alleviating the poverty that induces brutality. Had we also used some of the Trillion dollars being used to destroy Iraq on insisting on a fair settlement between Israel and the Palestine, these countries could have been flourishing and all the Islamic world would be our friends. Oh yes, the world would be a much safer place. Even for the most stupid of the stupid. And we would all have been much better off.
« Last Edit: 2006-05-13 08:43:39 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #3 on: 2006-04-15 18:01:10 »
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Are you a pacifist Hermit?
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #4 on: 2006-04-15 19:48:48 »
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Not at all*.

Overheard at a black tie do at Meintjies Kop on an occasion when my jacket accidentally slipped open:

(Male) TV personality (horrified): Is that a gun?
Hermit: No, I'm just pleased to see you!
   
Assorted strangled noises accompanied by champagne and hors de oeuvres being sprayed around the room. But that was in another country; and besides, the wench is dead. :-P

Regards

Hermit

*Although I think that the UN or a successor organization should hold the heavy weapons - all the heavy weapons - and use them to terminate aggression - all aggression - rapidly, and that countries should be constrained to man portable weapon systems until we all grow up - and then nothing larger should be needed. In otherwords, I think we need an international military force, with members drawn from nations not engaged in conflicts, and with the ability to spank anyone into good behavior. Say in the organization to be commensurate with good behavior (Meridion!) and contributions in cash or kind. This is not an impossible dream, we came close to it twice in the last century (and each time it was scuppered by the Americans). Next time, and we survive that long and it is not too late*, I think it will be Americans advocating for this.


*And I hope we do and it isn't, but am no longer as hopeful about this as I once was.
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #5 on: 2006-05-13 09:31:57 »
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The article on Afghanistan has been reused at http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2006/05/telephone_records_are_just_the.html in an improved form now reflected here.


[Hermit] Let me attempt to provide some context here, if I may.

The run-up to the illegal invasion of Afghanistan reminded me of nothing so much as the Austria-Hungarian demands made on Sarajevo after the assassination of the Archduke and his wife. Demands which effectively meant that Sarajevo would have yielded sovereignty to Austria-Hungary.  Like Afghanistan, Sarajevo actually complied on all but one of the demands, Austria-Hungary announced that this was equivalent to refusing to cooperate and invaded Sarajevo, effectively starting WW I.

Back to 2002. The world was then with America, not against it. That included Afghanistan - and the Taliban - who were in power because America had trained them, supported them and supplied them while they fought the USSR and "war lords" until they took power; and supported them intermittently after that with moderate funding. Indeed in the months leading up to the invasion, the US was still paying the Taliban government for "managing" the opium situation despite the fact that the cost of this was largely born by poor Afghan hill farmers.

The US then demanded that the Taliban hand bin Laden to them.

The Taliban noted that bin Laden was a valued guest (which is very significant in most Middle Eastern cultures); that they had no extradition treaty with the US; that the US was dealing with them, but had not formally recognized them; but that nevertheless, if the US would provide their courts with evidence to allow them to make a determination as to the likelihood of guilt being proven, that the Taliban would evaluate this evidence and if supported, would extradite bin Laden to the US; or to some other country which did have an extradition treaty with the US (IIRC Germany was suggested, partly because most of the 9/11 plotting which was not performed in the USA is alleged to have happened there). The US would have had what it wanted - and so would the Taliban.

The US responded that they would not deal with the Taliban and that they would not provide any evidence as this would disclose too much about America's (we now know, largely non-existent) information gathering structures. The Taliban replied that they could not extradite anyone on this basis, but would discuss the matter in the UN. The US responded by asserting that the Taliban were an "illegitimate government" and instead invaded Afghanistan, mislaying bin Laden, but appointing a US friendly occupation authority that rules, tenuously, over Kabul, and agrees (with appropriate baksheesh) to American pipelines traversing their territory, but has, by and large, abandoned the rest of Afghanistan to anarchy "moderated" by occasional high lethality air strikes.

How is this justified or justifiable?

Since then, Germany and Spain have both refused to hand over alleged Al Q'aida members on similar grounds. Other European nations have also declined to extradite suspects when the US has refused to agree that such suspects will be tried in the courts rather than by tribunals; as well as when the US has not agreed not to seek the death penalty (which to the Europeans makes America appear as primitive and brutal as the Taliban) in such cases. Today I suspect that a terror suspect arrested in Europe could successfully fight extradition to the US on the grounds that torture would likely be a component of American custody, and I suspect that the European courts would view this sympathetically. Despite this congruency with the Afghan position, the United States has not yet invaded Germany or Spain on these issues. We haven't even invaded France for it. Why ever not? After all, the US still has the embarrassing 1996 "bomb the Hague" legislation on the books, which is intended to protect American citizens from the jurisprudence of the World Court.

Now lets play a nice game of “vice versa”, viewing these "grounds" the other way around. Have you heard of Posada Carriles?

There is no argument that Posada Carriles was a CIA hitman. Posada Carilles is considered a “terrorist” by most of Latin America. He is accused of (at least):

    * involvement in drug trafficking.
    * establishing CORU, the “terror” group which assassinated Orlando Letelier of Chile.
    * Placing the bomb on a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people in 1976.
    * attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro during Castro's visit to Panama in 2000.

Both Cuba and Venezuela have applied for his extradition from the US for years. Cuba's request has simply been ignored. In September of 2005, a Texan Judge refused to grant the Venezuelan request on the grounds that the US government asserted that it feared that Posada Carriles might be tortured. This after America's president argued that torture was a necessary tool against terror, and the USA accused by many "rights watch" organizations of using torture on a global scale; something Venezuela has not yet been accused of.

Consequently it has been reported that the US is considering freeing Posada Carriles to live with his family in Miami - despite the fact that he entered the US illegally*. A state department official described this farce (the word used to describe it by the ex US Interest Representative in Havana) as, "It's bad enough when the world knows that we're rendering suspected Islamic terrorists to countries that routinely use terror, but here we have someone who we know is a terrorist, and it's clear that we're actively protecting him from facing justice. We have zero credibility." I'm very sure that if Venezuela or Cuba invaded the US to effect an arrest or to engage in “regime change” here that some Americans might take it badly. Do you think we might engage in resistance? Or insurgency? Now what is the difference between us and Afghanistan? Our hypocrisy?

How about the difference between "Zero Credibility" America and the willing but principled previously and currently disassembled Afghanistan? Other than in our ability to kill Afghans without their having any meaningful recourse I mean. Our hypocrisy?

We have a President who has lied us into two completely unjustified and unjustifiable wars while claiming we are the good guys. This is hypocrisy**. We have established a neo-totalitarian state in America, with a clearly failing (and flailing) democracy in that the government is no longer responsive to the wishes of the majority of the population and the constitution no longer protects the citizens from the power of the government - yet we claim to be spreading democracy and freedom abroad. This is hypocrisy (and stupidity). We have a president who orders “spontaneous unannounced declassification” of cherry picked document excerpts – and then promises to find out who “leaked” the information. This is hypocrisy. We have killed thousands of Afghans and at least a hundred thousand Iraqi (possibly three times that) in the current war, in excess of a million prior to that – and claim we are spreading “freedom” rather than death. This is hypocrisy. We are “losing the peace” in Afghanistan and have lost any credible hope of extinguishing the civil war we have ignited in Iraq - and claim we have brought them freedom. This is hypocrisy. We support a genocidal nation, Israel, without reservation (at enormous cost to ourselves), while banning not just aid and assistance, but even dialog with her victims, the Palestinians, while imagining that we are just. This is hypocrisy. We accuse a non-nuclear armed Iran of being a threat (in the total absence of evidence) – and create a specter of “preemptive attacks” on her; while ignoring the very real WMDs held by Israel, her repeated threats and attacks on her neighbors and the effect of our threats and actions on the Middle East. That is hypocrisy. Some of us say that this is OK, because the world changed on 9/11 when America took nearly 3,000 casualties (not all American of course), as if this has given us the right to kill in excess of one hundred thousand people who had nothing to do with 9/11, and begging the question whether an uninvolved American is worth more than an uninvolved Afghan or Iraq citizen. Clearly not. Seeking vengeance – even had it not been on the uninvolved – is never just, even if we label it liberation. We know that. So the assertion that we are generously freeing others is hypocrisy. When we say that we are good, that the Islamic people must be mad to attack us, that they hate us for what we are, rather than what we do, when we pretend that we act fairly and justly when we support Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinians- and pretend to ourselves that the Islamic people are too stupid to see through this, this is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy generously enabled by the 62,040,610 Americans who allegedly voted for Bush, as well as the 150 million plus adult Americans too stupid to find a viable alternative.

The dangerous threats to this planet are not located in the Middle East, they are in America. Any other conclusion would be hypocrisy. And hypocrisy, in my book,  is not a virtue.


*An additional issue is that Gary Webb, the reporter who exposed Posada Carriles CIA connections was found dead in late 2004. The US ruled the death a suicide, and declined to investigate further. Strangely, Gary Webb's death was caused, according to the coroner, of two gunshots wounds to the back of the head. I suggest that you try holding a toy pistol and trying to figure out how you would kill yourself by shooting yourself twice in the back of the head.

** I should perhaps also say that we have Democrats saying that all we need to do in Iraq is to be tough and prove to the Iraqi that we really mean to "free" them by forcing them to accept whatever social structure we favor this week, but that would just be dangerous racist idiocy, not hypocrisy.

PS I don’t mean to suggest that the Taliban were not a truly horrible government because they undoubtedly were. Brutal and nasty, but they were our creation, and like Nepal, which I noted then was another desperate situation (and still is), the solution was in our hands all the time. All that was needed was for us to grant the Afghans a little of the dignity we seek as our inalienable right, and to have spent a tiny fraction of the $50 billion we have wasted in a fruitless assault on the roots of the Pamir, Karakorum and Himalayas in alleviating the poverty that induces brutality. Had we also used some of the Trillion dollars being used to destroy Iraq on insisting on a fair settlement between Israel and the Palestine, these countries could have been flourishing and all the Islamic world would be our friends. Oh yes, the world would be a much safer place. Even for the most stupid of the stupid. And we would all have been much better off. Especially the rapidly growing 22,000 casualties the American military has taken so far.
« Last Edit: 2006-05-15 12:02:18 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #6 on: 2006-06-19 16:29:51 »
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Further to my response to Mo above, some very pertinent news may have emerged from the closet this weekend.

As I said before, the Talibani government quite reasonably asked the US to provide evidence of bin Laden's culpability in 9/11 to their courts prior to their considering the extradition of bin Laden to the US or a third-country (with whom they both had extradition agreements (e.g. Germany). Rather than the requested evidence, the illegal, unjustifiable, expensive and totally unnecessary invasion of Afghanistan followed. At the time, the US alleged that it would not provide such evidence because it might have endangered security or sources (which, I remind you, had just failed to prevent 9/11 even though Israeli operatives in the US had known what was about to happen in sufficient detail to preposition a camera crew to capture footage of the destruction of the WTC's Twin Towers). These latest disclosures strongly suggest that the US may not have provided the requested information to the Taliban simply because the US did and does not have any solid evidence that bin Laden was involved in 9/11.

Four years, thousands of lives, fifty billion dollars and Afghanistan now classed as a failing state later, we still don't have bin Laden. Then again, according to the FBI, we still don't have any evidence of bin Laden's involvement in 9/11 either. And according to GW Bush this is not important. Is the reason it is "not important" related to the apparent total lack of evidence (as the FBI correctly notes, hearsay and video taped claims of uncertain provenance are not evidence)?

Note that the Taliban were ethically and legally correct to refuse to simply hand over bin Laden (even had he not been a national icon and guest) in the absence of an extradition treaty or even any evidence of his complicity in actions which Afghanistan would regard as criminal*. I suggest that the asserted lack of evidence may go a long way towards explaining why Bush and his stormtroopers considered the invasion of Afghanistan, and still apparently consider disappearance, torture and  detention without trial or habeas corpus as necessary components - and domestic spying, line tapping and the sacrifice of the fourth amendment critical elements in their war on International law and the US constitution "terrorism."

*As already noted on this thread, the US has herself acted to prevent the extradition of terrorists whose complicity in acts of terror has been thoroughly proven to the satisfaction of American courts, making Bush's USA a far greater offender than Afghanistan has ever been against assertions of "moral necessity" (aka "what my mommie taught me") which some Americans have attempted to argue should trump law (and possibly ethics).


FBI says, it has “No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11”

Source: The Muckraker Report
Authors: Ed Haas
Dated: 2006-06-18

This past weekend, a thought provoking e-mail circulated through Internet news groups, and was sent to the Muckraker Report by Mr. Paul V. Sheridan (Winner of the 2005 Civil Justice Foundation Award), bringing attention to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist web page for Usama Bin Laden.[Federal Bureau of Investigation, Most Wanted Terrorists, Usama Bin Laden, http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm [Accessed May 31, 2006]. In the e-mail, the question is asked, “Why doesn’t Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster make any direct connection with the events of September 11, 2001?”  The FBI says on its Bin Laden web page that Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.  According to the FBI, these attacks killed over 200 people.  The FBI concludes its reason for “wanting” Bin Laden by saying, “In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorists attacks throughout the world.”

On June 5, 2006, the Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Headquarters, (202) 324-3000, to learn why Bin Laden’s Most Wanted poster did not indicate that Usama was also wanted in connection with 9/11.  The Muckraker Report spoke with Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI.  When asked why there is no mention of 9/11 on Bin Laden’s Most Wanted web page, Tomb said, “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”

Surprised by the ease in which this FBI spokesman made such an astonishing statement, I asked, “How this was possible?”  Tomb continued, “Bin Laden has not been formally charged in connection to 9/11.”  I asked, “How does that work?”  Tomb continued, “The FBI gathers evidence.  Once evidence is gathered, it is turned over to the Department of Justice.  The Department of Justice than decides whether it has enough evidence to present to a federal grand jury.  In the case of the 1998 United States Embassies being bombed, Bin Laden has been formally indicted and charged by a grand jury.  He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connected Bin Laden to 9/11.”

It shouldn’t take long before the full meaning of these FBI statements start to prick your brain and raise your blood pressure.  If you think the way I think, in quick order you will be wrestling with a barrage of very powerful questions that must be answered.  First and foremost, if the U.S. government does not have enough hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11, how is it possible that it had enough evidence to invade Afghanistan to “smoke him out of his cave?”  The federal government claims to have invaded Afghanistan to “root out” Bin Laden and the Taliban.  Through the talking heads in the mainstream media, the Bush Administration told the American people that Usama Bin Laden was Public Enemy Number One and responsible for the deaths of nearly 3000 people on September 11, 2001.  Yet nearly five years later, the FBI says that it has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.

Next is the Bin Laden “confession” video that was released by the U.S. government on December 13, 2001.  Most Americans remember this video.  It was the video showing Bin Laden with a few of his comrades recounting with delight the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States.  The Department of Defense issued a press release to accompany this video in which Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said, “There was no doubt of bin Laden’s responsibility for the September 11 attacks before the tape was discovered.” [United States Department of Defense, News Release, U.S. Releases Videotape of Osama bin Laden, December 13, 2001, http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b12132001_bt630-01.html, [Accessed June 5, 2006] ].  What Rumsfeld implied by his statement was that Bin Laden was the known mastermind behind 9/11 even before the “confession video” and that the video simply served to confirm what the U.S. government already knew; that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

In a BBC News article[BBC News, Bin Laden video angers New Yorkers, December 14, 2001, Peter Gould, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1711874.stm, [Accessed June 5, 2006] reporting on the “9/11 confession video” release, President Bush is said to have been hesitant to release the tape because he knew it would be a vivid reminder to many people of their loss.  But, he also knew it would be “a devastating declaration” of Bin Laden’s guilt.  “Were going to get him,” said President Bush.  “Dead or alive, it doesn’t matter to me.”

In a CNN article[CNN, Bin Laden on tape: Attacks ‘benefited Islam greatly”, December 14, 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/12/13/ret.bin.laden.videotape, [Accessed June 5, 2006] regarding the Bin Laden tape, then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that “the tape removes any doubt that the U.S. military campaign targeting bin Laden and his associates is more than justified.”  Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, “The tape’s release is central to informing people in the outside world who don’t believe bin Laden was involved in the September 11 attacks.”  Shelby went on to say “I don’t know how they can be in denial after they see this tape.”  Well Senator Shelby, apparently the Federal Bureau of Investigation isn’t convinced by the taped confession, so why are you?

The Muckraker Report attempted to secure a reference to the U.S. government authenticating the Bin Laden “confession video”, to no avail.  However, it is conclusive that the Bush Administration and U.S. Congress, along with the dead stream media, played the video as if it was authentic.  So why doesn’t the FBI view the “confession video” as hard evidence?  After all, if the FBI is investigating a crime such as drug trafficking, and it discovers a video of members of a drug cartel opening talking about a successful distribution operation in the United States, that video would be presented to a federal grand jury.  The identified participants of the video would be indicted, and if captured, the video alone would serve as sufficient evidence to net a conviction in a federal court.  So why is the Bin Laden “confession video” not carrying the same weight with the FBI?

Remember, on June 5, 2006, FBI spokesman, Chief of Investigative Publicity Rex Tomb said, “The FBI has no hard evidence connecting Usama Bin Laden to 9/11.”  This should be headline news worldwide.  The challenge to the reader is to find out why it is not.  Why has the U.S. media blindly read the government-provided 9/11 scripts, rather than investigate without passion, prejudice, or bias, the events of September 11, 2001?  Why has the U.S. media blacklisted any guest that might speak of a government sponsored 9/11 cover-up, rather than seeking out those people who have something to say about 9/11 that is contrary to the government’s account?  And on those few rare occasions when a 9/11 dissenter has made it upon the airways, why has the mainstream media ridiculed the guest as a conspiracy nut, rather than listen to the evidence that clearly raises valid questions about the government’s 9/11 account?  Why is the Big Media Conglomeration blindly content with the government’s 9/11 story when so much verifiable information to the contrary is available with a few clicks of a computer mouse?

Who is it that is controlling the media message, and how is it that the U.S. media has indicted Usama Bin Laden for the events of September 11, 2001, but the U.S. government has not?  How is it that the FBI has no “hard evidence” connecting Usama Bin Laden to the events of September 11, 2001, while the U.S. media has played the Bin Laden - 9/11 connection story for five years now as if it has conclusive evidence that Bin Laden is responsible for the collapse of the twin towers, the Pentagon attack, and the demise of United Flight 93? 

…No hard evidence connecting Usama Bin Laden to 9/11… Think about it.
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #7 on: 2006-10-08 15:16:50 »
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Bush's Terrorism Hypocrisy

Source: Inter Press Service
Authors: Jim Lobe
Dated: 2006-10-07

On the 30th anniversary of the first midair bombing of a civilian airliner in the Americas, the plot's suspected mastermind is hoping that a U.S. federal judge will soon release him from a Texas jail where he has been held on immigration-related charges for the last year and a half.

In a brief submitted to the judge Thursday evening, the administration of President George W. Bush said it opposed the release of Luis Posada Carriles and argued that granting him freedom on bail may have "serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States."

But, while referring to Posada as "the admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks," the administration declined to officially declare him a terrorist under the USA PATRIOT Act which, unlike the immigration law, gives the government authority to detain him indefinitely.

"If Luis Posada Carriles does not meet the definition of a terrorist, it is hard to think of who would," observed Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the independent National Security Archive (NSA).
On Thursday, the NSA released a number of recently declassified government documents that, like others released in recent years by the archive, strongly implicate Posada in the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 shortly after it left Barbados en route to Havana, killing all 73 people aboard.
In its brief, the government indicated that it was still trying to find a country, other than Venezuela and Cuba which have both sought his extradition, that would accept Posada. In the last 16 months, Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala have all rejected approaches by U.S. officials, according to court records cited by Kornbluh.

The administration's efforts to find a foreign refuge for Posada and its refusal to charge him under the PATRIOT Act have naturally spurred charges of double standards in light of the priority that it has placed on its "global war on terrorism."

"It simply indicates that, as far as we're concerned, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter; it completely undercuts our position against terrorism," according to Wayne Smith, who served as Washington's top envoy in Havana in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

"Bush himself has said numerous times that anyone who shelters a terrorist is a terrorist," Smith, a Cuba expert with the Center for International Policy here. "Under that definition, President Bush and members of his administration are terrorists because they are effectively harboring Luis Posada Carriles."


Now 78, Posada quietly entered the country in the spring of 2005, although his presence quickly became known - and celebrated - among anti-Fidel Castro Cuban-Americans in South Florida. Initially, the administration claimed not to know where he was, a pretense it could not sustain once he formally applied for asylum. He was immediately arrested on immigration charges and transported to a jail in El Paso, Texas.

The latest twist in Posada's case came on Sep. 11 - ironically, the fifth anniversary of al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon – when a Texas magistrate recommended that Posada be released from detention.

In response to a habeas corpus petition filed by Posada's lawyers, he argued that there was no legal basis for keeping Posada in jail because the attorney general had "never certified (Posada) ...as a terrorist or danger to the community" under the PATRIOT Act.

The Justice Department's brief, which, for the first time, listed many of the terrorist incidents in which Posada has been implicated over some four decades, is designed to persuade the judge that the petition should be denied. The judge is expected to rule on the case in the coming days or weeks.

The Cuban-born Posada joined the U.S. military in 1963 and was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which trained him in demolitions. While working for the CIA, a relationship that lasted at least until 1974, he participated in numerous attempted or actual bombings of Cuban and Soviet targets in Mexico. As of the early 1970s, he also worked in Caracas as a senior official of the Venezuelan intelligence agency, DISIP.

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports obtained in recent years by the NSA, Posada and Orlando Bosch, another militant anti-Communist Cuban exile, were identified by various credible informants as responsible for the Air Cubana bombing virtually immediately after it had taken place.

Bosch, who currently lives in Miami, was pardoned by former President George H. W. Bush in 1990 despite a recommendation by the U.S. Justice Department that he be deported.

The same FBI sources identified two Venezuelans - both of whom worked for a Caracas security firm set up by Posada in 1974 - as having placed the bomb on the doomed plane. The first telephone call the two men made after the bombing was to the company's offices in Caracas, according to four newly declassified sworn affidavits by police officials in Trinidad and Tobago who were the first to interrogate them.

The NSA released the affidavits Thursday, along with three other FBI reports sent to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger which placed Posada at meetings in Caracas where the bombing was planned, and another State Department report citing CIA sources that quoted Posada as saying, "We are going to hit a Cuban airplane," just days before the bombing.

Posada himself was arrested by Venezuelan authorities shortly after the bombing in what one former FBI counterintelligence official described to the New York Times last spring as a "preventative measure - to prevent him from talking or being killed."


Posada then spent the next eight years in jail, punctuated by two inconclusive trials, before escaping Venezuela in 1985 and making his way to Central America, where he quickly found employment with the "Contra" resupply operation run out of the National Security Council under former President Ronald Reagan until it was exposed in late 1986, when he went underground again.

In a 1998 Times interview in Central America, Posada admitted to organizing a wave of bombings in Cuba in 1997 that killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 others.

He was arrested in 2000 in Panama for allegedly plotting to kill visiting Cuban President Fidel Castro. In 2004, he sentenced to an eight-year prison term by a Panamanian court but was unexpectedly freed by outgoing President Mireya Moscoso, apparently at the behest of Cuban exiles, including several Cuban-American lawmakers from South Florida. He then made his way to the United States.

Venezuela, whose Supreme Court last year referred to Posada in connection to the Air Cubana bombing as "the author or accomplice of homicide," submitted its request for extradition immediately after Posada's presence in the U.S. became known.

But the administration, whose relations with Caracas have steadily deteriorated since Washington appeared to support a 2002 coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez, has refused to respond to the request. It has argued that, if extradited to Venezuela, Posada could face torture or be extradited to Cuba.

Under the existing treaty that is in force between the U.S. and Venezuela, Washington has the option of either extraditing him to Caracas or trying him here for the same crimes.


"We have massive evidence against him," noted Smith. "If the administration doesn't either extradite him or try him here for terrorism, then, it is not only harboring a terrorist; it is also violating a treaty."
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Re:A surfeit of "Own Goals", hypocrisy and other afflictions.
« Reply #8 on: 2007-05-07 09:00:23 »
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[Blunderov] To say that Posada Carriles has had a chequered career would be something of an understatement. He could certainly tell a tale or two and furthermore is ready willing and able to do so. At least the US government seems anxious that he might be indiscreet if forced to defend himself in court.

Perhaps they should consider deporting him after all. Maybe the fuss would die down sooner that way.

globalresearch

US government moves to gag terrorist on CIA ties


by Bill Van Auken

Global Research, May 6, 2007
WSWS.org - 2007-05-03

With his trial on immigration charges set for May 11, the US government has filed a motion in federal court seeking to bar the international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from testifying on his role as an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Venezuela has demanded that Posada Carriles be extradited to face charges there related to his masterminding of a 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian passenger jet that killed 73 people. He evaded punishment for the crime—at the time the worst single act of terrorism in the Western Hemisphere—by escaping a Venezuelan prison in 1985.

Violating international and bilateral treaties, Washington has rebuffed Venezuela’s request, charging Posada Carriles instead with minor violations of US immigration law for entering the US without a visa and lying to immigration officials. Last month, the terrorist, who had been in federal custody since May 2005, was set free on bail and returned to Miami.

The release has provoked international protests and exposed the hypocrisy of the so-called “global war on terrorism” proclaimed by a government that has sponsored and continues to harbor and protect a wanted terrorist.

The nine-page motion submitted to the federal court in El Paso, Texas, argues that the relationship between Posada Carriles and the CIA ended 30 years ago and therefore is irrelevant.

Declassified documents have established that Carriles was recruited as an agent of the CIA in 1961, was sent into the US Army for a year of training in demolition and terrorist tactics and remained directly on the CIA payroll at least until 1967. From 1969 to 1974, he served as a senior officer in the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, charged with capturing, torturing and killing left-wing opponents of the government. During that period he remained an informant and “asset” of the CIA in Latin America.

In 1976, he planned the airline bombing, leaving its execution to two employees of his private detective agency that he set up in Caracas after a change of government forced him out of the secret police. Just two weeks before the October 1976 airline bombing, he was involved in another terrorist attack, this one in the center of Washington. A car bomb killed the exiled former foreign minister of Chile, Orlando Letelier, and an American aide, Ronni Moffitt.

After his escape from prison in Venezuela, Posada Carriles made his way to El Salvador, where he became a key operative in the illegal terror war against Nicaragua financed by the CIA and directed by the network established by the Reagan administration under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North of the National Security Council. He went on to Guatemala, becoming a government intelligence officer during a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

In the 1990s, by his own admission, Posada Carriles directed a series of terrorist bombings against hotels and tourist spots in Cuba, killing an Italian tourist.

And, in November 2000, he was involved in an aborted attempt to blow up a conference hall in Panama, where Cuban President Fidel Castro was scheduled to speak to hundreds of people. He was arrested and jailed for the plot, but then pardoned by outgoing Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso in 2004, reportedly as the result of either US pressure or bribes from anti-Castro Cuban exile groups.

In response to the government attempt to quash any public testimony about Posada Carriles’s ties to the CIA, the terrorist’s defense lawyers filed a countermotion this week, insisting that it was impossible to discuss the “context” of the case without dealing with their client’s relation with the agency. Moreover, the document claimed, this relationship “lasted for 25 years.”

“The government’s statement that his service to the United States ended in 1976 is incorrect,” the document said.

The implications of the motion are clear. Posada Carriles was working for the CIA when he planned and executed the terrorist bombing that murdered 73 people aboard the Cuban plane as well as the car-bomb assassination in Washington. Moreover, he remained an agent or “asset” of the US intelligence agency while continuing to carry out acts of terrorist and repressive violence in Cuba, Central America and elsewhere for at least another decade. Both of the 1976 terrorist acts took place when George H.W. Bush, the current US president’s father, was director of the CIA.

Declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB153/index.htm in 2005 establish that the CIA had advance intelligence on the planned airline bombing and that the FBI’s attaché in Caracas had repeated contacts with one of the operatives who placed the bomb on the plane and, just days before the bombing, obtained a visa for him to travel to the US.

The US government’s attempt to gag Posada Carriles about his CIA ties and the countermotion alleging that these connections spanned at least 25 years expose the real reason that the Bush administration refuses to abide by international law and extradite him to Venezuela to face trial.

While the administration has offered the incredible justification that Posada Carriles could face torture in Venezuela—this from a government that has not only tortured its own detainees at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, but also deliberately sent them to other countries to be tortured—the real reason is that such a prosecution would expose Washington’s role in decades of terrorism and repression in Latin America.

On April 25, Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, Nelson Pineda, charged the US with harboring a “convicted and confessed terrorist” and demanded that Washington comply with its bilateral extradition treaty with Venezuela. Pineda read out a statement from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry that stated:

“The freeing of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is the final result of the maneuver that the government of George W. Bush put in motion to protect him and with this act it promotes impunity and disgracefully mocks the memory of the victims of the bombing of the Cubana de Aviación plane that took place in 1976.

“This act of complicity, committed by the sinister American president, seeks to buy the silence of Posada Carriles, who has for many years been an agent of the CIA and a pawn of the Bush clan, as the declassified documents of the US demonstrate and therefore has valuable information about the criminal activities carried out against the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Responding to these charges, the US alternate representative to the OAS, Margarita Riva-Geoghegan, ignored Venezuela’s extradition request, baldly stating, “The United States is not harboring Luis Posada Carriles.” She continued, “The United States is proceeding with its own national prosecution in an area where Mr. Posada Carriles has broken US law.”

Such claims are absurd on their face. The charges of murder and terrorism, substantiated by Washington’s own declassified documents, clearly take precedence over the minor immigration infractions that are being used as a pretense for ignoring the demand for extradition and providing a cover for what is in reality the harboring and protection of Posada Carriles.

In Cuba, meanwhile, the annual May Day demonstration in Havana was dominated by signs and slogans demanding the extradition of Posada Carriles as well as the freeing of the “Cuban Five,” five Cuban nationals who have been jailed in the US since 1998. Framed up on conspiracy and espionage-related charges for monitoring anti-Castro terrorist exile groups based in Miami, the five were convicted in 2001 and sentenced to jail terms ranging from 15 years to life.

Bill Van Auken is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Bill Van Auken

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