Search This Blog

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tamil atrocity like Srebrenica, Darfur

May 29, 2009

Slaughter in Sri Lanka

Evidence gathered by The Times has revealed that at least 20,000 Tamils were killed on the beach by shelling as the army closed in on the Tigers

“Deeply disappointing” was how a human rights group yesterday described the vote in the United Nations Human Rights Council hailing the victory of the Sri Lankan Government. This is a breathtaking understatement. It was an utter disgrace. The 47-member body, set up in 2006 to replace the previous corrupt and ineffectual UN Commission on Human Rights, has abjectly failed one of its first and most important tests.

It was asked by its European members to investigate widespread reports of atrocities and war crimes committed by both government troops and the Tamil Tigers in the final weeks of the conflict. The council chose instead to debate a one-sided, mendacious and self-serving motion put forward by the Sri Lankans. This welcomed the “liberation” of tens of thousands of the island's citizens, condemned the defeated Tigers, made no mention of the shelling of civilians and kept silent on the desperate need to allow the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups into the camps where some 270,000 Tamil civilians have been interned.

Support for this deeply flawed resolution came from the usual suspects - China, Russia, India, Pakistan and a clutch of Asian and Islamic nations determined to prevent the council ever investigating human rights violations in their own or any country.

To her credit, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, insisted that there needed still to be an inquiry into “very serious abuses”. Those abuses, it now emerges, are far, far worse than the outside world imagined. The UN estimated that 7,000 people were killed in the first four months of this year; the figure now appears to be at least 20,000. Thousands of these victims died as a result of the shelling by the Sri Lankan Army of the strip of coastline where the final remnants of Tiger resistance were trapped, along with at least 100,000 civilians

Photographs taken by The Times present clear evidence of an atrocity that comes close to matching Srebrenica, Darfur and other massacres of civilians. In the sandy so-called no-fire zone where the trapped Tamil civilians were told to go to escape the brutal army bombardment, there are hundreds of fresh graves as well as craters and debris where tents once stood. This was no safe zone. This was where terrified civilians buried their dead as the shells landed - after the Government had declared an end to the use of heavy weapons on April 27.

Some civilians were probably killed by the Tigers, whose brutality and ruthlessness over the past 28 years has fully justified their depiction as terrorists. Finding out what happened, however, is impossible: the army has barred entry to all outsiders. Food is short, sanitation appalling; wounded and traumatised civilians are in desperate need of help. That much is clear from those who have been able to escape. More sinister reports are now circulating of systematic “disappearances”, of families separ- ated and young men taken away. But until the Government allows in aid workers, the presumption must be that it wants nothing to be heard or seen of what is going on.

This tactic was used in the final push to beat the Tigers. The army wanted no witness to the onslaught, no journalists to alert the world to human rights violations, no photographers to record the suffering. Sri Lanka, now basking in its victory, may set the pattern for other nations battling against insurgencies. For them, victory is all that matters. Most of Sri Lanka may rejoice at the end of a bloody civil war. But the UN has no right to collude in suppressing the appalling evidence of the cost. The truth must be told.

Tamils protest switzerland

Mangled bodies, torn limbs litter Safe Zone - medical official

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 April 2009, 22:29 GMT]
"Death in most brutal form has become common within the Safety Zone. The area littered with mangled bodies, torn limbs, and blood soaked soil appears more horrific than what one finds inside a butchers shop," a lady medical staff working out of a school-building converted into the temporary primary surgical care centre at Puthumaaththa'lan, told TamilNet Sunday. She also pointed out that a great number of small children have died in the last few days because of the SLA's ceaseless shelling and firing.

Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells

The number of people coming to the hospital with bullet injuries has dramatically increased in the past few days, she said, and noted that a similar increase has also occured of civilians who are admitted with shrapnel and shell injuries.

Voice: Medical staff talking to TamilNet

MP3 AudioDirect Link (mp3)
Even as the Tamil civilians in the safe zone go about their routine daily activities, they are hit by bullets. By the time they are brought to the hospital, they die, she observed.

The lady medical staff at the makeshift hospital pointed out that the casualties were highest on Sunday morning as continuous shelling on the roads near the hospital had prevented the injured from being taken to the hospital sooner.

"We were directed to drive to the injury site and bring the wounded to the hospital in our vehicles, but we simply couldn't leave because of the continuous shelling," she said and added that as a result of the delay several children had succumbed to their injuries.

In one incident, children of two families survived, but their parents were killed by shells, the medical staffer said.

The injured are laid out on tarpaulin sheets and given medication that cannot often save them. "We watch them die in great pain," she said.

Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells
Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells
Indiscriminate firing of artillery shells

Sri Lanka: Bloodbath begins, nearly 1000 Tamils killed as shelling intensifies

Tamil National, April 20: Sri Lanka army on full fire is pounding the safe zone with heavy weapons from today early morning. 985 were killed and another 1300 or more were injured in the onslaught. The severely wounded are expected to succumb to injuries due to no medical assistance, reports Tamil National Reporter today at 12:00 noon.
Sri Lanka Army’s move to take on safe zone has created catastrophe inside safe zone. The massive onslaught continues and Sri Lanka Army is using the people got trapped in Pokkanai as human shields. More bloodshed expected, if international community does not get in to action immediately.

Tamil National Reporter said in addition to the raining of shells, grenades rockets and cluster bombs, the news on army using civilians as human shields have created a havoc among civilians. The hospital also was hit and panics everywhere. The reporter said even at the last moment of life, people only have hope on Tamil Diaspora.
Meanwhile, the government side report said that around 5,000 civilians fell into the hands of the SLA and a suicide bomber among fleeing civilians set off a blast that killed at least 17 people. It is to be reminded, in a previous incident many people who moved in to government controlled area were shot and killed and a similar news was spread.
Where is Nambiar? is a question raised by Tamil Diaspora. People power of the Tamil Diaspora is the only thing that can bring an end to the bloodbath.

Source: Tamil National

Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific (ASAP), formerly ASIET (Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor), is a network of solidarity activists campaigning for democratic rights, self-determination and other justice struggles in the Asia Pacific region.
ASAP's People's Power Fighting Fund runs appeals for material support for various democratic struggles in the region. To donate to this fund and to help maintain this website, you can deposit directly into the Commonwealth Bank Australia BSB 062026 Account number 1006 0743. Thank-you. Your help is appreciated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Italy state terror - revisionism

Patriotism? Awful murderer...

Fascism is alive and well in Italy. OPERATION GLADIO (state false flag terror) is lauded.

Il Popolo d'Italia (Italian for "The People of Italy"), was an Italian newspaper founded by Benito Mussolini on November 15, 1914 Il Popolo d'Italia ran until July 24, 1943 and became the foundation for the Fascist movement in Italy after World War I. The paper, advocating militarism and irredentism, was subsidized by the French and industrialists on the pretext of influencing Italy to join the Entente Powers.
The newspaper was refounded in 1998 by Giuseppe Martorana, founder of the Nuovo Ordine Nazionale, and is published in Milan.


Giuseppe Capitanio - Regional Secretary of DC Tuscany and National Director of the Christian Democrats - *****

I would like to recall the figure of Colonel Aldo deli Alpini Specogna MAVM, original and authentic figure of Man, Alpine, Warrior, Master and
Servant of the state. Beyond that was a Soldier Combattente throughout his life always faithful to his ideal of love patriotism.
Until 8 September 1943 he served in 8 ° Alpine regiment, then put in like all freedoms, made contact with the prospective partisan. True to his ideals in defense of freedom of the earth and the Italian Friuli taken part in the 7th Brigade Osoppo, fighting both the German army in retreat, and the attempts of the Communists and Slavs and Italian for those operating territories were annexed to Yugoslavia .
In this regard it should be noted that the contrasts between the so-called white training partisan named Osoppo clashed harshly with the partisan communist. For all that is remembered that a Porzus, with the aggravating circumstance of deception, a group of partisans garibaldini belonging to the GAP (Partisan Action Group) employees, even militarily by PCI, the partisans of the murdered Osoppo and ripped from the yard of the Italian tricolor.
The Soviet thrust dell'egemonia come up on the outskirts of Trieste, is a threat to the Italian State in particular because of the aspirations of Titus.
In this climate the Western democracies that are part of the Atlantic Pact ripen the need for a new unit of defense and then also in Italy, life takes a special military called Stay Behind more commonly known as "Gladio". The Col. Alp. Aldo Specogna is called by the General Staff of Defense aricoprire organizer of the task-manager of the Northeast region of the nascent structure Stay Behind. The silent sacrifice of Col. Specogna and many other men like him have helped to assure our country a rightful place among the nations belonging to the free world, who were allied to stem the overwhelming thrust of expansion of the countries belonging to the Warsaw Pact.
At this point it should be remembered that the "Gladio" was a secret organization but not unlawful, was employed by the Ministry of Defense and incorporated in the NATO context. Over 90 years has been, like other organisms, the subject of an unfair judicial obstinacy, whose commanders were acquitted in 2001 of all their crimes prosecuted by the Court of Assizes of Rome.
The example of life given by Col. Specogna should serve as a warning for the future, to continue to foster a love for the homeland, for Freedom and Democracy.

google GLADIO and inform yourself... 911, L77, Bali, Madrid ... BOLOGNA.

Black operation terrorism, synthetic terrorism, the DEEP STATE exists!!
In the USA this medieval culture is so prevalent -- there is bi money in torture!!

Follow the money, cui bono. CIA/DIA/ONI Mossad MI6 are the perpetrators.
There is no oversight, no accountability for these grave crimes.

Take heart. Right now in Turkey the brave government is trying to prosecute the fascists.


di Giuseppe Capitanio . Segretario regionale della D.C. Toscana e Consigliere nazionale della Democrazia Cristiana - giuseppe.capitanio *****

Mi piacerebbe poter ricordare la figura del Colonnello deli Alpini Aldo Specogna M.A.V.M., esemplare ed autentica figura di Uomo, Alpino, Combattente, Comandante e
Servitore dello Stato. Oltre che Soldato fu un Combattente per tutto l'arco della sua vita sempre fedele al suo ideale di amore patrio.
Fino all'8 settembre 1943 prestò servizio nell'8° reggimento alpini, successivamente messo come tutti in libertà, prese contatti con le costituende formazioni partigiane. Fedele ai suoi ideali in difesa della libertà e dell'italianità della terra friulana prese parte alla 7° brigata Osoppo, combattendo sia l'esercito tedesco in ritirata, sia i tentativi dei comunisti sia slavi che italiani che operavano affinchè quei territori fossero annessi alla Jugoslavia.
A tal proposito è opportuno ricordare che i contrasti tra la formazione partigiana cosidetta bianca denominata Osoppo si scontrò duramente con le formazioni partigiane comuniste. Per tutto vale ricordare che a Porzus, con l'aggravante dell'inganno, un gruppo di partigiani garibaldini appartenenti ai G.A.P. (Gruppi di Azione Partigiana) dipendenti, anche militarmente dal P.C.I., trucidarono i partigiani della Osoppo e strapparono dal pennone della base il tricolore italiano.
La spinta dell'egemonia sovietica giunta sino alle porte di Trieste, costituisce una minaccia per l'intero Stato Italiano in particolare a causa delle aspirazioni di Tito.
In questo clima le democrazie occidentali facenti parte del Patto Atlantico maturano la necessità di costituire una nuova unità di difesa e quindi anche in Italia, prende vita una struttura militare speciale denominata Stay Behind più comunemente nota come "Gladio". Il Col. Alp. Aldo Specogna viene chiamato dallo Stato Maggiore della Difesa aricoprire l'incarico di organizzatore-responsabile della regione Nord-Est della nascente struttura Stay Behind. Il silenzioso sacrificio del Col. Specogna e di numerosi altri uomini come lui hanno contribuito ad assicurare al nostro Paese un giusto posto tra quelle nazioni appartenenti al mondo libero, che si erano alleate per arginare la soverchiante spinta espansionistica dei paesi appartenenti al patto di Varsavia.
A questo punto è bene ricordare che la "Gladio" era una organizzazione segreta ma non illegittima, era alle dipendenze del Ministero della Difesa ed inglobata nel contesto NATO. Negli anni 90 è stata, come altri organismi, oggetto di un ingiusto accanimento giudiziario; i cui comandanti sono stati assolti nel 2001 da tutti i reati loro ascritti dalla Corte di Assise di Roma.
L'esempio di vita dato dal Col. Specogna deve servire da monito per il futuro, per continuare ad alimentare l'amore per la Patria, per la Libertà e per la Democrazia.

La strage di Bologna è uno degli atti terroristici più gravi avvenuti in Italia nel secondo dopoguerra, verificatosi sabato 2 agosto 1980.

Alle 10.25, nella sala d'aspetto di 2° Classe della Stazione di Bologna Centrale,[1] un ordigno a tempo, contenuto in una valigia abbandonata, esplode uccidendo ottantacinque persone e ferendone oltre duecento.

Per Bologna e per l'Italia è stata una drammatica presa di coscienza della recrudescenza del terrorismo.

Il terrorismo nero

Non appena apparvero più chiare le dinamiche e fu palese una matrice terrorista, attribuirono la responsabilità della strage al terrorismo nero.

Già il 26 agosto dello stesso anno la Procura della Repubblica di Bologna emise ventotto ordini di cattura nei confronti di militanti di estrema destra dei Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari: Roberto Fiore e Massimo Morsello (futuri fondatori di Forza Nuova), Gabriele Adinolfi, Francesca Mambro, Elio Giallombardo, Amedeo De Francisci, Massimiliano Fachini, Roberto Rinani, Giuseppe Valerio Fioravanti, Claudio Mutti, Mario Corsi, Paolo Pizzonia, Ulderico Sica, Francesco Bianco, Alessanro Pucci, Marcello Iannilli, Paolo Signorelli, PierLuigi Scarano, Francesco Furlotti, Aldo Semerari, Guido Zappavigna, GianLuigi Napoli, Fabio De Felice, Maurizio Neri. Vengono subito interrogati a Ferrara, Roma, Padova e Parma. Tutti saranno scarcerati nel 1981.


Vi furono svariati episodi di depistaggio, dei quali il più grave è quello ordito da parte di alcuni vertici dei servizi segreti del SISMI, tra i quali Pietro Musumeci e Giuseppe Belmonte. Costoro fecero porre in un treno, a Bologna, da un sottufficiale dei carabinieri, una valigia piena di esplosivo, dello stesso tipo che fece esplodere la stazione, contenente oggetti personali di due estremisti di destra, un francese e un tedesco. Musumeci produsse anche un dossier fasullo, denominato "Terrore sui treni", in cui riportava gli intenti stragisti dei due terroristi internazionali, in relazione con altri esponenti dell'eversione neofascista. Tutti comunque legati allo spontaneismo armato, senza legami politici, quindi autori e allo stesso tempo mandanti della strage. Il tutto organizzato per far terminare così le indagini.

Ripensamenti e disinformazione

Francesco Cossiga, il 15 marzo 1991, al tempo della sua presidenza della Repubblica, affermò di essersi sbagliato a definire "fascista" la strage alla stazione di Bologna e di essere stato mal indicato dai servizi segreti. Attorno a questa strage, come era già avvenuto per la Strage di piazza Fontana nel 1969, si sviluppò tutto un cumulo di affermazioni, controaffermazioni, piste vere e false, tipiche di altri tragici avvenimenti della cosiddetta strategia della tensione.

Le condanne

Lentamente e con fatica, attraverso una complicata e discussa vicenda politica e giudiziaria, e grazie alla spinta civile dell'Associazione tra i familiari delle vittime della strage alla stazione di Bologna del 2 agosto 1980 si giunse ad una sentenza definitiva di Cassazione il 23 novembre 1995: vennero condannati all'ergastolo, quali esecutori dell'attentato, i neofascisti dei NAR Giuseppe Valerio Fioravanti e Francesca Mambro, che si sono sempre dichiarati innocenti, mentre l'ex capo della P2 Licio Gelli, l'ex agente del SISMI Francesco Pazienza e gli ufficiali del servizio segreto militare Pietro Musumeci e Giuseppe Belmonte vennero condannati per il depistaggio delle indagini.

Il 9 giugno 2000 la Corte d'Assise di Bologna emise nuove condanne per depistaggio: nove anni di reclusione per Massimo Carminati, estremista di destra, e quattro anni e mezzo per Federigo Mannucci Benincasa, ex direttore del SISMI di Firenze, e Ivano Bongiovanni, delinquente comune legato alla destra extraparlamentare. Ultimo imputato per la strage è Luigi Ciavardini, con condanna a 30 anni confermata nel 2007. Anche lui continua a dichiararsi innocente.

Eventuali mandanti della strage non sono mai stati scoperti.

Ipotesi alternative

A causa del protrarsi negli anni delle vicende giudiziarie e dei numerosi comprovati depistaggi, intorno ai veri esecutori e ai mandanti dell'attentato si sono sempre sviluppate numerose ipotesi e strumentalizzazioni politiche divergenti dai fatti processuali che hanno portato alle condanne definitive dei presunti esecutori materiali della strage.

* Stando quanto riportato dai media nel 2004 e ripreso nel 2007 [3], Francesco Cossiga, in una lettera indirizzata a Enzo Fragalà, capogruppo di Alleanza Nazionale nella commissione Mitrokhin, ipotizza un coinvolgimento palestinese (a mano del Fronte Popolare per la Liberazione della Palestina e del gruppo Separat di Iliz Ramirez Sanchez, noto come "comandante Carlos") dietro l'attentato.[4] Inoltre, nel 2008 Cossiga ha rilasciato un'intervista al Corriere della Sera, in cui ribadiva la sua convinzione secondo cui la strage non sia da imputarsi al terrorismo nero, ma ad un "incidente" di gruppi della resistenza palestinese operanti in Italia. Si dichiara oltresì convinto dell'innocenza di Francesca Mambro e Giuseppe Valerio Fioravanti.[5]

* Dalla sua cella, a Parigi, il terrorista rosso Ilic Ramirez Sanchez afferma che «la commissione Mitrokhin cerca di falsificare la storia» e che «a Bologna a colpire furono CIA e Mossad», con l'intento di punire e ammonire l'Italia per i suoi rapporti di fiducia reciproca con l'OLP, che si era segretamente impegnato a non colpire l'Italia in cambio di una certa protezione.[6]

* Nel maggio 2007 il figlio di Massimo Sparti (malvivente legato alla banda della Magliana e principale accusatore di Fioravanti) dichiara «mio padre nella storia del processo di Bologna ha sempre mentito», aprendo nuovi spiragli ed ipotesi.[7]

* In un allegato uscito in fascicoli del settimanale di destra L'Italia Settimanale nel corso del 1994 intitolato Storia della prima Repubblica viene fornita una particolare ipotesi sulla strage. Prima di tutto viene accomunata alla strage di Ustica (ne viene definita letteralmente il "bis"); poi viene paragonata al caso di Enrico Mattei e al Caso Moro. Il testo prosegue con

« L'Italia dalla nascita della prima Repubblica è stata, come tutti sanno, un paese a sovranità limitata (...) ora, nel momento in cui, per questioni contingenti (...) ha fatto - raramente - scelte che si sono rivelate in contrasto con le alleanze di cui vi dicevo, ha compiuto, detto in termini politico-mafioso-diplomatici, uno "sgarro". E come nella mafia quando un picciotto sbaglia finisce in qualche pilone di cemento o viene privato di qualche parente (in gergo si chiama "vendetta trasversale"). Così è fra gli Stati: quando qualche paese sbaglia, non gli si dichiara guerra; ma gli si manda un "avvertimento", sotto forma di bomba, che esplode in una piazza, su di un treno, su una nave, ecc ecc »

Assolutamente senza contestare le sentenze giudiziarie che hanno riconosciuto gli esecutori materiali, questo testo vuole indicare i mandanti. Non è specificato null'altro in particolare, ma in quel periodo l' unico "sgarro" imputabile all'Italia fu il mancato boicottaggio delle Olimpiadi di Mosca, che riempirono il periodo trascorso tra la strage di Ustica e la bomba alla stazione di Bologna.

more exciting reads:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

the murders stopped at once .. ERGENECON

Orhan Kemal Cengiz: Trying coup plotters is a revolution

Orhan Kemal Cengiz, the chairman of the Human Rights Agenda Association and a jurist-writer, says the country has come a long way since the time when naming schools and streets after Kenan Evren -- the leader of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d'état -- and celebrating the military coup of May 27, 1960 like a festival were common.

"There are still some people who consider the May 27 coup as a modernist revolution against reactionaryism. In fact, trying coup plotters is a revolution in a country like ours," he said.

So after three coups and two postmodern coups, it seems that Turkey has finally managed to bring coup plotters to court for the first time in its history.

The diaries that allegedly belong to former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek, in which he is said to have kept notes between 2004 and 2006 about plans for two coups code-named Ay..... (Moonlight) and Sar.k.z (Blond Girl), have recently been incorporated into the ongoing Ergenekon trial -- a trial against 142 suspects charged with plotting to overthrow the government -- according to Cengiz.

After two years and a series of operations, Turkey has finally sent three retired generals and the numerous civilians referred to in the Ay..... and Sar.k.z coup plans to trial. Even if the generals are released without being sentenced, this will be regarded as a turning point for Turkish democracy.

Ever since the 1960s, Turkey has been unable to take civilian initiatives against anti-democratic interventions -- until the launch of the Ergenekon investigation. As a result of the operations that began in February 2008 former Gendarmerie Commander retired Gen. .ener Eruygur and retired 1st Army Corps Commander Gen. Tolon were arrested at a social facility owned by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for planning the coups code-named Ay..... and Sar.k.z.

The arrests were a great achievement for proponents of democracy in Turkey, says Cengiz, and he explains more about the process:

The second indictment of the Ergenekon case was made public. Let's interpret the picture anew in light of the latest information: What is Ergenekon, what is its objective, what has it done?

Ergenekon is an organization created by those who deem themselves superior to the law and all rules. The organization is the last of the inheritors of the conspiracy mindset bequeathed by the Byzantine and Ottoman empires and from there to the republic. Ergenekon is the last representative of the deep structure behind all the political assassinations and manipulations in Turkey.

What are the connections of this structure?

What we are holding in our hand is only one tentacle of the octopus. We are liquidating one branch of the Turkish Gladio. Those who play a key role in Ergenekon also played a central role in J.TEM, an illegal unit formed inside the gendarmerie. When you include J.TEM in the case, you also merge the Sauna and Atabeyler gangs, the Santoro, Dink and Malatya assassinations and many others into the case. You would also link assassinations by unknown assailants -- by prominent assailants -- and all the other assassinations to this network. If the investigation goes further, Hizbullah and the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) cooperation with Ergenekon will be exposed as well.

What has the second indictment added to the Ergenekon case, which was triggered by the seizure of 27 hand grenades in a shanty in Ümraniye and steered by the discovery of weapons depots, assassination plots and attempts to create chaos?

I don't base the case simply on the second indictment. Some recent developments are as important as the second indictment.

Which developments?

Uncovering the BOTA. [Turkish Pipeline Corporation] wells and placing the J.TEM colonel under arrest indicates that the Ergenekon case is heading for the east of the Euphrates, where it must be actually steered. This is crucial. The second indictment also brings the stages of a coup to light.
The coup plotters. picture was shot

That is, what we already knew has been documented.

We always knew that settings favorable for a coup were prepared. The second indictment shows us how it was to be done as in a recipe. We understand how the media instigated coups and how members of the press considered coups to be a means of prosperity.

Is it of prominent significance to the case?

It is of tremendous significance. It has already swept a curtain away. The details of nasty works that we smelled and heard became visible. There is no way back. We have finally discovered the truth. Society has woken up. If the case progresses and moves in the right direction and the perpetrators are duly punished, then it will pave the way for further developments.

What kind of developments?

The military guardianship system in Turkey would receive a deadly blow. A sense of justice would be restored; it would also lay the foundation for a democratic state that respects the rule of law.
It should not be reduced to just a coup plot

Some claim that the case should be demarcated; otherwise, the process will be hindered. What is the imminent threat, demarcation or extension of the case?

.amil Tayyar is a colleague who expended tremendous effort in the uncovering of Ergenekon; however, he advocates the demarcation of the case, which is extremely misleading. Have a glance at the Susurluk report, Kutlu Sava. made a crucial point in the report when he said, "Dealing with interconnected incidents and networks in separate court cases has made it impossible to understand what Susurluk actually is."

It is equally, even more, relevant to Ergenekon.

That's right, as long as you deal with the interconnected incidents and cases separately, you can neither understand what Ergenekon actually is nor can you fully liquidate this structure. Coup plots are significant; yet reducing the case to such coup plots would weaken it. By doing so, you would create more room for the insidious propaganda which claims that the case targets AK Party [Justice and Development Party] opponents. Let's keep in mind that Ergenekon is a gigantic organization, and it is at the center of many shadowy deeds in Turkey.

What is in the past, what will the future bring?

A document seized from one of the accused says "The Special Forces are the apple of Ergenekon's eye.. The Special Forces are the continuation, or inheritor, of the Special Warfare Department. Gen. Sabri, one of the former heads of the department, once said that the Sept. 6-7 [pogrom] was a spectacular deed done by the Special Warfare Department. When you trace the ties, you would be appalled to see the extent to which Ergenekon goes.

What is the forward-looking face of Ergenekon?

It is confiscating Turkey's future, blocking the EU process, disconnecting Turkey from the world and setting up an authoritarian-fascist regime.

The indictment is centered on a coup. This is the first time that generals have been tried on coup charges.

It is sort of a revolution for Turkey. We named schools and streets after Kenan Evren. We celebrated May 27 like a festival. There are still some people who consider May 27 a modernist revolution against reactionaryism. In fact, judging coup plotters is a revolution in a country like ours.

The circumstances favorable for a coup are created by ensuring media support, creating favorable public opinion, deactivating politics, drawing attention to the dangers threatening the homeland and convincing the command echelon or bypassing it when the former cannot be achieved. Is this how they acted?

Weren't all the coups staged in that way? We caught the coup plotters red-handed for the first time. Their masks dropped for the first time. We saw their bare faces for the first time. If an army intends to stage coups when circumstances are ripe, some people both inside and outside that army will eventually create such circumstances.

Does the process consist of the liquidation of the history of coups and the deep state?

It is too early to call it the liquidation of the deep state. Ergenekon is centered on what we call a deep state structure. If all the cases connected to Ergenekon are merged, a glimpse of hope will emerge for fully purging the state of gangs.
They would have cracked down with an .iron fist'

What do the [coup] diaries tell you?

The diaries tell how deeply the Ergenekon mindset is rooted and how the system functions. It sheds light on why we have been living under military guardianship for so long.

I already knew of the Sar.k.z, Ay....., Yakamoz and Eldiven coup plots, and now the .Iron fist. has popped up.

I heard it for the first time, too. Coups are iron fists that crack down on this country. They seem to have named it correctly. If they had not been captured, they would have knocked out democracy with an iron fist.

Increasing numbers of people say they are convinced [that Ergenekon exists]. Has the Ergenekon case gone beyond the stage where it has been diluted?

It is tragicomic that we still debate whether or not it actually exists. A certain media group's incredible efforts to blur the issue and use subtle disinformation tactics led to this situation. It is shameful. However, despite these efforts, people can sort out what is what.

Why does the .stanbul Bar Association give explicit messages of support to Ergenekon members?

Unfortunately, it is not only the .stanbul Bar Association. The executive boards of some bar associations are now dominated by groups who call themselves the "neo-nationalists" (ulusalc.lar). They have actively rolled up their sleeves to act as the advocates of Ergenekon. Who knows, maybe it is extremely scary for some people to see that in a country where Ergenekon has collapsed everyone will have to duly fulfill their duties, that this country will enter the EU, etc.
It is stupidity to call what has been written a .crime of thought'

There are some people who elaborate on the thesis of "it is not an offense to think about a coup, but it is an offense to put it into action." Are these efforts aimed at legitimizing Ergenekon?

But we are not talking about a single man who just sat down and dreamed about a coup. The same guy goes and acts like the mentor of the coup plotters.

You are talking about the diaries of Mustafa Balbay.

Of course! If some call this a crime of thought, I doubt their intelligence and good will. And the others, in their own corner, act like coup provocateurs. Those who consider this to be freedom of expression are actually those who -- subconsciously -- do not see a coup as a crime. Otherwise, I believe everyone knows that .praising an offense and instigating an offense. in and of itself constitutes a crime. The Ergenekon case is a historic opportunity for the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK].

There is the impression that the TSK is protecting some retired generals. GATA [Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine] is a typical example. How will the civilian judiciary versus the military judiciary influence the Ergenekon case?

In Turkey, we have a military judiciary with tremendous jurisdiction. In other parts of the world, there is either no such thing as a military judiciary or even if there is, it is merely reserved for issues related exclusively to the military profession. Around us, there is this weird mentality which thinks that a coup attempt is a military offense.

In the .emdinli case, we saw what would happen if the issue is dealt with by the military judiciary. The accused, who were to be tried by the civilian courts for a crime with a sentence of up to of 30-40 years, were handed over to a military court and released the next day. If this is a fait accompli, this is a strong insult to society.

What is the position of the TSK towards the Ergenekon case?

Ambivalent. It seems as if it does not prevent detentions; but on the other hand, their manner regarding the "headquarter houses" issue is thought-provoking. [We now know that the] M.T [National Intelligence Organization] informed [them] in 2005, but military prosecutors did not take any action. The old days, when silence was golden, are now far behind. The Ergenekon case is imposing a brand new institutional culture on the army, a new model of structuring. The case, which is a pain in the neck for some, is actually presenting the military with an opportunity to get rid of the rotten eggs in the basket.

Instead of getting rid of the rotten eggs and saying the .era of coups is over,. why does the General Staff insist on saying .do not damage the reputation of the TSK.?

The military somehow was unable to engage in self-criticism. But this, in fact, inflicts significant damage on the military.
Opened up to civilians in 1999

Where is the place that Ergenekon took its first steps? Where is the epicenter?

Looking at the documents in the dossier, you will see the expression .Ergenekon, established under the TSK.. Being a military structure until then, Ergenekon was opened up to civilians in 1999 and was restructured. Before that date, perhaps it had some contact with civilians, but after 1999, it branched out considerably, reaching out to the judiciary, security organizations, the media, politics, the business world, universities. . The gunmen have sustained a blow, the masterminds are out there.

To what extent has the core structure been touched in Ergenekon? What is the rest [of the structure] doing now? Are they seeking revenge?

In fact, it is obvious that they have touched the operational side of the structure. Look how the murders stopped at once after the case was launched. This means that the gunmen have been deactivated. If this operation had not been undertaken, we would have seen blood flowing all around the country. They would have attacked the Alevis, shot the intellectuals and non-Muslims. But the masterminds of Ergenekon are still out there. Some say, "I was involved in all the coups".

I don't think they have surrendered. What kind of moves can they make in the coming period?

Of course this structure has not been liquidated completely. If they were capable, and if they had the chance, they would assassinate the prime minister. We should be extremely careful: We have to be ready for a second closure case and start to roll up our sleeves to ward it off today. We sense a devious plan. They realized that the first closure case was prevented by the EU's opposition. Now there is a tremendous effort to erase that support. They are trying to convince the West that the AK Party is taking Turkey towards "Moderate Islam." We should not fall into this trap. The AK Party should launch a new series of efforts towards the EU, and it should succeed in eliminating these conspiracies. No one should be so naive as to think that Ergenekon has been completely liquidated. We are just setting off on the road.

25 May 2009, Monday

You have an explanation about the lawyers, elites, and gunmen of the Ergenekon structure. Who are they?

Those who hope [to get] something out of the coups; who scare the public away because they are afraid of the people; those who think that they are the chief politicians in Turkey although they would not last in politics even for three days in any democratic country; those who are frightened by democracy, as if it were a monster.


Those who actually do not deserve -- but owe to the military guardianship -- the position that they occupy. Those who think insulting people means progressivism; who think their memorized knowledge is intellectual power. Those who sit at the center of Ergenekon and pretend to be journalists, politicians and bosses.


They are well known. We know them from [the] Susurluk [incident]. [They are] those who created the "death-triangle" around Sapanca-Adapazar.-Hendek; those who abducted people and threw their bodies in the wells; those who shot Dink in the head; those who showered the Council of State with a rain of bullets and then pretended to be pious Muslims.
There is an explicit example with the case of the .emdinli prosecutor; it speaks for itself. The .emdinli prosecutor has been turned into the living dead. After this example, actually it is a miracle that an investigation such as Ergenekon has been launched.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Not Bomb Iran? Because it is a WAR CRIME, a**hole!

Why Not Bomb Iran? Because it is a WAR CRIME, a**hole!

Attacking another country is the SUPREME WAR CRIME.

(Justice Jackson, Nuremburg trials!)

Freedom of speech does not include shouting "fire" in a cinema. You US americans have been shat in the brains by STATE-TERROR. When will you wake up? 911 was an inside job and Iran has NEVER attacked ANY country. State terrorism is executed by WESTERN covert operations, check wikipedia GLADIO and for Goddess sake, get a grip on your gringo selves.
NAZIs know.


Why Not Bomb Iran?

by Rowan Scarborough 05/21/2009

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have discussed options for ending Iran's nuclear arms program numerous times this decade, but one sticking point emerges: the U.S. lacks the level of intelligence needed to ensure air strikes stop Tehran's ability to build the bomb or at least set it back by decades.

The Joint Chiefs during the Bush years held a series of discussions in the secure "tank" at the Pentagon on the pros and cons of a strike, but never offered a unified position, according to a person familiar with the sessions. The topic came up in face-to-face meetings with President George W. Bush. Contrary to assertions by some liberal writers, Bush was never eager to bomb Iran, and did not press the chiefs to agree to strikes.

In the end, it came down to two glaring gaps: the U.S. is not certain on the location of all of Iran's dispersed nuclear research programs; and it does not know the engineering at some known sites: that is, how deep they are and what building materials protect them. If the engineering is not known, it complicates the process of picking the right type of penetrating bomb to destroy the target.

"What we know we could certainly hit," the source said. "We can't work what we don't know. It's the engineering. We don't always know ... The chiefs discussed questions about could this stuff be targeted and some one always said we don't know where all the stuff is."

This week, CIA Director Leon Panetta told a gathering that Iran is a "tough target" for collecting intelligence.

"Assessing Iran.s intentions is a top priority," he said. "This is not an easy target in terms of being able to gather intelligence. It.s a tough target. But just as important, we have to focus in order to develop an accurate picture of what.s going on. What are its capabilities? And we are focused on that threat."

The full scope of Iran's nuclear program is not known. Three main targets would be the Russian-designed nuclear plant at Bushehr, on the Persian Gulf; enrichment facilities at Natanz and a research reactor at Arak.

Iran has declared nine sites to the United Nations. But intelligence officials believe the actual list is much larger. One of the nine, Natanz, had been secret until revealed in 2006 by an Iranian opposition group.

The chiefs also discussed what effect a heavy bombing campaign would have on Iranians who oppose the mullah's harsh Islamic rule and hope one day to spur a democratic movement. "If you hit the people who like you they may not like you anymore," the person said. "Just blowing something up is not always the answer"

Defense Secretary Robert Gates came into office in 2006 calling air strikes an absolute last resort. He remains as defense chief for President Obama, who has scuttled talk of military action in favor of negotiating with Tehran.

The Joint Chiefs never presented a unified recommendation on strikes. But on one issue there was unanimity: all believed it was in the U.S. interest to open some type of diplomatic outpost in Tehran, be it an interest section, such as the one maintained in Cuba, or an embassy. This would lead to a wider understanding of Iranian thinking and a hub from which to collection intelligence.

"Before we go tear something up, we have to make sure we cross every single bridge," the source said, who summarized the chiefs' position as, "We have to exhaust all possibilities before we strike them."

In 2007, a national intelligence estimate -- the most authoritative spy study issued by the U.S. -- stated, "We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program." This was based on intelligence that Iran has stopped work on an atomic warhead.

But since then, senior intelligence officials publicly distanced themselves from that NIE. They said it was not written precisely enough; that Iran is still pursuing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads; it was still seeking to enrich uranium needed for a bomb; and that they did not know if Iran had resumed work on a warhead.

Even the Obama White House says Iran is seeking the bomb.

"The object of having talks of engagement with Iran are not simply to say we've had talks with engagement," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said May 18. "It's to make substantive changes in their pursuit of nuclear weapons."

The EastWest Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, issued a report Tuesday saying Iran may be able to produce a crude nuclear weapon in one to three years and a full-blown atomic warhead by 2016. The group said that by February 2009 Iran had produced 2,222 pounds of low-enriched uranium, enough to convert to highly enriched uranium for one bomb. The institute said Iran in six to eight years could be able to place a warhead on a 1,200-mile-range missile. It said it is now impossible to predict when it might have an intercontinental missile capable of reaching the United States.

Mr. Scarborough is a national security writer who has written books on Donald Rumsfeld and the CIA, including the New York Times bestseller Rumsfeld's War.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

USA comitted to Al Queda NONSENSE

Thu May 21, 2009 at 08:43:50 AM PDT

In President Obama's speech today, Obama sounds the false note that the Taliban, that people from Pakistan/Afghan attacked us on 9/11.

For the first time since 2002, we are providing the necessary resources and strategic direction to take the fight to the extremists who attacked us on 9/11 in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We also heard this line from another prominent Democrat yesterday in an appearance on Minnesota Public Radio by Senator Klobuchar, where she said (at 43'30"), "the Taliban was responsible for the World Trade Center bombings, and the destruction of the World Trade Center."

This is such utter nonsense that I am surprised Klobuchar was not corrected by Gary Eichtin. The MPR listening audience is more literate than Bush's NASCAR watching fan base, but Klobuchar and Obama seem determined to use the Bush strategy of confidently repeating a falsehood until it is accepted as truth. I am sure that many listeners had seen the last Bill Moyer Journal, featuring Juan Cole, which I will quote later.

* ImpeccableLiberalCredentials's diary :: ::

We need to understand that the Pashtun/Pathan people and their cultural institutions are not one and the same with the "Al Qaeda" (and any other international terrorist groups) that remained in Afghanistan after the end of their utility to the anti-Soviet campaign of the CIA, other Western Powers and the Saudis. Some Pashtun militias apparently remain useful and continue to receive support from the Pakistani ISI as other ethnic groups in Afghanistan are thought to be used by India in the regional power struggle between India and Pakistan.

Who are the Taliban? Who is it that Obama and Klobuchar would have you believe are responsible for 9/11? From Bill Moyer's Journal - Transcript May 15, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Who are the Taliban and what do they want? What are their goals?

JUAN COLE: What we're calling the Taliban, it's actually a misnomer. There are, like, five different groups that we're swooping up and calling the Taliban. The Taliban, properly speaking, are seminary students. They were those refugee boys, many of them orphans, who went through the seminaries or Madrassas in northern Pakistan back in the nineties. And then who emerged as a fighting force. Then you have the old war lords who had fought with the Soviet Union, and were allied with the United States. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani, they have formed insurgent groups to fight the Americans now. Because they had fought the Soviet occupation, they now see an American occupation, so they've turned on the United States. They were former allies.

So we're calling them Taliban. And then you have a lot of probably disorganized villagers whose poppy crops, for instance, were burned. And they're angry. So they'll hit a NATO or American checkpoint. So we're scooping all of this up. And then the groups in northern Pakistan who are yet another group. And we're calling it all Taliban.

What is the problem with exaggerating the threat of these tribal militias and their warlords, and disorganized resistance from the occupied population? How many Taliban are there, really? How many Taliban are now operating in Pakistan?

BILL MOYERS: How many of them?

JUAN COLE:Well, how many of them is impossible to know. But in Pakistan the estimates for fighters are small. 15 thousand. And the current military operation in the Swat Valley is pitting 15 thousand Pakistani troops against 4 thousand Taliban fighters.

That's what's being said. This is small. And the idea that these 4 thousand Taliban in Swat Valley, you know, can take over the capital of the country, or that they're going to spread into the other provinces, which are ethnic provinces, like the Punjab and Sindh, where they're very, very unpopular.

We have a Gallup Poll now, 60 percent of the Punjabis, who are the majority group in Pakistan, say that it's very negative that there should be Taliban operating in Pakistan. And only ten percent say that it's a positive. So in Pakistan, as a whole, this is a small group. It's not a mainstream, big, mass movement.

So our disproportionate reaction to a small group of well-publicized terrorists and militants will enable or require the Pakistani army to do what to these ethnic minorities?

BILL MOYERS: But how do you explain this mass exodus of, as you say, maybe a million people on the move out of that northwest region where the fighting is going on?

SHAHAN MUFTI: Well, it's very clear that why that happened is because the Pakistan army asked, or wanted the people, the civilian population, to move out of there because it was- is being fought as a guerilla war. So the militants are embedding themselves into the civilian population, which is their strength.

And so this movement out of these northern regions, where the Taliban had control, is a tactical operation. And moving the people out of there, unfortunately, also, it seems, to be military tactic right now

JUAN COLE: The Pakistani military is a tank, you know, traditional, almost central European kind of military. It was formed to fight India and most of the tanks and the troops are down on the border between India and Pakistan. And they're not trained to do counterinsurgency or counterterrorism.

So their idea of putting down the Taliban is to invade the Swat Valley. And if you've got 15,000 troops with artillery, helicopter gunships, fighter jets, operating a military operation in a valley with a million people in it, is going to produce massive displacement.

They're not sending in SWAT teams against these 4 thousand fighters, which I think is what they should have been doing. So when the US caused this. They pressured Pakistan's army to launch a conventional military attack on this small group of guerillas. And is going to inconvenience, you know, probably half a million people in a very dire way. And is that really going to settle the Pashtuns down?

SHAHAN MUFTI: I would say the Pakistani army feels strong pressure to show that they are performing. So whether they're using — whether they're being heavy-handed, whether they're using a lot of fireworks, to prove a point to the United States. And the government, as well as the army, do feel — who are recipients of large American aid, and all, but also clients of the American military — they feel, they do feel, I think, an obligation to perform well, at least to put up a show that they are performing, and that they're performing well.

BILL MOYERS: Are you two saying that the Taliban are not as great a threat to Pakistan and the United States as the United States has been claiming?

JUAN COLE: Well I have to be careful here. Because, on the one hand, I don't want to be interpreted as saying this is not a problem. I mean, you've got several thousand militants operating in the North-West Frontier Province. This is a problem. And it wasn't like that, you know, even ten years ago.The idea of Pakistani Taliban is a new idea. The Taliban were always an Afghan phenomenon. So it is a problem. And it needs to be dealt with. But what I'm saying is that let's just have a sense of proportion here.

The North-West Frontier Province is 10 percent of the Pakistan population. That's where this stuff is happening. And most of it is actually happening not in the Province itself, but in the Federally Administrated Tribal Regions. Which are kind of like our Indian reservations. Only 3.5 million people live there. It's the size of, like, New Hampshire. Pakistan is a country as big as California, Oregon and Washington rolled up in one, with a population of 165 million. So to take this threat, which is a threat locally, to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, to parts of the North-West Frontier Province, and to magnify it and to say, "Whoa, the Pakistani government is six months from falling, the Taliban is going to get their hands on nuclear weapons." The kinds of things that are being said in Washington, are just fantastical and some kind of science fiction film.

Are we pushing for a Sri Lanka-style solution that will require the indiscriminate slaughter of all civilians who can't or won't leave targeted areas in Pakistan? Is a short term boost ($110 million) in assistance to Pakistani IDPs enough compensation for the inevitable loss of life that the incautious and ill-informed rhetoric from Washington that Pakistan must destroy this poorly defined "Taliban in Pakistan" or that we will?. We will compel Pakistan to cut the ISI umbilical cord to the Pashtun warlords in Afghanistan, but does that imbalance India vs. Pakistan further?

Can we stop arming a massive military whose only clear focus is defending itself from India, and will clearly do anything to achieve parity with India, and start investing in the disciplined use of diplomacy and nonviolence?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Israel murders in UN Gaza

Israel's immoral army

By Adel Safty, Special to Gulf News
Published: May 17, 2009, 23:16

Earlier this month, a United Nations investigation into the Israeli war in Gaza found that the Israeli army was responsible for at least seven attacks on UN installations which included schools and medical facilities. The war resulted in the death of around 1,400 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis.

The report said that the Israeli army used disproportionate force and had intentionally attacked UN facilities and civilians who had sought refuge in them. Even when the Israeli army was alerted by UN personnel, the attacks continued for two more hours.

The report also stated that a World Food Programme warehouse that was damaged, was "most likely" hit by rockets fired by Hamas or another Palestinian organisation, and condemned the action.

The report concluded that the Israeli army acted with "negligence or recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and to the safety of UN staff and other civilians within those premises".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said there would be no further investigation despite the report's recommendation that a full, impartial inquiry be conducted.

Israel dismissed the report as tendentious and out of touch with reality. Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, said that the report was one-sided.

But the most interesting reaction came from Israeli Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, who claimed that the Israeli army was "the most moral army in the world".

This claim has been one of the cornerstones of the remarkably successful hasbara (propaganda) campaigns that Israel has waged along with its endless military campaigns against the Palestinians and against its Arab neighbours.

If this were true, how do we explain the involvement of the Zionist and later the Israeli military in so many massacres of innocent civilians and so much lawless and immoral behaviour?

These include the Deir Yassein massacre in 1948, where the terrorist band Irgun - led by Menahim Begin, who would become prime minister in the 1970s - attacked this peaceful Palestinian village, massacred 240 men, women, and children and kept a few inhabitants alive to parade as captives. There was also the Qibya massacre in 1951, perpetrated by an Israeli army unit led by Ariel Sharon, also a future prime minister.

In his book The Iron Wall, the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim wrote: "The village had been reduced to a pile of rubble: 45 houses had been blown up, and 69 civilians, two-thirds of them women and children, had been killed."

Less well known atrocities include the Kufr Qasim massacre in 1956, when 49 Palestinian villagers returning from their fields unaware of an Israeli army-imposed curfew were shot at close range, their bodies thrown into a truck and dumped in a nearby thicket.

The events at Sabra and Chatila are more infamous. During the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, then Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon allowed his Lebanese Phalangist allies into the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, where they massacred an estimated 1,800 Palestinian men, women and children, as Israeli forces stood guard.

The "most moral army in the world" has also directed its rage against the UN, whose 1947 Partition Resolution was used by the Zionists to justify the establishment of Israel.

The year 1948 saw the assassination of UN peace mediator Count Folke Bernadotte - who had recommended that occupied Jerusalem be placed under Jordanian jurisdiction - by the Stern Gang, whose leader Yitzhak Shamir would also become prime minister of Israel in 1983. Another example was the Qana massacre in 1996, when a compound of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon came under sustained fire from Israeli forces, resulting in the deaths of 100 Lebanese villagers who had taken refuge in the UN compound.

A UN investigation into the Qana massacre concluded that "it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors."

During its confrontation with the children of the 1987 Intifada (uprising), the Israeli army routinely broke the bones of children caught throwing rocks to protest the occupation.

During its 2006 war in Lebanon, "the most moral army in the world" bombed civilian population centres, used banned cluster bombs, and refused to give the Lebanese authorities maps of the land mines it planted before leaving Lebanon.

The record is a bloody one; reckless and ruthless. If there is evidence that outweighs the above facts to lend credibility to the claim that Israel has "the most moral army in the world", let the Israeli minister of defence produce it. Otherwise, the facts speak for themselves; and they do not support the outlandish claim of moral superiority.

Adel Safty is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Siberian Academy of Public Administration, Russia. His new book Might Over Right: How the Zionists Took Over Palestine, is endorsed by Noam Chomsky, and published by Garnet, England. 2009.
Your comments

What UN is going to do after this? Any sanctions? Any army going there to stop this? What is the action plan after this? A military option is there to invade other countries without any proof. This is not the first act of Israel to ignore, if UN is says that the Israeli army acted with "negligence or recklessness with regard to United Nations premises and to the safety of UN staff and other civilians within those premises". What are they going to do now? I believe it's just a show and nothing will be done.
Ras Al Khaimah,UAE

Thursday, May 14, 2009

illegal war crimes - gladio style

Ulster on the Euphrates: The Anglo-American Dirty War in Iraq

Written by Chris Floyd

I. Paint it Black
Imagine a city torn by sectarian strife. Competing death squads roam the streets; terrorists stage horrific attacks. Local authority is distrusted and weak; local populations protect the extremists in their midst, out of loyalty or fear. A bristling military occupation exacerbates tensions at every turn, while offering prime targets for bombs and snipers. And behind the scenes, in a shadow world of double-cross and double-bluff, covert units of the occupying power run agents on both sides of the civil war, countenancing -- and sometimes directing -- assassinations, terrorist strikes, torture sessions, and ethnic cleansing.

Is this a portrait of Belfast during "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland? Or a picture of Baghdad today? It is both; and in both cases, one of Britain's most secret . and most criminally compromised . military units has plied its trade in the darkness, "turning" and controlling terrorist killers in a dangerous bid to wring actionable intelligence from blood and betrayal. And America's covert soldiers are right there with them, working side-by-side with their British comrades in the aptly named "Task Force Black," the UK's Sunday Telegraph reports.

Last week, the right-wing, pro-war paper published an early valentine to the "Joint Support Group," the covert unit whose bland name belies its dramatic role at the center of the Anglo-American "dirty war" in Iraq. In gushing, lavish, uncritical prose that could have been (and perhaps was) scripted by the unit itself, the Telegraph lauded the team of secret warriors as "one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror," running "dozens of Iraqi double-agents," including "members of terrorist groups."

What the story fails to mention is the fact that in its Ulster incarnation, the JSG . then known as the Force Research Unit (FRU) . actively colluded in the murder of at least 15 civilians by Loyalist deaths squads, and an untold number of victims killed, maimed and tortured by the many Irish Republican Army double-agents controlled by the unit. What's more, the man who commanded the FRU during the height of its depredations . Lt. Col. Gordon Kerr . is in Baghdad now, heading the hugger-mugger Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), a large counter-terrorism force made up of unnamed "existing assets" from the glory days in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

This despite the fact that a 10-year, $100 million investigation by Britain's top police officer, Lord Stevens, confirmed in 2003 that the Kerr-led FRU "sanctioned killings" through "institutionalized collusion" with both Protestant and Catholic militias during the 1980s and 1990s. Stevens sent dossiers of evidence against Kerr and 20 other security apparatchiks to the Blair government's Director of Public Prosecutions, in the expectation that the fiery Scotsman and the others would be put on trial.

But instead prosecuting Kerr, Blair promoted him: first to a plum assignment as British military attaché in Beijing . effectively the number two man in all of UK military intelligence, as Scotland's Sunday Herald notes . then with the SRR posting to Baghdad, where Kerr and his former FRU mates now apply the "methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles," as the Telegraph breathlessly relates.

The Telegraph puff piece is naturally coy about revealing these methods, beyond the fact that, as in Ireland, the JSG uses "a variety of inducements ranging from blackmail to bribes" to turn Iraqi terrorists into Coalition agents. So to get a better idea of the techniques employed by the group in Baghdad, we must return to those "mean streets of Ulster" and the unit's reign of terror and collusion there, which has been thoroughly documented not only by the exhaustive Stevens inquiries, but also in a remarkable series of investigative reports by the Sunday Herald's Neil Mackay, and in extensive stories by the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, the Times and others.

We will also see how the operations of the JSG and "Task Force Black" dovetail with U.S. efforts to apply the lessons of its own dirty wars . such as the "Salvador Option" . to Iraq, as well as long-running Bush Administration initiatives to arm and fund "friendly" militias while infiltrating terrorist groups in order to "provoke them into action." It is indeed a picture painted in black, a glimpse at the dark muck that lies beneath the high-flown rhetoric about freedom and civilization forever issuing from the lips of the war leaders.

II. Whacking for the Peelers
Gregory Burns had a problem. He was one of Gordon Kerr's FRU informers planted deep inside the IRA, along with two of his friends, Johnny Dignam and Aidan Starrs. But as Mackay noted in a February 2003 story, the already-partnered Burns had acquired a girlfriend on the side, Margaret Perry, 26, a "civilian" Catholic with no paramilitary ties. Forbidden fruit is sweet, of course . but pillow talk is dangerous for an inside man. "Burns didn't keep his mouth shut and [Perry] found out he was working for British intelligence," an FRU officer told Mackay. "He tried to convince her he was a double-agent the IRA had planted in the [British] army . but she didn't buy it."

Burns called his FRU handlers and asked to come in from the cold. He'd been compromised, he said, and now he and his friends needed to get out, with new identities, relocation, good jobs . the usual payoff for trusted agents when the jig was up. But Kerr refused: "He said [Burns] should silence Perry," the FRU man told Mackay. Burns, panicking at thought of the IRA's horrific retributions against informers, insisted: he would have to kill the woman if they didn't bring him in, he told Kerr. Again Kerr refused.

And so Burns arranged a meeting with his lover, to "talk over" the situation. His friends, Aidan and Johnny, volunteered to drive her there: "On the way, they pulled into a forest, beat her to death and buried her in a shallow grave," Mackay notes. Two years later, when her body was found, the IRA put two and two together . and slowly tortured Burns and his two friends to death, after first extracting copious amounts of information about British intelligence operations in Ireland.

'In Kerr's eyes, Burns just wasn't important enough to resettle," the FRU source told the Sunday Herald. "So we ended up with four unnecessary deaths and the compromising of British army intelligence officers, which ultimately put soldiers' lives at risk. To Kerr, it was always a matter of the ends justifying the means."

Then again, Kerr could well afford to sacrifice a few informers here and there to the wrath of the IRA's dreaded "security unit" . because his own prize double agent was the head of that security unit. Codenamed "Stakeknife," Kerr's man presided over, and sometimes administered, the grisly torture-murders of up to 50 men during his tenure in the IRA's upper ranks. The victims included other British double agents who were sacrificed in order to protect Stakeknife's cover, as the Guardian and many other UK papers reported when the agent's work was revealed in 2003. ("Stakeknife" was later identified in the press as Alfredo Scappaticci . an Irishman despite the Italian name, although he continues to deny the charge.)

The FRU also "knowingly allowed soldiers, [police] officers and civilians to die at the hands of IRA bombers in order to protect republican double agents," the Sunday Herald's investigations found. As Mackay reports: "FRU sources said around seven police and army personnel died as a result of military intelligence allowing IRA bombs to be placed during Kerr's time in command of the FRU. They estimate that three civilians also died this way, with casualties in the hundreds."

But some of the worst excesses came from the FRU's handling of operatives on the other side, in the fiercely pro-British Protestant militia the Ulster Defense Association (UDA). Here, among the Loyalists, Kerr's top double agent was Brian Nelson, who became head of intelligence for the UDA. As John Ware put it in the Guardian: "Kerr regarded Nelson as his jewel in the crown. For the next three years [from 1987], Nelson colluded with murder gangs to shoot IRA suspects. Month after month, armed and masked men crashed into homes. Sometimes they got the wrong address or shot the wrong person."

Such as Gerald Slane, a 27-year-old Belfast man shot down in front of his three children. A gun had been found dumped on his property; this, and his Catholicism, was enough to get him assassinated at the order of Kerr's man Nelson. Afterwards, it was found that Slane had no IRA connections.

Another "wrong person" killed by the FRU's agents was the Belfast attorney Pat Finucane, who was shot 14 times in front of his wife and children. Finucane was a civil rights activist who had defended both Catholics and Protestants, but was considered an IRA sympathizer by Loyalists . and a thorn in the side by British authorities. He was killed at Nelson's order by a fellow FRU informer in the UDA, Ken Barrett, who was convicted of the murder but freed last year after as part of an amnesty program in the Northern Ireland peace process. Barrett was unapologetic about his FRU "wetwork" on Finucane. "The peelers [authorities] wanted him whacked," he told a BBC documentary team after his release. "We whacked him and that is the end of the story."

Kerr gave Nelson packages of intelligence files to help facilitate the assassination of UDA targets, including at least four "civilians" with no IRA ties, the Stevens inquiry found. The FRU also obtained "restriction orders" from other British security and military units in Northern Ireland, whereby they would pull their forces from an area when Kerr's UDA agents were going to make a hit there, allowing the killers to get in and get out without hindrance, investigator Nick Davies reports.

Yet the FRU was wary of sharing its own intelligence with other security services . which was the ostensible reason for running the double-agents in the first place. Instead, Kerr engaged in fierce turf wars with other agencies, while "stovepiping" much of his intelligence to the top circles of the UK government, including the cabinet-level Intelligence Committee chaired by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Indeed, when Nelson was finally exposed and brought to trial on five counts of conspiracy to commit murder, Kerr testified in his behalf, noting for the court that Nelson's intelligence "product and his reporting was passed through the intelligence community and at a high level, and from that point of view he has to be considered a very important agent."

As one FRU man told Mackay: "Under Kerr's command.the mindset was one of 'the right people would be allowed to live and wrong people should die.'"

This is the "mindset" now operating in the heart of the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the JSG is carrying out . we are told in glowing terms . precisely the same mission it had in Ulster. a unit which has allowed its agents to torture, murder and commit acts of terrorism, including actions that killed local civilians and the soldiers and intelligence operatives of their own country.

III. The White House Green Light
Of course, Kerr and his Baghdad black-op crew are not alone in the double-dealing world of Iraqi counterinsurgency. The Pentagon's ever-expanding secret armies are deeply enmeshed in such efforts as well. As Sy Hersh has reported ("The Coming Wars," New Yorker, Jan. 24, 2005), after his re-election in 2004, George W. Bush signed a series of secret presidential directives that authorized the Pentagon to run virtually unrestricted covert operations, including a reprise of the American-backed, American-trained death squads employed by authoritarian regimes in Central and South America during the Reagan Administration, where so many of the Bush faction cut their teeth . and made their bones.

"Do you remember the right-wing execution squads in El Salvador?. a former high-level intelligence official said to Hersh. "We founded them and we financed them. The objective now is to recruit locals in any area we want. And we aren.t going to tell Congress about it." A Pentagon insider added: " going to be riding with the bad boys." Another role model for the expanded dirty war cited by Pentagon sources, said Hersh, was Britain's brutal repression of the Mau Mau in Kenya during the 1950s, when British forces set up concentration camps, created their own terrorist groups to confuse and discredit the insurgency, and killed thousands of innocent civilians in quashing the uprising.

Bush's formal greenlighting of the death-squad option built upon an already securely-established base, part of a larger effort to turn the world into a "global free-fire zone" for covert operatives, as one top Pentagon official told Hersh. For example, in November 2002 a Pentagon plan to infiltrate terrorist groups and "stimulate" them into action was uncovered by William Arkin, then writing for the Los Angeles Times. The new unit, the "Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group," was described in the Pentagon documents as "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" that brings "together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception."

Later, in August 2004, then deputy Pentagon chief Paul Wolfowitz appeared before Congress to ask for $500 million to arm and train non-governmental "local militias" to serve as U.S. proxies for "counter-insurgency and "counterterrorist" operations in "ungoverned areas" and hot spots around the world, Agence France Presse (and virtually no one else) reported at the time. These hired paramilitaries were to be employed in what Wolfowitz called an "arc of crisis" that just happened to stretch across the oil-bearing lands and strategic pipeline routes of Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

By then, the Bush Administration had already begun laying the groundwork for an expanded covert war in the hot spot of Iraq. In November 2003, it created a "commando squad" drawn from the sectarian militias of five major Iraqi factions, as the Washington Post reported that year. Armed, funded and trained by the American occupation forces, and supplied with a "state-of-the-art command, control and communications center" from the Pentagon, the new Iraqi commandos were loosed on the then-nascent Iraqi insurgency . despite the very prescient fears of some U.S. officials "that various Sunni or Shiite factions could eventually use the service to secretly undermine their political competitors," as the Post noted.

And indeed, in early 2005 . not long after Bush's directives loosed the "Salvador Option" on Iraq . the tide of death-squad activity began its long and bloody rise to the tsunami-like levels we see today. Ironically, the first big spike of mass torture-murders, chiefly in Sunni areas at the time, coincided with "Operation Lightning," a much ballyhooed effort by American and Iraqi forces to "secure" Baghdad. The operation featured a mass influx of extra troops into the capital; dividing the city into manageable sectors, then working through them one by one; imposing hundreds of checkpoints to lock down all insurgent movements; and establishing a 24-hour presence of security and military forces in troubled neighborhoods, the Associated Press reported in May 2005. In other words, it was almost exactly the same plan now being offered as Bush's "New Way Forward," the controversial "surge."

But the "Lightning" fizzled in a matter of weeks, and the death squads grew even bolder. Brazen daylight raids by "men dressed in uniforms" of Iraqi police or Iraqi commandos or other Iraqi security agencies swept up dozens of victims at a time. For months, U.S. "advisers" to Iraqi security agencies . including veterans of the original "Salvador Option" . insisted that these were Sunni insurgents in stolen threads, although many of the victims were Sunni civilians. Later, the line was changed: the chief culprits were now "rogue elements" of the various sectarian militias that had "infiltrated" Iraq's institutions.

But as investigative reporter Max Fuller has pointed out in his detailed examination of information buried in reams of mainstream news stories and public Pentagon documents, the vast majority of atrocities then attributed to "rogue" Shiite and Sunni militias were in fact the work of government-controlled commandos and "special forces," trained by Americans, "advised" by Americans and run largely by former CIA assets. As Fuller puts it: "If there are militias in the Ministry of Interior, you can be sure that they are militias that stand to attention whenever a U.S. colonel enters the room." And perhaps a British lieutenant colonel as well

With the Anglo-American coalition so deeply embedded in dirty war . infiltrating terrorist groups, "stimulating" them into action," protecting "crown jewel" double-agents no matter what the cost, "riding with the bad boys," greenlighting the "Salvador Option" . it is simply impossible to determine the genuine origin of almost any particular terrorist outrage or death squad atrocity in Iraq. All of these operations take place in the shadow world, where terrorists are sometimes government operatives and vice versa, and where security agencies and terrorist groups interpenetrate in murky thickets of collusion and duplicity. This moral chaos leaves "a kind of blot/To mark the full-fraught man and best indued/With some suspicion," as Shakespeare's Henry V says.

What's more, the "intelligence" churned out by this system is inevitably tainted by the self-interest, mixed motives, fear and criminality of those who provide it. The ineffectiveness of this approach can be seen in the ever-increasing, many-sided civil war that is tearing Iraq apart. If these covert operations really are intended to quell the violence, they clearly have had the opposite effect. If they have some other intention, the pious defenders of civilization . who approve these activities with promotions, green lights and unlimited budgets . aren't telling.

Friday, May 08, 2009

CIA Torture - USA war crimes

History of CIA Torture: Unraveling the Web of Deceit, Part I

Military Torture, Legal Fig Leaves & Premature Exculpation...

Blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"When any modern state tortures even a few victims, the stigma compromises its majesty and corrupts its integrity. Its officials must spin an ever more complex web of lies that, in the end, weakens the bonds of trust and the rule of law that are the sine qua non of a democracy. And, beyond its borders, allies and enemies turn away in collective revulsion." - Prof. Alfred W. McCoy, A Question of Torture (2006).

Truth and justice are essential components of democracy and the rule of law. We cannot move forward unless we honestly examine our past. Accuracy is vital to every decision we make, be it impeachment, prosecution or a restoration of our nation.s honor and integrity.

This is the first in a four-part series of articles which will strive to correct misperceptions arising from the erroneous blending of military and CIA torture. This task has become especially relevant now that the Justice Department's the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the very section which had issued the torture memos, tasked by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey with investigating itself, has now released a recommendation that none of the authors of the torture memos be prosecuted. This recommendation stands in stark contrast to our nation's post-World War II decision to prosecute German judges for war crimes at Nuremberg.

Part I addresses the relatively public involvement of the U.S. military and private contractors at Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq. It will dispel the notion that the Bush White House sought out independent legal opinions from the OLC before deciding to torture.

Part II will discuss the CIA's dark beginnings, including its recruitment of former Nazis, its devotion to covert "psychological operations" as a founding principle, the experiments on unwitting subjects that were part of a maniacal quest to crack the code of human consciousness, and the scientific studies that led to KUBARK, the CIA's torture manual.

Part III provides a vital historical account of CIA torture applied by surrogates in developing nations as a component of empire, an account that belies the suggestion made by the The New York Times that CIA torture first arose as an aftermath of 9/11.

Part IV will address the CIA's involvement in extraordinary rendition and an ultra-secret system of .black-sites. into which .ghost detainees. would disappear. It will show how the techniques used on "ghost detainees" are the culmination of a half-century of CIA research and practices...

Military Torture

The 263-page Senate Armed Services Committee Report [PDF] (the .Levin Report.), whose release was inexplicably delayed from its Nov. 20, 2008 completion to April 22, 2009, tracks the military.s involvement* in torture. It reveals that in December 2001, more than a month prior to the issuance of a Feb. 7, 2002 Presidential memorandum, erroneously** declaring that the Geneva Convention's proscriptions on torture did not apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, the DoD.s Office of General Counsel .solicited information on detainee "exploitation" from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), the .agency that oversees military Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training,. whose techniques are [emphasis added] .based, in part, on Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean war to elicit false confessions..

In the SERE program U.S. military personnel, under careful medical controls, are taught to resist unlawful interrogation practices (aka torture). SERE techniques include forced nudity, stress positions, hooding, sleep disruption, loud music and flashing lights, exposure to extreme temperatures, face and body slaps and, in the Navy's SERE school, waterboarding.

The Levin Report discusses how SERE techniques were .reverse engineered. for use at Guantanamo, by the U.S.. This was approved at the highest levels of the Bush/Cheney cabal,*** despite multiple legal memoranda from all branches of the armed forces challenging its legality and despite a July 2002 JAPRA memo which noted that aside from its .myriad legal, ethical, or moral implications,. torture produces unreliable intelligence. The Levin report reflects modification of the SERE techniques to exploit fear, such as the use of vicious dogs. Levin includes an historical account of how these modified and reverse engineered SERE techniques migrated from Guantanamo to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Levin report contains neither an in-depth analysis of the CIA history and application of torture nor the CIA.s role in extraordinary rendition and methods that were exclusive to .ghost detainees.. Levin does not address the role of private contractors, like CACI International Inc. and Titan Corp. (now L-3 Services), named in lawsuits brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights ("CCR"), Al Shimari v. CACI and Saleh v. Titan. The CCR alleges the companies engaged in torture while providing interrogation and translation services at Abu Ghraib.
*In addition to the previous complaint filed against Bush administration lawyers, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has opened an investigation "into torture allegations against US military personnel at...Guantánamo..."

**In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) the Supreme Court rejected the Administration's position. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which mandates that all detainees .in all circumstances be treated humanely. and which proscribes .outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment. applies to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

***Rumsfeld, who signed a Dec. 2002 memo authorizing torture at Guantanamo, displayed a despicable cowardice by asserting the emerging Abu Ghraib torture photos were the work of .a few bad apples.. Today, as low level former MPs languish in military prisons because of their role in carrying out those policies he specifically approved, Rumsfeld walks about, a free and wealthy man.

Legal Fig-Leaves

President Obama.s initial rush to shield CIA torturers on the basis of their supposed reliance on the quasi-legal memos overlooked a critical issue, now partially resolved by a newly released summary [PDF] sent by Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV to Attorney General Eric Holder for a declassification review. It reveals that Abu Zubayda was .badly injured in the firefight that brought him into custody. in March 2002; that he was initially interrogated by FBI agents while receiving medical care; that contacts in which the CIA sought NSC approval for application of its torture techniques began in April 2002 and that the National Security Advisor authorized application of CIA torture techniques, .subject to a determination of legality by. the OLC.*

The Levin Report reflects that the torture memos were issued by the OLC.s Jay Bybee only .after consultation with senior Administration attorneys, including then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and then-Counsel to the Vice President David Addington..

This seemingly innocuous notation says a great deal. As revealed by Jane Mayer.s July 3, 2006 New Yorker article, "The Hidden Power,. the former Vice President and his chief legal counsel (who later became Cheney's chief of staff), David Addington were the driving force behind the Bush regime's unprecedented claims of dictatorial executive powers.

Addington, a man described by Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell.s former assistant, as .utterly ruthless,. began his government career as assistant CIA general counsel where he aided William Casey.s resistance to Congressional oversight. He served as a staff attorney on the U.S. House/Senate select committee investigating the Iran/Contra scandal, assisting Congressman Richard Cheney in preparation of the Iran-Contra Minority Report. Although the scandal produced 17 felony convictions, the Minority Report, Mayer observes, made the .outlandish. claim it was .Congress --- not the President --- [which] had overstepped its authority, by encroaching on the President.s foreign-policy powers..

According to Mayer, Addington dominated the agenda. She quoted an administration source: ..If not sufficiently ideological, he would cut the ground out from under you... Former Pentagon lawyer Richard Schriffrin described a tense multi-agency White House meeting in which Addington would simply dismiss them. .He didn.t recognize the wisdom of the other lawyers. He was always right...He knew the answers...If you favored international law, you were in danger of being called .soft on terrorism... Mayer said a number of .talented top lawyers who challenged Addington...left the Administration under stressful circumstances..

As we observed previously in "Prosecute or Perish," Addington was well aware that innocents were being held at Guantanamo. He didn.t care.
"Torture isn.t important to Addington as a scientific matter, good or bad, or whether it works or not,. the Administration lawyer, who is familiar with these debates [told Mayer]. "It.s more about his philosophy of Presidential power. He thinks that if the President wants torture he should get torture. He always argued for 'maximum flexibility'."

Addington, Bybee and DoD General Counsel William J. Haynes were included amongst the six Bush administration attorneys who were targeted by Spanish prosecutors in the war crimes complaint they filed with Judge Baltasar Garzón. The Levin Report reveals that Haynes quashed a review by .then-Captain (now Rear Admiral) Jane Dalton, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. which .discussed the military services' concerns. about application of reverse engineered, SERE techniques to detainees.

The evidence is compelling. The President and Vice President wanted torture. They had no intention to leave little matters like international and federal laws forbidding torture to stand in the way. The notion that they relied on legal opinions from an independent OLC is a farce. Any doubts about that were conclusively resolved when the White House sought to collect and destroy all copies of a dissenting legal memo from former State Department attorney Philip Zelikow.
*Where the Levin Report says that Condoleezza Rice, then the National Security Advisor, "approved" the CIA techniques subject to OLC approval, Rice claims she "didn't authorize anything." She merely "conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency...." Echoing Frost/Nixon, when pressed as to whether waterboarding was torture, Rice replied: .By definition, if it was authorized by the President, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture." Classic: Those who ordered torture can't be held to account because they were merely "conveying" authorization, and besides, if the President says it's okay to torture, then torture's legal.

Premature Exculpation

In his haste to evade his obligation to faithfully execute the law with respect to those who supposedly relied upon the OLC legal opinions, President Obama not only ignored the long history of CIA torture that will be addressed in subsequent articles, but the significant issue of whether, in terms of the Bush regime's so-called "war on terror," the CIA was already engaged in torture and sought the OLC opinions as a retroactive justification for crimes already committed.

Where the Aug. 2002 Bybee torture memo suggests that the CIA was seeking OLC approval "before" it tortured Abu Zubaydah, there is reliable evidence that Abu Zubaydah was subjected to torture long before Bybee conjured his now infamous memos.

Abu Zubaydah initially cooperated with FBI agents, one of whom tended to his wounds. But the CIA, which would later destroy some 92 interrogation tapes, insisted on taking over the interrogation. After Zubaydah was transferred to a CIA black site, the two FBI agents complained about "brutal tactics." They were told the tactics had been approved "at the highest level."

It is likely that Zubaydah was not the first Bush-era victim of CIA torture. In 2001 John Walker Lindh, .The American Taliban,. was captured by the Northern Alliance and taken to a courtyard inside a Northern Alliance fort where he was .brutally. questioned by two CIA agents. This sparked a riot that resulted in the death of the CIA.s Michael Spann. Recaptured, Lindh was transferred to Bagram Airbase, by which time he was .dehydrated, starving, and suffering from a festering bullet wound in his leg.. He was then .duct-taped to a gurney, blindfolded with tape, and left in a dark, sealed, unheated metal shipping container..His leg was left untreated for days. Allegedly tortured.he was repeatedly threatened with death and.when he asked for a lawyer,. Lindh was told .nobody knows here.. He .cracked and signed a confession.. D. Lindorf & B. Olashansky, The Case for Impeachment (2006)

Lindorf & Olshansky reveal that, after his return to the US, Lindh.s family hired attorney James Brosnahan, who moved to suppress the confession, seeking to call as witnesses both soldiers from Bagram and Guantanamo detainees. Faced with possible revelations of CIA torture, Michael Chertoff, then the head of the Justice Department.s criminal division, offered a plea arrangement in which the government would drop the terrorism, attempted murder and conspiracy to kill Americans charges if Lindh would plead guilty to the charges of providing assistance to a banned country and carrying a weapon. Chertoff's offer required that Lindh .sign a letter saying he had .never been mistreated...** Lindh accepted
*We previously observed that Jay S. Bybee, the author of these torture memos, is now a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal. We have called for his impeachment. The recipient of the second Bybee torture memo, and very much involved in providing a description of the CIA techniques under review, John Rizzo, was and still is the Acting General Counsel of the CIA. It is not clear why President Obama has not acted to remove and replace Rizzo.

**I mentioned in an earlier post that the day after my father was waterboarded during WWII, and forced to sign a false confession that he was a British agent, the Japanese Kempetai, unsatisfied by his wobbly signature, gave him the choice of again signing or undergoing another round of waterboarding. I neglected to mention that, at that time, my father was given a second document that stated he'd signed the first of his own "free will." What is it about people who torture that makes them insist the victim sign off on the lie that their victim had "never been mistreated"?


Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California State Bar since 1977 and has practiced in the fields of civil litigation and workers' compensation at both the trial and appellate levels. He graduated cum laude from Southwestern University School of Law where he served as a student director of the clinical studies department and authored the Law Review Article, Executive Privilege: Myths & Realities. He received an MA in political science at Cal State University Northridge and a BA in political science from UCLA. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968).