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Friday, October 29, 2010

Osama Bin Laden - French Hoax
Karzai CIA poppies slush funds

Osama has (not) left the building
By Pepe Escobar

For the dubious privilege of financing the 16-agency, alphabet soup, United States intelligence establishment not to find Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda's number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, US taxpayers have been plundered to the staggering tune of US$500 billion - and counting. Still, the obvious questions resonate from Seattle to Selma and from Sweden to Swaziland. Where's Osama? Where's al-Zawahiri? Where's escaped-on-the-back-of-a-motorcycle Taliban supremo Mullah Omar?

For starters, why don't US intelligence agencies ask the French Foreign Ministry? They swear on their Dior ties Osama is indeed alive - and it is his jihadi master's voice showcased in an audiotape broadcast by al-Jazeera this past Wednesday. In the tape, Osama in so many words warns France that the Eiffel Tower may experience a different kind of wobble one of these days (it has been evacuated twice lately).

Osama - or the ghost passing for Osama - said: "If you want to tyrannize and think that it is your right to ban the free women from wearing the burqa, isn't it our right to expel your occupying forces, your men from our lands by striking them by the neck?" A jittery Paris has taken the analogy extremely seriously.

A room with a view

So now that it's established that Osama seems to be alive and well, having made a successful transition from TDK cassettes to MP3 (unless very circumspect French diplomats are lying; and unless we suppress roars of laughter at the assertion by row after row of US "intelligence analysts" that fake Osama tapes have never been broadcast), comes the question of his humble abode.

So why not turn to the formidable North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its arrays of the most sophisticated military hardware in the world - after all they are spectacularly losing a war in Afghanistan itself as we speak? (The legendary Mikhail Gorbachev - who knows a thing or two about losing a war in the Hindu Kush - has just made it plain and simple: "Victory is impossible in Afghanistan. Obama is right to pull the troops out. No matter how difficult it will be.")

Anyway, NATO officials recently leaked to global corporate media that Osama is hiding "somewhere in northeastern Pakistan". Oh really? Would that be Miram Shah, across from Paktika? Would that be Parachinar, across from Nangarhar (where Osama and al-Zawahiri escaped to from Tora Bora in December 2001)? Would that be Chitral, across from Kunar? Would that be on the Karakoram Highway near the Chinese border?

Radio silence. The NATO boys simply don't know - as they don't seem to be very familiar with the intricate mountain geography and tribal rivalries south of the Hindu Kush. Seems like the NATO boys are taking a cue from those rows of so-called US "intelligence analysts" swearing over their air-con think-tank offices that Osama still oversees the "strategic direction" of al-Qaeda from a base "somewhere in Pakistan". Pakistan happens to be twice as big as California. Try finding a stray wacko in the Mojave Desert.

NATO boys also swear that Mullah Omar is commuting between Quetta, Balochistan's capital, and Karachi. Well, he could be taking a night desert bus or a donkey caravan - and still he can't be found. Has anyone searched the VIP rooms at the Serena Hotel in Quetta, perhaps?

Maybe the Pakistani intelligence apparatus knows something. "Not us!" - screams the Pakistani ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, "The reason why this statement is not made officially and publicly by NATO is because they do not have any basis to make that statement."

Well, then certainly Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence knows - or some key operatives inside the ISI. And in this case, the Central Intelligence Agency would know. Ambassador Haqqani: "If anybody thinks that Pakistan has any interest in protecting bin Laden they are smoking something they shouldn't be smoking." Well, apparently no one is smoking Hindu Kush's finest - because Haqqani still swears Washington and NATO have shared "no intelligence" with Pakistan about Osama for a few years now. Would it be because - as in the famous Hollywood dictum - no one knows anything?

The invisible man

In real life, the fact is that a selected few inside the ISI know - as they have followed Osama's every move since the early 1980s in Peshawar. And they are not talking - never will. But for the CIA and the 16-agency alphabet-soup intel community not to know, this speaks volumes about an "intelligence" establishment where 1 million Americans hold top-secret clearances. Those 1 million are absolutely worthless when it comes to gathering on-the-ground intelligence south of the Hindu Kush.

So maybe they should ask the Pakistani Army. General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani - a Pentagon darling - has been to Washington for the third round of what is called a "strategic dialogue" with the Pentagon. It's easy to picture Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asking Kiani, "If North Waziristan is the epicenter of terrorism, where al-Qaeda is holed up, why don't you go there with all guns blazing and snatch them for us?"

In principle, Kiani will do it - that's what he has promised the Pentagon. But will he? Not really. Kiani will scare away - just for show - the Haqqanis, led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, eldest son of legendary mujahid Jalaluddin Haqqani, while ISI operatives duly tell them to run the other way.

Chapman Base in Khost, Afghanistan, on the other side of North Waziristan, is operated by the CIA. But don't expect Chapman to come out swinging exhibiting "dead or alive" al-Qaeda scalpels. There are indeed some Arab al-Qaeda jihadis sheltered by the Haqqanis - a few dozen at max, but they will have plenty of time to get out of Dodge, thanks again to the services of those ISI agents.

Moreover, Kiani is not suicidal. He knows the Haqqanis and the myriad groups they protect are intimately linked to the Punjabi Taliban. If Kiani launches a major offensive, blowback - in the form of an epidemic of urban suicide bombings rocking Pakistan - is an absolute certainty.

Blowback is on the way anyway - because in this "no one knows anything, and no one's talking" scenario, the only real weapon available for Washington is to drone North Waziristan to death.

Granted, the Barack Obama administration is also desperately trying to find a way out in AfPak. Saudi Arabia is key. Not only Mullah Omar, but also other viscerally anti-occupation Afghan leaders such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf maintain very close ties with Saudi Arabia. Washington now depends on Saudi Arabia to convince them to sit down and talk.

That's not a given (they all say they're not talking). And even if they did it might - or might not - lead to an endgame (the Pentagon certainly doesn't want one). As for the Pakistani army and intelligence establishment, what they do want is an Afghan satellite government, still part of the "strategic depth" doctrine, and to keep receiving military aid from Washington till perpetuity. Thus playing a double game is key - and that applies most of all to Osama and al-Zawahiri, the golden rationale behind the everlasting "war on terror" - another name for the Pentagon's "long war".

Now you see them - now you don't. So expect a lot of Osama digital audio from now on. He should consider his own podcast on iTunes. There's no real prospect in sight that Osama will honor former US vice president Dick Cheney's correctional facilities anytime soon. He has not left the building, and is now merrily singing Suspicious Minds in a double bill with Elvis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DAWN Pakistan CIA India divide and conquer

India and Pakistan should JOIN FORCES and AGREE.
The USA and western world are the winners of their disputes,
and actively fan the flames

How the Indian media often misses the Cointelpro angle

Jawed Naqvi Monday, 25 Oct, 2010

Delhi's Outlook magazine has published a special edition to mark its 15th anniversary. Articles by a range of media specialists provide plenty of food for thought. A telephone interview with Prof Noam Chomsky is exceptionally interesting. He discusses the global media situation but appears to hold the view that Pakistani media is more vibrant than their Indian counterpart.

Let me not interfere with Chomsky's words. "I spent three weeks in India and a week in Pakistan. A friend of mine here, (the late) Eqbal Ahmed, told me that I would be surprised to find that the media in Pakistan is more open, free and vibrant than that in India.

"In Pakistan, I read the English language media which go to a tiny part of the population. Apparently, the government, no matter how repressive it is, is willing to say to them that you have your fun, we are not going to bother you. So they don't interfere with it.

"The media in India is free, the government doesn't have the power to control it. But what I saw was that it was pretty restricted, very narrow and provincial and not very informative, leaving out lots of things. What I saw was a small sample. There are very good things in the Indian media, specially the Hindu and a couple of others. But this picture (in India) doesn't surprise me. In fact, the media situation is not very different in many other countries."

Many will agree with Chomsky that the media in Pakistan is more vibrant. In fact it is more openly defiant of authority than in many countries. You can't imagine an Indian channel defying the government's version of, say, Ajmal Kasab, of the Mumbai terror nightmare, as Pakistani journalists did.

They exposed their government's lie and made it difficult for Islamabad to deny that Kasab was in fact a Pakistani. However, Chomsky can't be unaware of the nightmare that equally befalls 'erring' Pakistani journalists.

Remember the senior editor's plight, for example, when the then Islamabad envoy in Delhi did not approve of the journalist's criticism of his government during the Pakistani scribe's trip to Delhi. On the other hand, Chomsky unwittingly fails to consider a key factor - which he always cajoles us to observe - while describing the Indian media scene. It is provincial, as he observes, but it is also heavily corporatised. The latter governs what makes news and what has to be hidden from public view.

A piece of news in Delhi - manufactured or otherwise - moves like a Mexican wave of a football stadium with almost every paper and TV channel pandering to the ubiquitous "national interest".

Take the recent Commonwealth Games. The media first went to town with stories of cracks in the roof of an indoor stadium here, a collapsing footbridge there, dirty living conditions for athletes, snakes in their compounds, stray dogs, dengue threat and so forth. Suddenly, as if on cue, on the eve of the Games' opening, TV channels and newspapers without exception were singing paeans to the skills of the organisers. They even praised or perhaps mildly criticised an Oscar winning music director for dishing out rubbish for an anthem. An exorbitantly expensive and gaudy helium balloon that went up to mark the opening was discussed ad nauseum for its aesthetic appeal.

Since there has been apparently a huge financial scandal in staging the "costliest games" ever, media attention is now riveted to Suresh Kalmadi, head of the organising committee, who every journalist's neighbour accuses of graft. To keep the familiar and soon-to-become-tedious story warm a regular news bulletin is issued. Kalmadi snubbed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Again he was snubbed by Sonia Gandhi, who too didn't ask him over to her party. And finally the weekend papers uniformly echoed the big snub by the cabinet secretary too. So Kalmadi was not invited to yet another party. Is this news?

If we seriously want to know where the corruption started in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, the media has to do some reverse engineering. We should at least start with the parliament. Has anybody ever managed to find out what Dr Manmohan Singh's reaction was as a foremost member of Narasimha Rao's cabinet when he was finance minister and the prime minister bribed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's tribal MPs to pass a key trust vote? The MPs were jailed but only after the government completed its five-year tenure that made Dr Singh a corporate hero. That could be a fountainhead of corruption.

Wads of currency notes were displayed in the Lok Sabha by MPs claiming that Dr Singh's UPA government had tried to bribe them to push a civil nuclear bill. This contrived success has become crucial to the visit of US President Barrack Obama next month.

Who put Kalmadi in charge of the organising committee? Oh he was elected unencumbered by politics, we are told. Piffle. The latest Outlook carries an innocent but amazing photograph from May 18, 2004. It shows Sonia Gandhi in the Central Hall of the Parliament House announcing her resignation - the media billed it as a sacrifice - from the race for the prime minister's job. Sitting on the podium were a select group of five or six leaders including Dr Singh and guess who? - Suresh Kalmadi. Trace the links. The opposition BJP was making a big noise about corruption in the games till one of its leaders was raided by anti-corruption sleuths in a great political equaliser of sorts.

We also distinctly remember that Sonia Gandhi's resignation followed a mysterious nosedive at the Mumbai bourse. It was believed then that the markets had been manipulated to pressurise the middle classes to abandon their faith in Ms Gandhi. Someone wanted Manmohan Singh instead. There was a promise at the start of his government to probe the alleged manipulation. Was anyone held accountable much less sent to jail? And now the government is pondering a bill to discourage corruption in judiciary. That's irony for you. Examples of political-financial corruption are legion, the last one being seen swirling over Bangalore, where the BJP government magically won a trust vote for which it did not have the numbers.

In his interview to Outlook, Noam Chomsky was asked whether the Indian media, usually owned by family concerns, had a better chance to do a Katherine Graham who took risks by featuring the Watergate scandal in The Washington Post. His reply offered a universe of insights.

"The Watergate scandal was just a cover-up," he replied. "It was almost nothing. Right at the same time as the Watergate exposure - and this tells you a lot of about the media and the culture - a state terrorist government operation was exposed in the courts. It was called Cointelpro, it was essentially an FBI programme that ran through the Johnson, Kennedy and Nixon administrations. It began with targeting the Communist party, Puerto Ricans, the anti-war movement, the women's movements, the entire new Left....It was a very serious thing, going all the way to political assassination, literally.

"That was exposed at the very same time as Watergate. No attention was paid to it; it was too serious. Cointelpro really told you something about the government. Therefore, it was basically suppressed; it is still suppressed so that people don't know anything about it. Watergate, on the other hand, was a minor scandal. The main scandal about the Watergate was that Nixon went after the relatively rich and powerful people."

I suppose going by Chomsky's insights in the matter, the question to ask is what is the Cointelpro that the Indian media is trying to hide in its pursuit of the Commonwealth Games scandal? Is it the operation in Chhatisgarh or false flag terror attacks blamed on innocent people? In any case I would give Kalmadi the benefit of doubt. He is at best a very small fish in the web of corruption. Usually when something related to religious strife or any other parochial mess hogs the headlights, we should keep an eye peeled for a bill to curb civil rights that is going to be surreptitiously pushed through parliament, or a commerical deal that is signed away from public gaze. Who knows, had the BJP not agreed to a rushed state-guarantee for the now discredited US Enron deal during its controversial 13-day rule in 1996, it might never have been enabled to form a majority again. Such is the corporate prowess in India today. But that still does not quite add up to an Indian Cointelpro. Or does it?

Hopefully time, if not the Indian media, will tell some time soon.

This week:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Madrid Train Bomb 2004 - Protest Bush did Bombs

Because the world is fighting the poor, and the elites want to keep the world enslaved via the financial system

Bush and his puppeteers have to frighten the world in order to rule.. and

Bush CIA and right wing spanish operatives black ops kill hundreds OF WORKERS
in suburban trains  (real terrorists would target rich people in luxury trains!)

Madrid train bombs 5 mar 2004

Controversies about the 2004 Madrid train bombings

Accuracy of government statements

The conservative PP government was accused of falsely blaming Euskadi Ta Askatasuna for the attacks. The very day of the attacks, police officials informed the Government that explosives usually used by ETA were found at the blast sites. This, along with other suspicious circumstances, led the PP to suspect ETA involvement. Although there was no direct or indirect evidence from the investigation of the bombing pointing to ETA involvement, the group had been caught with a large amount of explosives some months previously, which looked like preparations for a big strike.[1] But according to a report of the ESISC (The European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center) the very same morning of the bombings the Spanish Intelligence Services and Policy had concluded that the author of the massacre was an Islamist terrorist group, but they had been ordered by the government to deny this Islamist attribution and insist that the ETA were the only suspects,[2] although this same source also states that there is no precedent of collaboration of international islamists with non-Muslims,[3] and there were two non-Muslims (and police informers) involved in the Madrid attacks.[4][5]

The government sent messages to all Spanish embassies abroad ordering that they uphold the version that ETA was responsible. President José María Aznar even called a number of newspaper editors and publishers personally to ask for their support of this line. version.[6]

The tense political atmosphere in Spain in the period running up to the elections brought the PP to the edge of a political catastrophe. On one hand, José María Aznar was aggressively opposed to any dialogue with ETA, and based most of his campaign on the threat of terrorism (the 9/11 attacks in New York reinforced his view of the war against the terrorists). On the other hand, Aznar's friendship with U.S. president George W. Bush led him to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq against the views of the overwhelming majority of the population (resulting in the biggest demonstrations ever seen in Spain since the restoration of democracy in the late 1970s).[7][8] This left Aznar in a complicated situation- if Basque terrorists were proven to be responsible for the massacre, it would favour the PP's campaign, but if an Islamic group appeared to cause the blast, people might blame him for earning himself (and Spain) enemies.

The Summary of the Judicial Enquiry concluded that the decision to attack Madrid was taken after, and as a result of, the invasion of Iraq. Nevertheless, The New Yorker claimed the decision was taken before 9-11[9] according to an Italian police report.[10]

Explosives used in the attacks

In the immediate aftermath of the train bombings it was suspected that the explosive used in the bombs may have been Titadine, as initial suspicions on responsibility for the bombings focused on ETA and this explosive had been used by them on occasions in the past[11][12]. As evidence emerged from the investigation attention on the explosive used switched to a brand of dynamite known as Goma-2 [13].

Analysis of samples from the explosion sites carried out by a member of the bomb disposal squad (TEDAX) following the bombings did not produce a definitive result. The analyst concerned later testified in the trial of those accused of committing the bombings. She stated that the only thing she could identify in these tests were generic components of dynamite [14].

Later in 2004, in his appearance before the parliamentary commission of investigation, Juan Jesus Sánchez Manzano (the head of the TEDAX) stated that traces of nitroglycerine had been detected in the samples recovered after the bombings [15][16]. He would later retract this statement before the investigating magistrate in charge of the case and emphasised that he was not an expert in explosives [17]. The statement by Sánchez Manzano led supporters of the idea that ETA was involved in the bombings [18] to question whether the explosive used in the bombs had been Goma 2 ECO [19]. Nitroglycerine is not a component of Goma 2 ECO [20][21].

In the run up to the trial of those accused, the court ordered that fresh tests be carried out on the samples recovered from the trains and on remains of explosive recovered from different sites connected to the bombings. These tests were carried out by specialists appointed from the security services, the defence and other parties to the accusation. The judges ordered that video and audio recordings be made of these tests[22]. The results of these tests [23] were also inconclusive concerning the samples taken from the explosion sites. Nitroglycerine was detected in one of these samples, and the presence of dinitrotoluene (DNT) was also detected. This has led to claims that the explosive used could have been Titadine [24]. However, also detected in the same sample was dibutyl phthalate (DBP)[25], which is a component of Goma 2 ECO but not of titadine [21][26]. Several other samples from the explosion sites also revealed the joint presence of DNT and DBP[27]. Tests were carried out on a sample of Titadine [28]. In addition the presence of nitroglycerine and DNT was also detected in samples of Goma 2 ECO that had been recovered from sites associated with the bombings [29].

The discovery of these different components led to suggestions that there could have been some accidental contamination of the samples and explosive remains, although a definitive cause of such contamination has not been established [30][31]. Entire cartridges, or partial remains of cartridges, of Goma 2 ECO were recovered from the apartment in Leganés where 7 suspects of the bombings died following an explosion, the only unexploded bomb, a Renault Kangoo van found near Alcalá de Henares station on the day of the bombings, and the device that was left by the high speed railway line connecting Madrid and Seville [32].

The only explosive positively identified in any site connected to the bombings has been Goma 2 ECO and the sentence in the trial concluded that it was likely that the bombs contained this explosive or a mixture of it with its predecessor product Goma 2 EC [33].

Could the bombings have been prevented?

Some of the alleged Islamist perpetrators had reportedly been under surveillance by the Spanish police since January 2003. According to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, 24 of the 29 alleged perpetrators were informers and/or controlled by the Spanish Police, Civil Guard and C.N.I. ("National Center of Intelligence") from the time before the attacks.[34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41] Two alleged perpetrators were Guardia Civil and Spanish police informants.[5][5][42][42][43][44] Cell phones used in the bombings were unlocked in a shop owned by a former Spanish policeman[45] who is not one of those accused in connection with the bombings.[46]

Two of those accused of supplying explosives for the bombings have a conviction for a previous 2001 offence of trafficking with Goma-2 ECO,[47] an offence that did not prevent Trashorras, described as "necessarily involved co-operator"[48] from later getting a job in a mine, thus gaining access to explosives and blast equipment.[49]

Controversy regarding responsibility

Thirteen improvised explosive devices were reported to have been used by the Islamic militant group that was responsible for the bombing, all but three of which detonated. This group seems to have had very tenuous connection with al-Qaeda but with the aim of acting on its behalf. Shortly after the bombings, the group was completely dismantled by the Spanish police and the core members died in an apparent suicide explosion when they were surrounded in the nearby city of Leganés.[50]

The Madrid bombings have led to the sharp political and social differences between the parties in Spain being accentuated. This stands in sharp contrast to other large-scale terrorist attacks such as those in New York and London, which galvanized society and political forces towards unity.

Spain's political division is exemplified by the accusation of members of the Partido Popular and several conservative media outlets regarding who was responsible for the bombings and whether the attacks were for political gain.[51] Some of these sources initially supported the hypothesis that ETA was behind the attacks. These groups have focused their investigation on unexplained details and inconsistencies in the Summary Report and have expressed skepticism about the truthfulness and neutrality of the evidence presented.

Since the bombings, the chief opposition party, PP,(which lost power in the election in the immediate aftermath of the bombings) together with the conservative media forces in Spain, have overtly argued the possibility that the Socialist party, the police, the Spanish, French, and Moroccan secret services, and, of course, ETA, had a role in organisation of the outrage.[52]

Not all conservative media outlets are involved in this campaign. There is a distinct difference between those who believe that the PSOE used it for political gain (as it had access to information, either from France or through links to the Police, used to criticise the government in the aftermath of the bombings), and those who believe a consortium of the ETA, some groups in the State Security Forces (possibly related to the GAL), the Moroccan secret services, and the Socialist Party (PSOE) may have had a role either in organising the bombings or blocking official investigation.[53] The first group includes the Newspaper ABC, while the second group includes the Radio Station COPE and newspapers La Razón and El Mundo.[54] This second group claims the official version is more than questionable and that the truth is still unknown. They have coupled such claims with doubts about the legitimacy of the current government, which they oppose ideologically.

An attempt to link ETA to the bombings occurred in May 2006, when El Mundo published on its front page that a business card of the Basque firm Mondragón Cooperative Corporation (MCC) had been found in the van used by the terrorists. This piece of evidence, discovered by the policemen who found the van, was not found in the numerous police reports.[55] El Mundo's rationale was that Mondragón had no connection with ETA but could point to ETA, just as the Qur'anic cassette pointed to Islamic extremists.

The Spanish police later asserted that it was not a business card, but the cover of a music CD of the popular Spanish 80s rock group "Orquesta Mondragón".[56] The CD with its case was found in a pile of various other music CDs. The rear of the cover had apparently been used by the legitimate proprietor to warn people when he parked in the middle of the street, since it had a handwritten message that read "I am coming back immediately".[57] Nevertheless, El Mundo continued to insist on the existence of an MCC card in the van.[58]

The Spanish police also asserted that a card from "Gráficas Bilbaínas" ("Bilbao printing", a print shop located in Madrid) found in the van was the source of the alleged confusion.[59]

Alleged destruction of evidence

Some critics of the indictment (for instance the public clerks' Spanish Union "Manos Limpias") allege that the passenger cars destroyed by the explosions were destroyed to hide evidence, and the corpses found in the Leganés flat were buried without autopsy.

Those allegations have been dismissed by the Spanish Supreme Court ("Tribunal Supremo"). The Spanish institution denied the accusations and even prosecuted the "Manos Limpias" union for false accusations[60]
Maussili Kalaji

Mobile phones used in the bombings were unlocked in a shop owned by a Spanish policeman (who retired after the attacks) of Syrian descent and former al Fatah militant, Maussili Kalaji.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70].

Mr. Kalaji was not one of those accused in connection with the bombings[71], though the police proposed to take him into custody. [72]

The thirteenth bomb

Clues from the thirteenth bomb allowed the police to arrest the first alleged perpetrators, three Moroccans (Jamal Zougam, Mohamed Chaoui and Mohamed Bekkaliand) and two Indian citizens, on Saturday, 13 March. [73]. The bomb has been called "the bomb that dismounted the PP version of ETA"[74], and was known to Spanish sources as "Mochila de Vallecas", "Backpack from Vallecas", because its discovery was announced in the Vallecas Police Station on the morning of March 12. The thirteenth bomb's validity as an exhibit is disputed.

Presence of the bomb on the train

On the morning of the bombings, the trains were double-checked by the EOD police to be sure that no unexploded devices were present. The thirteenth bomb was not found at this time. The only EOD policeman who remembered handling a heavy bag (the thirteenth bomb weighed around 24 pounds) that morning in El Pozo station asserted positively that the heavy bag he handled in the train station did not contain the bomb. [73][75]
Correct handling of the evidence

A Spanish police report concluded that the bomb could have been manipulated by unidentified persons in Ifema (in Spanish, "pudo ser manipulada por personas no identificadas en el Ifema"), which was the Madrid exhibition center where objects found in the trains were temporarily stored. While DNA from an unidentified male was found on or in the bag[75], Spanish police asserted that the 'chain of custody' was unbroken [76] [77][78] and the PP leader, Mariano Rajoy, asserted in March 2006 that he had no doubts about the validity of this police exhibit. [79]

In December 2006 El Mundo claimed that one of the policeman in the Vallecas Police Station during the alleged discovery of the thirteenth bomb was under investigation for his alleged participation in a plot to sell illegal Goma 2-ECO, and in the assassination of a petty thief. [80]

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Strategy of Tension EXPLAINED

May 14, 2007

The Strategy of Tension

We are at War
against International Terrorism,
defending our Values
and our Civilization.

Western anti-terror legislation does not allow the state to be considered in any way culpable for terrorist activities. As far as our elected representatives are concerned, terrorism is a problem of loosely associated groups of reactionary fanatics "attacking our freedoms". The assumption, never explicitly stated for then it would be revealed, and easily and permanently ridiculed, is that the state is innocent, immune to indulging in such barbaric practices. Written into the rule of law itself, this assumption posits the state as a paternal Fuhrer, a God figure whom we must all entrust our lives and liberties to.

Yet whichever way you look at it, international terrorism has its origins in the state itself. There are many ways of understanding this, but perhaps the most pertinent for our purposes is contemporary history. We don't need to go very far back either. Only twenty odd years, to the era of the Cold War, when we were also getting Trigger-Happy trying to defend the "Free World" from the "Evil Empire" of International Communism, as Ronald Reagan put it so aptly.

The "strategy of tension" denotes a highly secretive series of interconnected covert operations conducted jointly by the CIA and MI6 largely in Western Europe during the this period. Well-documented by several respected historians, confirmed by official inquiries, and corroborated by former intelligence officials, the "strategy of tension" is one of those unsavoury moments in contemporary history that we don't learn about in school, or even university.

My favourite book on the subject, and the most authoritative in my view, is Dr. Daniele Ganser's NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe (2004). Published in the UK as part of the "Contemporary Security Studies" series of London-based academic press Routledge, Ganser's study is the first major historical work to bring the "strategy of tension" into the mainstream of scholarship.

During the Cold War, indeed through to the late 1980s, the United States, United Kingdom, and Western European governments and secret services, participated in a sophisticated NATO-backed operation to engineer terrorist attacks inside Western Europe, to be blamed on the Soviet Union. The objective was to galvanize public opinion against leftwing policies and parties, and ultimately to mobilize popular support for purportedly anti-Soviet policies at home and abroad -- most of which were really designed to legitimize brutal military interventions against nationalist independence movements in the "Third World".

Ganser was a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, before he moved to Basel University to teach history. Citing the transcripts of European parliamentary inquiries; the few secret documents that have been declassified; interviews with government, military and intelligence officials; and so on, Ganser shows how intimately the British were involved.

In fact, it wasn't even an American idea -- it was very much ours. The strategy of tension began on the order of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who in July 1940 called for the establishment of a secret army to "set Europe ablaze by assisting resistance movements and carrying out subversive operations in enemy held territory." (p. 40) By 4th October 1945, the British Chiefs of Staff and the Special Operations branch of MI6 directed the creation of what Ganser describes as a "skeleton network" capable of expansion either in war or to service clandestine operations abroad: "Priority was given in carrying out these tasks to countries likely to be overrun in the earliest stages of any conflict with the Soviet Union, but not as yet under Soviet domination." (p. 41) In the ensuing years, Col. Gubbins' Special Operations branch of MI6 cooperated closely with Frank Wisner's CIA covert action department Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) on White House orders, and in turn coordinated US and UK Special Forces, to establish stay-behind secret armies across western Europe. (p. 42)

Among the documents Ganser brings to attention is the classified Field Manual 30-31, with appendices FM 30-31A and FM 30-31B, authored by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to train thousands of stay-behind officers around the world. The field manual was published in the 1987 parliamentary report of the Italian parliamentary investigation into the terrorist activities of "P2", the CIA-MI6 sponsored Italian anti-communist network. As Ganser observes: "FM 30-31 instructs the secret soldiers to carry out acts of violence in times of peace and then blame them on the Communist enemy in order to create a situation of fear and alertness. Alternatively, the secret soldiers are instructed to infiltrate the left-wing movements and then urge them to use violence." In the manual's own words:

"There may be times when Host Country Governments show passivity or indecision in the face of Communist subversion and according to the interpretation of the US secret services do not react with sufficient effectiveness... US army intelligence must have the means of launching special operations which will convince Host Country Governments and public opinion of the reality of the insurgent danger. To reach this aim US army intelligence should seek to penetrate the insurgency by means of agents on special assignment, with the task of forming special action groups among the most radical elements of the insurgency... In case it has not been possible to successfully infiltrate such agents into the leadership of the rebels it can be useful to instrumentalise extreme leftist organizations for one's own ends in order to achieve the above described targets... These special operations must remain strictly secret. Only those persons which are acting against the revolutionary uprising shall know of the involvement of the US Army..." (p. 234-297)

The existence of this secret operation exploded into public controversy when in August 1990 upon the admissions in parliament by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, the existence of 'Gladio' was exposed as a secret sub-section of Italian military-intelligence services, responsible for domestic bombings blamed on Italian Communists. Ganser documents in intricate detail how a subversive network created by elements of western intelligence services -- particularly that of the US and UK - orchestrated devastating waves of terrorist attacks blamed on the Soviet Union, not only in Italy, but also in Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, Greece, i.e. throughout western Europe. Despite a number of European parliamentary inquiries; an European Union resolution on the Gladio phenomenon; NATO's close-doors admissions to European ambassadors; confirmations of the international operation from senior CIA officials; and other damning documentary evidence; NATO, the CIA and MI6 have together consistently declined to release their secret files on the matter.

The Strategy of Tension simply isn't part of our historical consciousness. Very few historians of the Cold War are fully conversant with it, let alone academics working in international relations and political science. This is despite the fact that it played an instrumental role in physically constructing a threat, projected into the USSR, which did not ultimately exist. Ipso facto, the Strategy of Tension belongs to the waste-bin of history.

The immense fear and chaos generated by the impact of the Operation Gladio phenomenon throughout western Europe was instrumental in legitimizing the interventionist policies of the Anglo-American alliance in the South, throughout the Cold War period. Although the Soviet Union was supposed to be the real threat and source of terror, and thus the ultimate object of the over 70 military interventions conducted since 1945 [see William Blum's Killing Hope (London: Zed, 1995)] the Soviet threat was in fact actively exaggerated ideologically -- and even physically constructed through clandestine operations -- to mobilize the comprehensive militarization of western societies. This does not mean that many government officials did not believe their own propaganda. But we now know that there was a secretive sub-section of the Western intelligence community, known only to very few members of elected governments, that was involved in this.

The number of people who were killed across the "Third World" as a consequence of this militarization process is shocking, its implications genuinely difficult to absorb. According to Dr. J. W. Smith, a US development economist who runs the Institute for Economic Democracy in Arizona, in our glorious self-evidently noble fight to defend the "Free World" from imminent Soviet attacks, invasions, and general inconceivably irrational hell-bent pure evilness, Western states:

"... were responsible for violently killing 12 to 15 million people since WW II and causing the death of hundreds of millions more as their economies were destroyed or those countries were denied the right to restructure to care for their people. Unknown as it is, and recognizing that this has been standard practice throughout colonialism, that is the record of the Western imperial centers of capital from 1945 to 1990" [Smith, Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle of the 21st Century (2003)]

12 to 15 million people from 1945 to 1990.

I have to repeat these figures to myself to absorb their implications.

Repeat these figures to yourself.

Six million Jews in the Second World War, and now 12 to 15 million innocents in the post-WWII period. The former in the name of German lebensraum. The latter in the name of the free market.

Yet as a society, as a Civilization, we are oblivious, utterly blind, to our historic complicity in the systematic destruction of "Other" societies who fail to conform to our (deluded) self-image of universal prosperity.

It is a blindness with which we remain afflicted.

Consider Blair's rendition of the "War on Terror" in early 2007, as "a clash not between civilizations", but rather "about civilization." The War on Terror is therefore a continuation of "the age-old battle between progress and reaction, between those who embrace the modern world and those who reject its existence."

And what is this "progress", this "modernity" that should be embraced? The "progress" that slaughtered millions of men, women and children across continents, in Nicaragua, El Salvador, in Somalia, Rwanda, in Kenya, Malaya, in Oman, Iraq, etc. etc. (in no particular order and with significant omissions)?

If this is modernity then I must be a backward, semi-feudal ignoramus. Along with most of the population of the entire world. But then, who cares what the world says? Bush, Blair, and their enlightened ilk are no doubt the modern civilized ones. As long as they do what they think is right. Right???

Posted by Nafeez Ahmed at 7:46 PM

Saturday, October 09, 2010

USA McJobs PRIVATE SECTOR = insecure
This cartoon illustrates the ideological side... it is counter to the facts = media business propaganda

64000 private sector McJobs created in September  2010
159000 public sector jobs lost in september 2010
95000 jobs were destroyed

Obama is proud, he said the USA had
"9 straight months" of that bleeding.

He said that
850 000 private sector McJobs jobs

By sheer coincidence... back in July the "850,000 jobs" was
mentioned in this way:

850,000 Americans Now Have Jobs In TOP SECURITY Organizations And No One Has Any Idea What They Do

The Washington Post has focused a big search-light on a booming new American industry: The TOP SECRET industry.

This industry encompasses "a defense and intelligence structure that has become so large, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, or whether it is making the United States safer."

In other words, no one knows what the 850,000 American workers employed in the industry actually do (it's TOP SECRET, after all).

But here's what we do know, according to Dana Priest and William Arvin of the Post:

    * Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on Top Secret programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence at over 10,000 locations across the country. Over 850,000 Americans have Top Secret clearances.

    * Redundancy and overlap are major problems and a symptom of the ongoing lack of coordination between agencies.

    * In the Washington area alone, 33 building complexes for Top Secret work are under construction or have been built since September 2001.

Now, we're certainly in favor of homeland security.  But we are NOT in favor of paying 850,000+ people to do jobs that overlap, may be a self-sustaining waste of time and money, may or may not be effective, and are ultimately accountable to no one.  Especially when we have a massive deficit and financial catastrophe in the making.

So, at the very least, we would ask our government to produce a chart explaining:

    * What each of the 1,271 organizations does
    * Who each of these organizations reports to
    * How many employees each of these organizations has
    * What SPECIFIC projects each of these organizations works on (and who assigns them)
    * How many employees each of these organizations has and what the average cost-per-employee of the organization is
    * Who each of the 1,931 private contractors are, what we have hired them to do, and how much we pay them

This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed using dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.