Friday, October 21, 2011

CIA Betray Us - betrayal IRAN TERROR PLOT

"Israel & Saudi Arabia Are Much More Dangerous Enemies To The US Than The Iranians Are!"
CIA Agent Michael Scheuer

former CIA analyst Ray McGovern wonders if this is propaganda from David Petraeus's CIA.

By Ray McGovern

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, in his accustomed role as unofficial surrogate CIA spokesman, has thrown light on how the CIA under its new director, David Petraeus, helped craft the screenplay for this week's White House spy feature: the Iranian-American-used-car-salesman-Mexican-drug-cartel plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

In Thursday's column, Ignatius notes that, initially, White House and Justice Department officials found the story "implausible." It was. But the Petraeus team soon leapt to the rescue, reflecting the four-star-general-turned-intelligence-chief's deep-seated animus toward Iran.

CIA Director David Petraeus

Before Ignatius's article, I had seen no one allude to the fact that much about this crime-stopper tale had come from the CIA. In public, the FBI had taken the lead role, presumably because the key informant inside a Mexican drug cartel worked for U.S. law enforcement via the Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, according to Ignatius, "One big reason [top U.S. officials became convinced the plot was real] is that CIA and other intelligence agencies gathered information corroborating the informant's juicy allegations and showing that the plot had support from the top leadership of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the covert action arm of the Iranian government."

Ignatius adds that, "It was this intelligence collected in Iran" that swung the balance, but he offers no example of what that intelligence was. He only mentions a recorded telephone call on Oct. 4 between Iranian-American cars salesman Mansour Arbabsiar and his supposed contact in Iran, Gholam Shakuri, allegedly an official in Iran's Quds spy agency.

The call is recounted in the FBI affidavit submitted in support of the criminal charges against Arbabsiar, who is now in U.S. custody, and Shakuri, who is not. But the snippets of that conversation are unclear, discussing what on the surface appears to be a "Chevrolet" car purchase, but which the FBI asserts is code for killing the Saudi ambassador.

Without explaining what other evidence the CIA might have, Ignatius tries to further strengthen the case by knocking down some of the obvious problems with the allegations, such as "why the Iranians would undertake such a risky operation, and with such embarrassingly poor tradecraft."

"But why the use of Mexican drug cartels?" asks Ignatius rhetorically, before adding dutifully: "U.S. officials say that isn't as implausible as it sounds."

But it IS as implausible as it sounds, says every professional intelligence officer I have talked with since the "plot" was somberly announced on Tuesday.

The Old CIA Pros

There used to be real pros in the CIA's operations directorate. One — Ray Close, a longtime CIA Arab specialist and former Chief of Station in Saudi Arabia — told me on Wednesday that we ought to ask ourselves a very simple question:

"If you were an Iranian undercover operative who was under instructions to hire a killer to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, D.C., why in HELL would you consider it necessary to explain to a presumed Mexican [expletive deleted] that this murder was planned and would be paid for by a secret organization in Iran?

"Whoever concocted this tale wanted the 'plot' exposed … to precipitate a major crisis in relations between Iran and the United States. Which other government in the Middle East would like nothing better than to see those relations take a big step toward military confrontation?"

If you hesitate in answering, you have not been paying attention. Many have addressed this issue. My last stab at throwing light on the Israel/Iran/U.S. nexus appeared ten days ago in "Israel's Window to Bomb Iran."

Another point on the implausibility meter is: What are the odds that Iran's Quds force would plan an unprecedented attack in the United States, that this crack intelligence agency would trust the operation to a used-car salesman with little or no training in spycraft, that he would turn to his one contact in a Mexican drug cartel who happens to be a DEA informant, and that upon capture the car salesman would immediately confess and implicate senior Iranian officials?

Wouldn't it make more sense to suspect that Arbabsiar might be a double-agent, recruited by some third-party intelligence agency to arrange some shady business deal regarding black-market automobiles, get some ambiguous comments over the phone from an Iranian operative, and then hand the plot to the U.S. government on a silver platter – as a way to heighten tensions between Washington and Teheran?

That said, there are times when even professional spy agencies behave like amateurs. And there's no doubt that the Iranians – like the Israelis, the Saudis and the Americans – can and do carry out assassinations and kidnappings in this brave new world of ours.

Remember, for instance, the case of Islamic cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, who was abducted off the streets of Milan, Italy, on Feb. 17, 2003, and then flown from a U.S. air base to Egypt where he was imprisoned and tortured for a year.

In 2009, Italian prosecutors convicted 23 Americans, mostly CIA operatives, in absentia for the kidnapping after reconstructing the disappearance through their unencrypted cell phone records and their credit card bills at luxury hotels in Milan.

Then, there was the suspected Mossad assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a hotel in Dubai on Jan. 19, 2010, with the hit men seen on hotel video cameras strolling around in tennis outfits and creating an international furor over their use of forged Irish, British, German and French passports.

So one cannot completely rule out that there may conceivably be some substance to the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.

And beyond the regional animosities between Saudi Arabia and Iran, there could be a motive – although it has been absent from American press accounts – i.e. retaliation for the assassinations of senior Iranian nuclear scientists and generals over the last couple of years within Iran itself.

But there has been close to zero real evidence coming from the main source of information — officials of the Justice Department, which like the rest of the U.S. government has long since forfeited much claim to credibility.

Petraeus's 'Intelligence' on Iran

The public record also shows that former Gen. Petraeus has long been eager to please the neoconservatives in Washington and their friends in Israel by creating "intelligence" to portray Iran and other target countries in the worst light.

One strange but instructive example comes to mind, a studied, if disingenuous, effort to blame all the troubles in southern Iraq on the "malignant" influence of Iran.

On April 25, 2008, Joint Chiefs Chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters that Gen. Petraeus in Baghdad would give a briefing "in the next couple of weeks" providing detailed evidence of "just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability." Petraeus's staff alerted U.S. media to a major news event in which captured Iranian arms in Karbala would be displayed and then destroyed.

Oops. Small problem. When American munitions experts went to Karbala to inspect the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they found nothing that could be credibly linked to Iran.

At that point, adding insult to injury, the Iraqis announced that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had formed his own Cabinet committee to investigate the U.S. claims and attempt to "find tangible information and not information based on speculation." Ouch!

The Teflon-clad Petraeus escaped embarrassment, as the David Ignatiuses of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) conveniently forgot all about the promised-then-canceled briefing. U.S. media suppression of this telling episode is just one example of how difficult it is to get unbiased, accurate information on touchy subjects like Iran into the FCM.

As for Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, some adult adviser should tell them to quit giving hypocrisy a bad name with their righteous indignation over the thought that no civilized nation would conduct cross-border assassinations.

The Obama administration, like its predecessor, has been dispatching armed drones to distant corners of the globe to kill Islamic militants, including recently U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki for the alleged crime of encouraging violence against Americans.

Holder and Obama have refused to release the Justice Department's legal justification for the targeted murder of al-Awlaki whose "due process" amounted to the President putting al-Awlaki's name on a secret "kill-or-capture" list.

Holder and Obama have also refused to take meaningful action to hold officials of the Bush administration accountable for war crimes even though President George W. Bush has publicly acknowledged authorizing waterboarding and other brutal techniques long regarded as acts of torture.

Who can take at face value the sanctimonious words of an attorney general like Holder who has acquiesced in condoning egregious violations of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. criminal code, and international law — like the International Convention Against Torture?

Were shame not in such short supply in Official Washington these days, one would be amazed that Holder could keep a straight face, accusing these alleged Iranian perpetrators of "violating an international convention."

America's Founders would hold in contempt the Holders and the faux-legal types doing his bidding. The behavior of the past two administrations has been more reminiscent of George III and his sycophants than of James Madison, George Mason, John Jay and George Washington, who gave us the rich legacy of a Constitution, which created a system based on laws not men.

That Constitution and its Bill of Rights have become endangered species at the hands of the craven poachers at "Justice." No less craven are the functionaries leading today's CIA.

What to Watch For

If Petraeus finds it useful politically to conjure up more "evidence" of nefarious Iranian behavior in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, Lebanon or Syria, he will.  And if he claims to see signs of ominous Iranian intentions regarding nuclear weapons, watch out.

Honest CIA analysts, like the ones who concluded that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in late 2003 and had not resumed that work, are in short supply, and most have families to support and mortgages to pay.

Petraeus is quite capable of marginalizing them, or even forcing them to quit. I have watched this happen to a number of intelligence officials under a few of Petraeus's predecessors.

More malleable careerists can be found in any organization, and promoted, so long as they are willing to tell more ominous — if disingenuous — stories that may make more sense to the average American than the latest tale of the Iraninan-American-used-car-salesman-Mexican-drug-cartel-plot.

This can get very dangerous in a hurry. Israel's leaders would require but the flimsiest of nihil obstat to encourage them to provoke hostilities with Iran. Netanyahu and his colleagues would expect the Obamas, Holders, and Petraeuses of this world to be willing to "fix the intelligence and facts" (a la Iraq) to "justify" such an attack.

The Israeli leaders would risk sucking the United States into the kind of war with Iran that, short of a massive commitment of resources or a few tactical nuclear weapons, the U.S. and Israel could almost surely not win. It would be the kind of war that would make Iraq and Afghanistan look like minor skirmishes.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).



The 1/2 pint Leprechaun Petraeus 'brews' his 1st crisis.

now that US citizens are 'open game' for the Pentagon ghouls, yikes!

What I want to know is this: When are Americans going to start demanding proof before they send their sons and daughters off to kill other people's sons and daughters for the benefit of a few war profiteers?

Petraeus involved? Of course. L'il David is one of the creepiest, scariest men on the planet, but D.C. insiders either love or fear him and media foam at the mouth over the prospect of getting to interview him. So is he running for president in 2016? A place on the GOP ticket sooner? Would he run with Hillary in 2012? Would the fact that he has commanded two failed wars hurt his chances? I hope so, but some "patriotic" Americans love military wonks

""If you were an Iranian undercover operative who was under instructions to hire a killer to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, D.C., why in HELL would you consider it necessary to explain to a presumed Mexican [expletive deleted] that this murder was planned and would be paid for by a secret organization in Iran?""

COMMENT BY Haudenosaun on October 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Excellent piece Mr.McGovern. I had many of the same thoughts when the news broke and I am no CIA analyst. It's all just too convenient to be believed.

Netanyahu has made no secret of his desire to hit Iran and this is a perfect way not only to draw the U.S. into war with Iran, but to actually initiate it.

Diplomacy no longer exists in the world because there is way too much profit to be made in war.

Bob on October 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Has everyone forgotten the leaked WikiLeaks files that showed the Saudis' and Isralis requesting the US to attack Iran? I know this is at least a year old but it still fits this phony build-up to War with Iran/
Time to resurrect the WikiLeaks files and post them Nation-wide.
The only thing that fits this situation is "FALSE FLAG"

Petraeus (Betrayus) is a Bilderberg member:
ahmadinejad call 911 suspicious event (inside job), says attack was pretext to invade middle east

Iran Falsely Charged with Fake Terror Plot
October 13th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

Since Iran's 1979 revolution and US hostage crisis, Washington's been spoiling for a fight. The Carter administration considered invading and seizing its oil fields.

Washington exploited Iran/Iraq tensions and encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack. Earlier Iran's Shah was supported. After 1979, US foreign policy shifted.

The Carter Doctrine pledged Middle East military intervention if US interests were threatened. Reagan escalated Carter policies short of committing US forces in combat. Saddam then got US backing. A decade of war followed. America pretended support for both sides, but mostly gave it to Iraq.

US/Iranian relations remain tense. Washington's sought regime change in Tehran for years. Various confrontational tactics include on and off saber rattling, sanctions, and direct meddling in Iran's internal affairs, perhaps including covert US Special Forces and CIA operatives there causing trouble.

Why not? They do it in dozens of countries globally, using death squads and other destabilizing tactics.

Washington also makes baseless accusations of anti-US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. It calls Tehran a threat to world peace, saying its commercial nuclear program plans nuclear weapons development. Unmentioned is Israel's known arsenal and willingness to use it preemptively.

US media scoundrels regurgitate official lies and suppress vital truths. New York Times writers and commentators play lead roles. The latest alleged plot is laughable on its face. But it's headline news across America, including on The Times' front page, saying "US Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy."

What's explained sounds more like a bad film plot, saying:

Washington "accused Iranian officials of plotting to murder Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States (Adel al-Jubeir) in a bizarre scheme involving an Iran-American used-car salesman who believed he was hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million."

Also allegedly involved were plans to bomb Israel's Washington embassy and Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina.

But there's more, a "side deal" said The Times between Iran's Revolutionary Guard (its elite military unit) and Mexico's Los Zetas drug cartel to smuggle opium from the Middle East to Mexico.

The alleged plans "never progressed," perhaps because there were none, just baseless accusations to further heighten US/Iranian tensions and get hawkish congressional members to call for direct confrontation.

On October 11, Attorney General Eric Holder said:

"Today, the Department of Justice is announcing charges against two people who allegedly attempted to carry out a deadly plot that was directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign ambassador here in the United States."

Accused were Manssor Arbabsair, a naturalized US citizen holding an Iranian passport, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian-based member of its Revolutionary Guard Quds Force. On September 29, Arbabsair was arrested. Shakuri is still at large.

"The complaint alleges that this conspiracy was conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran and constitutes a flagrant violation of US and international law...."

Besides charging Arbabsir and Shakuri, Holder also said Washington "is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions."

Both men are charged with "conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and conspiracy to commit an act of international terrorism, among other charges."

According to Holder, they met a "confidential informant from the Drug Enforcement Administration" in Mexico last May, posing as a drug cartel member.

The Washington Post said the "confidential DEA source (called "the Mexican") was described in court papers only as a paid informant who was once charged in the United States with a drug offense. The charges were dropped (in return for his) provid(ing) valuable information in a number of (sting) cases...."

Allegedly, Arbasair wired $100,000 to a US bank account "as a down payment for the attempted assassination." Holder also claimed he confessed and provided "other valuable information" with no corroborating evidence to prove what's clearly an Obama administration plot to file bogus charges and heighten tensions with Iran.

In fact, Arbabsiar's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said her client will plead not guilty if indicted. Apparently he denies involvement despite Holder claiming he confessed.

Iran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said his nation is "outraged" about clearly baseless charges. In a strongly worded letter to UN Secretary-General Ban K-moon, he wrote:

Iran "strongly and categorically rejects these fabricated and baseless allegations based on the suspicious claims by an individual."

President Armadinejad's spokesman Ali Akbar Javanfekr said:

"The US government and the CIA have very good experience in making up film scripts....It appears that this new scenario is for diverting the US public opinion from internal crises," suggesting it's connected to diluting ongoing anti-Wall Street protests across America.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast called Holder's accusations a "new propaganda campaign" involving a "prefabricated scenario."

Hillary Clinton said Washington is "actively engaged in a very concerted diplomatic outreach to many capitals" to counter Iran's denial. She added that the issue has "potential for international reaction that will further isolate Iran," stopping short of calling for direct action.

Congressional hawks and America's right wing media do it often on their own.

An October 11 Wall Street Journal editorial called the plot "a sobering wake-up call" in America's "war on terror."

"Had it succeeded, (it) arguably (would have been) an act of war....The appalling news needs to be placed in the broader context of Iran's behavior," involving "conspiracy to commit international terrorism....It's past time for US policy toward Iran to reflect the reality of what it is dealing with."

Obama "underscored that the United States believes this plot to be a flagrant violent of US and international law, and reiterated (his) commitment to meet our responsibilities to ensure the security of diplomats serving in our country."

Bill Clinton called the accusations "well-founded."

The extremist right-wing Heritage Foundation's foreign policy director James Carafino called the alleged scheme "a belligerent act against the US (that) as such would call for a proportional military response."

A more sober Stratfor Global Intelligence called the plot "far-fetched." Cautioning against claims against Iran, founder and CEO George Friedman said doing so "involve(s) substantial political risk."

"Iran has been known to carry out preoperational surveillance in the United States, but it has not yet used this intelligence to carry out a high-profile attack."

He added that Iran has nothing to gain from committing a terror attack on US soil and everything to lose.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley commented in the London Guardian, calling the alleged plot "far-fetched....(O)n the face of it (it's) so fantastic that it begs a disclaimer....It's unclear how much Iran would stand to gain by sanctioning or supporting this plot."

Former CIA case officer Robert Baer said "the Quds are better than this. It they wanted to come after you, you'd be dead already."

Alireza Nader, Rand Corporation Iran specialist, asked "Why would Iran want to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington? (The plot) would be outside the norm."

Congressional Reaction

Senator Joseph Lieberman (Indep. Dem. CT) called the alleged plot a "profound threat posed by the Iranian regime and the reach of its terrorist activities to American soil."

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R. GA) said "In addition to allegedly sponsoring this plot, Iran has supported and provided weapons for attacks on our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has continued far too long with no repercussions."

Rep. Peter King (R. NY) said "Iran's assassination of a foreign diplomat in our country would have violated both US and international law, and represented an act of war."

Rep. Michael McCaul (R. TX) said if true "this would constitute an act of war not only against the Saudis and Israelis but against the United States as well."

Rep. Ted Poe (R. TX) on Fox News called the alleged plot "an act of war against the United States."

A Final Comment

A May 2011 study by New York University's School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice headlined, "Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the 'Homegrown Threat' in the United States."

It discussed what this writer's featured in dozens of past articles on Muslim Americans victimized by false accusations.

It explained how, post-9/11, entrapment by FBI plants led to prosecutions of over 200 individuals on bogus terrorism related charges. Washington highlights them as proof of foiling plots that, in fact, never existed.

Nearly always innocent Muslims are targeted for their faith and ethnicity for political advantage. Major media scoundrels regurgitate official lies, pretending they're accurate accounts of foiled plots.

That none ever succeeded is reason enough to suggest none existed, but media reports leave that unexplained, let alone the implausibility of some charges.

They included blowing up Chicago's Sears Tower, destroying New York landmarks, targeting US soldiers at Fort Dix, NJ, US marines at Quantico, VA, downing National Guard aircraft with stinger missiles, and a Pakistan ambassador's with a surface to air one.

Not a shred of evidence provided proof, just the word of FBI informants well paid to entrap and lie, then get America's media to repeat them without questioning the validity of any charges.

The likelihood that any country, let alone Iran, would plan terror plots on US soil is preposterous on its face. Cui bono is issue one. Clearly, Iran has nothing to gain and everything to lose by plotting what Holder charged.

Yet political Washington and major media scoundrels highlight baseless accusations without demanding clear proof they're true. There is none except for what a DEA agent plant (a former felon) and Holder claim.

It's their word against common sense, suggesting the implausibility of what they charge. It also highlight's iconic radical journalist IF Stone (1907 - 1989) saying:

"All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed."

With his own in Washington in mind, he taught that to young journalism students, suggesting they paste it on their bathroom mirrors so not to forget.

It makes sense, as well as avoiding major media liars and using reliable online sites for real information and analysis.

The Fast and Furious Plot to Occupy Iran

Tehran would have to be terminally foolish to try to snuff out an ambassador on US soil, author says.

By Pepe Escobar

October 13, 2011 "Al-Jazeera" - - No one ever lost money betting on the dull predictability of the US government. Just as Occupy Wall Street is firing imaginations all across the spectrum - piercing the noxious revolving door between government and casino capitalism - Washington brought us all down to earth, sensationally advertising an Iranian cum Mexican cartel terror plot straight out of The Fast and the Furious movie franchise. The potential victim: Adel al-Jubeir, the ambassador in the US of that lovely counter-revolutionary Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

FBI Director Robert Mueller insisted the Iran-masterminded terror plot "reads like the pages of a Hollywood script". It does. And quite a sloppy script at that. Fast and Furious duo Paul Walker/Vin Diesel wouldn't be caught dead near it.

The good guys in this Washington production are the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, they uncovered "a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on US soil with explosives".

Holder added that the bombing of the Saudi embassy in Washington was also part of the plan. Subsequent spinning amplified that to planned bombings of the Israeli embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires.

The Justice Department has peddled quite a murky story - Operation Red Coalition (no, you can't make that stuff up) - centred on one Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old holding both Iranian and US passports and an Iran-based co-conspirator, Gholam Shakuri, an alleged member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's (IRGC) Quds Force.

Arbabsiar allegedly had a series of encounters in Mexico with a DEA mole posing as a Mexican drug cartel heavy weight. The Iranian-American seems to have been convinced that the mole was a member of the hardcore Zetas Mexican cartel, and reportedly bragged he was being "directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government", including a cousin who was "a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform".

On top of it, he told the DEA mole that his Iranian government buddies could come up with "tons of opium" for the Mexican cartel (an Afghan connection, perhaps). Then they discussed a "number of violent missions" complete with Arbabsiar bragging about bombing a packed Washington restaurant used by the Saudi ambassador.

Holder characterised the whole thing as a $1.5m "murder-for-hire" plan. Arbabsiar was arrested only a few days ago, on September 29, at JFK airport in New York. He allegedly confessed, according to the Justice Department. Shakuri for his part is still at large.

Holder was adamant: "The United States is committed to hold Iran accountable for its actions." Yet he stopped short of stating the plot was approved by the highest levels of the Iranian government. So what next? War? Hold your horses; Washington should first think about asking the Chinese if they're willing to foot the bill (the answer will be no).

Predictably, the proverbial torrent of US "officials" came out with guns blazing, spinning everything in sight. An alarmed Pentagon will be increasing surveillance over the Quds Force and "Iran's actions" in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. Former US ambassadors stated that, "it's an attack on the United States to attack this ambassador". Washington is about to impose even more sanctions against Iran; and Washington is urgently taking the matter to the UN Security Council.

What next? An R2P ("responsibility to protect") resolution ordering NATO to protect every House of Saud minion across the world by bombing Iran into regime change?  

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a spokesman for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at least introduced a little bit of common sense. "I think the US government is busy fabricating a new scenario and history has shown both the US government and the CIA have a lot of experience in fabricating these scenarios ... I think their goal is to reach the American public. They want to take the public's mind off the serious domestic problems they're facing these days and scare them with fabricated problems outside the country." Iran has not even established yet that these two characters are actually Iranian citizens.

The Iranian government - which prides itself on a logical approach to diplomacy - would have to have been inoculated with a terminal Stuxnet-style foolishness virus to behave in such a counterproductive manner, by targeting a high-profile foreign policy adviser to King Abdullah on American soil. The official Iranian news agency IRNA described the plot as "America's new propaganda scenario" against Iran.

As for the Washington mantra that "Iran has been insinuating itself into many of the struggles in the Middle East", that's undiluted Saudi propaganda. In fact it's the House of Saud who's been conducting the fierce counter-revolution that has smashed any possibility of an Arab Spring in the Persian Gulf - from the invasion and repression of Bahrain to the rash pre-emption of protests inside Saudi Arabia's Shia-dominated eastern provinces.

The whole thing smells like a flimsy pretext for a casus belli. The timing of the announcement couldn't be more suspicious. White House national security advisor Thomas E. Donilon briefed King Abdullah of the plot no less than two weeks ago, in a three-hour meeting in Riyadh. Meanwhile the US government has been carrying not plots, but targeted assassinations of US citizens, as in the Anwar al-Awlaki case. 

So why now? Holder is caught in yet another scandal - on whether he told lies regarding Operation Fast and Furious (no, you can't make this stuff up), a federal gun sting through which scores of US weapons ended up in the hands of - here they come again - Mexican drug cartels.

So how to bury Fast and Furious, the economic abyss, the 10 years of war in Afghanistan, the increasing allure of Occupy Wall Street - not to mention the Saudi role in smashing the spirit of the Arab Spring? By uncovering a good ol' al-Qaeda style plot on US soil, on top of it conducted by "evil" Iran. Al-Qaeda and Tehran sharing top billing; not even Cheney and Rumsfeld in their heyday could come up with something like this. Long live GWOT (the global war on terror). And long live the neo-con spirit; remember, real men go to Tehran - and the road starts now.   

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His latest book is named Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

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Monday, October 17, 2011

USA conquest of Libya - behind the scenes is where it's at

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Julien Teil

Introduction: 'Operation Gladio' then and now …

by Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinney is lovingly honored around the world for
her fearless exposure of the truth and advocacy for justice. Rev. Edward Pinkney, president of the NAACP in Benton Harbor, Mich., a Black town whose very existence is threatened, awarded Congresswoman McKinney its highest award at a celebration this week. – Photo: Brett Jelinek

I will begin with the scandal of Operation Gladio that climaxed in the murder of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who, on the day of his kidnapping, was to announce an Italian coalition government that would include the Italian Communist Party.

Leader of the Christian Democratic Party at that time, Francesco Cossiga, admits in the 1992 BBC Timewatch documentary about Operation Gladio that he chose to "sacrifice" Moro "for the good of the republic." Not unlike the targeted assassinations that the U.S. government engages in around the world, where someone extrajudicially makes decisions on who lives and who dies. In the three-part documentary, Cossiga states that the decision caused his hair to turn white.

Operation Gladio is the ugly real-life tale of the U.S. government's decision to hire members of the state security apparatus of various European countries and, in collaboration with recruited community allies, wreak terror on innocent citizens by blowing up train stations, shooting customers in grocery stores, and even killing police officers in order to convince populations in Europe to give up their rights in exchange for certain security measures and enhanced state power.

Yes, Operation Gladio, along with Operation Northwoods and U.S. policy toward Libya, shows us that the United States is willing to create terror groups in order to justify a fight against terrorists! Sadly, this has become the modus operandi of our government in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Europe and Africa. And the U.S. government after 9/11/01 has become like a "Gladio laboratory" of state policies that rip the U.S. Bill of Rights to shreds and lie to the public.

Operation Gladio, along with Operation Northwoods and U.S. policy toward Libya, shows us that the United States is willing to create terror groups in order to justify a fight against terrorists!

The beginning of the end of Operation Gladio occurred when the existence of the U.S. program was revealed. Characteristically, instead of stopping such insanity, the Europeans joined in creating multiple other "Operation Gladios." Placed in this context, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's second installment in a four-part series reveals how U.S. policy in Libya falls right in line with U.S. actions in the past. In my opinion, Libya will not be the last location for such illegal activities unless we stop our government.

Along with French videographer Julien Teil, Nazemroaya weaves the incredible-but-true scenario of U.S. finance of alleged terrorists, wanted by Interpol, who became the chief protagonists in the NATO genocide currently unfolding in Libya.

Cynthia McKinney is a former U.S. Congresswoman who represented two different Georgia districts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2007 as a member of the Democratic Party. She was also the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate in 2008. While in Congress, she served on the Banking and Finance Committee, the National Security Committee, later renamed the Armed Services Committee, and the Foreign Affairs Committee, later renamed the International Relations Committee. She also served on the International Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. McKinney has conducted two fact-finding missions in Libya and also recently finished a nationwide speaking tour in the United States sponsored by the ANSWER Coalition about the NATO bombing campaign in Libya.

Libya and the Big Lie: Using human rights organizations to launch wars

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The war against Libya is built on fraud. The U.N. Security Council passed two resolutions against Libya on the basis of unproven claims that Qaddafi was killing his own people in Benghazi.

Order from chaos?

A repeat of the disorder and pandemonium generated inside Afghanistan is in the works for the continent of Africa.

An unidentified U.S. soldier trains Mali army troops allegedly to combat Al-Qaeda terrorists. The training is part of an overall expansion of U.S. military "assistance" to Africa — including arms sales and training programs — in the period since President Obama took office. – Photo: Luc Gnago, Reuters

The United States, with the help of Britain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, created the brutal Taliban and then eventually waged war on its Taliban allies. Similarly, across Africa, the United States and its allies are creating a new series of future enemies to fight – but after initially working with them or using them to sow the seeds of chaos in Africa.

Washington has literally been helping fund insurgencies and regime change projects in Africa. "Human rights" and "democratization" are also being used as a smokescreen for colonialism and war.

Across Africa, the United States and its allies are creating a new series of future enemies to fight – but after initially working with them or using them to sow the seeds of chaos in Africa. "Human rights" and "democratization" are being used as a smokescreen for colonialism and war.

So-called human rights and humanitarian organizations are now partners in this imperialist project directed against Africa.

France and Israel: Is Washington outsourcing its dirty work in Africa?

Africa is just one international front for an expanding system of empire. The mechanisms of a real global system of empire are at work in this regard. Washington is acting through NATO and its allies in Africa. Each one of Washington's allies and satellites has a specific role to play in this global system of empire.

Tel Aviv has played a very active role on the African continent. Israel was a major supporter of South Africa under the apartheid regime.

Tel Aviv also helped smuggle arms into Sudan and East Africa to balkanize that sizeable African nation while contributing to the destabilization of East Africa.

The Israelis have been very active in Kenya and Uganda. Israel has been present wherever there were conflicts, including those pertaining to blood diamonds.

Israel is now working with Washington to establish total hegemony over the African continent. Tel Aviv is actively involved – through its business ties and intelligence operations – in securing the contacts and agreements required by Washington for the extension of its interests in Africa.

Israel has been present in Kenya and Uganda wherever there were conflicts, including those pertaining to blood diamonds. Israel is now working with Washington to establish total hegemony over the African continent.

One of Washington's major objectives is to disrupt the development of Chinese influence in Africa. Israel and Israeli think-tanks have also played a major role in shaping the U.S. geo-stratagem in Africa.

France, as a former colonial master and a declining power, on the other hand, has traditionally been a rival and competitor of Washington on the African continent.

The March 29, 2011, "London Conference on Libya can be likened to the Berlin
Conference of 1884. Unlike 1884, this conference is aimed at dividing the spoils of
war in Libya, instead of the direct carving up of an entire continent," wrote Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in an April story headlined, "The war on Libya and the coming imperial re-division of Africa."

With the rise of the influence of non-traditional powers in Africa, such as the People's Republic of China, both Washington and Paris envisaged ways of cooperating. On the broader global stage this is also evident. Both the U.S. and several of the major powers in the European Union consider China and other emerging global powers as a threat. They have decided to end their rivalries and work together. Thus, a consensus between Washington and the E.U. unfolded, leading to some forms of political integration.

This consensus may have also been manufactured by growing U.S. influence in E.U. capitals. Whatever the case, it has been boosted since the beginning of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency in 2007.

President Sarkozy also wasted no time in pushing for the reintegration of the French military command structure within NATO. The consequence of this action has led to the subordination of the French military to the Pentagon.

In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle pulled French forces out of NATO and removed France from the military command structures of NATO as a means of maintaining French independence. Nicolas Sarkozy has reversed all of this. In 2009, Sarkozy ordered that France rejoin the integrated military command structure of NATO. In 2010, he also signed an accord to start amalgamating the British and French militaries.

On the African continent, Paris has a special place or niche in the U.S. system of global empire. This role is that of a regional gendarme in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and all the countries that were former French colonies. France's special role, in other words, is due to its history and the existing, albeit declining, position of France in Africa, specifically through the "Françafrique." The Union of the Mediterranean, which Sarkozy officially launched, is one example of these French interests in North Africa.

On the African continent, Paris has a special place or niche in the U.S. system of global empire. This role is that of a regional gendarme in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, and all the countries that were former French colonies.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has also been working through France's International Federation of Human Rights (Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme, FIDH). The FIDH is well established in Africa. The NED has essentially outsourced its work to manipulate and control African governments, movements, societies and states to the FIDH. It was the FIDH and the affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) that helped orchestrate the various pretexts for the NATO war against Libya, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council through unsubstantiated and false claims.

The National Endowment for Democracy and its partnership with the International Federation of Human Rights in Africa

Following the 2007 election of Nicolas Sarkozy as the leader of the French Republic, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) started to develop a real partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy. Both organizations are also partners within the World Movement for Democracy. Carl Gershman, the president of the NED, even went to France in December 2009 to meet with the FIDH to deepen collaboration between the two organizations and to discuss Africa.1 He also met individuals who are considered as pro-Israeli lobbyists in France.

Libyan rebels in prayer are backed by an American flag.

The partnerships between the FIDH and the NED are mostly based in Africa and the intersecting Arab World. These partnerships operate in a zone that covers countries like Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Niger, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

North Africa, which includes Libya and Algeria, has been a specific area of focus for the FIDH, where Washington, Paris and NATO clearly have major ambitions.

The FIDH, which is directly implicated in launching the war on Libya, has also received direct funding, in the form of grants, from the National Endowment for Democracy for its programs in Africa. In 2010, a NED grant of $140,186 (U.S.) was one of the latest amounts given to the FIDH for its work in Africa.2 The NED was also one of the first signatories, along with the Libyan League for Human Rights (LLHR) and U.N. Watch, demanding international intervention against the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.3

AFRICOM and the post-9/11 road towards conquering Africa

In 2002, the Pentagon started major operations aimed at controlling Africa militarily. This was in the form of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, which was launched by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). Under the banner of this project, the U.S. military would train troops from Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger. The plans to establish the Pan-Sahel Initiative, however, date back to 2001, when the initiative for Africa was actually launched after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 (9/11).

Washington was clearly planning military action in Africa, which already included at least three countries – Libya, Somalia and Sudan – identified as enemy targets to be attacked by the Pentagon and the White House, according to Gen. Wesley Clark.

Jacques Chirac, the president of France at the time, tried to offer resistance to the U.S. push into Africa by reinvigorating Germany's role in Africa as a means of supporting France. In 2007, the Franco-African summit even opened its doors to German participation for the first time.4 Yet, Angela Merkel had different ideas about the direction and position that the Franco-German partnership should take in regards to Washington.

Since 2001, the momentum towards creating U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) had started. AFRICOM, however, was officially authorized in December 2006 and the decision to create it was announced several short months later in February 2007. It was in 2007 that AFRICOM was established.

It is important to note that this momentum also received Israeli encouragement, because of Israeli interests in Africa. The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), for example, was one of the Israeli organizations supporting the creation of AFRICOM.

On the basis of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) was launched by the Pentagon in 2005 under the command of CENTCOM. Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger were now joined by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia in the ring of African military cooperation with the Pentagon. Later, the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative would be transferred to the command of AFRICOM on Oct. 1, 2008, which is when AFRICOM would be activated.

The Sahel and Sahara: The U.S. clearly adopts France's old colonial projects in Africa

"Fighting terrorism" and executing "humanitarian missions" are just façades or smokescreens for Washington and its allies.

While the stated goals of the Pentagon are to fight terrorism in Africa, the real aims of Washington are to restructure Africa and to establish a neo-colonial order. In this regard, Washington has actually adopted the old colonial projects of France in Africa. This also includes the U.S., British, Italian and French initiative to divide Libya after 1943 as well as the unilateral French initiative to redraw North Africa. In this scheme, the U.S. and its cohorts plan on creating ethnic wars and sectarian hatred between the Berbers, the Arabs and others in North Africa.

"Fighting terrorism" and executing "humanitarian missions" are just façades or smokescreens for Washington and its allies.

The map used by Washington for combating terrorism under the Pan-Sahel Initiative says a lot. The range or area of activity for the terrorists, within the borders of Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali and Mauritania according to Washington's designation, is very similar to the boundaries or borders of the colonial territorial entity which France attempted to sustain in Africa in 1957. Paris had planned to prop up this African entity in the western central Sahara as a French department (province) directly tied to France, along with coastal Algeria.

AFRICOM maps the Pan-Sahel Initiative.

This French colonial entity in the Sahara was named the Common Organization of the Saharan Regions (Organisation commune des regions sahariennes, OCRS). It comprised the inner boundaries of the Sahel and Saharan countries of Mali, Niger, Chad and Algeria.

The French goal was to collect and bind all the resource-rich territories of these countries into this one central entity, the OCR, for French control and extraction. The resources in this area include oil, gas and uranium. Yet the resistance movements in Africa, and specifically the Algerian struggle for independence, dealt Paris a hard blow.

France had to give up its quest and finally dissolve the OCRS in 1962 because of Algerian independence and the anti-colonial stance in Africa. Because of the push towards independence in Africa, France was finally cut off from the inland area in the Sahara that it wished to control.

Washington clearly had this energy-rich and resource-rich area in mind when it drew the areas of Africa that need to be cleansed of alleged terrorist cells and gangs. The French Institute of Foreign Relations (Institut français des relations internationals, IFRI) has even openly discussed this tie between the terrorists and energy-rich areas in a March 2011 report.5 It is also in this context that the amalgamation of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests and companies has allowed France to become an integrated part of the U.S. system of global empire with common interests.

Regime change in Libya and the National Endowment for Democracy: A nexus of terrorism and human rights

Since 2001, the U.S. has falsely presented itself as a champion against terrorism. The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI), which opened the doors for AFRICOM in Africa, was justified as necessary by Washington to fight organizations like the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Algeria and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in Libya.

Since 2001, the U.S. has falsely presented itself as a champion against terrorism.

Yet Washington is cooperating and using these very same groups in Libya, along with the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood, as foot soldiers and proxies. Moreover, many of the key Libyan individuals who are members of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are members of these groups and have also been part of conferences and longstanding plans pushing for regime change in Libya.

One of the key meetings for establishing what would become the current Transitional Council in Libya took place in 1994 when the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) organized a conference with Ashur Shamis and Aly (Ali) Abuzakuuk. The 1994 conference's title was "Post-Qaddafi Libya: The Prospect and the Promise." In 2005 another conference with Shamis Ashur would be held in the British capital of London that would build on the idea of regime change in Libya.6

So who are these Libyan opposition figures? A series of questions must be asked. Are their ties to Washington new or old? Who do the associate with? Also, have they had longstanding support or not?

Ashur Shamis is one of the founding members of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which in 1981 was founded in Sudan. He has been wanted by Interpol and the Libyan police for years.7 Ahsur is also listed as someone who has been a director in the National Endowment for Democracy in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum. He is also the editor of the Akhbar webpage, which was registered under Akhbar Cultural Limited and tied to the NED. He has also participated in recent key conferences for regime change in Tripoli. This includes the conference in London held by Chatham House in 2011, which discussed NATO plans for the invasion of Tripoli.8

Like Ashur, Aly Abuzaakouk is also a member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and tied to the National Endowment for Democracy. He was one of the key participants and attendees at the roundtable held for the 2011 Democracy Awards by the NED.9 Like Ashur, he is also wanted by Interpol and serves as a director at the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum.10

Noman Benotman

There is also Noman Benotman, a former leader and founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and a wanted terrorist. He is presented as a former terrorist. Benotman conveniently left the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Benotman is not only a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) director in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum; he is also tied to the news network Al Jazeera.

Noman Benotman, a wanted terrorist, is not only a National Endowment for Democracy (NED) director in the Libyan Human and Political Development Forum; he is also tied to the news network Al Jazeera.

Not only have these three men lived in Britain without any problems while they were wanted by Interpol and sought because of their ties to terrorism or, in the case of Abuzaakouk, drug-related crimes and forgery, but they also received grants from the United States. They received U.S. grants which formalized their affiliation to various NED sponsored organizations, which have supported the regime change agenda in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. This regime change agenda has also been supported by MI6 and the CIA.

Moreover, the legal documents that have been filed by the NED regarding these individuals have been deliberately and illegally tampered with. One key individual's identity has been hidden in the list of NED directors. Thus, legal documents have been fraudulently filled out to hide an individual's identity under the alias of "Beata Wozniak." Even Wozniak's birthday is invalid, appearing as Jan. 1, 1 (01/01/0001). She is a person who has been on the board of all these NED organizations. She is listed as a director and secretary of Akbar, Transparency Libya Limited, and several British companies.

The 'Long War' enters Africa: The gate into Africa has been opened

The fanning of terrorism in Africa is part of a deliberate strategy used by the U.S. and its allies, including NATO. The strategy consists in "opening the door to the African continent" by expanding the so-called "Global War on Terror." The latter provides a justification to the U.S. objective of expanding its military presence in the African continent. It was also used as a pretext to create the Pentagon's AFRICOM.

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is meant to "manage Africa" on Washington's behalf. It consists in creating an African version of NATO with a view to carrying out the occupation of Africa. In this regard, the U.S. and its allies have already established a budget to fight the very terrorist organizations which they have created and supported – including with military aid and weapons – across the map of Africa from Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Mali to Mauritania, Niger, Algeria and Nigeria.

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is meant to "manage Africa" on Washington's behalf. It consists in creating an African version of NATO with a view to carrying out the occupation of Africa.

The terrorists not only fight for America on the ground, they also liase with Washington and act as frontmen through so-called human rights organizations which have a mandate to "promote democracy."

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

On the ground these same individuals and organizations are used to destabilize their respective countries. They are also supported internationally by Washington to actively work towards regime change and military intervention in the name of human rights and democracy. Libya is a clear case in point.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist and research associate with the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montréal. He specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. While he was on the ground in Libya for over two months, he was also a special correspondent for Flashpoints, an investigative news program broadcast from KPFA in Berkeley, California, and carried on dozens of other stations around the U.S. Nazemroaya has been releasing these articles about Libya in conjunction with aired discussions with Cynthia McKinney on Freedom Now, a show aired on KPFK, Los Angeles, California. Julien Teil is a videographer and investigative documentary film maker from France. He was also recently in Libya for about one month. © Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2011.  This video was posted to YouTube on June 16, 2011, by the U.K. Foreign Office with the following note: "At an event held at Chatham House, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said he 'firmly believes that the Libyan people will achieve their vision for a free, prosperous and democratic Libya.' The other panelists were Sir Richard Dalton (Associate Fellow of Chatham House and former British Ambassador to Libya), Lindsey Hilsum (International Editor, Channel 4 News) and Ashur al-Shamis (Libyan journalist and opposition figure)."

1    National Endowment for Democracy, "NED Strengthens Democracy Ties with France," March 16, 2010. [?]
2   National Endowment for Democracy, "Africa Regional," August 2011. [?]
3    United Nations Watch et al., "Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libya: Sent by 70 NGOs to the US, EU, and UN," Feb. 21, 2011. [?]
4   Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (France), "XXIVème sommet Afrique-France," February 2007. [?]
5    Etienne de Durand, "Francs-tireurs et Centurions. Les ambiguïtés de l'héritage contre-insurrectionnel français," Institut français des relations internationals, March 2011. [?]
6    The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, "The National Accord: The National Conference of the Libyan Opposition, London, 26th June 2005," 2005. [?]
7    Interpol Wanted Notice for Ashour Al-Shamis. [?]
8   Foreign and Commonwealth Office (U.K.), "Chatam House event: the future of Libya," June 2011. [?]
9    National Democracy for Democracy, "2011 Democracy Award Biographies," June 2011. [?]
10    Interpol Wanted Notice for Ali Ramadan Abu Za Kouk. [?]

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posted by u2r2h at 10:20 PM 0 comments

Friday, October 14, 2011

the revolution will be shut down for hygenic reasons

Earlier this evening, Mayor Bloomberg went to Zuccotti Park to talk with the protesters himself and inform them that on Friday morning Brookfield Properties will clean the park. Brookfield Properties owns Zuccotti Park.

".... the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park .."

Sorry, the revolution must be cancelled. The lawn suffers.

1st prize for best ever use of black electrical tape.
"2nd time I've fought for my country – 1st time I've known my enemy."

Update: Occupy Wall Street Responds to Bloomberg's Cleaning 'Eviction Notice'

After being told that they would have to "temporarily" vacate New York's Zuccotti Park for sanitation reasons byvMayor Bloomberg, Occupy Wall Street responded to what one member is calling "an eviction notice."

According to one of OWS' Media team, a young man named Luke, there is "no way" that the protesters can comply with all the outlines set in Brookfield's letter to the city, since OWS has been expressly forbidden from emptying the parks trash receptacles themselves; that the "cleaning" would include the removal of all tarps and sleeping bags, which the residents have been using to spend the night in the parks.

In reaction, Occupy Wall Street has planned to clean the park up in their own, which they announced on Twitter:

Much like Bloomberg's plan, Luke told us by phone that members of OWS will be cleaning up the park in phases. They will also be going down to Wall Street, to clean up "where the real mess is," referring (obviously) not to the protesters' own leavings. The fear is that if all the protesters vacate en mass, they will not be allowed back into the park once it is "cleaned."

"We will redouble our efforts to clean up the park, but what is outlined in (Brookfield's) memo is tantamount to banning us from the park," Luke said.

Currently OWS is asking for donations of brooms, mops, buckets, etc., all to be shipped to their Zuccotti Park location, which one could argue is part of the problem that Brookfield has with the protesters occupation.

As for how Mayor Bloomberg reacted when meeting the protesters last night, Luke said that he only saw him from afar, but "knows that he was treated respectfully…if not warmly."

Update: This email call to arms has just been sent out by members of Occupy Wall Street.

Tell Bloomberg: Don't Foreclose the Occupation.
Join us at 6AM FRIDAY for non-violent eviction defense.

Please take a minute to read this, and please take action and spread
the word far and wide.

Occupy Wall Street is gaining momentum, with occupation actions now
happening in cities across the country.

But last night Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD notified Occupy Wall
Street participants about plans to "clean the park"—the site of the
Wall Street protests—tomorrow starting at 7am. "Cleaning" was used as
a pretext to shut down "Bloombergville" a few months back, and to shut
down peaceful occupations elsewhere.

Bloomberg says that the park will be open for public usage following
the cleaning, but with a notable caveat: Occupy Wall Street
participants must follow the "rules". These rules include, "no tarps
or sleeping bags" and "no lying down."

So, seems likely that this is their attempt to shut down #OWS for good.

1) Call 311 and tell Bloomberg to support our right to assemble and to
not interfere with #OWS. If you are calling from outside NY use this
number 212-NEW-YORK.

2) Come to #OWS on FRIDAY AT 6AM to defend the occupation from eviction.

Occupy Wall Street is committed to keeping the park clean and safe —
we even have a Sanitation Working Group whose purpose this is. We are
organizing major cleaning operations today and will do so regularly.

If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the
installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working
to secure these things to support our efforts.

We know where the real dirt is: on Wall Street. Billionaire Bloomberg
is beholden to bankers.
We won't allow Bloomberg and the NYPD to foreclose our occupation.
This is an occupation, not a permitted picnic.


Because the park is privately owned, the owners can evict at any time based on almost any reason because we are talking about privately owned land. Actually they don't even need a reason.

in Vegas, The casinos own the sidewalks on the Strip.  But because there is no other pubic sidewalk, the Strip is considered a public forum and protected by the Bill of Rights thanks to the 9th Circuit.  Case law from ACLU cases in Vegas could be used to justify the OWS usage of a private park.

A country owned by corporations is NOT a normal country. And this is the America's situation

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posted by u2r2h at 1:39 AM 0 comments

Sunday, October 09, 2011

It all started in Paris ---- OWS

Occupy Wall Street, A Love Affair

By Doug Tarnopol   -- 

Source:   Saturday, October 08, 2011

It all started in Paris. That's where I first heard of Occupy Wall Street. My wife and I were on vacation in Europe for most of the month of September, enjoying the fruits of our luck and pluck. We're not unemployed; we're pretty much doing fine.

Wait a minute, you say, as did the reporters from Der Spiegel, Channel 2 in NYC, and others who interviewed me at OWS. If you're doing OK, why are you here?

Why, indeed.

Like other love affairs, mine with OWS followed the usual trajectory. Admiration from afar. Approach. Gift-giving. Statements of support. Telling my friends how awesome the new love object is. Then, finally, union. At first, I gave money from Rhode Island. Then, I decided to rent a car, fill the trunk, and drive down to deliver it and introduce myself, shyly, tentatively.

The response was emotionally overwhelming — hugs, thanks, joy. For about $600 worth of socks, Neosporin, fleece, tampons. In my work terms, about four or five hours of private SAT tutoring. Good deal.

I returned the next couple of days, observing the organizational meetings, as anyone can on Livestream. That's democracy in action, by the way, and that is the vaunted "point" of OWS: here, finally, is a demonstration of how you organize a polity, a factory, an office, a world: through conversation, with fairness, and ending up with what is known as "total buy-in" in the business world. Democracy, period. You know, what we're all supposedly for.

But I was still on the outside, still a little shy. So, I went on the march on Wednesday. Amazing turn-out. Old, young; black, white, brown. You name a division, it was represented and, at least temporarily, effaced. Solidarity, period. You know, what we're all supposedly for.

Returning with the march to Liberty Plaza, and once again wallflowering my way around the encampment, I gravitated back to the kitchen. I'd been shopping for them — more cutting boards, good knives, plastic plates. A grey-water system had sprung up overnight; more self-exemplification — here's how you recycle and live within constraints. The older man at the sink looked beat. The makeshift sign next to him said something like, "Hey, bourgeois tourists — don't just take pictures; join us!" Something clicked, and I finally made my move.

"Hey, let me take over."

Relief and a big smile.

I hit the sink. Never has doing the dishes been such a joy. Total support and affection. You know how you don't get enough of that at work? Ever been hugged tearfully for pitching in? Hard to do that when the goal of the endeavor is to give your CEO another summer house, lose more of your benefits, and help push the climate past failsafe. If you even have a job. Liberty, fraternity, equality. You know, all that stuff we're supposed to believe in.

This is all one guy's impression, but I have to say that the vast majority of people I spoke to were very bright, well-informed, well-read, and on the ball. A lot of talk of politics, but also of Mongolian army tactics, differences between Greek and Roman social and political systems, the Red Sox's epic collapse, and so on. Constant laughter.

Problems? Sure! You didn't expect any? This is a human society, not heaven. The grey-water system blew a leak and threatened a bunch of campers' stuff. Grey matter took over, people were calmed down — the "de-escalation" guys swarmed in, spreading good-fellowship — and we took the system offline till morning, when the people who knew how to work it would fix it.

Another, funny problem was that I cut myself (not badly) with the knife I'd donated on the cutting board I'd donated. Consider it a briss, though luckily I hit mostly nail, so no actual "foreskin" was removed. I was now definitely inside, not outside.

I did get to see how medical worked, though. Competent, kind. Excellent bedside manner. Loving and caring. You know, all that stuff we're supposed to be for.

"You guys really know what you're doing," I said.

"We fake it well, don't we?"


Four hours into it, I was a veteran, showing the constant stream of volunteers how the kitchen was organized, what was where. The guy from Copenhagen on vacation who just had to come down. The architect (employed) from France who lives in New York. He was a very good sweeper.

The kitchen is right in the middle of the park; everyone eats. So, you get all kinds of questions. I finally was able to put my customer-service skills to good use — first time — and we organized some lines of communication with media, comfort (where you get clothes and other gear), medical, security, etc. Got lists of needed supplies together for media, for example. Moved forward. Got stuff done. Worked. There is an awesome amount of real work going on at Liberty Plaza.

It was hard, I admit, to concentrate fully on the dishes. Every five minutes — literally — we would get another donation of food or money. Sometimes every minute or so. People handing it over with smiles or tears; sometimes both. We were thanked constantly for doing our work. Everyone is; nothing special about us. When mail arrives at comfort, for example, the packages are opened, the heartfelt letters read — often people with nothing are sending whatever they can, full of hope for the movement, for themselves — tears shed, and items stored or distributed. The stream of packages is never-ending, as far as I could tell.

No one could keep count of how many people we fed — no time — but as the march ended around dinnertime, we worked nonstop feeding and cleaning till around 8-ish. At that point, I knew I was staying the night. The usual kitchen-managers felt comfortable enough to leave us and grab a shower in Astoria or some sleep. I've never felt prouder.

We took over the kitchen and, as the night progressed and traffic fell, we did a major excavation and cleaning. There have been so many donations that some older layers on the site haven't seen the light of day for weeks. I found scissors, a flashlight, clothes, and much more. Ran it over to the right areas. Re-covered the surfaces in clean plastic sheeting, after a nice disinfection. Threw out some food that was starting to spoil. By the way, the plaza ("Zuccotti") is usually electrified. The owner (it's apparently privately owned) turned off the electricity, just to fuck with us. (You note the pronoun? "You" became "we" at some point early in the evening. A key moment.) Oh, well: someone donated a generator. There was a small gasoline spill around midnight up by the stairs. Security came to us; we put our heads together. No kitty litter (noted, sent to media for the daily donation requests on Twitter, Facebook, et al)…. How about talcum powder? Off to medical; back to the spill. Done. Cops came over, inspected, good to go.

The cops, by the way, in my experience, were pretty nice to the people in the park. I think they respect effort and dedication — and, yes, order. Not bad-order but the kind of well-run, highly organized society you get with (gasp!) real democracy — aka, anarchism; aka, libertarian socialism; aka, insert-label-here. Like we should care at all what we call it.

Lost and found was kind of funny. We lost it. Like the Loch Ness Monster: many sightings, no hard evidence of actual existence. After a couple of hours fielding that question, I just grabbed an empty plastic bin, labeled it Lost and Found, took it to comfort, who were happy to "own" it, made a sign and taped it to the info desk. Done. I was a little worried that my action would be seen as "non-consensual." You know how anarchists can be. I checked with some people — they laughed off my concerns. Sure, if someone's pissed about it — and who would be? — it'd get taken up at the next meeting and either ratified or undone. But they're very DIY down there.

Water is an issue, of course. Believe it or not, the office buildings around the park have been allowing people in to dump waste water and fill up with fresh water. Office buildings. In the Wall Street area. Like the many double-decker tour buses that cheered us on as they passed, the building workers are highly sympathetic. Give an ID and you're in. The local McDonald's, which is 24/7, has let it be known that their bathrooms are open to all protesters free of charge. The local Duane Reed, where I went to buy some water after-hours, is all for it. The manager and the checkout staff were hugely supportive.

As I tried to drag twelve gallons down Broadway in two handled bags — twenty steps, rest; twenty steps, rest — a guy in a suit and tie stopped and asked:

"You taking that down to the protest?"


"Need a hand?"

"Fuck, yes!"


We got it in. He was hailed by all concerned. He'll go home and think about that.

Another guy showed up at the kitchen around five. He'd come from New Rochelle. He had a full day's work ahead, but he'd made a ton of hot tea, put it in a cylindrical cooler-thingy, strapped it into a special backpack, and delivered it to us. Wrote his name and email on the cooler — "Get it back to me when you can." And off to work he went.

One of the many food trucks rimming the park sold us a coffee for $25 for a huge cooler's worth. He donated all his leftovers — muffins, bagels — before he left for the day.

As did the manager of a local Starbucks. See, they throw out all their unsold food at night, along with literally hundreds of thousands of other restaurants around the country — as people go hungry. No money in getting it to the people who need food, including the one-in-four children currently on food stamps or other support. This is known as "the efficiency of capitalism." Anyway, she's been hand-trucking it down to us. Every day. And will continue. Small act for her — as were all of these acts I'm describing, including my own — huge impact for us.

Tea Guy also brought a pound of tobacco and rolling papers. There is a communal tobacco pile on a table that gets replenished, along with the papers, of course. By the way, I saw very little evidence of drug or alcohol use. One small empty Petron bottle. A whiff every so often. But most are not there to party, and by "most" I mean 99%. It's hard work, though fun. There are some hippie-straggler-hangers-on. They're at least entertaining. They get fed and are treated well, but there is a real pressure for them to behave — at minimum. It's hard to leech when everyone is working hard, so these very few people tended to end up doing something, like picking up trash. In general, the few nutty people around are treated well but politely ignored.

By morning, I'd made some real friends in the kitchen. And OWS and I were in a real relationship — long past the honeymooning stage.

And that's the point. I'm off this evening to help organize Occupy Providence. It's a love affair — that's what it's "about." People are waking up. When you just wake up, you're a little bleary-eyed; you don't know exactly what's going on yet. People are waking up. Don't interrogate someone rubbing their eyes about what they plan to have for dinner that evening, let alone What To Do About Everything On Earth. Give them a cup of tea and a smile. There' ll be plenty of time to talk all you want later.

So, that's what this affair is about: love. Real love, not some bullshit Hollywood-Hallmark parody. Love. Solidarity. Fellowship. You know, Jesus stuff, as the man brilliantly said in that viral video Fox wouldn't dare air. The notion that it's not good enough to just get yours and tell the rest of the species to go fuck itself. As I explained to the Der Spiegel guys, they shouldn't be surprised that I'm not unemployed or in financial trouble. The point is mutual aid, solidarity, living like a human being should — free, in a community that cares about every member. You know, like a family, but without the tribal barriers to other such families. The human family.

Will it work? I don't know. Nothing else has, though; that's for sure. I'll leave the heavy intellectual discussions for later, but for now, I'll just point out that in a country whose citizens are highly alienated and isolated, in which institutions for and practice in real resistance are sorely lacking, the Occupy X movement is at minimum building those institutions, or proto-institutions, and networks that will be activated if and when this movement is crushed. It's a hydra; clear out Zuccotti, and it'll spring up in five other parks. People there are not too starry-eyed, in my experience. They get it.

But even if it fails, it succeeds in a sense. You can't live there and be involved and not feel, possibly for the first time, the pride of living like a real human being, the spiritual buoyancy that a real community feeling can provide. People get that in churches and such; this is the same idea. By the way, some people were religious; others not. No one cared; correctly. By their fruits you shall judge them — and, I should add, speaking of fruits, that they really need bananas in the kitchen!

Bring them some bananas. Stick around. Do some work. And then judge for yourself.

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posted by u2r2h at 10:12 AM 0 comments

Friday, October 07, 2011

Pilger on Wikileaks .. must read!!!

The 'Getting' of Assange and the Smearing of a Revolution

October 07, 2011

By John Pilger

The High Court in London will soon decide whether

Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct. At the appeal hearing in July, Ben Emmerson QC, counsel for the defence, described the whole saga as "crazy". Sweden's chief prosecutor had dismissed the original arrest warrant, saying there was no case for Assange to answer. Both the women involved said they had consented to have sex. On the facts alleged, no crime would have been committed in Britain.


However, it is not the Swedish judicial system that presents a "grave danger" to Assange, say his lawyers, but a legal device known as a Temporary Surrender, under which he can be sent on from Sweden to the United States secretly and quickly. The founder and editor of WikiLeaks, who published the greatest leak of official documents in history, providing a unique insight into rapacious wars and the lies told by governments, is likely to find himself in a hell hole not dissimilar to the "torturous" dungeon that held Private Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower. Manning has not been tried, let alone convicted, yet on 21 April, President Barack Obama declared him guilty with a dismissive "He broke the law".

(help help, I have been raped)

This Kafka-style justice awaits Assange whether or not Sweden decides to prosecute him. Last December, the Independent disclosed that the US and Sweden had already started talks on Assange's extradition. At the same time, a secret grand jury – a relic of the 18th century long abandoned in this country -- has convened just across the river from Washington, in a corner of Virginia that is home to the CIA and most of America's national security establishment. The grand jury is a "fix", a leading legal expert told me: reminiscent of the all-white juries in the South that convicted blacks by rote. A sealed indictment is believed to exist.


Under the US Constitution, which guarantees free speech, Assange should be protected, in theory. When he was running for president, Obama, himself a constitutional lawyer, said, "Whistleblowers are part of a healthy democracy and must be protected from reprisal". His embrace of George W. Bush's "war on terror" has changed all that. Obama has pursued more whistleblowers than any US president. The problem for his administration in "getting" Assange and crushing WikiLeaks is that military investigators have found no collusion or contact between him and Manning, reports NBC. There is no crime, so one has to be concocted, probably in line with Vice President Joe Biden's absurd description of Assange as a "hi-tech terrorist".


Should Assange win his High Court appeal in London, he could face extradition direct to the United States. In the past, US officials have synchronised extradition warrants with the conclusion of a pending case. Like its predatory military, American jurisdiction recognises few boundaries. As the suffering of Bradley Manning demonstrates, together with the recently executed Troy Davis and the forgotten inmates of Guantanamo, much of the US criminal justice system is corrupt if not lawless.


In a letter addressed to the Australian government, Britain's most distinguished human rights lawyer, Gareth Peirce, who now acts for Assange, wrote, "Given the extent of the public discussion, frequently on the basis of entirely false assumptions … it is very hard to attempt to preserve for him any presumption of innocence. Mr. Assange has now hanging over him not one but two Damocles swords, of potential extradition to two different jurisdictions in turn for two different alleged crimes, neither of which are crimes in his own country, and that his personal safety has become at risk in circumstances that are highly politically charged."


These facts, and the prospect of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, have been drowned in a vituperative campaign against the WikiLeaks founder. Deeply personal, petty, perfidious and inhuman attacks have been aimed at a man not charged with any crime yet held isolated, tagged and under house arrest – conditions not even meted out to a defendant presently facing extradition on a charge of murdering his wife.


Books have been published, movie deals struck and media careers launched or kick-started on the assumption that he is fair game and too poor to sue. People have made money, often big money, while WikiLeaks has struggled to survive. On 16 June, the publisher of Canongate Books, Jamie Byng, when asked by Assange for an assurance that the rumoured unauthorised publication of his autobiography was not true, said, "No, absolutely not. That is not the position … Julian, do not worry. My absolute number one desire is to publish a great book which you are happy with." On 22 September, Canongate released what it called Assange's "unauthorised autobiography" without the author's permission or knowledge. It was a first draft of an incomplete, uncorrected manuscript. ""They thought I was going to prison and that would have inconvenienced them," he told me. "It's as if I am now a commodity that presents an incentive to any opportunist."


The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, has called the WikiLeaks disclosures "one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years": indeed, this is part of his current marketing promotion to justify raising the Guardian's cover price. But the scoop belongs to Assange not the Guardian. Compare the paper's attitude towards Assange with its bold support for the reporter threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act for revealing the iniquities of Hackgate. Editorials and front pages have carried stirring messages of solidarity from even Murdoch's Sunday Times. On 29 September, Carl Bernstein was flown to London to compare all this with his Watergate triumph. Alas, the iconic fellow was not entirely on message. "It's important not to be unfair to Murdoch," he said, because "he's the most far seeing media entrepreneur of our time" who "put The Simpsons on air" and thereby "showed he could understand the information consumer". 

The contrast with the treatment of a genuine pioneer of a revolution in journalism, who dared take on rampant America, providing truth about how great power works, is telling. A drip-feed of hostility runs through the Guardian, making it difficult for readers to interpret the WikiLeaks phenomenon and to assume other than the worst about its founder. David Leigh, the Guardian's "investigations editor", told journalism students at City University that Assange was a "Frankenstein monster" who "didn't use to wash very often" and was "quite deranged". When a puzzled student asked why he said that, Leigh replied, "Because he doesn't understand the parameters of conventional journalism. He and his circle have a profound contempt for what they call the mainstream media". According to Leigh, these "parameters" were exemplified by Bill Keller when, as editor of the New York Times, he co-published the WikiLeaks disclosures with the Guardian.  Keller, said Leigh, was "a seriously thoughtful person in journalism" who had to deal with "some sort of dirty, flaky hacker from Melbourne".


Last November, the "seriously thoughtful" Keller boasted to the BBC that he had taken all WikiLeaks' war logs to the White House so the government could approve and edit them. In the run-up to the Iraq war, the New York Times published a series of now notorious CIA-inspired claims claiming weapons of mass destruction existed. Such are the "parameters" that have made so many people cynical about the so-called mainstream media.


Leigh went as far as to mock the danger that, once extradited to America, Assange would end up wearing "an orange jump suit". These were things "he and his lawyer are saying in order to feed his paranoia". The "paranoia" is shared by the European Court of Human Rights which has frozen "national security" extraditions from the UK to the US because the extreme isolation and long sentences defendants can expect amounts to torture and inhuman treatment.


I asked Leigh why he and the Guardian had adopted a consistently hostile tone towards Assange since they had parted company. He replied, "Where you, tendentiously, claim to detect a 'hostile tone', others might merely see well-informed objectivity."


It is difficult to find well-informed objectivity in the Guardian's book on Assange, sold lucratively to Hollywood, in which Assange is described gratuitously as a "damaged personality" and "callous". In the book, Leigh revealed the secret password Assange had given the paper. Designed to protect a digital file containing the US embassy cables, its disclosure set off a chain of events that led to the release of all the files. The Guardian denies "utterly" it was responsible for the release. What, then, was the point of publishing the password?


The Guardian's Hackgate exposures were a journalistic tour de force; the Murdoch empire may disintegrate as a result. But with or without Murdoch, a media consensus that echoes, from the BBC to the Sun, a corrupt political, war-mongering establishment.


Assange's crime has been to threaten this consensus: those who fix the "parameters" of news and political ideas and whose authority as media commissars is challenged by the revolution of the internet. The prize-winning former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook has experience in both worlds. "The media, at least the supposedly left-wing component of it," he writes, "should be cheering on this revolution … And yet, mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it [even] to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age. … Some of [campaign against Assange] clearly reflects a clash of personalities and egos, but it also looks suspiciously like the feud derives from a more profound ideological struggle [about] how information should be controlled a generation hence [and] the gatekeepers maintaining their control."

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posted by u2r2h at 7:43 AM 0 comments