Category Archives: Assassinations

Maidan snipers: who did or did not know? Everybody knew!

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.no/2014/03/maidan-snipers-who-did-or-did-not-know.html
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2014

Maidan snipers: who did or did not know? Everybody knew!

So this morning we have a “revelation” EU officials are discussing the reports that the Maidan snipers were not sent by Yanukovich but that they were insurgents firing on both sides.

Immense surprise everywhere!

Well, a few “minor fringe proponents of conspiracy theories” did mention something like that, but for the “proper and rational people” (the folks who watch TV and read the corporate media) this is a big surprise.

Might make you wonder who really did know about this.

I can tell you.  I have seen it happening many years ago, in the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.  Here is how this works:

How does intelligence work?

One good model of how intelligence works are the “three As”: Acquisition, Analysis and Acceptance.  Let’s look at them one by one:

Acquisition: this is the collection or raw data which includes translations of the world and, importantly, local press, and all other types of “open sources” such as blogs, magazines, press conferences and releases, official news bulletins etc.  The next level is are the proprietary but not formally classified sources.  Think tank reports, banking documents, commercial documents, corporate memoranda, etc.  Then comes the level in which sources, methods and means must be protected and concealed from public view: informal conversations with officials, radio intercepts, conversations with bankers, with transportation officials (trucks, trains, airlines, shipping), reports from political and military attaches and exchanges with other intelligence services.  Actual “spying” or HUMINT also contributes to this level.  All these multi-level sources provide simultaneous provide raw data which is then analyzed on the next level:

Analysis: first, the data is usually classified by some source of system which gives a rating on a) the source itself (reliable? trustworthy?) and then b) on the information received (corroborated? credible?).  The information is then passed on to the next level analyst who will process it and make a synthesis of his/her main finding for his/her department head (by regions or specialization). These guys then go over the findings and present typically present them in an inter-departmental meeting which then is submitted to the next level.

Acceptance: this is a crucial level because the folks getting the processed information from the analytical section are already not intelligence specialists, but generals (this is a political rank, really), politicians, government officials, etc.  They make the key judgment call as to what to do with the info they get.  They also get to express their satisfaction, or lack thereof, with the intelligence they get and that, in turn, has a direct career impact upon the senior department heads in charge of analysis.  In pain English this means that the top analysts take a big risk if they pass on “politically incorrect” or, rather, “politically unwanted” information up the chain of command.  They, in turn, will whether consciously or unconsciously promote those analysts to do not put them in this difficult situation.

This system works pretty well when dealing with low-visibility or politically neutral or minor issues.  But when a government places its full weight behind “theory A” this system often breaks down and begins sending up the chain of command information which will not result in career loss.  “Theory B” rapidly disappears.

The example of Bosnia:

I can personally attest to the fact that the vast majority of sources did report that the so-called “UN Safe Areas” in Bosnia, which were supposed to be entirely demilitarized, were chock full of Bosnian-Muslim forces and that most of them actually hosted a full Army Corps.  Likewise, everybody knew that the US and Turkey were flying in weapons and dropping them in huge amounts in the Bosnian-Muslim controlled areas.  Furthermore, most analysts were also aware the the bombings of the Markale Market were not committed by Serb, but by unknown individuals shooting from Bosnian-Muslim areas.  In my experience this information was, however, usually simply ignored at the level of department heads.  It was not denied, mind you, and in private conversations all the department heads knew about it, but that is where it stopped.  The pretext?  Always the same one: “it’s a rumor and a detail, not really relevant for the overall picture”.  Nevermind that it came in from all sources, including high rated ones, and nevermind that this info was corroborated many times over.  And nevermind that it paints a totally different picture of a false flag operation which resulted in the US and NATO getting militarily involved.

Then, those who organized the false flag operation in the first place will use their contacts in the corporate media to leak the info. At this point of the big and “reputable” media outlets will quote each other and literally bounce that story off each other, sometimes add a few “details” (aka complete fabrications) or pure speculations (really spins) to the story.  At which point all the politicians are presented with a mass media which literally screams “the world is flat!  the world is flat!” and a few highly classified reports which, at best, report that “some sources claim the world is round”.  Guess with whom the politicians will go?

Back to the Maidan snipers intercept

Now listen carefully to Ashton’s reaction to  news about the insurgent snipers:

“I think that they do want to investigate, gosh!”

What?!  Is she seriously suggesting that the new regime, which came to power courtesy of these snipers, will actually investigate itself?  Is she that dumb?  Of course not!  But she is annoyed by this topic so she just tosses in a simple cop-out which basically means “I am not interested, let the Ukies handle it” (knowing full well that they won’t).

Paet, by the way, immediately get the message and gives a new spin to his previous remark: he mentioned this info not because he is outraged, no, only because if this story takes on its own life this “will discredit the new coalition”. Oh how nice of him, he worries that if the truth comes out the Eurofascists will be embarrassed.  Next time, he won’t even bring it up.  Those central European politicians sure learn fast from their western masters.

But Ashton is not even happy with that, she wants to change the topic, and begins making general pious statements about how it is important that the Rada work well.

End of topic, turn the page, next!

This is how it’s done.  I know. I lost my career over something like that.

As for the media, it is even worse.

There are two types of reporters in a conflict zone:

Type A: never leaves his fortified bunker/hotel and only attends the briefing of whichever side he is with.  Then he sends reports back home claiming that these reports come “from the battle zone”.  He could get the same reports by videoconference sitting at home, but nevermind.

Type B: that is the true frontline reporter.  He does run around under bullets, he interviews local commanders, often on both sides, he spends nights drinking cheap booze with local mafia men or mercenaries and he is often very, very well informed.  In fact, his reports are often used by intelligence services (whether by agreement or by other methods).

Type A just parrots whatever he hears.  The problem with type B is that while he is typically very well informed, he also is typically highly partisan to one side or the other.  If he “turns local” and begins to have sympathies with the ‘bad guys’ he soon as to find new employers,  usually smaller magazines and newspapers, or his career ends.  But if he is on the side of the “good guys” (Empire puppets) then he often sees his role as a participant in the war.  He hates the other side and will use his audience to trash it as much as can be.  Bottom line: even if some reporters are very well informed, the system is such that their reports usually get buried in the small or local media.

There is one exception to this rule: specialized magazines.  During the war in Bosnia you could get far better information from magazines like the US Army’s Parameters, the USN Proceedings or the Reports of the US Military Studies Office or the Occasional Papers of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, than from the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal.  This applies to non-English speaking countries too: France, Belgium, Russia, Brazil – they all have their specialized magazines which often are far better informed that the big press.

What does this all mean for you?

What this all means is that the information you are getting from your politicians or the corporate media is at best useless, and typically deliberate fabrications.  There is only one thing you can do about it: throw away your TV, throw away your radio, don’t ever read the papers and basically cut off your brain form the sewage flow.  The next step is to get your info only on the Internet, preferably from “non-major” sources including: local media websites (by local I mean “local to the conflict area”), blogs, discussion groups, specialized and professional websites.

True, there is a lot of garbage on the Internet, so you need to do the same thing as analysts do: begin by rating your sources and then reply mostly on those you trust.  Likewise, you can also begin by rating the information itself.  Language can be a problem, but then built for yourself a list of sources which you trust and which know the local language.

And did you know that it is estimated that 80% of all the information used by a government is “open source” – available to the general public.  As for the 20% of it, it is mostly boring technical stuff of stuff which will become public after a while and but which is critical now.  Not stuff you are ever going to need.

This is not as hard as it seems and most of us doing something similar instinctively.  With a little time and effort cutting yourself totally away from the corporate media and switching to an Internet based selection of sources you trust will give you a totally different view of the world.  If you are then later exposed to the corporate media you will be amazed by the nonsense you hear and you will wonder what the hell they are talking about on the Idiot Tube.  It’s quite fun, really.  Or very discouraging.  Or both.

The exception:

There is one exception to this rule: the new big media which has appeared in recent years to present an anti-CNN option for the world.  First, al-Jazeera, the Russia Today, Telemundo, Press TV, etc.  They have vested interest in debunking the Imperial lies and in presenting the true facts.  However, the example of al-Jazeera which almost suddenly became a propaganda tool during the war on Libya should make us cautious and careful and always keep a eye on whether any of these Internet TV are becoming yet another propaganda tool.

Conclusion:

This sniper business is going nowhere.  Everybody knows about it, and nobody cares.  Just like everybody knows that the Right Sector and Svoboda are neo-Nazi parties, just like everybody knows that the new regime is illegal, illegitimate and that it came to power by deceit and by violence.  Everybody knows and nobody cares as long as “our SOBs win”.  So use this opportunity to “retaliate” against the plutocracy which controls the entire informational space except the Internet and reject their sources.  All of them.

Kind regards and many thanks,

The Saker

John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, justifies drone attacks

The White House  Office of the Press Secretary
June 29, 2011

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/remarks-john-o-brennan-assistant-president-homeland-security-and-counter

Remarks of John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, on Ensuring al-Qa’ida’s Demise –

As Prepared for Delivery
Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C.

Good afternoon.  Thank you, Dean Einhorn, for your very warm welcome and for your decades of service—in government, global institutions and here at SAIS.  And it’s a special pleasure to be introduced by John McLaughlin, a friend and colleague of many years and one of our nation’s great intelligence professionals.

It’s a pleasure to be here at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, an institution that has instilled in generations of public servants the pragmatic approach to problem-solving that is essential for the effective conduct of foreign policy.  I especially want to thank the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies for its emphasis on national security and for joining with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to introduce students to our Intelligence Community and inspiring the next generation of intelligence professionals.     

It’s wonderful to see so many friends and colleagues who I’ve had the privilege to work with over many years.  You have devoted your lives to protecting our nation from many threats, including the one that brings me here today, and one that has claimed the lives of some of our friends and colleagues—that is the continued terrorist threat from al-Qa’ida.  

Today, we are releasing President Obama’s National Strategy for Counterterrorism, which formalizes the approach that we’ve been pursuing and adapting for the past two and half years to prevent terrorist attacks and to ensure al-Qa’ida’s demise.  I’m pleased that we are joined today by dedicated professionals from across the federal government who helped to shape our strategy and who work tirelessly every day to keep our country safe.  Thank you for being here.

An unclassified summary of our strategy is being posted today to the White House website, WhiteHouse.gov.   In the time I have with you, I’d like to put our strategy in context, outline its key goals and principals, and describe how we’re putting these principles into practice to protect the American people.    

I want to begin with the larger strategic environment that shapes our counterterrorism efforts.  This starts with the recognition that this counterterrorism strategy is only one part of President Obama’s larger National Security Strategy.  This is very important.  Our counterterrorism policies do not define our entire foreign policy; rather, they are a vital part of—and are designed to reinforce—our broader national security interests.

Since taking office, President Obama has worked to restore a positive vision of American leadership in the world—leadership defined, not by the threats and dangers that we will oppose, but by the security, opportunity and dignity that America advances in partnership with people around the world.  This has enhanced our national security in many areas against many threats.  

At the same time, many of the President’s broader foreign policy and national security initiatives also help to achieve our more focused counterterrorism goals.  They do so by addressing the political, economic and social conditions that can sometimes fuel violent extremism and push certain individuals into the arms of al-Qa’ida.

For instance, when our diplomats promote the peaceful resolution of political disputes and grievances, when our trade and economic policies generate growth that lifts people out of poverty, when our development experts support good governance that addresses people’s basic needs, when we stand up for universal human rights—all of this can also help undermine violent extremists and terrorists like al-Qa’ida.  Peaceful political, economic, and social progress undermines the claim that the only way to achieve change is through violence.  It can be a powerful antidote to the disillusionment and sense of powerlessness that can make some individuals more susceptible to violent ideologies.

Our strategy recognizes that our counterterrorism efforts clearly benefit from—and at times depend on—broader foreign policy efforts, even as our CT strategy focuses more narrowly on preventing terrorist attacks against our interests, at home and abroad.

This, obviously, is also the first counterterrorism strategy to reflect the extraordinary political changes that are sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.  It’s true that these changes may bring new challenges and uncertainty in the short-term, as we are seeing in Yemen.  It also is true that terrorist organizations, and nations that support them, will seek to capitalize on the instability that change can sometimes bring.  That is why we are working closely with allies and partners to make sure that these malevolent actors do not succeed in hijacking this moment of hope for their own violent ends.  

But as President Obama has said, these dramatic changes also mark an historic moment of opportunity.  So too for our counterterrorism efforts.  For decades, terrorist organizations like al-Qa’ida have preached that the only way to affect change is through violence.  Now, that claim has been thoroughly repudiated, and it has been repudiated by ordinary citizens, in Tunisia and Egypt and beyond, who are changing and challenging their governments through peaceful protest, even as they are sometimes met with horrific brutality, as in Libya and Syria.  Moreover, these citizens have rejected the medieval ideology of al-Qa’ida that divides people by faith and gender, opting instead to work together—Muslims and Christians, men and women, secular and religious.

It is the most profound change in the modern history of the Arab world, and al-Qa’ida and its ilk have been left on the sidelines, watching history pass them by.  Meanwhile, President Obama has placed the United States on the right side of history, pledging our support for the political and economic reforms and universal human rights that people in the region are demanding.  This, too, has profound implications for our counterterrorism efforts.

Against this backdrop, our strategy is very precise about the threat we face and the goals we seek.  Paul Nitze once observed that “one of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve.”  President Obama is adamant that we never forget who we’re fighting or what we’re trying to achieve.

Let me start by saying that our strategy is not designed to combat directly every single terrorist organization in every corner of the world, many of which have neither the intent nor the capability to ever attack the United States or our citizens.

Our strategy of course recognizes that there are numerous nations and groups that support terrorism in order to oppose U.S. interests.  Iran and Syria remain leading state sponsors of terrorism.  Hezbollah and HAMAS are terrorist organizations that threaten Israel and our interests in the Middle East.  We will therefore continue to use the full range of our foreign policy tools to prevent these regimes and terrorist organizations from endangering our national security.

For example, President Obama has made it clear that the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.  And we will continue working closely with allies and partners, including sharing and acting upon intelligence, to prevent the flow of weapons and funds to Hezbollah and HAMAS and to prevent attacks against our allies, citizens or interests.

But the principal focus of this counterterrorism strategy—and the focus of our CT efforts since President Obama took office—is the network that poses the most direct and significant threat to the United States, and that is al-Qa’ida, its affiliates and its adherents.  We use these terms deliberately.

It is al-Qa’ida, the core group founded by Usama bin Laden, that has murdered our citizens, from the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole to the attacks of September 11th, which also killed citizens of more than 90 other countries.

It is al-Qa’ida’s affiliates—groups that are part of its network or share its goals—that have also attempted to attack our homeland.  It was al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen, that attempted to bring down that airliner over Detroit and which put explosives on cargo planes bound for the United States.  It was the Pakistani Taliban that sent Faisal Shahzad on his failed attempt to blow up an SUV in Times Square.

And it is al-Qa’ida’s adherents—individuals, sometimes with little or no direct physical contact with al-Qa’ida, who have succumbed to its hateful ideology and who have engaged in, or facilitated, terrorist activities here in the United States.  These misguided individuals are spurred on by the likes of al-Qaida’s Adam Gadahn and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, who speak English and preach violence in slick videos over the Internet.  And we have seen the tragic results, with the murder of a military recruiter in Arkansas two years ago and the attack on our servicemen and women at Fort Hood.

This is the first counterterrorism strategy that focuses on the ability of al-Qa’ida and its network to inspire people in the United States to attack us from within.  Indeed, this is the first counterterrorism strategy that designates the homeland as a primary area of emphasis in our counterterrorism efforts.       

Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of al-Qa’ida’s goals, strategy, and tactics. I’m not talking about al-Qa’ida’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate.  That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen.  We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.

Rather, President Obama is determined that our foreign and national security policies not play into al-Qa’ida’s strategy or its warped ideology.  Al-Qa’ida seeks to terrorize us into retreating from the world stage.  But President Obama has made it a priority to renew American leadership in the world, strengthening our alliances and deepening partnerships.  Al-Qa’ida seeks to portray America as an enemy of the world’s Muslims.  But President Obama has made it clear that the United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.   

Al-Qa’ida seeks to bleed us financially by drawing us into long, costly wars that also inflame anti-American sentiment.  Under President Obama, we are working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan responsibly, even as we keep unrelenting pressure on al-Qa’ida.  Going forward, we will be mindful that if our nation is threatened, our best offense won’t always be deploying large armies abroad but delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us.

Al-Qa’ida seeks to portray itself as a religious movement defending the rights of Muslims, but the United States will continue to expose al-Qa’ida as nothing more than murderers.  They purport to be Islamic, but they are neither religious leaders nor scholars; indeed, there is nothing Islamic or holy about slaughtering innocent men, women, and children.  They claim to protect Muslims, but the vast majority of al-Qa’ida’s victims are, in fact, innocent Muslim men, women, and children.  It is no wonder that the overwhelmingly majority of the world’s Muslims have rejected al-Qa’ida and why its ranks of supporters continue to decline.

Just as our strategy is precise about who our enemy is, it is clear about our posture and our goal.  This is a war—a broad, sustained, integrated and relentless campaign that harnesses every element of American power.  And we seek nothing less than the utter destruction of this evil that calls itself al-Qa’ida.

To achieve this goal, we need to dismantle the core of al-Qa’ida—its leadership in the tribal regions of Pakistan—and prevent its ability to reestablish a safe haven in the Pakistan–Afghanistan region.  In other words, we aim to render the heart of al-Qa’ida incapable of launching attacks against our homeland, our citizens, or our allies, as well as preventing the group from inspiring its affiliates and adherents to do so.

At the same time, ultimately defeating al-Qa’ida also means addressing the serious threat posed by its affiliates and adherents operating outside South Asia.  This does not require a “global” war, but it does require a focus on specific regions, including what we might call the periphery—places like Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and the Maghreb.  This is another important distinction that characterizes this strategy.  As the al-Qa’ida core has weakened under our unyielding pressure, it has looked increasingly to these other groups and individuals to take up its cause, including its goal of striking the United States.

To destroy al-Qa’ida, we are pursuing specific and focused counterterrorism objectives.  
For example:

    We are protecting our homeland by constantly reducing our vulnerabilities and adapting and updating our defenses.
     
    We are taking the fight to wherever the cancer of al-Qa’ida manifests itself, degrading its capabilities and disrupting its operations.
     
    We are degrading the ability of al-Qa’ida’s senior leadership to inspire, communicate with, and direct the operations of its adherents around the world.
     
    We are denying al-Qa’ida any safe haven—the physical sanctuary that it needs to train, plot and launch attacks against us.
     
    We are aggressively confronting al-Qa’ida’s ideology, which attempts to exploit local—and often legitimate—grievances in an attempt to justify violence.
     
    We are depriving al-Qa’ida of its enabling means, including the illicit financing, logistical support, and online communications that sustain its network.
     
    And we are working to prevent al-Qa’ida from acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction, which is why President Obama is leading the global effort to secure the world’s vulnerable materials in four years.

In many respects, these specific counterterrorism goals are not new.  In fact, they track closely with the goals of the previous administration.  Yet this illustrates another important characteristic of our strategy.  It neither represents a wholesale overhaul—nor a wholesale retention—of previous policies.

President Obama’s approach to counterterrorism is pragmatic, not ideological.  It’s based on what works.  It builds upon policies and practices that have been instituted and refined over the past decade, in partnership with Congress—a partnership we will continue.  And it reflects an evolution in our understanding of the threat, in the capabilities of our government, the capacity of our partners, and the tools and technologies at our disposal.        

What is new—and what I believe distinguishes this strategy—is the principles that are guiding our efforts to destroy al-Qa’ida.

First, we are using every lawful tool and authority available.  No single agency or department has sole responsibility for this fight because no single department or agency possesses all the capabilities needed for this fight.  This is—and must be—a whole-of-government effort, and it’s why the Obama Administration has strengthened the tools we need.

We’ve strengthened intelligence, expanding human intelligence and linguistic skills, and we’re constantly working to improve our capabilities and learn from our experiences.  For example, following the attack at Fort Hood and the failed attack over Detroit, we’ve improved the analytic process, created new groups to track threat information, and enhanced cooperation among our intelligence agencies, including better information sharing so that all threats are acted upon quickly.  

We’ve strengthened our military capabilities. We increased the size of our Special Forces, sped up the deployment of unique assets so that al-Qa’ida enjoys no safe haven, and ensured that our military and intelligence professionals are working more closely than ever before.

We’ve strengthened homeland security with a multi-layered defense, bolstering security at our borders, ports and airports; improving partnerships with state and local governments and allies and partners, including sharing more information; increasing the capacity of our first responders; and preparing for bioterrorism.  In taking these steps, we are finally fulfilling key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Learning the lessons of recent plots and attempted attacks, we’ve increased aviation security by strengthening watchlist procedures and sharing information in real-time; enhancing screening of cargo; and—for the first time—ensuring 100 percent screening of all passengers traveling in, to, and from the United States, which was another recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.  And we are constantly assessing and improving our defenses, as we did in replacing the old color-coded threat system with a more targeted approach that provides detailed information about specific, credible threats and suggested protective measures.

In addition, we are using the full range of law enforcement tools as part of our effort to build an effective and durable legal framework for the war against al-Qa’ida.  This includes our single most effective tool for prosecuting, convicting, and sentencing suspected terrorists—and a proven tool for gathering intelligence and preventing attacks—our Article III courts.  It includes reformed military commissions, which at times offer unique advantages.  And this framework includes the recently renewed PATRIOT Act.  In short, we must have a legal framework that provides our extraordinary intelligence, counterterrorism, and law enforcement professionals with all the lawful tools they need to do their job and keep our country safe.  We must not tie their hands.

For all these tools to work properly, departments and agencies across the federal government must work cooperatively.  Today, our personnel are working more closely together than ever before, as we saw in the operation that killed Usama bin Laden.  That success was not due to any one single person or single piece of information.  It was the result of many people in many organizations working together over many years.  And that is what we will continue to do.

Even as we use every tool in our government, we are guided by a second principle—the need for partnership with institutions and countries around the world, as we recognize that no one nation alone can bring about al-Qa’ida’s demise.  Over the past decade, we have made enormous progress in building and strengthening an international architecture to confront the threat from al-Qa’ida.  This includes greater cooperation with multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, our NATO allies, and regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the African Union.

Over the past two and a half years, we have also increased our efforts to build the capacity of partners so they can take the fight to al-Qa’ida in their own countries.  That is why a key element of the President’s strategy in Afghanistan is growing Afghan security forces.  It’s why we’ll soon begin a transition so that Afghans can take responsibility for their own security.  And it’s why we must continue our cooperation with Pakistan.

In recent weeks we’ve been reminded that our relationship with Pakistan is not without tension or frustration.  We are now working with our Pakistani partners to overcome differences and continue our efforts against our common enemies.  It is essential that we do so.  As frustrating as this relationship can sometimes be, Pakistan has been critical to many of our most significant successes against al-Qa’ida.  Tens of thousands of Pakistanis—military and civilian—have given their lives in the fight against militancy.  And despite recent tensions, I am confident that Pakistan will remain one of our most important counterterrorism partners.

These kinds of security partnerships are absolutely vital.  The critical intelligence that allowed us to discover the explosives that AQAP was shipping to the United States in those cargo planes was provided by our Saudi Arabian partners.   Al-Qa’ida in Iraq has suffered major losses at the hands of Iraqi security forces, trained by the United States.  Despite the ongoing instability, our counterterrorism cooperation with Yemen continues, and I would argue that the recent territorial gains made by militants linked to AQAP only makes our CT partnership with Yemen more important.

Around the world, we will deepen our security cooperation with partners wherever al-Qa’ida attempts to take root, be it Somalia, the Sahel or Southeast Asia.  For while al-Qa’ida seeks to depict this fight as one between the world’s Muslims and the United States, it is actually the opposite—the international community, including Muslim-majority nations and Muslim communities, united against al-Qa’ida.

This leads to the third principle of our strategy—rather than pursuing a one-size fits-all approach, we recognize that different threats in different places demand different tools.  So even as we use all the resources at our disposal against al-Qa’ida, we will apply the right tools in the right way and in the right place, with laser focus.

In some places, such as the tribal regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, we will deliver precise and overwhelming force against al-Qa’ida.  Whenever possible, our efforts around the world will be in close coordination with our partners.  And, when necessary, as the President has said repeatedly, if we have information about the whereabouts of al-Qa’ida, we will do what is required to protect the United States—as we did with bin Laden.

In some places, as I’ve described, our efforts will focus on training foreign security services.  In others, as with our Saudi Arabian and Gulf state partners, our focus will include shutting down al-Qa’ida’s financial pipelines.  With longtime allies and partners, as in Europe, we’ll thwart attacks through close intelligence cooperation.  Here in the United States—where the rule of law is paramount—it’s our federal, state, and local law enforcement and homeland security professionals who rightly take the lead.  Around the world, including here at home, we will continue to show that the United States offers a vision of progress and justice, while al-Qa’ida offers nothing but death and destruction.

Related to our counterterrorism strategy, I would also note that keeping our nation secure also depends on strong partnerships between government and communities here at home, including Muslim and Arab Americans, some of whom join us today.  These Americans have worked to protect their communities from al-Qa’ida’s violent ideology and they have helped to prevent terrorist attacks in our country.  Later this summer, the Obama Administration will unveil its approach for partnering with communities to prevent violent extremism in the United States.  And a key tenet of this approach is that when it comes to protecting our country, Muslim Americans are not part of the problem, they’re part of the solution.    

This relates to our fourth principle—building a culture of resilience here at home.  We are doing everything in our power to prevent another terrorist attack on our soil.  At the same time, a responsible, effective counterterrorism strategy recognizes that no nation, no matter how powerful—including a free and open society of 300 million Americans—can prevent every single threat from every single individual who wishes to do us harm.  It’s not enough to simply be prepared for attacks, we have to be resilient and recover quickly should an attack occur.

So, as a resilient nation, we are constantly improving our ability to withstand any attack—especially our critical infrastructure, including cyber—thereby denying al-Qa’ida the economic damage and disruption it seeks.  As a resilient government, we’re strengthening the partnerships that help states and localities recover quickly.  And as a resilient people, we must remember that every one of us can help deprive al-Qa’ida of the success it seeks.  Al-Qa’ida wants to terrorize us, so we must not give in to fear.  They want to change us, so we must stay true to who we are.

Which brings me to our final principle, in fact, the one that guides all the others—in all our actions, we will uphold the core values that define us as Americans.  I have spent more than thirty years working on behalf of our nation’s security.  I understand the truly breathtaking capabilities of our intelligence and counterterrorism communities.  But I also know that the most powerful weapons of all—which we must never forsake—are the values and ideals that America represents to the world.

When we fail to abide by our values, we play right into the hands of al-Qa’ida, which falsely tries to portray us as a people of hypocrisy and decadence.  Conversely, when we uphold these values it sends a message to the people around the world that it is America—not al-Qa’ida—that represents opportunity, dignity, and justice.  In other words, living our values helps keep us safe.

So, as Americans, we stand for human rights.  That is why, in his first days in office, President Obama made it clear that the United States of America does not torture, and it’s why he banned the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which did not work.  As Americans, we will uphold the rule of law at home, including the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of all Americans.  And it’s because of our commitment to the rule of law and to our national security that we will never waver in our conviction that the United States will be more secure the day that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is ultimately closed.

Living our values—and communicating to the world what America represents—also directly undermines al-Qa’ida’s twisted ideology.  When we remember that diversity of faith and background is not a weakness in America but a strength, and when we show that Muslim Americans are part of our American family, we expose al-Qa’ida’s lie that cultures must clash.  When we remember that Islam is part of America, we show that America could never possibly be at war with Islam.

These are our principles, and this is the strategy that has enabled us to put al-Qa’ida under more pressure than at any time since 9/11.  With allies and partners, we have thwarted attacks around the world.  We have disrupted plots here at home, including the plan of Najibullah Zazi, trained by al-Qa’ida to bomb the New York subway.

We have affected al-Qa’ida’s ability to attract new recruits.  We’ve made it harder for them to hide and transfer money, and pushed al-Qa’ida’s finances to its weakest point in years.  Along with our partners, in Pakistan and Yemen, we’ve shown al-Qa’ida that it will enjoy no safe haven, and we have made it harder than ever for them to move, to communicate, to train, and to plot.

Al-Qa’ida’s leadership ranks have been decimated, with more key leaders eliminated in rapid succession than at any time since 9/11.  For example, al-Qa’ida’s third-ranking leader, Sheik Saeed al-Masri—killed.  Ilyas Kashmiri, one of al-Qa’ida’s most dangerous commanders—reportedly killed.  Operatives of AQAP in Yemen, including Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan—all killed.  Baitullah Mahsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban—killed.  Harun Fazul, the leader of al-Qa’ida in East Africa and the mastermind of the bombings of our embassies in Africa—killed by Somali security forces.

All told, over the past two and half years, virtually every major al-Qa’ida affiliate has lost its key leader or operational commander, and more than half of al-Qa’ida’s top leadership has been eliminated.  Yes, al-Qa’ida is adaptive and resilient and has sought to replace these leaders, but it has been forced to do so with less experienced individuals.  That’s another reason why we and our partners have stepped up our efforts.  Because if we hit al-Qa’ida hard enough and often enough, there will come a time when they simply can no longer replenish their ranks with the skilled leaders they need to sustain their operations.  And that is the direction in which we’re headed today.

Now, with the death of Usama bin Laden, we have struck our biggest blow against al-Qa’ida yet.  We have taken out al-Qa’ida’s founder, an operational commander who continued to direct his followers to attack the United States and, perhaps most significantly, al-Qa’ida’s symbolic figure who has inspired so many others to violence.  In his place, the organization is left with Ayman al-Zawahiri, an aging doctor who lacks bin Laden’s charisma and perhaps the loyalty and respect of many in al-Qa’ida.  Indeed, the fact that it took so many weeks for al-Qa’ida to settle on Zawahiri as its new leader suggests possible divisions and disarray at the highest levels.

Taken together, the progress I’ve described allows us—for the first time—to envision the demise of al-Qa’ida’s core leadership in the coming years.  It will take time, but make no mistake, al-Qa’ida is in its decline.  This is by no means meant to suggest that the serious threat from al-Qa’ida has passed; not at all.  Zawahiri may attempt to demonstrate his leadership, and al-Qa’ida may try to show its relevance, through new attacks.  Lone individuals may seek to avenge bin Laden’s death.  More innocent people may tragically lose their lives.

Nor would the destruction of its leadership mean the destruction of the al-Qa’ida network.  AQAP remains the most operationally active affiliate in the network and poses a direct threat to the United States.  From the territory it controls in Somalia, Al-Shabaab continues to call for strikes against the United States.  As a result, we cannot and we will not let down our guard.  We will continue to pummel al-Qa’ida and its ilk, and we will remain vigilant at home.

Still, as we approach the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as Americans seek to understand where we stand a decade later, we need look no further than that compound where bin Laden spent his final days.  There he was, holed-up for years, behind high prison-like walls, isolated from the world.  But even he understood the sorry state of his organization and its ideology.

Information seized from that compound reveals bin Laden’s concerns about al-Qa’ida’s long-term viability.  He called for more large-scale attacks against America, but encountered resistance from his followers and he went for years without seeing any spectacular attacks.  He saw his senior leaders being taken down, one by one, and worried about the ability to replace them effectively.

Perhaps most importantly, bin Laden clearly sensed that al-Qa’ida is losing the larger battle for hearts and minds.  He knew that al-Qa’ida’s murder of so many innocent civilians, most of them Muslims, had deeply and perhaps permanently tarnished al-Qa’ida’s image in the world.  He knew that he had failed to portray America as being at war with Islam.  In fact, he worried that our recent focus on al-Qa’ida as our enemy had prevented more Muslims from rallying to his cause, so much so that he even considered changing al-Qa’ida’s name.  We are left with that final image seen around the world—an old terrorist, alone, hunched over in a blanket, flipping through old videos of a man and a movement that history is leaving behind.

This fight is not over.  But guided by the strategy we’re releasing today, we will never waver in our efforts to protect the American people.  We will continue to be clear and precise about our enemy.  We will continue to use every tool at our disposal, and apply them wisely.  We will continue to forge strong partnerships around the world and build a culture of resilience here at home.  And as Americans, we will continue to uphold the ideals and core values that inspire the world, define us as people and help keep us safe.  

President Obama said it best last week—we have put al-Qa’ida on a path to defeat, and we will not relent until the job is done.  Thank you all very much.

Communiqué by Elias Davidsson on Osama bin Laden’s murder


Communiqué by Elias Davidsson on Osama bin Laden’s murder

2. May 2011

According to mass media, Osama bin Laden was murdered yesterday, on May 1st, 2011. He was murdered with “other family members”, whose identity is still unknown. The President of the United States of America took credit for this act of murder. Murder is prohibited in every jurisdiction. It is regarded as a criminal act both under national and international law. President Barack Obama should henceforth be charged for ordering an act of outright murder.

1. Mass media report Americans “celebrating” the murder of Osama bin Laden. CNN reported that a crowd was singing “God Bless America” near Ground Zero and that outside the White House a crowd was “jubilating.” Others reportedly sung the national hymn, as if murder was a patriotic act. Celebrating murder is a barbaric practice. Civilized people never condone murder, let alone celebrate it.

2. Osama bin Laden was not charged for any links to 9/11. U.S. leaders did not directly attribute to him the crime of 9/11. In March 2002, President George W. Bush said in a press conference that he was not anymore concerned by the fate or whereabouts Osama bin Laden (OBL). Was he lying, or was bin Laden already dead by that time, as reported in Pakistani media? The FBI admitted in 2006 that it possesses no “hard evidence” to connect OBL to the events of 9/11. This admission was made after a journalist discovered that the FBI fails to mention OBL’s nexus to 9/11 on its website. Mass media have deliberately suppressed this lack of evidence, in order to keep the public supporting the war on Afghanistan and the “war on terrorism”. President Barack Obama has now demonstrated his mendacity by suggesting that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the mass-murder of 9/11. Those reading the exact wording of his speech – in which he announced the murder of Osama bin Laden – will note that he did not directly link Osama bin Laden for 9/11. He merely suggested this allegation by rhetorical means, the typical conduct of a masterful swindler.

3. Even suspected criminals are entitled to a fair trial. At the very threshold of civilized conduct, persons may be sentenced to death after having been proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt by an impartial court for the most odious crimes. Osama bin Laden was accused of many crimes. But he was not proven guilty of any crime in a court of law. He was not charged for any connection to the mass-murder of 9/11. He was widely suspected to pose as a radical Muslim but actually acting for Western intelligence services in discrediting Islam. Whatever he ever said, or is alleged to have said, was, however, no ground for murder. To hound and murder a fugitive – if that was his condition – would make this murder particularly odious.

4. One of the persons murdered yesterday is alleged to have been Osama bin Laden. But this is not certain. According to CNN, an unnamed U.S. official said that bin Laden “was buried at sea”. He explained that this was done in order to abide by “the Islamic tradition.” How dare people who commit murder claim to have respect for religious traditions, let alone Islam? Do Muslims throw bodies of dead people into the sea? Another claimed that by throwing the body into the sea, the U.S. tried to prevent his burial ground to become a shrine, as if Osama bin Laden was widely perceived as a hero! The swift disposal of his body suggests, however, that the murderers were concerned that the public would discover that the victim was mutilated or that the body did not belong at all to Osama bin Laden.

5. The silence surrounding the identities of the “other family members” who also were murdered, demonstrates the disregard by the U.S. government for human lives. Even if their deaths was not directly desired, it was taken into account. Their killing would be considered under common law as “reckless murder”, for which President Barack Obama must be held to account.

6. Congratulations by world leaders for this act of cowardly murder should raise concern to every member of the human family. When national leaders express their satisfaction over an act of outright murder, they forfeit their claim to remain in power. Decent people around the world should seek the removal from public office of any person who commends murder.

7. The murder of a person alleged to be Osama bin Laden is obviously an effort to revive the monstrous lie that Muslims committed the mass-murder of 9/11, a lie that is being increasingly exposed as the 10th anniversary of the mass-murder is approaching. The US government of Barack Obama has decided to enforce this lie by an act of cowardly murder and by further lies. These efforts will not succeed. This episode of evil will be duly documented and justice will prevail. The killers of Osama bin Laden must be charged, prosecuted and punished in order that such acts will not be repeated.

The True Cause of the Death of David Kelly

The True Cause of the Death of David Kelly

By Dr. Michael Powers

Global Research, April 8, 2012
Daily Mail

Dr Kelly was a brilliant man who did his best for his country. We owe it to him and ourselves to discover the true cause of his death

In this powerfully argued article, doctor and barrister Dr Michael Powers QC explains why justice demands an inquest is held

Doubts: Dr Michael Powers QC says key questions were not asked about Dr Kelly

Since his untimely death in July 2003, questions have continued to be raised about the circumstances of Dr David Kelly’s death. Many wonder whether he really killed himself and speculate that he was murdered. His sudden death shocked the nation – how could it have happened?

As a specialist practitioner in law and medicine, I feel a responsibility to the two professions to air my doubts about a case that bridges both worlds.

Any question of suicide or murder has to follow the determin ation of the cause of death. To do otherwise risks putting the cart before the horse. It would, for example, be scientifically and logically unsound to assume suicide and then to set about finding evidence to prove it.

Before asking whether a deceased himself or a third party put the bullet in the head, it is necessary to determine first that there was a hole in the head and secondly that the deceased died because of it.

For 1,000 years, coroners have been investigating sudden, violent and unnatural deaths. They have got good at it. Suicide used to be a crime and a finding of self-murder is an unhappy reflection on the victim and his family and friends.

That is why suicide has to be proved to the same high standard as murder. It has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased did the act which killed him with that intention in mind.

Puzzle: Many wonder whether Dr Kelly really killed himself. Below, how the Mail on Sunday reported on the story
The normal inquest process in the case of David Kelly was interrupted by the order of the Government. Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor at the time, exercised a rarely used power to require the Oxfordshire coroner to adjourn his investigation and to give that responsibility to Lord Hutton.

The coroner had the power to compel witnesses to attend and to give evidence on oath. The Government which took our country to war with Iraq chose not to give these considerable powers to Lord Hutton.

Although there were 24 days of evidence taken over two-and-a-half months, the whole of the medical evidence took no more than a half day. The evidence of the pathologist, toxicologist and forensic biologist can be read in 30 minutes. No one could say this was a detailed investigation into the death.

I was trained as a doctor and during my years in medical practice I often had to pass fine catheters into the radial artery in the wrist. This is where medics usually feel the pulse. It can even be seen pulsating in many people. Dr Kelly’s wrists were not slit. Neither radial artery was cut. This alone is a strange finding in someone who intends suicide by this method.

Deeper in the wrist on the side of the little finger lies the ulnar artery. It is not used for catheterisation because it is too small. Yet Lord Hutton, on the unchallenged evidence of a single pathologist, concluded that Dr Kelly bled to death from the severance of this single small artery in the left hand.

No courtroom drama would be complete without critical witnesses being challenged through the cross-examination process. Like all barristers, I received a rigorous training in advocacy and, because of its enormous importance, I take time from my practice to train barristers in this art. A skilful cross-examination is often the key to ascertaining the truth.

None of this happened in Lord Hutton’s inquiry and witnesses were simply led through prepared evidence. Reading the transcripts, far from providing any sense of satisfaction, leaves me with feelings of frustration. Opportunity after opportunity was lost to pursue answers until every avenue had been thoroughly explored and every ‘escape route’ closed.
At the very end of his evidence, Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who had conducted the post-mortem, was asked: ‘Is there anything else you would like to say concerning the circumstances leading to Dr Kelly’s death?’
Such a question gives the witness who is favourably disposed to the questioner an open opportunity to go further than his witness statement. It is NOT a question ever asked in cross-examination as it provides a free pass to an escape route.
Dr Hunt answered: ‘Nothing I could say as a pathologist, no.’ He is an experienced expert witness. What on earth did that answer mean? He was there to give evidence as a pathologist. He knew that. Everyone knew that. So why did he give that answer? It begged the question whether there was anything else he knew. Was he concerned about any other forensic or factual evidence? These questions were never asked.

Hutton focused on the so-called dodgy dossier and the conflict between the Government and the BBC which, at that time, was more in the public eye. Because it was taken for granted that Dr Kelly had killed himself, the medical evidence was insufficiently explored.
In the absence of any bleeding tendency from a clotting deficiency (and there was no evidence of this) fatal haemorrhage from a severed ulnarartery is so improbable that more evidence was essential before such a conclusion could be reached.

If you want to know how much beer has gone from a full pint glass, it is easy. You can either measure how much has been poured out or measure how much remains. To be confident, you would measure both. The same approach should have been adopted in this case.

As it was not, there is no evidence as to whether there was sufficient haemorrhage from the ulnar artery to cause death. The inquiry fell into the trap of the circular argument: Dr Kelly died, therefore he must have lost sufficient blood.

In my work as a barrister I meet many medics, but I have never met a single doctor who has disagreed with the proposition that it is extremely improbable that haemorrhage from a single, severed ulnar artery would ever be a primary cause of death.
Yet this extreme unlikelihood was never explored with Dr Hunt. Whatever the reason, this was a serious failure of the Hutton Inquiry. It has  understandably led to a suspicion of cover-up.

This could not have been the cause of death, the argument goes. If it were not the cause, then what did cause his death? Was it something Dr Kelly did to himself, intending to cause his own death, which has not yet been discovered? Was it part of some elaborate plan by others to end his life?

The only way to stop the many theories which abound is for there now to be a thorough and open investigation by way of a fresh inquest. Surely the Government realises that the way to foster conspiracy theories is to be secretive and to resist calls to disclose all the medical evidence. We should pay tribute to Dr Kelly. He was a brilliant man who did his best in the service of this country. He deserves our gratitude and respect. We owe it to him and ourselves to ensure the true cause of his death is ascertained.

Dr Michael J. Powers QC is a barrister specialising in medical causation and a Fellow of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians to which he is an appointed examiner.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303190/Michael-Howard-leads-MPs-Dr-David-Kelly-inquest.html#ixzz1rUn5UqRO

Fidel Castro on the assassination of Osama bin Ladin



Fueling Hatred and Revenge

by: Fidel Castro –  Counterpunch

Those persons who deal with these issues know that on September 11 of 2001 our people expressed its solidarity to the US people and offered the modest cooperation that in the area of health we could have offered to the victims of the brutal attack against the Twin Towers in New York.

We also immediately opened our country’s airports to the American airplanes that were unable to land anywhere, given the chaos that came about soon after the strike.

The traditional stand adopted by the Cuban Revolution, which was always opposed to any action that could jeopardize the life of civilians, is well known.

Although we resolutely supported the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny, we were, on principle, opposed to any terrorist action that could cause the death of innocent people.  Such behavior, which has been maintained for more than half a century, gives us the right to express our views about such a sensitive matter.

On that day, at a public gathering that took place at Ciudad Deportiva, I expressed my conviction that international terrorism could never be erradicated through violence and war.

By the way, Bin Laden was, for many years, a friend of the US, a country that gave him military training; he was also an adversary of the USSR and Socialism.But, whatever the actions attributed to him, the assassination of an unarmed human being while surrounded by his own relatives is something abhorrent. Apparently this is what the government of the most powerful nation that has ever existed did.

In the carefully drafted speech announcing Bin Laden’s death Obama asserts as follows:

“…And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”

That paragraph expressed a dramatic truth, but can not prevent honest persons from remembering the unjust wars unleashed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of thousands of children who were forced to grow up without their mothers and fathers and the parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.

Millions of citizens were taken from their villages in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and many other countries of the world.

Still engraved in the minds of hundreds of millions of persons are also the horrible images of human beings who, in Guantánamo, a Cuban occupied  territory, walk down in silence, being submitted for months, and even for years, to unbearable and excruciating tortures.  Those are persons who were kidnapped and transferred to secret prisons with the hypocritical connivance of supposedly civilized societies.

Obama has no way to conceal that Osama was executed in front of his children and wives, who are now under the custody of the authorities of Pakistan, a Muslim country of almost 200 million inhabitants, whose laws have been violated, its national dignity offended and its religious traditions desecrated.

How could he now prevent the women and children of the person who was executed out of the law and without any trial from explaining what happened? How could he prevent those images from being broadcast to the world?

Having assassinated him and plunging his corpse into the bottom of the sea are an expression of fear and insecurity which turn him into a far more dangerous person.

The US public opinion itself, after the initial euphoria, will end up by criticizing the methods that, far from protecting its citizen, will multiply the feelings of hatred and revenge against them.

The CIA — a Terrorist Organization

The CIA — a Terrorist Organization

Agency uses same tactics it claims to be fighting 

By Claudia Nelson 

05/14/07 “ICH” — — The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) can be considered a terrorist organization according to both international and American definitions of terrorism.

Since September 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush announced that he would use all his resources to fight terrorist organizations and declared a war on terror, which he legally cannot do, since according to the United States Constitution only the Congress can declare war, and it must be declared on a specific source. 

Terrorism is a general term used to describe violence or other harmful acts carried out for achieving political ends. Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or “terror,” are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to an attack by a “madman”), and deliberately target “non-combatants.” According to the United States Federal Criminal Code, Chapter 113B of Part I of Title 18, terrorism is defined as

“activities that involve violent … or life-threatening acts … that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State and … appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and … (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States … [or] … (C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

The U.S. Congress created the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act. The official duty of the Central Intelligence Agency is to serve as an intelligence gathering agency.

The headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency is located in Langley, Virginia, and was designated as the “George Bush Center for Intelligence” by the Clinton Administration. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was Director of Central Intelligence from Jan. 30 1976 to Jan. 20 1977. 

In reality, the CIA does not only gather information but consistently targets and engages in covert operations, psychological operations, and acts of terrorism both domestically and internationally.

CIA past operations and activities

  • Operation Phoenix was an assassination program conducted by the CIA during the Vietnam conflict. Its objective was to eliminate Vietnamese who might oppose the U.S but also to terrorize the entire population of South Vietnam and to suppress opposition to the occupying U.S. forces. Over 20,000 Vietnamese were murdered, often at random. 
     
  • During the 1980s the CIA used profits from its cocaine smuggling activities to finance the Contras in Nicaragua who were responsible for the murders of tens of thousands of civilians, and it attempted to disrupt the country’s economy, in order to destabilize the legitimate Sandinista government. For this, the U.S. was condemned in the World Court for “unlawful use of force,” and it rejected a U.N. security council resolution calling upon it to observe international law. We must note that George Bush Sr. was vice president at the time . 
     
  • On Sept. 11, 1973, the CIA planned and organized the military coup d’etat in Chile which overthrew the legitimately elected government of Salvador Allende and brought to power the regime of General Augusto Pinochet. This regime abducted, tortured and killed thousands of Chilean citizens in an attempt to suppress opposition. 
     
  • It appears that Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations, was closely involved diplomatically with the Southern Cone governments at the time and well-aware of Operation Condor. The first cooperation agreements were signed between the CIA and anti-Castro groups, and fascist movements such as the Triple A set up in Argentina by Jose Lopez Rega (“personal secretary” of Juan and Isabel Peron), and Rodolfo Almiron. The post-junta truth commission found that the Argentine military had “disappeared” at least 10,000 Argentines in the so-called “dirty war” against “subversion” and “terrorists” between 1976 and 1983; human rights groups in Argentina put the number at closer to 30,000. We must note that George Bush Sr, was head of the CIA at the time it began and vice president at the time it ended. 
     
  • Operation CHAOS was the most vicious aggressive domestic surveillence operation conducted on American antiwar groups and activists like Abbie Hoffman, whose objectives were to:
    1. Gather information on their immorality.
    2. Show them as scurrilous and depraved.
    3. Call attention to their habits and living conditions.
    4. Explore every possible embarrassment.
    5. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them.
    6. Send articles to newspapers showing their depravity.
    7. Use narcotics and free sex for entrapment.
    8. Have members arrested on marijuana charges.
    9. Exploit the hostilities between various persons.
    10. Use cartoons and photographs to ridicule them.
    11. Use disinformation to confuse and disrupt.
    12. Get records of their bank accounts.
    13. Obtain specimens of handwriting.
    14. Provoke target groups into rivalries that resulted in deaths.

  • The CIA was allegedly involved in the April 2002, Venezuela failed coup that tried to overthrow President Hugo Chavez, who was democratically elected. 
     
  • In 2002 the CIA distorted Iraq data to the media in order to justify George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.
     
  • Most recently, former CIA employee, Luis Posada Carriles, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the 1976 Cubana de Aviacion bombing which killed 73 people, walked free from a U.S. court Tuesday following a court ruling for his liberation.
  • These are only a handful of operations; there have literally been hundreds and many are still classified as secret by the U.S. government For a time-line checkout here.

    It seems to me you cannot claim to fight terrorism or claim to be the beacon of democracy with an organization like the CIA in your ranks. 

    Americans can no longer claim ignorance of the horrors committed by the CIA. They can not allow this guise of “The War on Terror” to continue, since it was started by the CIA a terrorist organization which engages in unconstitutional and illegal behavior.

    The United States Congress has the authority to dismantle the CIA just like it has the authority — and more than enough evidence — to impeach the Bush administration on war crimes, illegal wire tapping, and misappropriation of funds. But does it have the backbone or interest to do so?

    A timeline of CIA atrocities

    A Timeline of CIA Atrocities

    By Steve Kangas

    The following timeline describes just a few of the hundreds of atrocities and crimes committed by the CIA. (1)

    CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), and offers them a deal: “We’ll put you in power if you maintain a favorable business climate for us.” The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be “communists,” but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow.

    This scenario has been repeated so many times that the CIA actually teaches it in a special school, the notorious “School of the Americas.” (It opened in Panama but later moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.) Critics have nicknamed it the “School of the Dictators” and “School of the Assassins.” Here, the CIA trains Latin American military officers how to conduct coups, including the use of interrogation, torture and murder.

    The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (2) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”

    The CIA justifies these actions as part of its war against communism. But most coups do not involve a communist threat. Unlucky nations are targeted for a wide variety of reasons: not only threats to American business interests abroad, but also liberal or even moderate social reforms, political instability, the unwillingness of a leader to carry out Washington’s dictates, and declarations of neutrality in the Cold War. Indeed, nothing has infuriated CIA Directors quite like a nation’s desire to stay out of the Cold War.

    The ironic thing about all this intervention is that it frequently fails to achieve American objectives. Often the newly installed dictator grows comfortable with the security apparatus the CIA has built for him. He becomes an expert at running a police state. And because the dictator knows he cannot be overthrown, he becomes independent and defiant of Washington’s will. The CIA then finds it cannot overthrow him, because the police and military are under the dictator’s control, afraid to cooperate with American spies for fear of torture and execution. The only two options for the U.S at this point are impotence or war. Examples of this “boomerang effect” include the Shah of Iran, General Noriega and Saddam Hussein. The boomerang effect also explains why the CIA has proven highly successful at overthrowing democracies, but a wretched failure at overthrowing dictatorships.

    The following timeline should confirm that the CIA as we know it should be abolished and replaced by a true information-gathering and analysis organization. The CIA cannot be reformed — it is institutionally and culturally corrupt.

    1929

    The culture we lost — Secretary of State Henry Stimson refuses to endorse a code-breaking operation, saying, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”

    1941

    COI created — In preparation for World War II, President Roosevelt creates the Office of Coordinator of Information (COI). General William “Wild Bill” Donovan heads the new intelligence service.

    1942

    OSS created — Roosevelt restructures COI into something more suitable for covert action, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Donovan recruits so many of the nation’s rich and powerful that eventually people joke that “OSS” stands for “Oh, so social!” or “Oh, such snobs!”

    1943

    Italy — Donovan recruits the Catholic Church in Rome to be the center of Anglo-American spy operations in Fascist Italy. This would prove to be one of America’s most enduring intelligence alliances in the Cold War.

    1945

    OSS is abolished — The remaining American information agencies cease covert actions and return to harmless information gathering and analysis.

    Operation PAPERCLIP – While other American agencies are hunting down Nazi war criminals for arrest, the U.S. intelligence community is smuggling them into America, unpunished, for their use against the Soviets. The most important of these is Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s master spy who had built up an intelligence network in the Soviet Union. With full U.S. blessing, he creates the “Gehlen Organization,” a band of refugee Nazi spies who reactivate their networks in Russia. These include SS intelligence officers Alfred Six and Emil Augsburg (who massacred Jews in the Holocaust), Klaus Barbie (the “Butcher of Lyon”), Otto von Bolschwing (the Holocaust mastermind who worked with Eichmann) and SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny (a personal friend of Hitler’s). The Gehlen Organization supplies the U.S. with its only intelligence on the Soviet Union for the next ten years, serving as a bridge between the abolishment of the OSS and the creation of the CIA. However, much of the “intelligence” the former Nazis provide is bogus. Gehlen inflates Soviet military capabilities at a time when Russia is still rebuilding its devastated society, in order to inflate his own importance to the Americans (who might otherwise punish him). In 1948, Gehlen almost convinces the Americans that war is imminent, and the West should make a preemptive strike. In the 50s he produces a fictitious “missile gap.” To make matters worse, the Russians have thoroughly penetrated the Gehlen Organization with double agents, undermining the very American security that Gehlen was supposed to protect.

    1947

    Greece — President Truman requests military aid to Greece to support right-wing forces fighting communist rebels. For the rest of the Cold War, Washington and the CIA will back notorious Greek leaders with deplorable human rights records.

    CIA created — President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council. The CIA is accountable to the president through the NSC — there is no democratic or congressional oversight. Its charter allows the CIA to “perform such other functions and duties… as the National Security Council may from time to time direct.” This loophole opens the door to covert action and dirty tricks.

    1948

    Covert-action wing created — The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”

    Italy — The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works — the communists are defeated.

    1949

    Radio Free Europe — The CIA creates its first major propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe. Over the next several decades, its broadcasts are so blatantly false that for a time it is considered illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S.

    Late 40s

    Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets.

    1953

    Iran – CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is as brutal as the Gestapo.

    Operation MK-ULTRA — Inspired by North Korea’s brainwashing program, the CIA begins experiments on mind control. The most notorious part of this project involves giving LSD and other drugs to American subjects without their knowledge or against their will, causing several to commit suicide. However, the operation involves far more than this. Funded in part by the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, research includes propaganda, brainwashing, public relations, advertising, hypnosis, and other forms of suggestion.

    1954

    Guatemala — CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalans in the next 40 years.

    1954-1958

    North Vietnam — CIA officer Edward Lansdale spends four years trying to overthrow the communist government of North Vietnam, using all the usual dirty tricks. The CIA also attempts to legitimize a tyrannical puppet regime in South Vietnam, headed by Ngo Dinh Diem. These efforts fail to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese because the Diem government is opposed to true democracy, land reform and poverty reduction measures. The CIA’s continuing failure results in escalating American intervention, culminating in the Vietnam War.

    1956

    Hungary — Radio Free Europe incites Hungary to revolt by broadcasting Khruschev’s Secret Speech, in which he denounced Stalin. It also hints that American aid will help the Hungarians fight. This aid fails to materialize as Hungarians launch a doomed armed revolt, which only invites a major Soviet invasion. The conflict kills 7,000 Soviets and 30,000 Hungarians.

    1957-1973

    Laos — The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an “Armee Clandestine” of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.

    1959

    Haiti — The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tonton Macoutes,” who terrorize the population with machetes. They will kill over 100,000 during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.

    1961

    The Bay of Pigs — The CIA sends 1,500 Cuban exiles to invade Castro’s Cuba. But “Operation Mongoose” fails, due to poor planning, security and backing. The planners had imagined that the invasion will spark a popular uprising against Castro -– which never happens. A promised American air strike also never occurs. This is the CIA’s first public setback, causing President Kennedy to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles.

    Dominican Republic — The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests.

    Ecuador — The CIA-backed military forces the democratically elected President Jose Velasco to resign. Vice President Carlos Arosemana replaces him; the CIA fills the now vacant vice presidency with its own man.

    Congo (Zaire) — The CIA assassinates the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba. However, public support for Lumumba’s politics runs so high that the CIA cannot clearly install his opponents in power. Four years of political turmoil follow.

    1963

    Dominican Republic — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Juan Bosch in a military coup. The CIA installs a repressive, right-wing junta.

    Ecuador — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights.

    1964

    Brazil — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down “communists” for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these “communists” are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads.

    1965

    Indonesia — The CIA overthrows the democratically elected Sukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civilians accused of being “communist.” The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects.

    Dominican Republic — A popular rebellion breaks out, promising to reinstall Juan Bosch as the country’s elected leader. The revolution is crushed when U.S. Marines land to uphold the military regime by force. The CIA directs everything behind the scenes.

    Greece — With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece.

    Congo (Zaire) — A CIA-backed military coup installs Mobutu Sese Seko as dictator. The hated and repressive Mobutu exploits his desperately poor country for billions.

    1966

    The Ramparts Affair — The radical magazine Ramparts begins a series of unprecedented anti-CIA articles. Among their scoops: the CIA has paid the University of Michigan $25 million dollars to hire “professors” to train South Vietnamese students in covert police methods. MIT and other universities have received similar payments. Ramparts also reveals that the National Students’ Association is a CIA front. Students are sometimes recruited through blackmail and bribery, including draft deferments.

    1967

    Greece — A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government two days before the elections. The favorite to win was George Papandreous, the liberal candidate. During the next six years, the “reign of the colonels” — backed by the CIA — will usher in the widespread use of torture and murder against political opponents. When a Greek ambassador objects to President Johnson about U.S. plans for Cypress, Johnson tells him: “Fuck your parliament and your constitution.”

    Operation PHEONIX — The CIA helps South Vietnamese agents identify and then murder alleged Viet Cong leaders operating in South Vietnamese villages. According to a 1971 congressional report, this operation killed about 20,000 “Viet Cong.”

    1968

    Operation CHAOS — The CIA has been illegally spying on American citizens since 1959, but with Operation CHAOS, President Johnson dramatically boosts the effort. CIA agents go undercover as student radicals to spy on and disrupt campus organizations protesting the Vietnam War. They are searching for Russian instigators, which they never find. CHAOS will eventually spy on 7,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations.

    Bolivia — A CIA-organized military operation captures legendary guerilla Che Guevara. The CIA wants to keep him alive for interrogation, but the Bolivian government executes him to prevent worldwide calls for clemency.

    1969

    Uruguay — The notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. “The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect,” is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’. He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.

    1970

    Cambodia — The CIA overthrows Prince Sahounek, who is highly popular among Cambodians for keeping them out of the Vietnam War. He is replaced by CIA puppet Lon Nol, who immediately throws Cambodian troops into battle. This unpopular move strengthens once minor opposition parties like the Khmer Rouge, which achieves power in 1975 and massacres millions of its own people.

    1971

    Bolivia — After half a decade of CIA-inspired political turmoil, a CIA-backed military coup overthrows the leftist President Juan Torres. In the next two years, dictator Hugo Banzer will have over 2,000 political opponents arrested without trial, then tortured, raped and executed.

    Haiti — “Papa Doc” Duvalier dies, leaving his 19-year old son “Baby Doc” Duvalier the dictator of Haiti. His son continues his bloody reign with full knowledge of the CIA.

    1972

    The Case-Zablocki Act — Congress passes an act requiring congressional review of executive agreements. In theory, this should make CIA operations more accountable. In fact, it is only marginally effective.

    Cambodia — Congress votes to cut off CIA funds for its secret war in Cambodia.

    Wagergate Break-in — President Nixon sends in a team of burglars to wiretap Democratic offices at Watergate. The team members have extensive CIA histories, including James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and five of the Cuban burglars. They work for the Committee to Reelect the President (CREEP), which does dirty work like disrupting Democratic campaigns and laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions. CREEP’s activities are funded and organized by another CIA front, the Mullen Company.

    1973

    Chile — The CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically elected socialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousands of his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left.

    CIA begins internal investigations — William Colby, the Deputy Director for Operations, orders all CIA personnel to report any and all illegal activities they know about. This information is later reported to Congress.

    Watergate Scandal — The CIA’s main collaborating newspaper in America, The Washington Post, reports Nixon’s crimes long before any other newspaper takes up the subject. The two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, make almost no mention of the CIA’s many fingerprints all over the scandal. It is later revealed that Woodward was a Naval intelligence briefer to the White House, and knows many important intelligence figures, including General Alexander Haig. His main source, “Deep Throat,” is probably one of those.

    CIA Director Helms Fired — President Nixon fires CIA Director Richard Helms for failing to help cover up the Watergate scandal. Helms and Nixon have always disliked each other. The new CIA director is William Colby, who is relatively more open to CIA reform.

    1974

    CHAOS exposed — Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh publishes a story about Operation CHAOS, the domestic surveillance and infiltration of anti-war and civil rights groups in the U.S. The story sparks national outrage.

    Angleton fired — Congress holds hearings on the illegal domestic spying efforts of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence. His efforts included mail-opening campaigns and secret surveillance of war protesters. The hearings result in his dismissal from the CIA.

    House clears CIA in Watergate — The House of Representatives clears the CIA of any complicity in Nixon’s Watergate break-in.

    The Hughes Ryan Act — Congress passes an amendment requiring the president to report nonintelligence CIA operations to the relevant congressional committees in a timely fashion.

    1975

    Australia — The CIA helps topple the democratically elected, left-leaning government of Prime Minister Edward Whitlam. The CIA does this by giving an ultimatum to its Governor-General, John Kerr. Kerr, a longtime CIA collaborator, exercises his constitutional right to dissolve the Whitlam government. The Governor-General is a largely ceremonial position appointed by the Queen; the Prime Minister is democratically elected. The use of this archaic and never-used law stuns the nation.

    Angola — Eager to demonstrate American military resolve after its defeat in Vietnam, Henry Kissinger launches a CIA-backed war in Angola. Contrary to Kissinger’s assertions, Angola is a country of little strategic importance and not seriously threatened by communism. The CIA backs the brutal leader of UNITAS, Jonas Savimbi. This polarizes Angolan politics and drives his opponents into the arms of Cuba and the Soviet Union for survival. Congress will cut off funds in 1976, but the CIA is able to run the war off the books until 1984, when funding is legalized again. This entirely pointless war kills over 300,000 Angolans.

    “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” — Victor Marchetti and John Marks publish this whistle-blowing history of CIA crimes and abuses. Marchetti has spent 14 years in the CIA, eventually becoming an executive assistant to the Deputy Director of Intelligence. Marks has spent five years as an intelligence official in the State Department.

    “Inside the Company” — Philip Agee publishes a diary of his life inside the CIA. Agee has worked in covert operations in Latin America during the 60s, and details the crimes in which he took part.

    Congress investigates CIA wrong-doing — Public outrage compels Congress to hold hearings on CIA crimes. Senator Frank Church heads the Senate investigation (“The Church Committee”), and Representative Otis Pike heads the House investigation. (Despite a 98 percent incumbency reelection rate, both Church and Pike are defeated in the next elections.) The investigations lead to a number of reforms intended to increase the CIA’s accountability to Congress, including the creation of a standing Senate committee on intelligence. However, the reforms prove ineffective, as the Iran/Contra scandal will show. It turns out the CIA can control, deal with or sidestep Congress with ease.

    The Rockefeller Commission — In an attempt to reduce the damage done by the Church Committee, President Ford creates the “Rockefeller Commission” to whitewash CIA history and propose toothless reforms. The commission’s namesake, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, is himself a major CIA figure. Five of the commission’s eight members are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a CIA-dominated organization.

    1979

    Iran — The CIA fails to predict the fall of the Shah of Iran, a longtime CIA puppet, and the rise of Muslim fundamentalists who are furious at the CIA’s backing of SAVAK, the Shah’s bloodthirsty secret police. In revenge, the Muslims take 52 Americans hostage in the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

    Afghanistan — The Soviets invade Afghanistan. The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt. Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry. One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in the World Trade Center bombing in New York.

    El Salvador — An idealistic group of young military officers, repulsed by the massacre of the poor, overthrows the right-wing government. However, the U.S. compels the inexperienced officers to include many of the old guard in key positions in their new government. Soon, things are back to “normal” — the military government is repressing and killing poor civilian protesters. Many of the young military and civilian reformers, finding themselves powerless, resign in disgust.

    Nicaragua — Anastasios Samoza II, the CIA-backed dictator, falls. The Marxist Sandinistas take over government, and they are initially popular because of their commitment to land and anti-poverty reform. Samoza had a murderous and hated personal army called the National Guard. Remnants of the Guard will become the Contras, who fight a CIA-backed guerilla war against the Sandinista government throughout the 1980s.

    1980

    El Salvador — The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter “Christian to Christian” to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority. CIA-trained death squads roam the countryside, committing atrocities like that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some 63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.

    1981

    Iran/Contra Begins — The CIA begins selling arms to Iran at high prices, using the profits to arm the Contras fighting the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. President Reagan vows that the Sandinistas will be “pressured” until “they say ‘uncle.’” The CIA’s Freedom Fighter’s Manual disbursed to the Contras includes instruction on economic sabotage, propaganda, extortion, bribery, blackmail, interrogation, torture, murder and political assassination.

    1983

    Honduras — The CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual – 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious “Battalion 316” then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered.

    1984

    The Boland Amendment — The last of a series of Boland Amendments is passed. These amendments have reduced CIA aid to the Contras; the last one cuts it off completely. However, CIA Director William Casey is already prepared to “hand off” the operation to Colonel Oliver North, who illegally continues supplying the Contras through the CIA’s informal, secret, and self-financing network. This includes “humanitarian aid” donated by Adolph Coors and William Simon, and military aid funded by Iranian arms sales.

    1986

    Eugene Hasenfus — Nicaragua shoots down a C-123 transport plane carrying military supplies to the Contras. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, turns out to be a CIA employee, as are the two dead pilots. The airplane belongs to Southern Air Transport, a CIA front. The incident makes a mockery of President Reagan’s claims that the CIA is not illegally arming the Contras.

    Iran/Contra Scandal — Although the details have long been known, the Iran/Contra scandal finally captures the media’s attention in 1986. Congress holds hearings, and several key figures (like Oliver North) lie under oath to protect the intelligence community. CIA Director William Casey dies of brain cancer before Congress can question him. All reforms enacted by Congress after the scandal are purely cosmetic.

    Haiti — Rising popular revolt in Haiti means that “Baby Doc” Duvalier will remain “President for Life” only if he has a short one. The U.S., which hates instability in a puppet country, flies the despotic Duvalier to the South of France for a comfortable retirement. The CIA then rigs the upcoming elections in favor of another right-wing military strongman. However, violence keeps the country in political turmoil for another four years. The CIA tries to strengthen the military by creating the National Intelligence Service (SIN), which suppresses popular revolt through torture and assassination.

    1989

    Panama — The U.S. invades Panama to overthrow a dictator of its own making, General Manuel Noriega. Noriega has been on the CIA’s payroll since 1966, and has been transporting drugs with the CIA’s knowledge since 1972. By the late 80s, Noriega’s growing independence and intransigence have angered Washington… so out he goes.

    1990

    Haiti — Competing against 10 comparatively wealthy candidates, leftist priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide captures 68 percent of the vote. After only eight months in power, however, the CIA-backed military deposes him. More military dictators brutalize the country, as thousands of Haitian refugees escape the turmoil in barely seaworthy boats. As popular opinion calls for Aristide’s return, the CIA begins a disinformation campaign painting the courageous priest as mentally unstable.

    1991

    The Gulf War — The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas. It also gave him all the military might he needed to conduct further adventurism — in Kuwait, for example.

    The Fall of the Soviet Union — The CIA fails to predict this most important event of the Cold War. This suggests that it has been so busy undermining governments that it hasn’t been doing its primary job: gathering and analyzing information. The fall of the Soviet Union also robs the CIA of its reason for existence: fighting communism. This leads some to accuse the CIA of intentionally failing to predict the downfall of the Soviet Union. Curiously, the intelligence community’s budget is not significantly reduced after the demise of communism.

    1992

    Economic Espionage — In the years following the end of the Cold War, the CIA is increasingly used for economic espionage. This involves stealing the technological secrets of competing foreign companies and giving them to American ones. Given the CIA’s clear preference for dirty tricks over mere information gathering, the possibility of serious criminal behavior is very great indeed.

    1993

    Haiti — The chaos in Haiti grows so bad that President Clinton has no choice but to remove the Haitian military dictator, Raoul Cedras, on threat of U.S. invasion. The U.S. occupiers do not arrest Haiti’s military leaders for crimes against humanity, but instead ensure their safety and rich retirements. Aristide is returned to power only after being forced to accept an agenda favorable to the country’s ruling class.

    EPILOGUE

    In a speech before the CIA celebrating its 50th anniversary, President Clinton said: “By necessity, the American people will never know the full story of your courage.”

    Clinton’s is a common defense of the CIA: namely, the American people should stop criticizing the CIA because they don’t know what it really does. This, of course, is the heart of the problem in the first place. An agency that is above criticism is also above moral behavior and reform. Its secrecy and lack of accountability allows its corruption to grow unchecked.

    Furthermore, Clinton’s statement is simply untrue. The history of the agency is growing painfully clear, especially with the declassification of historical CIA documents. We may not know the details of specific operations, but we do know, quite well, the general behavior of the CIA. These facts began emerging nearly two decades ago at an ever-quickening pace. Today we have a remarkably accurate and consistent picture, repeated in country after country, and verified from countless different directions.

    The CIA’s response to this growing knowledge and criticism follows a typical historical pattern. (Indeed, there are remarkable parallels to the Medieval Church’s fight against the Scientific Revolution.) The first journalists and writers to reveal the CIA’s criminal behavior were harassed and censored if they were American writers, and tortured and murdered if they were foreigners. (See Philip Agee’s On the Run for an example of early harassment.) However, over the last two decades the tide of evidence has become overwhelming, and the CIA has found that it does not have enough fingers to plug every hole in the dike. This is especially true in the age of the Internet, where information flows freely among millions of people. Since censorship is impossible, the Agency must now defend itself with apologetics. Clinton’s “Americans will never know” defense is a prime example.

    Another common apologetic is that “the world is filled with unsavory characters, and we must deal with them if we are to protect American interests at all.” There are two things wrong with this. First, it ignores the fact that the CIA has regularly spurned alliances with defenders of democracy, free speech and human rights, preferring the company of military dictators and tyrants. The CIA had moral options available to them, but did not take them.

    Second, this argument begs several questions. The first is: “Which American interests?” The CIA has courted right-wing dictators because they allow wealthy Americans to exploit the country’s cheap labor and resources. But poor and middle-class Americans pay the price whenever they fight the wars that stem from CIA actions, from Vietnam to the Gulf War to Panama. The second begged question is: “Why should American interests come at the expense of other peoples’ human rights?”

    The CIA should be abolished, its leadership dismissed and its relevant members tried for crimes against humanity. Our intelligence community should be rebuilt from the ground up, with the goal of collecting and analyzing information. As for covert action, there are two moral options. The first one is to eliminate covert action completely. But this gives jitters to people worried about the Adolf Hitlers of the world. So a second option is that we can place covert action under extensive and true democratic oversight. For example, a bipartisan Congressional Committee of 40 members could review and veto all aspects of CIA operations upon a majority or super-majority vote. Which of these two options is best may be the subject of debate, but one thing is clear: like dictatorship, like monarchy, unaccountable covert operations should die like the dinosaurs they are.

    Endnotes:

    1. All history concerning CIA intervention in foreign countries is summarized from William Blum’s encyclopedic work, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). Sources for domestic CIA operations come from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1997).

    2. Coleman McCarthy, “The Consequences of Covert Tactics” Washington Post, December 13, 1987.

    US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran

    Funding for terrorist activities in Iran comes directly from the CIA's classified budget.

    US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran

    By William Lowther in Washington DC and Colin Freeman

    02/25/07 "Sunday Telegraph" — — America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.

    In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions.

    The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.

    In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.

    Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran's 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.

    Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

    His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."

    Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long claimed to detect the hand of both America and Britain in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces. Last Monday, Iran publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan. An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and US-made.

    Yesterday, Iranian forces also claimed to have killed 17 rebels described as "mercenary elements" in clashes near the Turkish border, which is a stronghold of the Pejak, a Kurdish militant party linked to Turkey's outlawed PKK Kurdistan Workers' Party.

    John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: "The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity."

    Such a policy is fraught with risk, however. Many of the groups share little common cause with Washington other than their opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime they accuse of stepping up repression of minority rights and culture.

    The Baluchistan-based Brigade of God group, which last year kidnapped and killed eight Iranian soldiers, is a volatile Sunni organisation that many fear could easily turn against Washington after taking its money.

    A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to "unleash" the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime.

    The group is currently listed by the US state department as terrorist organisation, but Mr Pike said: "A faction in the Defence Department wants to unleash them. They could never overthrow the current Iranian regime but they might cause a lot of damage."

    At present, none of the opposition groups are much more than irritants to Teheran, but US analysts believe that they could become emboldened if the regime was attacked by America or Israel. Such a prospect began to look more likely last week, as the UN Security Council deadline passed for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment programme, and a second American aircraft carrier joined the build up of US naval power off Iran's southern coastal waters.

    The US has also moved six heavy bombers from a British base on the Pacific island of Diego Garcia to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which could allow them to carry out strikes on Iran without seeking permission from Downing Street.

    While Tony Blair reiterated last week that Britain still wanted a diplomatic solution to the crisis, US Vice-President Dick Cheney yesterday insisted that military force was a real possibility.

    "It would be a serious mistake if a nation like Iran were to become a nuclear power," Mr Cheney warned during a visit to Australia. "All options are still on the table."

    The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in London tomorrow to discuss further punitive measures against Iran [not against the United States which supports terrorists – E.D.] Sanctions barring the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how were imposed in December. Additional penalties might include a travel ban on senior Iranian officials and restrictions on non-nuclear business.

    Additional reporting by Gethin Chamberlain.

    State Department Presents No Evidence That Cuba Is a Terrorist State

    [The author was the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, under Presidents Carter and  Reagan, until he quit as Reagan moved to end people to people travel and  exchanges, and re-imposed U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba. Amb. Smith is  currently at Johns Hopkins University and the Center for International  Policy, www.ciponline.org. — Art]

     State Department Presents No Evidence That Cuba Is a Terrorist State

     By Wayne S. Smith, Center for International Policy  May 9, 2006, Washington, D.C.

     In the case of Cuba, the State Department’s annual report on "State  Sponsors of Terrorism," issued on April 28 of 2006, is a complete dud. It  presents not a shred of evidence to confirm that Cuba is in fact a  terrorist state – nothing!

     It says, for example, that: "Cuba did not attempt to track, block, or seize  terrorist assets, although the authority to do so is contained in Cuba’s  Law 93 Against Acts of Terrorism, as well as Instruction 19 of the  Superintendent of the Cuban Central Bank."

     But the obvious response to that is "what assets?" There is no evidence at  all that al-Qaeda or any other foreign terrorist organization has any  assets in Cuba. And so, there is nothing to seize. The statement does make  clear, however, that Cuba has laws on the books against acts of terrorism!

     The report goes on to complain that: "To date, the Cuban government has  taken no action against al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups."

     But, again, the charge is a non sequitur. Neither al-Qaeda nor any other  terrorist group has a presence in Cuba and thus it is not at all clear what  "action" Cuba could take against them.

     The report complains further that: "Cuba did not undertake any  counterterrorism efforts in international or regional fora."

     But this is not really true. Cuba has signed all twelve of the UN’s  anti-terrorist resolutions. It also condemned the terrorist attacks on 9/11  and expressed its solidarity with the American people. Subsequently, the  Cuban government offered to sign a bi-lateral agreement with the United  States to cooperate in the struggle against terrorism. The Bush  administration ignored the offer.

     As though grasping for something – anything! – to say, the report complains  that Cuba "maintains friendly ties with Iran and North Korea." True, but  unless there is some evidence that those ties extend to cooperation in  terrorist activities or planning – and no such evidence is presented –,  they are not pertinent to the question of whether Cuba is or is not a  "terrorist state."

     The report repeats its annual complaint that Cuba permits American  fugitives to live in Cuba and is not responsive to U.S. requests that they  be extradited.

     There are American fugitives in Cuba, yes. Most are hijackers who came in  the 1970s and have lived in Cuba since then. There are a number, probably 7  or 8,  wanted for crimes in the United States, and it is true that Cuba has  not responded positively to U.S. requests for their extradition. But two  things must be noted about that. First, the 1904 extradition treaty is for  all practical purposes no longer operative because the U.S. has not honored  a single Cuban request for extradition since 1959. Second, by and large,  the "crimes" committed in the U.S. had a political background, and Article  VI of the old 1904 treaty excludes the extradition of those whose crimes  had a "political character."

     Further, as Robert Muse, an international lawyer, noted in a report on the  matter back in 2004, none of the U.S. fugitives in Cuba provides a basis  for declaring Cuba to be a "state sponsor of terrorism." Legal authority to  make such a designation is found in section 6(j) of the 1979 Export  Administration Act, and under that section, it would have to be  demonstrated that the fugitives had committed "terrorist" acts and that  those acts were "international" in character. Muse states that he has been  unable to identify a single U.S. fugitive in Cuba who meets those twofold  criteria. And so, the fugitives are extraneous to the definition of Cuba as  a "state sponsor of terrorism."[1]

     Strangely, the report raises the case of Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban  exile arch-terrorist charged with the bombing of a Cubana airliner back in  1976 with the loss of 73 lives, for other terrorist acts in Cuba and for  planning the assassination of Fidel Castro in Panama in the year 2000,  under circumstances that could have cost the lives of hundreds. The report  says Cuba demands that he be surrendered to them. This is inaccurate. It is  the government of Venezuela that has requested his extradition, which the  United States, without legal grounds, has refused. Posada Carriles is being  held in custody in El Paso, Texas. Clearly, he has received preferential  treatment from the U.S. government. Otherwise, he would have been deported  to Venezuela or tried here for his crimes. He joins a list of other exile  terrorists being sheltered by the U.S. Orlando Bosch, who also participated  in the bombing of the Cubana airliner back in 1976, is probably the most  notorious of these. It would appear from this report, then, that it is the  United States and not Cuba that is harboring terrorists!

     As it does every year, the report mentions the presence in Cuba of members  of the Basque ETA guerrilla organization, and the Colombian FARC and ELN.  In past years, the State Department had tried to suggest that they were in  Cuba against the wishes of their respective governments and had sinister  objectives, but that suggestion has been shot down year after year by  representatives of the Colombian and Spanish governments. This year, no  such allegations are made. It is acknowledged that they are living in Cuba  legally. Further, the report states that: "There is no information  concerning terrorist activities of these or other organizations on Cuban  territory..The United States is not aware of specific terrorist enclaves in  the country."

     If they are there legally and are not involved in terrorist activities,  then how does their presence in any way lead to the conclusion that Cuba is  a "state sponsor of terrorism?"

     Indeed, how does anything in this report lead to that conclusion?

     [1] See The Center for International Policy’s International Policy Report,  "Cuba Should Not be on the Terrorist List," November 2004, pp.4-5.

     Center for International Policy  (202) 232-3317

    The New Commandment on Political Murders: Thou Shalt Not Kill?But We Will

    The New Commandment on Political Murders: Thou Shalt Not Kill”But We Will

    by Prof.  Liaquat Ali Khan

    In: Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel
    http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2005/102905AliKhan.shtml

    The US, as the sole superpower, is of course above and beyond all commandments.
    The September 11 attacks have changed American law and foreign policy regarding political murders. Since the 1970s, when a Congressional Committee exposed the CIA plots to murder Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders, the President’s law embodied in Executive Orders has prohibited government employees from directly or indirectly engaging in assassinations. That law seems to have been secretly revoked. The President may do so for national security reasons. Even if the Executive Order prohibiting assassinations is still law, its language is open to interpretation. Given the bad faith interpretations that government lawyers have made to undermine the laws of war and torture, do not be surprised if the Executive Order is reinterpreted to allow domestic – yes domestic – and foreign political murders. If the law has indeed been revoked, the President’s hand is freer.

    Not only the law but also US foreign policy has changed with respect to political murders, casting away years of international efforts to forbid extra-judicial killings. The new US commandment is: Thou shall not kill – but we will. The word “thou? in the commandment is a bit convoluted. It means Syria and other disfavored states. It does not include Israel and other allies. The US, as the sole superpower, is of course above and beyond all commandments. Under the new commandment, the US reserves the right to murder whomever it pleases, to condemn or condone political murders as it pleases. Here are three episodes that illuminate the new commandment.

    Condemning Political Murder
    Take the political murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A UN commission has concluded that since the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services were closely allied in Lebanon, “it would be difficult to envisage a scenario whereby such a complex assassination plot could have been carried out without their knowledge.” The commission also accuses Syrian security officials of giving false or inaccurate information. However, the commission is emphatic in saying that the investigation is incomplete and that “the full picture of the assassination can only be reached through an extensive and credible investigation.”

    The UN report provides a basis, however thin, for the US ruling group to slash the Syrian throat. After Iraq, Syria has been the perfect next target for a while. The US ruling group needs new subterfuges to sustain the failing war on terror. Pouncing on the opportunity, Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice has already convicted the entire Syrian government. The UN report cannot be “left lying on the table,” she said. The military option is always there, President Bush announced on Al Arabiya television. Neocons agree wholeheartedly. Punishing Syria would also delight Prime Minister Sharon, whose own involvement in the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres in Lebanon was not even referred to any UN investigation commission.

    Condoning Political Murder
    That takes us to Sharon-sponsored political murders. In March 2004, Sharon ordered the murder of blind quadriplegic Sheikh Ahmad Y