Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem
Chair of West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 09:37 PM PDT
Many in the Western media and political elites have spent years since 9/11 smearing a litany of Muslim “terrorists” because the US leaked selective information to friendly journalists and leaders. Serious questions were dismissed. The Murdoch press globally loved to hype bogus US claims about the “worst of the worst” at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. So to read today this, in Murdoch’sAustralian by Sally Neighbour, is welcome but when will the self-analysis come, if ever? What of the countless articles sourced solely from US intelligence in the pages of the Murdoch media? Media needs to grow a memory, or the general public will treat you with appropriate contempt:
The secret files released by WikiLeaks on the two Australians formerly consigned to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp provide a unique and disturbing window into the quality of the intelligence relied on by the US to confine terror suspects in the prison camp supposedly reserved for “the worst of the worst”.
The dossiers on Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks reveal the so-called evidence used to justify their incarceration to be a confused mishmash replete with glaring factual errors and inconsistencies, principally based on self-incrimination that would not be admitted in a proper court of law and tainted by the inclusion of information obtained under torture.
The case against Habib is summarised in a memorandum marked “secret” on the letterhead of the Department of Defence Joint Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, dated August 6, 2004, and addressed to the commander of the United States Southern Command in Miami.
The document begins with a “detainee summary”, which is said to be based on Habib’s own statements but is full of factual mistakes. For example, it says Habib lived in “Meadowbark” (a misspelling of Meadowbank) in Sydney in 1980, when he didn’t arrive in Australia until 1982; that he later moved to “Greenwika”, apparently a reference to Sydney’s Greenacre; that he visited Egypt with his wife and children in 1986 when in fact they went in 1988; that he travelled to the US in 1992, which he did not; and so on. These could be dismissed as trivial slips except that this is a quasi-legal document that was used to justify Habib’s detention in Guantanamo for more than three years.
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 06:59 PM PDT
One week after Sydney’s Marrickville BDS vote, the issue continues to resonate globally. I was interviewed late last week by the pro-settler and conservative Jerusalem Post newspaper. The journalist was friendly enough but it was clear I speaking to a man who didn’t see the West Bank as occupied but merely Judea and Samaria (the biblical names for areas controlled by the Zionist state).
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 06:21 PM PDT
An al-Qaida operative accused of bombing two Christian churches and a luxury hotel in Pakistan in 2002 was at the same time working for British intelligence, according to secret files on detainees who were shipped to the US military’sGuantánamo Bay prison camp.
Adil Hadi al Jazairi Bin Hamlili, an Algerian citizen described as a “facilitator, courier, kidnapper, and assassin for al-Qaida”, was detained in Pakistan in 2003 and later sent to Guantánamo Bay.
But according to Hamlili’s Guantánamo “assessment” file, one of 759 individual dossiers obtained by the Guardian, US interrogators were convinced that he was simultaneously acting as an informer for British and Canadian intelligence.
After his capture in June 2003 Hamlili was transferred to Bagram detention centre, north of Kabul, where he underwent numerous “custodial interviews” with CIA personnel.
They found him “to have withheld important information from the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service and British Secret Intelligence Service … and to be a threat to US and allied personnel in Afghanistan and Pakistan”.
The Guardian and the New York Times published a series of reports based on the leaked cache of documents which exposed the flimsy grounds on which many detainees were transferred to the camp and portrayed a system focused overwhelmingly on extracting intelligence from prisoners.
Leading dissident British historian Mark Curtis writes in his last book, Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, that London has routinely helped Islamists in the name of allegedly protecting the homeland.
Posted: 25 Apr 2011 06:06 PM PDT
It’s a sad sight seeing Immigration Minister Chris Bowen talking about punishing asylum seekers for his own government’s mistakes. Any chance he’d like to examine why so many refugees are suffering prolonged mental trauma under his care? Of course not.
With an ongoing protest around Curtin detention centre in Western Australia, activists on the ground there report on what Serco have been doing and it ain’t pretty: