Rebels “democracy: little girl chained just because Shiite (as Assad).
Posted on 23 June 2013.
Posted on 23 June 2013.
More than 7-billion-dollar worth of military equipment is no longer needed, or would be too expensive to ship back to the United States, and much of it is being shredded and sold locally as scrap metal, the Post reported, citing US military officials.
Donating the gear to the Afghan government is difficult because of complicated bureaucratic rules, plus US officials do not believe the Afghans could maintain the gear.
Plus, it would also be too expensive to sell or donate the gear to allied nations because of the cost of getting the equipment out of Afghanistan.
Items being shredded by contract workers from Nepal and other countries for sale as scrap metal include mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, the Post said.
More than 24,000 MRAPs were built for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan starting in 2007 in a crash program that cost some 45 billion dollars, according to Pentagon figures.
The MRAPs’ V-shaped hulls help deflect the force of explosions, and the vehicle’s higher chassis keeps troops further from the main force of the blast from improvised explosive devices.
US commanders believe the MRAPs helped save thousands of soldiers’ lives, and cite figures that show the number of casualties from IEDs dropped more than 80 percent after the vehicles were introduced.
Some 2,000 of the 11,000 MRAPs in Afghanistan have been labeled “excess,” the Post reported.
“We’re making history doing what we’re doing here,” Major General Kurt Stein, who is overseeing the Afghanistan drawdown, told the newspaper. “This is the largest retrograde mission in history.”
When the US military withdrew from Iraq it drove much of its gear across the border into Kuwait, sent it back home on ships, or donated it to the Iraqi army, which has the infrastructure to maintain vehicles with complicated mechanics.
US officials however told the Post they do not believe the Afghan army could maintain such vehicles or other sophisticated equipment.
Posted on 23 June 2013.
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s presidentBen Aris in Berlin and
His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott Bush’s behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the “Bush/Nazi” connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.
Remarkably, little of Bush’s dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush’s business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.
While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.
Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.
Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler’s efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One of the pillars in Thyssen’s international corporate web, UBC, worked exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush’s links to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still involved in the company when Thyssen’s American assets were seized in 1942.
Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush’s involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of Maryland.
The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen.
The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942 the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of Prescott Bush’s ventures, had also been seized.
The third set of documents, also at the National Archives, are contained in the files on IG Farben, who was prosecuted for war crimes.
A report issued by the Office of Alien Property Custodian in 1942 stated of the companies that “since 1939, these (steel and mining) properties have been in possession of and have been operated by the German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable assistance to that country’s war effort”.
Prescott Bush, a 6ft 4in charmer with a rich singing voice, was the founder of the Bush political dynasty and was once considered a potential presidential candidate himself. Like his son, George, and grandson, George W, he went to Yale where he was, again like his descendants, a member of the secretive and influential Skull and Bones student society. He was an artillery captain in the first world war and married Dorothy Walker, the daughter of George Herbert Walker, in 1921.
In 1924, his father-in-law, a well-known St Louis investment banker, helped set him up in business in New York with Averill Harriman, the wealthy son of railroad magnate E H Harriman in New York, who had gone into banking.
One of the first jobs Walker gave Bush was to manage UBC. Bush was a founding member of the bank and the incorporation documents, which list him as one of seven directors, show he owned one share in UBC worth $125.
The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush’s father-in-law to provide a US bank for the Thyssens, Germany’s most powerful industrial family.
August Thyssen, the founder of the dynasty had been a major contributor to Germany’s first world war effort and in the 1920s, he and his sons Fritz and Heinrich established a network of overseas banks and companies so their assets and money could be whisked offshore if threatened again.
By the time Fritz Thyssen inherited the business empire in 1926, Germany’s economic recovery was faltering. After hearing Adolf Hitler speak, Thyssen became mesmerised by the young firebrand. He joined the Nazi party in December 1931 and admits backing Hitler in his autobiography, I Paid Hitler, when the National Socialists were still a radical fringe party. He stepped in several times to bail out the struggling party: in 1928 Thyssen had bought the Barlow Palace on Briennerstrasse, in Munich, which Hitler converted into the Brown House, the headquarters of the Nazi party. The money came from another Thyssen overseas institution, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvarrt in Rotterdam.
By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world’s largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war.
Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping to $1m only on a few occasions.
In 1941, Thyssen fled Germany after falling out with Hitler but he was captured in France and detained for the remainder of the war.
There was nothing illegal in doing business with the Thyssens throughout the 1930s and many of America’s best-known business names invested heavily in the German economic recovery. However, everything changed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Even then it could be argued that BBH was within its rights continuing business relations with the Thyssens until the end of 1941 as the US was still technically neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The trouble started on July 30 1942 when the New York Herald-Tribune ran an article entitled “Hitler’s Angel Has $3m in US Bank”. UBC’s huge gold purchases had raised suspicions that the bank was in fact a “secret nest egg” hidden in New York for Thyssen and other Nazi bigwigs. The Alien Property Commission (APC) launched an investigation.
There is no dispute over the fact that the US government seized a string of assets controlled by BBH – including UBC and SAC – in the autumn of 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy act. What is in dispute is if Harriman, Walker and Bush did more than own these companies on paper.
Erwin May, a treasury attache and officer for the department of investigation in the APC, was assigned to look into UBC’s business. The first fact to emerge was that Roland Harriman, Prescott Bush and the other directors didn’t actually own their shares in UBC but merely held them on behalf of Bank voor Handel. Strangely, no one seemed to know who owned the Rotterdam-based bank, including UBC’s president.
May wrote in his report of August 16 1941: “Union Banking Corporation, incorporated August 4 1924, is wholly owned by the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My investigation has produced no evidence as to the ownership of the Dutch bank. Mr Cornelis [sic] Lievense, president of UBC, claims no knowledge as to the ownership of the Bank voor Handel but believes it possible that Baron Heinrich Thyssen, brother of Fritz Thyssen, may own a substantial interest.”
May cleared the bank of holding a golden nest egg for the Nazi leaders but went on to describe a network of companies spreading out from UBC across Europe, America and Canada, and how money from voor Handel travelled to these companies through UBC.
By September May had traced the origins of the non-American board members and found that Dutchman HJ Kouwenhoven – who met with Harriman in 1924 to set up UBC – had several other jobs: in addition to being the managing director of voor Handel he was also the director of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin and a director of Fritz Thyssen’s Union Steel Works, the holding company that controlled Thyssen’s steel and coal mine empire in Germany.
Within a few weeks, Homer Jones, the chief of the APC investigation and research division sent a memo to the executive committee of APC recommending the US government vest UBC and its assets. Jones named the directors of the bank in the memo, including Prescott Bush’s name, and wrote: “Said stock is held by the above named individuals, however, solely as nominees for the Bank voor Handel, Rotterdam, Holland, which is owned by one or more of the Thyssen family, nationals of Germany and Hungary. The 4,000 shares hereinbefore set out are therefore beneficially owned and help for the interests of enemy nationals, and are vestible by the APC,” according to the memo from the National Archives seen by the Guardian.
Jones recommended that the assets be liquidated for the benefit of the government, but instead UBC was maintained intact and eventually returned to the American shareholders after the war. Some claim that Bush sold his share in UBC after the war for $1.5m – a huge amount of money at the time – but there is no documentary evidence to support this claim. No further action was ever taken nor was the investigation continued, despite the fact UBC was caught red-handed operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank that had partly financed Hitler’s rise to power.
The most tantalising part of the story remains shrouded in mystery: the connection, if any, between Prescott Bush, Thyssen, Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC) and Auschwitz.
Thyssen’s partner in United Steel Works, which had coal mines and steel plants across the region, was Friedrich Flick, another steel magnate who also owned part of IG Farben, the powerful German chemical company.
Flick’s plants in Poland made heavy use of slave labour from the concentration camps in Poland. According to a New York Times article published in March 18 1934 Flick owned two-thirds of CSSC while “American interests” held the rest.
The US National Archive documents show that BBH’s involvement with CSSC was more than simply holding the shares in the mid-1930s. Bush’s friend and fellow “bonesman” Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH, wrote to Averill Harriman in January 1933 warning of problems with CSSC after the Poles started their drive to nationalise the plant. “The Consolidated Silesian Steel Company situation has become increasingly complicated, and I have accordingly brought in Sullivan and Cromwell, in order to be sure that our interests are protected,” wrote Knight. “After studying the situation Foster Dulles is insisting that their man in Berlin get into the picture and obtain the information which the directors here should have. You will recall that Foster is a director and he is particularly anxious to be certain that there is no liability attaching to the American directors.”
But the ownership of the CSSC between 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland and 1942 when the US government vested UBC and SAC is not clear.
“SAC held coal mines and definitely owned CSSC between 1934 and 1935, but when SAC was vested there was no trace of CSSC. All concrete evidence of its ownership disappears after 1935 and there are only a few traces in 1938 and 1939,” says Eva Schweitzer, the journalist and author whose book, America and the Holocaust, is published next month.
Silesia was quickly made part of the German Reich after the invasion, but while Polish factories were seized by the Nazis, those belonging to the still neutral Americans (and some other nationals) were treated more carefully as Hitler was still hoping to persuade the US to at least sit out the war as a neutral country. Schweitzer says American interests were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Nazis bought some out, but not others.
The two Holocaust survivors suing the US government and the Bush family for a total of $40bn in compensation claim both materially benefited from Auschwitz slave labour during the second world war.
Kurt Julius Goldstein, 87, and Peter Gingold, 85, began a class action in America in 2001, but the case was thrown out by Judge Rosemary Collier on the grounds that the government cannot be held liable under the principle of “state sovereignty”.
Jan Lissmann, one of the lawyers for the survivors, said: “President Bush withdrew President Bill Clinton’s signature from the treaty [that founded the court] not only to protect Americans, but also to protect himself and his family.”
Lissmann argues that genocide-related cases are covered by international law, which does hold governments accountable for their actions. He claims the ruling was invalid as no hearing took place.
In their claims, Mr Goldstein and Mr Gingold, honorary chairman of the League of Anti-fascists, suggest the Americans were aware of what was happening at Auschwitz and should have bombed the camp.
The lawyers also filed a motion in The Hague asking for an opinion on whether state sovereignty is a valid reason for refusing to hear their case. A ruling is expected within a month.
The petition to The Hague states: “From April 1944 on, the American Air Force could have destroyed the camp with air raids, as well as the railway bridges and railway lines from Hungary to Auschwitz. The murder of about 400,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims could have been prevented.”
The case is built around a January 22 1944 executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt calling on the government to take all measures to rescue the European Jews. The lawyers claim the order was ignored because of pressure brought by a group of big American companies, including BBH, where Prescott Bush was a director.
Lissmann said: “If we have a positive ruling from the court it will cause [president] Bush huge problems and make him personally liable to pay compensation.”
The US government and the Bush family deny all the claims against them.
In addition to Eva Schweitzer’s book, two other books are about to be published that raise the subject of Prescott Bush’s business history. The author of the second book, to be published next year, John Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time.
“You can’t blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did – bought Nazi stocks – but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?” he said.
“This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich’s defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted,” said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.
“The Union Banking Corporation was a holding company for the Nazis, for Fritz Thyssen,” said Loftus. “At various times, the Bush family has tried to spin it, saying they were owned by a Dutch bank and it wasn’t until the Nazis took over Holland that they realised that now the Nazis controlled the apparent company and that is why the Bush supporters claim when the war was over they got their money back. Both the American treasury investigations and the intelligence investigations in Europe completely bely that, it’s absolute horseshit. They always knew who the ultimate beneficiaries were.”
“There is no one left alive who could be prosecuted but they did get away with it,” said Loftus. “As a former federal prosecutor, I would make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and Averill Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They remained on the boards of these companies knowing that they were of financial benefit to the nation of Germany.”
Loftus said Prescott Bush must have been aware of what was happening in Germany at the time. “My take on him was that he was a not terribly successful in-law who did what Herbert Walker told him to. Walker and Harriman were the two evil geniuses, they didn’t care about the Nazis any more than they cared about their investments with the Bolsheviks.”
What is also at issue is how much money Bush made from his involvement. His supporters suggest that he had one token share. Loftus disputes this, citing sources in “the banking and intelligence communities” and suggesting that the Bush family, through George Herbert Walker and Prescott, got $1.5m out of the involvement. There is, however, no paper trail to this sum.
The third person going into print on the subject is John Buchanan, 54, a Miami-based magazine journalist who started examining the files while working on a screenplay. Last year, Buchanan published his findings in the venerable but small-circulation New Hampshire Gazette under the headline “Documents in National Archives Prove George Bush’s Grandfather Traded With the Nazis – Even After Pearl Harbor”. He expands on this in his book to be published next month – Fixing America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media and the Religious Right.
In the article, Buchanan, who has worked mainly in the trade and music press with a spell as a muckraking reporter in Miami, claimed that “the essential facts have appeared on the internet and in relatively obscure books but were dismissed by the media and Bush family as undocumented diatribes”.
Buchanan suffers from hypermania, a form of manic depression, and when he found himself rebuffed in his initial efforts to interest the media, he responded with a series of threats against the journalists and media outlets that had spurned him. The threats, contained in e-mails, suggested that he would expose the journalists as “traitors to the truth”.
Unsurprisingly, he soon had difficulty getting his calls returned. Most seriously, he faced aggravated stalking charges in Miami, in connection with a man with whom he had fallen out over the best way to publicise his findings. The charges were dropped last month.
Buchanan said he regretted his behaviour had damaged his credibility but his main aim was to secure publicity for the story. Both Loftus and Schweitzer say Buchanan has come up with previously undisclosed documentation.
The Bush family have largely responded with no comment to any reference to Prescott Bush. Brown Brothers Harriman also declined to comment.
The Bush family recently approved a flattering biography of Prescott Bush entitled Duty, Honour, Country by Mickey Herskowitz. The publishers, Rutledge Hill Press, promised the book would “deal honestly with Prescott Bush’s alleged business relationships with Nazi industrialists and other accusations”.
In fact, the allegations are dealt with in less than two pages. The book refers to the Herald-Tribune story by saying that “a person of less established ethics would have panicked … Bush and his partners at Brown Brothers Harriman informed the government regulators that the account, opened in the late 1930s, was ‘an unpaid courtesy for a client’ … Prescott Bush acted quickly and openly on behalf of the firm, served well by a reputation that had never been compromised. He made available all records and all documents. Viewed six decades later in the era of serial corporate scandals and shattered careers, he received what can be viewed as the ultimate clean bill.”
The Prescott Bush story has been condemned by both conservatives and some liberals as having nothing to do with the current president. It has also been suggested that Prescott Bush had little to do with Averill Harriman and that the two men opposed each other politically.
However, documents from the Harriman papers include a flattering wartime profile of Harriman in the New York Journal American and next to it in the files is a letter to the financial editor of that paper from Prescott Bush congratulating the paper for running the profile. He added that Harriman’s “performance and his whole attitude has been a source of inspiration and pride to his partners and his friends”.
The Anti-Defamation League in the US is supportive of Prescott Bush and the Bush family. In a statement last year they said that “rumours about the alleged Nazi ‘ties’ of the late Prescott Bush … have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated … Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathiser.”
However, one of the country’s oldest Jewish publications, the Jewish Advocate, has aired the controversy in detail.
More than 60 years after Prescott Bush came briefly under scrutiny at the time of a faraway war, his grandson is facing a different kind of scrutiny but one underpinned by the same perception that, for some people, war can be a profitable business.
Posted on 23 June 2013.
Last Year Obama Secretly Approved CIA, Military To Provide Training for Syrian Rebels: In US HISTORY, Anything New?
Post Categories: Europe
David S. Cloud and Raja Abdulrahim / The 4th Media News | Saturday, June 22, 2013, 21:52 Beijing
Since late last year, CIA and U.S. military operatives have been teaching Syrian rebels how to use anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns at bases in Jordan and Turkey, according to U.S. and rebel sources.
CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since late last year, months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming them, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.
The covert U.S. training at bases in Jordan and Turkey, along with Obama’s decision this month to supply arms and ammunition to the rebels, have raised hopes among the beleaguered opposition that Washington ultimately will provide heavier weapons as well. So far, the rebels say they lack the weapons they need to regain the offensive in Syria’s bitter civil war.
The tightly constrained U.S. effort reflects Obama’s continuing doubts about getting drawn into a conflict that already has killed more than 100,000 people and the administration’s fears that Islamic militants now leading the war against President Bashar Assad could gain control of advanced U.S. weaponry.
The training has involved fighters from the Free Syrian Army, a loose confederation of rebel groups that the Obama administration has promised to back with expanded military assistance, said a U.S. official, who discussed the effort anonymously because he was not authorized to disclose details.
The number of rebels given U.S. instruction in both countries since the program began could not be determined, but in Jordan, the training involves 20 to 45 insurgents at a time, a rebel commander said.
U.S. special operations teams selected the trainees over the last year when the U.S. military set up regional supply lines to provide the rebels with nonlethal assistance, including uniforms, radios and medical aid.
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event in Akron, Ohio, August 1, 2012. (JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)
The two-week courses include training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, as well as 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a rebel commander in the Syrian province of Dara who helps oversee weapons acquisitions and who asked his name not be used because the program is secret.
The training began last November at a new American base in the desert in southwest Jordan, he said. So far, about 100 rebels from Dara have attended four courses, while rebels from Damascus have attended three courses, he said.
“Those from the CIA, we would sit and talk with them during breaks from training and afterward, they would try to get information on the situation inside” Syria, he said.
The rebels were promised enough armor-piercing anti-tank weapons and other arms to gain a military advantage over Assad’s better-equipped army and security forces, said the Dara commander.
But arms shipments from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, provided with assent from the Americans, took months to arrive and included less than the rebels had expected.
Since last year, the weapons sent through the Dara military council have included four or five Russian-made heavy Concourse anti-tank missiles, 18 14.5-millimeter guns mounted on the backs of pickup trucks and 30 82-millimeter recoilless rifles. The weapons are all Soviet or Russian models but manufactured in other countries, he said.
“I’m telling you, this amount of weapons, once they are spread across the province [of Dara] is considered nothing,” the rebel commander said. “We need more than this to tip the balance or for there to even be a balance of power.”
U.S. officials said the Obama administration and its allies may supply anti-tank weapons to help the rebels destroy armored vehicles used by Assad forces. They are less likely to provide portable anti-aircraft missiles, which the rebels say they need to eliminate Assad’s warplanes. U.S. officials fear those missiles would fall into the hands of the Al Nusra front, the largest of the Islamist militias in the rebel coalition, which the U.S. regards as an Al Qaeda ally.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry is heading to Qatar on Saturday and will talk with other governments backing the rebels. A seniorState Department official told reporters Friday that the talks would include discussions about coordinating deliveries of military aid.
CIA and White House officials declined to comment on the secret training programs. Other U.S. officials confirmed the training, but disputed some of the specific details provided by rebel commanders.
Brig. Gen. Yahya Bittar, who defected as a fighter pilot from Assad’s air force last year and is now head of intelligence for the Free Syrian Army, said training for the last month or so has taken place in Jordan.
The training, conducted by American, Jordanian and French operatives, involves rockets and anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, he said.
Between 80 and 100 rebels from all over Syria have gone through the courses in the last month, he said, but training is continuing. Graduates are sent back across the border to rejoin the battle.
Bittar complained that sufficient weapons had yet to arrive for the rebel forces and said the Americans have not yet told them when they can expect to receive additional arms.
“Just promises, just promises,” he said.
Cloud reported from Washington and Abdulrahim reported from Los Angeles.
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
“LA Times” — WASHINGTON
Posted on 23 June 2013.
Leading liberal Noam Chomsky said yesterday:
The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism. In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history: the drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it [...] All of these operations, they are terror operations.
People hate the country that’s just terrorizing them. That’s not a surprise. Just consider the way we react to acts of terror. That’s the way other people react to [American] acts of terror.
The U.S. is not only killing people whose identity it doesn’t even know (more), but it isalso killing children. And it is using the justifiably-vilified Al Qaeda tactic of killing people attending funerals of those killed – and targeting people attempting to rescue people who have been injured by – our previous strikes.
Chomsky has previously extensively documented U.S. terrorism. As Wikipedia notes:
Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.
They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.
In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.
The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted:
Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.
Odom also said:
By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.
The Washington Post reported in 2010:
The United States has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks.
The head and special agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office said that most terror attacks are committed by our CIA and FBI.
Some in the American military have intentionally tried to “out-terrorize the terrorists”.
As Truthout notes:
Both [specialists Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber] say they saw their mission as a plan to “out-terrorize the terrorists,” in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups.
In the interview with [Scott] Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:
“… a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said – and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y’all’s Humvees and stuff that killed some guys – that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby … that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?
“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”
Terrorism is defined as:
The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
So McCord and Stieber are correct: this constitutes terrorism by American forces in Iraq.
The U.S. has been directly supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorists and providing them arms, money and logistical support in Syria, Libya, Mali, Bosnia, Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries… both before and after 9/11. And see this.
Worldwide, 74% of countries that used torture on an administrative basis were U.S. client states, receiving military and other support to retain power.
Some Specific Examples …
The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister.
The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the former head of Italian counterintelligence admit that NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.
As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this)(Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred).
As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
Nine months earlier, a false flag attack was discussed in order to justify an invasion of the Dominican Republic. Specifically, according to official State Department records, Under Secretary of State Chester Bowles wrote on June 3, 1961:
The Vice President [Lyndon Johnson], [Attorney General] Bob Kennedy, Secretary [of Defense Robert] McNamara, Dick Goodwin [who was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs], [head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] General Lemnitzer, Wyn Coerr, and Ted Achilles were here. Bob McNamara and Lemnitzer stated that under the terms of the contingency paper, they were required to be prepared to move into the island on short order if required to do so, and this, in their opinion, called for substantially more troops that we had in the area. After some discussion we considered two more aircraft carriers, some destroyers, and 12,000 marines should be moved into a position some one hundred miles off the Dominican Republic shore…
The tone of the meeting was deeply disturbing. Bob Kennedy was clearly looking for an excuse to move in on the island. At one point he suggested, apparently seriously, that we might have to blow up the Consulate to provide the rationale.
His general approach, vigorously supported by Dick Goodwin, was that this was a bad government, that there was a strong chance that it might team up with Castro, and that it should be destroyed–with an excuse if possible, without one if necessary.
Rather to my surprise, Bob McNamara seemed to support this view …
The entire spirit of this meeting was profoundly distressing and worrisome, and I left at 8:00 p.m. with a feeling that this spirit which I had seen demonstrated on this occasion and others at the White House by those so close to the President constitutes a further danger of half-cocked action by people with almost no foreign policy experience, who are interested in action for action’s sake, and the devil take the highmost …
[At a subsequent meeting], Bob McNamara went along with their general view that our problem was not to prepare against an overt act by the Dominican Republic but rather to find an excuse for going into the country and upsetting it.
Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
As Chris Floyd and many others have noted, this plan has gone live.
United Press International reported in June 2005:
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
And there is substantial additional evidence of hanky panky in Iraq.
Tags: bombings terrorism terrorist terrorists U.S.
Posted on 23 June 2013.
U.S. military action against Syria would carry the risk of inadvertently hitting a chemical weapons site, President Barack Obama told to PBS television in an interview on Monday.
“Have we mapped all of the chemical weapons facilities inside of Syria to make sure that we don’t drop a bomb on a chemical weapons facility that ends up then dispersing chemical weapons and killing civilians, which is exactly what we’re trying to prevent?” AFP news agency quoted Obama as saying during the interview.
Obama further expressed skepticism over whether setting a no-fly zone or waging a major military offensive against Damascus would save lives or change balance of power on the battlefield.
Supporters of a bold intervention in Syria failed to understand the complexity of the situation as there is no one simple solution, Obama said. “If you set up a no-fly zone, that you may not be actually solving the problem,” he added.
Obama’s show of skepticism over military action in Syria comes after his deputies announced plans to arm vetted Syrian rebels last week.
When asked to respond on calls to shut down Syria’s combat aircraft with American air power, Obama said “the fact of the matter is for example, 90 percent of the deaths that have taken place haven’t been because of air strikes by the Syrian air force.”
“The Syrian Air Force isn’t particularly good. They can’t aim very well,” he said, adding that most of the action was taking place “on the ground.”
He also said the possibility of creating “humanitarian corridor” to safeguard civilians in areas controlled by the opposition, would require bombing raids that could kill more civilians.
“Or if you set up a humanitarian corridor, are you in fact committed not only to stopping aircraft from going that corridor, but also missiles?
“And if so, does that mean that you then have to take out the armaments in Damascus and are you prepared then to bomb Damascus? And what happens if there’s civilian casualties?”
While explaining the complexity of military intervention in Syria, Obama said that “ongoing chaos” cannot continue in Syria.
“We can’t have the situation of ongoing chaos in a major country that borders a country like Jordan which in turn borders Israel,” he said, adding Washington has “serious interests there and not only humanitarian interests.”
The U.S. president in the interview said he opposed siding with the Sunnis in the Syrian conflict as some voices in the region have demanded, saying that would not serve American interests.
The two-year Syrian conflict that has killed at least 95,000 people is increasingly polarizing the region between its two major sects, Sunnis versus Shiites.
The Lebanese Shiite group, Hezbollah, played a key role in supporting Assad regime, which is mainly controlled by minority Allawites, a sect that is an offshoot from Shiite Islam. Meanwhile, Sunni clerics legitimized jihad against Assad regime last week especially after Hezbollah made it public that is in Syria and backing the Syrian troops against rebels.
Obama said the U.S. administration wanted to see a tolerant government in Syria that was “not sectarian.”
Posted on 23 June 2013.
US supervises war games in Jordan amid fears of spillover from Syrian conflict
Under the watchful eye of stern-faced American advisers, hundreds of U.S.-trained Jordanian commandos fanned across this dusty desert plain, holding war games that could eventually form the basis of an assault in Syria.
With the recent deployment of Patriot missiles near the Syrian border, and the mock Syrian accents of those playing the enemy, the message was clear: There is fear of spillover from the Syrian war in this U.S.-allied kingdom, and the potential for a Jordanian role in securing Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles should Bashar Assad’s regime lose control.
Dubbed Eager Lion, the 12-day exercise involves combined land, air and sea maneuvers across the country. It brings together 8,000 personnel from 19 Arab and European nations to train on border security, irregular warfare, terrorism and counterinsurgency.
Marine Corps Lt. Col. Duke Shienle said Syria “is a concern that all our regional partners share.”
The Syrian crisis is “causing all military in the region to increase intensity,” he said as he supervised masked commandos in black uniforms from Jordan and two other Syria neighbors — Iraq and Lebanon — in a mock exercise to free a hijacked aircraft on an airstrip in the eastern Jordanian desert.
Nearby, U.S. military strategists taught Jordanian riot police to quickly contain a mock protest by angry mobs in a crowded refugee camp. The trainers refused to name the camp, but the trainees said it was “Zaatari,” a reference to a refugee settlement straddling the border with Syria that shelters around 185,000 displaced Syrians.
“We want freedom! We want a free Syria!” the trainees shouted, speaking the Syrian dialect as they depicted Syrian refugees. Others looked on from under dusty tents pitched on a strip of desert outside a Jordanian army compound. The location of this exercise and others could not be disclosed in line with Jordanian army regulations.
Elsewhere, in the south, hundreds of masked Jordanian commandos in black uniforms used machine-guns, rocket propellers and tanks to overwhelm an enemy target as Jordanian helicopters and fighter jets — all part of previous American donations — buzzed the skies overhead.
“We want to tell anyone with malicious intentions toward Jordan that we can hit back where it hurts most painfully,” said one Jordanian commando, speaking under scorching sun in the arid mountain region. He could not be named under army regulations and declined to say if the enemy he was fighting was Assad’s army.
Other training focused on humanitarian relief and crisis management and involves 7,000 civilians from non-governmental organizations engaged in providing assistance to Syrian refugees, said Tawfiq Hennawi of the International Committee of the Red Cross, one of the participating NGOs.
Jordan hosts more than half a million Syrians who fled Assad’s military onslaught and that number is expected to rise to 1.2 million by the end of the year.
“These exercises bolster our defense capabilities,” said Jordanian army Maj. Gen. Awni Edwan, adding that the Eager Lion exercises, which end Thursday, are routine, having being held twice before at the same time.
“We don’t intend to attack anybody,” he said.
Jordan has been leery that Assad may eventually use his chemical weapons against his neighbors, or if his regime starts to collapse, his stockpile may fall into the hands of al-Qaida or other militants who are trying to rise to power in Syria.
There has been mounting speculation that should Assad’s regime begin to lose control, Jordan will dispatch its highly-skilled, U.S.-trained and equipped commandos to secure Assad’s chemical weapons and create a safe haven for Syrian refugees along the 230-mile (375-kilometer) border with Jordan, according to a Western diplomat who monitors Syria from his base in Jordan.
The purpose is to prevent a further influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan out of fear that Shiite militants from the Lebanese Hezbollah group or other Iranian agents may slip across the border to destabilize this key U.S. ally, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because identifying him might jeopardize his intelligence-gathering on Syria.
Jordan’s predominantly Sunni Muslim population is traditionally a fiery critic of the growing influence of Iran and its rival Shiite sect.
Regional media reports this week suggesting that Hezbollah activists are deploying near the Jordanian border to help Assad regain control of southern Daraa province— which has been a lifeline for arms shipments to rebels seeking to topple him — sent jitters across Jordan. Officials said that security was immediately beefed up, with more Jordanian soldiers deployed along the border with Syria.
In recent weeks, Assad’s forces have appeared to be regaining control over areas seized by rebels, particularly the strategic town of Qusair.
Jordan also fears that Assad’s sleeper cells, including Hezbollah, may already be in the country and would act if instructed by Iran or Syria, where an uprising that started in 2011 has descended into all-out civil war.
Eager Lion coincides with Washington deploying one or two Patriot batteries along the border with Syria and agreeing to keep a squadron of 12 to 24 F-16 fighter jets after the exercises — a move Syria’s regime and its Russian patron have expressed concern over.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying that the deployment of the air-defense systems in Jordan in order to set up a no-fly zone over Syria would be a violation of international law.
The United States has said it has no plans for military intervention in Syria, although President Barack Obama has left the door open for any possibility.
“With this exercise being the biggest fire power show ever in Jordan, coupled with the deployment of Patriot air defense systems and U.S. fighter jets, it is clear that the ground is being set for military intervention in Syria,” said Col. Khalil Rawahneh, a Jordanian military strategist who participated in at least 16 U.S. and British-sponsored maneuvers until he retired four years ago.
Posted on 22 June 2013.
The producers of an upcoming documentary on TWA Flight 800—which exploded and crashed into the waters off Long Island, N.Y., on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 people on board—claim to have proof that a missile caused the Paris-bound flight to crash. And six former investigators who took part in the film say there was a cover-up and want the case reopened.
“There was a lack of coordination and willful denial of information,” Hank Hughes, a senior accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said on Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. “There were 755 witnesses. At no time was information provided by the witnesses shared by the FBI.”
Jim Speer, an accident investigator at the time of the crash for the Airline Pilots Association, who sifted through the recovered wreckage in a hangar, said he discovered holes consistent with those that would be formed by a high-energy blast in the right wing. He requested it be tested for explosives. When the test came back positive, he said, he was “physically removed” from a room by two CIA agents.
The investigators would not speculate on the reasons for the alleged coverup or who would have fired the missile that they believe took down the plane.
After a four-year investigation, the NTSB concluded the plane was destroyed by a center fuel tank explosion likely caused by a spark from faulty wiring. But according to Tom Stalcup, a co-producer of the documentary, the film presents new “radar and forensic evidence proving that one or more ordnance explosions outside the aircraft caused the crash.” The film will premiere on EPIX on July 17, the 17th anniversary of the disaster.
“These investigators were not allowed to speak to the public or refute any comments made by their superiors and/or NTSB and FBI officials about their work at the time of the official investigation,” anews release announcing the documentary said. “They waited until after retirement to reveal how the official conclusion by the (NTSB) was falsified and lay out their case.”
The investigators filed a petition with the NTSB on Wednesday calling for a new probe. The NTSB had said it would review any petition related to the 1996 crash, which touched off one of the most complex air disaster investigations in U.S. history.
The CIA and FBI conducted a parallel investigation to determine if a bomb or missile had brought down the plane.
Dozens of eyewitnesses in the Long Island area “recalled seeing something resembling a flare or firework ascend and culminate in an explosion,” the CIA said in a 2008 report. “Had the crash been the result of state-sponsored terrorism, it would have been considered an act of war.” Also from the report:
The CIA responded to the FBI’s request within 24 hours of the crash. This support consisted primarily of help from the Counterterrorist Center in the Directorate of Operations and from a small group of analysts in the Office of Weapons, Technology and Proliferation in the Directorate of Intelligence.
But after an eight-month investigation, the CIA “concluded with confidence and full substantiation that the eyewitnesses had not seen a missile.”
The CIA’s deputy director of intelligence wrote in a 1997 memo,”Our analysis demonstrates that the eyewitness sightings of greatest concern to us—the ones originally interpreted to be of a possible missile attack—took place after the first of several explosions aboard the aircraft.”
“We went back and interviewed these people and found them to be quite credible,” Hughes said on Wednesday.
He added: “We have no hidden agenda here—we just want the truth.”
Posted on 22 June 2013.
ed note–the pro-Israel/Muslim haters are creating killers like this who prey on society. How much more before people figure out that this is a national security issue and therefore SHUT DOWN people such as Geller, Pipes, Gaffney, Wilders, et al?
A New York man who allegedly wanted to kill President Obama and apparently blamed him for the recent Boston bombings has been arrested for trying to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway, N.Y., spent months designing and constructing an X-ray system that would emit deadly amounts of radiation and could be detonated remotely, according to the FBI. Crawford recruited Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson, N.Y, to join in the plot, and both were arrested Tuesday, the FBI said.
Crawford and Feight allegedly planned to hide their weapon in a truck and FBI experts said it would have been “functional” and “lethal.”
According to the FBI, Crawford cited “a political figure” and a Muslim organization as “potential targets.” Sources familiar with the investigation identified the “political figure” as Obama.
“Obama’s policies caused this,” Crawford allegedly wrote in a text message on April 15, the day a series of bombings killed three and injured scores more at the Boston marathon.
“He directed the [government] to start bringing [Muslims] here without background checks,” Crawford wrote, according to the FBI. “They don’t have to follow any laws, and this administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up.”
The FBI launched an investigation into Crawford last spring after he allegedly walked into a synagogue in Albany, N.Y., and inquired about technology that could kill “Israel’s enemies while they slept.” The synagogue notified police, and within six weeks the FBI had a source secretly recording meetings with Crawford, according an FBI affidavit filed in the case.
In a June 2012 conversation, Crawford – described by the FBI as a member of the Ku Klux Klan – called his design “Hiroshima on a light switch,” the affidavit said. And in August 2012, Crawford allegedly asked a high-ranking official in the KKK for money to fund his plot. The KKK official informed the FBI, and within weeks two undercover agents posing as KKK members were introduced to Crawford.
Over the next several months, Crawford conducted extensive research for the design, at times expressing frustration over the slow pace of the team’s progress, the FBI affidavit indicated. Ultimately, with help from the undercover agents, Crawford and Feight acquired the necessary parts and even tested the device that would remotely detonate the weapon, according to the FBI. It would all be powered through a truck’s cigarette lighter, the FBI said.
Crawford and Feight planned to meet Tuesday to connect the final components of their weapon, but they were arrested by the FBI.
The pair had met at GE, where Crawford was an industrial mechanic and Feight sometimes worked as an outside contractor due to his engineering skills. But GE has “no reason to believe” any crimes “took place on GE property,” and Crawford has since been suspended, the company said in a statement.
“We are cooperating fully with authorities on their investigation,” said Jim Healy, communications director for GE Power & Water.
Both defendants have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, namely through use of a weapon of mass destruction. The charges came via a criminal complaint, which means a grand jury will decide whether to indict the men if a plea deal is not reached beforehand.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said the public must “remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists,” and the head of the FBI’s field office in Albany, Andrew Vale, said such anti-terrorism efforts “are only successful” with the public’s help.
Posted on 22 June 2013.
Senators from both parties on Tuesday urged President Obama to immediately send weapons to the Syrian opposition and take out President Bashar Assad’s air forces.
Syria is at a “critical juncture” and the United States must do what it can to reverse Assad’s recent gains on the ground, the chairmen of the Foreign Relations and Armed Forces panels, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), wrote in a letter to Obama along with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
The senators pledged their “full support” if Obama takes “decisive military actions in Syria.”
The lawmakers called on the president to send arms to vetted rebel groups, but said such a move would likely be insufficient because the situation is “deteriorating so dramatically.”
“We must also degrade Assad’s ability to use air power and ballistic missiles against civilian populations and opposition forces in Syria,” they wrote. “Such actions could include the targeting of regime airfields, runways, and aircraft on the ground, which would also limit Assad’s ability to transport and resupply his ground forces and those of his allies by air.
“Finally, as part of this military effort, we encourage you to take steps to support the Syrian political and military opposition in creating and defending safe zones inside Syria where they can better organize and unify their efforts.”
The White House announced Thursday that it has concluded that Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons several times, crossing Obama’s red line. White House officials said the administration would respond by giving vetted rebel groups “military assistance,” but Obama has not specified what that means and made it clear in an interview
Monday that he would not rush into a decision.
“I’m ramping up support for both the political and military opposition. I’ve not specified exactly what we’re doing, and I won’t do so on this show,” he told PBS’s Charlie Rose. “I will preserve every option available to me and continually make assessments about what’s in the interests of the United States.”