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Pakistan accused of backing Taliban

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Politics

By Sam CollynsSeries Producer, BBC Two’s Secret Pakistan

Pakistan has been accused of playing a double game, acting as America’s ally in public while secretly training and arming its enemy in Afghanistan according to US intelligence.

In a prison cell on the outskirts of Kabul, the Afghan Intelligence Service is holding a young man who alleges he was recruited earlier this year by Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence agency, the ISI.

He says he was trained to be a suicide bomber in the Taliban’s intensifying military campaign against the Western coalition forces – and preparations for his mission were overseen by an ISI officer in a camp in Pakistan.

After 15 days training, he was sent into Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan we saw an insurgency that was not only getting passive support from the Pakistani army and the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, but getting active support”

Bruce RiedelAdviser to President Obama in 2009

“There were three of us. We were put into a black vehicle with black windows. The police did not stop the car because it was obviously ISI. No-one dares stop their cars. They told me… you will receive your explosive waistcoat, and then go and explode it.”

Taliban bases in Pakistan

The man recruited to be a suicide bomber changed his mind at the last minute and was later captured by the Afghan intelligence service.

But his story is consistent with a mass of intelligence which has convinced the Americans that, as they suspected, for the last decade Pakistan has been secretly arming and supporting the Taliban in its attempt to regain control of Afghanistan.

These suspicions started as early as 2002, when the Taliban began launching attacks across the border from their bases in Pakistan, but they became more widely held after 2006 when the Taliban’s assault increased in its ferocity, not least against the ill-prepared British forces in Helmand province.

The final turning point in American eyes was the attack on Mumbai when 10 gunmen rampaged through the Indian city, killing 170 people – two weeks after Barack Obama’s US presidential election victory in November 2008.

Despite Pakistan claiming it played no part in the attack, the CIA later received intelligence that it said showed the ISI were directly involved in training the Mumbai gunmen.

President Obama ordered a review of all intelligence on the region by a veteran CIA officer, Bruce Riedel.

Taliban commander Najib says he was trained by Pakistan military intelligence

“Our own intelligence was unequivocal,” says Riedel. “In Afghanistan we saw an insurgency that was not only getting passive support from the Pakistani army and the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, but getting active support.”

Full article here

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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is greeted by Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi upon arriving at Rome's Ciampino military airport on Wednesday. Pinned to Gadhafi's military uniform was a photo of a Libyan national hero killed by Italian colonial authorities.

Libya's Gadhafi visits Italy, declaring 'new era' in relations with former colonial power

Above is an image of Libya’s Gadhafi visiting Italy in 2009, declaring ‘new era’ in relations with former colonial power

By Bill Van Auken 21 October 2011 wsws.org

The savage killing Thursday of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi served to underscore the criminal character of the war that has been prosecuted by the US and NATO over the past eight months. The assassination follows NATO’s more than month-long siege of Sirte, the Libyan coastal city that was Gaddafi’s hometown and a center of his support. The assault on this city of 100,000 left virtually every building smashed, with untold numbers of civilians dead, wounded and stricken by disease, as they were deprived of food, water, medical care and other basic necessities. Gaddafi was apparently traveling in a convoy of vehicles attempting to break out of the siege after the last bastion of resistance had fallen to the NATO-backed “rebels”. NATO warplanes attacked the convoy at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, leaving a number of vehicles in flames and preventing it from moving forward. Then the armed anti-Gaddafi militias moved in for the kill.

The death of Gaddafi appears to have been part of a larger massacre that has reportedly claimed the lives of a number of his top aides, loyalist fighters and his two sons, Mo’tassim and Saif al-Islam. While details of the killings remain somewhat clouded, photographs and cell phone videos released by the NATO-backed “rebels” clearly show a wounded Gaddafi struggling with his captors and shouting as he is dragged onto the back of a vehicle. His stripped and lifeless body is then shown, drenched in blood. It seems clear that having first been wounded, perhaps in the NATO air strikes, the former Libyan ruler was captured alive and then summarily executed. One photograph shows him with a bullet hole in the head. Gaddafi’s body was then taken west to the city of Misrata, where it was reportedly dragged through the streets before being deposited in a mosque. The fate of the body is politically significant in that it was seized by a Misrata militia faction that is operating under its own command and has no loyalty to the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC), which Washington and NATO have anointed as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Libyan people. Thus this grisly event, which President Barack Obama hailed in the White House Rose Garden Thursday as the advent of “a new and democratic Libya,” in reality only exposes the regional and tribal fault lines that are setting the stage for a protracted period of civil war. Both the US and France claimed credit for their roles in the murder of Gaddafi.

The Pentagon asserted on Thursday that a US Predator drone had fired a Hellfire missile at the ousted Libyan leader’s convoy, while France’s defense minister said that French warplanes had bombed it. The US and NATO had carried out repeated air strikes on Gaddafi’s compounds in Tripoli and other homes where they suspected he was hiding since shortly after the brutal air war against Libya was launched last March. One of these strikes at the end of last April claimed the lives of his youngest son and three young grandchildren. Washington had deployed surveillance planes along with large numbers of drones in an attempt to track down Gaddafi, while US, British and French intelligence agents, special operations troops and military “contractors” operating on the ground also participated in this manhunt. Just two days before the murder of Gaddafi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton staged an unannounced visit to Tripoli on a heavily armed military aircraft. While there, she issued a demand that Gaddafi be brought in “dead or alive”. As the Associated Press reported, Clinton declared “in unusually blunt terms that the United States would like to see former dictator Muammar Gaddafi dead. “‘We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don’t have to fear him any longer’, Clinton told students and others at a town hall-style gathering in the capital city.” The AP went on to note: “Until now, the US has generally avoided saying that Gaddafi should be killed.” Yet in reality, Washington is pursuing an unconcealed policy of state murder. In this case, it has openly advocated and provided every resource to facilitate the killing of a head of state with whom the US government had established close political and commercial relations over the course of the last eight years. The battered corpse of Gaddafi’s son Mo’tassim, who was also captured alive and then executed, was put on display in Misrata. As recently as April 2009 he was warmly welcomed to the US State Department by Hillary Clinton. In his Rose Garden speech Thursday, Obama boasted of his administration having “taken out” Al Qaeda leaders, sounding for the all world like a Mafia don, minus the charm. Among his most recent victims are two US citizens, Anwar Awlaki, the Arizona-born Yemeni-American Muslim cleric, last month and, two weeks later, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman, who was born in Denver. Both had been placed on a “kill list” by a secret National Security Council subcommittee and murdered with Hellfire missiles. Abdulrahman was blown to bits along with his 17-year-old cousin and seven other friends as they ate dinner. The killing of Gaddafi is the culmination of a criminal war that killed untold numbers of Libyans and left most of the country in ruins. This operation was launched on the pretext of protecting civilian lives, based on the trumped up claim that Gaddafi was preparing to lay siege to the eastern city of Benghazi to massacre his opponents. It has ended with NATO orchestrating a siege of Sirte, where thousands have been killed and wounded in suppressing opposition to the “rebels”. From the beginning, the entire operation has been directed at the re-colonization of North Africa and pursued on behalf of US, British, French, Italian and Dutch oil interests. While over the past decade Gaddafi had curried favor with US, Britain, France and other Western powers, striking oil deals, arms agreements and other pacts, US imperialism and its counterparts in Europe continued to see his regime as an impediment to their aims in the region. Among the principal concerns in Washington, London and Paris were the increasing Chinese and Russian economic interests in Libya and more generally Africa as a whole.

China had developed $6.6 billion in bilateral trade, mainly in oil, while some 30,000 Chinese workers were employed in a wide range of infrastructure projects. Russia, meanwhile, had developed extensive oil deals, billions of dollars in arms sales and a $3 billion project to link Sirte and Benghazi by rail. There were also discussions on providing the Russian navy with a Mediterranean port near Benghazi. Gaddafi had provoked the ire of the government of Nicolas Sarkozy in France with his hostility to its scheme for creating a Mediterranean Union, aimed at refurbishing French influence in the country’s former colonies and beyond. Moreover, major US and Western European energy conglomerates increasingly chafed at what they saw as tough contract terms demanded by the Gaddafi government, as well as the threat that the Russian oil company Gazprom would be given a big stake in the exploitation of the country’s reserves. Combined with these economic and geo-strategic motives were political factors. The turn by Gaddafi toward closer relations to the West had allowed Washington and Paris to cultivate elements within his regime who were prepared to collaborate in an imperialist takeover of the country. This includes figures like Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi’s former Justice Minister and now chairman of the NATO-backed NTC and Mahmoud Jibril, the former economics official who is chief of the NTC cabinet. With the popular upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt—on Libya’s western and eastern borders—the US and its NATO allies saw an opportunity to put into operation a plan that had been developed over some time for regime change in Libya. With agents on the ground, they moved to exploit and hijack anti-Gaddafi demonstrations and foment an armed conflict. To prepare for a direct imperialist takeover, they followed a well-worn path, vilifying the country’s leader and promoting the idea that only outside intervention could save innocent civilians from a looming massacre. The supposed imminent destruction of Benghazi was utilized to win support for imperialist war from a whole range of ex-lefts, liberals, academics and human rights advocates, who lent their moral and intellectual weight to an exercise in imperialist aggression and murder.

Figures like University of Michigan Middle Eastern history professor Juan Cole, who had raised limited criticism of the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq, became enthusiastic promoters of the “humanitarian” mission of the Pentagon and NATO in Libya. Representative of an upper middle class social layer that has become a new constituency for imperialism, they were utterly compromised, politically and morally. They were untroubled by the lawlessness of the entire enterprise and the mounting evidence of the murder and torture of immigrants and black Libyans by the so-called rebels. Their attempt to portray the regime change in Libya as a popular revolution becomes more preposterous with each passing day. The unstable puppet regime that is taking shape in Benghazi and Tripoli has been installed through relentless and massive NATO bombing, murder and the wholesale violation of international law. Libya stands as a warning to the world. Any regime that gets in the way of US interests, runs afoul of the major corporations or fails to do the bidding of the NATO powers can be overthrown by military force, with its leaders murdered. Already, the US media, which has staged a hideous celebration of the bloodbath outside Sirte, is braying for NATO to repeat its Libyan intervention in Syria. For her part, Clinton warned Pakistani leaders on Thursday that insufficient support for the US-war in Afghanistan would mean that they would pay “a very big price.” There can be no doubt that future operations are on the way, with bigger wars coming into focus, posing catastrophic consequences. The Obama administration has already put Iran on notice that all options remain “on the table” in relation to a fabricated plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. And as the Libyan intervention was aimed in no small part at countering Chinese and Russian influence both in the region and globally, so China and Russia themselves are seen as future targets. The bloody events in Libya, and the economic motives underlying them, are providing a fresh lesson in the real character of imperialism. The crisis gripping world capitalism is once again posing the threat of world war. The working class can confront this threat only by mobilizing its independent political strength and rearming itself with the program of world socialist revolution to put an end to the profit system, which is the source of militarism.

Full story @ wsws.org

Main image from cleveland.com

Information Clearing House

By Roee Nahmias

December 30, 2010 “YNet” — Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, said he holds the names of senior officials in the Arab world who visit US embassies in their respective countries voluntarily “to establish links” with the CIA.

“These officials are spies for the US in their countries,” Assange said in the second part of his interview with Arab television network Al Jazeera. He said the leaked documents in his possession show that Arab officials reveal sensitive information on their colleagues and respective countries.

More @ Information Clearing house

Cancer Can Be Cured

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Politics

The Crow House – Cancer cure

Unbeknownst to a great many people, all Cancers can be cured with vitamin B17, also known as laetrile, and no, this is not a joke or some wild claim folks, it is a bona fide fact. This cure is quite real but doctors have gag orders placed on them. Any Doctor who uses laetrile to treat Cancer can be fined, lose his practitioners license or even be jailed, as has already been the case on at least one occasion.

However, I am not a doctor and I dont have a practitioners license to be revoked so I will tell you right now in very simple terms how cancer may be cured.

More @ the crow house

The Great Intent

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Politics

The Crow House

By Glenn Greenwald

The video of the CNN debate I did last night about WikiLeaks with former Bush Homeland Security Adviser (and CNN contributor) Fran Townsend and CNN anchor Jessica Yellin is posted below. The way it proceeded was quite instructive to me and I want to make four observations about the discussion:

(1) Over the last month, I’ve done many television and radio segments about WikiLeaks and what always strikes me is how indistinguishable — identical — are the political figures and the journalists. There’s just no difference in how they think, what their values and priorities are, how completely they’ve ingested and how eagerly they recite the same anti-WikiLeaks, “Assange = Saddam” script. So absolute is the WikiLeaks-is-Evil bipartisan orthodoxy among the Beltway political and media class (forever cemented by the joint Biden/McConnell decree that Assange is a “high-tech Terrorist,”) that you’re viewed as being from another planet if you don’t spout it. It’s the equivalent of questioning Saddam’s WMD stockpile in early 2003.

It’s not news that establishment journalists identify with, are merged into, serve as spokespeople for, the political class: that’s what makes them establishment journalists. But even knowing that, it’s just amazing, to me at least, how so many of these “debates” I’ve done involving one anti-WikiLeaks political figure and one ostensibly “neutral” journalist — on MSNBC with The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and former GOP Congresswoman Susan Molinari, on NPR with The New York Times’ John Burns and former Clinton State Department official James Rubin, and last night on CNN with Yellin and Townsend — entail no daylight at all between the “journalists” and the political figures. They don’t even bother any longer with the pretense that they’re distinct or play different assigned roles. I’m not complaining here — Yellin was perfectly fair and gave me ample time — but merely observing how inseparable are most American journalists from the political officials they “cover.”

(2) From the start of the WikiLeaks controversy, the most striking aspect for me has been that the ones who are leading the crusade against the transparency brought about by WikiLeaks — the ones most enraged about the leaks and the subversion of government secrecy — have been . . . America’s intrepid Watchdog journalists. What illustrates how warped our political and media culture is as potently as that? It just never seems to dawn on them — even when you explain it — that the transparency and undermining of the secrecy regime against which they are angrily railing is supposed to be . . . what they do.

What an astounding feat to train a nation’s journalist class to despise above all else those who shine a light on what the most powerful factions do in the dark and who expose their corruption and deceit, and to have journalists — of all people — lead the way in calling for the head of anyone who exposes the secrets of the powerful. Most ruling classes — from all eras and all cultures — could only fantasize about having a journalist class that thinks that way, but most political leaders would have to dismiss that fantasy as too extreme, too implausible, to pursue. After all, how could you ever get journalists — of all people — to loathe those who bring about transparency and disclosure of secrets? But, with a few noble exceptions, that’s exactly the journalist class we have.

More here