Saturday, March 04, 2006

US Intervention in Venezuela by Medea Benjamin

It never ceases to amaze me, in the middle of the massive failure of the war on Iraq, that the Bush administration still has time to mess up our relations with other countries. Yet it seems like that’s exactly what they’re doing with our neighbor Venezuela.

Last month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld compared Hugo Chávez to Hitler, noting that “He’s a person who was elected legally — just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally — and then consolidated power and now is, of course, working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others.” The assault was timed to push the celebrations marking the 7th anniversary of the Chávez government off the front page of the opposition-controlled media in Venezuela.

In early February, Venezuela expelled the US military attaché in Caracas when he was caught red-handed bribing Venezuelan officers for military secrets. Instead of admitting to the spying, the US “retaliated” by expelling the Venezuelan Ambassador’s chief of staff.

Then on February 16th, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chimed in with her sharpest criticisms yet of Venezuela, remarking at a Congressional hearing that Chávez is a leading a "Latin brand of populism that has taken countries down the drain.” She then urged a “united front” against Chávez, remarking that "the international community has just got to be much more active in supporting and defending the Venezuelan people.”

These comments are not new, but follow a pattern of increasing hostility and verbal aggression towards Venezuela. Rice’s concerns are allegedly based on her argument that Chávez isn’t a democrat, despite having won three elections.

But according to the 2005 survey by Latinobarómetro, an independent polling firm, Venezuelans are more likely than citizens of 18 other Latin American nations polled to describe their government as “totally democratic.” And Venezuelans have the second highest level of satisfaction with the way their own democracy functions. In addition, recent independent polls show President Chávez holding an approval rating of over 70% - a number that our president could only dream of. While there are policies in Venezuela, like in all countries, that people could certainly question or disagree with, the administration’s aggressive behavior towards Venezuela is totally unreasonable and violates that nation’s sovereignty. So why is the Bush administration so antagonistic towards Venezuela’s democratically elected government?

To answer this question, I recommend a report entitled “US Intervention in Venezuela, A Clear and Present Danger,” written recently by Venezuela expert Deborah James of Global Exchange and available on our website at The report tells a shocking tale of US intervention in Venezuela’s democratic process, examines a series of myths about Venezuela, and offers an explanation of the real concerns underlying the Bush administration’s antagonism towards Venezuela. Fortunately, it also offers US citizens some concrete ways we can get involved.

US Intervention: A Documented Fact, Not Allegations

According to the report, since 2002 the Bush administration has embarked upon a new strategy each year to oust and/or destabilize the democratically elected government of Venezuela. In 2002, the US Administration supported a military coup that briefly ousted the democratic government; in 2003 it used an economic sabotage campaign; in 2004 it supported the political strategy of the referendum; and in 2005 it waged a diplomatic battle.

Many of the US destabilization tactics parallel the maneuvers used against progressive governments such as Chile in 1973, including massive financial and other support to develop an oppositional civil society and shape and unify political party opposition; a media campaign against the government designed to impugn the government and create a sense of instability; and illegal espionage activities.

In 2002, the Bush administration knew that a coup against Chavez was in the offing before it happened, including the fact that dissident military officers would “try to exploit unrest stemming from opposition demonstrations slated for later this month or ongoing strikes at the state-owned oil company PDVSA.” They also knew about the coup in advance because the US government was funding many of the groups that took part in the coup. In fact, grants by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID to opposition groups skyrocketed right before the coup.

To this day, Bush Administration officials routinely deny their involvement in the coup, in spite of official US documents that prove otherwise. But the truth is widely known in Venezuela, and forms the basis for the antagonism that plagues the US-Venezuela relationship. To be fair, Chávez engages in regular verbal tirades again Bush and Rice which overreach presidential diplomacy. But imagine how the US government would treat a foreign government that had financed domestic groups that participated in a coup against the US government…

Instead of abating in the post-coup period, US government collusion with anti-democratic forces continued during the following year. Groups such as NED and USAID actually continued to fund groups that had participated in the coup. This includes some groups that organized an insurrectionary managers’ strike at the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003 that cost the Venezuelan economy about $10 billion, resulting in a severe economic contraction and putting millions of workers and thousands of small businesses out of their jobs. The strikers’ goal was maintaining control over the national oil company so they could keep the wealth to themselves, and getting Chávez out of office. They lost, and Venezuela’s oil wealth now benefits the entire country instead of a traditional elite.

In 2004, I witnessed the referendum in Venezuela, which had been organized by the opposition as a way to get Chávez out of office legally (after so many illegal attempts had failed.) Here the US was active in demanding that the referendum take place, whether or not the legal criteria had been met. The NED even financed the opposition’s political platform! In the end, Chávez won the referendum in a landslide of 59% in a process that was certified as free and fair by the Carter Center and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The next year, both Rice and Rumsfeld toured Latin America, urging leaders there to criticize Venezuela in an attempt to isolate Chávez in the region. In her confirmation hearings in January 2005, the Rice named Chávez a “negative force in the region.” Fortunately, many regional leaders have rejected the pressure, including Brazil’s Lula, Uruguay’s Vazquez, Chile’s Lagos and even Colombia’s Uribe.

Though the extensive exposés about US government meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela have raised a furor within Venezuela, US officials still not only deny involvement, but under the guise of supporting democracy they have actually expanded support for opposition groups, including groups that have refused to accept the results of the democratic referendum of 2004.

Myths and Facts: What is Really Happening in Venezuela

Since all of Venezuela’s elections - in which an overwhelming majority of citizens have voted for Chávez or his governing coalition - have been certified as free and fair by international monitors, US officials have turned to accusing Chávez of “being democratically elected but governing undemocratically.” Yet Venezuelans resoundingly approve of their democracy, and are experimenting with innovative ways to build participatory democracy in addition to the representative form. A detailed analysis of Venezuelan democracy is available in the report. It’s also ironic that this accusation should come from a US administration that has usurped unprecedented presidential power.

Another basic myth is that Chávez has limited freedom of speech and eroded civil rights. Yet whenever I go to Venezuela, I hear the private media spend enormous amounts of time criticizing the President, something I wish our media would do a little more of. Access to community media production – both radio and television – has vastly expanded in recent years. And no serious human rights group has alleged that civil rights have eroded under the Chávez administration, and civil rights compare favorably to past governments and to countries in the region.

Then there’s the accusation that Chávez is mismanaging the economy, nationalizing businesses and turning Venezuela’s economy into a “Castro-style Cuba.” Yet Venezuela is one of the fastest growing countries in the region. Per capita income growth was a whopping 17.9% in 2004, when the economy rebounded from the opposition’s economic sabotage, and continued to grow 9% last year as well. And while it’s true that most of this growth is due to the skyrocketing price of oil, the government is making great efforts to diversify the economy.

One of the most ridiculous assertions common to Ms. Rice is that Chávez is a “negative force in the region.” Venezuela has initiated an impressive array of programs to support Latin American and Caribbean nations, from supplying low-cost fuel to starting a new regional television channel, to buying bonds to help stabilize Argentina’s economy.

Venezuelans find the US government’s completely unsubstantiated assertion that their government supports terror the most absurd, especially coming from a country that not only illegally invaded Iraq, but is also harboring Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist who escaped from jail in Venezuela after the 1973 bombing of a Cuban plane that killed 76 people. In a maddening double standard, the US has thus far refused to extradite Posada to Venezuela, for alleged fears that he will be “tortured.”

But the administration seems to overstep the bounds of rationality in its attempts to stoke fears that Chávez is about to cut off oil supplies to the US. Venezuela provides about 15% of US oil consumption, and is far more democratic than close US allies like Saudi Arabia by any stretch. It’s true that Chávez has threatened to cut off oil supplies to the United States – but only if the US invades Venezuela, or attempts to assassinate Chávez. Since US officials have repeatedly denied those intentions, what are they so concerned about?

The only change in Venezuelan oil supply to the US in the past three years has been this year’s program to provide 40% discounts on 49 million gallons of heating fuel for poor people in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and soon Vermont and Connecticut. How bizarre that Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton has launched an investigation into this humanitarian offering, instead of investigating the US multinational oil companies that posted over $100 billion in corporate profits last year due to soaring gasoline prices.

So Really, Why Does Chávez Make them so Crazy?

As “US Intervention in Venezuela” makes clear, the Administration’s concerns about Venezuela are not fundamentally about these issues but relate to a deeper concern about the erosion of support for the neoliberal “free market” system promoted by the US government in Latin America for decades. The Chávez government is currently leading one of the fastest growing economies in the region, bringing down unemployment through the use of a dynamic set of policies that combine the assets of the private sector with, strategic government investment in specific industries, and incentives for cooperatives and small and local businesses.

Most importantly, the Chávez administration is funneling billions of dollars of the country’s oil wealth into social programs for the poor. These programs have succeeded in eradicating illiteracy in Venezuela; vastly increasing school enrollment; providing subsidized food and housing to the poor; and implementing a national system of preventative, community-based health care. Call it the threat of a good example!

In addition, the concerns of the Bush Administration stem from Chávez’s promotion of regional integration, because it interferes with the US attempts to impose the failed model of corporate globalization embedded in projects like the stalled Free Trade Area of the Americas, the top US priority in Latin America for the past decade.

But one of the most interesting hypotheses in the report is the notion that the fundamental antagonism between the US and Venezuela stems from the tension between the imperial designs of the Bush administration and an underlying goal of the entire Venezuelan project: a change in the global balance of power from a “uni-polar” world dominated by US economic and strategic interests, to a “multi-polar” world of real economic and political independence for the global South.

This helps put in perspective Venezuela’s recent decision to support Iran in the International Atomic Energy Association, because Iran is an historic ally of Venezuela in the building of OPEC decades ago (when the countries first came together to ensure that oil producing nations shared in some of the oil wealth along with the oil multinationals.) It also explains the increasing diversification of Venezuela’s foreign relations, deepening its alliances in Latin American and the Caribbean but also reaching out to China, Russia, and Spain.

And it explains why team Bush seem so irrationally focused on antagonizing an economic ally and democratic neighbor: in essence, because of the neocons’ unwavering ideological commitment to a corporate-oriented global economy dominated by US strategic interests. Chávez seeks to challenge that vision, and build a more balanced geopolitical map. And to the chagrin of the Bush administration, his vision has met with tremendous support both within Latin America and globally.

Where Do We Go From Here

The facts outlined in this report point to the need for a rethinking of US-Venezuela relations. They call out for a shift to a policy based on both the US and Venezuela’s shared economic interests, and respect for each country’s sovereignty and democracy.

A good start is learning about what’s really happening in Venezuela. Good resources include and The Venezuela Information Office offers a concise weekly listserve at Better yet, go and see for yourself. Check out Global Exchange’s amazing travel opportunities to Venezuela at

In addition, you can promote more balanced coverage of Venezuela in the US press by writing letters to the editor and urging your local paper to be truly “fair and balanced.”. And if you buy gas, you can support Venezuela’s distributive oil policies by buying from the Venezuela-owned company Citgo. To find a local Citgo station, go to

Most important will be our collective efforts to pressure the Bush administration to steer a new course with Venezuela. This is unlikely to happen without concerted pressure from Congress, and congresspeople are only going to go out on a limb if they hear from their constituents. Especially crucial at this time is fighting House Resolution 328, introduced by Florida Republican Connie Mack, intended to condemn the government of Venezuela for all of the myths debunked in the report.

Let’s not let our government commit another grave error of “regime change”. Let’s act now to demand respect for Venezuela’s duly elected government, before it’s too late.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights organization and CODEPINK: Women for Peace. She has traveled several times to Venezuela, most recently for the World Social Forum, and is reachable at

The Dubai Ports Purchase: National Insecurity, Imported or Homegrown? By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Americans are in a fever about possible "Arab control" of mainland ports along both coasts of the United States. The battle has followed entirely predictable lines: on the one hand, those favoring the Dubai Ports purchase point out that this is all part and parcel of being part of the international world economy, and there's no evidence that the transaction and the new owners might in any way compromise the internal security of the U.S. mainland. On the other hand, foes of the deal shout that the Arabs will be tightening their grip on the nation's windpipe and legions of terrorists and terror weapons might be stowed in the containers that land in America each day by the hundreds of thousand.

Back in the early 1970s, at the time of the oil embargo, there was even greater thundering here about the Arab grip on the American economy. Never a day went by but that the newspaper cartoons would show burnous-clad sheikhs chuckling fiendishly as they choked off America's gas pumps. Today's row over the ports is tepid by comparison.

The whole storm is ludicrous. When it comes to America's national security and penetration of the mainland by foreign capital, there are bigger worries. This very week, the week of the Chicago Auto Show, the widely read magazine Consumer Reports lists the ten safest cars sold in America this year. They are all Japanese, mostly Hondas, and mostly made in U.S.-based plants put up after Japanese and other foreign automakers were welcomed in by the U.S.A. thirty years ago, partly as a way of undercutting the Union of Autoworkers. This same month the headlines here have been full of stories about the collapse of the top two U.S. automakers--General Motors and Ford--in the face of foreign competition. Well over 100,000 American workers are to lose their jobs, thus vastly increasing U.S. insecurity. Hundreds of thousands more U.S. workers have already lost their jobs to India, China, Mexico, and other low-wage nations because that is the way American business, backed by the U.S. government, wants it.

After all, "national security" means Americans' physical security and ability to enjoy liberty and pursue happiness. Since both Democrats and Republicans in government have claimed wrongly that this security will be enhanced by exporting jobs, they should be in the dock for increasing national insecurity. The fact that the fruits of these exported jobs come back in the form of commodities reimported to the U.S.A. in containers that might or might not be handled by foreign-owned stevedoring and port management companies is a miniscule issue by comparison, far less serious even than the illnesses caused to Americans living near the ports who have to endure the pollution caused by the diesel fumes from thousands of large 18-wheel trucks lined up each day to haul the containers away.

Worries about port security back in the 50s and 60s were not aimed at Arabs, but at Communists and labor unions. Elia Kazan's famous movie, On The Waterfront, starring Marlon Brando, had the dock-control wars between unions and mobsters as a major theme.

Back in the Second World War, the U.S. Navy had port security as an obvious major concern. This was a time when special cargoes of war matériel for the planned invasion of Europe were being dispatched to Great Britain and to North Africa. The Navy was worried not only about sabotage, but also about work stoppages and strikes--particularly the efforts of Harry Bridges, the Australian-born union organizer with close ties to the Communist Party, who had led the 1934 general strike on the docks in San Francisco.

The Justice Department was busy trying to deport Bridges when he showed up on the East Coast in 1942, traveling between Boston and New York, encouraging the dockworkers to abandon the mob-infested International Longshoremen's Association and join his International Longshoremen and Warehousemen's Union.

The Navy men fixed up meetings with top gangsters Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano to plot out the logistics of what the Navy was so eager to get--namely, a Mob order to dockland to cooperate with the anti-sabotage (which was also code for union organizing) effort. Luciano told Lansky to contact Johnny "Cockeyed" Dunn, the boss of the Hudson River docks and Luciano's strongman in the International Longshoremen's Association; the Camarda brothers, overlords of the Brooklyn waterfront; Mikey Lascari, Luciano's boyhood pal who handled the New Jersey operations; Frank "the Hands" Costello, Luciano's political henchman; and Albert Anastasia, the CEO of Murder, Inc., who would take care of anyone who got out of line. "You go up," Luciano told Lansky, "and mention my name and in the meantime I will have the word out and you won't have no difficulties."

Not for the last time there was a confluence of interest between criminal and intelligence organizations to crush radical unions. We will see the same story repeated in Shanghai and in postwar Italy and France. In abetting crime/drug cartels and crushing independent political movements or unions, the CIA and its forebears never hesitated for a moment to make common cause with criminals.

Bridges' planned strike was duly broken by Mob goons under the supervision of Lanza and Albert Anastasia, a man Luciano described as being "willing to kill anybody who came to mind that he got mad about." When Bridges showed up at an organizing rally in New York City a few weeks later, Lanza handled matters personally. "I had a fight with him," recalled Joey Lanza. "I belted him, and that was that." Between 1942 and 1946, there were twenty-six unsolved murders of labor organizers and dockworkers, presumed murdered and dumped in the river by the Mafia, working in collusion with Naval Intelligence.

On the larger issue of control of the docks and national security, if one had to draw a balance sheet on who benefited the most from the Naval Intelligence/Mob partnership, the answer would surely be the gangsters. In the first place, the partnership proved fatal to honest labor organizing and left union locals on the Eastern seaboard, along with the ILA, ravaged by gangsterism and corruption. And the alliance with the gangsters established by Naval Intelligence led the way to the postwar alliance between the CIA and the Mob. Luciano was enlisted to persuade the Italian and French mafias to attack the powerful dockland Communists in those two countries. The payoff for the Mob was freedom to import cocaine and heroin into the U.S.A. In the short and the long run, that contributed to national insecurity in a very, very big way. There's no blaming the Arabs for that one. The trouble was homegrown.

Footnote: the saga of the US Navy's involvement with the Mob, and the deal between the OSS--later CIA--and Luciano is laid out in detail in Whiteout:The CIA, Drugs and the Press, a very fine book by Cockburn and St Clair, which recently hit the charts as the number 5 bestseller in Italy under the title Il Libro Nero Della Polvere Bianac (Nuovi Mondi).

The Israeli, Dubai, Chertoff connection -- its just the tip of the Russian-Israeli mafia and "Al Qaeda" iceberg.

March 3, 2006 -- The Israeli, Dubai, Chertoff connection -- its just the tip of the Russian-Israeli mafia and "Al Qaeda" iceberg. Michael Brown, the former head of FEMA, deserves credit for blowing the whistle on the "agenda" of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. For years, a handful of prosecutors, FBI agents, and investigative journalists have stressed the connections between Russian-Israeli mafia tycoons, weapons and diamond smugglers, and terrorist networks associated with "Al Qaeda" and affiliated organizations. Yet, it is the much-maligned Brown, a one-time GOP operative and "golden boy," who has taken the initiative to call for Chertoff's firing and a complete overhaul of the Homeland Security Department. Even in these strange times, this is an amazing turn of events and begs the question of what Brown knows about Chertoff and his connections to Dubai and covering up terrorist investigations. Brown is in the unique position of being aware of Dubai's major role in horse racing (and possibly money laundering) and being briefed on various maritime and other terrorist threats as head of FEMA. Which means that Brown may have enough information to be very dangerous to the Bush crime family.

Chertoff is a long-time GOP political hack and neo-con operative. He was the Special Counsel for the Senate "Whitewater" Committee from 1994 to 1996, a costly effort to create a political scandal for President Clinton and Hillary Clinton where there was no scandal. Hillary Clinton, to her credit, cast the lone vote against Chertoff's confirmation as a federal judge in 2003. There is one thing that Hillary Clinton and Michael Brown agree on -- they both despise Chertoff. And with good reason.

Chertoff was the head of the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department in the lead up to and aftermath of the 911 attacks. It was Chertoff who ordered the FBI not to pursue Mossad cells discovered to be operating alongside the hijacker cells in northern New Jersey. With FBI and other field law enforcement reports on suspicious Israeli office "mover" activity in the New York-New Jersey area in the months prior to 911, Chertoff failed to order an investigation of why Zim-American Israeli Shipping Company suddenly terminated its lease of offices on the 16th and 17th floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, forfeiting a $50,000 deposit a week prior to 911 and moving its operations to Norfolk. Zim's parent company, Zim Israel Navigation Co, is half owned by the Israeli government. Norfolk's port operations are due to come under Dubai Ports World ownership if the buy-out deal is approved.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Zim's chairman wrote to Senator Clinton offering high praise for Dubai Ports World and revealed that Zim and Dubai Ports are "strong business partners." Zim's chairman also revealed that Zim's ships use Dubai ports but under different flags other than Israeli.

Chertoff: Derailed major investigation of Al Qaeda weapons smuggling in New Jersey. Was he protecting Israeli involvement in Al Qaeda financing activities?

Chertoff also failed to investigate the presence on the 33rd floor of the North Tower of the Trade Center of the Yemen Import Company, an office that, like Zim Shipping, had been cleared of all its personnel in the weeks prior to 911, leaving only an answering machine and fax in place.

As Assistant US Attorney, Chertoff also declined to prosecute Dr. Magdy Elamir, an Egyptian-born neurologist in Jersey City who was implicated in an FBI/ATF arms trafficking investigation code named Operation Diamondback. It turned out that Elamir was a Chertoff's client in a fraud case brought against Elamir's HMO by the state of New Jersey. NBC's Dateline, on August 2, 2002, referred to a 1998 foreign intelligence report obtained by the network, "The report alleges that an H.M.O. owned by Dr. Elamir in New Jersey was 'funded by ben [sic] Laden' and that in turn Dr. Elamir was skimming money from the H.M.O. to fund 'terrorist activities.'" New Jersey investigators discovered that $15 million in funds from Elamir's HMO were unaccounted for and Dateline determined that some of the funds were transferred to off-shore bank accounts. Chertoff represented Elamir at the time the money was shifted to the off-shore bank accounts.

The weapons smugglers targeted by Diamondback also included those who were smuggling nuclear components to the A Q Khan network. It was this network that was a prime focus of Valerie Plame Wilson and her Brewster Jennings and Associates covert CIA operatives. On January 14, 2005, Dateline's Chris Hansen interviewed ATF agent Dick Stoltz, the supervisor of Diamondback:

“In the summer of 1999, a group of illegal weapons dealers were meeting at a warehouse in Florida, their conversations recorded by federal investigators. One of the men, from Pakistan, was seeking technology for nuclear weapons. Who did he say he was working for?

Dick Stoltz: “Dr. Abdul Khan.”

Chris Hansen: “A.Q. Khan.”

Dick Stoltz: “A.Q. Khan.”

Former federal undercover agent Dick Stoltz was posing as a black market arms dealer.

Hansen: “Did you realize what you had at the time?”

Stoltz: “No. We didn't.”

But now he does -- because A.Q. Khan is considered, by some, to be the most dangerous man in the world. Why? Because Dr. Khan has peddled nuclear weapons technology to some of the countries the United States considers most dangerous, and some accepted his offers.”

“Undercover federal agent Dick Stoltz says there's evidence Khan's operatives were at work here in the U.S., like a man who asked if Stoltz could supply heavy water, an ingredient used to make plutonium for nuclear bombs. Stoltz: “He said that Dr. Khan was handling the negotiations behind the scene, as far as -- the heavy water.”

Chertoff, in a major conflict-of-interest, abused his authority to cover up the involvement of his client in the Diamondback probe.

Now you are really doing a "heckuva job Brownie!" What does Brown know about Dubai and horse betting/laundering and Chertoff's covering for Dubai from his days as International Arabian Horse Association Commissioner?

Other than the Homeland Security Secretary's complete incompetence during Hurricane Katrina, why would someone like Michael Brown have special animosity towards Chertoff? Perhaps Brown's past job as Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association (IAHA) had something to do with his sudden call for Chertoff's firing in the wake of the Homeland Security chief's approval of the Dubai Ports World deal to take over operations at 21 U.S. ports. Close Bush family friend, the Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, is an avid horse racing fan and owner (as was the Emir's late father). Dubai is the venue for an annual thoroughbred racing event where millions of dollars change hands in betting. Horse betting in Dubai is believed by law enforcement officials to be a major conduit for money laundering in the region -- something that must have been known to Brown as the oversight authority for the IAHA. In what could be the most dramatic outcome of the Bush criminal scandal, Brown's experience with the IAHA may prove embarrassing to Chertoff and the Bush criminal cartel as Dubai comes under sharper focus.

Dubai is also an important diamond center. And that brings us into Osama bin Laden's connections to the Israeli diamond trade.

The following was sent to WMR by a journalist source who was in Peshawar, Pakistan in the weeks following U.S. intervention in Afghanistan. The information comes from a Taliban member who escaped into Pakistan:

"Osama left Afghanistan in a party of 26 people,
mostly his family members, on November 4 [2001].
He left from the "south." [possibly southern Iran].

"This may surprise you, but you must understand the
nature of business. A business partnership is based on
years of trust, and it is totally separate from
political or national loyalties."

"Osama, when he realized that he was trapped between
the Northern Front and the US forces, called on an
old business partner, who flew in his jetliner,
and ferried Osama to Africa."

"Osama was a rich man, a millionaire, but spend a lot
on the Afghan war and reconstruction. While he was in
Africa in exile, the Israelis approached him to take
over the diamond business from the Lebanese in West
Africa. (background: Muslims provide the strong arm
for the raw diamond trade in West Africa, and it
required a respected and tough Muslim like Osama to
wrestle the trade away from the Shi'ites from southern
Lebanon. The Israelis could not stand the thought of
their Antwerp diamond industry financing suicide
bombers in south Lebanon)."

"With the diamond trade under his control, Osama
became a billionaire (repeat), a billionaire . . . The
diamonds were sent to the Russian mafiyah, who then
sold to Antwerp."

(Antwerp, btw, was where the shoe bomber and countless
other "terrorists" were financed and where AQ [Khan] money
was being wired to New York via Hassidim diamond

For building materials and equipment, Bin Laden's
construction family routinely dealt with Jewish businessmen
through Yemen. Since Saudis could have no direct dealings,
the Bin Ladens used Yemenis, who lived alongside Jews in
their Yemeni homeland. This is how Osama's father
became so big.

"Inside Afghanistan, the Taliban were not anti-Jewish
because the Pashtun tribe are one of the "lost tribes
of Israel". Our customs and names are identical to
those of the Jews. So there was no problem in fighting
the Soviet occupation and then Shiite enemy, and Osama
led this fight."
In fact, this communique from Peshawar is born out by the story of Ambuy Gem Corporation president Yehuda Abraham, who was arrested at his New York "Diamond District" office in 2003 for his involvement in a Russian shoulder mounted missile launcher smuggling ring involving a British national with ties to the Viktor Bout smuggling ring, Hemant Lakhani, and a Malaysian national believed to have ties to Jemaah Islamiya, the Al Qaeda affiliate in southeast Asia. Bout's smuggling network was partly based in Dubai. Abraham, a Bukharan Jewish native of Afghanistan who spoke Pashto and Urdu. An well-placed Israeli source told WMR that Afghan-born Jews are so rare, Abraham would "have most certainly been used as an agent by Mossad."

But Abraham, like Zim Shipping, had special dispensation under the Arab boycott of Israel. A U.S.-Israeli dual national, Abraham maintained a diamond store in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His primary clientele: the Saudi royal family. It was also discovered that Abraham was operating a "hawalah" -- an Islamic money transfer network -- from his diamond business. It was that hawalah that was used to transfer money from the weapons sales out of the United States. Moreover, Osama bin Laden's diamond courier who fenced West African diamonds into the Hassidim-run Hatton Garden, London diamond district went by the very non-Muslim-sounding name of "Cyril Jacob." A former Mossad chief told this editor in 2002 that if one wanted to find the source for most of Al Qaeda's funding, you didn't need to look any further than West Africa's diamond trade and "the six biggest U.S. banks in New York."

In addition, Osama Bin Laden is reported to own a fleet of merchant ships, something that makes the Dubai Ports World deal and Chertoff's endorsement of it even more suspect. Some of these ships reportedly are registered to China White Lines and involve Sicilian mafia business fronts.

In April 1993, Rashid bin Maktoum, the then-Crown Prince of Dubai opened a jewelry equipment manufacturers trade show in the emirate-- the show highlighted the equipment needed for stone cutting and other jewelry-making processes. Soon, Dubai rivaled Antwerp and Tel Aviv as a major diamond processing center -- a business in which Bin Laden is now heavily invested.

Dubai Ports World and Zim Shipping, Michael Chertoff and Osama financiers and A Q Khan smugglers, New York and London Hassidim diamond dealers and Al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist organizations are connecting more dots.

Anniversario Calipari. Letta replica a Martino: "Niente fato, la verita'". Rainews24: Sicurezza Usa sapeva posizione

Anniversario Calipari. Letta replica a Martino: "Niente fato, la verita'". Rainews24: Sicurezza Usa sapeva posizione

I funerali di Calipari

Roma, 3 marzo 2006
La teoria del fato e' cosa passata, fa parte della tragedia greca superata dal Cristianesimo: "ora bisogna agire per conoscere la verita' ed e' quello che facciamo". Cosi' il sottosegretario alla presidenza del Consiglio, Gianni Letta, ha parlato della vicenda Calipari, durante la commemorazione in Campidoglio a un anno dalla scomparsa. Facendo riferimento implicito alle parole del ministro della Difesa Antonio Martino, che questa mattina nella commmemorazione a Forte Braschi ha fatto riferimento alla tragedia greca parlando di quella notte del 4 marzo 2005, Letta ha sottolineato che "nelle cerimonie ufficiali capita spesso che ci si abbandoni anche a un pizzico di retorica. E' capitato anche stamani, e me ne spiace perche' forse per il desiderio di una metafora letteraria, o nel tentativo di nobilitare la figura di Nicola Calipari e' stata evocata la tragedia greca".
"E' vero - ha proseguito Letta - che anche la provvidenza guida e governa il mondo, ma senza contrastare mai il principio della liberta' e della responsabilita'. E la responsabilita' impone all'uomo di conoscere e agire coerentemente e conseguentemente. Anzi, di agire per conoscere. E' quello che abbiamo fatto, che continueremo a fare per rendere onore alla memoria di Nicola, per rendere giustizia e verita' alla sua famiglia e al nostro paese". "Solo cosi' - ha concluso il sottosegretario alla presidenza del Consiglio - potremo onorare concretamente, e non soltanto a parole, la memoria di un grande servitore dello Stato che e' stato per noi di esempio in vita e che rimane di esempio per le future generazioni".

Rainews24: Sicurezza Usa sapeva posizione
"L'Nsa, la National Security Agency, la più importante agenzia di sicurezza americana sapeva esattamente la posizione di Nicola Calipari al momento della sua uccisione".
E' quanto afferma Wayne Madsen, ex agente del Nsa, in un'intervista all'inviato di Rai News 24 Sigfrido Ranucci.
Madsen, parlando dell'ex agente del sismi ucciso a Bagdad poco dopo la liberazione della giornalista Giuliana Sgrena, ha affermato di avere notizie certe provenienti dai suoi ex colleghi di lavoro su quanto è accaduto la sera del 4 marzo del 2005.
"L' Nsa - spiega Madsen - in una zona di guerra come quella dell' Iraq, ha un registro con tutti i numeri dei telefoni cellulari, le frequenze usate e i nomi delle persone, che vengono monitorate continuamente".

Madsen è stato agente segreto sotto la presidenza Reagan, con il compito di proteggere i dati sensibili degli Usa da eventuali intrusioni dell' ex Unione Sovietica. È stato consulente della commissione europea sul sistema d'intercettazione Echelon, di cui Madsen ha rivelato la funzione dei satelliti per la telefonia mobile nell'ambito delle intercettazioni. L'intervista andrà in onda domani sui notiziari di Rai News 24 a partire dalle 6.30.
Veltroni: "Vogliamo la verita'"
"Vogliamo la verita' sulla morte di Nicola Calipari". Lo ha detto stasera il sindaco di Roma Walter Veltroni, nella cerimonia commemorativa che si e' svolta in ampidoglio a un anno dalla morte del funzionario del Sismi.
Veltroni, che era tra il sottosegretario alla presidenza del Consiglio Gianni Letta e il capo del Sismi Nicolo' Pollari, rivolgendosi in particolare a Rosa Calipari, alla figlia Silvia e agli altri familiari che erano in prima fila con Giuliana Sgrena, ha aggiunto: "Spero che si arrivi il piu' presto possibile alla verita' perche' ci sono troppe incertezze sulle circostanze della sua morte e sulle condizioni in cui si e' verificata".
Dopo aver ricordato Nicola Calipari per il suo straordinario attaccamento alle istituzioni e allo Stato e per lo speciale rapporto che riusciva ad instaurare con gli altri, Veltroni ha concluso: "E' stato un grande italiano che tutti, a cominciare dalle donne e gli uomini del nostro Paese, vogliamo ricordare".
Nell'aula Giulio Cesare c'erano tanti colleghi di Calipari, quelli della questura di Roma, del Sismi e tutti i rappresentanti delle forze dell'ordine. Tra gli altri il questore di Roma Fulvi, il prefetto Serra e il prefetto Del Mese, il capo della squadra mobile di Roma Intini. C'erano Giuseppe Scandurra della Corte Suprema di Cassazione, Oscar Fiumara dell'Avvocatura generale dello Stato, il generale Zafarana del comando provinciale della guardia di finanza di Roma e il comandante del reparto territoriale dei carabinieri della capitale colonnello Salvatore Luongo. Molti anche i giornalisti tra cui Alain Elkann, Sandro Curzi e Gianni Minoli, che ha curato un filmato su Nicola Calipari per la serie televisiva "La storia siamo noi", proiettato in apertura della cerimonia.
Erano presenti anche Simona Torretta, rapita in Iraq, le parlamentari Olga D'Antona, Carla Rocchi ed Elettra Deiana.
Sgrena: "Manca pressione governo"
"Mi sembra che la magistratura, con l'incriminazione di Mario Lozano, ha fatto un passo avanti, ma ora serve la pressione politica perche' la rogatoria abbia efficacia e non mi sembra che ci sia l'intenzione da parte del governo". Lo ha detto Giuliana Sgrena, rispondendo ai giornalisti al termine della cerimonia di commemorazione di Nicola Calipari che si e' svolta in Campidoglio a un anno dalla tragica uccisione in Iraq. "Ne' Berlusconi nel suo lungo discorso a Bush ha ricordato Nicola - ha attaccato l'inviata del Manifesto - ne' il ministro Castelli o il ministro della Difesa hanno evocato il fatto, a proposito della sua morte.
Neanche gli americani erano arrivati a tanto, perche' avevano parlato di fatale incidente". La Sgrena ha poi sottolineato che per arrivare a un processo occorre la pressione politica, perche' si possano porre degli interrogativi agli americani e "per avere delle risposte che dobbiamo, almeno queste, a Nicola Calipari".
Gli altri articoli della giornata

Intervista a Wayne Madsen, ex agente NSA (4 marzo 2006)

Intervista a Giuliana Sgrena (4 marzo 2006)

L'ex agente della Nsa Wayne Madsen

Roma, 4 marzo 2006
"L'Nsa, la National Security Agency, la più importante agenzia di sicurezza americana sapeva esattamente la posizione di Nicola Calipari al momento della sua uccisione". E’ l’accusa lanciata da Wayne Madsen, ex agente del Nsa, in un'intervista rilasciata all'inviato di Rai News 24 Sigfrido Ranucci.

Madsen, parlando dell'ex agente del sismi ucciso a Bagdad poco dopo la liberazione della giornalista Giuliana Sgrena, ha affermato di avere notizie certe provenienti dai suoi ex colleghi di lavoro su quanto è accaduto la sera del 4 marzo del 2005.

"L' Nsa - spiega Madsen - in una zona di guerra come quella dell' Iraq, ha un registro con tutti i numeri dei telefoni cellulari, le frequenze usate e i nomi delle persone, che vengono monitorate continuamente".

Madsen è stato agente segreto sotto la presidenza Reagan, con il compito di proteggere i dati sensibili degli Usa da eventuali intrusioni dell' ex Unione Sovietica. È stato consulente della commissione europea sul sistema d'intercettazione Echelon, di cui Madsen ha rivelato la funzione dei satelliti per la telefonia mobile nell'ambito delle intercettazioni.

Polemica nel governo
Ieri si è svolta a Roma la commemorazione ad un anno dalla morte di Calipari, agente dei servizi segreti italiani ucciso da una pattuglia americana mentre portava all’aeroporto di Baghdad Giuliana Sgrena dopo averla liberata.

Ma la celebrazione ha fatto scoppiare una polemica nel governo italiano. In mattinata il ministro della Difesa Antonio Martino ha imputato al fato l’uccisione di Calipari.

Non accetta questa tesi il sottosegretario alla presidenza del Consiglio Gianni Letta: "Ora bisogna agire per conoscere la verità ed è quello che facciamo. E' vero che anche la provvidenza guida e governa il mondo, ma senza contrastare mai il principio della libertà e della responsabilità. E la responsabilita' impone all'uomo di conoscere e agire coerentemente e conseguentemente. Anzi, di agire per conoscere. E' quello che abbiamo fatto, che continueremo a fare per rendere onore alla memoria di Nicola, per rendere giustizia e verità alla sua famiglia e al nostro paese".

"Solo così - ha concluso il sottosegretario alla presidenza del Consiglio - potremo onorare concretamente, e non soltanto a parole, la memoria di un grande servitore dello Stato che e' stato per noi di esempio in vita e che rimane di esempio per le future generazioni".

Is Carlyle Group at heart of DPW deal?

What does Dubai Ports World have in common with CSX, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and the Bush Family? The Carlyle Group is the answer currently gaining ground on the Internet.

What once seemed the propaganda ramblings of none other than "Fahrenheit 911's" Michael Moore may end up becoming the subject of the Senate's upcoming investigation into what Washington insiders are beginning to call the "Dubai Debacle." As reported in the Guardian as early as 2001, Bush '41 and '43 have been connected to the Carlyle Group in various ways resulting in substantial compensation to the Bush family from Carlyle Group investments.

Widely discussed is that CSX – the rail and ocean carrier container company – was sold to DP World in 2004 after Treasury Secretary John Snow was no longer CSX's chief executive officer. What has received far less attention is the transaction announced in December 2002, in which the Carlyle Group acquired a majority stake in CSX for $300 million.

John Snow was sworn-in as secretary of Treasury on Feb. 7, 2003. Then we see that David Sanborn, the U.S. Merchant Maritime Academy graduate who President Bush just nominated to be maritime administrator under Transportation Secretary Mineta was an executive with CSX before he served as DP World's director of Operations for Europe and Latin America.

Then we find that Dubai International Capital, a private equity investment capital firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Holdings commonly participates in co-investments with the Carlyle Group. Dubai Holdings, like DP World, ends up being owned by the United Arab Emirates government, with ultimate ties to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the successor currently at the head of Dubai's royal family.

Even Republican senators are scratching their heads wondering why President Bush has dug in his heals with determination that the DP Worlds deal will go through, even if the first presidential veto of the Bush administration needs to be invoked.

Yet, is the Bush administration really willing to vet before Congress a full "follow the money" investigation that leads ultimately to examination of the Carlyle Group's many co-mingled investments with Dubai investment entities that are nothing more than business-front entities for the UAE government? Does the Bush administration really want to go down this trail?

From the sound of recent polls, the American public may demand a full examination. To the average American, the deal still looks like the Bush administration is willing to turn over the operations in 22 U.S. ports stretching from Maine to Florida, and across the Gulf to Texas to a foreign government with proven past ties to terrorists.

Already the conservative wing of the Republican Party is beginning to wonder who George Bush really is. Maybe President Bush is really a "globalist" who truly does value "new world order" international interests over U.S. national security. This perspective is going to add new worry to those of us concerned that the Bush administration has left our southern border with Mexico wide open to illegal immigrants, criminal gangs drugs, and terrorists.

What really is behind the "guest worker" proposal? Could it be that President Bush – despite all his talk about a War on Terrorism to protect America – always had in mind a definition of "America" that stretched from the Arctic Circle to the tip of Argentina? If so, maybe President Bush should have campaigned on that agenda when running for president in 2004. If he had done so, we very much doubt President Bush could possibly have carried Ohio.

Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles, including co-authoring with John O'Neill the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." Dr. Corsi's most recent books include "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he co-authored with WND columnist Craig. R. Smith, and "Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians."

New world order - Daniel Pipes, the expert of hate

Omnipresent expert in television studios and regular commentator of American mainstream newspapers, Daniel Pipes has become the world theorist of the Islamphobia. The son of Richard Pipes, the Sovietologist that resumed the arms race during the Ford Administration, and spiritual son of Robert Strausz-Hupé, the visionary of the new world order, Daniel Pipes, directs a lot of strategic institutes. He is the founder of currently common concepts such as «new anti-Semitism», «militants of Islam» and «conspiracy theories». An advocate of the annihilation of Palestinians, he has been appointed by George W. Bush director of the US Institute of Peace.

Between September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2002, Daniel Pipes became one of the main American commentators focused on terrorism and Islam. According to an analysis made by The Nation, which has just spoken about him in a very caustic way [1], during that period he appeared in 110 television shows and 450 radio programs. His editorials have been welcomed by the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, whereas the New York Post has included him among its journalists.

The Pipes Dynasty

This sudden mediatic glory is not casual. It is the result of his personal talent, an extensive formation and the prestigious sponsors he has. He plays a key role in the political strategy of the neoconservatives who govern in Washington and Tel Aviv.

To understand this career, we have to go back 30 years in time. In order to put an end to the Watergate crisis and the personal conflicts it provoked, President Gerald Ford took drastic measures in regards with the several republican trends that supported him.

On November 3, 1975, he got rid of his Secretary of Defense, James Schlesinger, and of countless collaborators. These measures were mockingly called the “Massacre of Halloween”. After this, Ford surrounded himself with a very limited number of officials who were actually the same ones that took power in year 2001: he appointed Dick Cheney Secretary General of the White House; Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, and George H. Bush (father), director of the CIA [2].
A press campaign organized by friendly associations alerted then the public opinion to the underestimation of the red danger on the part of the CIA. By making people believe he had yield to pressures, President Ford authorized the creation of an independent committee to assess the Soviet threat. Its director was Harvard professor Richard Pipes.

He formed a team, known as Team B, which was made up by the staunchest supporters of the Cold War, among which we have General Lyman Lemnite [3] and young Paul Wolfowitz. It was like this that the Pipes’ Report, published in Commentary, the magazine of the American Jewish Committee founded by Irving Kristol, allowed the Ford Administration to resume the arms race.
Richard Pipes had a firstborn child: Daniel. He studied the history of Medieval Islam in Harvard and distinguished himself in the university for his opposition to the leftist demonstrations against the Vietnam War.

In 1981 he published Slave Soldiers and Islam, his first work, an academic and well-documented masterpiece where his political convictions were still not present. It was written before the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution, the fact that would mark the birth of the analyst’s convictions. In 1982, when his father Richard joined the Reagan’s administration, Daniel Pipes did the same thing and worked for the analysis team of the State Department. He devoted a lot of time to his second book, In the Path of God, which was published in 1983 and increased his concerns with regards to Muslim fundamentalism by following its escalation in a dozen of States. A phenomenon that, according to him, was extremely directed to the oil incomes Arab states began to have after the war in Kippur.

A Compromised Intellectual

After leaving the State Department in 1983, Daniel Pipes worked as a professor in several universities, such as the United States Naval War College, but he felt he was marginalized in the academic field. He stopped publishing university texts and chose to write articles focused on several teams: terrorism, Israel, the case of Salman Rushdie, which he published in Commentary [4].
His options have not always been the best: he exaggeratedly praised the merits of manuscript From Time Immemorial, a work about the Zionist colonization of Palestine written by Joan Peters.

However, his book was very criticized by some important journalists who analyzed its blatant lies, its obvious mistakes and its plagiarism. Pipes’ interest on the Israeli issue began to come to the surface step by step. After criticizing the mediatic treatment given to the war in Lebanon, which damaged Israel’s image, in 1988 he published an article in the New York Times where he rejected the idea of a Palestinian State that would be a «nightmare» for its inhabitants: according to him, such solution would «affect Arabs more than Israelis» because Palestinians would be forced to live under the control of a terrorist organization, Yasser Arafat’s PLO.
However, Daniel Pipes could not be considered as an unconditional supporter of the Israeli government. He has actually criticized it sometimes, especially when he has reproached it for not repressing Palestinian populations enough. Pipes believes Palestinians must be annihilated and he has accused academicians such as Rashid Khalidi of making statements justifying violence.
According to Juan Cole, professor at the University of Michigan, «one of the things Pipes means when he accuses university professors of supporting terrorism, is that we reject his approach to see all Palestinians as terrorists.».

Robert Strausz-Hupé
By the mid 80s, Pipes moved to Philadelphia where he became director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute - FPRI of the University of Pennsylvania, an institution created by geopolitician Robert Strausz-Hupé who would be became its eminence grise. Founded in 1955, the institute has been publishing magazine Orbis since 1957.

Its first number included Strausz-Hupé’s manifesto: L’Equilibre de demain [5]. In it he expressed the following: «Should the coming world order be an American universal empire? It should be for it would hallmark the American spirit. The coming order would be the last phase of a historical transition and it would put an end to the revolutionary period of this century.
The mission of the American people is to eliminate nation-States, to lead hopeless countries to form wider unions and stop, through its power, the trifling attempts to sabotage the new world order for they offer mankind nothing but a corrupted ideology and brute force…For the next fifty years, the future belongs to the United States.
The American empire and mankind would have no clashes, but would be two names for a same universal order guided by peace and happiness. Novus orbis terranum (New world order)». Later, Daniel Pipes published again this manifesto. From 1986 to 1993, Daniel Pipes was editor in chief of Orbis. During these years, he published several articles in it welcoming the support of Iraq against Iran, such as the one titled The Baghdad Alternative by Laurie Mylroie [6]. In addition, and along with this young woman, he wrote an article in The New Republic about this topic too [7].
In 1990 he published an article in the National Review titled “Muslims are Coming! Muslims are Coming!” in which he expressed his alarmist opinions about this issue. He wrote: «Western Europe societies are not well prepared for a massive immigration of people of matt skin that cook rare dishes and do not follow German hygienic norms [8]».
In this period, his books and articles distinguished themselves for its extremely hard positions criticizing Arab countries, whether it was Syria, Iran or even Saudi Arabia, a Washington’s ally. Since then, he alerted to the threat «Muslims of the United States» would represent for the American security. Thus, in an article published in Commentary he opposed the «prerogatives» given to Muslim American organizations due to the discrimination they said they suffered [9].

By supporting his friend Steven Emerson’s idea, who is also an expert on terrorism, Daniel Pipes told the «USA Today» that the 1995 attack in Oklahoma City proved the West was being attacked and fundamentalists «were targeting them». In 1990, Daniel Pipes founded a section of the FPRI, the Middle East Forum (MEF) to «promote the American interests in the region». In 1994, it became an independent association that some time later published the Middle East Quarterly and, since 1999, the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin [10].

In 1997, Daniel Pipes was involved in the creation of the US Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL) along with banker Ziad K. Abdelnur, an expert of the Middle East Forum. Daniel Pipes and the experts of the FPRI, the MEF and the USCFL were very active in the work of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) where the most outstanding hawks and the cream of Likud gathered [11].

Daniel Pipes became famous as a hunter of the «fifth column» that emerged in American universities. In 2002, he created a section of the MEF, the Campus Watch, «an organization openly aimed at reporting the wrong analysis and the political distortions regarding Middle East studies». According to The Nation, one of the first measures taken by the organization was to open «McCarthy-styled-files» to the different professors they suspected were not quite pro-Israel. As a result, more than a hundred academicians contacted the Campus Watch for they wanted their names to be added to the list. This made Daniel Pipes furious and he described them as «advocates of the suicide attacks and the militant Islam».
Likewise, he used other terms such as «self-hating» or «anti-Americans». In an article titled Americans at Universities who hate the United States, he made fun of all those who, like Noam Chomsky, has denounced the American intervention in Iraq refusing to see the «direct threat» that Saddam Hussein represented to the United States. To spread the idea that academicians and students were blind regarding the Islamic threat, he counted on Martin Kramer’s assistance, current editor in chief of the Middle East Quarterly and the Stanley Kurtz, a member of the Hoover Institution and collaborator of the National Review Online.

According to The Nation, his theses had an exceptional mediatic coverage from «the MSNBC to the NPR». The Washington Post devoted its first page to him and even the debate made it to the Congress: a project to create a consultative committee, whose members appointed by the government would be in charge of supervising the related-to-the-Near-East- educational programs financed with federal funds to thousand of students, was being analyzed.
From that moment on, all programs had to «include all viewpoints» and not «only the criticism against the American foreign policy», as explained by Stanley Kurtz in the House of Representatives in June 2003 [12].

Daniel Pipes was recently included in the list Jewish diary The Forward makes with the names of the 50 most influential American Jewish [13]. His appointment to the US Institute of Peace (USIP) made by President Bush has upset the Muslim community, especially the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
This financed-by-federal-funds-think tank is aimed at promoting «a pacific solution to international conflicts», a concept that has nothing to do with Daniel Pipes political thought: actually, in February 2002, Pipes wrote that «diplomacy rarely ended conflicts» [14]. Just after joining the USIP he focused in purging the list of collaborators. Thus, he excluded the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy which, according to him, was a pro-terrorist group infiltrated into the venerable public institution [15]. He left the USIP at the beginning of 2005.

The thinker of Islamphobia

Daniel Pipes is the author of several concepts that have been imposed in the public debate.
Above all, he is the inventor of the «New Anti-Semitism» [16]. This term is used to identify the opposition of American Muslim pressure groups against American Jewish pressure groups regarding the Palestinian issue. It is an amalgam between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism that has been quite used lately. He is also the inventor of the «Militants of Islam» [17].
The expression identifies those Muslims who, not satisfied with their domestic prayers, join community organizations and defend the rights of the Palestinians to the detriment of the Israelis supported by the United States. It creates a new amalgam between Muslim identity, the struggle against the State of Israel, and the challenging of Washington’s policy. This presents those Americans of Muslim religion as traitors, mainly.

Finally, he invented «the Middle East complot theory». The Arabs, who refuse to accept their incapacity to solve their problems, imagine they are victims of Western complots [18].
In 2002, Daniel Pipes went to all radio and television stations to campaign against The Great Imposture, a work about September 11 attacks and the change of regime that took place in the United States afterwards [19]. By having no arguments at all to oppose this book and wrongly believing the author was Arab, he made emphasis in seeing it as an example of the conspiracy of Arab intellectuals living in France.
His judgment was used in France by Guillaume Dasquié and Jean Guisnel [20] and later by Daniel Leconte [21].

In 2003, he was invited to the most important Arab political show, The Opposite Direction(Al-Jazeera), to participate in a debate with Thierry Meyssan. Yet, he couldn’t go for he was waiting for his USIP appointment confirmation by the Congress. To replace him, he sent his loyal assistant, Jonathan Schanzer [22] who couldn’t refute the debated book.
In France, Pipes counted also on the help of his translator, Guy Milliére, to spread his ideas. He published «Ce que veut Bush», an apologetic work based on interviews with Daniel Pipes, Paul Wolfowitz, etc. [23].

Daniel Pipes’ obsession is Islamphobia. In 1999 he published an article in The Forward where he stated: «Muslims who hate the United States and, especially, the Jewish people living there, are increasing and they are becoming more powerful thanks to the protection that the democracy and the indulgence of a pluralist and charitable society offer to them».
September 11 attacks strengthened the convictions of this analyst and increased his supporters too. For him, 9/11 allowed him to publish in 2002 Militant Islam Reaches America, an up-to-that-moment «unpublishable» book that alerted to the fact that Muslim American populations included an «important number» of people that «supported the goals of the planes hijackers», that «hated the United States and, after all, wanted to turn it into a Muslim country».
Jim Lobe, of Inter-Press Service agency, has said he received a proposal of a subsidy project in which Daniel Pipes proposed the creation of «The Islamic Progress Institute» that «could work on a moderate, modern and pro-American approach» on behalf of the Muslim community. According to him, Muslim fundamentalists were «Nazis», «potential murderers», that represented a «real threat» for Jewish, Christians, women and homosexuals.

The war in Iraq has been the moment of glory for Daniel Pipes’ theories for it has been «a unique opportunity to replace the most violent regime of the world». Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Pipes has spoken about this issue and has actually stated that Iraq would need a «strong man with a democratic spirit» for Iraqis «have the conspiracy theory in their minds» and are not ready to govern themselves as Westerners do.
Even today, in the New York Sun, he has said the name of the person he would like to see in such a post. The fact that this person is a military man is not surprising. Former major general Jassim Mohammed Saleh al-Dulaimi is known for not participating in the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein’s regime as well as not having radical ideological convictions and his well known social position [24].

[1] “Neocon Man”, by Eyal Press, The Nation, May 10, 2004

[2] See our work: “Washington’s manipulators” by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, January 11, 2005. Portuguese version: Os senhores da guerra, Frenesi ed., 2002

[3] Regarding General Lemnitzer, see: “When the American General Staff planned terrorist attacks against its own population”, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, November 5, 2001

[4] French magazine Commentaires of Raymond Aron and Jean-Claude Casanova is extremely linked to Commentary. Cf. «La face cachée de la Fondation Saint-Simon», by Denis Boneau, Voltaire, February 10, 2004

[5] The Balance of Tomorrow, by Robert Strausz-Hupé, Orbis, 1957

[6] “The Baghdad Alternative”, by Laurie Mylroie, Orbis, 1988

[7] “Back Iraq”, by Laurie Mylroie and Daniel Pipes, The New Republic, 1989

[8] “The Muslims are Coming! The Muslims are Coming!”, by Daniel Pipes, National Review, November 19, 1990

[9] “Are Muslim Americans Victimized?”, by Daniel Pipes, Commentary, November 2000

[10] The Middle East Forum counts on the following experts: Ziad Abdelnur, Mitchell G. Bard, Patrick Clawson, Khalid Durán, John Eibner, Joseph Farah, Gary Gambill, Martin Kramer, William Kristol, Habib Malik, Daniel Mandel, Laurent Murawiec, Daniel Pipes, Michael Rubin, Robert Satloff, Jonathan Schanzer, Tashbih Sayyed and Meyrav Wurmser

[11] “Un Think Tank au service du Likoud”, by Joel Beinin, Le Monde Diplomatique monthly, July 2003

[12] “Funding Anti-Americanism - Title VI and radicalism in Middle Eastern studies”, by Justin Peck, Concord Bridge, October, 2003

[13] “Forward 50”, The Forward, November 14, 2003

[14] “The Only ’Solution’ (for Israel) is Military”, by Daniel Pipes, New York Post, February 25, 2002

[15] “The US Institute of Peace Stumbles”, by Daniel Pipes, The New York Sun, March 23, 2004

[16] “The New Anti-Semitism”, by Daniel Pipes, Jewish Exponent, October 16, 1997

[17] Militant Islam Reaches America by Daniel Pipes, W. W. Norton ed., 2003

[18] The Hidden Hand by Daniel Pipes, St Martin’s Press ed., 1996, and Conspiracy, Free Press ed., 1997

[19] L’Effroyable Imposture, by Thierry Meyssan, ed. Carnot, 2002. English version : 9/11. The Big Lie, USA Books, 2002.

[20] L’Effroyable mensonge, by Guillaume Dasquié and Jean Guisnel, ed. La Découverte, 2002 (work censured for libel in a trial at the XVII Chamber of the Tribunal Correctional of Paris, TGI )

[21] “Le 11 septembre n’a pas eu lieu”, Théma gathering produced and conducted by Daniel Lecomte, Arte, 2004

[22] After an 1.30 hours of debate, a poll made to a group of television viewers showed that Mr. Schanzer had convinced 17% of them whereas Mr. Meyssan had convinced the 83%. The show, which reached an extraordinary audience rating, was watched by 70 million people

[23] Ce que veut Bush, by Guy Millière, La Martinière ed., 2003. He also published Qui a peur de l’Islam?, Michalon ed., 2004

[24] “Is an Iraqi strongman emerging”, by Daniel Pipes, New York Sun, May 3, 2004. The Jerusalem Post published this article the next day

Venezuela: True Democracy at Work

Venezuela's National Assembly is currently in the process of selecting a new national electoral Council (CNE, Spanish acronym). This process is being carried out following established rules set by the Venezuelan Constitution and existing electoral laws. It is a complex process, yet much more democratic and participatory than other developed nations, or any other in Venezuela’s history. This is a far cry from what the Venezuelan opposition- and the media they control- claim to be an excessive control of the executive branch on the rest of the branches of government.

First of all, Venezuela’s National Assembly must create a preliminary commission, which will be in charge of receiving, postulating and remitting the selected members hauling from all sectors of society to form the electoral committee. For the ongoing process, 680 candidates were registered, who, along with 11 members of the electoral committee will lead the committee. Later, this committee carefully will examine and evaluate all candidates to the CNE, who will finally be chosen by two thirds of the representatives from the National Assembly. According to the Venezuelan Constitution, the CNE should be composed of five people with no links to political parties; three of them should come from civil society, one from the universities and the other from the bases.

This process is completely open, public and transparent. The people of Venezuela have been informed throughout the process. All CNE nominations have been broadcasted and analyzed. The private media have scrutinized on the private lives of all nominees, hoping to find some sort of shady past they can exploit for their own agenda. That is why every nominee should have an extremely clean background.

No other country in the world, even “democratic and developed” ones, allows the direct participation from civil society and the universities in the choosing of the highest electoral authorities. In no other time in Venezuela’s history has there been so much openness and transparency in the choosing of an electoral body. That same opposition that today claims for a “trustworthy” CNE, euphemism for total abstention, never did anything in the past to reform the archaic and corrupt manner the electoral body was chosen in the past. A clear example of this is the way old traditional parties-AD and Copei- chose the electoral body. There were multiple electoral fraud claims in 1993, when Rafael Caldera was chosen president. Today’s opposition never did anything to have a plural and democratic CNE. However, they are the same ones demanding a number of conditions to the CNE so that they can participate in the December elections. They invoke the Constitution, the same one they have rejected in the past and have threatened to change completely once in power. Ironically, every time the Venezuelan opposition invokes the Constitution, they are consolidating the Bolivarian revolution as an example of democracy and popular participation: A true democratic example for the rest of the world.

Antonio Guillermo García Danglades / Translated by Néstor Sánchez Cordero

Bolívar's Dream Stands out in Rio de Janeiro Carnival

Vila Isabel samba school was technically the most perfect group among the 14 schools participating in the costume and float parade

According to local and international media, the Vila Isabel samba school won the Rio de Janeiro Carnival contest last Wednesday, March 1. This school slogan was the Latin American integration and it showed a statue of Liberator Simón Bolívar in the parade.

This school was financed by PDVSA, as well as two Brazilian companies and one US company which paid for the manufacture of the eight floats. Vila Isabel samba school paraded with these floats along 2,789 ft long Marqués de Sapucaí Avenue.

The contest results were announced by the jury of this world costume event in the evening. This carnival has been celebrated for 60 years at the rhythm of samba.

A statue of Liberator Simón Bolívar stood out among Vila Isabel’s floats and it paraded along the Sambodromo as the greatest symbol of the Latin American integration, which is promoted by President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías.

Considered the allegoric representation of America’s union, the 43 ft. statue was the favorite for the 70,000 people situated along the avenue and thousands of people from around the world.

The slogan of the Vila Isabel Samba School - made up of 3,800 people – was dedicated to Latin America.

The float showing Simón Bolívar as hero of the Latin American union was one of the most cheered and it also showed statues of Latin American heroes like Eva Perón, Pablo Neruda, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, José Martí and Gabriel García Márquez.

The statue wore a blue jacket with golden epaulettes and it held a red heart on its hand symbolizing the love that led this independence hero to liberate and unite the peoples of the region. Such ideal is currently promoted by the Venezuelan head of state as part of his strategic plans for the development of Venezuela.

The Brazilian carnival finished last Tuesday, February 28. The different schools have already started recycling the materials and they will begin to get ready for next year’s carnival.

The group that promoted the Latin American union was the fifth school that went along the Sambodromo and finished the parade at dawn, when the Simón Bolívar float finished its stroll.

Venezuela - through PDVSA – systematically promotes this kind of initiative that encourages the integration of the Latin American peoples.

This integration does not only occur in the energy field, but also to promote the continent’s cultural values and to rescue the history of each country marked by the economic and social fight against the imperialist leanings.

Bolivarian News Agency/Venezolana de Televisión/Translated by Cesar Torres

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Venezuela: US Spy Chief ( John Negroponte) Warlike

Caracas, Mar 2 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela responded to attacks by US Department of National Intelligence chief John Negroponte Wednesday, denouncing that his accusations are attempting to create a climate favorable for aggression.

Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said by displacing US foreign policy from the State Department to the Pentagon or the head of all 15 US espionage services has very serious consequences for democracy in the hemisphere.

Negroponte accused Venezuela of interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries of the region and "suffocating" the Venezuelan opposition.

Rangel implied that playing "hot potato" with attacks on Venezuela (referring to statements by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and now Negroponte) "reflects a victory for the hawks in US policy," and a sign of a "fascist trend" advancing in North America.

Recalling Negroponte´s lies to the US Congress over his tacit approval of torture and assassination during his stint as ambassador to Honduras (1981-1985) Rangel said the US official isn´t morally qualified to judge a democratically elected government.

For starters, John Negroponte is a multi-millionaire who has made a lot of money off of owning stock in companies that benefit directly from the war and occupation of Iraq. In Iraq, he has been linked to a proposal where US-funded Central American-style death squads or the so called "Salvador option" has been put forward as a way to quell the Iraqi insurgency against the US occupation.

Negroponte has denied this, but his record indicates that his support for such a plan is not at all far-fetched. During his 41-year career with the US State Department, or as some have called it "Death Squads Inc.," he and his cronies shepherded a murder machine from Vietnam to Iraq. Negroponte worked as a political officer at the US embassy in Vietnam from 1964-1968 ... a period during which there was increased involvement of the government in the war and thousands of executions of civilians and human rights abuses, including the massacres by the infamous "Tiger Force" of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division.

As US ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, he was in charge of the Command Center set-up to stop and overthrow all the emerging national liberation movements taking place in Central America. Military budgets grew in Honduras alone from US$4 million to $77 million dollars and the CIA agents stationed there increased tenfold. Money was no object legality or illegality to fight the insurgencies. He lied to Congress about the CIA-created "Battalion 316" Honduran death squad and covert operations that occurred. He supervised the building of the "El Aguacate" air base and other regional military training centers for the Central American Forces, the Contras, and the Salvadorean military. These bases were also secret detention and torture centers and were used to launch the covert war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and the mining of their harbors.

But we must remember that Negroponte did not act alone, he got his marching orders from Ronald Reagan and William Casey and all the U.S. embassies in the region worked together to put down these revolutionary movements. In El Salvador, one player stands out from the rest, the current ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield. He played a decisive role along with John Negroponte as a political officer in the embassy cover-up of US involvement in the assassination Archbishop Oscar Romero. He also worked to cover up the murder of the four American Maryknoll nuns and other nuns escaping the violence there. Brownfield also played a key role in directing the death squads and El Salvadorean military, who butchered tens of thousands of trade unionists and members of the FMLN. The death squads did not just kill these people, but in a lot of cases they dismembered them and placed their heads on poles as a warning to the rest of the population.

This is the type of person the US government makes responsible for carrying out US policy around the world -- under both Republican and the Democratic administrations.

The interests of the US imperialists are defended, while the revolutionary aspirations of working people are drowned in blood.

Our task is to build a new society in which death squads, the Negropontes and the capitalist system that creates and nurtures them are consigned to the dust bin of history.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Guess Who's Coming to Town? Bush in Pakistan

As I left my office this evening I saw with apprehension three sinister dark helicopter gunships patrolling low over Islamabad. I wondered who they were protecting. Then I realised that a murderer, in fact a mass murderer, will be in town tomorrow. But the helicopters were not there to protect the people of Islamabad from this murderer but they were there to protect the murderer from the wrath of the people of the world.

Tomorrow the most hated man in the world will be in town and will be welcomed by our President. Mush and Bush make a fine pair. Before Bush left Washington he said that he would ask Musharraf to close down terrorist camps in Pakistan. I wonder if our general will ask Bush to close down the biggest terror camp of them all, Guantanomo, where the terrorists are the US Army personnel who perform torture on the inmates. But why should he? He is after all implicated in these crimes against humanity. He and his Foreign Minister proudly proclaim that they are in the frontlines of the war against terror and that they have handed over more than 700 suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists to the US which incarcerates them illegally without trial and without recourse to any legal system in Guantanomo.

By their own words they admit that they have done illegal actions; midnight arrests of Pakistanis and foreigners and bundling into secret CIA flights without due process of law in front of Pakistani courts.

So how can they protest? They are themselves complicit in these crimes against humanity, let alone the violation of the Pakistani constitution and Pakistani laws. But when did violation of the constitution or the law ever matter to the various generals who have run the country? Why should our good general protest about people illegally locked away in far Guantanomo?

We have our own mini-Guantanomos right here in our own backyard. We have our own illegalities. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan hundreds of Pakistanis have disappeared in the last few years. They have been picked up by intelligence agencies and never heard of again. Are they being tortured? Are they dead? No answers are forthcoming. In the name of fighting Al-Qaeda Pakistani villages have been bombed not only by the Pakistan army but by the US and many Pakistani civilians, including women and children, have been killed.

Tomorrow there will be in Islamabad a man whose hands are covered in the blood of the innocents massacred in Afghanistan, in Rafah, Jenin, Jabaliya, Gaza, Najaf, Fallujah, Samarrah, etc. The killing in Iraq continues. Not content with creating chaos in Iraq with a daily death toll of more than a hundred, Bush is now intent on attacking Iran. He is not only a murderer but a pyrotechnician. Nero does not hold a candle to him Nero was content to see Rome burn but this madman wants to see the whole of the Middle East burn.

Arundhati Roy in an excellent article in the Guardian today (1 March) said that Bush is not welcome in India. Equally he is not welcome in Pakistan. If it wasn't for the complete security blockade of Islamabad and if there was democracy (that so much abused concept) and freedom of assembly in Pakistan, Bush would be welcomed by demonstrations against his policies in the US and worldwide. There is no country in the world, outside the United States, where he can move freely and where he will not face demonstrations. However much his security detail and his ever-obliging hosts try to shield him, he knows that he is an unwelcome guest wherever he goes.

Faheem Hussain is a Pakistani physicist. He can be reached at:

Terrorists in Miami Still Enjoy Impunity

A significant number of anti-Cuban terrorists based in Miami continue their activities there with total impunity. They even dare to publicize what they are doing, under the protection of the US Government according to Tuesday's Cuban Round Table informative broadcast.

The participants on the program reminded the audience about the continuing violations of US Federal laws by people belonging to the anti-Cuban Mafia that operate with total impunity in South Florida. There they promote political assassinations, subversive actions, all done in total synchronization with the aggressive plans of the White House against Cuba.

The Nuevo Herald, a Spanish language newspaper published in Miami, ran in its February 18, edition a piece in which Rodolfo Frometa, a self proclaimed terrorist and chief of the so called F4 Commandos, openly called for the blowing up of the Cuban Revolution and the assassination of President Fidel Castro during a meeting of Mafiosi elements in Miami, and later repeated his terrorist statements during a Miami TV interview.

Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January 1959, three thousand four hundred and seventy eight Cubans have been killed and two thousand and ninety nine were wounded and many left with permanent injuries as a consequence of terrorist attacks.

Cuban TV senior news analyst, Reinaldo Taladrid, reviewed the characteristics of the so called Committee to Help Insurgency in Cuba, and the eight groups that call themselves belligerent exiles, who participated in that meeting, and reminded to the audience about the numerous crimes that they have committed.

Taladrid explained that dangerous criminals continue to benefit from the use of a significant part of the tens of millions of dollars that Washington is providing to promote subversion and the organization of terrorism against Cuba. This is something that clearly exposes the double moral standards of the Bush Administration towards terrorism.

Those figures include large amounts of money funding counterrevolutionary organizations and mercenaries that act both inside and out of Cuba, some of them supposedly independent
journalists, Taladrid underscored.

Francisco Aruca, a journalist from a Miami alternative broadcast station, declared during a phone interview from that city during the course of The Round Table, that the city has historically treated anti-Cuban terrorists as "patriots", and has fought those who dare to
criticize them.

Granma daily newspaper Director General, Lazaro Barredo quoted US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has publicly endorsed the Mafiosi anti-Cuban groups, while at the same time including Cuba in each and every list to isolate the Caribbean nation from the rest of the world and ignores whatever Cuba proposes for jointly fighting drug trafficking and terrorism.

Barredo recalled that despite the objections by the Cuban Government, Washington continues to implement the exclusive migration law known as the Cuba Adjustment Act of 1966, which promotes illegal departures to the US. This is something that has contributed to the loss of a
great number of lives of people attempting to cross the Florida Straits in makeshift boats.

The frustration of the Bush Administration in relation to their aspiration to intervene in Cuban internal affairs, and the fact that it included Cuba in the list of "unstable nations", shows the
increasing desperation of the US, something that The Round Table moderator Randy Alonso described as dangerous.

US researchers affirm that their nation's politics towards Cuba has re-assumed the objectives of the "Cold War", as a rational response to an apparent menace, which aims to force the Cubans to spend its economic resources on defense, Alonso stated.

During the Round Table a TV news report from a foreign TV network was shown. The report dealt with the official actions of the US Government aimed at shutting down the travel agencies that promote trips to Cuba from the United States. This was recently included in the reinforced harassing against ordinary citizens, intellectuals, academics and business people who attempt to travel to Cuba.

Information about the closing down of the Maria Isabel Sheraton Hotel in Mexico City was also broadcast during the program. The shutting down of the hotel took place yesterday in the Mexican capital, where the municipal authorities imposed a fifteen thousand dollars fine on
the facility.

Recently a delegation of Cuban officials was thrown out of the hotel, following US official insistence that the company which owns the hotel comply with the illegal extraterritorial US laws against Cuba.

Barbara Betancourt, senior international news analyst of Radio Havana Cuba then explained that Washington's actions in the European Union are designed to add new ingredients to reinforce the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, and then start up
similar actions against Venezuela, Bolivia and other Latin American nations that show resistance to the USA.

Lazaro Barredo underscored that it is the US extreme right wing forces who are the ones that generate the anti-Cuban policy guidelines, as an expression of their hate to the example of
sovereignty that Cuba represents.

arh 06 10:55

Me, cowboy Bush... You Injuns

Smoking gun evidence tying the Bush criminal cartel to arms trafficking, Viktor Bout, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda.

Dubai -- the emirate has the smoking gun evidence tying the Bush criminal cartel to arms trafficking, Viktor Bout, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda.

Internal documents from the UAE Central Bank in Dubai detail huge money laundering operations in the UAE according to financial industry insiders. Moreover, the Sharjah branch of HSBC Holdings PLC was tied to international arms trafficker Victor Bout, indicted in Belgium for money laundering and named in various UN reports as a chief embargo buster in Africa and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

American citizen Iqbal Hakim, a native of India, was the chief examiner for the UAE Central Bank. Hakim, yet another whistleblower who has been ignored and mistreated by the Bush administration and threatened by Bush's Persian Gulf potentate friends, discovered a suspicious $343 million per year money flow through an HSBC personal account in Dubai. The transactions were investigated by the FBI and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement but no prosecutions resulted.

There are deep-seated ties between the Bush-Cheney criminal cartel, key GOP operatives, and the UAE. Significant questions about the oil industry’s ties to the U.S. military-intelligence complex were raised when Michael Trumpower, the owner of Prescott, Arizona-based company Matco, Inc. filed for bankruptcy shortly after George W. Bush's inauguration. In questionable financial moves similar to those of Enron, Matco traded on a lucrative oil concession it was granted for all offshore exploration off the Emirate of Fujairah for unsecured loans for equipment and services. Fujairah, one of the poorest of the emirates, is led by Sheik Hamad bin Mohammed al Sharqi, one of the more fundamentalist Wahhabi Muslims in the UAE leadership. Al Sharqi patronizes the Fujairah Islamic Call and Guidance Center, which has recruited a number of foreign adherents of Wahhabi Islam. These include Filipinos, British, Americans, Russians, and Sri Lankans. Moreover, all their native countries are targets of Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. In addition, a number of Pakistani nationals who worked at the National Bank of Fujairah were known by international law enforcement to be sympathetic to the Taliban.

Trumpower’s close ties to Sheikh Hamad are only rivaled by his close ties to the CIA. Although he became strapped for cash after his company tanked, Trumpower, like Enron's Kenneth Lay, was a major contributor to the Bush campaign and those of other Republican candidates, including that of powerful House Rules Committee member, Representative Thomas Reynolds of New York. Reynolds was in a prime position to derail any House investigation of the GOP-CIA-oil industry ties.

In the mid-1980s, Trumpower was an associate of Iran-contra figure Oliver North. North claims Trumpower was instrumental in helping to free U.S. hostages in Lebanon. That affair was the heart of the Iran-contra scandal in which several current and former Bush administration officials took part. These include National Security Council Middle East adviser Elliot Abrams, former Defense Department Information Awareness Office chief Admiral (retired) John Poindexter, and Assistant Secretaries of State for Latin American Affairs Otto Reich and Roger Noriega. The old Iran-contra fraternity remains largely intact. In 2000, North and Trumpower jointly appeared at a Republican fundraising dinner in Arizona.

Trumpower was also close to the reigning Emir of Sharjah, who granted the shadowy ex-CIA agent of influence rights to drill in a strip of ocean bordering Fujairah. Sharjah was a major base of operations for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which used the emirate to smuggle weapons and drugs using Ariana Afghan Airlines security credentials. Sharjah was a base of operations for Viktor Bout’s Air Cess operations, which was accused of running weapons to the Taliban and gun running activities in Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From his base in Sharjah in the Gulf, Bout was servicing Ariana Afghan Airline flights to Kandahar, Afghanistan. These flights were believed to be ferrying weapons and Al Qaeda and Taliban volunteers to Afghanistan and the Clinton National Security Council strongly believed Bout was aiding terrorism. Belgium issued an INTERPOL international arrest warrant for Bout for money laundering and diamond smuggling. Clinton White House counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke wanted an arrest warrant issued for Bout. Gayle Smith, Clinton’s National Security Council Africa bureau chief, along with CIA and British MI-6 agents, kept a wary eye on Bout’s activities in Africa’s conflicts.

At heart of Dubai scandal: Taliban and Al Qaeda weapons smuggler and U.S. contractor Viktor Bout

After Bush was inaugurated in 2001, Sharjah police sent a special police unit to Sharjah airport to capture Bout and hand him over to U.S. authorities, but the White House declined. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told U.S. intelligence that when it came to Bout, "look but don’t touch.” After 911, Rice inexplicably called off all operations aimed at Bout. Law enforcement and intelligence agents considered such a move amazing, considering Bout’s direct links to smuggling arms to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, as well as to other areas of the world that were rife with Islamist terrorist groups.

Next door to Sharjah is Dubai, the center of CIA spying in the region, according to U.S. intelligence sources. Dubai’s Dolphin Energy Ltd. was a quarter-owned by Enron before the firm’s collapse. Dolphin’s CEO was UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahayan. Bout was reported by the UN to be using Flying Dolphin Airlines, which operated scheduled flights between Dubai and Kandahar between October 2000 and January 2001, to ship arms to the Taliban. Flying Dolphin was owned by Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Saqr al Nahayan, a former UAE ambassador to the U.S. and a relative of the President of the UAE, who is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi. Flying Dolphin was registered in Bout’s favorite home base of Liberia although its main office was in Dubai.

In addition, Bout’s Texas-based Air Bas had rights to refuel at U.S. bases in Iraq. One of Bout’s airfreight companies, Airbus, was subcontracted through another firm called Falcon Express of Dubai, by Kellogg, Brown and Root, the subsidiary of Halliburton. Air Bas also had links to Falcon Express.

In July 2001, Osama bin Laden was reported to have received kidney treatment at the American Hospital in Dubai with the blessing of the Dubai and UAE governments. At the time of his hospitalization, Osama Bin Laden was reported by the French newspaper Le Figaro and Radio France International to have been visited on July 12, 2001, by Larry Mitchell, the CIA chief in Dubai who was said to have had close contacts with all the Gulf royal families. Mitchell was reportedly called back to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia on July 15, 2001. The Carlyle Group, with George H. W. Bush, James Baker III, and the Bin Laden family as major principals, bought a 42 percent stake (from a previous 4.9 percent stake) in Le Figaro after the paper on October 31, 2001, reported on the Bin Laden meeting with the CIA station chief in Dubai.

The Bush criminal cartel: fingerprints all over Dubai ports deal

One of Neil Bush’s best friends and advocates in the Middle East is the Emir of Dubai, Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, an individual who often crossed paths with the Taliban and Al Qaeda on his frequent hunting and falconing trips to eastern Afghanistan. In the wake of 911, Rashid, who was the Defense Minister of the United Arab Emirates and then Dubai Crown Prince, said the following, “The United States must not to act in haste, it must give diplomacy and legal means every opportunity before launching a military strike on Afghanistan, it must not rush to accuse people without hard evidence.” The UAE was only one of three countries to recognize the Taliban, which acquiesced to the financing of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. In October 2001, while visiting Dubai just weeks after 911, Neil Bush praised the Shaikh Rashid as a man with “foresight and vision.” In the same speech, Neil Bush said something that should chill the bones of every American--he said the following about his learning-disabled son Pierce, “My father was the 41st president and my brother is 43rd. I think that if Pierce finishes high school, he’ll be the 50th president of the United States." Rashid also just so happened to be in charge of a project to put computers in UAE schools and Neil Bush was hawking the services of his Ignite! Inc., an e-learning educational software company.

Carlyle has its fingerprints on the Dubai Ports world deal to assume control of six major U.S. ports from Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). After Treasury Secretary John Snow left CSX Corporation as its chairman, CSX Lines was sold to Carlyle, which renamed it Horizon Lines. David Sanborn, who was a CSX executive under Snow, became director of European and Latin American operations for Dubai Ports World and arranged to sell the Dubai state-owned firm CSX port operations in South America and Asia. Sanborn was then appointed Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Maritime Administration (MARAD), the oversight agency for U.S. shipping and ports. The Dubai Ports World deal to take over U.S. port operations was signed off by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), chaired by Sanborn's old CSX boss Snow. Perhaps not coincidental to the lucrative port deals, the Dubai Investment Corporation recently invested $100 million in The Carlyle Group. And Dubai Ports World's deal involves taking over operations at more than just six U.S. ports -- New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia/Camden, Baltimore, Miami, and New Orleans.

P&O's web site states the Dubai Ports World deal involves stevedore operations at 21 U.S. ports: Portland, ME; Boston, Davisville, RI; New York; Newark; Philadelphia; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Baltimore; Newport News, VA; Norfolk, VA; Portsmouth, VA; Miami; Lake Charles, LA, New Orleans; Beaumont, TX; Port Arthur, TX; Galveston, TX; Houston; Corpus Christi; and Freeport, TX.

The magazine In These Times reported yet another former CIA officer who had ties to the Gulf and who was heavily involved with the oil industry. He is Stephen “Satch” Baumgart of Reston, Virginia. He reportedly helped funnel arms to Sadaam Hussein in the 1980s with the approval of the CIA, which had, at the time, tilted to Baghdad in its war with Iran. Baumgart was linked to another Republican contributor and oil mogul, Pierre Falcone of Scottsdale, Arizona. Falcone was implicated in a complex guns-for-oil scandal involving Angola and Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton, a major player with the Luanda regime. Another player in that scandal was Russian-Israeli mobster Arkady Gaydamak, who is tied into an international network of smugglers connected to Marc Rich, Scooter Libby's one-time client. Falcone was also closely linked to Arizona Republican State Senator Scott Bundgaard, who ran for the House of Representatives’ Second District in Arizona.

There is also a connection between the scandal-plagued firm Custer Battles, which has been under investigation for fraud in Iraq security contracts, and Dubai. Custer Battles was formed in 2003 by Mike Battles, aged 33, a former U.S. Army and CIA officer and Scott Custer, also a former U.S. Army Ranger and employee of SAIC. Custer was Battles’s campaign assistant in a failed 2002 congressional race against Rhode Island Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy. Custer Battles initial financing is sketchy but it is known that the company received $15 million in seed money from a Dubai venture capital firm. The venture capital firm hoped to raise an additional $100 million for Custer Battles ventures in Iraq. Battles refused to disclose the name of the Dubai firm.

A mercenary firm that supplies ex-South African counter-insurgency Koevoet commandos has links to Dubai. The firm, Erinys International, which established an Erinys Iraq branch, has its headquarters in London with offices in Johannesburg and Dubai.

Vice President Dick Cheney's old company, Halliburton, has some interesting partners in its work in occupied Iraq. On Dec. 11, WMR reported on links between Halliburton/Kellogg, Brown & Root and a Viktor Bout-owned airline based in Moldova, Aerocom/Air Mero. Bout's airlines have also reportedly been involved in flying low wage earners from East Asia to Dubai and on to Iraq where they work for paltry salaries in sub-standard living conditions. Halliburton/KBR has sub-contracted to a shadowy Dubai-based firm, Prime Projects International Trading LLC (PPI), which "trades" mainly in workers from Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and other poor Asian nations.

In 2004, after a Filipino PPI worker was killed in a mortar attack on Camp Anaconda in Iraq, the Philippines government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered PPI, which is based at P.O. Box 42252, Dubai, UAE, to send overseas Filipino workers OFWs) home from Iraq and Kuwait and banned it from further recruiting in the Philippines. Some of PPI's recruiting included running ads on the Internet. In addition to the other south Asian employees, the Philippine workers were employed by PPI under a Pentagon sweetheart umbrella contract let to KBR under the LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Program) III program.

Although little is known about PPI, it reportedly has been linked to Halliburton/KBR for a number of years and has been associated with Halliburton contracts in the Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Balkans during the time when Dick Cheney headed the firm. PPI has also been involved in operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Filipino workers were involved in building the prison housing suspected "Al Qaeda" prisoners.

Inside sources report that PPI has some high level financial partners, including the al Nahayan royal family of the United Arab Emirates and Vice President Cheney.