Friday, April 01, 2011

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya deal
By Pepe Escobar

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here.

You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes" vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and calling for a fact-finding mission. We maintain our official position that the resolution is not clear, and may be interpreted in a belligerent manner."

As Asia Times Online has reported, a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to "seduce" three other members to get the vote.

Translation: only nine out of 22 members of the Arab League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was essentially a House of Saud-led operation, with Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa keen to polish his CV with Washington with an eye to become the next Egyptian President.

Thus, in the beginning, there was the great 2011 Arab revolt. Then, inexorably, came the US-Saudi counter-revolution.

Profiteers rejoice
Humanitarian imperialists will spin en masse this is a "conspiracy", as they have been spinning the bombing of Libya prevented a hypothetical massacre in Benghazi. They will be defending the House of Saud - saying it acted to squash Iranian subversion in the Gulf; obviously R2P - "responsibility to protect" does not apply to people in Bahrain. They will be heavily promoting post-Gaddafi Libya as a new - oily - human rights Mecca, complete with US intelligence assets, black ops, special forces and dodgy contractors.

Whatever they say won't alter the facts on the ground - the graphic results of the US-Saudi dirty dancing. Asia Times Online has already reported on who profits from the foreign intervention in Libya (see There's no business like war business, March 30). Players include the Pentagon (via Africom), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Saudi Arabia, the Arab League's Moussa, and Qatar. Add to the list the al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, assorted weapons contractors, and the usual neo-liberal suspects eager to privatize everything in sight in the new Libya - even the water. And we're not even talking about the Western vultures hovering over the Libyan oil and gas industry.

Exposed, above all, is the astonishing hypocrisy of the Obama administration, selling a crass geopolitical coup involving northern Africa and the Persian Gulf as a humanitarian operation. As for the fact of another US war on a Muslim nation, that's just a "kinetic military action".

There's been wide speculation in both the US and across the Middle East that considering the military stalemate - and short of the "coalition of the willing" bombing the Gaddafi family to oblivion - Washington, London and Paris might settle for the control of eastern Libya; a northern African version of an oil-rich Gulf Emirate. Gaddafi would be left with a starving North Korea-style Tripolitania.

But considering the latest high-value defections from the regime, plus the desired endgame ("Gaddafi must go", in President Obama's own words), Washington, London, Paris and Riyadh won't settle for nothing but the whole kebab. Including a strategic base for both Africom and NATO.

Round up the unusual suspects
One of the side effects of the dirty US-Saudi deal is that the White House is doing all it can to make sure the Bahrain drama is buried by US media. BBC America news anchor Katty Kay at least had the decency to stress, "they would like that one [Bahrain] to go away because there's no real upside for them in supporting the rebellion by the Shi'ites."

For his part the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, showed up on al-Jazeera and said that action was needed because the Libyan people were attacked by Gaddafi. The otherwise excellent al-Jazeera journalists could have politely asked the emir whether he would send his Mirages to protect the people of Palestine from Israel, or his neighbors in Bahrain from Saudi Arabia.

The al-Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain is essentially a bunch of Sunni settlers who took over 230 years ago. For a great deal of the 20th century they were obliging slaves of the British empire. Modern Bahrain does not live under the specter of a push from Iran; that's an al-Khalifa (and House of Saud) myth.

Bahrainis, historically, have always rejected being part of a sort of Shi'ite nation led by Iran. The protests come a long way, and are part of a true national movement - way beyond sectarianism. No wonder the slogan in the iconic Pearl roundabout - smashed by the fearful al-Khalifa police state - was "neither Sunni nor Shi'ite; Bahraini".

What the protesters wanted was essentially a constitutional monarchy; a legitimate parliament; free and fair elections; and no more corruption. What they got instead was "bullet-friendly Bahrain" replacing "business-friendly Bahrain", and an invasion sponsored by the House of Saud.

And the repression goes on - invisible to US corporate media. Tweeters scream that everybody and his neighbor are being arrested. According to Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, over 400 people are either missing or in custody, some of them "arrested at checkpoints controlled by thugs brought in from other Arab and Asian countries - they wear black masks in the streets." Even blogger Mahmood Al Yousif was arrested at 3 am, leading to fears that the same will happen to any Bahraini who has blogged, tweeted, or posted Facebook messages in favor of reform.

Globocop is on a roll
Odyssey Dawn is now over. Enter Unified Protector - led by Canadian Charles Bouchard. Translation: the Pentagon (as in Africom) transfers the "kinetic military action " to itself (as in NATO, which is nothing but the Pentagon ruling over Europe). Africom and NATO are now one.

The NATO show will include air and cruise missile strikes; a naval blockade of Libyia; and shady, unspecified ground operations to help the "rebels". Hardcore helicopter gunship raids a la AfPak - with attached "collateral damage" - should be expected.

A curious development is already visible. NATO is deliberately allowing Gaddafi forces to advance along the Mediterranean coast and repel the "rebels". There have been no surgical air strikes for quite a while.

The objective is possibly to extract political and economic concessions from the defector and Libyan exile-infested Interim National Council (INC) - a dodgy cast of characters including former Justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, US-educated former secretary of planning Mahmoud Jibril, and former Virginia resident, new "military commander" and CIA asset Khalifa Hifter. The laudable, indigenous February 17 Youth movement - which was in the forefront of the Benghazi uprising - has been completely sidelined.

This is NATO's first African war, as Afghanistan is NATO's first Central/South Asian war. Now firmly configured as the UN's weaponized arm, Globocop NATO is on a roll implementing its "strategic concept" approved at the Lisbon summit last November (see Welcome to NATOstan, Asia Times Online, November 20, 2010).

Gaddafi's Libya must be taken out so the Mediterranean - the mare nostrum of ancient Rome - becomes a NATO lake. Libya is the only nation in northern Africa not subordinated to Africom or Centcom or any one of the myriad NATO "partnerships". The other non-NATO-related African nations are Eritrea, Sawahiri Arab Democratic Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Moreover, two members of NATO's "Istanbul Cooperation Initiative" - Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - are now fighting alongside Africom/NATO for the fist time. Translation: NATO and Persian Gulf partners are fighting a war in Africa. Europe? That's too provincial. Globocop is the way to go.

According to the Obama administration's own official doublespeak, dictators who are eligible for "US outreach" - such as in Bahrain and Yemen - may relax, and get away with virtually anything. As for those eligible for "regime alteration", from Africa to the Middle East and Asia, watch out. Globocop NATO is coming to get you. With or without dirty deals.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

Obama condemned by African-American and progressive coalition

Speaker after speaker, representing a broad section of African-American and progressive organizations, came together this morning at a press conference at the Newseum in Washington, DC and condemned President Obama's military attack on Libya. The press conference announced the creation of the Coalition Against The Bombing of Africa (Libya).

A spokesman for the Universal African People's Organization, which is based in St. Louis, cited Obama's military campaign against an African nation as America prepares to remember the April 4 anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. Just a year before King's assassination, King spoke at Riverside Church in New York and said the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is the United States government." Obama stands accused by a number of African-American and progressive leaders of continuing the policy cited by King and continuing America's policy of genocide and invasions.

A spokesperson for the December 12 Movement said Obama's war against Libya represents an attempt to re-colonize Africa and that in order to accomplish the operation, Libya's Qaddafi, a champion of African independence, has to be removed.

Bob Brown, a leader of the All-Africa People's Revolutionary Party -- Guinea-Conakry (AAPRP-GC) accused the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) are interfering in Africa and that Obama is advancing the agenda of the "Euro-American" banks to grab Libya's oil, Cote d'Ivoire's cocoa, and central Africa's col-tan.

Brown claimed that Obama is either a "conscious agent of the enemy of our people or is a fool. The speaker added, "my father did not arrive here like Obama's, on one of Tom Mboya's CIA airlift planes."

A Muslim-American spokesman recalled when he met Obama in Chicago, while the then-presidential candidate was seeking his group's endorsement, Obama could recite Koranic phrases in Arabic better than the foreign-born Muslim-American spokesman. The speaker stated that the majority of the Arab League does not support the U.S. and NATO military action against Libya.

The final speaker, 2008 Green Party presidential candidate and former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney slammed Obama's CIA support for the Libyan opposition, including one of its leader, Khalifa Hifter, who has spent the last 20 years living in Langley, Virginia, the headquarters of the CIA. McKinney also cited this editor's previous reports on Obama's own CIA background and the links to the "company" of his family.

McKinney also decried the silence from the Congressional Black Caucus on Obama's military attack on Libya. One panelist pointed out that some members of the Black Caucus have been in power longer than Qaddafi.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed the Washington press conference via telecast from Chicago's Mosque Maryam, built with a $3 million loan from Qaddafi. WMR has previously reported that Obama was infiltrated into south Chicago in 1985 from his CIA front job in New York to spy on Qaddafi-supported groups such as the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, and El Rukn gang. As president and commander-in-chief, Obama is now seen by some black Muslims of taking his revenge on Qaddafi in a more international version of Obama's street warfare with black activists during Obama's days as a shill for the CIA and FBI infiltration operations in Chicago. One African-American classmate of Obama in Harvard in 1988 told WMR that Obama regularly complained on campus about black activism.

Farrakhan said Obama asked for and received the Nation of Islam's support in his U.S. Senate campaign. Later, Obama renounced Farrakhan and his organization during a debate with Hillary Clinton.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Statement of Cynthia McKinney at the Newseum Press Conference on Libya Thursday, 31 March 2011

I am pleased to stand with my colleagues today who are outraged at Nobel Peace Laureate President Obama’s decision to wage war on Africa in Libya.  At the outset, let me state that Libya is home to tens of thousands or more of foreign students and guest workers.  The students come from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia.  The messages I have received from concerned Africans state that these young innocent people, inaccurately labeled by the U.S. press as “black mercenaries,” have been trapped in hostile territory and are hated by the U.S.-allied Al Qaeda insurgents.  The press forgot that Libya is in Africa and that Libyans are Black!

I would also like to acknowledge the outrage of the Women International Democratic Federation of Brazil that repudiates the invasion of Libya.  They point specifically to the depressed state of women in pre-Qaddafi Libya and how women now have positions that had once been denied to them.  They note in their communiqué that the National Front of the Salvation of Libya has been financed by the C.I.A. since 1981 and that its headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

In fact, I have received messages and phone calls from people literally all over the world who are outraged at this action.   And because the media cannot be relied upon to tell the truth, I repeat the call that I received directly from Libya yesterday for international observers to go to Libya to tell the world the truth.  I would go.

Sadly, President Obama’s justification for war provides answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain, and conclusions that don’t conclude.  Reports continue to emerge of the US ties to the so-called rebel leaders:  the latest being that Khalifa Hifter, latest leader of the rebel army, spent much of the past 20 years in Langley, Virginia.  He didn’t even move to Baltimore to disguise the relationship!  Moreover, General Wesley Clarke told us that Libya was on the U.W. hitlist ten years ago!

This is nothing new.  This operation smells very much like so many other Africa operations fueled by U.S.-supported individuals who become a rebel force able to threaten an inconvenient leader who stands up to the U.S.  This particular play has been repeated in Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, and Angola and Mozambique before them.  We are not blind; we recognize this play.  And the use of depleted uranium will cause health effects for generations to come.

Pentagon Secretary Gates said “Libya is not part of our vital interest.”  Then why are we there?  Herein lies the conundrum.  President Obama has authorized secret support for its rebels in Libya, just like Miami’s Cuban community has received for decades.

Sadly, our President has chosen to spend $600 million per week in addition to other war costs at a time when the Black community is melting.  As of the most recent Economic Policy Institute study, average Black family wealth was $2,000 while that of Whites was $94,600.  President Obama has done nothing to address the disparities that have existed in this country since slavery.  Clearly, our President should focus on home and improving the lot of the people of this country before launching another war.

Finally, I must say something about the ugly hate language that is emanating more and more from Black political voices.  Any politician seeking votes by exacerbating divisions in our country does not deserve our votes.  I’m speaking specifically about the unfortunate remarks of Herman Cain who should know better.
I stand with those who support the right of self-determination of the Libyan people, including their right to resolve differences without interference from outsiders.


Silence is the deadliest weapon of mass destruction.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Libya’s Blood For Oil: The Vampire War



By Susan Lindauer, former U.S. Asset who covered Libya at the United Nations from 1995 to 2003

Who are we kidding? The United States, Britain and NATO don’t care about bombing civilians to contain rebellion. Their militaries bomb civilians every day without mercy. They have destroyed most of the community infrastructure of Iraq and Afghanistan before turning their sights on Libya. So what’s really going on here?

According to the CIA, the following never happened… 

Last October, US oil giants— Chevron and Occidental Petroleum— made a surprising decision to pull out of Libya, while China, Germany and Italy stayed on, signing major contracts with Gadhaffi’s government. As the U.S. Asset who started negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial with Libyan diplomats, I had close ties to Libya’s U.N. Mission from 1995 to 2003. Given my long involvement in the Lockerbie saga, I have continued to enjoy special access to high level intelligence gossip on Libya.

Last summer that gossip got juicy!

About July, I started hearing that Gadhaffi was exerting heavy pressure on U.S. and British oil companies to cough up special fees and kick backs to cover the costs of Libya’s reimbursement to the families of Pan Am 103. Payment of damages for the Lockerbie bombing had been one of the chief conditions for ending U.N. sanctions on Libya that ran from 1992 until 2003. And of course the United Nations forced Gadhaffi to hand over two Libyan men for a special trial at The Hague, though everybody credible was fully conscious of Libya’s innocence in the Lockerbie affair. (Only ignorant politicians trying to score publicity points say otherwise.)

Knowing Gadhaffi as well as I do, I was convinced that he’d done it. He’d bided his time until he could extort compensation from U.S. oil companies. He’s a crafty bastard, extremely intelligent and canny. That’s exactly how he operates. And now he was taking his revenge. As expected, the U.S. was hopping mad about it. Gadhaffi wasn’t playing the game the way the Oil Bloodsuckers wanted. The Vampire of our age—the Oil Industry—roams the earth, sucking the life out of every nation to feed its thirst for profits. Only when they got to Libya, Gadhaffi took on the role of a modern-day Robin Hood, who insisted on replenishing his people for the costs they’d suffered under U.N. sanctions.

Backing up a year earlier, in August 2009 the lone Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, Abdelbasset Megrahi, won a compassionate release from Scottish prison. Ostensibly, the British government and Scottish Courts granted Megrahi’s request to die at home with dignity from advance stage cancer—in exchange for dropping a legal appeal packed with embarrassments for the European Courts. The decision to free Megrahi followed shocking revelations of corruption at the special Court of The Hague that handled the Lockerbie Trial. Prosecution witnesses confessed to receiving payments of $4 million each from the United States, in exchange for testimony against Megrahi, a mind-blowing allegation of judicial corruption.

The Lockerbie conviction was full of holes to begin with. Anybody who knows anything about terrorism in the 1980s knows the CIA got mixed up in heroin trafficking out of the Bekaa Valley during the hostage crisis in Lebanon. The Lockerbie conspiracy had been a false flag operation to kill off a joint CIA and Defense Intelligence investigation into kick backs from Islamic Jihad, in exchange for protecting the heroin transit network.

According to my own CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz, who’d been stationed in Lebanon and Syria at the time, the CIA had established a protected drug route from Lebanon to Europe and on to the United States. His statements support other sources that “Operation Corea” allowed Syrian drug dealers led by Monzer al-Kassar (also linked to Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal) to ship heroin to the U.S. ON Pan Am flights, in exchange for intelligence on the hostages’ whereabouts in Lebanon. The CIA allegedly made sure that suitcases carrying heroin were not searched at customs. Nicknamed the “Godfather of Terror,” Al Kassar is now serving a prison sentence for conspiring with Colombian drug cartels to assassinate U.S. nationals.

Building up to Lockerbie, the Defense Intelligence team in Beirut, led by Maj. Charles Dennis McKee and Matthew Gannon, suspected that CIA infiltration of the heroin network might be prolonging the hostage crisis. If so, the consequence was severe. AP Reporter Terry Anderson got chained in a basement for 7 years, while 96 other high profile western hostages suffered beatings, mock executions and overall trauma. McKee’s team raised the alarms in Washington that a CIA double agent profiting from the narco-dollars might be warning the hostage takers whenever their dragnet closed in. Washington sent a fact-finding team to Lebanon to gather evidence.

On the day it was blown out of the sky, Pan Am 103 was carrying that team of CIA and FBI investigators, the CIA’s Deputy Chief assigned to Beirut, and three Defense Intelligence officers, including McKee and Gannon, on their way to Washington to deliver a report on the CIA’s role in heroin trafficking, and the impact on terrorist financing and the hostage crisis. In short, everyone with direct knowledge of CIA kickbacks from heroin trafficking died on Pan Am 103. A suitcase packed with $500,000 worth of heroin was found in the wreckage. It belonged to investigators, as proof of the corruption.

The punch line was that the U.S. State Department issued an internal travel advisory, warning that government officials should get off that specific flight on that specific day, because Pan Am 103 was expected to get bombed. That’s right, folks! The U.S. had prior knowledge of the attack. 

Unforgivably, nobody told Charles McKee or Matthew Gannon. But other military officials and diplomats got pulled off the flight—making room for a group of students from Syracuse University traveling stand by for the Christmas holidays.

It was a monstrous act! But condemning Megrahi to cover up the CIA’s role in heroin trafficking has struck many Lockerbie afficiandos as grossly unjust. Add the corruption of purchased testimony– $4 million a pop— and Megrahi’s life sentence struck a nerve of obscenity.

It struck Gadhaffi as grievously offensive, as well—The United Nations had forced Libya to fork over $2.7 billion in damages to the Lockerbie families, a rate of $10 million for every death. Once it became clear the U.S. paid two key witnesses $4 million each to commit perjury, spook gossip throughout the summer was rife that Gadhaffi had taken bold action to demand compensation from U.S. (and probably British) oil corporations operating in Libya. More than likely, Libya’s demands for kick backs and compensation extended to other European oil conglomerates as well—particularly France and Italy—who are now spearheading attacks on Libya.

I knew last summer there would be trouble. Payback would be a bitch on both sides. You don’t lock an innocent man in prison for 10 years on bogus charges of terrorism, and expect forgiveness. The United States and Britain had behaved with remarkable selfishness. You’ve got to admit that Gadhaffi’s attempt to balance the scales of justice demonstrated a flair of righteous nationalism.

Alas, Gadhaffi was playing with fire, no matter how justified his complaint. You don’t strike a tyrant without expecting a tyrant to strike back.

And that’s exactly what’s happening today.

Don’t kid yourself. This is an oil war, and it smacks of imperialist double standards. Two articles by Prof. Chossudovsky at the Global Research Centre are must reading: “Operation Libya and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa” and “Insurrection and Military Intervention: The US-NATO Attempted Coup d’Etat in Libya?” 

There is simply no justification for U.S. or NATO action against Libya. The U.N. charter acknowledges the rights of sovereign nations to put down rebellions against their own governments. Moreover, many observers have commented that plans for military intervention appear to have been much more advanced than U.S. and European leaders want to admit.

For myself, I know in my gut that war planning started months before the democratization movement kicked off throughout the Arab world—a lucky cover for U.S. and European oil policy. Perhaps too lucky.

As Chossudovsky writes, “Hundreds of US, British and French military advisers arrived in Cyrenaica, Libya’s eastern breakaway province” on February 23 and 24— seven (7) days after the start of Gadhaffi’s domestic rebellion. “The advisers, including intelligence officers, were dropped from warships and missile boats at the coastal towns of Benghazi and Tobruk.” (DEBKAfile, US military advisers in Cyrenaica, Feb. 25, 2011) Special forces on the ground in Eastern Libya provided covert support to the rebels.” Eight British Special Forces commandos were arrested in the Benghazi region, while acting as military advisers to opposition forces, according to the Times of London.

We’re supposed to believe the United States, Britain and Europe planned, coordinated and executed a full military intervention in 7 short days— from the start of the Libyan rebellion in mid-February until military advisers appeared on the ground in Libya on February 23-24!

That’s strategically impossible.

Nothing can persuade me that Gadhaffi’s fate wasn’t decided months ago, when Chevron and Occidental Petroleum took their whining to Capitol Hill, complaining that Gadhaffi’s nationalism interfered with their oil profiteering. From that moment, military intervention was on the drawing board as surely as the Patriot Act got stuck in a drawer waiting for 9/11.

The message is simple: Challenge the oil corporations and your government and your people will pay the ultimate price: Give us your oil as cheaply as possible. Or die.

Don’t kid yourself. Nobody gives a damn about suffering in Libya or Iraq. You don’t bomb a village to save it. The U.S., Britain and NATO are the bullies of the neighborhood. The enforcers for Big Oil.
Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan have something in common. They have vast and extraordinary oil and mineral riches. As such, they are all victims of what I call the Vampire Wars. The Arab Princes get paid off, while the bloodsuckers pull the life blood out of the people. They’re scarcely able to survive in their own wealthy societies. The people and the domestic economy are kept alive to uphold the social order, but they are depleted of the nourishment of their own national wealth.

The democratization movements are sending a warning that I don’t think Big Oil, or their protectors in the U.S. and British governments understand or have figured out how to control. The Arab people are finished with this cycle of victimization. They’ve got their stakes out, and they’re starting to figure out how to strike into the heart of these Vampires, sucking the life blood out of their nations.

And woe to the wicked when they do!

### END####

Reporting from New York. Anonymous may be everyone and no one, but it's not this one, according to the real Anonymous

WMR's sources who are close to the amorphous hactivist group Anonymous claim that a self-styled Hunter S. Thompson-esque journalist named Barrett Brown, who has said he is Anonymous, is actually not with the core of the loosely-knit organization, if it can even be called such.

Brown, in an interview with D Magazine, claims that he is Anonymous. "Not so," says sources close to the Anonymous who believe that the Dallas-based Brown, who has managed an interview with Michael Isikoff of NBC News, is a plant out to paint Anonymous in a negative light. In his interview with D Magazine, Brown claims to have been in contact with an official of the National Security Agency regarding Anonymous's alleged possession of the Stuxnet computer virus and he brags about how he overthrew the Tunisian government. He also talks about the fact that he was a classmate of George W. Bush's twin daughters at Preston Hollow Elementary School in Dallas and is a heroin addict and one-time fan of Ayn Rand, a maven of modern fascist ideology. 

"Brown is setting himself up as Anonymous's spokesman but he has nothing to do with the 'group,'" says a WMR source who is close to some of the bona fide hacktivists. "Consider Brown's past links to the Bush family, that he lives in Texas, and that he is a heroin user and you've got the telltale signs of a Karl Rove dirty tricks operative," added the source.

NBC News is, according to our source, working to hype Brown as Anonymous's public face to disparage Anonymous in the eyes of the public. NBC has the backing of influential people funded by major banking and financial service interests who fear Anonymous's hacking campaigns against the former Tunisian and Egyptian regimes, its Operation Payback against Visa and MasterCard in retaliation for the two credit card companies' donation blocks to WikiLeaks, and HBGary Federal for its "sock puppet" work for the Pentagon to protect the Bank of America from on-line exposure for its financial criminal activities, are to be soon turned against secretive behind-the-scenes manipulators.

One of the reasons the government is subjecting Army Private First Class Bradley Manning to torture is to force him to reveal the identities of other participants in what has been described to WMR as a deeply-embedded group of government employees, military members, and federal contractors who are intent on disrupting the government for its abridgment of the Constitution and countenance of massive financial fraud. In fact, Anonymous hackers were able to successfully penetrate computer systems at the marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia, where Manning is being held in solitary confinement, thanks to passwords passed to Anonymous by sympathetic employees and military members on the Quantico base.

NBC, which is partly owned by GE, Rove, and the Council on Foreign Relations are all reacting to the threat of Anonymous. GE, Rove, the CFR, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce and wealthy financier Nat Rothschild are aware that they are within the Anonymous sights for computer disruption and potential public dicslosure of their personal communications. Rothschild reportedly incurred Anonymous's ire when he began talks with former BP CEO Tony Hayward to lead up a major Rothschild coal project in Indonesia. The threat, we are told , is real. Anonymous can rely on a network of U.S. government employees and contractors, including those within the Department of Homeland Security itself, to gain access to various computer systems and networks.

WMR is told that true to its motto, "Anonymous is Everywhere." And for that the Washington power brokers and those who control the power brokers are truly fearful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Welcome to the new NATO quagmire

Welcome to the new NATO quagmire
By Pepe Escobar

To follow Pepe's articles on the Great Arab Revolt, please click here

See also UN's 'coalition of the opposed' grows

The minute Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Anatolia news agency, "The coalition that was formed following the Paris meeting will abandon the mission and hand it over entirely to a single command system under NATO", the issue was settled.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is about to enter the era of the double quagmire - as in Central Asia (Afghanistan) and northern Africa (Libya). And everyone thought NATO was

supposed to be defending Europe from the commies. Libya now is an official victim of the endless war club.

This predictable coup de theater (see Endgame: Divide, Rule and roll with the oil Asia Times Online, March 25) does not alter the fact Odyssey Dawn remains an American war. Well, not a war, according to the White House, but a "time-limited, scope-limited military action".

For the moment it's a time-limited etc conducted by General Carter Ham, out of his Africom headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany (none among 53 African countries wanted Africom). Next week it will become a time-limited etc conducted by US Admiral James Stavridis, NATO's top military commander.

For all practical purposes it's an all-American time-limited etc affair - enforced by Globocop NATO, with a handy Pentagon back up in the form of readily available "interdiction strike packages" - inimitable Pentagon speak for fighter jets loaded with missiles and ready to strike.

War by committee, revisited
As a crucial member of NATO and self-promoting preferential bridge between the West and the Muslim world, Turkey had to calibrate a very tricky strategy. The government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan - with extensive business interests in Libya - spent the whole week making it crystal clear that the NATO mission must be totally restricted to protecting civilians, enforcing the UN arms embargo and providing humanitarian aid.

Predictably, the US and Britain were absolutely convinced that the military campaign in Libya could only be run by NATO.

The problem was how to deal with pesky France, led by neo-Napoleonic President Nicolas Sarkozy. The French government was lobbying hard for a joint Anglo-French military command - with France on top, bien sur.

The final decision spells out that NATO's huge "assets" will run the whole show on the ground, while a political committee will provide the "governance".

It's a copy of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) arrangement in Afghanistan. (ISAF by the way does not provide much security and much less assistance). ISAF is led by NATO, and includes non-NATO countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The Libyan body will theoretically include those paragons of equality and equanimity - Gulf members of the Arab League. For the moment, that translates only into Qatar, which has pledged a huge fleet consisting of two Mirage fighter jets.

Sarkozy's argument for France to lead was that a signal should be sent that the West was not once again imposing its will over a Muslim country. As if there's much difference between NATO and a French-Anglo-Saxon committee.

But in the end Sarko dug his own tomb (where was Carla to teach her beloved Chou Chou some manners?) He treated the Turkish government like a bunch of illegal immigrants. France did not invite Turkey to last Saturday's summit in Paris which was the prelude to the war, sorry, "time-limited, scope-limited military action". Sarko wanted his Mirages to be the leading stars of the show.

Erdogan and Davutoglu saw right through it - the burning Sarko desire to launch not only the no-fly zone but his 2012 presidential re-election campaign as well. In a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said, "I wish that those who only see oil, gold mines and underground treasures when they look in [Libya's] direction, would see the region through glasses of conscience from now on." To top it off, Sarko had made it clear numerous times that he is against Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it belongs in the Middle East, not Europe.

The tawdriest part of the whole spectacle is that Sarko was propelled to grab the limelight on Libya by another shameless self-promoter, French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, king of the chest-revealing white shirt, who flew to Benghazi sniffing a golden media opportunity, ingratiated himself with the "rebels", and from there called Sarko and urged him to fulfill his glorious Arab liberator destiny.

But enough of these clowns. Which leaves Turkey on the spot. Last week, at the al-Jazeera forum in Doha, Davutoglu said, "The legal status and territorial integrity of states including Libya and Yemen should be protected." Yet no one knows what NATO's ultimate designs on Libya really are.

NATO will be in charge of enforcing the no-fly zone and the arms embargo. Sooner rather than later NATO will decide that's not enough - that more air strikes on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces are essential. Turkey has not signed up for that kind of action - and has already said it won't.

When the NATO secretary general, Danish right-winger Anders Fogh Rasmussen, says something like, "we must think how NATO can assist North African countries in their transition to democracy", Turkey better have an exit strategy, or at least a good explanation to the Muslim world when a deadly quagmire sets in. Otherwise, from a bridge between East and West, it will be reduced to a bridge to hell.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at