Friday, February 26, 2010

What is Israel doing with the Pentagon in the Negev?

On August 27, Israel's Seismologic Division of its Geophysical Institute of the Ministry of National Infrastructure conducted, along with the U.S. Defense Department and the University of Hawaii, a joint earthquake research experiment in Israel's Negev Desert. The experiment simulated an earthquake in the southern Negev designed to improve not seismological warning and acoustic reading systems in either Hawaii or earthquake-prone California or Alaska, but in Israel.

The cover story is that the simulated earthquake was designed to improve Israel's earthquake advance warning system. The simulated earthquake, created with 80 tons of explosives, created a 3.0 earthquake on the Richter scale.

The involvement of the Pentagon with Israeli "earthquake" research may involve a much more classified purpose. In 1995, this editor was told by an individual close to Mossad that Israel's intelligence agency was concerned about the Japanese Aum Shrinkyo movement arriving in Belgrade as Yugoslavia was collapsing. Agents of the cult movement were, according to the Mossad, trying to obtain Tesla earthquake-producing technology from notes and papers produced by the scientist on high-energy wave amplification maintained at the Nikola Tesla Institute in Belgrade. Nikola Tesla, a contemporary and one-time employee of Thomas Edison, died in 1943 and is considered the pioneer of alternating current machinery.

The Japanese cult members, who represented to institute officials that they were scientists, photocopied 100,000 Tesla documents. Tesla discovered that by altering the earth's magnetic field with electrical currents, earthquakes could result.

Israel's defense research community has also been interested in Tesla's earthquake- producing technology, which may have been at the heart of the recent Israeli-U.S. earthquake "sensor" test in the Negev. In 1998, Los Alamos National Laboratory produced a super-magnet code-named "Godzilla" that was the world's most powerful repeatable pulsed field magnet. Los Alamos had plans to create a more powerful magnet, twenty times more powerful than Godzilla, code-named Atlas. Atlas was designed with a magnetic field strength of 1000 tesla, 20 million times more powerful than the Earth's natural magnetic field and a potential weapon that could be used to alter the earth's magnetic field creating earthquakes.

There are suspicions that such technology was what was being tested in Israel's Negev Desert on August 27.

One indication is that the Israel and U.S. explanation for the test in the Negev was an intelligence cover story is that the U.S. Geological Survey, which records earthquakes all around the world, has no record of a 3.0 earthquake in the Negev on August 27:

y/m/d h:m:s
3.5 2009/08/27 21:10:05 18.272 -68.475 72.0 MONA PASSAGE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
5.4 2009/08/27 20:10:32 45.490 153.741 2.6 EAST OF THE KURIL ISLANDS
3.2 2009/08/27 19:39:41 19.101 -65.706 126.2 PUERTO RICO REGION
2.7 2009/08/27 19:28:40 59.895 -153.647 100.0 SOUTHERN ALASKA
3.5 2009/08/27 19:21:33 54.233 -163.505 35.2 UNIMAK ISLAND REGION, ALASKA
2.5 2009/08/27 19:05:13 18.395 -66.260 15.9 PUERTO RICO
2.6 2009/08/27 18:39:28 18.809 -66.055 42.7 PUERTO RICO REGION
2.7 2009/08/27 18:32:06 35.566 -97.290 5.0 OKLAHOMA
2.6 2009/08/27 17:13:52 35.566 -97.290 5.0 OKLAHOMA
2.5 2009/08/27 15:31:24 35.566 -97.290 5.0 OKLAHOMA
2.7 2009/08/27 15:17:52 35.566 -97.290 5.0 OKLAHOMA
5.2 2009/08/27 14:56:38 -5.456 -81.233 9.7 NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN PERU
4.6 2009/08/27 14:10:49 -41.388 174.599 35.0 COOK STRAIT, NEW ZEALAND
2.7 2009/08/27 14:09:28 53.715 -165.742 45.0 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
2.9 2009/08/27 13:40:51 19.330 -64.729 24.6 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
2.5 2009/08/27 12:58:25 35.566 -97.290 5.0 OKLAHOMA
3.2 2009/08/27 11:25:39 19.141 -65.728 109.2 PUERTO RICO REGION
4.6 2009/08/27 10:47:53 0.301 98.503 35.0 NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
3.4 2009/08/27 08:46:50 51.509 178.737 32.0 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
3.4 2009/08/27 08:22:16 34.997 -96.597 5.0 OKLAHOMA
3.6 2009/08/27 07:08:24 36.012 -117.396 5.0 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
4.9 2009/08/27 05:05:31 -10.277 161.423 86.2 SOLOMON ISLANDS
4.5 2009/08/27 04:06:14 39.545 74.142 35.0 SOUTHERN XINJIANG, CHINA
4.3 2009/08/27 03:08:54 -21.030 -179.214 637.0 FIJI REGION
3.4 2009/08/27 02:55:33 54.147 -158.901 33.0 SOUTH OF ALASKA
3.8 2009/08/27 02:48:21 19.746 -71.175 0.0 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
2.6 2009/08/27 01:44:59 39.326 -72.458 6.1 OFF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES
2.9 2009/08/27 00:58:47 17.883 -65.548 15.3 PUERTO RICO REGION
4.9 2009/08/27 00:30:28 -21.968 -67.952 22.4 POTOSI, BOLIVIA

Iran carried out "two-plane" Rigi mission to embarrass Obama's Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke

Iran carried out "two-plane" Rigi mission to embarrass Obama's Special Envoy

The government and intelligence services of Iran apparently have quite a sense of humor. Iran has managed not only to nab a top CIA-backed Baluchi terrorist but it also was able to keep the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan waiting for Abdolmalek Rigi in Bishkek. The Iranians, in a clever move, captured Rigi from the Pakistanis aboard a Pakistan to Dubai small commuter jet aircraft, while the world believed Rigi was taken off a Kyrgyzstan airline flight from Dubai to Bishkek that was forced to land by Iranian Air Force jets at Bandar Abbas in Iran.

With the entire highly-vaunted U.S. intelligence community at his disposal, Holbrooke and his State Department and CIA team were forced to resort to dealing with Bishkek-Manas airport officials when their Iranian-Baluchi Jundallah guerrillas leader failed to show up in Bishkek on the Kyrgyzstan aircraft from Dubai.

On February 24, 2010, WMR reported, "Our sources state that Iranian intelligence is claiming very loudly that they captured Rigi without any foreign assistance. This appears to be for cover story purposes. If ISI delivered him to Bandar Abbas aboard a Lear [or Falcon], the Iranians had at least a half day to arrange for the touchdown of the KYRGYZSTAN Dubai-Manas flight to cover up the actual flight from Gwadar. If the Iranians had a couple of their agents pretend to be Rigi they fooled the world and allowed Pakistan's ISI to get off the hook as far as their involvement was concerned. Rigi was reported not to be traveling with bodyguards from Dubai to Bishkek, which does not explain the detention of another individual, reported by some sources to have been Jundallah's 'number two man.'"

According to Iranian state TV, Rigi drove in his Toyota from his house on Sariab Street in Kuwaiteh in Pakistan on February 21, leaving at 0955 local time and arriving in Chaman on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at 1300 the same day. After crossing the border and arriving in Spin Boldak, Rigi was met by a local contact team and taken to Kandahar airbase where final arrangements were made for him to fly to Bishkek to meet with Holbrooke. At some point in time, possibly before February 21, Rigi was given a fake Afghanistan passport under the name "Mohammad Khalib." Rigi was also given a fake Pakistani travel document.

But it is at this point in time where the Iranian cover story begins. Iranian TV reported that on February 22, Rigi flew from Kandahar to Kabul for a brief layover before boarding Ariana Airlines flight 401 to Dubai. The Iranians report that Rigi arrived in Dubai at 2000 local time. Rigi reportedly spent a short time in Dubai before boarding Kyrgyzstan 454 to Bishkek. The Iranians claim that the Kyrgyzstan flight, once entering Iranian airspace, was forced to land in Bandar Abbas, where Rigi was taken into custody.

In an interview on Iranian TV, Rigi saus he was flying to Bishkek to meet an "important" American. The reason for the clandestine meeting in Manas was that the American would be easily spotted if he met Rigi anywhere else.

At the time of the planned meeting between Rigi and the "important" American, AF-PAK Special Envoy Holbrooke was on a meandering journey in central Asia and Afghanistan "without a fixed schedule." Holbrooke was in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on February 19.

Holbrooke landed in Manas on February 19 and spoke to U.S. troops at the Manas Transit Center. Holbrooke then left for Afghanistan but arrived back in Manas on February 21, the day before the planned meeting with Rigi. The official story of Holbrooke's return to Kyrgyzstan was for an official meeting with Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Iran conducted the charade with the Kyrgyzstan airline in order to keep Holbrooke waiting nervously at Manas. Iran had already captured their prize of Rigi when the ISI, possibly after Rigi's departure from Kuwaiteh or after he crossed into Afghanistan, took him under their protection and put him on the charter jet flight to Bandar Abbas. Possibly, ISI was at Spin Boldak and Rigi mistakenly believed the watch team was working for the CIA, when, in fact, they were working for the ISI, which had promised to turn Rigi over to the Iranians.

WMR's Asia-based intelligence sources believe that the Iranians discovered the plans for Rigi's movement to Kandahar and replaced the pre-positioned CIA team sent to meet Rigi. Another scenario is that Rigi was to be flown to Dubai from Gwadar on board a CIA-ISI charter plane after being convoyed by an American team, along with Pakistani minders, from the Shamshi airbase in Pakistan. Rigi and the Americans believed Rigi would be flown to Dubai for his connecting flight to Bishkek-Manas to meet the American VIP.

Pakistani agents on the plane then order the pilot to change course for Bandar Abbas, telling him it is a classified Pakistani military mission. The plane lands in Bandar Abbas and Rigi is taken into custody. Meanwhile, Holbrooke and his party become concerned when Kyrgyzstan 454 is late. When the flight arrives, Holbrooke is told Rigi is not on board the flight and that two men were taken off the plane at Bandar Abbas. Holbrooke, clearly embarrassed and angry, departs Kyrgyzstan knowing the Iranians have nabbed one of the CIA's top assets in the military operations being planned against Iran. Holbrooke, one of the most powerful American Jewish Zionists in the Obama administration, has egg all over his face, courtesy of a well-planned Iranian intelligence operation. Holbrooke flies to Tbilisi, Georgia and visits the Krtsanisi Military Training Center to thank Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili for providing 1000 Georgian troops for Afghanistan. It was all Holbrooke could do to help cover up a major defeat for American intelligence operations in the region.

Iran and the CIA/State Department, for their own reasons, immediately go into spin mode. The Obama administration, caught with its pants down, denies the U.S. supports Rigi's Jundallah movement, which has carried out a series of terrorist attacks in southeastern Iran. Iran, wishing to protect Pakistan's involvement in the capture of Jundallah's leader, creates another cover story.

On February 26, Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made an extremely rare visit to Damascus to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Nasrallah, who is always in fear of Israeli assassination, was jovial and even seen laughing along with Ahmadinejad and Assad. Undoubtedly, the three were laughing about how Iran not only managed to avenge the assassination by Mossad of top Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel on January 19 but also managed to have Holbrooke, Obama's special envoy, sweating it out at Manas-Bishkek airport in the middle of central Asia, waiting for Rigi who was already a "guest" of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Pakistan's ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Abbasi is quoted by The Daily Times of Pakistan as stating on February 24, "I must tell you that such action cannot be carried out without the cooperation of Pakistan. I am happy that he has been arrested."

“I must tell you that such action cannot be carried out without the cooperation of Pakistan. I am happy that he has been arrested,” he told a media conference.

Holbrooke, the master of nation-splitting after his success in dismantling Yugoslavia, is seen as trying to accomplish a similar outcome for Pakistan and Iran by supporting secessionist groups like Rigi's Jundallah Baluchi movement. Holbrooke's angst while waiting for Rigi in Kyrgyzstan is sure to bring a few smiles to some people in Serbia who still blame him for the break-up of that nation.

A "slightly fictional" account of Iran's takedown of CIA's Baluchi operative

The CIA definitely has egg on its face over the Iranian VEVAK intelligence operation that nabbed Langley's top Iranian Baluchi guerrilla commander in Pakistan and his subsequent arrest in Iran. With all the sordid details being revealed about the CIA's proprietary Blackwater/Xe/Paravant "cowboy" operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, the following "slightly fictionalized" account of the capture by Iran of Baluchi operative Abdolmalek Rigi by WMR's Asian journalist colleague who has covered events in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India for a number of years could be the screenplay for a movie titled: "The Frigging of Rigi"

Jundallah, the CIA's Iranian Baluchi terrorist group, says its leader Abdolmalek Rigi was betrayed by the United States, United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Perhaps the CIA should teach its would-be guerrillas to watch not only their backs but also both sides. The CIA is reportedly flummoxed by the actions of Iran's VEVAK intelligence service, as well as Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) in the capture of their main man who launched terrorist attacks in eastern Iran to soften up the Persians before the deadly U.S. and Israeli body blow. Here is the "how-to-reshuffle-the-deck Persian-style."

So the Persians, via their intermediaries on the ground know Rigi's destination, the
schedule of his meeting with the American VIP in Bishkek, and the arrangements, and they nod their heads and prepare two receptions at Bandar Abbas . . . meanwhile . . .

Through the gates of Shamshi, a small convoy of Americans, military and "civilian", together with their Pakistani minders, accompany Rigi to Gwadar Airport for the cross-Gulf hop to Dubai Airport, where he is to transit with a fake Afghanistan passport and a bogus Pakistani travel document to Bishkek-Manas.

The Americans wave from the tarmac as a small charter jet takes Rigi with his Pakistani
escorts to Dubai. The Pakistanis are along for the ride to ensure that Rigi doesn't bolt in Dubai for a local girlie bar but gets on the flight to Bishkek, since "Mr. Big" is waiting for him specially at the U.S. airbase at Manas.

The flight flies low and switches off radio contact to evade potentially hostile radar. The Pakistani escorts then divvy up the work. One orders Rigi and his pal to stay in their
seats, the other goes to the cockpit with new destination. The pilot says "What?" The
Pakistani answers "Top Secret Mission, part of the U.S. plan. Our men are on the ground
in Bandar. Just a delivery, a small detour."

The small jet lands on the spacious strip. The Pakistanis push Rigi and pal out the door with a huge "whew" and "good riddance, you Baluch camel shit!"

The smiling Iranians greet Rigi: "Welcome to Iran. You are now a guest of the Revolutionary Guards. Everything will be taken care of."

While the air crew and the Pakistanis go for a cup of coffee, the happy Iranians put
on their masks for the photo op next to the small jet with their 'trophy." And then they
whisk Rigi and his accomplice to a small "hotel room" for a series of "chats."

Next, the Pakistanis and the air crew return to the plane to resume the flight to
Dubai. In the passenger seats are two men - ah, they took a piss, smoked a
cigarette and are back, "OK, let's go."

Under the radar, the small jet dashes across the Gulf to make up for lost time and then lands at Dubai International. The Pakistanis thank the charter jet captain, who decides to have some drinks and spend the night with a hooker across "the Creek." A job
well done deserves a reward.

The Pakistanis now take "Rigi and friend" to Departures. "Oh, I nearly forgot, I've been holding the passports. Here you go. Have fun, Iranian girls are oooh-la-la!"

The Pakistanis head to a local hotel to ogle the Lebanese hookers.

"Rigi Junior and Friend Junior" go through immigration, and then board Kyrgyzstan flight 454. "Too bad we're not going to Kyrgyzstan, I hear those Uzbek girls are oooh-la-la. Iranian girls make for a good wife, but I hear as girlfriends they've got expensive tastes."

"Ahmed, my young friend, after this performance you will be able to have two wives, one Punjabi and the second a Pashtun!"

"Oh, Jamal, that would be a real war. The Pastuni would have to be No.1. Their women are crazy and violent!"

"Ahmed, do you suppose they serve drinks aboard this flight?"

"You mean halal vodka?" Both laugh.

By now the plane is already descending - on schedule, if you happen to be an
impostor with the ISI.

The other passengers are chattering. "Isn't that's an island in the Gulf?" "Engine problems, oh no!" "Do you think we're going to crash?"

Prayer beads are clicking, one woman is sobbing hysterically. "Calm down, my dear, probably just a minor mechanical problem," an older businessman from Bahrain reassures the hysterical woman from Kyrgyzstan.

Smooth landing and then the plane idles on tarmac. Several uniformed Iranians with small arms board the plane, looking intensely at the passengers and then spot "Abbott and Costello."

"If you gentlemen will accompany us."

"Oh, my Allah! Terrorists aboard our plane!" says the overweight babushka from Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second-largest city.

"You are in no danger, madam. Everything is under control. Have a nice flight to
Kyrgyzstan," replies the Iranian security officer.

Meanwhile, the Iranian security officer in the cockpit reminds the air crew: "This is a routine exercise. We're not supposed to discuss details over radio. Your supervisor in Manas is already informed of details. Thank you, gentleman. Have a good journey, Ins'Allah!"

At Manas, a U.S. Embassy staffer is reading Time magazine in a VIP Lounge. "Don't
worry, the ragheads are always running late. The only ones who every show up on
time are the Taliban."

His Grey Eminence is bored. This is the worse VIP Lounge I've ever seen. Built with USAID money, too. I know, corruption as usual, he muses to himself.

The plane reaches the gate. The reception team waits. "Is that all the passengers?
Can you check the manifest for a Mr. Rigi?"

"We're sorry, sir, the record indicates he boarded in Dubai. He must've slipped past you."

The Americans rush down to the baggage carousel. The passengers are all gone by now. "What the . . . your mobile. What's the country code for Afghanistan?"

Mr. CIA shouts over his mobile phone: "Hey, there, did the package get into the mail? Yes? Double check the postage? Yes? Well, it never arrived!"

Back at the lounge. "Sir, there's been some sort of mix up. We've got a guy checking with the air crew."

Incoming cell phone call from another "Mr. CIA" at the airport: "Dude, just checked with a pilot. They landed in Bandar Abbas. Two passengers were taken off the plane."

"Oh, shit. Excuse me, sir. Our contact can't make it. Sends his apologies. Maybe you should take an earlier flight to Tbilisi."

"Goddammit, can't you people get anything right? What the fuck are we going to do now. Don't let this get out or you're going to be running PR in Helmand. Get me on that flight NOW!"

The junior agent was flipping channels between BBC and Al-Jazeera in the VIP lounge, waiting for the bad news to arrive.

On the flight to Tbilisi, where Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili would provide a little cover by announcing that he was sending 1000 of his "crack" presidential security troops to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, could only think of the dressing down he was going to get for Rigi being snatched by the infernal Iranians.

There would be the deep Hebrew-accented remonstration from Mossad chief Meir Dagan. But the worst would come from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who would let loose a volley of four-letter epithets on Holbrooke: "Godammit Holbrooke! This delays our Iran military action and how will I explain this royal-ass fuckup to Bibi after his recent success in snuffng that Hamas asshole in Dubai?"

Holbrooke's evening in Tbilisi could be called "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia."

For Abdolmalek Rigi, the refrain would be "Don't trust your soul to no Presidential Harvard lawyer. Cause the judge in Tehran's got bloodstains on his hand."

Meanwhile, hidden away somewhere deep inside a forest dwelling in the Serb Republic of Bosnia, wanted former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladic raises a shot glass of slivovka plum brandy at the news he's just received from his contacts about Holbrooke's embarrassment in Manas. Before pounding down the shot, he boasts: "Good, that bastard got what's coming to him!"

NOTE: Although slightly fictionalized, someone didn't want this posted on the web. The piece was lost in transmission twice.

The shamelessness of the United States government

ONE out of every four prisoners in the world is in a U.S. penitentiary. The composition of these prisoners is profoundly racist: one out of every 15 black adults is incarcerated; one out of every 9 is aged 20-34 years; and one out of every 36 Hispanics. Two-thirds of those serving life sentences are African Americans or Latinos, and in the case of New York state, only 16.3% of prisoners are white.

Every year, 7,000 people die in U.S. prisons, many of them murdered or suicides.

For example, U.S. prison guards routinely use Taser guns on prisoners. According to a recent report, 230 U.S. citizens have died as a result of the use of these weapons since 2001. The report refers to the case of a county jail in Garfield, Colorado, accused of regularly using Taser guns and pepper spray on prisoners, and then tying them to chairs in extreme positions for hours at a time.

It was recently reported that 72 people have died in the last five years in immigrant detention centers.

A report released by the U.S. Justice Department during W. Bush’s final term in office said that 22,480 prisoners in state and federal penitentiaries were HIV positive or AIDS patients, and an estimated 176 state and 27 federal prisoners died from AIDS-related causes. For example, a September 20, 2007 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that 426 cases of death were recorded in California prisons in 2006 as stemming from belated medical treatment. Eighteen of these deaths were considered "preventable" and 48 others as "possibly preventable." A 41-year-old diabetic patient, Rodolfo Ramos, died after having been left abandoned and covered in his own feces for one week. Prison officials did not provide him with medical treatment even though they were aware of his condition.

In at least 40 of the country’s 50 states, courts treat juveniles of 14 to 18 years old like adults. About 200,000 minors in the United States are subjected to trials in courts for adults, even though it has been demonstrated that this proceeding is wrong.

Juveniles in 13 juvenile detention centers in the United States suffer from high rates of sexual abuse, and an average of one out of every three incarcerated minors report being attacked.

Approximately 283,000 prisoners are mentally ill, four times the number of patients in psychiatric hospitals.

In U.S. state and federal prisons, 4.5% of prisoners have suffered one or more sexual attack, and 2.9% report having suffered incidents involving prison staff. In addition, 0.5% reported having been sexually assaulted both by other prisoners and by prison staff.

Physical, direct forms of brutal treatment and torture of prisoners are endemic to U.S. prisons. A British film released a few years ago, Torture: America’s Brutal Prisons, features footage from prison security cameras in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, in which guards can be seen severely beating prisoners – even killing some – and using Taser guns and electric prods, attack dogs, chemical sprays and dangerous paralyzing devices.

However, the most harmful effect of this prolonged isolation is that the mental abuse of prisoners affects them alarmingly. Many prisoners go crazy (if they weren’t already mentally ill), or commit suicide, as a result of this inhuman punishment. They are in restricted segregated units, and many of them are also in isolation – but the government does not release that information. The majority of prisoners in the United States who are in isolation have been so for more than five years.

Translated by Granma International

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hugo Chavez on CNN

Chavecito on CNN

Videos in Spanish...

Chavecito talks with Carmen Aristégui about Alvaro Uribe's rude interruption at the summit, and how embarrassing it was for everyone involved. He also talks about Fidel, the revolution in Cuba, the importance of anti-imperialism, and the dangers of the Gringo Empire and its attempts to divide and conquer Latin America, and why it is therefore important to have an "OAS without North America".

In the latter half of the interview, he talks about the dangers Barack Obama faces at home. If he were to dismantle the military-industrial complex, he would be killed, says Chávez. He makes clear that he himself is anti-imperialist, not anti-US or anti-Obama. He also talks about why he gave Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America, and about the coup in Honduras. He says it's possible that Obama didn't know it was going to happen, but it was accepted--a grave error. There's also a cute moment where he describes running into Uribe in the washroom after the infamous "al carajo" incident. Chavecito proposes Lula to head up the new LatAm-Caricom organization he and Evo are advocating, citing Lula's being on good terms with everyone, and able to hear everyone out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whistleblower on CIA drug operations moved to another federal prison

The whistleblower, a cousin of the former CIA top official dealing with counter-narcotics, has been moved from Florence federal penitentiary in Arizona to another federal prison center, according to information passed to WMR by a former FBI counter-narcotics contractor and member of the Presidential Task Force on Narcotics during the 1980s.

WMR has now been given liberty by parties involved in the case to divulge further details about the matter.

The individual arrested on charges that he threatened federal agents is Philip Ticktin of Arizona. Ticktin's cousin, identified as the person responsible for not only the CIA's counter-narcotics program but also instrumental in setting up the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), designed to track the money flows of drug dealers and terrorists, is Sidney Zabludoff. Ticktin changed his last name from Zabludoff, which appears on his Pennsylvania birth certificate, to Ticktin some years ago.

On February 12, 2010, WMR reported: "WMR's FBI sources also confirmed that the senior CIA officer officially vested with the job of countering the international narcotics trade was actively involved in promoting the CIA's own drug smuggling operations. The individual also served in the Treasury Department where he ensured that the surveillance databases of suspicious money flows by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) were scrubbed of any information that would point to the CIA's involvement in drug money laundering.

We have also learned that the cousin of the CIA official, who discovered his cousin's involvement in the narcotics and drug money laundering business, was recently arrested in Arizona and incarcerated in the Florence federal penitentiary for allegedly threatening the lives of federal agents, a serious crime under the new anti-terrorism laws. Although, the individual in question has been diagnosed as 'delusional' by a court-appointed psychiatrist, federal prosecutors are seeking a plea deal that would ensure that no mention is ever made of the cousin [who is now a well-known supporter of Israel], the CIA, FBI, or the Bush family. The jailed whistleblower also alleged that the CIA's drug trade continues to flourish and that it involves Latin American Jews, Mossad agents and fabric and window covering warehouses in Florida, Georgia, and Texas that are used to store drugs from Latin America prior to distribution.

Ticktin has filed a series of complaints about his alleged harassment by federal agents to the U.S. District Court for Arizona over the past several years.

In a June 12, 2008, court filing, Ticktin stated "A wrongful termination ensued after which plaintiff was solicited to work for a window covering firm in Florida, known as Vertilux. It was, plaintiff believes, accidentally revealed there that this firm and Hunter Douglas were front Corporations for the Central Intelligence Agency and is actually involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics and money laundering. It develops that Hunter Douglas, Vertilux and every company that has since solicited the plaintiff to work has been protected by Executive order and it appears for a protracted time that the fabric industry has been used as a benign cover for these other activities."

Ticktin also filed a number of Freedom of Information Act requests to the CIA and NSA for records dealing with him and his various employers.

Ticktin has stated the following in a memorandum for the record sent to WMR:

"I have a story that is very pertinent to what is going on now. I am a civilian, no military or intelligence background, but I have a relative in a high level intelligence capacity (Sidney J. Zabludoff, do a Google search if you do not know him) that told me 6 months before the Iraq war began that there was NO WEAPONS of any consequence! "A stealth bomber could knock out what little bit Saddam has got in 10 minutes".
At the time, I was working for a company in Augusta, Georgia (Carole Fabrics) and told some of my co workers about this. I would assume that this company is either an agency run company, or the conversations were picked up at nearby Ft. Gordon, an NSA listening post. Shortly after, I was fired from this company where I had worked for over 5 years. I was approached shortly thereafter by a "company" in Miami (Vertilux) that I have been told is a BLACK BAG OPERATION (CIA's drug, weapon, and money movement). I am told that this was a “retribution” job.
In short, I have been harassed by a series of "jobs" that I was approached to take. I can prove everything I say. I recorded conversations with the fake company in Miami, where I was warned about my "political statements".
When I filed a FOIA on the Miami "company”, I received a call from the NSA, and everybody tells me that they never call people on the demand what I wanted to know. So far, the media seems to be scared of this story. My subsequent FOIA requests about info about myself have been stonewalled. I also spoke to Kenneth Williams of the FBI. He is the guy who wrote the memo about the Arabs going to flight school in Phoenix. I have tried to get a copy of the report he says he wrote through the FOIA, but have been equally stonewalled. They have destroyed my career, just like they did with Valerie Plame!"

The former FBI counter-narcotics consultant and member of President Reagan's narcotics task force has told WMR that Ticktin's story checks out in all accounts. Ticktin claims that after expressing an early interest in his story, The New York Times refused to take any more of his phone calls.

According to the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, "Sidney Zabludoff is an economist who worked for the White House, CIA, and Treasury Department for more than thirty years. Upon retirement in 1995, he focused on issues related to the restitution of Jewish assets stolen during the Holocaust era. He has published numerous detailed studies on the issue and was the principal analyst for Jewish participants involved in insurance claims."

In the February 12 report, WMR also reported that the CIA threatened, via the Medellin drug cartel, the life of former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) over bis probing of CIA involvement in drug smuggling. The CIA operations involved a number of airfields in the southern United States, as well as cattle ranches. A former Customs Service agent has told WMR that these operations involved Tropic Air out of Belize flying drugs into Mena, Arkansas. WMR has been told the Mena operations are ongoing.

Playing three card monte with airplanes

The February 23 capture by Iran of the CIA-backed Jundallah Baluchi terrorist leader Abdolmalek Rigi when his plane was forced to land in Bandar Abbas airport in Iran is raising more questions about the role of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan in the operation.

Published news reports appear to be exercises in disinformation by the western corporate media and the Iranian and Pakistani media. At least two planes appear to have been involved in the Iranian capture of Rigi and some of his associates.

A story was floated by the neocon-oriented Daily Telegraph of the UK on February 24 that indicated that Rigi was forced off a Kyrgyzstan Airways flight from Dubai to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The flight was said to have carried 119 passengers, including Rigi, when Iranian agents on board forced the plane to land at Bandar Abbas, Iran, where Rigi was taken into custody by four masked elite troops of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (see below). However, the photograph shopped around by the media, including the Iranian media, shows Rigi being taken off a plane that is much smaller than the Kyrgyzstan flight QH454 that normally flies the route between Dubai and Bishkek. The small plane pictured below resembles a small jet, possibly a Lear or Dassault Falcon. KYRGYZSTAN's fleet includes 3 Antonov AN-24s, 1 Tupolev TU-134a, and 2 Yakovlev YAK-40s.

The "QH" flight designator is for KYRGYZSTAN, not "Kyrgyzstan Airlines" as reported by the Telegraph. There is another airline, "Kyrgyzstan Airlines, that flies from Islamabad, Pakistan to Bishkek but it does not fly to Dubai as does KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan Airlines uses the flight designator of "R8." Kyrgyzstan Airlines' fleet consists of two Airbuses, six Antonovs, one Boeing 737, five Tupolevs, one Ilyushin IL-76TD, and two Yakovlevs.

There is also an aircraft marking difference between the small plane from which Rigi is removed and KYRGYZSTAN. The small plane bears blue, white, and red striping while KYRGYZSTAN planes bear a solid red stripe (see far below).

The mystery of how Rigi was captured remains murky with even DebkaFile of Israel, seen as close to the Mossad, unable to report more than the following: "The sparse details filtering through from Dubai and Tehran by Wednesday morning, Feb. 24, indicate that Abdol Malek Rigi boarded Kyrgyzstan Airways flight QH454 bound from Dubai for Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday. He was not traveling with bodyguards. A group of Iranian special operatives were among the 119 passengers. The flight was intercepted as soon as it crossed into Iranian airspace near Bandar Abbas and forced by an Iranian warplane to land at a military air base.ital of Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday." DebkaFile concedes that the Iranians pulled off a masterful operation in capturing Rigi.

Rigi being taken off plane by Iranian special forces at Bandar Abbas.

The Iranians are presumably not only finding out from Rigi the extent of the CIA's support for the anti-Iranian government Jundallah Baluchi movement in Pakistan but also how the CIA has armed and provided logistical support to anti-Pakistani Baluchi secessionists -- a fact that will further alienate Islamabad from Washington and help forge a new Pakistani-Iranian intelligence alliance.

Of particular interest to the Iranians and Pakistanis are the CIA's operations at the Shamshi airbase in Pakistan, control over which was ceded by Pakistan to the CIA in October 2001. Blackwater/Xe personnel also operate from the Shamshi base, an important air transit hub between the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Gulf and U.S. bases in Afghanistan.

The CIA's support for Iranian Baluchis operating against Tehran has also had the effect of restoring the Baluchi Liberation Army, with CIA munitions destined for the Jundallah guerrillas falling into the hands of Baluchi secessionists in Pakistan, particularly among the Bugti, Marri and Mengal tribes that now threaten to disrupt trans-Pakistani pipelines to the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is being developed by Chinese engineers and construction companies. The CIA, apparently unable or unwilling to distinguish between the Iranian and Baluchis and their agendas, permitted explosives and detonators destined for use in Iran to be used against regular Pakistani army units and Chinese assets assisting in the Gwadar port project.

Pakistan also suspects American energy politics at play. By stirring up Baluchis on both sides of the Pakistani-Iranian border, the CIA stands to disrupt planned natural gas pipelines from Qatar to Pakistan that will transit through Iran and the Iran-Gujarat oil pipeline.

WMR's intelligence sources have provided a best guess scenario for what occurred in regard to Rigi and his capture by the Iranians. Our sources state that Iranian intelligence is claiming very loudly that they captured Rigi without any foreign assistance. This apepars to be for cover satrory purposes. If ISI delivered him to Bandar Abbas aboard a Lear, the Iranians had at least a half day to arrange for the touchdown of the KYRGYZSTAN Dubai-Manas flight to cover up the actual flight from Gwadar. If the Iranians had a couple of their agents pretend to be Rigi they fooled the world and allowed Pakistan's ISI to get off the hook as far as their involvement was concerned. Rigi was reported not to be traveling with bodyguards from Dubai to Bishkek, which does not explain the detention of another individual, reported by some sources to have been Jundallah's "number two man."

Passengers on the KYRGYZSTAN flight diverted to Bandar Abbas claimed that two men were removed by Iranian agents. The passengers assumed that one was Rigi. However, informed observers in the region now believe that the passenger plane diversion was a cover for the delivery of Rigi by the ISI to Iranian hands.

There is also a possibility that Iranian agents gained access to a CIA contractor charter flight from Gwadar to Dubai, commandeered the flight to Bandar Abbas, and grabbed Rigi. Oddly enough, a U.S.-based charter aircraft company does operate from Gwadar Airport, Stratos Jet Charters, which provides Citations, Beechjets, Lears, Hawkers, Falcons, Challengers or Gulfstreams. The firm is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

The U.S. arming of the Iranian Baluchis is part of a CIA covert program to stir up Iran's ethnic minorities, including Kurds, Arabs in Khuzestan, Azeris, Turkomen, as well as Baluchis. Last November, the American Friends of Balochistan (AFB) organized a conference in support of Baluchistan at the National Press Club in Washington. The Washington event was reported to have had links to the CIA.

One major question that remains is why was Rigi traveling to the U.S. airbase at Manas, Kyrgyzstan some two days after meeting with senior U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan and, reportedly, Pakistan? It is something Iranian intelligence is keen to discover.

Haiti: The politics of rebuilding - Al Jazeera Fault Lines: For whom will Haiti be rebuilt?

More at The Real News

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Israeli Unaccountability and Denial: Suppressing the Practice of Torture

- by Stephen Lendman

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI - "believes that torture and ill-treatment of any kind and under all circumstances is incompatible with the moral values of democracy and the rule of law." Yet it's systematically practiced by the Israeli Police, General Security Service (GSS), Israeli Prison Service (IPS), and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

In December 2009, PACTI published its latest report titled, "Accountability Denied: The Absence of Investigation and Punishment of Torture in Israel," explaining "the many layers of immunity that protect" the guilty, specifically the GSS, the focus of this report.

Immunity insures that GSS interrogation torture and abuse complaints never become criminal investigations, indictments, or legal hearings. Israel's State Attorney and Attorney General assure it "under a systemic legal cloak" giving torturers "unrestricted protection."

Since 2001, victims submitted over 600 torture complaints to authorities. None were investigated - "the first step" before indictments, prosecutions, and convictions. As a result, GSS interrogators have blanket immunity to operate freely "behind closed doors (making) torture an institutionalized method of interrogation in Israel, enjoying the full backing of the legal system." As in America, torture is official Israeli policy.

Torture in Israeli Law - A Barrier of Loopholes

Israel's Supreme Court ruling in Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al v. the Government of Israel et al (the HCJ Torture Petition) established the current legal basis, even though international law prohibits it unequivocally, at all times, under all conditions, with no allowed exceptions - a matter universally binding even on non-signatory states. Israel, however, signed and ratified the 1984 Convention against Torture. Yet no Israeli law explicitly bans it, except for several provisions relating to torture, including assault, abuse of defenseless persons, and the explicit prohibition of force or threats by a public employee toward interrogees.

However, Israeli court rulings ban torture, and the Supreme Court interpreted the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty to mean torture is unacceptable and prohibited. Earlier, "psychological pressure (and) a moderate degree of physical pressure" were permissible, based on the Landau Commission's recommendations that GSS interrogators may commit such acts on the basis of necessity.

The Commission condemned the practice but approved using it to obtain evidence for convictions in criminal proceedings, saying coercive interrogation tactics were necessary against "hostile (threats or acts of) terrorist activity and all expressions of Palestinian nationalism."

This notion protects defendants in a criminal trial "for an act that was required in an immediate manner in order to save his life, liberty, person, or property or those of another from danger of grave injury accruing from a given situation at the time of the act when he had no course of action other than to commit this act."

In its 1999 ruling, Supreme Court President Aharon Barak established a milestone in the struggle against torture by recognizing its prohibition in international law, calling it "absolute (with) no exceptions and no balances."

Yet the High Court of Justice (HCJ) legitimized coercive interrogations in three 1996 cases - by plaintiffs Bilbeisi, Hamdan and Mubarak for interim injunctions against abusive GSS practices. Ones cited included violent shaking, painful shackling, hooding, playing deafeningly loud music, sleep deprivation, and lengthly detainments. After due consideration, the HCJ ruled painful shackling illegal, but not the other practices.

The Court's 1999 ruling went further, but equivocated by adding loopholes to allow torture, so effectively its prohibition was empty. Although it reversed the Landau Commission's recommendations, it ruled that pressure and a measure of discomfort are legitimate interrogation side-effects provided they're not used to break a detainee's spirit. It also sanctioned physical force in "ticking bomb" cases, in violation of international laws allowing no exceptions ever. Moreover, Israeli security forces routinely claim detainees are security threats enough to justify abusive interrogations.

In his ruling, Court President Barak justified physical force to save lives, saying interrogators may employ the "necessity defense" to justify them. In so doing, he authorized sweeping use of the most abusive practices, while at the same time prohibiting torture "absolute(ly with) no exceptions and no balances."

The Court let "the Attorney himself concerning the circumstances (to assure) interrogators who are alleged to have acted in an individual case from a sense of 'need' are not to be prosecuted." These guidelines thus "serve as a priori authorization" to practice torture freely. In other words, the Court wanted to "have its cake and eat it too: to declare an absolute prohibition of torture," yet let it continue.

The Necessity Defense

Despite the Israeli High Court's equivocal position, international law prohibits torture under all conditions with no exceptions. The notion of "no other alternative" is false, disingenuous, criminal, and illogical as experts say torture doesn't work and isn't used for information.

The US Army Field Manual 34-52 Chapter 1 says:

"Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."

US experts, including generals, CIA and FBI interrogators, diplomats, politicians and others concur. So do foreign officials and Israeli experts. Yet the practice persists, not for information but to abuse and punish maliciously. The "necessity" rationale is a red herring.

Yet shortly after the HCJ's ruling, Israel's Attorney General and State Attorney's Office Criminal Department head published two key documents:

"GSS Interrogations and the Necessity Defense - A Framework for the Discretion of the Attorney-General (and) Circumstances in Which GSS Interrogators Who Acted out of a Sense of 'Need' Are Not to be Prosecuted."

They establish guidelines authorizing abusive practices to gain "vital information to prevent tangible danger or grave injury to state security or to human life, liberty, and integrity, and when there is no other reasonable means in the circumstances of the matter to prevent this injury, the Attorney General will consider refraining from instigating criminal proceedings."

In other words, anything goes, anytime, for any reason under the "necessity defense" even though torture is justified nor does it work.

Yet in 2006, a GSS interrogator told Haaretz writer Nir Hasson that "authorization to use force in interrogations is given at least by the head of the interrogation team, and sometimes comes directly from the head of the GSS."

GSS, in fact, openly admits that a priori permission is granted for it - the result of legal loopholes permitting it in violation of international law.

Torture, Lies and No Investigation

The Officer in Charge of GSS Interrogee Complaints (OCGIC) is responsible for handling them together with his counterpart in the State Attorney's Office. Yet Israel has no policy for responding and one in place undermines the process.

GSS' "culture of lying" began with the April 1984 "Bus (or Kav) 300" affair referring to a bus highjacking by Palestinians and the allegation that GSS agents executed two of them taken captive. A secret commission was appointed to investigate. Those testifying lied. The commission determined that blows to the head killed the two detainees, but no one was held responsible.

GSS head Avraham Shalom claimed he acted "with authority and permission." Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said nothing, but President Chaim Herzog pardoned four GSS official to quash further actions - the first time in Israeli history that the president pardoned someone before being tried and convicted, even though the investigation revealed lawless acts including torture.

This and other findings led to the Landau Commission's formation and its revelations that GSS personnel lied to courts, denied using torture, and the coverup included top officials, mindful of their lawless acts. The Commission quoted an internal 1982 GSS memorandum instructing interrogators to lie, yet recommended no criminal action.

Public discussion, however, led to two amendments to the Police Ordinance - Amendment No. 12 in 1994 and No. 18 in 2004. The first one extended Police Investigation Department (PID) authority to include investigating GSS employee offenses during or in connection with interrogations.

The second one allowed investigations of all suspected GSS offenses in the performance of their duties, including those unrelated to interrogations. However, while police personnel investigations are submitted directly to the PID, the Attorney General must authorize whether GSS ones will be sent there. As a result, complaints about them have never been investigated, and justice has consistently been denied.

"In hindsight....the amendments created a hermetic barrier preventing criminal investigation(s), since the Attorney General has chosen not to forward even a single case (to) the PID (and) the Israel Police has not opened a single investigation in this field."

In addition, since a GSS official is authorized to investigate complaints, in practice, a clear conflict of interest exists, and it's evident in consistent whitewashings. From January 2001 - December 2008, PACTI submitted 598 interrogee complaints to the State Attorney's Office. None were forwarded for criminal investigation. For example, in 2007:

-- OCGIC opened 47 examinations;

-- as of June 20, 2008, processing for 30 were completed; but

-- "not a single complaint relating to a GSS investigator was forwarded for investigation and no steps (including disciplinary action) were taken against the interrogators."

The years 2005, 2006 and earlier ones were no different. On October 20, 2009, PACTI submitted a freedom of information request to the Ministry of Justice for pertinent 2008 and 2009 information. As of yearend 2009, no reply was received. It appears torture and abuse aren't serious enough to warrant investigation and disciplinary action. As a result, it continues unpunished and unabated.

Past Department of Special Tasks responses have been brief and obstructionist with "formulaic phrases" like:

-- "The complaints in your letter are baseless.

-- The interrogation was pursued in accordance with the procedures.

-- After the interrogators have been questioned and the complainant's claims have been examined one by one, the Attorney General has reached the conclusion that no defect occurred in the interrogators' behavior. Accordingly, there is no cause to take any legal action against them."

No clarifications were given, and at times, responses had no relevance to the complaints or why they were dismissed. PACTI concluded that thorough investigations weren't undertaken, and whatever was done was "laundered," making the conclusions reached worthless.

Worse still, lawyers may not represent complainants (no longer suspects) during interrogations or prepare them in advance. They occur without prior notification. The atmosphere is tense, and PACTI learned about complainants being shackled and having no rights, "whose words are to be regarded with great suspicion." In other words, their complaints may do more harm than good. Submitting them may make them a future target, and GSS accounts are always accepted as factual, no matter how false and inaccurate.

The Illogic of Letting the Abuser Be the Investigator

How can "a body responsible for investigating torture and improper means of interrogation" be the one responsible for the abuse. "Such a body cannot operate as a substitute for a criminal investigation; the investigation must be transparent and open to public criticism." Doing otherwise discredits the entire process and "defies common sense, Israeli law and international law...."

Also, letting torturers investigate their own crimes discourages complainants. Why bother under a fundamentally unfair system, one with further harmful implications for the abused.

The system is rigged to fail. Abuse gets rubber-stamp approval, and authorization goes right to the top, granting sweeping immunity for the most grievous offenses, justice always being denied. By order of the Attorney General and State Attorney's Office (via Prime Ministerial authorization), "an impenetrable barrier (shields) criminal investigation(s)" and GSS prosecutions.

Grave consequences result. Abuses and a culture of lying persist as well as a "disrespect for the rule of law and for the values of human rights. It denies relief to victims seeking to repair the physical and psychological damage they have suffered, and it also imposes an obstacle, preventing (them) from securing their right to claim compensation through a civil proceeding."

Being Palestinian under Israeli control carries great risks, best attested to by victims.

The Legal Obligation to Investigate Abuses and Penalize Those Responsible

Numerous international laws prohibit torture, including the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture, Geneva Conventions and Common Article 3, the Nuremberg Principles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and others.

The prohibition is sweeping, applies universally, and no exceptions are allowed. Israel committed to observe it, yet systematically is in violation.

The Convention against Torture defines it as follows:

"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful actions."

Actions not meeting the definition of torture come under the definition of "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment," otherwise called abuse, but the line between the two is thin and often crossed.

The Obligation to Investigate

The Convention against Torture obligates member states to investigate and punish torturers. The same is true for the UN Committee against Torture (responsible for implementing the Convention), the UN Human Rights Committee (responsible for implementing the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), and the main international tribunal rulings - all requiring independent, impartial, efficient, effective and reliable action to hold those responsible accountable.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture is also mandated to investigate torture globally, including complaints and legal issues as well as regular fact-finding missions to specific countries under conditions of free inquiry, unrestricted movement, and the ability to conduct confidential interviews with victims, witnesses, human rights defenders, and NGOs, after which reports are prepared for the Human Rights Council and made available to the public.

The European Court of Human Rights and Inter-American Committee of Human Rights stipulated that states must report their investigatory results to complainants and publish them. The Istanbul Protocol includes the most detailed publication requirements, stating:

"A written report, made within a reasonable time, shall include the scope of the inquiry, procedures and methods used to evaluate evidence as well as conclusions and recommendations based on findings of fact and on applicable law. On completion, this report shall be made public. It shall describe in detail specific events that were found to have occurred and the evidence upon which such findings were based, and list the names of witnesses who testified with the exception of those whose identities have been withheld for their own protection. The State shall, within a reasonable period of time, reply to the report of the investigation, and, as appropriate, indicate steps to be taken in response."

In addition, prosecuting guilty parties must occur in compliance with Article 12 of the Convention. Also, integrating torture offenses comes under under the provisions of Article 4(1) and definition in Article 1. Minimum penalties aren't established, but recommendations range from six to 20 years, depending on the severity of the offense. Under no circumstances should pardons be granted. Doing so violates the Convention's Article 2(1) and encourages recurrences.

Israel is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and is obligated to observe its provisions. Yet as early as 1994, the UN Committee against Torture, in a departure from its usual practice, demanded that Israel submit a special report following the HCJ ruling explicitly permitting "physical pressure" against interrogees. After examining the report, the Committee concluded that GSS interrogation methods constitute torture in violation of fundamental international law, including so-called "ticking bomb" cases.

In its most recent May 2009 report, the Committee addressed Israeli violations with respect to conditions of detention and imprisonment, protracted isolation, illegal facilities, detaining minors, and using force during military operations. Concern was also raised about failure to include torture in Israeli law, and that:

"....the 'necessity defense' exception may still arise in cases of 'ticking bombs,' i.e., interrogation of terrorist suspects or persons otherwise holding information about potential terrorist attacks....The Committee is concerned that GSS interrogators who use physical pressure in 'ticking bomb' cases may not be criminally responsible if they resort to the necessity defense argument."

The Committee against Torture's unequivocal recommendation was for Israel to "completely remove necessity as a possible justification for the crime of torture." The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Human Rights Committee expressed the same view, including that "all allegations of torture and ill-treatment are promptly and effectively investigated and perpetrators prosecuted and, if applicable (appropriate) penalties....imposed."

Of great concern was that none of the 600 torture complaints against GSS interrogators from 2001 through 2008 led to a criminal investigation and prosecution. It called Israel's behavior particularly grave and urgently in need of change. Everyone up the chain of command is responsible, including commanders, the Attorney General, and others materially involved.

Torture and inhumane treatment are crimes under international law. In armed conflict, they're war crimes, and when civilian populations are attacked, they're crimes against humanity. Defendants may be tried by their home countries, or in others under the universal jurisdiction principle, an obligation borne by all Geneva Convention parties. They may also be tried in the International Criminal Court in the Hague, a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

Culpable persons include planners, order issuers, and assistants. Vicarious liability is also recognized and may be imposed on commanders and civilian leaders based on crimes committed by their subordinates on explicit or implicit orders given.

To prove guilt, it must be established that they either knew or should have known about crimes, yet they made no effort to stop them, or when committed, punish offenders.

Institutionalized torture can't be maintained without higher up authorization and tacit or explicit approval of the practice. In the case of the Bush administration, culpability went right to the top, documented in revealed torture memorandums, memos, findings Executive Orders, and National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives.

In sum, states are obligated to investigate torture complaints and hold guilty parties accountable. "The State of Israel has failed to meet these requirements, to which it is obligated under international law." The UN Committee against Torture noted this lawlessness for years. Israel did nothing to address it. To date, the practice continues unabated, authorized by the highest government officials and IDF commanders in violation of fundamental international law.

According to PACTI:

"There can be no doubt that all branches of (Israel's) government - the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary - have provided GSS interrogators with multiple layers of protection. There can also be no doubt that (they) exploited these (protections) to emerge unscathed after committing unconscionable actions in moral and legal terms. (It's) essential to end the era in which torturers enjoy immunity in Israel or elsewhere." Nothing less is tolerable or acceptable.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to the Lendman News Hour on Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. posted by Steve Lendman @ 3:08 AM

Iran eclipses Mossad action in Dubai by nabbing a CIA terrorist leader

Iran has captured the leader of a CIA-backed Iranian Baluch terrorist group that has launched repeated terrorist attacks inside Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province from base camps in western Pakistan. Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of Jundallah, or "Soldiers of God," was taken into custody by Iranian agents. There are reports that other passengers were also removed by the Iranians, possibly other Jundallah members traveling with Rigi, including Rigi's "right hand man."

Iranian intelligence agents on board a flight from Pakistan to Dubai ordered the plane to land in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf where Iranian security forces apprehended Rigi. Iran claims that Rigi had in his possession a U.S.-issued forged Afghanistan passport and a fake Pakistani identity card and was spotted by Iranian agents at a U.S. base in Afghanistan one day before his capture by Iran.

Originally, there were reports that Rigi was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan where the United States maintains a logistics and intelligence base at Manas outside the capital city of Bishkek. The plane forced down was a small aircraft and there have been no reports on whether the aircraft was a regularly scheduled commercial or chartered flight. There is speculation that the plane may have been a CIA charter flight that may have been based at Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan.

Last November, a Zimbabwe-registered MD-11 Avient Aviation Company cargo plane crashed en route to Bishkek crashed at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. Three American crewmen were killed in the crash. Avient denied the plane was carrying a "sensitve" cargo. Another American was injured. The other crewmen included nationals of Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Belgium.

Rigi was arrested by Pakistani authorities in September last year but, according to WMR's Asian intelligence sources, was released under pressure from the CIA. Rigi's Jundallah guerrillas carried out a deadly terrorist bombing in October last year that killed some 40 people, many of them members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Rigi's brother, Abdolhamid Rigi, already in Iranian custody, has admitted that Jundallah acts under the orders of the CIA. Abdolmalek Rigi allegedly also acts under the orders of the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal and also maintains links to Britain's MI-6 intelligence service.

Abdolhamid Rigi's execution was postponed by Iran with informed sources in the area believing that he has provided invaluable intelligence on the CIA's anti-Iranian operations being conducted inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Former CIA agent Robert Baer confirmed the CIA's link to Rigi last October.

The capture of Rigi is certain to further exacerbate tensions between the CIA and its proxy private military operatives in Pakistan, including Blackwater/Xe, and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. After the capture by the United States of the Taliban's number two leader in Pakistan, while he was traveling to meet European and Japanese envoys to negotiate an offer from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to cease fighting and join the Kabul government, ISI quickly moved to detain other Taliban commanders in Pakistan's northwest tribal region to prevent their capture or assassination by the United States. The word from Islamabad is moving to carve out its own room for negotiations without the involvement of the United States, which the ISI and Pakistan's military no longer trusts.

There is a belief that Pakistan cooperated with Iran in the capture of Rigi in order to trade him for Pakistani and Afghan Taliban elements captured inside of Iran.

The arrest of Rigi is the second major defeat for the CIA in the Middle East/South Asia region. Turkey has arrested 51 current and retired Army and Air Force commanders and high-ranking officers for trying to stage a 2003 coup, code named OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER, against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The coup plotters were going to blow up two mosques in Istanbul and stage an air incident with Greece as a pretext for pointing to the weakness of the Erdogan government and move to take over to "restore order." WMR has learned that the CIA and Mossad were closely involved with OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER.

Erdogan has maintained cordial relations with Iran and is opposed to any U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran.

The take down of the Jundallah leader by Iran and the rolling up of the military coup plotters by Turkey represents a double body blow to U.S. and Israeli intelligence plans for the region.

Khalid Amayreh – Open Letter to Obama's Envoy to the OIC


Dear brother Hussein, many Muslims around the globe, I am glad that President Obama has appointed you as his Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Needless to say, the repair of American-Muslim relations require, first and foremost, honesty, integrity, and good will — characters I am sure you exemplify as an Islamic scholar and Hafez of the Book of God (Qur'an).Hence, I think that you are probably one of the best people qualified for this difficult job, because, for several decades, the relations between the United States and the world of 1.6 billion Muslims have been marred by tension, lack of trust, and a lot of bitterness.

Hence, I urge you to go about carrying out your mission with utmost care, wisdom, and sagacity. I also want to remind you that several American envoys to the Muslim world have effectively failed to achieve what they were supposed to achieve, namely fostering healthy relations between Muslims and America that would be based on mutual trust, respect, and friendship.

It is my firm belief though that these people, whose efforts should never be underestimated, failed in their missions, not because of the lack of trying nor the absence of good will and rectitude.

My impression, which I believe is shared by many Muslims, is that these honorable men and women did not correctly diagnose the serious ailments plaguing America's relations with the Muslim world. In truth, past American envoys to the Muslim world acted very much as Public Relations emissaries, whose central concern was that Muslims misunderstood America.

In short, they thought that America was only having an "image problem" in the Muslim world, and that if only the United States worked a little bit harder in terms of presenting itself and its policies more skillfully, that tarnished image would be rehabilitated and Muslims would fall in love with Uncle Sam.

History of Wrong Deeds

My Brother in Islam and humanity: From our vantage point, the real problem besetting America's relations with Muslims goes far beyond the image problem. We truly feel that the US government is "tormenting" Muslims in many parts of the world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq , Pakistan, Lebanon to mention some examples.

In occupied Palestine, America has been enabling and empowering Israel — a state that has much in common with Nazi Germany — to kill us, destroy our homes, steal our land, and banish us from our ancestral land. Moreover, whenever we sought to redress that bad situation at the UN Security Council, America would just veto any resolution that would have given us a modicum of justice.

This brazen alliance with the oppressors on America's part frustrated many Muslims and Arabs, prompting them occasionally to embark on doing things they probably should not have done. You know, people to whom evil is done, often do evil in return.

Even today, the United States, which was as silent as a graveyard during Israel's manifestly criminal onslaught against the helpless people of the Gaza Strip last year, is trying now to kill the Goldstone report, which exposed Israeli criminality and called for the possible prosecution of suspected Israeli war criminals.

The United States has had more than fifty years to make peace in Palestine. However, instead of forcing Israel to give up the spoils of war and grant Palestinians the right to freedom from the shackles of occupation and racism, America has always made sure to further strengthen Israeli militarily and bolster its arrogance of power.

Eventually, this unrestricted embrace of Zionism enabled Israel to irreversibly kill the two-state solution, leaving us with the ominous, but realistic alternative of open-ended conflict.

One Palestinian intellectual, Walid Khalidi, once referred to the United States as "the tormentor of the Palestinian people." Khalidi's words are not an overstatement. In fact, the opposite may well be true.

In Lebanon, a few years ago, Israel blanket-bombed Lebanon, annihilating and maiming thousands of innocent people whose only "guilt" was their weakness and military inferiority vis-à-vis Israel.

In fact, the Israeli air force dropped more than 2 million cluster-bomblets on Lebanon, enough to kill two million children, including people yet to be born. Instead of hearing the United States saying: "Stop it", we heard American officials from the president downward singing the songs of praise for Israel as if these innocent victims were children of lesser humanity.

Iraq and Afghanistan

Moreover, In Iraq, one is really frustrated as to where to begin and where to end when talking about America's crimes and days of infamy in Iraq. America invaded, occupied and destroyed that Arab country based on the mendacious claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). True, Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but are America's Arab puppets paragons of virtue and democracy?

A few years before the American occupation of Iraq, former secretary of state Madeline Albright made some telling remarks about the death of nearly a million Iraqi children as a result of US-led sanctions against the Arab country. She said, "If it is good for America, it is worth it."

I am sure you understand that only a human devil can reach this level of depravity and evil.

Regarding Afghanistan, American and other NATO forces are raining death on Afghan people in the Helmand province, killing many civilians. US military officials would claim it happened by mistake. Well, but mistakes are done a few times, and when made nearly on a daily basis and thousands of people are killed, it means "mistakes" are actually "the real policy".

In any case, when the number of civilian victims is so high as in Afghanistan and Palestine, even intent becomes irrelevant.

I am sure that had these unwept, helpless civilians been Jews or Christians, the NATO pilots would have been much more careful.

Dear Brother: Muslims want a relationship with America based on honesty and fairness, and above all on justice. I am saying so because the US policy toward Muslims has been almost completely devoid of honesty and fairness.

Nearly every new American administration declares from the outset that fostering democracy and human rights in the Arab world would be at the top of its agenda. However, the truth is that the policy pursued then represents the exact antithesis of America's declarations.

In the past few years, the United States actually encouraged certain Arab states to torture their own citizens by transferring "terror suspects" to these police states, where they underwent all sorts of physical and psychological torture. The so-called "renditions" were a stigma of shame at the forehead of both America and the Arab regimes.

In fact, the United States has effectively transformed several Arab regimes into agents helped by the American intelligence to serve America's illegitimate global interests.

Conflicting Interests?

These regimes do not represent the free will of the Arab-Muslim people. They are more answerable to Washington than they are to their own masses. In addition, they value the "legitimacy" that comes from America's acceptance more than that which comes from their own people's acceptance.

For example, the American-envisaged steel wall being built along the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is rejected by up to 99 percent of the Egyptian people. Yet it is being imposed, thanks to America's approval of the evil structure.

Does not the United States realize that this wall amounts to passing a death penalty on more than 1.5 million innocent human beings, whose only "crime" was that they elected a political party that Israel and America did not like?

To be sure, America has the right to protect its interests. However, America has no right, moral or legal, to murder and starve people because they exercised their democratic right and elected a political party called "Hamas".

Besides, why is it that Israel has the right to elect clear-cut thugs and certified war criminals, such as Avigdor Lieberman, Ehud Barak, and Benyamin Netanyahu, just to name a few, while the Palestinian people are not supposed to elect a party like Hamas?

Do terror, criminality, and racism become kosher when assuming a Jewish face? Is Israel above the laws of God and man?

Muslims all over the world, including in Palestine, have no inherent hostility toward the people of the United States.

We have no problem with the American First Amendment and civil liberties. We are not against the United States because we hate the American life style. Our problem with the United States stems from hostile American policies that are killing us and murdering our children.

In short, America must reconcile what it preaches with what it does, because otherwise, America cannot just keep lying to Muslims (and non-Muslims) as if our people were blind, deaf, and dumb.

Finally, I hope and pray that you will have the courage to communicate our grievances to the White House, as I am sure you will communicate its concerns to us.

Furthermore, I would advise you to be always mindful of the Qur'an's eighth Aya (verse) of Surat Al-Ma’idah:

"O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." [Al-Ma’idah, 8]

I have chosen this verse because justice is not only a Muslim value; it is actually a universal value, without which life on earth is corrupted.
Once again, I call on the Almighty to help you carry out your mission in the best way.