Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Leveson : Libya Blair And The JPMorgan Link.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, and Libyan leader Col.  Moammar Gaddafi, right, during an hour long break in their talks, stroll together to a separate tent for a lunch in Tripoli, Thursday March 25, 2004.  (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA) ** UNITED KINGDOM OUT: MAGAZINES OUT: NO SALES: **

Business ... Blair and Gaddafi in Tripoli in 2004. Photo: AP
TONY BLAIR is facing calls for greater transparency in his role as Middle East peace envoy after it has emerged he visited Muammar Gaddafi in 2009 while JPMorgan, the investment bank that employs Blair as a £2 million-a-year ($3.2 million) adviser, sought to negotiate a multibillion-pound loan from Libya.

Blair also championed two large business deals in the West Bank and Gaza involving telecoms and gas extraction which stood to benefit corporate clients of JPMorgan, an investigation by the UK Channel 4 TV station's Dispatches program reveals.

Blair, who represents the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - the US, European Union, Russia and the United Nations - flew to see the former Libyan leader in January 2009 as JPMorgan tried to finalise a deal for the Libyan Investment Authority to lend a multibillion-pound sum to Rusal, the aluminium company run by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

The LIA was set up by Gaddafi to manage the country's wealth and was estimated to be worth $64 billion last September.
Emails obtained by anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness and seen by the Guardian reveal JPMorgan's vice-chairman, Lord Renwick, invited the then vice-chairman of LIA, Mustafa Zarti, to ''finalise the terms of the mandate concerning Rusal before Mr Blair's visit to Tripoli which is scheduled to take place on around 22 January''.

The meeting went ahead, but a spokesman for Mr Blair denied the former British prime minister had been involved in the proposed Rusal deal. A spokesman for JPMorgan said Blair had no knowledge of the proposal but could not explain why Blair's visit to Gaddafi was raised in the email.

''Neither Tony Blair nor any of his staff raised any issue to do with a Russian aluminium company,'' Blair's spokesman said. A Rusal presentation obtained by Global Witness showed the aluminium company had been seeking a $4.5 billion loan in the form of a convertible bond, but the deal never happened.

In the Palestinian territories as the quartet envoy, Blair persuaded the Israeli government to open radio frequencies so mobile phone company Wataniya could operate in the West Bank. The company's owner, Qtel, a Qatari telecoms company, is a client of JPMorgan and bought Wataniya with a $2 billion loan the bank helped arrange.

The second deal saw Mr Blair champion the development of a gas field off the coast of Gaza.

The owner of the rights to operate the field is BG Group, a client of JPMorgan.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ''In neither case was Mr Blair even aware JPMorgan had a connection with the company.''

Guardian News and Media


#Leveson #Libya: #Blair #Gaddafi Dealings Draw Concerns (2011)

Monday, May 28, 2012

IRAQ: US Deliberately Destroyed Iraq'a Water Supply

In September 2001 Professor Thomas Nagy of George Washington University, D.C., revealed the existence of Defense Intelligence Agency documents “proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War. "The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.” On May 12, 1996 some of the horrible consequences of this policy were revealed when the CBS news program 60 Minutes reported that roughly half million Iraqi children had died as a consequence of U.S. imposed sanctions.

This led to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s infamous answer to the question, “is the price worth it?” Her reply was yes “we think the price is worth it.” Albright later apologized, not for the murderous policy for which she was partially responsible, but rather for the fact that her answer to the above question had “aggravated our public relations problems” in the Middle East.

As to domestic reaction, her comment “went unremarked in the U.S.” Subsequently, in 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq using the strategy of “rapid dominance” (more popularly known as “shock and awe”). The object of this strategy was to “paralyze” the enemy’s “will to carry on” through the disruption of “means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure.” One of the targets of the bombing campaign that led off the invasion was Iraq’s electrical grid. That directly impacted the country’s ability to process clean water."
.....read more


#Leveson #Iraq : The Trial Of Tony Blair.

#Leveson #Iraq:Video - Kate O' Sullivan Attempted A Citizen's Arrest On War Criminal Blair.

#Leveson #Iraq:War Criminal Blair Citizen 's Arrest Attempted By David Cronin.

22nd March 2010. David Cronin attempted a citizens’ arrest of Tony Blair as he was about to enter a hearing on Palestine in the European Parliament. David approached him, put a hand on his arm and said: “Mr Blair, this is a citizens’ arrest.” He was then pushed away by one of Blair’s bodyguards, whereupon he shouted “You are guilty of war crimes”. His attempt was reported in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Irish Times and other outlets.

#Leveson #Iraq : War Criminal #Blair and the Papal Knights. Cardinal Edward Egan praised Blair on his speech and on his effort to fight extremism

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#Leveson #Iraq: Unholy Alliance #Murdoch & Blair 'The Aspiring War Criminal'


In his latest article in the New Statesmen John Pilger recalls some of the worst journalistic breaches of integrity by Rupert Murdoch’s “news” papers and remembers a young “aspiring war criminal” who, at an early stage of his political ascent, made it his business to court favour with the dangerously influential press baron.

The starry-eyed acolyte conveyed first-class to Australia was Tony Blair. He spoke of “the need for a new moral purpose in politics.” The rest is history and since that day millions of people around the planet have tasted Blair’s morality first-hand, many of them as they prayed whilst his bombs fell on their heads.

The saying goes that people are known by the company they keep. This was never more true than for Tony Blair. And a look at his friends begins to explain just how it is he has managed to evade justice since 1997 as he prosecuted one war after the next, with innocent civilians always paying the toll for his ambitions.

Blair, a man who once taunted John Major when he claimed the difference between them was that he, Blair, actually lead his party, later became an object of ridicule as he slavishly followed former US president George Bush around the globe on bombing sprees. “Poodle Blair”, has never really been a leader as many claim, not in the true sense at least. He’s always attached himself to the powerful and the famous, drawing on their publicity to boost his own.

Unfortunately for Blair. Nuremberg tells us that following orders is no defence.


#Leveson #Iraq : Protestor David Lawley-Wakelin Chats With George Galloway On War Criminal Tony Blair.

#Leveson #Iraq: Tony Blair War Criminal. The First TRUTH To Come From The Freemason Leveson Circus.

Tony Blair's evidence to the Leveson Inquiry was dramatically interrupted today when a protester burst in from behind the judge and branded the former Prime Minister a 'war criminal'.
Gripping Lord Justice Leveson's bench - yards away from Mr Blair - the intruder, understood to be filmmaker and veteran Iraq War protester David Lawley-Wakelin, yelled that Mr Blair had been 'bought' by JP Morgan, suggesting that the US investment bank had profited from the Iraq War.
The activist then shouted to the stunned court: 'This man should be arrested for war crimes.'
Scroll down for video.
Bundled out: Tony Blair (far left) appeared unfazed by the disruption. Lord Justice Leveson (standing to the right of the commotion, did not. Robert Jay QC (standing below Leveson) held his head in his hands
Bundled out: Tony Blair (far left) appeared unfazed by the disruption. Lord Justice Leveson (standing to the right of the commotion, did not. Robert Jay QC (standing below Leveson) held his head in his hands
Police said a 49-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to a central London station for questioning.
The drama began when Mr Lawley-Wakelin burst from behind Lord Leveson through the entrance reserved for the judge alone having managed to get past security-coded doors to access the judges' corridor into courtroom 73.

As chief counsel Robert Jay QC, who had been leading Blair's grilling, held his head in his hands, security guards immediately jumped on the man and bundled him out of the chamber.
Blair immediately told the court that the man's accusations were 'completely and utterly untrue'.
Lord Justice Leveson said he wanted an immediate investigation into how the man got into the court.
Embarrassing: David Lawley-Wakelin, dressed in a white shirt and chinos, then shouted to the stunned court, 'This man should be arrested for war crimes'
Embarrassing: David Lawley-Wakelin, dressed in a white shirt and chinos, then shouted to the stunned court, 'This man should be arrested for war crimes'

'Completely untrue': After peace was restored to the courtroom, told the court that the man's accusations were 'completely and utterly untrue'
'Completely untrue': After peace was restored to the courtroom, told the court that the man's accusations were 'completely and utterly untrue'

He said: 'I would like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what's supposed to be a secure corridor and I'll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately.'
Mr Blair said: 'That's fine, can I just say for the record that what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely untrue.'
Echoes: The interruption was an embarrassing echo of the 'custard pie' incident when Rupert Murdoch was attacked during a Commons Select Committee last year and his wife, Wendi Deng, leapt to his defence and slapped the attacker
Echoes: The interruption was an embarrassing echo of the 'custard pie' incident when Rupert Murdoch was attacked during a Commons Select Committee last year and his wife, Wendi Deng, leapt to his defence and slapped the attacker
The man told reporters his name was David Lawley-Wakelin and he was from the Alternative Iraq Enquiry. He spoke as security guards escorted him through the Royal Courts of Justice.
Mr Blair had been greeted by around two dozen or so protesters as he arrived at the courts this morning.
They waved banners reading 'Troops home', 'Bliar' and 'Afghanistan out'.
The interruption was an embarrassing echo of the ‘custard pie’ incident when Rupert Murdoch was attacked during a Commons Select Committee last year.
Protest: Waving banners reading 'Troops home', 'Bliar' and 'Afghanistan out', about a dozen protesters greeted the former Prime Minister when he arrived at the hearing
Protest: Waving banners reading 'Troops home', 'Bliar' and 'Afghanistan out', about a dozen protesters greeted the former Prime Minister when he arrived at the hearing
His wife, Wendi Deng, leapt to his defence and slapped her husband's attacker, Jonnie Marbles, as the protester thrust the creamy dessert in the media mogul's face.
The close relationship between Mr Blair and Rupert Murdoch was underlined by a list of contact with newspaper editors and proprietors in the run-up to the Iraq War in 2003.

Three telephone calls were recorded between the pair on  11, 13 and 19 March 2003. He admitted to initiating one of them and that they lasted for now more than 45 minutes in total.

He said: ‘I would have been wanting to explain what we are doing. I think I had similar calls with the Observer and the Telegraph. I don't think there's anything particularly odd about that when you're facing such an issue.’
Angry: Shouts of 'traitor' also came from the small but dogged crowd determined to pursue the ex-premier wherever he turned up
Angry: Shouts of 'traitor' also came from the small but dogged crowd determined to pursue the ex-premier wherever he turned up
Demonstrators shout slogans in front of the Royal Courts of Justice where former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in London
Shouts of 'traitor' also came from the small but dogged crowd determined to pursue the ex-premier wherever he turned up.
Write caption here
In the run up to the 1997 general election in which Mr Blair took power for the first time, The Sun famously switched its allegiance from the Tory Party and became a vociferous cheerleader for the Iraq War.
Earlier, Mr Blair cut a relaxed and smiling figure as he strode into the Royal Courts of Justice for his grilling at the Leveson Inquiry today.
Cool: Arriving in a black Range Rover at around 8.30am, Mr Blair waved at the assembled bank of press photographers as he entered through a side door of the London court
Cool: Arriving in a black Range Rover at around 8.30am, Mr Blair waved at the assembled bank of press photographers as he entered through a side door of the London court
Arriving in a black Range Rover at around 8.30am - a good hour and a half before the scheduled kick off - he waved at the assembled bank of press photographers as he entered through a side door of the London court.
But outside the main entrance, the two dozen or so protesters who had gathered were not smiling.
Waving banners reading 'Troops home', 'Bliar' and 'Afghanistan out', they greeted the former Prime Minister with an angry reception.
Mary Macmillan, a Fabian from Soho in London, carried a large knitted puppet of a judge bearing a sign on its chest reading 'Blair the day of judgment.'
The 78-year-old said: 'I was a 1997 Labour Party person when Blair got his majority and I'm afraid he's proved a great let-down.
'We got very few things that he promised. The war in Afghanistan is the greatest treachery.
'I'm glad we could get here today because it's very difficult to get hold of Blair.'
Anti-war artist Chris Holden, 69, from London, repeated the familiar argument that the Iraq war - Blair's most controversial act in office - had been 'for the oil'.
He asked: 'Why can't they just come out and say (it?)'
Shouts of 'traitor' also came from the small but dogged crowd determined to pursue the ex-premier wherever he turned up.
'Truth and justice is the central message', Mr Holden said.
But 'justice' for the perceived wrongs of the Iraq war was not on the bill for today's hearing about Blair's relationship with the media.


Monday, May 21, 2012

War Criminal #Blair : The Papal Knight Of Malta Was Heckled By Protesters At U.S. College.

A handful of protesters briefly interrupted a US college graduation speech by former prime minister Tony Blair calling for world unity.
Mr Blair addressed more than 400 Colby College graduates and their guests at the school's 191st commencement in Waterville, Maine.
Police said the protesters shouted phrases such as “warmonger” and “war criminal” during Mr Blair's speech. One person was arrested.
In his address, Mr Blair appealed for international co-operation and for people to try to understand other cultures.
The 59-year-old Mr Blair, the Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, served from 1997 to 2007.
Since then, he has served as the envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, representing the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations in working on a path to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.


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Monday, May 14, 2012

#FBI :Domestic Terror Plots Masterminded By The FBI

(NaturalNews) If it seems as though the FBI is making a large number of terror busts these days, maybe it's because the agency itself is at least partly responsible for hatching the plots. That has some political observers wondering if the FBI's strategies are making the best use of the nation's limited counterterrorist resources.

In recent months, FBI agents have arrested suspects who were planning a range of terrorist attacks, from shooting Stinger missiles at military aircraft to driving vanloads of explosives into crowded events. But these amazing cases might not have ever been made if the FBI itself wasn't themselves planning the attacks.

A number of these cases were profiled recently in a New York Times op-ed column, which noted that the so-called plots were devised by an agency that seems to be operating as if the nation is so devoid of legitimate threats that it needs to manufacture some in order to seem relevant.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035849_domestic_terror_plots_FBI.html#ixzz1uuzjCfWT

George Bush : The Papal Puppet. Like Father Like Son.


Cardinal Egan one of the most powerful of men apart from his Jesuit controllers. He is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta's, Military Vicar and of course the Vatican's Archbishop of New York.  Remember that Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg and Eliot Spitzer are SMOM Papal Knights, they are subordinate to Edward Egan, Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Pope and the Superior Jesuit General. Here is a picture of SMOM Papal Knight, George H.W. Bush along with SMOM Papal Knight, Michael Bloomberg with their master, Edward Egan:

Scroll down and there is an image of Rupert Murdoch with Cardinal Edgar and below another image this time of Tony Blair also with the Cardinal.

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Rupert Murdoch, left, and Cardinal Edward Egan at the Alfred E Smith fundraising dinner in New York (AP Photo/ Yana Paskova, POOL)

George Bush : A Catholic Wind In The House.

A Catholic Wind in the White House

By Daniel Burke

Sunday, April 13, 2008; B02

Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election in 2005, President Bush met with a small circle of advisers in the Oval Office. As some mentioned their own religious backgrounds, the president remarked that he had read one of the new pontiff's books about faith and culture in Western Europe.

Save for one other soul, Bush was the only non-Catholic in the room. But his interest in the pope's writings was no surprise to those around him. As the White House prepares to welcome Benedict on Tuesday, many in Bush's inner circle expect the pontiff to find a kindred spirit in the president. Because if Bill Clinton can be called America's first black president, some say, then George W. Bush could well be the nation's first Catholic president.

This isn't as strange a notion as it sounds. Yes, there was John F. Kennedy. But where Kennedy sought to divorce his religion from his office, Bush has welcomed Roman Catholic doctrine and teachings into the White House and based many important domestic policy decisions on them.

"I don't think there's any question about it," says Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and a devout Catholic, who was the first to give Bush the "Catholic president" label. "He's certainly much more Catholic than Kennedy."

Bush attends an Episcopal church in Washington and belongs to a Methodist church in Texas, and his political base is solidly evangelical. Yet this Protestant president has surrounded himself with Roman Catholic intellectuals, speechwriters, professors, priests, bishops and politicians. These Catholics -- and thus Catholic social teaching -- have for the past eight years been shaping Bush's speeches, policies and legacy to a degree perhaps unprecedented in U.S. history.

"I used to say that there are more Catholics on President Bush's speechwriting team than on any Notre Dame starting lineup in the past half-century," said former Bush scribe -- and Catholic -- William McGurn.
Bush has also placed Catholics in prominent roles in the federal government and relied on Catholic tradition to make a public case for everything from his faith-based initiative to antiabortion legislation. He has wedded Catholic intellectualism with evangelical political savvy to forge a powerful electoral coalition.

"There is an awareness in the White House that the rich Catholic intellectual tradition is a resource for making the links between Christian faith, religiously grounded moral judgments and public policy," says Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic priest and editor of the journal First Things who has tutored Bush in the church's social doctrines for nearly a decade.

In the late 1950s, Kennedy's Catholicism was a political albatross, and he labored to distance himself from his church. Accepting the Democratic nomination in 1960, he declared his religion "not relevant."
Bush and his administration, by contrast, have had no such qualms about their Catholic connections. At times, they've even seemed to brandish them for political purposes. Even before he got to the White House, Bush and his political guru Karl Rove invited Catholic intellectuals to Texas to instruct the candidate on the church's social teachings. In January 2001, Bush's first public outing as president in the nation's capital was a dinner with Washington's then-archbishop, Theodore McCarrick. A few months later, Rove (an Episcopalian) asked former White House Catholic adviser Deal Hudson to find a priest to bless his West Wing office.

"There was a very self-conscious awareness that religious conservatives had brought Bush into the White House and that [the administration] wanted to do what they had been mandated to do," says Hudson.
To conservative Catholics, that meant holding the line on same-sex marriage, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research, and working to limit abortion in the United States and abroad while nominating judges who would eventually outlaw it. To make the case, Bush has often borrowed Pope John Paul II's mantra of promoting a "culture of life." Many Catholics close to him believe that the approximately 300 judges he has seated on the federal bench -- most notably Catholics John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court -- may yet be his greatest legacy.

Bush also used Catholic doctrine and rhetoric to push his faith-based initiative, a movement to open federal funding to grass-roots religious groups that provide social services to their communities. Much of that initiative is based on the Catholic principle of "subsidiarity" -- the idea that local people are in the best position to solve local problems. "The president probably knows absolutely nothing about the Catholic catechism, but he's very familiar with the principle of subsidiarity," said H. James Towey, former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives who is now the president of a Catholic college in southwestern Pennsylvania. "It's the sense that the government is not the savior and that problems like poverty have spiritual roots."

Nonetheless, Bush is not without his Catholic critics. Some contend that his faith-based rhetoric is just small-government conservatism dressed up in religious vestments, and that his economic policies, including tax cuts for the rich, have created a wealth gap that clearly upends the Catholic principle of solidarity with the poor.

John Carr, a top public policy director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls the Bush administration's legacy a "tale of two policies."

"The best of the Bush administration can be seen in their work in development assistance on HIV/AIDS in Africa," says Carr. "In domestic policy, the conservatism trumps the compassion."

And other prominent Catholics charge the president with disregarding Rome's teachings on the Iraq war and torture. But even when he has taken actions that the Vatican opposes, such as invading Iraq, Bush has shown deference to church teachings. Before he sent U.S. troops into Baghdad to topple Saddam Hussein, he met with Catholic "theocons" to discuss just-war theory. White House adviser Leonard Leo, who heads Catholic outreach for the Republican National Committee, says that Bush "has engaged in dialogue with Catholics and shared perspectives with Catholics in a way I think is fairly unique in American politics."

Moreover, people close to Bush say that he has professed a not-so-secret admiration for the church's discipline and is personally attracted to the breadth and unity of its teachings. A New York priest who has befriended the president said that Bush respects the way Catholicism starts at the foundation -- with the notion that the papacy is willed by God and that the pope is Peter's successor. "I think what fascinates him about Catholicism is its historical plausibility," says this priest. "He does appreciate the systematic theology of the church, its intellectual cogency and stability." The priest also says that Bush "is not unaware of how evangelicalism -- by comparison with Catholicism -- may seem more limited both theologically and historically."

Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, another evangelical with an affinity for Catholic teaching, says that the key to understanding Bush's domestic policy is to view it through the lens of Rome. Others go a step further.

Paul Weyrich, an architect of the religious right, detects in Bush shades of former British prime minister Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism last year. "I think he is a secret believer," Weyrich says of Bush. Similarly, John DiIulio, Bush's first director of faith-based initiatives, has called the president a "closet Catholic." And he was only half-kidding.


Daniel Burke is a national correspondent for Religion News Service.


#Iran War: #AIPAC Resolution Demanding War With Iran On House Floor Tomorrow

By M.J. Rosenberg

May 14, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- On Tuesday, the House of Representatives is slated to vote on a resolution designed to tie the president’s hands on Iran policy. The resolution, which is coming up under an expedited House procedure, was the centerpiece of AIPAC’s recent conference. In fact, 13,000 AIPAC delegates were dispatched to Capitol Hill, on the last day of the conference, with instructions to tell the senators and representatives whom they met that supporting this resolution was #1 on AIPAC’s election year agenda.

 Accordingly, it is not particularly surprising that the resolution is being rushed to the House floor for a vote, nor that it is expected to pass with very little opposition. Those voting “no” on this one will pay a price in campaign contributions (the ones they won’t receive) and, very likely, will be smeared as “anti-Israel.” That is how it works.

 Most of the language in H. Res.568 is unremarkable, the usual boilerplate (some of it factual) denouncing the Islamic Republic of Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism” that is on the road to nuclear weapons capability.

The resolution’s overarching message is that Iran must be deterred from developing weapons, a position the White House (and our allies share). That is why the sanctions regime is in place and also why negotiations with Iran have resumed (the next session is May 23).

But the resolution does not stop with urging the president to use his authority to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If it did, the resolution would be uncontroversial .

But there is also this: The House “urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Think about that.

The resolution, which almost surely will pass on Tuesday, is telling the president that he may not “rely on containment” in response to “the Iranian nuclear threat.”

Since the resolution, and U.S. policy itself defines Iranian possession of nuclear weapons as, ipso facto, a threat, Congress would be telling the president that any U.S. response to that threat other than war is unacceptable. In fact, it goes farther than that, not only ruling out containment of a nuclear armed Iran but also containment of an Iran that has a “nuclear weapons capability.”

That means that the only acceptable response to a nuclear armed or nuclear capable Iran is not containment but its opposite: war.

Any doubt that this is the intention of the backers of this approach was removed back in March, when the Senate was considering new Iran sanctions. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bob Casey (D-PA) offered their own “no containment” language to the sanctions bill and the Senate moved to quickly to accept it.

However, amending a bill once it is already on the Senate floor requires unanimous consent and one, and only one, senator objected. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that he would oppose the containment clause unless a provision was added specifying that “nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran…”
That did it.

Neither the Democratic or Republican leadership would accept that (knowing that AIPAC wouldn’t) and Paul’s objection killed the bill, for the time being. In other words, the purpose of “no containment” language is precisely to make war virtually automatic. Because Paul’s provision would thwart that goal, it was unacceptable.

 So now it’s the House’s turn.

On the substance, the “no containment” idea is absurd and reckless.

Imagine if President Kennedy had been told by the Congress back in 1962 that if the Soviet Union placed missiles in Cuba, he would have no choice but to attack Cuba or the USSR. If it had, it is likely none of us would be around today.

Presidents need latitude to make decisions affecting matters of national security and, until now, all presidents have been afforded it, as provided for in the United States Constitution. But, in the case of Iran, the cheerleaders for war are trying to change the rules. They are doing that because they understand that after almost a decade of war, the last thing Americans want is another one.

No president is going to ask Congress to declare war, or even to authorize it. Making war against Iran automatic would eliminate that problem. (That is precisely Sen. Paul’s objection; he believes that backing into war is unconstitutional. He recalls the Gulf of Tonkin resolution of 1964 which led to ten years of war in Vietnam and 50,000 American dead without a declaration of war or even a specific authorization for war).

So why would the House vote for a resolution like this? The main reason is AIPAC. It may be the only lobby pushing for war with Iran but it also, by far, the most powerful foreign policy lobby and also the one that sees to it that those who play ball with it are rewarded and those who don’t are punished. AIPAC has been pushing war with Iran for a decade; it won’t stop until the missiles fly.

The other reason is that the resolution is non-binding. Voting for it is good politics but does not affect policy.

Believing that is a mistake. An overwhelming vote for “no containment” may not tie the president’s hands legally, but it does go a long way to tying his hands politically. After all, Congress will be expressing its clear (bipartisan) intent. A president cannot easily ignore that.

Moreover, the lobby is unlikely to stop with a non-binding resolution. Once the House and Senate have passed that, the lobby will look for an opportunity to make it binding. The goal is to take the president’s discretion away from him because this president is unlikely to choose war when there are other options available.

It is those options that the lobby is determined to block. It remains hell-bent for war.

POSTSCRIPT: It can’t hurt to call your House member at 202 225 3131 to tell him that you know about the vote on the AIPAC resolution and will be watching. Assuming the House does not duck for cover by passing this by voice vote, I will post the names of the brave representatives who vote “no.”

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. www.mjayrosenberg.com


Skull And Bones - The Dark Castle - 322

Saturday, May 12, 2012

#Spain #Madrid : #Aznar Wiped Files On Madrid Train Bombing

Spain's former prime minister José María Aznar wiped all computer records at his office referring to the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the rest of his period of government, his successor José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said yesterday.
Mr Zapatero told a parliamentary commission on the bombings that he had no idea whether records were made of crisis meetings held at the prime minister's office after the attacks that killed 191 people, as computer hard-drives and security copies were wiped clean.
"There was nothing, absolutely nothing... everything had been wiped," Mr Zapatero told a raucous session of the parliamentary commission. "There is nothing from March 11 to March 14 in the prime minister's office."
Mr Zapatero, whose Socialists won a surprise election victory three days after the bombings, said the incoming government had been left the bill for the erasing.
The newspaper El País reported yesterday that the job cost €12,000 (£8,200) and included erasing all email records.
The only records handed to the incoming government were paper documents, the newspaper reported.
Mr Zapatero accused Mr Aznar's conservative People's party government of having tried to fool Spaniards into believing the armed Basque group Eta, not radical Islamists, carried out the attacks. "It was massive deceit," he said.
He said Mr Aznar's government began deliberately misleading Spaniards from the afternoon of the attacks, when police found that the explosives in the bombs were not, as suspected earlier in the day, of the kind habitually used by Eta.
Mr Zapatero said the attacks revealed a series of security failings that had allowed the Islamist bombers to plant a dozen bombs on the morning rush-hour trains.
He said a lack of coordination between Spain's two main police forces, failures in the control of mine explosives, and a lack of police dedicated to Islamist terrorism were to blame.
Mr Zapatero denied that his party had been involved in a series of angry, illegal protests outside People's party offices across Spain on the evening before his election victory.
The protesters, spreading the word by text messages, convened rallies at which they accused Mr Aznar's pro-US government of lying and of making Spain an al-Qaida target by backing the Iraq war.
"We did not know about, plan, participate in, instigate or support the demonstrations," Mr Zapatero said.
Eduardo Zaplana, the People's party's representative on the commission, accused Mr Zapatero of giving, at the least, implicit support to protesters.
"You still do not dare condemn such a shameful and anti-democratic act because you were the beneficiary of it," he said.
In a thinly veiled attack on his predecessor, who appeared before the same commission two weeks ago, Mr Zapatero condemned critics who accused Spaniards of cowardice for voting out the People's party.
"It is unacceptable... after the pain caused by the deaths and having been unable to prevent the murder of relatives, friends and fellow citizens, that a brave people should then suffer the infamy of being called cowards," he said.
Mr Zapatero, who stuck to an election pledge to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq, accused Mr Aznar and the People's party of continuing their attempts to confuse Spaniards with recent claims that Eta must have helped the Islamists.
"They are trying to save face," he said. "The March 11 [attacks] were the sole responsibility of international Islamist terrorism."
He also presented the commission with two separate police reports discounting any ties between the Spanish dynamite traffickers who provided the explosives and Eta.
He said that, despite the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, he still considered Spain at risk from further attacks and said the country would fight the threat just as it had fought Eta's terrorism.


#IRAQ :#KualaLumpur - Bush Found Guilty Of War Crimes

By Yvonne Ridley

May 11, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" -- Kuala Lumpur -- IT’S OFFICIAL - George W Bush is a war criminal.

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.

The tribunal is the initiative of Malaysia's retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He sat through the entire hearing as it took personal statements and testimonies of three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi. The tribunal also heard two other Statutory Declarations of Iraqi citizen Ali Shalal and Rahul Ahmed, another British citizen.

After the guilty verdict reached by five senior judges was delivered, Mahathir Mohamad said: “Powerful countries are getting away with murder.”

War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team.

After the case he said: “This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world.”

While the hearing is regarded by some as being purely symbolic, human rights activist Boyle said he was hopeful that Bush and Co could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.

“We tried three times to get Bush in Canada but were thwarted by the Canadian Government, then we scared Bush out of going to Switzerland. The Spanish attempt failed because of the government there and the same happened in Germany.”

Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.”

The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.

Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said: “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.

He added that he was optimistic the tribunal would be followed up elsewhere in the world where “countries have a duty to try war criminals” and he cited the case of the former Chilean dictator Augustine Pinochet who was arrested in Britain to be extradited to Spain on charges of war crimes.

“Pinochet was only eight years out of his presidency when that happened.”

The Pinochet case was the first time that several European judges applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, declaring themselves competent to judge crimes committed by former heads of state, despite local amnesty laws.

Throughout the week the tribunal was packed with legal experts and law students as witnesses gave testimony and then cross examination by the defence led by lawyer Jason Kay Kit Leon.

The court heard how
· Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers.
· Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall.
· Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement.
· Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter.

The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.

Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.

“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”

In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”

The prosecution case rested on proving how the decision-makers at the highest level President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.

According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses exposed a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanising course of conduct against them.
These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering, said lawyers.

The president of the tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, found that the prosecution had established beyond a “reasonable doubt that the accused persons, former President George Bush and his co-conspirators engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose, joint enterprise and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of Torture and War Crimes, including and not limited to a common plan and purpose to commit the following crimes in relation to the “War on Terror” and the wars launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the Tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.

“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions”.

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is also a patron of Cageprisoners


Sunday, May 6, 2012

#Iraq: #Rumsfeld Is A Torturer And Boris Johnson Is A .....


I didn't dislike Boris Johnson as a personality, until now that is, until I read this small piece in the Rumsfeld torture article.
And the Mayor of London threatened Bush with arrest for war crimes earlier this year should he ever set foot in his city, saying that were he to land in London to "flog his memoirs," that "the real trouble — from the Bush point of view — is that he might never see Texas again.".....read more


#BBC #MI5 : The Christmas Tree Files

All BBC employees had a personnel file which included their basic personal details and work record. But there was also a second file. This included ‘security information' collected by Special Branch and MI5, who have always kept political surveillance on ‘subversives in the media’. If a staff member was shortlisted for a job this second file was handed to the department head, who had to sign for it. The file was a buff folder with a round red sticker, stamped with the legend SECRET and a symbol which looked like a Christmas tree. On the basis of information in this file, the Personnel Office recommended whether the person in question should be given the job or not. A former senior BBC executive recalls seeing one journalist’s security file, stamped with a Christmas tree symbol: 'For about twelve years it had recorded notes such as "has subscription to Daily Worker” or “our friends say he associates with communists and CND activists." It is fair to say that there were contemporary memos from personnel officials adding they thought this was ridiculous. But it was still on file.‘
The names of outside job applicants were submitted directly to C Branch of M5. They were then passed on to the F Branch ‘domestic subversion', whose F7 section looks at political ‘extremists', MP’s, lawyers, teachers and journalists. After consulting the registry of files, the names were fed into MI5’s computer, which contains the identities of about a million ‘subversives'.
Once MI5 had vetted an applicant their decision was given in writing to the BBC’s Personnel Office. MI5 never gave reasons for their recommendations. But, quite often, if they said a person was a ‘security risk', that was enough to blacklist him or her permanently. Members of board interviews were advised not to ask questions. And it was only when an executive or editor put pressure on the Personnel Department that MI5's decision was overruled. ...read more