While western media have announced that indictments against Hezbollah will be issued shortly by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Russian magazine Odnako challenges the entire UN investigation. Thierry Meyssan posits that the weapon used to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hairiri was supplied by Germany. Former German prosecutor and first commissioner in charge of the UN probe, Detlev Mehlis, seemingly doctored evidence to cover up his country’s involvement. These revelations embarrass the Tribunal and reverse the tide in Lebanon.
All the conflicts rocking the Middle East today crystallize around the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Peace hinges on it, and so does war. For some, the STL should bring about the dissolution of the Hezbollah, quell the Resistance and establish a Pax Americana. Others consider that the STL is flouting the law and subverting the truth to ensure the takeover of a new colonial order in the region.
The Tribunal was created on 30 May 2007, pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1757, to prosecute the alleged sponsors of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination. In the political context at that time, this implied nothing more and nothing less than bringing to trial serving Presidents Bashar el-Assad of Syria and Emile Lahoud of Lebanon, not exactly favourites of the neo-conservatives. However, the charges were not pursued since they were based on flimsy evidence planted by false witnesses. With no accused left, the Tribunal could easily have disappeared in the meanders of bureaucracy were it not for a turn of events that catapulted it back into the epicenter of the turbulent Middle East political scene.
On 23 May 2009, Atlanticist journalist Erick Follath disclosed on Der Spiegel Online that the prosecutor was poised to indict new suspects: certain Hezbollah military leaders. For the past 18 months, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, has been proclaiming his party’s innocence. He maintains that the real aim of the proceedings is to decapitate the Resistance and clear the region for the Israeli army. For its part, the U.S. administration in a sudden surge of righteousness pledged that no one would be allowed to shun international Justice.
In any event, the indictment – which all believe to be imminent – against Shia leaders for the assassination of a Sunni leader is of such a nature as to spark off a fitna, namely a Muslim civil war, plummeting the region into new depths of bloodshed and violence.
During his 15 and 16 November official visit to Moscow, Saad Hariri – current Lebanese Prime Minister and son of the deceased – reiterated that the political exploitation of the Tribunal exposes his country to the risk of a new conflagration. President Medvedev retorted that Russia wants Justice to be served and reproves any attempt to discredit, weaken or delay the Tribunal’s proceedings. This position of principle arises from the confidence that the Kremlin decided to place in the STL. But it risks being severely eroded by Odnako’s revelations.
Indeed, we deemed it desirable to delve into the circumstances of Rafik Hariri’s assassination. The data we unearthed has opened a new avenue, making one wonder why it had never been explored until now. In the course of our lengthy investigation, we encountered a great number of actors, too many no doubt, so that the news of our work spread quickly, alarming those for whom the assassination trail implicating the armed Lebanese Resistance represents a real godsend. Aiming to intimidate us, the Jerusalem Post on 18 October launched a preventive attack through a piece referring to our work. In a purely libelous vein, it accuses the author of this article of having received 1 million dollars from Iran to exonerate Hezbollah.
Getting down to facts, Rafik Hariri’s convoy was attacked in Beirut on 14 February 2005. Twenty-three people were killed and one hundred injured. A preliminary report commissioned by the Security Council calls attention to the unprofessional conduct of the Lebanese magistrates and police. To redress the situation, the SC assigned its own investigators, providing them with the important means that Lebanon was unable to offer. From the outset of the investigation, it was generally accepted that the attack had been perpetrated by a suicide bomber driving a van packed with explosives.
Having been established to compensate for the Lebanese lack of professionalism, one would have expected the United Nations mission to scrupulously observe the classical criminal procedures. Not so! The crime scene – on the basis of the topography still intact as well as the photos and video footage shot on that day – was not examined in detail. The victims were not exhumed and no autopsies were performed. For a long time, no attempt was made to ascertain the modus operandi. After discarding the hypothesis of a bomb buried in the ground, the investigators espoused the one involving the van without bothering to verify it.
And yet, this version is implausible: looking at the crime scene, anyone can easily observe the very large and deep crater that a surface explosion could not have dug out. Faced with adamant Swiss experts who refused to endorse the official version, on 19 October the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) recreated the crime scene behind closed doors. It didn’t take place in Lebanon, nor in the Netherlands which is the seat of the STL, but in France, one of the countries funding the Tribunal. The buildings surrounding the crime scene were reconstructed and earth was brought in from Beirut. The convoy was reconstituted, including the armoured vehicle. The aim was to demonstrate that the height of the concrete buildings had confined the explosion, making it possible for the blast to produce the crater. The results of this costly experiment have never been divulged.
When looking at the photos and videos taken immediately after the attack, the first most striking feature is the blaze. Car parts and various types of objects are burning all around. Then, the bodies of the victims: they are charred on one side and intact on the other. An astonishing phenomenon which bears no resemblance to what is normally caused by conventional explosives. The theory that the van was transporting a mix of RDX, PETN and TNT does not account for the damages which occurred.
What is more, from the photos showing Rafik Hariri’s corpse one can observe that his solid gold wristwatch has melted, whereas the collar of his luxury shirt still hugs his neck in pristine condition.
So, what really happened?
The explosion generated a blast of an exceptionally intense heat and exceptionally brief duration. Thus, the flesh exposed to the blast was instantly carbonized, while the body underneath was not burnt.
High-density objects (such as the gold watch) absorbed the heat and were destroyed. Conversely, low-density objects (like the delicate fabric of Hariri’s shirt collar) didn’t have enough time to absorb the heat and were unaffected.
Moreover, the videos show that a number of limbs were severed by the explosion. Oddly, the cuts are clean, as if made on clay statues. There is no sign of shattered or jutting bones, nor of any torn flesh. The reason is that the explosion sucked up all the oxygen and dehydrated the bodies, rendering them friable. In the hours that followed, several on-the-spot witnesses complained of breathing ailments. Wrongfully, the authorities interpreted them as a psychosomatic reaction following their psychological trauma.
Such observations constitute the abcs of any criminal inquiry. They should have been the starting point, yet they do not figure in any of the reports submitted by the “professional experts” to the Security Council.
When we asked a number of military experts what kind of explosives would be capable of generating such damage, they mentioned a new type of weapon which has been developed over several decades and is featured in reports appearing in scientific journals. The combination of nuclear and nanotechnology science can trigger an explosion the exact strength of which can be regulated and controlled. The weapon is set up to destroy everything within a given perimeter, down to the nearest centimeter.
According to the same military specialists, this weapon can also produce other types of effects: it exerts a very strong pressure on the area of the explosion. The minute it stops, the heaviest objects are propelled upwards. Accordingly, cars were sent flying through the air.
There is one unequivocal fact: this weapon is equipped with a nano-quantity of enriched uranium, emanating radiations which are quantifiable. Now, it just so happens that one of the passengers in Rafik Hariri’s armoured car survived the explosion. Former Minister Bassel Fleyhan was taken to a topnotch French military hospital for treatment. The doctors were astounded to discover that he had been in contact with enriched uranium. But no one linked this to the attack.
Technically speaking, the weapon is shaped like a small missile, a few tens of centimeters long. It must be fired from a drone. Actually, several witnesses assured they had heard an aircraft flying over the scene of the crime. The investigators asked the United States and Israel, whose surveillance satellites are permanently switched on, to provide them with the pertinent images. On the day of the attack, the United States had deployed AWACS aircraft over Lebanon. The live feeds could help to establish the presence of a drone and even to determine its flight path. But Washington and Tel Aviv – which indefatigably urge all parties to cooperate with the STL – turned down the request.
At a press conference held on 10 August 2010, Hassan Nasrallah showed a video which, according to him, was shot by Israeli military drones and intercepted by his organisation. All of Rafik Hariri’s movements had been registered for months, until the final day when all the surveillance converged on the bend in the road where the attack was staged. Thus, Tel-Aviv had been surveying the area prior to the assassination. Which is not to say, as Mr Nasrallah himself points out, that they were the authors of the crime.
So, who fired the missile?
This is where things get complicated. According to the military experts, in 2005, Germany was the only country which had a handle on this new technology. It is, therefore, Berlin which supplied and set up the crime weapon.
Hence, it is easy to understand why former Berlin Attorney General Detlev Mehlis – a very controversial figure within his own profession – was eager to preside over the UN Investigation Commission. He is, in fact, notoriously linked to the German and U.S. secret services. Assigned in 1986 to shed light on the attack against the La Belle disco in Berlin, he diligently covered up all Israeli and U.S. fingerprints to falsely accuse Libya and justify the bombing of Mouammar Khadafi’s palace by the U.S. Air Force. In the early 2000s, Mr Mehlis was lavishly paid for his stint as researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a think-tank linked to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby) and at the Rand Corporation (a think-tank attached to the U.S. military industrial complex). All elements which cast a shadow over his impartiality in the Rafik Hariri affair and should have sufficed to have him taken off the case.
Mehlis was seconded by Commissioner Gerhard Lehmann, who is also a well-known German and U.S. secret services agent. He was formally identified by a witness as having taken part in the programme run by the Bush Administration in Europe, involving the abduction, detention and torture of prisoners in “black holes”. His name is mentioned in the ad hoc Report by the Council of Europe. Notwithstanding, he managed to dodge all judicial proceedings on the strength of a strong though unlikely alibi provided by his colleagues in the German police.
Mehlis and Lehmann propagated the theory of the explosives-laden suicide van to deflect the investigation from the German weapon that was used to commit the crime.
Various earth samples were taken from the scene of the crime. They were first mixed, then divided into three jars that were sent to three different laboratories. In the first two no trace of explosives was found. The third jar was kept by Mehlis and Lehmann, who personally sent it to the third laboratory. Here, remnants of explosives were detected. In principle, if the decision is made to resort to three judiciary experts, in case of disagreement it is the majority opinion that prevails. No way! Mehlis and Lehmann violated the protocols. They deemed that theirs was the only reliable sample and embarked the Security Council on a false trail.
The profoundly flawed character of the Mehlis-Lehmann investigations has amply been proven. Their successors acknowledged as much sotto voce and declared entire sections of proceedings nul and void.
Amidst their manipulations, the most famous one relates to the false witnesses. Five individuals purported to have seen the preparations for the attack and incriminated Presidents Bashar el-Assad and Emile Lahoud. While these allegations were fueling the drums of war, their lawyers exposed the lies and the prosecution backed down.
Based on these false testimonies, Detlev Mehlis arrested – in the name of the international community – four Lebanese generals and had them incarcerated for four years. Pushing his way with his cow-boys into private homes, without a warrant from the Lebanese authorities, he also detained for questioning members of their entourage. With his assistants – who spoke Hebrew to each other – he manipulated the families. Thus, on behalf of the international community, he showed the wife of one of the generals a doctored picture to prove that her husband had not only obscured his implication in the murder, but was also two-timing her.
Concurrently, he tried the same maneuver on the son of the “suspect”’, but in this case to convince him that his mother was a woman of loose morals, a situation which had plunged his desperate father into a murderous folly. The aim was to induce a family crime of honour, thereby tarnishing the image of respected and respectable people.
Even more incredible is Lehmann’s proposition to liberate one of the four imprisoned generals in exchange for his false testimony against a Syrian leader.
Moreover, German journalist Jürgen Cain Külbel highlighted a disturbing detail: it would have been impossible to trigger the explosion by remote control or by marking the target without first disactivating the powerful interference system built into Rafik Hariri’s convoy. A system among the most sophisticated in the world, manufactured in … Israel.
Külbel was approached by a well-known pro-Palestinian advocate, Professor Said Dudin, to promote his book. However, the outrageous declarations frequently made by Dudin served to torpedo it instead. Külbel, a former East German criminal police officer, was quick to find out that Dudin had a long-standing reputation for being a CIA mole within the German left-wing. The journalist published a number of old East-German reports attesting to this fact and was sentenced and briefly imprisoned for illicit dissemination of documents; meantime, Dudin was settling into the German Embassy in Beirut for the purpose of infiltrating the families of the four generals.
Overlooked in the Middle East, Germany’s role in this region is worth spotlighting. After Israel’s war of aggression against Lebanon in the Summer of 2006, Chancellor Angela Merkel deployed a very large contingent to join the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The 2,400 soldiers from Germany control the maritime infrastructure to prevent arms supplies from reaching the Resistance via the Mediterranean. On that occasion, Ms Merkel declared that the mission of the German army was to protect Israel. A wind of rebellion arose among the officers. By the hundreds, they sent letters to remind her that they had enlisted to defend their homeland not a foreign country, be it an ally.
An unprecedented development took place on 17 March 2008 and 18 January 2010, when the German and Israeli governments held a joint Council of Ministers meeting where various programmes were adopted, especially in the defense sector. At this stage, there shouldn’t be too many secrets left between the Tsahal and the Bundeswehr.
The investigation conducted by Detlev Mehlis is both steeped in ridicule as regards the false witnesses, and tainted with the illegal detention of the four generals. To the extent that the UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention formally and firmly condemned this excess of power.
This being said, the opprobrium that befalls Mr Mehlis’ work should not reflect on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon which is in no way responsible for his manipulations. But here, again, things get complicated. The credibility of the STL rests on its ability to curb, in the first place, all those who attempted to mask the truth and falsely accused Presidents Bashar el-Assad and Emile Lahoud, with the intention of provoking a war.
Now, it transpires that the Tribunal refuses to try the false witnesses, giving the impression that it is covering up the manipulations under Mehlis’ watch and is in fact pursuing the similar political objectives (this time against Hezbollah, and perhaps against others in the future). Even worse, the Tribunal will not hand over to Jamil Sayyed (one of the four generals illegally detained) the minutes of his accusers’ hearings, thereby barring him from requesting compensation and making it look as if it condones four years of arbitrary detention.
In more prosaic terms, the Tribunal is shirking its responsibilities. On the one hand, it must judge the false witnesses to thwart further manipulations and to make plain its impartiality; on the other hand it refuses to undertake a “clean-up” operation which might force it to arrest Prosecutor Mehlis. However, Odnako’s revelations on the German lead render this posture untenable. All the more since it’s already too late: General Jamil Sayyed filed a complaint in Syria and a Syrian examining magistrate has already indicted Detlev Mehlis, Commissioner Gerard Lehmann plus the five false witnesses. One can imagine the commotion at the STL should Syria decide to call on Interpol to have them arrested.
Just as the Mehlis commission was supposed to compensate for the lack of professionalism on the part of the Lebanese forces of law and order, the STL should equally have ensured the impartiality that the Lebanese courts may have been short of. But things are far off target, which raises the question of the Tribunal’s legitimacy.
Kofi Annan didn’t want the Lebanon Tribunal to exert international jurisdiction, but to function as a national Lebanese tribunal with an international character. It would have been subjected to Lebanese law while half of its members would have been nationals of other countries. The plan did not materialize because the negotiations came to a sudden end. More precisely, an agreement was reached with the Lebanese government presided at the time by Fouad Siniora, the former authorised representative of the Hariri estate, but it was never ratified either by Parliament or by the president of the Republic. Hence, the agreement was endorsed unilaterally by the UN Security Council (Resolution 1757 of 30 May 2007). The end result is a hybrid and fragile entity.
As pointed out by Kofi Annan, this Tribunal is not analogous to any other so far created within the purview of the United Nations. “It is neither a subsidiary organ of the UN, nor a component of the Lebanese judiciary system”; it is simply “a conventional organ” sitting between the executive authority of the Lebanese government and the UN. Judging by the international rule of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary, the STL cannot be regarded as a genuine tribunal, but rather as a joint disciplinary commission within the executive frameworks of the UN and the Lebanese Government. Whatever decision it may make will inevitably be coated with suspicion.
Worse still, any Lebanese government can terminate it since, not having been ratified, the related agreement was binding only on the previous government. As a result, the present Lebanese coalition government has become a battlefield between partisans and foes of the Tribunal. In an attempt to maintain governmental stability, week after week Lebanese President Michel Sleimane has been dissuading the Council of Ministers from taking a vote on any issue linked with the STL. This embargo cannot hold out forever.
Bad news coming in pairs, suspicions have now extended to the President of the STL, Antonio Cassese. This reputable international jurist was President of the International Criminal Tribunal For the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He happens to be an ardent supporter of the Jewish colonialisation of Palestine. A personal friend of Elie Wiesel, Cassese received and accepted an honorary award, presented by Wiesel himself. He should normally have withdrawn and resigned when Hassan Nasrallah disclosed that Israeli drones had been reconnoitering the crime scene as well as the victim’s movements for months.
According to the President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Antonio Cassese, the armed resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan should be tried for “terrorism”.
Worst of all, Judge Cassesse personifies an interpretation of international law that causes division in the Middle East. Although his official curriculum vitae obscures it, he took part in the 2005 negotiations between member states of the European Union and those bordering the Mediterranean Sea (“Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean”). His definition of terrorism blocked the discussions. According to him, terrorism is exclusively the act of individuals or private groups, never states. It follows that a struggle against an occupying army would not be considered to be “resistance” but rather “terrorism”. In the local context, this juridical view is consistent with a colonial framework and disqualifies the STL.
The methods of the Special Tribunal do not differ from those applied by the Mehlis Commission. STL investigators collected mass files on Lebanese students, social security recipients and subscribers of public utility services. On 27 October, in the absence of the Lebanese judges, they even tried to snatch medical records from a gynecological clinic frequented by the wives of Hezbollah members. It is obvious that these probes have no link whatsoever with the Rafik Hariri assassination. Everything leads the Lebanese to believe that the information is actually earmarked for Israel, of which, in their eyes, the STL is merely an offshoot.
All these problems had clearly been foreseen by President Putin when, in 2007, he had vainly made a pitch for a different wording of the STL founding resolution. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin had denounced the “juridical loopholes” of the system. He deplored that the Security Council should threaten to resort to force (Chapter VII) to achieve unilaterally the creation of this “conventional organ”. He had emphasised that while the Tribunal should be working towards the reconciliation of the Lebanese people, it was devised in such a way as to divide them even more. Finally, Russia – as China – refused to endorse Resolution 1757.
The truth ultimately seeps through. The Israeli drone videos released by the Hezbollah expose Israel’s involvement in the crime preparations. The facts revealed by Odnako point to the use of a sophisticated German weapon. The puzzle is nearly complete.
The United States and South Korea have announced that they plan to hold new maneuvers off the Korean Peninsula early next week.
The two countries have just finished joint four-day war games. In addition, China’s push for the revival of the six-party nuclear negotiations with North Korea was refused by Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.
In a statement, the US State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley said that the US has ruled out any possibility of going back to the negotiating table.
China previously had urged the resumption of the six-party talks as a substitute for action with the intention of easing tension in the Korean peninsula but its call for dialog was strongly criticized by the US.
US expects China, North Korea’s only ally, to act “more responsibly” and use its “growing capabilities” and influence to calm the situation.
Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of the US, South Korea and Japan are expected to meet in Washington on Monday and discuss the crisis in the Korean Peninsula and other security issues in the region, Reuters quoted US officials, who declined to be named, as saying.
November 30, 2010 CBC News
The multitudinous assaults on Haiti’s dignity reached a crescendo with this weekend’s elections, imposed by foreigners for the benefit of foreigners against the wishes of the Haitian people and even of most of the candidates. It is as if severely wounded and sick hospital patients – make that prison hospital patients – were ordered to dance and sing for the pleasure of rich visitors. As should have been expected, most Haitians refused to perform like circus animals, on demand.
The Haitian sham elections for president and most of the legislature may go down as the most bizarre and macabre exercise in hypocrisy in the history of U.S. imperialism. Haiti’s most popular political party – no, the ONLY political party with a truly mass following – the Fanmi Lavalas organization of exiled president Jean Bertrand Aristide, was barred from running. By the time Sunday rolled around, 12 of the 19 candidates for president were denouncing the government for perpetrating a “massive fraud” on the citizenry. Turnout was probably not much more than single digits – which is actually the usual for Haitian elections in which Aristide’s party is not allowed to participate – an electoral travesty equivalent to outlawing the Democratic Party in New York City, Boston or Chicago.
With at least 1.5 million Haitians without adequate shelter, the entire population still in shock over the loss of 300,000 in January’s earthquake, an economy in ruins, a non-existent infrastructure and a raging cholera epidemic that international observers say could spread to 200,000 people, Haiti is the last place to stage an election. But the most important question has been: an election to what? There is no Haitian state to speak of, no prize to win. Haiti is no longer a sovereign nation, but has been reduced to a protectorate of the United States, France and Canada, with blue-helmeted United Nations soldiers acting as internal security. French African colonial regimes wielded more authority in the transition to independence than Haiti’s shell of a government exercises, today.
Haiti is an occupied country, the victim of multiple invasions. The U.S. invasion of 2004 and the kidnapping and expulsion of its president opened Haiti to United Nations occupation – proud Haiti, stepped on and ground underfoot by an international cast of foreign armies paid for largely by the United States. Haitians themselves call the country the “Republic of NGOs,” with more foreign “aid” outfits per capita than any place in the world, all of them doing their own thing with no accountability to a single Haitian, including the despised, outgoing president, Rene Preval. Only a fraction of the billions raised for earthquake reconstruction have been spent, and only a small part of that was allocated to the Haitian government.
So, what election, for what government? The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the Americans, who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony. The U.S. insists on treating Sunday’s results as valid, which may mean that a singer named “Sweet Micky” who sometimes wears diapers on stage will become the nominal head of state. And why not? There is no Haitian state. That is something for the Haitian people to build, once they have thrown off the dictatorship of Washington.
Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
Surveillance cameras at a US prison have captured a footage showing a Muslim prisoner being severely beaten by a fellow inmate, as jail officers look on.
For several minutes and in front of at least three prison guards, Hanni Elabed was brutally beaten by another prison inmate.
The 24-year-old banged on a guard station window, pleading for help, but no one came to his aid.
The correctional officers failed to intervene even when his attacker stopped to get a drink and catch his breath, before beginning to beat an unconscious Hanni who was convulsing in a pool of blood for a second time.
Two minutes after he stopped his brutal assault, the prison guards finally entered the cell with handcuffs, the video obtained by the Associated Press shows.
As a result of the attack, Hanni suffered bleeding inside his skull and spent three days in a coma.
According to family members, he has been left with a brain damage, and his life will never be normal again.
The footage, which was shot in January, has prompted an investigating by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as to whether the guards violated the civil rights of inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center.
The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which runs the notorious Idaho prison — also known as Gladiator school — said it was co-operating with federal agents in the investigation.
The CCA, the largest private prison company in the United States, has however expressed its annoyance at the release of the footage, claiming that it “poses an unnecessary security risk to our staff, the inmates entrusted to our care and ultimately to the public.”
In April, Hanni filed a lawsuit against the company, asking for punitive damages and compensation in an amount to be proven in court.
During his time at the Idaho prison on a robbery conviction, Hanni, who is a Muslim of Palestinian decent, had repeatedly told his family that he was being harassed by inmates despite reporting their actions to prison guards.
In one such incident his cellmate had broken his jawbone.
The lawsuit echoes other complaints lodged against the CCA in which other inmates allege they were knowingly exposed to violence and then denied proper medical care in an effort to cover up the extent of their injuries.
The American Civil Liberties Union has meanwhile said that the video confirms recent claims that US prisons foster a “culture of rampant violence.”
Over a quarter of a million diplomatic cables, marked – “secret” , “confidential”, or “unclassified” – to and from the US State Department have been “leaked” to the public, presumably by a whistleblower. On the surface, it seems like the sort of thing that restores power to the people. It arms us all with knowledge and reminds those in power that they must answer to the public.
Then you pause to think. And that’s when the holes in this narrative become obvious.
Although WikiLeaks claims to provide a counter balance to the decades of disinformation served up in heaps by the “old media”, it chose to allow the vetting of these documents by these same outlets. Other highly respected media outlets, like al Jazeera and various independent media, were excluded. I find that odd, for starters.
If we take a look at the content of the cables themselves, the most remarkable thing to come out of these secret and confidential memos is what they do not contain. Granted, only 290 have actually been released so far. But it seems far from a coincidence that nearly every cable to and from Arab states released thus far has to do with villainizing Iran and mum’s the word on most major diplomatic hooplas of the past few years.
Take for example the bombshell briefing by a senior military officers to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen earlier in the year. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel. Such political commentary from the highest echelons of the military was unprecedented and when news of this briefing broke, you can bet there was a significant diplomatic flurry. Yet a simple search of Petraeus’ name in the cablegate database on the Guardian website only turns up cables indicating that Arab countries were eager for an attack on Iran, which coincidentally happens to bolster Israel’s drumming for more war.
You can’t even find Vice President Joe Biden’s name in the keyword search even though Israel’s announcement of the construction of more illegal Jewish-only settlements in East Jerusalem on the eve of Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv amounted to an epic public spanking of Obama. Subsequent statements from the White House were as harsh as America ever dares to be with Israel, although they did not approach Obama’s reported ire over the matter. Thus far, there is not a single cable on the matter.
If you search cables originating in Dubai, all you’ll find are those denouncing and accusing Iran in titles like “Arab states scorn ‘evil’ Iran”, “AbuDhabi favors action to prevent nuclear Iran”, or “Emiratis fret over Iranian meddling”. This is quite amazing considering that the biggest diplomatic crisis this year occurred after a senior Hamas leader was assassinated in Dubai. The evidence and the world’s collective finger pointed at the Mossad and several diplomatic fallouts ensued when it was confirmed that Israel had forged foreign passports of the hitmen. And yet, there is not a word about this in any of the cables released so far. Instead, everything referencing the UAE or originating from Dubai only discusses “evil Iran”, much like the cables referencing Gen. Petraeus.
The list goes on. For all of Israel’s well known subterfuge (to put it mildly) – their espionage against the US; their persistent requests for money, weapons, special favors, and political cover; their well documented crimes against Palestinians; their mafia tactics of assassinating leaders, intellectuals, and scientists across the globe; and their US-based powerful lobby, AIPAC, which was the center of an FBI investigation that found their senior officers passing sensitive and classified US intelligence to Israel – there is nothing referencing any of this in the memos to and from the US State Department in the cables thus far released.
Something else to note.
Someone with access to hundreds of thousands of classified communications and with the ability to move them without detection must have exceptionally high security clearance. He or she must be on the far upper end of the ladder. Why would individuals like that risk their careers, possibly their lives, just to embarrass the US, presumably their own country?
Whistleblowers tend to be people who obey the call of their conscience and moral codes to expose crimes and injustices committed. But there is nothing of the sort in this “leak”. Even more absurd is the notion that Manning, a soldier, leaked all these documents while in custody and under surveillance.
Finally, does anyone find it odd that while most world leaders are quietly bracing themselves for embarrassment and diplomatic repercussions, Benjamin Netanyahu is confidently speaking and gloating about how Saudia Arabia has urged attacking Iran? I sure do.
There are still thousands more cables to be reviewed and redacted by the good old boy network of ‘old media’ and I hope that the cables they release in the coming days and months will prove my suspicions moot. I’m willing to keep an open mind until we’ve seen the full leak. In the meantime, what we know so far does not add up and frankly smells rotten.
When waging intelligence wars, timing is often the critical factor for game-theory war planners. The outcome of the WikiLeaks release suggests a psy-ops directed at the U.S.
“The United States is the real victim of WikiLeaks. It’s an action aimed at discrediting them.” Franco Frattini, Foreign Minister of Italy
The impact of the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables fits the behavior profile of those well versed in game theory warfare.
When Israeli mathematician Robert J. Aumann received the 2005 Nobel Prize in economic science for his work on game theory, he conceded, “the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel” has turned “Israel into the leading authority in this field.”
The candor of this Israeli-American offered a rare insight into an enclave long known for waging war from the shadows. Israel’s most notable success to date was “fixing” the intelligence that induced the U.S. to invade Iraq in pursuit of a geopolitical agenda long sought by Tel Aviv
When waging intelligence wars, timing is often the critical factor for game-theory war planners. The outcome of the WikiLeaks release suggests a psy-ops directed at the U.S.
Why now? Tel Aviv was feeling pressure to end its six-decade occupation of Palestine. With this release, its foot-dragging on the peace process was displaced with talk of an attack on Iran.
While the U.S. bore the brunt of the damage, the target was global public opinion. To maintain the plausibility of The Clash of Civilizations, a focus must be maintained on Iran as a credible Evil Doer.
With fast-emerging transparency, Israel and pro-Israelis have been identified as the source of the intelligence that took coalition forces to war in Iraq. Thus the need to shift attention off Tel Aviv.
WikiLeaks may yet succeed in that mission.
Game theory war planning aims to create outcomes that are predictable—within an acceptable range of probabilities.
That’s why Israeli war planners focus on gaining traction for a plausible narrative and then advancing that storyline step by gradual step.
For the Zionist state to succeed with its expansionist agenda, Iran must remain at center stage as an essential villain in a geopolitical morality play pitting the West against Islamo Fascists.
To displace facts with false beliefs—as with belief in the intelligence that induced the invasion of Iraq—momentum must be maintained for the storyline. Lose the plot (The Clash) and peace might break out. And those deceived may identify the deceiver.
Thus the timing of this latest WikiLeaks release. Its goal: to have us believe that it is not Tel Aviv but Washington that is the forefront of geopolitical duplicity and a source of Evil Doing.
Intelligence wars rely on mathematical models to anticipate the response of those targeted. With game theory algorithms, reactions become foreseeable—within an acceptable range of probabilities.
Control enough of the variables and outcomes become a mathematical inevitability.
The WikiLeaks Motive
Was the reaction to this latest WikiLeaks foreseeable? With exquisite timing, the U.S. was discredited with an array of revelations that called into question U.S. motives and put in jeopardy U.S. relations worldwide.
As the Italian Foreign Minister summarized: “The news released by WikiLeaks will change diplomatic relations between countries.”
The hard-earned trust of the Pakistanis disappeared overnight. Attempts to engage Iran were set back. The overall effect advanced The Clash storyline. If Washington could so badly misread North Korean intentions, then why is the U.S. to be trusted when it comes to a nuclear Iran?
This Wiki-catalyzed storyline pushed Israel off the front page in favor of Iran.
Even U.S. detainees at Guantanamo are again at issue, reigniting that shameful spectacle as a provocation for extremism and terror. U.S. diplomats will now be suspected of spying and lying. What nation can now trust Americans to maintain confidences?
In short, the risks increased for everyone.
Should Israel launch an attack on Iran, Tel Aviv can cite WikiLeaks as its rationale. Though an attack would be calamitous from a human, economic and financial perspective, even that foreseeable outcome would be dwarfed by the enduring hatred that would ensue.
That too is foreseeable—from a game theory perspective of those marketing The Clash.
The effect of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was predictable. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia foresaw it, noting simply that the U.S. invasion would “give Iraq to Iran as a gift on a golden platter.”
With the elimination of Sunni leader Saddam Hussein, the numerically dominant Shiites of Iraq were drawn into the political orbit of the Shiite-dominant Iran.
Game theorists focus their manipulation of affairs on their control of key variables. Then events take on a life all their own. The impact of this discrediting release was wide-ranging and fully foreseeable.
A Mossad case officer explained Israel’s success at waging war by way of deception: “Once the orchestra starts to play, we just hum along.”
These, after all, are the leading authorities in the field.
Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide. He served for seven years as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.
Israeli soldiers kidnapped legislator Sheikh Khalil Nayef Rajoub after breaking into his home and searching it on Wednesday at dawn.
His family stated that soldiers surrounded their home located west of Hebron, approximately at 1 a.m., and kidnapped the legislator taking him to an unknown destination.
Fu’ad al-Khuffash, head of the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights, reported that the soldiers violently broke into the home of Rajoub and informed him that they have an arrest warrant against him.
Al-Khuffash added that the kidnapping of Rajoub is regarded as a “declaration of a new war against elected legislators and officials, and another attempt to kidnap the legislators” similar to the massive arrests targeting dozens of elected legislators and officials on June 29, 2006.
He stated that the army kidnapped three legislators in the last 45 days; the three are Hatem Qfeisha, Mahmoud al-Ramahi, and today’s kidnapping of Rajoub.
Legislator Rajoub spent four years in Israeli prisons as he was kidnapped on June 29 2006, and was only released five months ago. He was also one of several Hamas officials deported by Israel to Marj al-Zohour in southern Lebanon.
Al-Khuffash demanded international human rights groups to intervene and stop the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and their elected officials.
On December 17, 1992, Israel arrested and deported 416 members of the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad. The deported leaders camped near the borders and held a strike until Israel was forced to allow them back due to international pressure.
By Dr. Tariq Shadid • December 1st, 2010
Let us ponder for a second about the meaning of ‘leaking’. When something is leaking, it is usually understood that some fluid substance that is supposed to be flowing in a certain direction, is escaping from its designed route because of a defect in the structure that was built to guide it. Usually, if you have a leaking pipe in your water system, your main problem is that you are unable to control the flow of it, and water goes into directions where you don’t want it to be going.
However, the definition of ‘Wikileaking’ seems to be following entirely different laws of nature. Indeed, the information is flowing away from the secret pipelines it was originally guided into. However, the strange thing about ‘Wikileaking’ is that Israel, a country widely known for its secret dealings and cunning intelligence service, is managing to keep dry feet in spite of the massive political flooding allegedly caused by Wikileaks’ founding father, Julian Assange.
The lack of control that is so typical of other forms of ‘leaking’, certainly does not seem to apply to ‘Wikileaking’ – instead it looks like it is under perfect control, and carefully guided in such a way that it only serves the interests of one state, namely that of Israel.
Assange takes a leak, the world jumps up
Barely a country in the world that is actively involved in Middle East and other international affairs, either by choice or by geographical location, has been spared by Assange’s latest opening of his Pandora’s box of revelations. It is hard to visit a news source these days, without the word ‘Wikileaks’ jumping into your view at least once, and revealing some scandalous backdoor deal, secret agreement or embarrassing hidden relationship between governments who on the surface seem to be diametrically opposed to each other in the political spectrum.
Since the list of countries that have faced these embarrassments includes Obama’s United States, many anti-imperialist activists around the world have been anxiously awaiting the latest leaks, and are now engaging in discussions about the implications of many of these so-called astounding revelations. Julian Assange is being hailed worldwide by people who are critical of their governments as the activist who was able to embarrass governments, helped only by a small group of independent supporters. His star is rising rapidly, and although sounds of cynicism can be heard here and there, the overwhelming noise resounding in progressive circles is one of loud cheers for this long-awaited ‘champion of the ordinary man’.
What many seem to be failing to be notice however, is that although the list of countries that were painfully embarrassed by the publication of their secret cables, memo’s and meetings, includes the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, Egypt and the United States – where Obama is suffering from serious problems from a ‘Tea Party’ he was not invited to – one of the main actors in the dirty political game of Middle East animosities and alliances is remaining completely unharmed: Israel.
Much ado about old news
What are Wikileaks telling us? That Saudi Arabia poured oil on the flames against Iran? We already knew that. That Abbas’ administration as well as the Egyptian government were very well informed about Israel’s genocidal military assault on Gaza in the winter of 2009? There is nothing new about that either. The list goes on and on, and the main victims of embarrassment are leaders of Arab governments. But what is so new about that? Doesn’t almost every Arab in the world who reads newspapers, watches Al Jazeera and has a certain degree of understanding of Middle East politics, already know about the extent and scope of secret relations in the region? Even many people living outside of the Arab world are largely aware of this.
Oana Lungescu, spokeswoman for NATO, called Wikileaks’ revelations about the presence of American nuclear missiles in Europe – mainly the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – ‘dangerous’ on November 29. Why exactly would something be dangerous, if it is a commonly known fact that has now only been confirmed yet again? Didn’t earlier revelations have no effect, so why would these new ones do that? Does the fact that Obama, Sarkozy, and the Chinese leadership have all condemned Wikileaks and its founder, make any significant difference?
The answer to these questions is: yes, these revelations are indeed causing unpleasant domestic situations all around the world, and creating electoral problems and other political embarrassments for governments everywhere – except in one place, namely Israel.
No worries: Assange will tell you who to trust
Julian Assange, ‘master revealer’ of international conspiracies, apparently also is highly irritated by people questioning the events of 9/11. In an interview in the Belfast Telegraph on July 19, 2010, he was asked about the 9/11 attack, and answered: “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.”
Apparently Julian ‘Robin Hood’ Assange finds the story of pilots who fly an airplane full of people straight into a humongous skyscraper full of unsuspecting citizens, just because some hysterical hijacker is holding a box-cutter against their jugular veins, perfectly believable. He apparently also believes that when you fly an airplane into the top floors of one of the world’s largest buildings, in a horizontal direction, the building will not only spontaneously collapse all the way down to its basement in a vertical direction, but will indeed be transformed into a powdery dust – except of course the completely undamaged passport of one of the alleged hijackers, that was miraculously found among the ruins of the World Trade Center.
Unless you, dear reader, also believe in fairy tales, this should certainly make you wonder. So much for your credibility, Mr Assange.
In politics there is a golden rule for understanding what may be the driving force behind unexpected mysterious events. This rule is known as ‘Cui Bono’, which is Latin for: ‘who benefits?’
Browse through all the news sources available on the latest Wikileaks revelation, and try to find even only one revelation that actually damages Israel, even though so many of the revealed documents are directly or indirectly connected to Middle East politics, and to a large extent to Israeli affairs. Did you find any document among them that either creates difficulties for the government of the Zionist entity, or even slightly embarrasses it? Think about it well, you will find that the answer is a very simple “No”.
Does it not strike you as interesting or remarkable, that many of the revelations about Middle East affairs are of direct benefit to Israel? If it hasn’t, read them again, and give it some thought.
Cui bono? Israel. Therefore, who is the prime suspect behind the phenomenon ‘Julian Assange’? You tell me, or just prove me wrong by showing me one Wikileaks document that would make Binjamin Netanyahu and his rogue companions scratch their heads, or even become only slightly uncomfortable. My suspicion grows stronger every day, and is not deterred by Interpol’s announcement on December 1 that Julian Assange is wanted for an alleged sexual harassment case in Sweden. It is obvious that he is a man who has angered many people of power, regardless of whether he is actually guilty in that harassment case or not. The problem however is that none of these people of power are Israeli, and that says a lot. You never bite the hand that feeds you, do you, Julian?
“I don’t have a penny in Swiss banks, and I have nothing to prove to anyone,” he told a press conference in Ankara.
Journalists described Erdogan as furious, directing his ire at the Turkish Opposition as well as the free press, which covered the WikiLeaks documents extensively, calling them “opportunists happily engaging in gossip”.
“If you prove the claims are correct, I will announce my resignation forthwith. But if the opposite turns out to be true, will you resign as well?” he asked the journalists. “The US administration must hold the writers of these cables accountable for dealing in baseless reports, slander, and libel.”
Erdogan was mainly upset about a secret document dated December 30, 2004, in which the US ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, wrote he had heard from contacts that Erdogan was holding eight bank accounts loaded with private funds in Switzerland.
Other documents revealed that US officials in contact with Erdogan tended to describe him as an “extremist” who hates Israel and surrounds himself with “fawning” aides and advisors. Memos leaked by the site says the US had defined his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, as extraordinarily dangerous.
In recent months, the US and South Korea have conducted several massive joint sea and air drills in waters east of the Korean Peninsula.
Amid a growing tension between North Korea and the South, the US and South Korea plan more joint naval drills as early as this month as they wrap up war games in the Yellow Sea.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) on Wednesday, South Korea and the US were discussing holding a joint naval exercise this month or in early 2011.
“Discussions are still under way on when and where the drill would take place and on what scale,” AFP quoted the JCS spokesman as saying.
Ten warships and 7,300 crews have taken part in the joint war games in the Yellow Sea that started three days ago.
The US and South Korea conducted the drills amid recent tensions between South Korea and the North. Last week, Seoul and Pyongyang exchanged artillery fires in the Yellow Sea border island of Yeonpyeong and the two blamed each other for the border fighting.
South Korea says it returned fire after North Korean forces shelled one of its islands, but the North says the South fired first. Two South Korean troops lost their lives in the clashes.
US President Barack Obama has already promised what he called unshakeable support for Seoul. He also called North Korea a serious threat that must be dealt with. He, however, ruled out a US military intervention.
“The United States remains firmly and fully committed to the defense of its ally the Republic of Korea,” he said.
In recent months, the US and South Korea have conducted several massive joint sea and air drills in waters east of the Korean Peninsula.
Meanwhile, envoys from North Korea and Japan are in the Chinese capital of Beijing to discuss the latest developments in the region.
China has called for prevention of any moves that could fuel tensions in the region. Beijing says the recent crisis on the Korean Peninsula should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations.