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Fernandez Appeals Trial Over Alleged Bomb Attack Cover Up

teleSUR – January 8, 2018

In December, a judge called on Fernandez de Kirchner to testify in an investigation on the alleged cover-up of a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, a move Fernandez said is politically motivated.

Former President Cristina Fernandez appealed on Monday her trial and the preventive prison ordered against her in December after she was accused of covering up Iran’s alleged role in the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center in 1994.

Preventive detention was eventually not applied in the case of Fernandez, because of her position as a senator, but it was in the case of former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, also facing similar charges, Graciana Peñafort, Fernandez’ lawyer, told EFE.

Fernandez and 14 others were called to testify on Oct. 26, four days after the country’s legislative elections, in which she’s running for a Senate seat. The judge has also restricted them from leaving the country.

They are accused of covering up Iran’s alleged role in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, AMIA, on July 18, 1994, which left 85 people dead.

The prosecutor who initially made the accusation, Alberto Nisman, alleged that this was done to protect growing trade relations between Argentina and the Islamic Republic and to clinch a grains-for-oil deal with Tehran.

Nisman was found shot dead in the bathroom of his apartment, in what many claimed to be a suicide, on the day he was scheduled to address the country’s Senate on the investigation.

In 2015, Nisman’s accusations were dismissed as baseless and his findings proved to have major loopholes. Courts have repeatedly dismissed allegations of conspiracy and haven’t found evidence to formally investigate the former president.

Fernandez, whose late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, ordered the investigation into the AMIA bombing, has alleged that Jaime Stiusso, a former spy at the now-disbanded Intelligence Secretariat, fed Nisman false information to undermine her government.

She said she has been a victim of “an evident judicial prosecution” by the current government that has issued “indiscriminate complaints” against her. Despite these attacks, she said she does not fear a prison sentence.

Fernandez’s government said Nisman was murdered by agents from the Intelligence Secretariat — a holdover institution from Argentina’s Dirty War era — which was dissolved immediately after his death. A report by Reuters, however, revealed that President Mauricio Macri’s government wants to revive the agency, sparking fears of a return to authoritarian rule in the country.

Meanwhile, Nisman’s former wife, Sandra Arroyo Salgado, insists that the prosecutor was killed by his colleague, Diego Lagomarsino, over a money dispute.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Argentina: Milagro Sala Gets More Jail Time While Convicted Torturer Gets House Arrest

teleSUR – January 6, 2018

Just hours after 21 simultaneous raids on the home of Argentine Indigenous leader Milagro Sala, a provincial court ordered Friday a one-year extraordinary extension of her pre-trial detention. Sala is 21 days short of serving two years in prison.

The political leader is being investigated for alleged illicit association, fraud and extortion, crimes she was charged with days after being detained for allegedly instigating violence during a protest she didn’t attend.

Sala was initially arrested on Jan. 16, 2016 for an “escrache”, a form of protest that seeks to publicly shame someone by congregating around their homes, against the province governor of Jujuy, an ally of President Mauricio Macri. Shortly after on Jan. 29 of that same year Sala was cleared of the instigation charges, but the judge determined that she would remain in detention over new charges of illicit association, fraud and extortion, which she is currently facing.

According to Sala’s lawyer the main reason for the extension is that her defense presented “innumerable” appeals and nullities. “This lacks sense,” her lawyers contended because “everything presented is within the framework of the right to legal defence.”

The one-year extension is not the first arbitrary decision made by Jujuy’s judiciary. In October 2016, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention qualified her detention as arbitrary, a decision backed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which urged Argentina’s government to release her.

The Organization of American States and human rights’ groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also demanded her immediate release to no avail.

Milagro Sala is a renowned activist who is seen as President Macri’s first political prisoner. She created the Organization Tupac Amaru, which provides housing and other services to informal workers and popular sectors, she served as an Argentine legislator between 2013 and 2015, and was later elected by the Front for Victory Party, led by former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to Mercosur’s Parliament.

News of the one-year extension to Sala’s illegitimate imprisonment were accompanied by news of thousands of Argentines protesting the federal ruling that granted house arrest for convicted murderer and torturer Miguel Etchecolatz, who was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity when he worked as a top police officer under the brutal military dictatorship of the 1970s.

He is not the only one. According to Argentina’s Office of Crimes Against Humanity, 549 of people convicted for crimes against humanity in Argentina are currently under house arrest.

Social leaders and opponents of the current right wing government argue that in Macri’s Argentina social and political activists are repressed, prosecuted, and disappeared while those who repress and abuse their power are granted favors.

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Ex-Argentine FM put under house arrest, says AMIA probe lacks evidence

Press TV – December 23, 2017

Argentina’s former foreign minister Hector Timerman says the protracted investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing incident lacks any convincing evidence against alleged suspects.

In July 1994, a car bomb exploded at the building of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, also known as the AMIA, in the Argentinean capital, Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring 300 others.

Israel accused Iran of masterminding the attack, a claim strongly denied by the Islamic Republic.

On December 6, Judge Claudio Bonadio indicted ex-Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Timerman, and 10 others for “treason” as part of a probe launched in January 2015, when prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused several officials of allegedly conspiring with Iran to cover up responsibility for the 1994 bombing. Days later, he was found dead in his home. Courts have yet to determine whether Nisman’s death was suicide or murder.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the “far-fetched” indictment offered no evidence that would seem to substantiate the charges brought against the Argentinean officials.

In an article for The New York Times, titled “I’m a political prisoner in Argentina” and published earlier this week, Timerman said he had been put under house arrest and stressed that he was “a victim of political persecution.”

“Twenty-three years after the attack, nobody has been convicted and few facts have been established other than that it occurred,” he wrote of the bombing incident.

Timerman also questioned the “treason” charges, saying it had no relevant modern precedent in Argentina.

“For an Argentine citizen to commit treason, the country must be in a state of war. Argentina and Iran are not, and never have been, at war,” he said.

He highlighted the fact that while Iran denied any involvement in the AMIA incident, the Islamic Republic had “agreed to cooperate in the case after a multiyear diplomatic campaign led by the successive Kirchner governments.”

The former Argentinean foreign minister further voiced concern about his health condition aggravated by cancer, saying, “Preventing me from getting timely medical attention is like condemning me to death.”

“For now, the AMIA case languishes, as it has for decades. And we who in good faith sought justice are the targets of the anger of the Jewish community and many families of the victims,” he pointed out.

Israel is believed to be involved in strong lobbying in Argentina. Israeli media reported in October that pro-Israel groups in the United States were activating a campaign regarding the AMIA incident.

December 23, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

In Latin America the Pendulum Swings to the Right

By James Petras | Axis of Logic | December 20, 2017

Introduction

Clearly the pendulum has swung to the right in the past few years. Numerous questions arise. What kind of right? How far right? How did they gain power? What is their appeal? How sustainable are the right wing regimes? Who are their international allies and adversaries? Having taken power, how have the rightist regimes performed and by what criteria is success or failure measured?

While the left has been in retreat, they still retain power in some states. Numerous questions arise. What is the nature of the left today? Why have some regimes continued while others have declined or been vanquished? Can the left recover its influence and under what conditions and with what programmatic appeal.

We will proceed by discussing the character and policies of the right and left and their direction. We will conclude by analyzing the dynamics of right and left policies, alignments and future perspectives.

Right-Radicalism: The Face of Power

The right wing regimes are driven by intent to implement structural changes: they look to reordering the nature of the state, economic and social relations and international political and economic alignments.

Radical right regimes rule in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras and Chile.

In several countries extreme right regimes have made abrupt changes, while in others they build on incremental changes constituted over time.

The changes in Argentina and Brazil represent examples of extreme regressive transformations directed at reversing income distribution, property relations, international alignments and military strategies. The goal is to redistribute income upwardly, to re-concentrate wealth, property-ownership upward and externally and to subscribe to imperial doctrine. These pluto-populist regimes are run by rulers, who openly speak to and for very powerful domestic and overseas investors and are generous in their distribution of subsidies and state resources – a kind of ‘populism for the plutocrats’.

The rise and consolidation of extremist right regimes in Argentina and Brazil are based on several decisive interventions, combining elections and violence, purges and co-optation, mass media propaganda and deep corruption.

Mauricio Macri was backed by the major media, led by the Clarin conglomerate, as well as by the international financial press (Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.). Wall Street speculators and Washington’s overseas political apparatus subsidized his electoral campaign.

Macri, his family, cronies and financial accomplices, transferred public resources to private accounts. Provincial political bosses and their patronage operations joined forces with the wealthy financial sectors of Buenos Aires to secure votes in the Capital.

Upon his election, the Mauricio Macri regime transferred five billion dollars to the notorious Wall Street speculator, Paul Singer, signed off on multi-billion dollar, high interest loans, increased utility fees six fold, privatized oil, gas and public lands and fired tens of thousands of public sector employees.

Macri organized a political purge and arrest of opposition political leaders, including former President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner. Several provincial activists were jailed or even assassinated.

Macri is a success story from the perspective of Wall Street, Washington and the Porteño business elite. Wages and salaries have declined for Argentine workers. Utility companies secured their highest profits ever. Bankers doubled interest rate returns. Importers became millionaires. Agro-business incomes skyrocketed as their taxes were reduced.

From the perspective of Argentina’s small and medium business enterprises President Macri’s regime has been a disaster: Many thousands have gone bankrupt because of high utility costs and harsh competition from cheap Chinese imports. In addition to the drop in wages and salaries, unemployment and under employment doubled and the rate of extreme poverty tripled

The economy, as a whole, floundered. Debt financing failed to promote growth, productivity, innovation and exports. Foreign investment experienced easy entry, big profits and fast departure. The promise of prosperity was narrowly based around a quarter of the population. To weaken the expected public discontent – the regime shut down independent media voices, unleashed thugs against critics and co-opted pliable gangster trade union bosses to break strikes.

Public protests and strikes multiplied but were ignored and repressed. Popular leaders and activists are stigmatized by the Macri-financed media hacks.

Barring a major social upheaval or economic collapse, Macri will exploit the fragmentation of the opposition to secure re-election as a model gangster for Wall Street. Macri is prepared to sign off on US military bases, EU free trade agreements, and greater police liaison with Israel’s sinister secret police, Mossad.

Brazil has followed Macri’s far right policies.

Seizing power through a phony impeachment operation, the mega-swindler Michel Temer immediately proceeded to dismantle the entire public sector, freeze salaries for twenty years, and extend retirement age for pensioners by five to ten years. Temer led over a thousand bribe-taking elected officials in the multi-billion dollar pillage of the state oil company and every major public infrastructure project.

Coup, corruption and contempt were hidden by a system granting Congressional impunity until independent prosecutors investigated, charged and jailed several dozen politicians, but not Temer. Despite 95% public disapproval, President Temer remains in power with the total backing of Wall Street, the Pentagon and Sao Paolo bankers.

Mexico, the long-standing narco-assassin state, continues to elect one thieving PRI-PAN political regime after another. Billions in illicit profits flows to the overseas tax havens of money laundering bankers, US and Canadian mine owners. Mexican and international manufacturers extracted double digit profits sent, to overseas accounts and tax havens. Mexico broke its own miserable record in elite tax avoidance, while extending low wage-tax ‘free trade zones’. Millions of Mexicans have fled across the border to escape predatory gangster capitalism. The flow of hundreds of millions of dollars of profits by US and Canadian multi-nationals was a result of the ‘unequal exchange’ between US capital and Mexican labor, held in place by Mexico’s fraudulent electoral system.

In at least two well-known presidential elections in 1988 and 2006, left of center candidates, Cuahtemoc Cardenas and Manuel Lopez Obrador, won with healthy margins of victory, only to have their victories stolen by fraudulent vote counts.

Peru’s rightist mining regimes, alternated between the overtly bloody Fujimori dictatorship and corrupt electoral regimes. What is consistent in Peruvian politics is the handover of mineral resources to foreign capital, pervasive corruption and the brutal exploitation of natural resources by US and Canadian mining and drilling corporations in regions inhabited by Indian communities.

The extreme right ousted elected left-of-center governments, including President Fernando Lugo in Paraguay (2008-2012) and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras (2006-2009), with the active support and approval of the US State Department. Narco-presidents now wield power by means of repression, including violence against popular movements and the killing of scores of peasant and urban activists. This year, a grossly rigged election in Honduras ensured the continuity of narco-regimes and US military bases.

The spread of the extreme right from Central America and Mexico to the Southern Cone provides the groundwork for the re-assertion of US centered military alliances and regional trade pacts.

The rise of the extreme right ensures the most lucrative privatizations and the highest rates of return on overseas bank loans. The far right is quick to crack down on popular dissent and electoral challenges with violence. At most the far right allows a few rotating elites with nationalist pretensions to provide a façade of electoral democracy.

The Shift from the Center-Left to the Center-Right

The political swings to the far right have had profound ripple effects – as nominal center-left regimes have swung to the center-right.

Two regimes have moved decisively from the center-left to the center-right: Uruguay under Tabare Vazquez of the ‘Broad Front’ and Ecuador with the recent election of Lenin Moreno of PAIS Alliance. In both cases the groundwork was established via accommodations with oligarchs of the traditional right parties. The previous center-left regimes of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica succeeded in pushing for public investments and social reforms. They combined their leftist rhetoric while capitalizing on the global high prices and high demand for agro-mineral exports to finance their reforms. With the decline in world prices and the public exposure of corruption, the newly elected center-left parties nominated and elected center –right candidates who turned anti-corruption campaigns into vehicles for embracing neoliberal economic policies. The center-right presidents rejected economic nationalism, encouraged large scale foreign investment and implemented fiscal austerity programs appealing to the upper middle class and ruling class.

The center-right regimes marginalized the leftist sectors of their parties. In the case of Ecuador, they split the party, with the newly elected president realigning international policies away from the left (Bolivia, Venezuela) and toward the US and the far right– while shedding the legacy of their predecessor in terms of popular social programs.

With the decline in export prices the center-right regimes offered generous subsidies to foreign investors in agriculture and forestry in Uruguay, and mine owners and exporters in Ecuador.

The newly converted center-right regimes joined with their established counterparts in Chile and joined the Trans Pacific Partnership with Asian nations, the EU and the US.

The center-right sought to manipulate the social rhetoric of the previous center-left regimes in order to retain popular voters while securing support from the business elite.

The Left Moves to the Center Left

Bolivia, under Evo Morales, has demonstrated an exceptional capacity for sustaining growth, securing re-election and neutralizing the opposition by combining a radical left foreign policy with a moderate, mixed public-private export economy. While Bolivia condemns US imperialism, major oil, gas, metals and lithium multi-nationals have invested heavily in Bolivia. Evo Morales has moderated his ideological posture shifting from revolutionary socialism to a local version of liberal democratic cultural politics.

Evo Morales’ embrace of a mixed economy has neutralized any overt hostility from the US and the new far-right regimes in the region

Though remaining politically independent, Bolivia has integrated its exports with the far right neoliberal regimes in the region. President Evo Morales’s moderate economic policies, diversity of mineral exports, fiscal responsibility, incremental social reforms, and support from well-organized social movements has led to political stability and social continuity despite the volatility of commodity prices.

Venezuela’s left regimes under President Hugo Chavez and Maduro have followed a divergent course with harsh consequences. Totally dependent on extraordinary global oil prices, Venezuela proceeded to finance generous welfare programs at home and abroad. Under President Chavez leadership, Venezuela adopted a consequential anti-imperialist policy successfully opposing a US centered free trade agreement (LAFTA) and launching an anti-imperialist alternative, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA).

Advancing social welfare and financing overseas allies without diversifying the economy and markets and increasing production was predicated on continuous high returns on a single volatile export – oil.

Unlike Bolivia under President Evo Morales, who built his power with the support of an organized, class conscious and disciplined mass base, Venezuela counted on an amorphous electoral alliance, which included slum dwellers, defectors from the corrupt traditional parties (across the spectrum) and opportunists intent on grabbing office and perks. Political education was reduced to mouthing slogans, cheering the President and distributing consumer goods.

Venezuelan technocrats and political loyalists occupied highly lucrative positions, especially in the petroleum sector and were not held to account by workers’ councils or competent state auditors. Corruption was rampant and billions of dollars of oil wealth was stolen. This pillage was tolerated because of the huge influx of petro-dollars due to historic high prices and high demand. This led to a bizarre situation where the regime spoke of socialism and funded massive social programs, while the major banks, food distributors, importers and transportation operators were controlled by hostile private oligarchs who pocketed enormous profits while manufacturing shortages and promoting inflation. Despite the problems, the Venezuelan voters gave the regime a series of electoral victories over the US proxies and oligarch politicians. This tended to create overconfidence in the regime that the Bolivarian socialist model was irrevocable.

The precipitous drop of oil prices, global demand, and export earnings led to the decline of imports and consumption. Unlike Bolivia, foreign reserves declined, the rampant theft of billions was belatedly uncovered and the US-backed rightwing opposition returned to violent ‘direct action’ and sabotage while hoarding essential food, consumer goods and medicine. Shortages led to widespread black marketeering. Public sector corruption and hostile opposition control of the private banking, retail and industrial sectors, backed by the US, paralyzed the economy. The economy has been in a free-fall and electoral support has eroded. Despite the regime’s severe problems, the majority of low income voters correctly understood that their chances of surviving under the US-backed oligarchic opposition would be worse and the embattled left continued to win gubernatorial and municipal elections up through 2017.

Venezuela’s economic vulnerability and negative growth rate led to increased indebtedness. The opposition of the extreme right regimes in Latin America and Washington’s economic sanctions has intensified food shortages and increased unemployment.

In contrast, Bolivia effectively defeated US-elite coup plots between 2008-10. The Santa Cruz-based oligarchs faced the clear choice of either sharing profits and social stability by signing off on social pacts (workers/peasants, capital and state) with the Morales government or facing an alliance of the government and the militant labor movement prepared to expropriate their holdings. The elites chose economic collaboration while pursuing low intensity electoral opposition.

Conclusion

Left opposition is in retreat from state power. Opposition to the extreme right is likely to grow, given the harsh, uncompromising assault on income, pensions, the rise in the cost of living, severe reductions in social programs and attacks on private and public sector employment. The extreme right has several options, none of which offer any concessions to the left. They have chosen to heighten police state measures (the Macri solution); they attempt to fragment the opposition by negotiating with the opportunist trade union and political party bosses; and they reshuffle degraded rulers with new faces to continue policies (the Brazilian solution).

The formerly revolutionary left parties, movements and leaders have evolved toward electoral politics, protests and job action. So far they do not represent an effective political option at the national level

The center-left, especially in Brazil and Ecuador, is in a strong position with dynamic political leaders (Lula DaSilva and Correa) but face trumped up charges by right-wing prosecutors who intend to exclude them from running for office. Unless the center-left reformers engage in prolonged large-scale mass activity, the far right will effectively undermine their political recovery.

The US imperial state has temporarily regained proxy regimes, military allies and economic resources and markets. China and the European Union profit from optimal economic conditions offered by the far right regimes. The US military program has effectively neutralized the radical opposition in Colombia, and the Trump regime has intensified and imposed new sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba.

The Trump regime’s ‘triumphalist’ celebration is premature – no decisive strategic victory has taken place, despite important short term advances in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. However large outflows of profits, major transfers of ownership to foreign investors, favorable tax rates, low tariff and trade policies have yet to generate new productive facilities, sustainable growth and to ensure economic fundamentals. Maximizing profits and ignoring investments in productivity and innovation to promote domestic markets and demand has bankrupted tens of thousands of medium and small local commercial and manufacturing firms. This has led to rising chronic unemployment and underemployment. Marginalization and social polarization without political leadership is growing. Such conditions led to ‘spontaneous’ uprisings in Argentina 2001, Ecuador 2000 and Bolivia 2005.

The far right in power may not evoke a rebellion of the far left but its policies can certainly undermine the stability and continuity of the current regimes. At a minimum, it can lead to some version of the center left and restoration of the welfare and employment regimes now in tatters.

In the meantime the far right will press ahead with their perverse agenda combining deep reversals of social welfare, the degradation of national sovereignty and economic stagnation with a formidable profit maximizing performance.

James Petras’s most recent book: 
THE END OF THE REPUBLIC AND THE DELUSION OF EMPIRE

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYT’s Argentina Op-Ed Fails to Disclose Authors’ Financial Conflict of Interest

paul-singer-
Photo: Paul Singer
By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | December 13, 2017

On Tuesday, Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz, two executives at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), took to the op-ed pages of The New York Times to celebrate last week’s announcement that Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, would face treason charges for her alleged role in covering up Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries, killing 85 people.

But their op-ed fails to disclose a serious financial conflict of interest underpinning their attacks on Kirchner. One of FDD’s biggest donors financed a multi-year public diplomacy campaign against Kirchner all while attempting to collect $2 billion in debt from Argentina.

Indeed, legitimate questions exist about the bombing and suspicious 2015 death of Argentine Special Investigator Alberto Nisman who claimed in 2006 that Iran ordered the bombing. But Kirchner’s supporters fear that Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is using judicial reforms and charges against Kirchner to remove his political opposition.

FDD has been eager to promote Nisman’s work. The group also runs AlbertoNisman.org “to honor the legacy of late Argentine Prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman and his tireless pursuit of justice.” FDD continues this work despite serious questions about large unexplained deposits to Nisman’s bank account.

Moreover, their rush to denigrate Kirchner omits a major conflict of interest in Dubowitz and Dershowitz’s funding. Between 2007 and 2011, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million to FDD. That coincided with his battle to force Argentina to repay the full amount of the sovereign debt held by Singer’s firm, Elliott Management, a payout that Kirchner rejected. Ninety-three percent of Argentina’s creditors accepted losses, but Singer was one of the few holdouts. Having bought up Argentina’s defaulted bonds at pennies on the dollar, he had then sued the country for payment in full.

Singer embarked on a 15-year legal battle to collect on Argentina’s debt payments by attempting to seize Argentine government assets around the world, including a 100-meter three-masted tall ship when it docked in Ghana). After financing public diplomacy campaigns against Kirchner, Singer’s firm walked away with approximately 75 percent of what he was owed, $2.4 billion. The deal, finalized last year, was largely credited to Mauricio Macri, Kirchner’s successor.

Groups receiving Singer’s donations kept up a steady drumbeat of attacks on Kirchner and sought to tie her to Iran and Nisman’s suspicious death. “We do whatever we can to get our government and media’s attention focused on what a bad actor Argentina is,” Robert Raben, executive director of the American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) explained to The Huffington Post.

ATFA, a group created by Singer and other hedge fund holdouts, spent at least $3.8 million dollars over five years in its efforts attacking Argentina.

“Argentina and Iran: Shameful Allies” was the headline of one ATFA ad that ran in Washington newspapers in June 2013 as the Obama administration was weighing whether to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Argentina’s favor. The ad featured side-by-side photos of Kirchner and then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad connected by the question, “A Pact With the Devil?” That same spring, FDD release an English-language summary of a new “ground-breaking” report by Nisman detailing “Iran’s extensive terrorist network in Latin America.”

This was followed by a flood of op-eds by FDD fellows and a series of hearings held by the House Homeland Security Subcommittee. According to FDD’s vice president, Toby Dershowitz, the report, which contains serious flaws and leaps of logic (detailed by Jim Lobe here and here), provided:

[A] virtual road map for how Iran’s long arm of terrorism can reach unsuspecting communities and that the AMIA attack was merely the canary in the coal mine. … The no-holds-barred, courageous report is a ‘must read’ for policy makers and law enforcement around the world and Nisman himself should be tapped for his guidance and profound understanding of Iran’s terrorism strategy.

Singer’s largesse also extended to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he contributed $1.1 million in 2009. AEI Fellow Roger Noriega, who received $60,000 directly from Elliott Management in 2007 to lobby on the issue of “Sovereign Debt Owed to a U.S. Company,” published an article on the group’s website—“Argentina’s Secret Deal with Iran?”—citing secret documents about an alleged nuclear cooperation agreement between Tehran and Buenos Aires “brokered and paid for” by then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

In 2013, Noriega and Jose Cardenas, a contributor to AEI’s “Venezuela-Iran Project,” co-authored a seven-page policy report—“Argentina’s Race to the Bottom”—charging that Kirchner’s government was “casting its lot with rogue governments like those in Venezuela and Iran.”

Singer also gave $500,000 to The Israel Project (TIP) in 2007 and $1 million in 2012. By May 2015, the group’s magazine, The Tower, published no fewer than 48 articles that mentioned Argentina and 40 that cited Nisman and the 1994 bombing.

Neither AEI, TIP, nor FDD has bothered to disclose its funding from Singer when publishing work that advanced his public pressure campaign against Kirchner. Indeed, there is no public record of why Singer chooses to fund these organizations. But his funding poses a conflict of interest, especially when The New York Times publishes Dershowitz and Dubowitz without any public acknowledgement that their criticism of Kirchner conveniently follows the narrative and financial interests of one of the duo’s biggest financial donors.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Faces Pretrial Detention

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
teleSUR | December 7, 2017

An Argentine judge has ordered that former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner be put in pretrial detention.

Federal judge Claudio Bonadio alleges that Fernandez committed crimes against the state in trying to “conceal” the possible involvement of five Iranian officials in Argentina in the bombing of the Israeli Argentine Mutualist Association, AMIA, building in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Eighty-six people were killed in the explosion. The bombing remains unsolved.

The judge claims that in signing a memorandum of understanding with Iranian officials in Argentina in 2013, Fernandez agreed to not investigate possible Iranian involvement in the attack, “aggravating” the inquiry and granting the alleged bombers impunity.

The 2013 memorandum was never legally enacted in Iran, but was by the Argentine Congress. However, an Argentine judge ruled the memorandum unconstitutional.

If convicted, Fernandez could face up to 10 to 25 years of jail time or even life in prison.

Fernandez, along with all other 23 newly-elected senators, are set to take up their congressional post this Sunday, Dec. 10. She and the other senators were sworn in last week.

Bonadio also ordered the arrest of former Argentine government official Hector Timerman. Already arrested for alleged involvement in the memorandum is former Secretary General Carlos Zannini, who served under Fernandez. He was questioned about the memorandum by Bonadio in October and denied any wrongdoing.

Also arrested today in the early morning were activists Luis D’Elia and Jorge “Yussuf” Khalil. As officials arrested D’Elía, he yelled “stop the Macri dictatorship!” alluding to current President Mauricio Macri.

Up to 12 other former government officials are suspected of playing a part in the so-called “cover up,” but are not being detained.

Fernandez says the memorandum attempted to advance the investigation and called for the creation of an international commission to investigate the bombing. She says the commission had orders of extradition pending for Interpol to deliver several accused who reside in Iran to Argentina. These extradition orders were never carried out.

An investigation into the memorandum was first ordered by a former attorney general in 2015, but was denied by a federal court in 2016.

December 7, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , | Leave a comment

Argentine ‘death flight’ pilots get life for 100s of junta opponents thrown into ocean

Images of junta victims at ESMA Museum in Buenos Aires © espaciomemoria / YouTube
RT | November 30, 2017

Judges in Argentina have given life sentences to the former ‘death flights’ pilots after hundreds of people opposing the country’s 1976-83 military junta – including a close friend of Pope Francis – were thrown into the ocean.

A major ruling on Wednesday marked the “first” such Argentinian judgment against pilots involved in the notorious ‘death flights,’ local media reports. During the operations, opponents of Argentina’s military regime that ruled the country from 1976 until 1983 were thrown into the waters of the Atlantic.

According to the verdict, the announcement of which lasted almost four hours, 29 former service members were sentenced to life imprisonment, 19 were sentenced to eight to 25 years, and six were acquitted, local media report.

There are 54 defendants in the major trial. It also involves cases of 789 victims of a secret detention center – known as the Navy Mechanics Higher School (ESMA) – where up to 5,000 people opposing the repressive junta regime are believed to have been vanished.

The five-year trial – called the ‘mega cause’ in Argentina – exposed the chilling practices of systematic torture and the killing of thousands of people, including left-wing opponents of the regime and members of Argentina’s urban guerrilla groups, but also human rights activists and relatives of those forcibly disappeared by junta forces.

In a series of hearings, it emerged that numerous victims were drugged, loaded onto ‘death flight’ aircraft, and thrown into the freezing waters of the southern Atlantic Ocean. Among ESMA victims was Esther Careaga, a close friend of Jorge Bergoglio, who later became Pope Francis. Careaga was thrown to her death from a plane one night in December 1977, along with two French nuns and nine others.

“Careaga was a good friend and a great woman,” Beroglio said when the body was identified in 2003. The future pontiff met Careaga, a biochemist and his boss at the time, when he worked as an apprentice at a pharmaceutical laboratory in Buenos Aires in the early 1950s.

November 30, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Argentina Sentences 6 to Life in Prison for Crimes Against Humanity During US-Backed Dirty War

teleSUR | September 16, 2017

In a landmark ruling, Argentina’s Court of Tucuman sentenced 17 people with crimes against humanity — including issuing 6 life terms— for their role in ‘Operation Independence’ during the U.S.-backed Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The six given life sentences include Roberto “El Tuerto” Albornoz, Luis De Candido, Ricardo Oscar Sánchez, Miguel Moreno, Enrique del Pino and Jorge Omar Lazarte, all were top officials during the period.

The court charged the rest of the defendants with prison sentences ranging from 4 to 18 years, based on the crimes of torture, abduction, forced disappearances, and rape, in addition to issuing seven acquittals.

The 1975 operation was the first large-scale military operation of the Dirty War, launched to crush the People’s Revolutionary Army, known by their Spanish acronym, ERP, and other left-wing forces in the country. Authorized by Italo Argentino Luder, who served as acting President when the incumbent Isabel Peron fell ill, it was continued under the military dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla.

The court’s ruling came after 16 months of debate and testimonies from nearly 409 witnesses, according to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of Argentine women whose children disappeared during the Dirty War.

There were 20 defendants at the beginning of the trial, three had died during the hearings.

Prior the ruling, hundreds of activists and the relatives of the victims gathered outside the court, demonstrating with personal items and photos of their family members who were kidnapped, tortured, killed or disappeared.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: Maldonado Victim of ‘State Violence’

teleSUR – August 8, 2017

The Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have blamed the Argentine government for the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado, an activist who disappeared after a military police raid on a Mapuche community Aug. 1.

The award-winning human rights group say Maldonado was a victim of “institutional state violence” and demand President Mauricio Macri recovers the activist alive.

“The Argentine community knows we have a disappearance in the democracy of Mr. Macri.” Estela de Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, said at a press conference.

The organization said it will occupy the Plaza de Mayo on Friday to pressure the government to deliver Maldonado.

Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies and the Permanent Human Rights Assembly have joined the call to recover Maldonado, claiming the state deliberately disappeared the activist to threaten the Mapuche community.

“This Friday at 5 p.m. we will occupy the Plaza de Mayo with one message: Santiago Maldonado must be found alive.”

“This attack against the community is no coincidence. It is a message from the government to say, ‘guys, don’t mess with us,’” said Norma Rios, president of the Permanent Human Rights Assembly.

Maldonado was last seen during a military police eviction operation against the Pu Lof Mapuche community in the Chubut department of Cushamen. Witnesses say they saw officers shove the 28-year-old into a van and drive away.

Maldonado’s family blame the military police for the young man’s disappearance but the government denies its involvement.

August 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

Daughters of Argentine Dirty War Perpetrators March for Justice

teleSUR | June 4, 2017

Argentine women whose fathers were condemned for human rights abuses during the Dirty War (1974-1983) marched for the first time in the country’s history to defend “memory, truth and justice,” along with the national march against gender violence Saturday.

“Histories of disobedience. 30,000 reasons. Sons and daughters of people responsible for genocide support memory, truth and justice,” read a banner held by a group of seven women in the middle of the crowd.

The women, between 40 and 60 years old, decided to take part in the massive march against femicides known as #NiUnaMenos as the first public appearance of their recently-created organization.

“They are very brave. As much for their personal history than their awareness of the genocide,” Martina Mirabelles, a teacher, who applauded the women according to AFP.

Patricia Isasa, who was tortured and raped in three concentration camps when she was 16 years old, called the “huge efforts” of daughters of torturers against their fathers and the patriarchal society,“historical”. “They are all victims of these cruel men,” she said.

Erika Lederer is the daughter of Ricardo, an obstetrician who participated in the coup against Salvador Allende and headed the illegal maternity unit of a military hospital at Campo de Mayo, stealing the prisoners’ babies. He killed himself when an investigation was opened against him.

His daughter said she suspected what her father was doing since she was a child, asking him “uneasy questions.” She became a lawyer because her father prohibited her from studying philosophy as she wanted, arguing it was for “lefties.”

“At home, there was a lot of domestic violence, to the point that I’d think: if he can do this to me, he can do even worse to unknown people,” she recalled, mentioning her “solitude” as well as the “shame” she could not share with anyone else.

She used to ask her father if he regretted anything, but he never admitted any wrongdoing, she added.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Brazil’s Odebrecht Gave Argentina’s Macri US$500k For Presidential Run

teleSUR | April 30, 2017

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri received US$500,000 from Brazil’s Odebrecht construction firm for his 2015 electoral campaign, Argentine daily La Nacion revealed on Sunday.

The donation was processed through Odebrecht’s Braksem SA branch, and appeared in Macri’s party 2015 balance record. The company defended the move as “totally legal,” saying the sum of money was for the purchase of cutlery for a fundraising dinner that Macri’s Cambiemos coalition organized in March of that year.

“Braksem belongs to Odebrecht, it’s dedicated to the petrochemical market, with a branch in Argentina,” said the paper. “The Brazilian giant’s strategy was to have this lower-profile branch’s name appear in order to avoid public exposure.”

The leak comes after Odebrecht admitted it funded the electoral campaigns of other Latin American presidents, including Colombia’s current President Juan Manuel Santos and Peru’s former President Ollanta Humala.

Macri was also one of the main figures involved in the Panama Papers scandal after a leak from a company revealed how world leaders had thousands of offshore companies in tax havens to avoid paying taxes.

For 2015, Macri declared his fortune as being worth US$110 million to Argentina’s Anti-Corruption Office, an increase of 100 percent from the US$52 million he reported for the 2014 fiscal year. Following the Panama Papers leak, Macri admitted to having over US$18 million in tax havens.

Macri’s government has proposed a tax amnesty bill, which has been approved by the country’s congress. This controversial law is aimed to shield tax evaders who have undeclared holdings and assets while offering them lower taxes in order for them to bring assets to the country.

At Macri’s request, the law excluded any relatives of officials who have engaged in money laundering or have undeclared assets abroad from legal responsibilities, a caveat that critics say is a clear wink at his own father and siblings.

Earlier this month, polls found that Macri’s approval rate dropped to 24 percent, with 54 percent of Argentines polled saying they did not trust him.

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Releases Declassified Operation Condor-Era Docs to Argentina

Chilean dictator Agusto Pinochet (L) and Argentine dictator Rafael Videla (R)

Chilean dictator Agusto Pinochet (L) and Argentine dictator Rafael Videla (R) | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
teleSUR | April 27, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Thursday, handing over 931 declassified Department of State records related to Operation Condor.

Operation Condor was a Cold War-era campaign of violence across Latin America that resulted in tens of thousands of activist deaths.

Trump’s release falls in line with former President Barack Obama’s promise to release intelligence documents about human rights abuses committed by the Argentine military dictatorship during the 1970s and 1980s.

Entitled “Secret/Exdis,” the declassified documents provide new insight into U.S. support for human rights abuses in Argentina and neighboring countries. Here’s what the reports divulged.

They describe Operation Condor as a trans-border, multinational effort by Southern Cone secret police services to “track down” and “liquidate” regime opponents, the National Security Archive reports.

They reveal that the orchestrators of Operation Condor considered establishing “field offices” in the United States and Europe.

They provide information about former President Jimmy Carter’s propping up of former dictator Rafael Videla in 1977. It has also been confirmed that Orlando Letelier, chief economist for former Chilean President Salvador Allende, was killed by members of Chile’s intelligence service under the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Moreover, they include details about the censorship of U.S. Buenos Aires embassy human rights officer Tex Harris, who tried making human rights abuses public.

The declassification of other top secret documents is expected to occur before the end of the year. Records of 14 intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and DIA, are expected to be included in the release.

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment