Aletho News


Egyptian president to attend NAM summit in Tehran

Press TV – August 18, 2012

Egypt’s official news agency, MENA, said on Saturday that President Mohamed Morsi plans to attend the upcoming Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran.

Morsi’s trip to Tehran will be the first such visit since Iran and Egypt severed ties more than 30 years ago after Cairo signed the 1978 Camp David Accord with the Israeli regime and offered asylum to the deposed Iranian dictator, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held in the Iranian capital on August 26-31.

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will address the Tehran NAM summit.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also expected to partake in the event during which the Islamic Republic will assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years.

NAM, an international organization with 120 member states and 21 observer countries, is considered as not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

NAM’s purpose, as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979, is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries.”

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Barak’s Blunder

Israeli defense minister misrepresents U.S. intelligence to bolster the case for war

By Philip Giraldi • The American Conservative • August 17, 2012

It should surprise no one to learn that when intelligence agencies talk to other intelligence agencies as part of a liaison relationship there are certain rules in place, even though they are frequently unspoken. During the Cold War the most productive such relationship that the United States had was not with obvious candidates like the British or Germans. It was with the Norwegians, who ran a chain of listening posts that were able to pick up signals and other valuable information drawn from the heart of the Soviet nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The U.S. knew all about the latest Russian technical developments, and both Washington and Oslo kept quiet about what they were up to.

But sometimes the temptation to use highly sensitive classified intelligence obtained from a friend is overwhelming? On August 9, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed Israeli media reports that a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) from the United States on the Iranian nuclear program had “included new and alarming intelligence” that had led to the judgment that “Iran has made surprising, notable progress in the research and development of key components of the military nuclear program.” He described the source as an intelligence report “being passed around senior offices.” Barak concluded that the new report means that Israel and the United States now have the same view of developments in Iran, meaning that both now believe that the country’s nuclear program has a military component which makes Iran unambiguously a threat.

“Militarization” has become something of a buzzword in the debate over Tehran’s intentions. It can mean a couple of things, most obviously that some research or development is taking place that can plausibly only be linked to creation of a nuclear weapon. Or it could mean that certain developments in the nuclear area have been linked to corresponding advances in ballistic missile engineering, meaning that there might be a program to work clandestinely on a bomb while simultaneously upgrading Iran’s missiles to provide a mechanism to deliver the weapon on target as soon as it is available.

Barak’s remarks sparked considerable commentary worldwide, suggesting that Israel and the United States, who appear to have been seeking a casus belli for attacking Iran, at last have found their smoking pistol enabling them to do so.  But there were some serious problems with the story, and the CIA and Office of National Intelligence initiated some immediate pushback over Barak’s apparent exposure of classified information provided to Israel by Washington.

Intelligence insiders noted immediately that there has not, in fact, been a new NIE on Iran. Barak apparently intentionally called the report he had seen an NIE to heighten the impact and veracity of what he was saying. An NIE is the consensus product of the entire U.S. intelligence community and the views contained in it are endorsed by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. Barak clearly felt that he needed the gravitas of an NIE because there have been two previous NIEs, in 2007 and 2011, that have concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and has not made the political decision to initiate one.

So it became clear that Ehud Barak was talking about something else. It turns out that the CIA routinely shares what is referred to as finished intelligence with Israel, and among those reports there have been several examining possible advances in Iranian missile development, to include an examination of intelligence suggesting that there might be some engineering of a warhead that might be capable of carrying a small nuclear device, if such a weapon were ultimately to become available [emphasis Aletho News]. Finished intelligence consists of reports that are produced in great quantity addressing a variety of issues.  They are not unlike the types of reports generated by the various think tanks in Washington and at major universities, being generally academic in tone though carefully drafted to avoid any revelation of the sources and methods contributing to the document. Finished intelligence is frequently passed by CIA to friendly intelligence liaison services and is generally classified “Secret.”

So Barak was quite possibly misrepresenting a U.S. intelligence-generated report to serve his own purposes, and he was also leaking information that had been given to him in confidence with the understanding that he would only use it to guide internal Israel deliberations, not to discuss it with the media. The CIA was reportedly furious over the leak and, in an unusual move, the White House quickly gave a green light for the National Security Council to actually rebuke Israel, with an NSC spokesman commenting that “We continue to assess that Iran is not on the verge of achieving a nuclear weapon.”

So Israel was saying that the Iranian threat had been demonstrated based on U.S. intelligence while Washington claimed the contrary. It all might have ended there, but intelligence leaks have a tendency to spill over and turn out to be difficult to contain. The Obama White House felt compelled to assuage Israeli fears over Iran’s alleged nukes. On Friday press spokesman Jay Carney told the media (and the Israelis) that the U.S. “would know if and when Iran made” a decision to build a weapon. “We have eyes–we have visibility into the program, and we would know if and when Iran made what’s called a breakout move towards acquiring a weapon.”

Carney’s unnecessary elaboration of United States intelligence capabilities vis-à-vis Iran caused the intel community to go ballistic for a second time in two days. If there is one thing that an intelligence organization never does it is to reveal what it can and cannot do. Now Iran, which already knew that it was being monitored closely, probably has a pretty good idea where its vulnerabilities lie because the White House has told them where to look. Marc Ambinder, a national security specialist who writes for The Atlantic, explains how it works: “the CIA’s ops arm, the National Clandestine Service, along with the US military, are devoting thousands of person-hours per day working along the periphery of the country, scrutinizing and seizing cargo shipments bound for Iran, tapping the black market for nuclear supplies and buying up spare parts, and maximizing the collection of Iranian signal traffic … it has a high-definition picture of the current state of the nuclear program and would be able to much more quickly identify if, say, scientists began to create the material needed to manufacture the lens and tamper system that would induce the fission in a bomb. What’s most valuable here is the US mastery of obscure but vital types of intelligence collection that spooks call ‘MASINT’—or measurement and signature intelligence. MASINT sensors on satellites, drones, and on the ground can detect everything from the electromagnetic signatures created by testing conventional missile systems to disturbances in the soil and geography around a hidden nuclear facility to streams of radioactive particles that are byproducts of the uranium enrichment process. Put together, the US has a good handle on the nuclear supply chain; it knows what Iran has and doesn’t have; it has a good handle on who needs to be where in order for certain things to happen; it knows, probably through National Security Agency signals collection, a lot about the daily lives and stresses of Iran’s nuclear scientists.”

If Marc Ambinder has figured out in some detail how the U.S. collects its most sensitive intelligence on Iran, the Iranians have almost certainly come to the same conclusions. Which means that they can move to address their vulnerabilities and can work harder to shield their intentions if they actually are developing a weapon, possibly doing so with outside technical help from the sophisticated friendly foreign intelligence services of Russia and China. As for the Israelis, a foolish attempt to use U.S.-provided intelligence to further demonize a country that has already been effectively blackened will prove counter-productive. Israel and its friends in Congress have long been demanding that CIA and NSA provide them with raw instead of finished intelligence. Raw intelligence is information that comes in as it is collected, indicating the sources and methods used. It is extremely valuable because it is transparent and not subject to analysis, but it is also highly vulnerable to disruption if it is in any way exposed. The resistance within the intelligence community to providing the Israelis anything of that nature has just hardened, with credit going to Ehud Barak for leaking information in an attempt to obtain some political mileage to bolster his country’s incessant arguments in favor of war.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Barak’s Blunder

Israeli soldiers attack, injure and arrest journalists at Kafr Qaddum

On Friday, August 17, five were injured and eight arrested at Kafr Qaddum. … Full text of ISM article

Media Forum condemns IOF attack on six journalists

Palestine Information Center – 18/08/2012

GAZA– Palestinian Media Forum strongly condemned the Israeli occupation forces’ attack on six Palestinian journalists and detaining them for hours while they were covering a peaceful demonstration in the occupied West Bank on Friday.

The Forum said in a statement Saturday, that IOF soldiers attacked the journalists while dispersing the weekly peaceful march against the separation wall in Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya in the West Bank, and transferred them to Kedumim settlement established on the village lands.

It affirmed that the detainees were released after the occupation soldiers forced them to sign a pledge not to perform their work as journalists in Kafr Qaddum. … Full PIC article

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Khan Al Luban: Settlers invade again

18 August | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

On Saturday August 11th 2012 the same events as three days earlier took place at Khan Al Luban. A group of four illegal settlers, from Mal´al Levona, armed with guns and wooden sticks came into Khan al Luban at 22:30 p.m. The settlers yet again broke into the house owned by Khalid al-Hamed Daraghani where international activists and the two sons of Khalid were staying.

When the settlers arrived Khalid’s sons and the international activists asked them to leave the property, but they refused and instead sat down near the spring on Daraghani’s land. After about half an hour two Israeli police cars arrived along with two military jeeps after having received a call from the settlers. A few minutes later two more military jeeps arrived at the scene. By then the Daraghani land was full of Israeli police, soldiers and security guards from the illegal settlement. The soldiers entered the house searching for weapons, but as usual they didn’t find anything.

Around midnight the soldiers, police, security personnel and settlers left the area, while Jamal, the oldest son of Khalid, and the international activists remained in the house. Throughout the night settlers stayed on patrol in the street near the Daraghani house, shouting and honking their car horns.

At 7:30 am the following morning, a border police car stopped near the Daraghani house on the road leading up to the illegal settlement of Mal´al Levona. The border policemen then proceeded to break into the house, aggressively asking for passports and other documents. Like the night before the house was searched and no bag, cigarette package or piece of clothing went unturned.

After a short dispute over a cigarette, Jamal was brutally pushed into one of the rooms by the police officers where he received several blows to the face before he was handcuffed and taken away. Jamal was taken to the police station of Binyamin, wrongly accused of having hit a soldier. He was released on bail the day after.

The continued pressure of the Israeli occupation forces and illegal settlers remain a constant threat during both days and nights in Khan al Luban.

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Comments Off on Khan Al Luban: Settlers invade again

International Solidarity Movement call to action: Olive Harvest 2012

International Solidarity Movement | August 18, 2012

… The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been bulldozed, uprooted and burned by Israeli settlers and the military – (over half a million olive and fruit trees have been destroyed since September 2000) – harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance.

The olive harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, spiritual, and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it. Despite efforts by Israeli settlers and soldiers to prevent them from accessing their land, Palestinian communities have remained steadfast in refusing to give up their olive harvest.

Palestinian and International Solidarity Movement volunteers join Palestinian farming communities each year to harvest olives in areas where Palestinians face settler and military violence when working their land. Your presence can make a big difference. It has been proven in the past to deter the number and severity of attacks and harassment. The presence of activists can reduce the risk of extreme violence from Israeli settlers and the Israeli army and supports Palestinians’ assertion of their right to earn their livelihoods and be present on their lands. International solidarity activists engage in non-violent intervention and documentation and this practical support enables many families to pick their olives. In addition, The Olive Harvest Campaign also provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes.

The campaign will begin on the 8th of October and run until the 15th of November. … Read full article

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , | Comments Off on International Solidarity Movement call to action: Olive Harvest 2012

Tunisian Salafis attack pro-Palestine march

Al Akhbar | August 18, 2012

Hardline Salafis attacked a peaceful pro-Palestine protest on Friday evening in the Tunisian city of Gabes.

Hundreds of people were marching in support of the Palestinian demand for statehood on the occasion of International Quds Day but were attacked, witnesses said.

In a telephone interview with UPI a protester said that about 30 people affiliated with the hardline Salafi movement “attacked participants in the march with sticks and batons on the pretext that they are Shia, and not allowed to display their beliefs in the town of Abu Lubaba Ansari.”

The witness, who requested anonymity, said that clashes between Salafis and the participants in the rally continued for more than an hour in the absence of security forces – resulting in a number of injuries.

The witness added that Salafis attacked participants with sticks and stones, and also burnt the Palestinian flag and hoisted black banners reading “there is no god but Allah.”

They also chanted slogans, including: “There is no god but Allah, and Shias are the enemies of God,” and others calling for the killing of Shias.

Tunisia has witnessed a number of aggressive moves moves by the Salafi movement in the past week.

On Thursday night the closing ceremony of the second session of the al-Aqsa festival in the city of Bizerte was interrupted by attacks in which five people were injured.

The festival was attended by Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese resistance figure formerly detained in Israel.

Militant Salafis stormed the concert hall and threatened the audience with swords and sticks on the pretext that Kuntar is Shia, despite him coming from a Druze background.

Extremist demonstrations in the name of Islam have become an increasing trend in Tunisia and security forces have been accused of turning a blind eye to such attacks.

(UPI, Al-Akhbar)

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment