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Bergen-Belsen Camp: The Suppressed Story

By Mark Weber | The Journal of Historical Review | May-June 1995

Fifty years ago, on April 15, 1945, British troops liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The anniversary was widely remembered in official ceremonies and in newspaper articles that, as the following essay shows, distort the camp’s true history.

Largely because of the circumstances of its liberation, the relatively unimportant German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen has become — along with Dachau and Buchenwald — an international symbol of German barbarism.

The British troops who liberated the Belsen camp three weeks before the end of the war were shocked and disgusted by the many unburied corpses and dying inmates they found there. Horrific photos and films of the camp’s emaciated corpses and mortally sick inmates were quickly circulated around the globe. Within weeks the British military occupation newspaper proclaimed: “The story of that greatest of all exhibitions of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ which was Belsen Concentration Camp is known throughout the world.” (note 1)

Ghastly images recorded by Allied photographers at Belsen in mid-April 1945 and widely reproduced ever since have greatly contributed to the camp’s reputation as a notorious extermination center. In fact, the dead of Bergen-Belsen were, above all, unfortunate victims of war and its turmoil, not deliberate policy. It can even be argued that they were as much victims of Allied as of German measures.


Plan of the Bergen-Belsen camp

The Bergen-Belsen camp was located near Hannover in northwestern Germany on the site of a former army camp for wounded prisoners of war. In 1943 it was established as an internment camp (Aufenthaltslager) for European Jews who were to be exchanged for German citizens held by the Allies.

More than 9,000 Jews with citizenship papers or passports from Latin American countries, entry visas for Palestine, or other documents making them eligible for emigration, arrived in late 1943 and 1944 from Poland, France, Holland and other parts of Europe. During the final months of the war, several groups of these “exchange Jews” were transported from Axis-occupied Europe. German authorities transferred several hundred to neutral Switzerland, and at least one group of 222 Jewish detainees was transferred from Belsen (by way of neutral Turkey) to British-controlled Palestine. /2

Until late 1944 conditions were generally better than in other concentration camps. Marika Frank Abrams, a Jewish woman from Hungary, was transferred from Auschwitz in 1944. Years later she recalled her arrival at Belsen: “… We were each given two blankets and a dish. There was running water and latrines. We were given food that was edible and didn’t have to stand for hours to be counted. The conditions were so superior to Auschwitz we felt we were practically in a sanitarium.” /3

Inmates normally received three meals a day. Coffee and bread were served in the morning and evening, with cheese and sausage as available. The main mid-day meal consisted of one liter of vegetable stew. Families lived together. Otherwise, men and women were housed in separate barracks. /4

Children were also held there. There were some 500 Jewish children in Belsen’s “No. 1 Women’s Camp” section when British forces arrived. /5

During the final months of the war, tens of thousands of Jews were evacuated to Belsen from Auschwitz and other eastern camps threatened by the advancing Soviets. Belsen became severely overcrowded as the number of inmates increased from 15,000 in December 1944 to 42,000 at the beginning of March 1945, and more than 50,000 a month later. /6

Many of these Jewish prisoners had chosen to be evacuated westwards with their German captors rather than remain in eastern camps to await liberation by Soviet forces. /7

So catastrophic had conditions become during the final months of the war that about a third of the prisoners evacuated to Belsen in February and March 1945 perished during the journey and were dead on arrival. /8

As order broke down across Europe during those chaotic final months, regular deliveries of food and medicine to the camp stopped. Foraging trucks were sent to scrounge up whatever supplies of bread, potatoes and turnips were available in nearby towns. /9

Epidemic

Disease was kept under control by routinely disinfecting all new arrivals. But in early February 1945 a large transport of Hungarian Jews was admitted while the disinfection facility was out of order. As a result, typhus broke out and quickly spread beyond control. /10

Commandant Josef Kramer quarantined the camp in an effort to save lives, but SS camp administration headquarters in Berlin insisted that Belsen be kept open to receive still more Jewish evacuees arriving from the East. The death rate soon rose to 400 a day. /11

The worst killer was typhus, but typhoid fever and dysentery also claimed many lives. Aggravating the situation was a policy during the final months of transferring already sick inmates from other camps to Belsen, which was then officially designated a sick or convalescence camp (Krankenlager). The sick women of Auschwitz, for example, were transferred to Belsen in three groups in November-December 1944. /12

When SS chief Heinrich Himmler learned of the typhus outbreak at Bergen-Belsen, he immediately issued an order to all appropriate officials requiring that “all medical means necessary to combat the epidemic should be employed … There can be no question of skimping either with doctors or medical supplies.” However, the general breakdown of order that prevailed on Germany by this time made it impossible to implement the command. /13

‘Belsen Worst’

Violette Fintz, a Jewish woman who had been deported from the island of Rhodes to Auschwitz in mid-1944, and then to Dachau and, finally, in early 1945, to Belsen, later compared conditions in the different camps: /14

Belsen was in the beginning bearable and we had bunks to sleep on, and a small ration of soup and bread. But as the camp got fuller, our group and many others were given a barracks to hold about seven hundred lying on the floor without blankets and without food or anything. It was a pitiful scene as the camp was attacked by lice and most of the people had typhus and cholera … Many people talk about Auschwitz — it was a horrible camp. But Belsen, no words can describe it … From my experience and suffering, Belsen was the worst.

Belsen’s most famous inmate was doubtless Anne Frank, who had been evacuated from Auschwitz in late October 1944. She succumbed to typhus in March 1945, three or four weeks before liberation.

Kramer Reports a ‘Catastrophe’

In a March 1, 1945, letter to Gruppenführer (General) Richard Glücks, head of the SS camp administration agency, Commandant Kramer reported in detail on the catastrophic situation in the Bergen-Belsen, and pleaded for help: /15

If I had sufficient sleeping accommodation at my disposal, then the accommodation of the detainees who have already arrived and of those still to come would appear more possible. In addition to this question a spotted fever and typhus epidemic has now begun, which increases in extent every day. The daily mortality rate, which was still in the region of 60-70 at the beginning of February, has in the meantime attained a daily average of 250-300 and will increase still further in view of the conditions which at present prevail.

Supply. When I took over the camp, winter supplies for 1500 internees had been indented for; some had been received, but the greater part had not been delivered. This failure was due not only to difficulties of transport, but also to the fact that practically nothing is available in this area and all must be brought from outside the area …

For the last four days there has been no delivery [of food] from Hannover owing to interrupted communications, and I shall be compelled, if this state of affairs prevails till the end of the week, to fetch bread also by means of truck from Hannover. The trucks allotted to the local unit are in no way adequate for this work, and I am compelled to ask for at least three to four trucks and five to six trailers. When I once have here a means of towing then I can send out the trailers into the surrounding area … The supply question must, without fail, be cleared up in the next few days. I ask you, Gruppenführer, for an allocation of transport …

State of Health. The incidence of disease is very high here in proportion to the number of detainees. When you interviewed me on Dec. 1, 1944, at Oranienburg, you told me that Bergen-Belsen was to serve as a sick camp for all concentration camps in north Germany. The number of sick has greatly increased, particularly on account of the transports of detainees that have arrived from the East in recent times — these transports have sometimes spent eight or fourteen days in open trucks …

The fight against spotted fever is made extremely difficult by the lack of means of disinfection. Due to constant use, the hot-air delousing machine is now in bad working order and sometimes fails for several days …

A catastrophe is taking place for which no one wishes to assume responsibility … Gruppenführer, I can assure you that from this end everything will be done to overcome the present crisis …

I am now asking you for your assistance as it lies in your power. In addition to the above-mentioned points I need here, before everything, accommodation facilities, beds, blankets, eating utensils — all for about 20,000 internees … I implore your help in overcoming this situation.


Mass grave at Belsen camp, shortly after its liberation by British troops. Photographs such as this are widely reproduced as proof of a German policy of extermination. Contrary to Allied propaganda claims of the time, and Holocaust allegations in recent decades, though, these unfortunate prisoners were victims of typhus and starvation that were indirect consequences of the war – not of any deliberate policy. At least 14,000 Jews died in the camp following the British takeover.

Under such terrible conditions, Kramer did everything in his power to reduce suffering and prevent death among the inmates, even appealing to the hard-pressed German army. “I don’t know what else to do,” he told high-ranking army officers. “I have reached the limit. Masses of people are dying. The drinking water supply has broken down. A trainload of food was destroyed by low-flying [Allied] war planes. Something must be done immediately.” /16

Working together with both Commandant Kramer and chief inmate representative Kuestermeier, Colonel Hanns Schmidt responded by arranging for the local volunteer fire department to provide water. He also saw to it that food supplies were brought to the camp from abandoned rail cars. Schmidt later recalled that Kramer “did not at all impress one as a criminal type. He acted like an upright and rather honorable man. Neither did he strike me as someone with a guilty conscience. He worked with great dedication to improve conditions in the camp. For example, he rounded up horse drawn vehicles to bring food to the camp from rail cars that had been shot up.” /17

“I was swamped,” Kramer later explained to incredulous British military interrogators: /18

The camp was not really inefficient before you [British and American forces] crossed the Rhine. There was running water, regular meals of a kind — I had to accept what food I was given for the camp and distribute it the best way I could. But then they suddenly began to send me trainloads of new prisoners from all over Germany. It was impossible to cope with them. I appealed for more staff, more food. I was told that this was impossible. I had to carry on with what I had.

Then as a last straw the Allies bombed the electric plant that pumped our water. Loads of food were unable to reach the camp because of the Allied fighters. Then things really got out of hand. During the last six weeks I have been helpless. I did not even have sufficient staff to bury the dead, let alone segregate the sick … I tried to get medicines and food for the prisoners and I failed. I was swamped. I may have been hated, but I was doing my duty.

Kramer’s clear conscience is also suggested by the fact that he made no effort to save his life by fleeing, but instead calmly awaited the approaching British forces, naively confident of decent treatment. “When Belsen Camp was eventually taken over by the Allies,” he later stated, “I was quite satisfied that I had done all I possibly could under the circumstances to remedy the conditions in the camp.” /19

Negotiated Transfer

As British forces approached Bergen-Belsen, German authorities sought to turn over the camp to the British so that it would not become a combat zone. After some negotiation, it was peacefully transferred, with an agreement that “both British and German troops will make every effort to avoid battle in the area.” /20

A revealing account of the circumstances under which the British took control appeared in a 1945 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association: /21

By negotiations between British and German officers, British troops took over from the SS and the Wehrmacht the task of guarding the vast concentration camp at Belsen, a few miles northwest of Celle, which contains 60,000 prisoners, many of them political. This has been done because typhus is rampant in the camp and it is vital that no prisoners be released until the infection is checked. The advancing British agreed to refrain from bombing or shelling the area of the camp, and the Germans agreed to leave behind an armed guard which would be allowed to return to their own lines a week after the British arrival.

The story of the negotiations is curious. Two German officers presented themselves before the British outposts and explained that there were 9,000 sick in the camp and that all sanitation had failed. They proposed that the British should occupy the camp at once, as the responsibility was international in the interests of health. In return for the delay caused by the truce the Germans offered to surrender intact the bridges over the river Aller. After brief consideration the British senior officer rejected the German proposals, saying it was necessary that the British should occupy an area of ten kilometers round the camp in order to be sure of keeping their troops and lines of communication away from the disease. The British eventually took over the camp.

Brutal Mistreatment

On April 15, 1945, Belsen’s commanders turned over the camp to British troops, who lost no time mistreating the SS camp personnel. The Germans were beaten with rifle butts, kicked, and stabbed with bayonets. Most were shot or worked to death. /22

British journalist Alan Moorehead described the treatment of some of the camp personnel shortly after the takeover: /23

As we approached the cells of the SS guards, the [British] sergeant’s language become ferocious. “We had had an interrogation this morning,” the captain said. ‘I’m afraid they are not a pretty sight.’ … The sergeant unbolted the first door and … strode into the cell, jabbing a metal spike in front of him. “Get up,” he shouted. “Get up. Get up, you dirty bastards.” There were half a dozen men lying or half lying on the floor. One or two were able to pull themselves erect at once. The man nearest me, his shirt and face spattered with blood, made two attempts before he got on to his knees and then gradually on to his feet. He stood with his arms stretched out in front of him, trembling violently.

“Come on. Get up,” the sergeant shouted [in the next cell]. The man was lying in his blood on the floor, a massive figure with a heavy head and bedraggled beard … “Why don’t you kill me?” he whispered. “Why don’t you kill me? I can’t stand it any more.” The same phrases dribbled out of his lips over and over again. “He’s been saying that all morning, the dirty bastard,” the sergeant said.


Josef Kramer in British captivity. After a military trial, the former Bergen-Belsen Commandant was put to death.

Commandant Kramer, who was vilified in the British and American press as “The Beast of Belsen” and “The Monster of Belsen,” was put on trial and then executed, along with chief physician Dr. Fritz Klein and other camp officials. At his trial, Kramer’s defense attorney, Major T.C.M. Winwood, predicted: “When the curtain finally rings down on this stage Josef Kramer will, in my submission, stand forth not as ‘The Beast of Belsen’ but as ‘The Scapegoat of Belsen’.” /24

In an “act of revenge,” the British liberators expelled the residents of the nearby town of Bergen, and then permitted camp inmates to loot the houses and buildings. Much of the town was also set on fire. /25

Postwar Deaths

There were some 55,000 to 60,000 prisoners in Bergen-Belsen when the British took control of the camp. The new administrators proved no more capable of mastering the chaos than the Germans had been, and some 14,000 Jewish inmates died at Belsen in the months following the British takeover. /26

Although still occasionally referred to as an “extermination camp” or “mass murder” center, the truth about Bergen-Belsen has been quietly acknowledged by scholars. /27 In his 1978 survey of German history, University of Erlangen professor Helmut Diwald wrote of /28

… The notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where 50,000 inmates were supposedly murdered. Actually, about 7,000 inmates died during the period when the camp existed, from 1943 to 1945. Most of them died in the final months of the war as a result of disease and malnutrition — consequences of the bombings that had completely disrupted normal deliveries of medical supplies and food. The British commander who took control of the camp after the capitulation testified that crimes on a large scale had not taken place at Bergen-Belsen.

Martin Broszat, Director of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, wrote in 1976: /29

… In Bergen-Belsen, for example, thousands of corpses of Jewish prisoners were found by British soldiers on the day of liberation, which gave the impression that this was one of the notorious extermination camps. Actually, many Jews in Bergen-Belsen as well as in the satellite camps of Dachau died in the last weeks before the end of the war as a result of the quickly improvised retransfers and evacuations of Jewish workers from the still existing ghettos, work camps and concentration camps in the East (Auschwitz) …

Dr. Russell Barton, an English physician who spent a month in Bergen-Belsen after the war with the British Army, has also explained the reasons for the catastrophic conditions found there: /30

Most people attributed the conditions of the inmates to deliberate intention on the part of the Germans in general and the camp administrators in particular. Inmates were eager to cite examples of brutality and neglect, and visiting journalists from different countries interpreted the situation according to the needs of propaganda at home.

For example, one newspaper emphasized the wickedness of the “German masters” by remarking that some of the 10,000 unburied dead were naked. In fact, when the dead were taken from a hut and left in the open for burial, other prisoners would take their clothing from them …

German medical officers told me that it had been increasingly difficult to transport food to the camp for some months. Anything that moved on the autobahns was likely to be bombed …

I was surprised to find records, going back for two or three years, of large quantities of food cooked daily for distribution. I became convinced, contrary to popular opinion, that there had never been a policy of deliberate starvation. This was confirmed by the large numbers of well-fed inmates. Why then were so many people suffering from malnutrition?… The major reasons for the state of Belsen were disease, gross overcrowding by central authority, lack of law and order within the huts, and inadequate supplies of food, water and drugs.

In trying to assess the causes of the conditions found in Belsen one must be alerted to the tremendous visual display, ripe for purposes of propaganda, that masses of starved corpses presented.

Gas Chamber Myths

Some former inmates and a few historians have claimed that Jews were put to death in gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen. For example, an “authoritative” work published shortly after the end of the war, A History of World War II, informed readers: “In Belsen, [Commandant] Kramer kept an orchestra to play him Viennese music while he watched children torn from their mothers to be burned alive. Gas chambers disposed of thousands of persons daily.” /31


A protest meeting in the Bergen-Belsen camp, September 1947. For five years following the end of the war, British authorities maintained the camp as a “Displaced Persons” center. During this period it flourished as a major black market center. At this pro-Zionist gathering of 4,000 Jews, camp leader Joseph Rosensaft speaks against British policy in Palestine.

In Jews, God and History, Jewish historian Max Dimont wrote of gassings at Bergen-Belsen. /32 A semi-official work published in Poland in 1981 claimed that women and babies were “put to death in gas chambers” at Belsen. /33

In 1945 the Associated Press news agency reported: /34

In Lueneburg, Germany, a Jewish physician, testifying at the trial of 45 men and women for war crimes at the Belsen and Oswiecim [Auschwitz] concentration camps, said that 80,000 Jews, representing the entire ghetto of Lodz, Poland, had been gassed or burned to death in one night at the Belsen camp.

Five decades after the camp’s liberation, British army Captain Robert Daniell recalled seeing “the gas chambers” there. /35

Years after the war, Robert Spitz, a Hungarian Jew, remembered taking a shower at Belsen in February 1945: “… It was delightful. What I didn’t know then was that there were other showers in the same building where gas came out instead of water.” /36

Another former inmate, Moshe Peer, recalled a miraculous escape from death as an eleven-year-old in the camp. In a 1993 interview with a Canadian newspaper, the French-born Peer claimed that he “was sent to the [Belsen] camp gas chamber at least six times.” The newspaper account went on to relate: “Each time he survived, watching with horror as many of the women and children gassed with him collapsed and died. To this day, Peer doesn’t know how he was able to survive.” In an effort to explain the miracle, Peer mused: “Maybe children resist better, I don’t know.” (Although Peer claimed that “Bergen-Belsen was worse than Auschwitz,” he acknowledged that he and his younger brother and sister, who were deported to the camp in 1944, all somehow survived internment there.) /37

Such gas chamber tales are entirely fanciful. As early as 1960, historian Martin Broszat had publicly repudiated the Belsen gassing story. These days no reputable scholar supports it. /38

Exaggerated Death Estimates

Estimates of the number of people who died in Bergen-Belsen have ranged widely over the years. Many have been irresponsible exaggerations. Typical is a 1985 York Daily News report, which told readers that “probably 100,000 died at Bergen-Belsen.” /39 An official German government publication issued in 1990 declared that “more than 50,000 people had been murdered” in the Belsen camp under German control, and “an additional 13,000 died in the first weeks after liberation.” /40

Closer to the truth is the Encyclopaedia Judaica, which maintains that 37,000 perished in the camp before the British takeover, and another 14,000 afterwards. /41

Whatever the actual number of dead, Belsen’s victims were not “murdered,” and the camp was not an “extermination” center.

Black Market Center

From 1945 until 1950, when it was finally shut down, the British maintained Belsen as a camp for displaced European Jews. During this period it achieved new notoriety as a major European black market center. The “uncrowned king” of Belsen’s 10,000 Jews was Yossl (Josef) Rosensaft, who amassed tremendous profits from the illegal trading. Rosensaft had been interned in various camps, including Auschwitz, before arriving in Belsen in early April 1945. /42

British Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Morgan, chief of “displaced persons” operations in postwar Germany for the United Nations relief organization UNRRA recalled in his memoir that /43

under Zionist auspices there had been organized at Belsen a vast illegitimate trading organization with worldwide ramifications and dealing in a wide range of goods, principally precious metals and stones. A money market dealt with a wide range of currencies. Goods were being imported in cryptically marked containers consigned in UNRRA shipments to Jewish voluntary agencies …

Legacy

A kind of memorial center now draws many tourists annually to the camp site. Not surprisingly, Bergen’s 13,000 residents are not very pleased with their town’s infamous reputation. Citizens report being called “murderers” during visits to foreign countries. /44

In striking contrast to the widely-accepted image of Belsen, which is essentially a product of hateful wartime propaganda, is the suppressed, albeit grim, historical reality. In truth, the Bergen-Belsen story may be regarded as the Holocaust story in miniature.
Notes

  1. Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ (Boston: Little Brown, 1980), p. 1.
  2. Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: Raymond Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others (The Belsen Trial) (London: William Hodge, 1949), p. 160; “Bergen-Belsen,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (New York and Jerusalem: Macmillan and Keter, 1971), Vol. 4, p. 610. According to this source, one group of 136 of these “exchange Jews” was deported from Belsen during the war to neutral Switzerland, and another group of 222 was transferred to Palestine.; According to an Israeli newspaper report, a group of 222 “exchange” Jews reportedly left Bergen-Belsen on June 29, 1944, and, by way of Istanbul, arrived in Palestine on July 10. (Israel Nachrichten, quoted in: D. National-Zeitung, Munich, Sept. 23, 1994, p. 5)
  3. Sylvia Rothchild, ed., Voices from the Holocaust (New York: NAL, 1981), p. 190.
  4. Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. This is also in: Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Newport Beach: Institute for Historical Review, 1993), pp. 272-274.
  5. R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 19, 32, 33; Roman Hrabar, with Zofia Tokarz and J. E. Wilczur, The Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: Interpress, 1981), p. 76.
  6. Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 4, p. 610; Gedenkbuch: Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft (Koblenz: Bundesarchiv, 1986; 2 vols.), pp. 1761-1762.
  7. Testimony of Dr. Russell Barton, Feb. 7, 1985, in the first “Holocaust” trial of Ernst Zündel. Official trial transcript, pp. 2916-2917; See also Barton’s testimony during the second, 1988 Zündel trial in: Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die? (Toronto: Samisdat, 1992), p. 175, and, Robert Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel (Decatur, Ala.: Reporter Press, 1990), p. 159.
  8. Testimony of Commandant Kramer in: R. Phillips, Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 162.
  9. Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 731-737. Also in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 274.
  10. Derrick Sington, Belsen Uncovered (London: 1946), pp. 117-118. Quoted in: A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, pp. 34-35; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Sphere Books, pb., 1971), p. 504 (note).
  11. R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 152-153, 166-167, 734, 736; Tom Bower, Blind Eye to Murder (London: Granada, 1983), p. 224; Dr. Ernst von Briesen, “Was passierte in Bergen-Belsen wirklich?,” D. National-Zeitung (Munich), Jan. 13, 1984, pp. 4, 5, 8.
  12. G.Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 497 (and 638, n. 23).
  13. Andre Biss, A Million Jews to Save (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1975), pp. 242, 249-250; Felix Kersten, The Kersten Memoirs, 1940-1945 (New York: Macmillan, 1957), p. 276.
  14. Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1986), pp. 722, 785-786.
  15. R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 163-166.
  16. Signed report by retired Colonel (Oberst a.D.) Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in author’s possession.
  17. Signed report by Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, March 3, 1981. Photocopy in author’s possession.
  18. Essay by Alan Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953), pp. 109-110.
  19. Josef Kramer statement (1945) in: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 737. Also quoted in: A. Butz, Hoax, p. 275; Essay by Alan Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 109-110; Dr. Russell Barton, “Belsen,” History of the Second World War (Editor: Barrie Pitt, Copyright BPC publications, 1966), Part 109, 1975, p. 3025.
  20. R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 396-397.
  21. “Typhus Causes a Truce,” The Journal of the American Medical Association (Chicago), May 19, 1945, p. 220.
  22. Leonard O. Mosley, Report from Germany (1945). Quoted in: Montgomery Belgion, Victor’s Justice (Regnery, 1949), p. 80 (and p. 81); Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21; See also essay by A. Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon (London: 1953), pp. 105-106.
  23. Essay by A. Moorehead, “Belsen,” in: Cyril Connolly, ed., The Golden Horizon, pp. 105-106.
  24. R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, p. 156.
  25. “Bergen-Belsen,” Der Spiegel (Hamburg), Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.
  26. “Holocaust,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 8, p. 859; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust (1986), pp. 793-795; See also: R. Phillips, ed., Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-Four Others, pp. 20, 46-47; According to a 1992 Associated Press report, more than 60,000 prisoners were held in Belsen camp when it was liberated. Then, “in the first five days of liberation, 14,000 prisoners died and another 14,000 perished in the following weeks.” Graham Heathcote, AP from Tostock, England, “2 hours changed me for the rest of my life,” Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Dec. 20, 1992, p. A 29, and, “Journey into hell,” The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), Dec. 20, 1992.
  27. Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21, referred to Belsen as a camp created for the “extermination” of “the Jewish people.”
  28. Helmut Diwald, Geschichte der Deutschen (Frankfurt: Propyläen, first ed., 1978), pp. 164-165.
  29. M. Broszat, “Zur Kritik der Publizistik des antisemitischen Rechtsextremismus,” Supplement B 19/76 of May 8, 1976, to the weekly newspaper Das Parlament (Bonn), p. 6. Revised from issue No. 2, 1976, of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (Munich).
  30. Dr. R. Barton, “Belsen,” History of the Second World War, Part 109, 1975, pp. 3025-3029; Barton confirmed this evaluation in testimony given in the 1985 and 1988 Toronto trials of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel. On Barton’s testimony in the first, 1985 trial, see: “View of Belsen was propaganda, trial told,” The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Feb. 8, 1985, pp. M1, M5, and, “Disease killed Nazis’ prisoners, MD says,” Toronto Star, Feb. 8, 1985, p. A2; On Barton’s testimony in the second, 1988 Zündel trial, see: Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die?, pp. 175-180, and, R. Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial (1990), pp. 157-160; Among his other positions after the war, Barton was superintendent and consultant psychiatrist at Severalls Hospital (Essex, England), and director of the Rochester Psychiatric Center (New York).
  31. Francis Trevelyan Miller, Litt.D., LLD, A History of World War II (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1945), p. 868.
  32. M. Dimont, Jews, God and History (New York: Signet/NAL, pb., 1962?), p. 383.
  33. R. Hrabar, et al, The Fate of Polish Children During the Last War (Warsaw: 1981), p. 76.
  34. The Associated Press News Annual: 1945, p. 404.
  35. M. Holland, “The horrors of Belsen,” Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), Jan. 22, 1995, p. 93; M. Holland, “Man who uncovered the horror of Belsen,” Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), Feb. 5, 1995, p. 2.
  36. S. Rothchild, ed., Voices From the Holocaust, p. 197.
  37. K. Seidman, “Surviving the horror,” The Gazette (Montreal, Canada), August 5, 1993. Facsimile reprint in: The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.-Dec. 1993, p. 24.
  38. Die Zeit (Hamburg), August 19, 1960, p. 16. (U.S. edition: August 26, 1960.) Facsimile and translation in The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1993, p. 12.
  39. “Bergen-Belsen,” Daily News (New York), April 20, 1985, p. 3.
  40. “Ceremony Recalls Victims of Bergen-Belsen,” The Week in Germany (New York: German Information Center), April 27, 1990, p. 6; A figure of 50,000 is also given in Time magazine, April 29, 1985, p. 21; According to a stone memorial at the Belsen camp site, 30,000 Jews were “exterminated” there; A semi-official Polish account published in 1980 reported 48,000 Belsen “victims.” Czeslaw Pilichowski, No Time Limit for These Crimes (Warsaw: Interpress, 1980), pp. 154-155.
  41. “Bergen-Belsen,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), vol. 4, pp. 610-612; Colonel Schmidt, the German officer who worked to alleviate conditions in Belsen during the final weeks and also arranged for the camp’s surrender to the British, estimated that “altogether about 8,000 people” died in the camp. (This figure may, however, only include victims of the final chaotic weeks under German control.) Source: Signed report by Oberst a.D. Hanns Schmidt to Kurt Mehner and Lt. Colonel Bechtold, Braunschweig, March 3, 1981. (Cited above.) Photocopy in author’s possession.
  42. L. Dawidowicz, “Belsen Remembered,” Commentary (New York: American Jewish Comm.), March 1966, pp. 84, 85; D. National-Zeitung (Munich), March 21, 1986, p. 4; M. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 690, 793.
  43. F. Morgan, Peace and War (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1961), p. 259.
  44. “Bergen-Belsen,” Der Spiegel, Nr. 30, 1985, pp. 71, 72.

From The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1995 (Vol. 15, No. 3), pages 23-30.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

Bernie Sanders’ Conservative Foreign Policy

FR_Sanders

By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | August 26, 2015

It is obvious that Bernie Sanders functions as the political “sheepdog” of the 2016 presidential election. The sheepdog makes certain that otherwise disillusioned Democrats are energized enough to stay in line and support the eventual candidate, in this case Hillary Clinton. That is reason enough to oppose his campaign but it isn’t the only one. A hard look at Sanders on foreign policy issues shows that he is a progressive poseur, a phony, a conservative Democrat, and not a socialist by any means.

The Sanders website looks like every other candidate’s with a bio, donation information and of course “Bernie on the issues.” But it seems that Bernie doesn’t have any opinions on foreign policy because they are nowhere to be found. How can he be a serious presidential contender if he doesn’t discuss foreign policy? How does he differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton or Republicans if he won’t state for the record how his foreign policy differs from theirs? The truth is obvious. He isn’t a serious contender and his foreign policy views are no different from those of the other candidates.

Sanders’ candidacy is as grave a danger to the rest of the world as that of his rivals. In no way does he challenge the belief that the United States has the right to determine the fates of millions of people without regard to their human rights. He doesn’t believe that other nations have the right to oppose what the United States chooses to impose upon them.

Sanders makes quite a big deal about voting against the invasion of Iraq in 2002 and says he wants United States troops to leave that nation for good. But he never says that this intervention was wrong. He never said that the United States had no right to destroy that country or kill its people. He never said that these interventions are war crimes and violations of international law. Instead he speaks of the efficacy of particular interventions and how they impact Americans.

A presidential campaign should be an opportune moment to say that the Islamic State, ISIS, is a creation of the United States. Instead Sanders repeats that the United States must defeat this force but he only differs slightly in saying that he wants the Saudis to spend their money doing it. “I’ll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont – or taxpayers in the state of Vermont – have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.” That mealy mouthed opinion does nothing to end the premise of an American right to do what it wants anywhere in the world. Imagine if Sanders was willing to talk about support for jihadists going back nearly forty years and how each one delivers a more terrifying result.

In 2011 Obama was bombing Libya and planning to kill its president but Sanders didn’t see it as being particularly problematic. He repeated almost verbatim the rationales that assassinated a president and destroyed a nation. “Look, everybody understands Gaddafi is a thug and murderer. We want to see him go, but I think in the midst of two wars, I’m not quite sure we need a third war, and I hope the president tells us that our troops will be leaving there, that our military action will be ending very, very shortly.” Libya’s obliteration was no problem for Sanders as long as the process didn’t take very long.

In 2015 the Bernie Sanders foreign policy still does not digress from American political orthodoxy. He doesn’t question American policy towards Russia. “Well you totally isolate him [Putin] politically. You totally isolate him economically.” “Freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world.” At no time did Sanders oppose the American policy of intervening in Ukraine and expanding NATO in eastern Europe, the actions which created the current confrontation with Russia. He doesn’t question why the United States has the right to dictate policy to another nation or interfere in its sphere of influence.

Sanders supports the Iran nuclear energy agreement with the P5+1 nations, but issues the same dishonest rationales about it expressed by president Obama. Sanders doesn’t say that Iran was never a nuclear power, an easily provable fact. He doesn’t question the sanctions which forced Iran to the table or point out that the 25 years of inspections called for in the agreement are a violation of Iran’s sovereignty. Instead he repeats the discredited mantra that the United States must make war in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear nation when even the CIA said that it never had that capability.

The big elephant in the room, Israel, gets the standard Bernie Sanders treatment. When Israel killed 2,000 people in Gaza in 2014 he would only say that Israel “over reacted.” He didn’t like being questioned about his stance either. When protesters interrupted a speech he told them to shut up and repeated nonsense about Hamas missiles that rarely hit their targets while Israel massacred a civilian population.

When Sanders speaks out against American interventions he couches his opposition in terms of spending money at home instead of abroad. That is somewhat admirable, but there is no reason to cut the defense budget as he says he wants to do, if there is no change in how this country attempts to dominate the rest of the world.

The Sanders campaign may be an interesting footnote, but it won’t bring about needed conversation about United States imperialism. The supposedly socialist senator never even uses that word. There is blatant dishonesty in claiming to want a changed domestic policy in the United States without also changing foreign policy. The two are linked, and American workers can’t have a living wage or health care as long as imperialism goes unchecked. Liberals can’t claim superiority to followers of Donald Trump if they consent to war crimes and human rights violations. Their only requirement seems to be that Democrats ought to be in charge of the carnage. Sanders wouldn’t be a very good sheepdog if there weren’t so many willing sheep.

Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ukrainian State Oppression Against Protests Triples After Coup – Monitor

Sputnik | August 26, 2015

According to a group which monitors protests in Ukraine, repressions against protests in Ukraine more than tripled compared to the time period before the protests which led to Ukraine’s 2014 coup.

State repressions against protests in Ukraine more than tripled compared to the period before Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests and the February 2014 coup,  a Ukrainian protest monitor said in a release.

According to the Kiev-based Center for Social and Labor Research (CLSR), the number of violent protests in the 11 months prior to the 2013 Euromaidan and the 11 months after August 2014 more than tripled. The monitor found that the peak of government repressions against protests peaked between April and June 2015, with 57 out of every 100 protest facing government violence.

“Worrying is the high frequency of repressions against protests with government critics and demand for lustration, against protests with socio-economic and political demands,” the release said.

The percentage of violent protests also more than doubled in the compared time periods, according to the monitor. At the same time, oppression against what the monitor called “anti-communist” protests decrease while violence at the protests more than doubled. The monitor also found that even without protests that it labeled “separatist,” the number of negative government reactions to protests more than doubled in 2015.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | | Leave a comment

Ecuadorean President Opens Health Centers in Indigenous Region

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa tours the installations of a new health center in the province of Cotopaxi, Aug. 25, 2015.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa tours a new health center in the province of Cotopaxi, Aug. 25, 2015. | Photo: Ecuadorean Presidency
teleSUR – August 26, 2015

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa Tuesday inaugurated three new health centers in the province of Cotopaxi, which are destined to serve more than 55,000 people.

The health centers were built at a cost of US$7 million and serve a part of Ecuador currently at risk of being affected by the possible eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano.

President Correa said these centers are already equipped to deal with any potential emergency related to a possible eruption.

The new health centers are part of a push by the government to improve public health in the country by reducing visits to larger hospitals and placing a greater emphasis on prevention.

These centers, run by the Ministry of Public Health, are available to all residents free of charge.

“In 2015 alone, 2.5 million dollars have been allocated to health, a human right, and the best possible investment of money,” said Correa.

Since 2007 and the arrival of Correa to the presidency, 46 health centers and 12 hospitals have been built throughout the country, with more set to be opened over the next few years.

“We are continuing on the path so that public services serve as an example, that they are the best, that’s the dream that the Citizens Revolution holds,” said Minister of Health Carina Vance, referencing the name given to the political process led by President Correa.

These new health centers are deliberately built in areas previously under-served by government services. The three new centers inaugurated Tuesday are located in a part Ecuador where the majority of the residents are indigenous peoples.

President Correa said that these types of services are an example of the commitment the government has toward serving indigenous communities and the reason why the Citizens Revolution continues to enjoy support from the majority of indigenous peoples.

A segment of the indigenous movement recently declared an “uprising” against the government, holding marches and rallies throughout the country to demonstrate their opposition.

The smaller “type B” health center inaugurated by the president includes outpatient services, dental attention, X-rays, a clinical laboratory, emergency services, clinical psychology, physiotherapy, and a pharmacy.

A second “type B” center and a larger “type C” center were simultaneously unveiled. The president said they intended to inaugurate all three centers with a visit to the largest one but changed their plans after an opposition political group said they would try to storm the center during the president’s visit.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Israeli troops ‘steal money, jewelry’ during detention raid

Ma’an – August 26, 2015

NABLUS – A Palestinian father said Wednesday that Israeli soldiers stole money and jewelry from his family home when they detained his son in a predawn raid in the the northern West Bank village of Salem east of Nablus.

Nasim Hilmi Karaki, a lieutenant colonel in the Palestinian Authority national security forces, told Ma’an that Israeli special forces stormed his house around 1:00 a.m. after blowing up the main door.

Large numbers of troops ransacked the house as they inspected rooms using metal detectors and police dogs, Karaki said, adding that they blew up the doors of three rooms inside the house.

He said that the operation lasted until around 5:00 a.m., during which Karaki was cuffed and forced to stay with the rest of the family in one of the rooms.

The soldiers then detained Karaki’s 18-year-old son, Hilmi.

Karaki said that the troops were searching for firearms but were unable to find any.

However, after they left, he said he discovered that they had stolen 21,000 shekels and his wife’s jewelry, worth around 2,000 Jordanian Dinars (about $2,820).

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the incident.

Karaki’s son was one of 31 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank overnight Tuesday.

Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, often on the pretext of perceived security threats.

Palestinians often report theft by Israeli forces during such raids. During a detention campaign Operation Brother’s Keeper in the summer of 2014, Israeli forces confiscated an estimated $2.9 million worth of cash and property from Palestinian homes, charities, and businesses according to a report by Geneva-based human rights organization Euro-Mid Observer.

Spokespeople for the Israeli government justified confiscations during this time by claiming their planned use to fund or support terrorism.

The Euro-Mid Observer reported, however, that Israeli authorities neither provided evidence nor judicial permission for the confiscations.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Indian anti-corruption official: state “orchestrated” Islamist terror

Mumbai atrocities enabled by intelligence operations of India, Pakistan and the United States

By Nafeez Ahmed | INSURGE INTELLIGENCE | August 24, 2015

A senior Indian police officer and anti-corruption investigator last month accused the Indian government of orchestrating the Mumbai terror attacks which occurred nearly seven years ago, according to an Indian government official.

R. V. S. Mani, a former undersecretary in India’s home ministry now in the urban development ministry, testified in July that a senior police officer who investigated the 2004 ‘encounter killings’ of four Indian Muslims in Gujarat by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch, had told him that the 2008 Mumbai attacks were “set up” by the Indian government.

The police officer, Satish Verma — currently Principal at the Police Training College in Junagadh — is well-known for his secondment to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s elite anti-corruption law enforcement agency, to lead the probe into the 2004 ‘encounter killings.’

The 2004 victims were Ishrat Jahan Raza, a 19-year-old girl from Mumbra, Maharashtra, and three men — Pranesh Pillai (alias Javed Gulam Sheikh), Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar. Gujarat police authorities with the support of Indian government officials claimed that the killings were justified due to credible intelligence linking the four to Islamist terrorists.

Anti-corruption investigator blames government for terror

According to Mani, who has signed affidavits submitted to court on the encounter killings, Satish Verma privately accused successive Indian governments of “orchestrating” not only the Mumbai terror attacks, but also the December 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi.

Verma made the allegations while questioning Mani on Indian government claims that intelligence proved Ishrat Jahan’s links to Islamist terrorists. According to the Times of India, the former home ministry official revealed in his affidavits that Verma had said the terror attacks were set up by the government “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation.”

Verma allegedly claimed that:

“… the 13.12. 2001 (attack on Parliament) was followed by Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11 2008 (terrorists’ siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).”

According to the Times, Verma refused to confirm or deny Mani’s account of his allegations. “I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI,” he said.

Neither Verma or Mani could be reached for comment.

The allegations have been used by the Indian government to cast doubt on Verma’s role in the CBI investigation

This is not the first time that the Indian government has attempted to use Verma’s work against him. In April last year, Verma complained before India’s Central Administrative Tribune that he was a target of government harassment due to its “intense dislike” of his work investigating the Israt Jahan fake encounter case, and the Gujarat government’s role in it.

Staged counter-terror operation

All three incidents — the 2001 attack on Parliament, 2004 ‘encounter killings’ and the 2011 Mumbai attacks — have been linked to terrorists from the al-Qaeda affiliated Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which also has close ties to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The CBI’s investigation into the controversial 2004 ‘encounter killings’ found that they had been “staged” by Gujarat police forces, concluding there was no evidence justifying claims that Ishrat Jahan and her fellow victims were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The verdict, outlined in the CBI’s 2013 charge sheet, stated that the police attacks were carried out in cold blood, and “staged” by Gujarat police and the government’s Intelligence Bureau (IB):

“The above said fake encounter was a result of Joint operation of Gujarat Police and SIB [State Intelligence Bureau], Ahmedabad. In this operation the overt acts committed by the accused Gujarat Police officers have been established by the evidence on record.”

The CBI chargesheet corroborated the conclusions of an earlier investigation by an Ahmedabad Metropolitan court, which in 2009 had determined the killings were staged Gujarat intelligence and police officials.

Gujarat authorities claim that IB intelligence showed that Ishrat and the other men were planning to assassinate Modi on behalf of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

But according to the CBI probe, “the four people were illegally confined at three different farmhouses for days before the encounter on June 15, 2004.” India’s NDTV reported that the CBI probe had confirmed that weapons found near their bodies, including an AK-56, “were supplied by the Intelligence Bureau.”

India’s Intelligence Bureau: creating terror to fight terror

The Indian state of Gujarat, where incumbent Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi was chief minister during this period, is home to a sizeable Muslim minority.

Reviewing the CBI charge sheet and related evidence, Indian journalists Hartosh Singh Bal and Mihir Srivastava noted that the CBI probe had confirmed the role of senior Indian IB officials, “including at least in one case the then IB head in Gujarat, Rajinder Kumar,” who is close to Narenda Modi.

Bal and Srivastava interviewed several senior IB officials who confirmed that “the Ishrat Jahan case was a successful IB operation,” but denied that the encounter victims were disassociated from terrorism.

“The encounter was fake no doubt, according to them, but the information that Ishrat and the other three were part of a larger terror network was true. They went on to say that this was a successful intelligence operation, as the IB was able to infiltrate their sleeper cell and plant informers.”

Bal and Srivastava’s account of one of these interviews provides further alarming evidence of the extent to which counter-terrorism intelligence operations can facilitate terrorism. One high-level Intelligence Bureau executive told the pair:

“… there are hundreds of operations underway at any point of time where an informer has been planted in a sleeper network. This involves being in the company of drug and arms dealers, fake currency smugglers, explosive experts and contract killers. Some operations involve working with the mafia and dealing in and supplying arms. There are safe houses in which certain terrorists are kept, briefed and debriefed, then pushed back into the terror network to extricate information.”

In one particularly alarming passage, the journalists recount that IB officials confirm about 5,000 telephone numbers are being monitored in Delhi. On “special occasions” Indian intelligence services make bespoke IB simcards “available to terror networks and sleeper cells to monitor their activities…

“There have been a few cases where attacks were carried out by terrorists using IB simcards. ‘If these cases were to be investigated, the CBI would say the IB carried out terror attacks. We have a job at hand,’ says the IB official.”

In this context, the revelation that CBI Israt Jahan probe member Satish Verma reportedly accuses the Indian government of facilitating other terrorist attacks linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba raises fundamental questions about the extent to which the lack of democratic oversight over intelligence methods is compromising national security.

The triple cross behind the Mumbai atrocity

Those questions are also relevant in light of the fact that alleged Mumbai attack terror mastermind, David Coleman Headley, was a longtime CIA asset and triple agent.

A previous Times of India investigation in late 2013 found that Headley, who had worked for the CIA for eleven years, had penetrated Lashkar-e-Taiba on behalf of the US intelligence agency and collaborated closely with senior Pakistani ISI officials in planning the Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people and wounded 304.

Senior intelligence officials from a US Joint Terrorism Task Force described Headley as a “prized counter-terrorism asset,” whose “proximity” to the attack plans allowed the CIA to repeatedly tip off their Indian counterparts. But, the report revealed, despite his instrumental role in creating and executing those plans, Headley “was allowed to remain in place even as the attack was realized.”

A US intelligence official with expertise on Afghanistan and Pakistan denied that Headley was ever connected to the CIA on condition of anonymity.

Yet Headley’s intimate ties to the US intelligence community emerged in the 2011 Chicago terror trial of Headley’s alleged co-conspirator in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Tahawwur Rana, during which Rana’s attorney Charlie Swift described Headley as a “master manipulator” who worked simultaneously for the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI.

Those allegations raised in court were vindicated when Swift obtained a ‘not guilty’ verdict for Rana for the Mumbai attacks, although Rana was instead convicted of providing support to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to the Times of India investigation by British journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, the Americans wanted to keep Headley running due to how he had gained the trust of a senior al-Qaeda operative, who was close to Osama bin Laden and among the al-Qaeda chief’s potential successors:

“Indian intelligence agents accused their US counterparts of protecting Headley and leaving him in the field, despite the imminent threat to Mumbai. Irate Indian officials claimed that Headley’s Mumbai plot was allowed to run on by his US controllers, as to spool it in would have jeopardized his involvement in another critical US operation.”

The CIA, on the other hand, pointed the finger straight back at India. One senior CIA official accused Indian intelligence of “incompetence” for failing to act on the US agency’s multiple detailed warnings of an impending Islamist assault on Mumbai.

Although many of the US bulletins even reached police authorities patrolling Mumbai, the intelligence warnings were “ignored or downplayed” by Indian officials according to the Times.

Ironically, both the CIA and Indian accusations and counter-accusations all appear to bear significant merit. US officials have maintained a studious silence on David Headley and his CIA patronage to this day, refusing to throw light on the conflict of interest that enabled the Mumbai terror mastermind to “run amok in the field,” in the words of the Times.

Simultaneously, the lack of an in-depth Indian government postmortem into the Mumbai attacks has permitted Indian intelligence agencies to evade awkward questions about their failure to pursue the CIA’s leads on the unfolding plot.

Cover-up

It is not just the Pakistani ISI, then, that has scrambled to cover-up its complicity in the Mumbai attacks. American and Indian intelligence agencies are also busy playing the blame game while maneuvering to conceal their own dubious roles in running ill-conceived intelligence operations enabling the terror attacks.

When under interrogation by Indian police, Headley was under the supervision of FBI officials at all times. Under his plea bargain with US authorities, he agreed to say no more than what he first confessed to the FBI, and in return will avoid the death penalty in the US, as well as extradition to India or Pakistan.

Confidential Indian intelligence records show that Headley had three local contacts on the ground in Mumbai who assisted him with his surveillance and reconnaissance activities in preparation for the terror plot. Yet for reasons unknown, Indian authorities chose not to investigate Headley’s local connections as identified in these files.

Even Headley’s alleged Pakistani handler, ISI officer Sajid Mir (also known as Sajeed Majeed) who played a major role in the Mumbai attacks, continues to operate with impunity.

Despite the US, French and Indian governments possessing detailed intelligence on Mir’s international terrorist activity, Pakistan continues to protect him with few objections from the West.

This has not stopped US and Indian intelligence agencies from giving each other a helping hand where it counts, while still pointing fingers.

Under US supervision and constrained by the terms of his plea bargain, Headley told Indian intelligence officers who had flown to Chicago in July 2010 that Israt Jahan was a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s suicide bomb squad.

Yet Headley’s reconnaissance missions for Lashkar began two years after Jahan and three other men were killed in the ‘fake encounter’, staged by Indian authorities according to a CBI investigation.

Headley’s claim was leapt on by Gujarat authorities to justify their story of the 2004 encounter killings.

Both US and Indian authorities, it seems, are keen to discredit the shocking conclusions of the CBI’s anti-corruption investigators.

~

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is an investigative journalist, bestselling author and international security scholar. A former Guardian writer, he writes the ‘System Shift’ column for VICE’s Motherboard, and is also a columnist for Middle East Eye.

He is the winner of a 2015 Project Censored Award, known as the ‘Alternative Pulitzer Prize’, for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for his Guardian work, and was selected in the Evening Standard’s ‘Power 1,000’ most globally influential Londoners.

Nafeez has also written for The Independent, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Scotsman, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Quartz, Prospect, New Statesman, Le Monde diplomatique, New Internationalist, Counterpunch, Truthout, among others. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Anglia Ruskin University.

Nafeez is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010).

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , | 1 Comment

Hawaii Sees 10 Fold Increase in Birth Defects After Becoming GM Corn Testing Grounds

By Jay Syrmopoulos | The Free Thought Project | August 24, 2015

Waimea, HI – Doctors are sounding the alarm after noticing a disturbing trend happening in Waimea, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Over the past five years, the number of severe heart malformations has risen to more than ten times the national rate, according to an analysis by local physicians.

Pediatrician Carla Nelson, after seeing four of these defects in three years, is extremely concerned with the severe health anomalies manifesting in the local population.

Nelson, as well as a number of other local doctors, find themselves at the center of a growing controversy about whether the substantial increase in severe illness and birth defects in Waimea stem from the main cash crop on four of the six islands, genetically modified corn, which has been altered to resist pesticide.

Hawaii has historically been used as a testing ground for almost all GMO corn grown in the United States. Over 90% of GMO corn grown in the mainland U.S. was first developed in Hawaii, with the island of Kauai having the largest area used.

According to a report in The Guardian :

In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more pesticide per acre (mostly herbicides, along with insecticides and fungicides) than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, according to the most detailed study of the sector, by the Center for Food Safety.

That’s because they are precisely testing the strain’s resistance to herbicides that kill other plants. About a fourth of the total are called Restricted Use Pesticides because of their harmfulness. Just in Kauai, 18 tons – mostly atrazine, paraquat (both banned in Europe) and chlorpyrifos – were applied in 2012. The World Health Organization this year announced that glyphosate, sold as Roundup, the most common of the non-restricted herbicides, is “probably carcinogenic in humans”.

Waimea is a small town that lies directly downhill from the 12,000 acres of GMO test fields leased mainly from the state. Spraying takes place often, sometimes every couple of days. Residents have complained that when the wind blows downhill from the fields, the chemicals have caused headaches, vomiting, and stinging eyes.

“Your eyes and lungs hurt, you feel dizzy and nauseous. It’s awful,” local middle school special education teacher Howard Hurst told the Guardian. “Here, 10% of the students get special-ed services, but the state average is 6.3%,” he says. “It’s hard to think the pesticides don’t play a role.”

To add insult to injury, Dow AgraSciences’ main lobbyist in Honolulu, until recently, actually ran the main hospital in town. Although only 1,700ft away from a Syngenta field, the hospital has never done any research into the effects of pesticides on its patients.

Hawaiians have attempted to reign in the industrial chemical/farming machine on four separate occasions over the past two years. On August 9 an estimated 10,000 people marched through Honolulu’s main tourist district to protest the collusion of big business and state putting profits over citizens’ health.

“The turnout and the number of groups marching showed how many people are very frustrated with the situation,” native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte said.

Hawaiians have also attempted to use a ballot initiative to force a moratorium on the planting of GMO crops, according to The Guardian:

In Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui and Molokai, both with large GMO corn fields, a group of residents calling themselves the Shaka Movement sidestepped the company-friendly council and launched a ballot initiative that called for a moratorium on all GMO farming until a full environmental impact statement is completed there.

The companies, primarily Monsanto, spent $7.2m on the campaign ($327.95 per “no” vote, reported to be the most expensive political campaign in Hawaii history) and still lost.

Again, they sued in federal court, and, a judge found that the Maui County initiative was preempted by federal law. Those rulings are also being appealed.

Even amidst strong public pressure, the chemical companies that grow the GMO corn have continued to refuse to disclose the chemicals they are using, as well as the specific amounts of each chemical being used. The industry and its political cronies have continually insisted that pesticides are safe.

“We have not seen any credible source of statistical health information to support the claims,” said Bennette Misalucha, executive director of Hawaii Crop Improvement Association in a written statement distributed by a publicist.

Nelson pointed out that American Academy of Pediatrics’ report, Pesticide Exposure in Children, found “an association between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes, including physical birth defects,” going on to note that local schools have twice been evacuated and kids sent to the hospital due to pesticide drift. “It’s hard to treat a child when you don’t know which chemical he’s been exposed to.”

Sidney Johnson, a pediatric surgeon at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children who oversees all children born in Hawaii with major birth defects says he’s noticed that the number of babies born here with their abdominal organs outside. This is a rare condition known as gastroschisis and has grown from three a year in the 1980s to about a dozen now, according to The Guardian.

Johnson and a team of medical students have been studying hospital records to determine if any of the parents of the infants with gastroschisis were residing near fields that were undergoing spraying during conception and early pregnancy.

“We have cleanest water and air in the world,” Johnson said. “You kind of wonder why this wasn’t done before,” he says. “Data from other states show there might be a link, and Hawaii might be the best place to prove it.”

It was recently revealed that these chemical companies, unlike farmers, are allowed to operate under an antiquated decades-old Environmental Protection Agency permit. This permit was grandfathered in from the days of sugar plantations when the amounts and toxicities were significantly lower, and which allowed for toxic chemicals to be discharged into water. Tellingly the state of Hawaii has asked for a federal exemption to allow these companies to continue to not comply with modern standards.

The ominous reality of collusion between these mega-corporations and the political class in Hawaii has seemingly left the citizens of the state with virtually no ability to safeguard their children’s health. We tread dangerously close to corporate fascism when profits are put above the health of the people.

August 26, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment