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‘Iran could constrain reckless impulses of US Mideast allies’

RT | April 1, 2015

A deal with Iran over its nuclear program would benefit the US as it needs to change its policy in the Middle East, and even build a constructive relationship with critical regional powers, said Hillary Mann Leverett, a former US negotiator with Iran.

RT: Hopes are high that the six world powers and Iran who have been holding talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne will reach a deal by Wednesday evening. What kind of document do you expect to come out of these talks?

Hillary Mann Leverett: I would assume at this point we can still really think of only a vague document coming out of these talks. There does not seem to be agreement on many of the details, much of the substance that would be detailed in the final agreement.

But that is not really the purpose of what they were trying to get by [Wednesday evening]. This was supposed to be a political understanding of what the agreement would entail, and a final agreement then would be drafted by June 30. So my sense is that if we get an agreement it will be focused more on a reaffirmation in a sense of a core bargain that they struck back in November 2013: that the parties would proceed toward resolving this conflict by Iran agreeing in negotiated contacts to constraints on its nuclear program in exchange for comprehensive lifting of sanctions.

And that is where I think the parties have really got stuck, because the comprehensive lifting of sanctions is something that is not technical. It doesn’t involve nuclear physicists at the table, it requires real political will. And I think that’s where we’ve seen the brinkmanship.

RT: If a deal is agreed on, what kind of reaction is it likely to trigger on Capitol Hill?

HL: I think the reaction will be negative, regardless of what the deal is. Some people in Washington, I think, disingenuously claim that it depends on whether it is a ‘good deal’ or ‘bad deal’. But there is no ‘good deal’ for many of the lawmakers in Washington, the 47 senators who sent this letter to Iran, there’s no good deal for them with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Their agenda is regime change. They would be happy for an Iran under a kind of Shah, an American puppet, to have nuclear weapons. But they are not really interested in an independent state to have any nuclear weapons. So I think they would oppose any deal.

I think because of that reality, the focus of the talks in this session has been not so much, not I really think at all, on the US sanctions, but how to really put that in its own box and deal with something more internationally. The focus has been on the UN sanctions, which Congress has no say over. The United States could agree to lift UN sanctions in five minutes. I saw it done on Libya; I saw it done on Sudan. The United States can do it in five minutes; they don’t need to consult with anybody in Congress. And that is what I’m talking about in terms of political will.

It’s up to President Obama whether he will agree and literally pick up the phone and call the UN ambassador and say: “Either vote for the lifting of sanctions or abstain.” It’s all he needs to do. That’s a question of political will; the rest of it is really just political posturing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (R) and Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi talk while other members of their delegation listen after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. officials at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 27, 2015 (Reuters / Brendan Smialowski)

RT: The Republicans have warned that any deal with Iran might not survive after Barack Obama is out of the White House. Should we expect the US to make a U-turn on Iran in subsequent years?

HL: We’ve actually seen a bad scenario of this happening in the past. In the late 1970s under President Carter, his administration had negotiated the SALT II treaty with Moscow, with the Soviet Union. And the way he sold it was as if it was a “technical agreement,” that we were “imposing meaningful curbs” on the Soviet Union’s strategic capacity. The Congress defeated it. It was a devastating failure for President Carter.

We could potentially be looking at something like that if President Obama plays the same game by saying that he’s essentially going to hold his nose while he is negotiating with Iran and just try to focus on a narrow technical agreement. He needs to make the case, the strategic case why a fundamental realignment of US policies in the Middle East toward the Islamic Republic of Iran is imperative for the United States, that after a decade of disastrous military interventions in the Middle East, the United States needs a different way. It needs a constructive way forward with Iran. But he has not done that. Instead, my concern is that he is following President Carter’s route. Essentially Carter’s view was that the Soviet Union was an unreconstructed adversary, evil empire in a sense, and he was just going to hold his nose and try to get the SALT II treaty passed. Well, he lost the election in 1980, we got Ronald Reagan, and that was the end of that.

RT: If a deal is reached, how is it likely to change regional dynamics for America’s main allies in the region Israel and Saudi Arabia, who both strongly oppose a deal?

HL: I think it will be very good for the United States. After the end of the Cold War, the United States has gone through a period I think some would call of arrogance, essentially trying to impose its dominance on various regions of the world, including the Middle East. And those who want to go along with it, we characterize them as allies, when they are not really allies per se, they are just going along with the United States. What we really need is constructive relationships with each of the critical powers in the region so that they can restrain even the reckless impulses of our so-called allies. It’s not in our interests when Israel bombs Lebanon, Israel bombs Gaza. It’s not in our interest when Saudis invade Yemen. If you have a better relationship with Iran, it will constrain these reckless impulses of even our allies, and allow the United States to get off this dangerous trajectory of trying to impose its own military dominance on the region.

Read more: Nuclear deal with Iran ‘reached on all key aspects’ – Lavrov

April 1, 2015 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Economist has a funny sense of European values

RT | March 24, 2015

In the same week that The Economist lauded Ukraine’s “commitment to European values,” Kiev’s current regime kicked out Euronews. Who do they think they are kidding?

Ah, The Economist. Without question, it’s is the best informed news magazine in the world… except on subjects I know something about. Take Ukraine for instance, throughout the country’s current crisis, The Economist has been weaving a web of fantasy to its readers. The narrative has continuously blamed Russia for all Ukraine’s misfortunes while painting its post-Maidan oligarchic rulers as being somewhere near God’s right hand.

After wholeheartedly backing last year’s coup, the windy weekly has been unwilling to admit the severity of Kiev’s economic malaise. Instead, it has maintained the pretence that throwing money at its pro-NATO regime will solve all its problems. Anybody who knows the first thing about Ukraine acknowledges that the lion’s share of the dough would be pilfered.

The problem is that a great number of the Western world’s most powerful people take The Economist seriously. The magazine appears both authoritative and credible, and never misses a chance to emphasize its own importance. However, this is “lipstick on a pig” territory. On subjects I’m reasonably informed about (Ireland, Europe, Britain, the ex-USSR for example), The Economist is more often wrong than right. Viewed through that prism, I’m extremely skeptical of the rag’s accuracy on topics I know little of.

In 2005, The Economist announced that Ireland had the highest quality of life in the world. I clearly remember reading the edition in downtown Dublin and that my first thought concerned the quality of the drugs the magazine’s editors were taking. Oddly, I’d penned a column a week earlier for the Ireland On Sunday newspaper predicting a deep recession for my homeland, which was rapidly losing its industrial base as credit-fuelled property madness raged.

Two years later, Ireland’s economy collapsed and a half decade of misery began. Incidentally, the periodical currently lists Melbourne as the best place to reside on earth. If you are in Melbourne right now, given The Economist’s track record, it’s probably best to emigrate before the inevitable happens.

Russia’s strong, determined President

Guided by its pro-interventionist and pro-neo liberal principles, the weekly doesn’t restrict itself to making a dog’s dinner of fiscal forecasts. Indeed, it frequently enters the realm of geopolitics to tackle countries and governments that don’t conform to its worldview. Russia is a case in point. In the 90’s, when Russia was on its knees, The Economist couldn’t get enough of the place. In fact, it broadly welcomed Vladimir Putin’s election in 2000, calling him a “strong, determined man.” By 2002 it trumpeted that “relations between Russia and the West have (sic) rarely been better.”

Now, the same Vladimir Putin is The Economist’s public enemy Number 1 and Russia the re-incarnation of Hitler’s Germany. Moscow’s crime? Standing up for itself and rejecting the Western liberal consensus. Essentially, refusing to pauperize the country to suit a bunch of ideologues in London.

In order to wage its anti-Russia campaign, The Economist pretends to care about Ukraine. The London-based magazine is far from alone in this. Last weekend, it hailed Kiev’s commitment to European values.

“European values like free speech and a commitment to truth remain potent,” it boldly declared. The reason I keep writing ‘it’ is because the article was unsigned, written under the pseudonym ‘Charlemagne.’ The Economist’s journalists don’t sign their work, which is probably for the best considering the kind of rubbish they pen.

The Menace of cliques

The diatribe quotes a scaremongering report written by Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss, two activists connected to the shadowy UAE-backed Legatum Institute. Legatum’s Director of Communications is the former Catholic Herald editor, Cristina Odone, who just happens to be married to Edward Lucas, a senior Editor at The Economist. Mr. Lucas has previously advocated the use of Brezhnev-era KGB methods against RT.

Repeating the canard of “lavishly financed Russian media,” The Economist claims that “cash-strapped, fractious Europe will always struggle.” This is pure hokum. Only last month, Germany increased the budget of its Deutsche Welle news agency to $332 million. Meanwhile, BBC’s World Service has $406 million to splurge in 2015, and that’s just for radio/web. Additionally, France 24 spends around $130 million annually. By what stretch of the imagination is European media financially struggling here?

Snooze and you lose Euronews

Nevertheless, in the same week that The Economist was promoting Ukraine’s adherence to “European values,” Kiev revoked the license for the Ukrainian version of Euronews, suddenly claiming the current arrangement was “disadvantageous”. Now, I can’t think of a less offensive outlet. Euronews is so bland, so insipid that you could leave it on at an Israeli-Palestinian arm wrestling extravaganza and nobody would object.

While a private company, Euronews has received significant funding from Brussels over the years and is widely perceived, rightly or wrongly, as EU TV. The Ukraine edition was previously owned by an Egyptian, Naguib Sawiris, but reports suggest that it’s now controlled by Dymtro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch and rival of fellow-billionaire, Petro Poroshenko. Some use the label ‘pro-Russian’ to describe Firtash, but I find that Ukraine’s ultra-rich are usually just pro-themselves.

The Ukrainian President has his own TV network, Channel 5, and apparently objected to competition from Firtash, who he evidently sees as a threat. So, it looks like he used his political power to muffle the voice of Euronews. “European values,” how are you?

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish writer and commentator focusing on Russia and its hinterlands and international geo-politics. Follow him on Facebook

March 25, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US helping Israel boycott Geneva summit on occupied territories – diplomatic sources

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RT | November 27, 2014

Switzerland is under diplomatic pressure from Israel, the US, Canada and Australia, which are trying to prevent an international conference in Geneva from taking place in mid-December on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, Haaretz reports.

Delegations from nearly 200 countries are expected to head to Geneva to discuss the situation in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Yet, according to Haaretz, Israeli and Western diplomats are ready to go for broke to prevent the gathering from taking place.

Switzerland, as the main sponsor of the summit, is bearing the brunt of diplomatic pressure from all sides.

Israeli authorities told the media outlet that Palestinians and Arab states are also pressing Swiss officials to send out letters of invitation to the conference within a matter of days, the Israeli daily reported on Wednesday.

It was in early April when Israel announced plans of constructing 700 new houses in occupied East Jerusalem, a move that pushed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to ask 15 international conventions to join them in the name of the Palestinian state.

One of those was the Fourth Geneva Convention (signed 1949, came into force 1950), which specifically addresses protection of civilians in war zones and territories under military occupation.

Washington finally accepted that its efforts to extend peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been torpedoed. Several weeks later, Palestinians and the Arab League sent an official request to Switzerland to hold an international conference of the Fourth Geneva Convention signatory states on the issues of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, together with the damage caused by Israel’s armed forces to civilians in Gaza.

The last time the signatories to the Fourth Geneva Convention gathered in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was in 2001, after the outbreak of the second intifada. That conference was boycotted by Israel and the United States.

After that summit there have been four fruitless attempts to gather the Fourth Geneva Convention on the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations. Even the bloody Israeli military Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009 failed to raise broad international support for holding such a conference, according to the Swiss Foreign Ministry at the time.

The necessity to call the new conference has been not evident this time, too, so Swiss diplomats asked every Fourth Geneva Convention signatory separately whether the time had come to hold a summit.

What the Swiss diplomats have proposed is a three-hour conference at an ambassadorial level, no discussions and no media coverage except for a final press statement. The conference is set to be focused on implementation of the international humanitarian law in troubled Israeli-Palestinian relations.

“We made it clear we didn’t want a political event or debate club, or a conference that would blame or criticize one of the sides,” a Swiss diplomat said.

However small the scale of the proposed event is, Israel strongly objected to it. Israeli diplomats reportedly conducted negotiations in Bern and Geneva, trying to persuade Swiss counterparts to call off the initiative and threatening to boycott it anyway.

“They told us that holding the conference would help a one-sided Palestinian move intended to make Israel look bad and attack it in an international forum,” the Swiss diplomat said.

The US and Canada told Switzerland they are going to boycott the conference, too.

“We strongly oppose the convening of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and have made our opposition unmistakably clear,” a spokesman for the US State Department, Edgar Vasquez, told Haaretz.

It is true that the conference will have no authority to make any binding decisions, yet its work could engender further international criticism of Israel’s settlement policy on the occupied Palestinian territories.

Besides that, once Israeli diplomats received an updated draft of the conference’s proposed contents, they found out that the updated draft text had been phrased in a politicized way, directly naming Israel and going into detail on the issue of West Bank settlements.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has reportedly been ringing colleagues around the globe, attempting to talk them into declaring a boycott to the conference. Part of this work has been delegated to Israeli ambassadors worldwide.

With all due support on the part of the US, Canada and Australia, these efforts are likely to be in vain, and the Swiss diplomacy is decisive to go on with the plan and announce the conference officially soon.

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits harming those uninvolved in a conflict, be they civilians, wounded soldiers or POWs, as well as obliging the occupying side to maintain human rights and decent living conditions of an occupied civilian population.

Israel joined the convention, but has never ratified it legislatively. The Israeli government regards the West Bank and East Jerusalem as ‘disputed’, not occupied, areas, therefore considering Israeli settlements as not violating the treaty.

November 27, 2014 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neocon propagandist frets over Russia’s ‘weaponization of information’

By Maidhc Ó Cathail | RT | November 26, 2014

There was a strong whiff of hypocrisy in the Washington air on November 13 when the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) hosted a discussion of a report entitled ‘The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money’.

The Menace of Unreality is co-authored by Michael Weiss, editor-in-chief of the Interpreter, and Peter Pomerantsev, author of a forthcoming book asserting that Putin’s Russia is a post-modern dictatorship.

Introducing the discussion, NED’s Christopher Walker noted that the US Congress-funded Endowment hadn’t been involved in the production of the report but that it does have “close ties” to Weiss’s online journal and the New York-based think tank that funds it, the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR).

In the course of their report’s self-righteous criticism of the widespread “opaqueness” about who funds think tanks, Weiss and Pomerantsev disclose, in an aside, that their work is “funded by a think tank that receives support from the family of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.” Their critique of the weaponization of money, however, neglects to mention its funder’s conviction for embezzlement and money laundering.

In Washington, Weiss and Pomerantsev were joined in the discussion of their “counter-disinformation” report by an analyst from the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative advocacy group founded by Robert Kagan and William Kristol, whose earlier Project for a New American Century had played a key role in pushing the lies that led to the US invasion of Iraq.

Inside the report’s cover, which features a reader oblivious to the fact that the broadsheet he’s reading is going up in flames, the Interpreter says it “aspires to dismantle the language barrier that separates journalists, Russia analysts, policymakers, diplomats and interested laymen in the English-speaking world from the debates, scandals, intrigues and political developments taking place in the Russian Federation.”

The similarity between the Interpreter’s stated aspirations and those of the pro-Israel Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) may be more than coincidental. As the liberal Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein observed about a blog in the Telegraph by the Interpreter’s editor-in-chief, “a number of Weiss’claims are based on the notoriously unreliable MEMRI,” which itself claims to bridge “the language gap between the West and the Middle East and South Asia.”

The bio that precedes that June 2011 Weiss blog describes him as “the Research Director of The Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank, as well as the co-chair of its Russia Studies Centre.”

In addition to a who’s who of neocon luminaries like Kagan and Kristol, the Henry Jackson Society’s international patrons include Ambassador Dore Gold, former permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations, and Natan Sharansky, chair of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Weiss’s previous employment at the UK-based, pro-Israel advocacy organization, however, is conspicuously absent from the lengthy “About the Authors” section at the end of the IMR-published, anti-Russia report.

His updated bio, however, reveals that Weiss’ concerns haven’t changed much since his HJS days.

“Weiss has covered the Syrian revolution from its inception, reporting from refugee camps in southern Turkey and from the frontlines of war-torn Aleppo,” the IMR report notes.

As a profile of the neocon Henry Jackson Society observes, its members have been “active proponents of Western intervention in Syria’s civil war.” It singles out a March 2012 piece in the New York Times by Weiss advocating that the US “begin marshaling a coalition for regime change in Syria consisting of countries” like “Britain, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post last year, Israel’s previous ambassador to the US Michael Oren admitted that Tel Aviv “always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go.”

Likewise, one suspects that Weiss’ “set of modest recommendations” on how the West should confront Russia’s supposed “weaponization of information” is motivated at least in part by the challenge Russian media such as RT poses to the monopoly over the narrative of the Syrian conflict coveted by his interventionist friends in the Western media.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely-published writer and political analyst. He is also the creator and editor of the Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the US-Israeli relationship.

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Colorado students stage mass walk-out over US history ‘censorship’

RT | September 25, 2014

Hundreds of Denver-area high school students walked out their classrooms in a mass protest against what they call an attempt to censor their history curriculum by refocusing it on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and obedience.

Students at six Denver-area highs schools walked out their classrooms en masse, protesting a plan by the conservative-majority Jefferson County school board to push for curriculum changes to Advanced Placement history courses to promote patriotism and deference to authority. The proposed changes would include the removal of topics that could ‘encourage’ civil disobedience from textbooks and materials.

The protest was organized through social media, encouraging students to stand outside the Jefferson County School Administrative Building with placards which read “People didn’t die so we erase them,” “Educate free thinkers,” “There is nothing more patriotic than protest,” and “History is History.”

The student protest comes after teachers at two schools caused a shutdown the week before when they staged a sick-out over the curriculum changes, which the school board says provides a balanced view of American history.

“I understand that they want to take out our very important history of slavery and dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because it portrays the US in a negative light,” a high school senior, Casey McAndrew, told CNN.

The proposal calls for establishing a committee that would regularly review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history to make sure materials “promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights,” and don’t “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strike or disregard of the law.”

“The nation’s foundation was built on civil protests,” Tyrone G. Parks, a senior student told the Associated Press. “And everything that we’ve done is what allowed us to be at this point today. And if you take that from us, you take away everything that America was built of.”

Those students participating in the protest will not be punished but will receive unexcused absences unless their parents request permissions for missed classes, according to school district spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said.

Meanwhile, Jefferson County Superintendent Dan McMinimee tried to calm the tensions saying that no changes in the curriculum have been finalized and renewing his offer to continue discussions on the issue.

READ MORE: Journalism groups blast Obama admin for ‘politically driven suppression of news’

September 25, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

Nuclear bomb nearly detonated after falling on North Carolina – declassified report

RT | June 11, 2014

1961-Goldsboro-M39-453x600In a scenario that could’ve been extremely devastating, the United States narrowly averted a nuclear disaster in 1961 when an atomic bomb nearly detonated after falling out of a B-52 bomber that broke up in the sky.

According to the Washington Post, the incident took place on January 21, 1961 – less than 20 years after nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and is explained further in a recently declassified report published by the National Security Archives.

When the US Air Force aircraft went into a tailspin and broke up, the two bombs fell towards Goldsboro, North Carolina. The parachute for one of the weapons failed to deploy, and the plane crash had actually pushed the bomb into “armed” mode by the time it hit the ground. Luckily for North Carolina, the plane’s destruction also damaged the switch necessary to trigger detonation.

“The report implied that because Weapon 2 landed in a free-fall, without the parachute operating, the timer did not initiate the bomb’s high voltage battery (“trajectory arming”), a step in the arming sequence,” wrote Bill Burr of the National Security Archives.

“For Weapon 2, the Arm/Safe switch was in the “safe” position, yet it was virtually armed because the impact shock had rotated the indicator drum to the “armed” position. But the shock also damaged the switch contacts, which had to be intact for the weapon to detonate.”

Burr noted in his report just how fine the line was and is between safety and destruction.

“Perhaps this is what Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had in mind, a few years later, when he observed that, ‘by the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted,” he wrote.

These details are just the latest to surface about the incident, which was first revealed by nuclear weapons expert Eric Schlosser last year in a book titled, “Command and Control.” Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Schlosser was able to obtain documentation regarding the incident for the first time, and helped shed light on just how close the Air Force came to witnessing an atomic bomb explode on US soil.

As RT reported last year, the documents revealed that three of the four safety switches on the other bomb failed to work properly, meaning, as Schlosser noted, that only “one simple, dynamo-technology, low voltage switch stood between the United States and a major catastrophe.” The parachute on this one deployed, but when the bomb struck the ground the final firing signal triggered, only to be halted by that fourth safety switch.

The bombs contained a payload of four megatons each and could have generated explosions 260 times more powerful than the one that occurred in Hiroshima.

Before the documents related to the Goldsboro incident surfaced, the US government had denied that its nuclear weapons stockpile had ever put the nation at risk.

“The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy,” Schlosser told the Guardian. “We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.”

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What archives? UK ordered destruction of ‘embarrassing’ colonial papers

RT | November 30, 2013

Britain systematically destroyed documents in colonies that were about to gain independence, declassified Foreign Office files reveal. ‘Operation Legacy’ saw sensitive documents secretly burnt or dumped to cover up traces of British activities.

The latest National Archives publication made from a collection of 8,800 colonial-era files held by the Foreign Office for decades revealed deliberate document elimination by British authorities in former colonies.

The secret program dubbed ‘Operation Legacy’ was in force throughout the 1950s and 1960s, in at least 23 countries and territories under British rule that eventually gained independence after WWII. Among others these countries included: Belize, British Guiana, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia and Singapore, Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tanzania, and Uganda.

In a telegram from the UK Colonial Office dispatched to British embassies on May 3, 1961, colonial secretary Iain Macleod instructed diplomats to withhold official documents from newly elected independent governments in those countries, and presented general guidance on what to do.

British diplomats were briefed on how exactly they were supposed to get rid of documents that “might embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants (such as police agents or informers)” or “might compromise sources of intelligence”, or could be put to ‘wrong’ use by incoming national authorities.

‘Operation Legacy’ also called for the destruction or removal of “all papers which are likely to be interpreted, either reasonably or by malice, as indicating racial prejudice or bias”.

The newly declassified files revealed that the Royal Navy base in Singapore was turned into the Asian region’s primary document destruction center. A special facility called a “splendid incinerator” was used to burn “lorry loads of files”, Agence France-Presse reported.

The “central incinerator” in Singapore was necessary to avoid a situation similar to that in India in 1947, when a “pall of smoke” from British officials burning their papers in Delhi, ahead of India proclaiming independence, filled the local press with critical reports. That diplomatic oversight was taken into account, as ‘Operation Legacy’ operatives were strictly instructed not to burn documents openly.

But not all the doomed archives could be shipped to Singapore. In some cases documents were eliminated on site, sometimes being dumped in the sea “at the maximum practicable distance from shore” and in deep, current-free areas, the National Archives publication claims.

The newly published collection of documents reveals that the British cleared out Kenyan intelligence files that contained information about abuse and torture of Kenyans during the Mau Mau uprising against British colonial rule in the 1950s. A special committee formed in 1961 coordinated document elimination in Kenya. Yet some files were spared simply when an estimated 307 boxes of documents were evacuated to Britain, just months ahead of the country gaining independence in December 1963.

The existence of some remaining Mau Mau legal case documents was revealed in January 2011.

Even after eliminating important evidence half a century ago, earlier in 2013 the British government was forced to pay 23 million dollars in compensation to over 5,200 elderly Kenyans, who had suffered from Britain’s punitive measures during the Mau Mau uprising.

In another documented occasion, in April 1957, five lorries delivered tons of documents from the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur to the Royal Navy base in Singapore. Files were incinerated there; these contained details about British rule in Malaya, such as a massacre of 24 rubber plantation workers at the Malayan village of Batang Kali in 1948, who had allegedly been murdered by British soldiers.

Despite the mass document elimination, Britain’s Foreign Office still has some 1.2 million unpublished documents on British colonial policy, David Anderson, professor of African history at the University of Warwick, told AFP.

So Her Majesty’s government might still publish more valuable material that can shed more light on how one of the biggest empires in human history used to be governed. Overall, Britain had total control over 50 colonies including Canada, India, Australia, Nigeria, and Jamaica. Currently, there are 14 British Overseas Territories that remain under British rule, though most of them are self-governing and all have leaderships of their own.

November 30, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment