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Victoria Nuland’s ‘Ukraine-gate’ Deceptions

349910_Victoria Nuland

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | February 9, 2014

“That’s some pretty impressive tradecraft,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the interception and leak of her now-infamous call to US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt. The call consisted of the two plotting to install a US puppet government in Ukraine after overthrowing the current, democratically elected government.

Tradecraft means “spycraft.” In other words, Nuland was crediting a foreign intelligence service with impressive use of technology to be able to hack into her call to the ambassador. Everyone knew she was talking about Russia, partly because the Administration had been blaming Russia from the moment the recording was made public.

However, Nuland knew all along that this was not the case, and she did nothing while the Administration continued to escalate the accusations against Russia.

Jay Carney, White House Spokesman, “It says something about Russia,” that they would tap the telephone call. State Department Spokeswoman Jan Psaki was even harsher, calling it “a new low in Russian tradecraft.”

But the telephone call between the two, we learned yesterday, was not conducted on a secure, encrypted telephone line that the State Department requires for such sensitive conversations and communication. Rather, the call was made over unsecured cell phones and thus easily intercepted with basic equipment that is widely available to anyone. Therefore it was not “impressive tradecraft” at all that led to the capture and release of the conversation.

Nuland and Pyatt obviously knew that at the time, being the two parties to the call. They then either sat by and allowed US government official one after the other accuse Russia of going to great lengths to hack the call without admitting this fact, or they did inform their superiors but Administration officials decided to ignore this critical fact and push accusations against Russia anyway. You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, as it is said.

RPI contacted a former State Department official to clarify security procedures for such a telephone conversation between high-level personnel. The official was clear:

I know well the seriousness of using an open line (aside from anodyne conversation) for high-level classified information that would clearly be embarrassing, if not damaging, not only for the US but also the EU. For using an open line for discussing highly sensitive national security matters, both [Nuland and Pyatt] should be reprimanded, at the very least.

So this was a serious security violation.

The former official continued:

Assuming the telecon was made on insecure line, I find it curious, if not thought provoking, that Nuland’s profanity has managed to overshadow both the apparent security violation as well as the potential damage to national security of the substance of the conversation itself.

Indeed, the fallout from “Ukraine-gate” is astounding but sadly not surprising. The mainstream media in the US has focused solely on the Russian angle (now discredited) and on the salty language and particularly the false supposition that Nuland was using sailor’s language to indicate a serious rift with the EU on Ukraine policy. In fact, US and EU policy toward Ukraine is identical: regime change. The dispute is merely over velocity and is therefore cosmetic rather than substantive: should we travel 100 miles per hour or only 75 miles per hour toward regime change?

As far as we have seen, there has been virtually no discussion of the substance of the telephone conversation in the US media. But the conversation was a confirmation of all theretofore denied accusations of US involvement in the current unrest in Ukraine. It was not simply US well-wishing toward the opposition parties. It was not simply a bit of advice and a wink toward the opposition. It was wholesale planning and brokering a post-regime change governing coalition in Ukraine, with the UN being ordered to come in and “glue” the deal.

More precisely, as the Oriental Journal points out:

They agreed to nominate Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko from the game for a while and to discredit neo-Nazi Svoboda party chief Oleh Tiahnybok as “Yanukovych’s project”

Shortly after “Ukraine-gate” broke, Sergei Glazyev, advisor to Russian president Putin claimed that the US was spending $20 million per week on the Ukrainian opposition, including supplying the opposition with training and weapons.

Nuland replied that such claims are “pure fantasy.”

Perhaps, but that is just what Nuland had said previously about claims that the US was meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine. And then the tape came out. That was just what she said about Russia’s “impressive tradecraft” in intercepting the telephone call. Then we discover that she was discussing highly sensitive issues over completely unsecured telephones.

Is the US training and funding the Ukraine opposition? Nuland herself claimed in December that the US had spent $5 billion since the 1990s on “democratization” programs in Ukraine. On what would she like us to believe the money had been spent?

We know that the US State Department invests heavily — more than $100 million from 2008-2012 alone — on international “Internet freedom” activities. This includes heavy State Department funding, for example, for the New Americas Foundation’s…

…Commotion Project (sometimes referred to as the “Internet in a Suitcase”). This is an initiative from the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative to build a mobile mesh network that can literally be carried around in a suitcase, to allow activists to continue to communicate even when a government tries to shut down the Internet, as happened in several Arab Spring countries during the recent uprisings.

“Commotion Project.” What an appropriate name for what is happening in Ukraine.

It is not a far leap from the known billions spent on “democratization” in Ukraine, to the hundreds of millions spent on developing new tools for regime-changers on the ground to use against authorities in their home countries, to the State Department from the US embassy in Kiev providing training and equipment to those seeking the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

The apparent goal of US policy in Ukraine is to re-ignite a Cold War, installing a US-created government in Kiev which signs the EU association agreement including its NATO cooperation language to effectively push the Berlin Wall all the way to the gates of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

NATO has expanded to central Europe, despite US assurances in the 1980s that it would not do so. The US rolled over Russia in its deceptive manipulation of a UN Security Council resolution on Libya to initiate an invasion. The US continues to arm jihadists seeking to overthrow the secular Assad government in Russia-allied Syria. The US and EU have absorbed the Baltics, leaving their large ethnic Russian populations to dangle in non-person limbo. The US and EU had all but absorbed Georgia. Now the US is clearly in the process of absorbing Ukraine, with its strategic importance to Russia, its proximity, and its nearly 10 million ethnic Russian minority.

Surely there is a point to where Russia will take steps to concretely limit its losses. In December Russian president Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich that Russia and Ukraine should resume comprehensive military cooperation. Other bilateral defense agreements are already in place.

What would have to happen to trigger a Ukrainian request to its close neighbor for assistance putting down a bloody and illegal coup d’etat instigated by foreign governments? Will serious US miscalculation of Russian resolve over Ukraine lead to a tragedy of almost inconceivable proportions? What if this time Russia does not blink?

February 9, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Moshe Dayan Method of Intimidation

By Notsilvia Night | July 24, 2009

Have you ever gotten death-threats?

Well, I have… and so have a million or so other people.

It’s not unusual for political activists, writers or even humble bloggers, who even become a bit visible to be the target of threats, if they attack the interests of corrupt people.

But there is one area of political opposition, where you can be absolutely certain to be on the receiving end of all kinds of threats – from losing your job, your livelihood to being sued, physically harmed or even killed – and this area is everything connected to the state of Israel.

Human Rights activists in Palestine, either Palestinian or Internationals receive death-threats on a daily basis, of course, mainly by settlers: “Nazi, I’ll kill you.”

Threatening is part of the Moshe-Dayan-Method. The former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan once said: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.”

The Jewish settlers in the West-bank are one side of this “mad-dog” appearance, the Israeli army in Gaza is another side, the Israeli prison and torture system is the third and Mossad covered operations abroad the forth side of this “game”.

The settlers are not independent of the Israeli state. They act as the forefront in the land robbing operations. They are like the ugly war paint used in earlier ages by invading tribes to scare the native population to surrender or leave the area.

The recklessness of the soldiers in Gaza, who first commit horrible war crimes, and then make t-shirts portraying a pregnant Palestinian woman as a target, saying “one shot, two kills”, is another example.

Israelis are telling the world with this seemingly insane behavior, they do not have to care what others think about their country:

“International law does not apply to the state of Israel. And nobody can do anything about it. Since this nation is too dangerous for anybody else to bother.”

Fanatical supporters of the state of Israel and influential Zionists have been threatening people for a long time.

Edwin M.Wright, who had worked as an assistant and expert of the Middle East in the State Department for two decades, describes in an oral history of the Truman Library, how Washington’s career politicians from the early 1940′s on were brought under control on the subject of Israel, by using threats and intimidation:

One day I was sitting next to Mr. Henderson, he had his notes out and was dictating to me some letters when the telephone rang. It was Mr. Niles of the White House, and Mr. Niles told him (I got the story later on) that the night before some member of the State Department had been at a dinner party and had criticized President Truman’s statement on a Jewish state.

Mr. Niles said,
“We are not going to tolerate any criticism of the President on this issue, and you let your staff know that if this happens again they must be disciplined.”

Mr. Henderson called a meeting of the staff and told them of the message of Mr. Niles.

He said,
“None of you people are to speak in public about this issue, because if you do we’ll have to send you off to some Siberia if any of you, publicly express your private opinions, even to private groups, and it gets to the White House, you will be purged.”

There were a number of these people that were purged. I can mention them, Stuart Rockwell, Robert Munn. They tried to purge me in every way.

I can’t understand why I survived, and this is one of the strange things in my history, for they had me on their list as an anti-Semitic force operating in the State Department. The American Zionist, which is the paper of the American Zionist organization, came out with a full page attacking me, claiming that I was a source of anti-Semitism. I was called in frequently and told I must not speak on this subject because it was so controversial and I was too indiscrete.

One day George McGhee, who later on was Assistant Secretary of State, called me in. Jacob Blanstein, president of AMOCO had just come in to see him, and somehow or another had picked up the story I was anti-Semitic. He told George McGhee,

“Why do you keep this fellow here?”

There were influences to get rid of anyone who was called “pro-Arab.”

They were not pro-Arab, I must insist upon this, they were acting in accordance with America’s larger interests in the Middle East. The Zionists gave them the title “pro-Arab” and that was enough to destroy them. You had to be pro-Zionist or keep quiet in order to stay in the State Department, and the net result was a whole generation of officers who are simply “Uncle Toms.” They don’t dare to speak or publish things. They are afraid that they will be sent off to Africa, or who knows to some other part of the world, and will stay there the rest of their lives.

After the State-Department, the American Congress was “purged ” of everyone who tried to be fair-minded in regard to the Middle East, mainly through the influence of Israel-friends in campaign financing offices of the two major parties.

Paul Findley, while discussing the book “The Israel Lobby” by Havard Scholars Mearsheimer and Walt, describes it like this:

I know what it is like to be targeted in this way. In the last years of my long service in Congress, I spoke out, making many of the points now presented in the Mearsheimer-Walt book. In 1980, my opponent charged me with anti-Semitism, and money poured into his campaign fund from every state in the Union. I prevailed that year but two years later lost by a narrow margin. In 1984, Sen. Charles Percy, then chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and an occasional critic of Israel, was defeated. Leaders of the Israel lobby claimed credit for defeating both Percy and me, claims that strengthened lobby influence in the years that followed.

The latest victim of this kind of political influence are Democratic Representatives Earl Hilliard and, of course, Cynthia McKinney.

But the political realm isn’t the only one, where careers are threatened. John Pilger, an Australian, and Alan Heart, a British journalist, discuss how Zionist pressure works on the mainline media.

Journalists critical of Israel face a quite real threat for their careers. Only few will take the risk, and even fewer will survive with their journalistic career intact.

Politicians and journalists aren’t the only ones vulnerable to those threats. Everyone working in professional positions in corporations or in public services can be threatened by loss of job and reputation by being called an “Anti-Semite”.

As seen in the case of John Pilger in the above Alan-Hart-program, life, health and families can be threatened as well.

While threats against people’s livelihoods are often followed up by actions, are death threats also to be taken seriously?

Well, it depends.

In Palestine people are getting killed on a daily basis. It is the risk people face for being a Palestinian living on his or her own land, and occasionally for being an international supporter for Palestinian human rights, like Rachel Corrie or Tom Hurndall.

Another group who has to take death-threats very seriously are Revisionists, people who question certain aspects of the “Holocaust”, people like Professor Faurisson and many others.

While Faurisson survived the attacks on his life by Zionist fanatics others did not.

And still, every attack on somebody’s life carries the risk of death. Thousands of people all over the world have been threatened, only few threats can actually be followed through.

Revisionists become easy targets, since they have already been maligned so badly, that some media outlet or other can say “he deserved it”, when a revisionist is being attacked and seriously hurt the reporter will get away with blaming the victim.

In most cases, however, a possible Israeli sponsored assassination is a difficult business, like when the Swedish foreign minister Anna Lind was killed.

She had attempted to get her European counterparts to cut European Union ties to Israel until it would finally agree to a just settlement with the Palestinian people.

Anna Lind also had stated publicly how frustrated she was about Israel’s crimes against Palestine:

“Sometimes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict makes me so angry that I kick the wastepaper bin in my office or throw things around,”

She had described Sharon as a “maniac” and said on Swedish television that she would not buy Israeli goods and fruits sold in Swedish markets.

Hanan Ashrawi, the Palestinian professor and negotiator, wrote after the murder:

“Sweden’s effect on the Middle East has been consistently constructive, positive, and human with a deep-seated tradition of fairness, justice, and peaceful intervention.

Unfortunately, three such Swedish champions had met with violent and untimely deaths, each a tragedy unto itself, but a national and global loss in the larger scheme of things.”

When Anna Lind was murdered in a Stockholm shopping-center, it would have been a well-planned assassination. The real assassin had to be given a good escape plan while a patsy was being prepared to take the fall.

The planners would have to gain close access to the police investigation, to have the patsies DNA transferred to the murder-weapon. They must have had insiders in the Swedish legal system to get the trial shortened and all the eye-witness testimonies, but a single one, to be dismissed. (All other eye-witnesses refuted the claim that the chosen patsy looked actually like the real assassin, and the he had been coming from the direction the prosecution claimed the murderer had come from.)

They must have had a very skilled defense councilor at hand, who was able to persuade the patsy to confess to the crime.

Although the suspect had refused to confess during many weeks of police interrogation, his own defense attorney got the confession out of him. How he did that, isn’t quite clear. He might have promised his client to get him off on an insanity plea, or might have planted even false memories.

Creating false memories is actually not very hard, when you know how memory is normally created and manipulated in the brain. It’s even easier, if you have a psychological vulnerable individual, who might even have been under the influence of mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

The defense attorney was working at the time for the law firm, which just had done the defended the defendant in a case of military espionage against Sweden. The espionage was done on behalf of the Russian Mafia.

In my opinion, Anna Lind was killed, because the Israeli power-elite saw her as a threat to Israeli interests, and because she was indeed an influential politician.

Her death surely scared other European politicians, the Moshe Dayan method worked…. temporarily.

The plotters got away with it in 2002 and in the subsequent trial.
I doubt, they would have such an easy time in 2009.

The fact, that a vast corruption scandal in New Jersey involving Jewish rabbis and an Israel link is being investigated and publicly revealed in the media means, that even in New York and New Jersey in the USA, Israel is losing it’s influence on law enforcement and the judiciary.

Intimidation works to a point on many people, but eventually the true “spirit of humanity” will break through in some of us. And this spirit is more catching than fear ever was.

Whenever I receive threats, I tell enough people about them, even on the risk of seeming paranoid to friends and acquaintances. In this way, it will become riskier for those who consider following up on their threats.

Apart from that, I tell myself to see it logically:

On my own I actually have no influence whatsoever, which means going after me would neither be worth the risk nor the effort. Threatening people, especially with veiled threats, is relatively risk-free, just another form of hasbara (Israeli propaganda).

But I have become part of an ever-growing movement of people in the hundreds of millions, who oppose Israel’s crimes against her neighbors. This is what will indeed threaten the criminal, warmongering project of Zionism.

And no matter how they try Moshe Dayan’s “mad-dog” game, they just can’t kill us all.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 3 Comments

Obama administration blocks drone victims’ lawyer from testifying in congress

Reprieve | September 24, 2013

The US Government has, for a second time, failed to grant a visa to Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, preventing him from speaking in congress on the CIA drone programme next week.

The hearing will be chaired by Congressman Grayson of Florida who has encouarged the US to immediately issue Mr Akbar with a visa. Scheduled for October 1st the hearing will feature testimony from Rafiq ur Rehman, a primary school teacher whose 67 year old mother was killed in the same October 2012 drone attack that hospitalized his children Nabila and Zubair.

Before 2010 Mr Akbar travelled regularly to the US. It was not until 2011, when he began representing victims of CIA drone strikes, that Mr Akbar began having significant difficulty getting a US visa. This current instance is the second time that the US has failed to grant Mr Akbar a visa to speak at a U.S. event.

Mr Akbar, who founded the Islamabad-based human rights group the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, and is a fellow of legal human rights charity Reprieve, filed the first ever case in Pakistan on behalf of civilian drones victims. Should Mr Akbar get a visa to accompany them, the October Congressional hearing will be the first time that drone victims have travelled to the US to speak with lawmakers.

Congressman Grayson (FL-09), said: “Congress would like to conduct an ad hoc hearing on drones, and it is very important for us to hear from victims of drone strikes. Rafiq ur Rehman, a school teacher in Pakistan, lost his 67-year old mother in a drone strike, and two of his children also suffered drone-strike-related injuries. The State Department has granted the visas of Rafiq and his children to allow them to travel to the U.S. and share their stories with Congress. However, it has not yet issued a visa for the family’s lawyer and translator, Shahzad Akbar. Without Mr. Akbar, Rafiq and his children will not be able to travel to the U.S. I encourage the State Department to approve Mr. Akbar’s visa immediately, so that Rafiq and his family can share their stories with Congress and the American public.”

Shahzad Akbar, Reprieve fellow and director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, said: “Once again I find myself being denied entry to the U.S. This time to stop me talking to American lawmakers who have invited me to speak about what I have witnessed. I hope to tell them about the impact of drone strikes on civilians in Pakistan, and to shed light on the fact that rather than keeping the US safe, counterterrorism policies like drone strikes are instead a threat to America’s national security.

“Failing to grant me a visa silences the 156 civilian drone strike victims and families that I represent. These families, who have lost children, parents, and siblings, are now trying through legal means to achieve justice. They have powerful stories to tell in their own voices, but will not travel without me, their legal representative.”

Robert Greenwald, director of the forthcoming documentary Unmanned which includes interviews with Mr. Akbar and Mr. Rehman, said:

“While filming Unmanned in Pakistan, I saw first-hand the critical role Mr. Akbar is playing in reaching, protecting, and encouraging those, like Rafiq and his family, affected by tragic drone attacks to use the legal system – not violence. This man should be welcomed and celebrated, not silenced.

“I also met and interviewed Rafiq and his family and know that if Mr. Akbar were allowed into America by the State Department, Congress and the American people would be as moved as I was about the plight of these survivors in a covert war.”

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September 26, 2013 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

State Department’s Watergate? Office of high-profile whistleblower’s lawyer burglarized

RT | July 8, 2013

The Dallas law office representing a State Department whistleblower was broken into and robbed during the first weekend of July. Three computers were stolen and the firm’s file cabinets had been searched, but valuables were left untouched.

“It’s a crazy, strange and suspicious situation,” attorney Cary Schulman of the Schulman & Mathias law office told Foreign Policy Magazine’s The Cable.

The burglars left behind silver bars, video equipment and other valuables, causing Schulman to believe that they were looking to find information on the case of former State Department inspector general investigator Aurelia Fedenisn, who leaked government documents last month. Fedenisn provided CBS News with documents that accuse the State Department of covering up criminal investigations involving its diplomats and employees, including offenses such as illicit drug use, sexual solicitation of minors and prostitutes, and sexual harassment.

The documents state that US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman “was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.”

Schulman believes that the perpetrators of the burglary may have been politically motivated supporters of the Obama administration, but the suspects have not yet been identified.

“It’s clear to me that it was somebody looking for information and not money. My most high-profile case right now is the Aurelia Fedenisn case, and I can’t think of any other case where someone would go to these great lengths to get our information,” Schulman told The Cable.

Last month, lawyers representing Fedenisn told The Cable that the State Department tried to silence her by threatening her and her family. Law enforcement officers allegedly camped in front of her house, harassed her children, and tried to make Fedenisn incriminate herself.

Schulman believes that officials are trying to force Fedenisn to sign papers admitting that she stole the documents – a crime that the former investigator denies.

The law office does not believe the State Department authorized a break-in, but suspects that supporters of the administration may be to blame.

“It wasn’t professional enough,” he said. “It is possible that an Obama or Hillary supporter feels that I am unfairly going after them. And the timing of this is right after several weeks of very public media attention so it seems to me most likely that the information sought is related to that case. I don’t know for sure and I want the police to do their work.”

Local Fox affiliate KDFW aired a surveillance video of the two suspected burglars, who can be seen walking out of the office carrying computers.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki claims the agency had no involvement in the break-in.

“Any allegation that the Department of State authorized someone to break into Mr. Schulman’s law firm is false and baseless,” she said.

July 8, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US agents in massive sex, drug cover-up

Press TV – June 11, 2013

The US State Department may have hushed up allegations of misconduct by its employees worldwide that range from soliciting prostitutes to getting narcotics from a drug ring, a report says.

The CBS News uncovered on Monday a memo that showed the department’s security force, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), tried to cover up sex and drugs charges against agents and diplomats working for the State Department.

The DSS is responsible for protecting nearly 70,000 employees at the State Department and 275 US embassies around the world.

The memo by the State Department inspector general made direct reference to eight specific cases in which inquiries into alleged criminal activities by diplomatic security agents or contractors were “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” by more senior officials.

The cases included an unnamed US ambassador who repeatedly solicited prostitutes, a security official “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards in Beirut, and the members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security team who “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries.”

The ambassador involved in the case was called to Washington D. C. to have a meeting with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy about the issue but was permitted to go back to his regular duties, the report said.

The document also revealed details of an alleged “underground drug ring” close to the US embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which provided the DSS staffers with drugs.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday did not deny any of the allegations in the CBS report, but refused to go into details.

“We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly. All cases mentioned in the CBS report were thoroughly investigated or are under investigation,” she said.

June 11, 2013 Posted by | Corruption | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia slams the US for distorting results of trilateral talks on Syria


Press TV – June 7, 2013

Russia’s foreign minister has censured the US Department of State officials for their ‘peculiar comment’ on the results of a trilateral meeting over Syria in Geneva.

The trilateral meeting on Wednesday was held with the participation of UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and representatives from Russia and the United States. It served as a preparatory move to pave the way for the Geneva 2 talks on the issue of Syria.

During a Thursday press conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “I have heard that officials from the US Department of State have given a very peculiar comment on the results of yesterday’s meeting in Geneva between Russia, US, and UN.”

“In particular, the State Department representative stated that Russia, the United States and the United Nations agree that the goal of the new conference in Geneva must be the forming of a new transitional government in Syria. This really matches with what was written down last year,” he said.

“But, if the reports that I have received are true, the State Department went on to add that this should be a transitional government to which the current authorities in Damascus would hand over all their powers. If this was really said by the State Department, this is a very strong distortion of what the talks were about,” the Russian foreign minister added.

He made the remarks in response to an earlier statement by Jennifer Psaki, a spokesperson for the US Department of State, where she reportedly claimed that participants in the preparatory meeting had agreed that the forthcoming talks on Syria should focus on the formation of a transitional government, to which the current administration should give up all powers.

Lavrov further reiterated that Moscow would continue to push for Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva meeting despite opposition from some Western states.

Meanwhile, Brahimi has expressed hope that the Geneva conference would convene in July, as the preparatory meeting failed to set a date.

June 7, 2013 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Official Honduran Report on May 11 Shooting Incident is a New Injustice to Victims

By Dan Beeton | CEPR Americas Blog | April 11, 2013

CEPR has released a new paper, along with the human rights organization Rights Action, examining the Honduran Public Ministry’s official report on the May 11, 2012 shooting incident last year in which four local villagers were killed in Ahuas in Honduras’ Moskitia region during a counternarcotics operation involving U.S. and Honduran agents. This is also the first time that the Public Ministry’s report has been made available to the public, posted to Scribd in English here, and Spanish here.

The Honduran Public Ministry’s report deserves special scrutiny because thus far it represents the official version of events according to the Honduran authorities. And since the U.S. government has declined to conduct its own investigation – despite the wishes of 58 members of Congress – it also represents by default the version of events tacitly endorsed by U.S. authorities as well. The DEA and State Department didn’t allow Honduran investigators to question the U.S. agents and contractors that participated in the May 11 operation. At the same time a U.S. police detective working for the U.S. Embassy reportedly participated in the Public Ministry’s investigation, so the U.S. also bears some responsibility for the report’s flaws.

The CEPR/Rights Action paper found that the Public Ministry’s report:

  • Makes “observations” (not conclusions) that are not supported by the evidence cited;
  • Omits key testimony, that would implicate the DEA, from police who were involved in the May 11 incident;
  • Relies on incomplete forensic examinations of the weapons involved, improper forensic examinations of the victims’ bodies and other improperly gathered evidence;
  • Does not attempt to establish who is ultimately responsible for the killings;
  • Ignores eyewitness reports claiming that at least one State Department-titled helicopter fired on the passenger boat carrying the shooting victims;
  • Does not attempt to establish whether the victims were “in any way involved in drug trafficking” as both Honduran and U.S. officials originally alleged;
  • Does not attempt to establish what authority was actually in charge of the operation;
  • Appears to be focused on absolving the DEA of all responsibility in the killings.

The CEPR/Rights Action report represents the first such public critique of the Public Ministry’s report. As we have previously noted, there are significant discrepancies between different accounts of the May 11 events, including those of Honduran police officers who participated in (and say the DEA was in charge of) the operation. These discrepancies – cited in a separate report published by the Honduras National Commission of Human Rights (CONADEH) – are not mentioned in the Public Ministry report. Nor does the report include police testimony indicating that a DEA agent ordered one of the State Department helicopters to open fire on the passenger boat in which four people were killed.

The report concludes by calling for the U.S. government to carry out its own investigation of the Ahuas incident to better determine what occurred and to determine what responsibility, if any, DEA agents had in the killings. It also calls on the U.S. government to cease being an obstacle to an already flawed investigation by making the relevant DEA agents, weapons and documents – including an aerial surveillance video of the Ahuas operation in its entirety – available to investigators.

The new CEPR/Rights Action paper follows the “Collateral Damage of a Drug War” report released last year which was based on eyewitness testimony and other evidence the authors obtained in Honduras and concluded that the DEA played a central role in the shooting incident.

April 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. State Dept. admits passport form was illegal, but still wants it approved

The new U.S. passport application forms are back, worse than ever.

Papers, Please! –  September 24th, 2012

Ignoring massive public opposition, and despite having recently admitted that it is already using the “proposed” forms illegally without approval, the State Department is trying again to get approval for a pair of impossible-to-complete new passport application forms that would, in effect, allow the State Department to deny you a passport simply by choosing to send you either or both of the new “long forms”.

Early last year, the State Department proposed a new “Biographical Questionnaire” for passport applicants, which would have required anyone selected to receive the new long-form DS-5513 to answer bizarre and intrusive personal trivia questions about everything from whether you were circumcised (and if so, with what accompanying religious rituals) to the dates of all of your mother’s pre- and post-natal medical appointments, your parents’ addresses one year before you were born, every address at which you have ever resided, and your lifetime employment history including the names and phone numbers of each of your supervisors at every job you have ever held.

Most people would be unable to complete the proposed new form no matter how much time and money they invested in research. Requiring someone to complete Form DS-5513 would amount to de facto denial of their application for a passport — which, as we told the State Department, appeared to be the point of the form.

The State Department’s notice of the proposal in the Federal Register didn’t include the form itself. After we published the proposed Form DS-5513, the story went viral and more than 3,000 public comments objecting to the proposal were filed with the State Department in the final 24 hours of the comment period.

After that fiasco, the State Department went dark for several months, and claimed that they would “revise” the form. But they didn’t give up, and apparently they didn’t listen to (or didn’t care) what they had been told by members of the public in our comments.

The State Department is now seeking approval for a (slightly) revised Form DS-5513 as well as a new Form DS-5520, also for passport applicants, containing many of the same questions.

The State Department no longer wants you to tell the passport examiner about the circumstances of your circumcision, but does still want to know the dates and locations of all of your mother’s pre- and post-natal medical appointments, how long she was hospitalized for your birth, and a complete list of everyone who was in the room when you were born. The revised forms no longer ask for all the addresses at which you have lived, but only for those addresses you are least likely to know: all the places you lived from birth until age 18.

And so on, as you can see for yourself on the proposed Form DS-5513 and Form DS-5520.

October 19, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | Leave a comment

US House panel passes bill to monitor Iran-Latin America ties

Press TV – March 1, 2012

The US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism has endorsed a bill obliging the State Department to brief the Congress on Iran’s activities in Latin America.

The bill, titled “Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act” and approved on Thursday, had been sponsored by representatives of Republican and Democratic parties.

According to the bill, Iran has increased the number of its embassies in Latin America from five in 2005 to 11 in 2012.

If the whole Congress approves the bill, the State Department would have to inform it of Iran’s activities in Latin America within 180 days.

Iran has been seeking to expand relations with Latin American countries over the past few years, describing the endeavor as one of its major foreign policy strategies.

Major Latin American nations have also enhanced their diplomatic and trade ties with Iran in recent years while their relations with the United States have been downgraded amid popular demands for an end to dependence on Washington.

Iran’s rising popularity in Latin America has raised major concerns in Washington, which regards the region as its strategic backyard and traditional sphere of influence.

On January 6, the US warned Latin American states against expanding diplomatic and business ties with Iran, expressing concern over “Iran’s outreach to the Western Hemisphere.”

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Comments Off on US House panel passes bill to monitor Iran-Latin America ties