Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Protecting a Rotten Legacy: Blair’s War Crimes Blocks Iraq Inquiry

December 28, 2012

The Iraq inquiry is not to report before autumn 2013 due to the UK government’s reluctance to release papers showing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s conspiracy with ex-US President George Bush in waging an illegal war against the Arab country.

The inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot said earlier that he will not be ready to publish the reports on the truth of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war before the middle of 2013, two years behind schedule.

Reg Keys, the father of Lance Corporal Tom Keys, who was killed in Iraq in 2003, and a founder of the campaign group Military Families against the War said the delay was “frustrating”.

“I can understand why Blair and a few others don’t want things to come out because there was deceit behind closed doors. But for me and the other families the delays just keep poking a wound that you’re trying to heal. You try to put things in a box but until this is done and dusted you can’t move on,” he said.

Earlier in June, Sir John wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron, saying that his ability to publish a “balanced, fair and accurate” report was being hampered by the Cabinet Office, The Stop the War Coalition campaign group reported.

The Inquiry has cost £6.1 million so far. It is estimated that another year of investigation could cost the public an extra £1.4 million.

Source: Press TV

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Déjà Vu – Martin Luther King On Our Wars Yesterday, And Today

December 25, 2012

In the epic Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus attacked Socrates’ position that the idea justice is an inherent and equal right, claiming that it is just (by nature) that the strong rule over the weak. There are both men and women who seek and hold positions of power in our society – who subscribe to this very doctrine.

A few short decades ago, Martin Luther King spoke of a nation gone mad on war, and of wars at home and abroad as the engine of injustice and poverty in the west. At the time, his words were received uncomfortably by many in the USA – but history proved that he had vision and foresight. His words ring true again today.

So we pose the inevitable question: is justice and ethics progressing in the west, or are we regressing in a global tyranny? You answer is here…

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Laptop ‘destroyed to hide story’ about illegally obtained Saddam Hussein underpants image

December 4, 2012

More Leveson positioning… questions now raised over picture of former dictator published by Murdoch’s Sun and New York Post

By Dan Sabbagh and Lisa O’Carroll

A Labour MP has told parliament he believes that a laptop was destroyed to eliminate evidence that a photograph of Saddam Hussein pictured in his underpants was obtained illegally – a picture of the former dictator that was published by the Sun and the New York Post on the front page of both Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers in 2005.

https://i2.wp.com/static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/12/3/1354572648813/Saddam-Hussein--010.jpgChris Bryant, speaking under the cover of parliamentary privilege in a debate on the Leveson report, said it was “difficult to see” how the editors of both newspapers and the reporters involved “could possibly pretend that they did not know” how the photograph was obtained “and that there had been criminality involved in the process of securing that photo”.

He added “for that matter” it was difficult to see how the editors could say that “they didn’t know that the laptop on which that information and that photograph was kept was destroyed, I believe so as to destroy the evidence of that criminality”.

The MP said he had information from “two well-placed people inside News International” that the newspapers paid “a substantial sum to a serving member of the United States armed forces in the United States of America for a photograph of Saddam Hussein”. He added that “a much larger amount was then paid via a specially set up account in the United Kingdom” to the same source.

The picture of Saddam wearing only Y-fronts – whose ultimate source was alleged to be the US military – was run on the front pages of both newspapers in May 2005. The Sun headlined the image: “The tyrant’s in his pants.” Meanwhile, the Post, crediting the Sun, opted for “Butcher of Sagdad”.

The MP did not name the editors of the newspapers. Rebekah Brooks was the editor of the Sun at the time, while Col Allan was then, and still is, the editor in chief of the New York Post.

Bryant asked for News Corporation’s powerful management and standards committee, which has investigated alleged corrupt payments to public officials, to “provide all the emails from Rupert Murdoch to News International staff as a matter of urgency that relate to this matter and, in particular, to the photo of Saddam Hussein”.

New Corp declined to comment on Bryant’s allegations other than to say that he was wrong about the management and standards committee, which the company said was continuing to co-operate with police.

Payments to public officials are illegal in the US and the UK, and 21 journalists at the Sun have been arrested as part of the long-running Operation Elveden investigation into corrupt payments in Britain. The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bans US-owned companies from bribing public officials,..

Read more at The Guardian

WARMONGERS WILL BE PUSHING FOR IRAN SOON

October 26, 2012

21st Century Wire’s Patrick Henningsen explains why the current war plan being decided in Washington and Whitehall is half-baked and not in the public interest at all, and why it will cause many meaningless deaths, and also trigger a global economic depression:

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BLIND LEADING THE BLIND: ‘False Flag Energy’ and Syrian Regime Change

October 14, 2012

Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
Guest Columnist

For the Libya war and regime change, things seemed straightforward: Libya is a big supplier of oil and gas to Europe.

Quickly replacing the Gaddafi regime was necessary, despite “the Colonel” being recycled back into grace with a Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi smile and handshake, only a few years before.

Once corporate penetration was underway, western central planners quickly replaced Gaddafi with a Shariah-proclaiming shaky government and its fundamentalist militias, who celebrated Sept 11th 2012 in a special way, by killing the US ambassador and staff in manner mirroring the demise of the late Colonel. But hydrocarbon supplies are vital!

On to Syria

Syria is a very minor exporter of oil (about 0.14 Mbd or 0.27% of world export supplies), with its exportable surplus on a slow downhill for more than 10 years. Kurdish separatists operating in and partly controlling eastern Syria have big plans to raise oil output, but their longstanding war with the el-Assad regime has blighted foreign drilling and related oil E&P activity. Most major oil investors (especially Canadian and Indian) have been tapering down their eastern Syria E&P for more than 3 years, since 2008-2009. Conventional gas resources are not large, mostly difficult access, and their development has been stunted by political and security concerns. Shale gas and shale oil potentials in Syria are however large, but like conventional gas resources are impossible to develop at present.

The country’s hydropower and water resource potential is also large, but any claim that Syria is a “resource-rich jewel” to be liberated, democratized and brought to market as soon as possible – but possibly not Libya-style – is way off the mark.

The nearest-term regional economic role for Syria is development of its agriculture potential, which has been attempted by the father-and-son el-Assad regime, since the 1980s but bad planning, execution and management, and endemic corruption inside the regime only resulted in Syria attaining exporter status in a major agrocommodity (wheat) for a few years in the 1990s. Since that time Syria has tilted back into food import dependence – exactly like Saudia Arabia and the Gulf states whose leaderships pretend to believe in Syria becoming “the Arab world’s bread basket”, under strict Sunnite rule, of course.

Energy resource or energy transport issues are unimportant players in this regime-change experiment, but in a recent Market Oracle posting on the supposed energy drivers behind regime change, William Engdahl writes: “Huge gas resource discoveries in Israel, in Qatar and in Syria combined with the emergence of the EU as the world’s potentially largest natural gas consumer, combine to create the seeds of the present geopolitical clash over the Assad regime”.

He continued: “Natural gas is rapidly becoming the “clean energy” of choice to replace coal and nuclear electric generation across the EU most especially since Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear after the Fukushima disaster. Gas is regarded as far more “environmentally friendly” in terms of its so-called “carbon footprint.”

Too Much Gas – Too Many Pipelines

Huge unconventional (deep offshore) gas reserves have been discovered, and proven or are in the process of being proven in the territorial waters of the following countries:
Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Azerbaijan.

Several other close-by countries are highly prospective, meaning likely also to possess very large reserves of deep offshore gas, called “stranded gas”. This only concerns local and regional, eastern Med and Caspian unconventional gas resource finds: worldwide finds are truly massive, and concern all continents. Any talk about world gas shortage, or control of gas resources by a small number of countries mostly hostile to the West has been exploded, since 2007-2009. This real world state of facts has yet to filter through to Think Tank strategists, deep in their bunkers mulling 1970s-vintage energy crisis issues with a Cold War mindset, in which War on Terror was as unknown as global stranded gas and shale gas resources and reserves.

As recently as 2008 and playing a major role in the setting of Europe’s climate-energy package of policies and programs basically seeking energy independence and energy security, the dark shadow of these Cold War-era energy crisis issues – now bolstered by Al Qaida shadows, played a major role in the European quest to reduce gas import dependence by any means. Increased dependence on Qatari gas, let alone Libyan, Algerian, Russian and Norwegian gas – Europe’s 4 largest pipeline gas suppliers –  featured nowhere in this 2008 plan, and was in fact the exact opposite of the plan’s published goals.

The basic reason for this, despite the energy security, geopolitical and terror war trimmings, is economic. Europe’s 4 largest pipeline gas suppliers, utilising an already overcapacity pipeline system feeding Europe, with zero need for pipeline capacity growth, operate “oil indexed prices” for gas. In simple terms this prices gas imports to Europe at up to $16 per million BTU, equivalent to oil at $92.80 a barrel. US gas prices this year have average about $2.50 per million BTU before a very recent “surprise comeback” to a little over $3.

Importing either Israeli gas (after 2020-2022 when the gas is developed) or Qatari gas through a hypothetical trans-Syria pipeline would have no interest at all to Europe, unless their offer price fell well below current prices operated by the 4 largest pipeline suppliers.

Possibly unknown to the deep-thinking Think Tank community, too often based in the US – the southern, south-eastern and eastern European regions are now criss-crossed with gas pipelines at a variety of stages: existing and operational; in construction; planned and in project. The major problem is not the transport capacity – but filling the lines at prices Europe is prepared to pay. Many pipeline projects are now on hold, not for geopolitical reasons, but because at the same time and rapidly, LNG re-gasification terminals are under construction in all coastal EU27 states. Rates of construction are so fast, despite high costs, that certain countries such as France will by 2015-2016 have sufficient LNG terminals to handle LNG imports covering entire national gas consumption needs. At the same time, gas pipeline capacity to northern and western Europe, including France, continues to grow.

World LNG supplies are on an unstoppable upward growth track, running at well over 20% per year, as LNG suppliers and potential suppliers also grow at an unstoppable rate. Under any hypothesis, LNG prices will be far below present European and Asia gas import prices and will surely and certainly force down global gas prices. Arab suppliers of LNG such as Qatar will have no dominance in the coming global LNG supply system and will be price-takers, due to the vast size of new stranded gas resources discovered and proven in countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania, west African states, Australia and Brazil, as well as the eastern Mediterranean “new gas” countries. Gas shortage does not exist.

Pipelines (and Gas) the World Doesn’t Need

Energy resource shortage in Europe is decreasingly on the menu, and hard to defend under any rational study of European regional, west Asian, MENA (Middle East and North Africa), African and world energy resource potentials. The former dominance of oil from Arab states, and gas from Russia was in any case the focus of European Commission and member state energy policies – with the target of diversifying energy sources and supply sources – since the 1960s and has continued and intensified ever since. The current supposed “CO2 based” clean energy policies of the Commission, enacted as energy law in the member states since June 2009 (but in no way cast in stone) only push the quest for energy independence further. These long-term policies, concerning gas, have been responsible for the massive growth of pipeline gas capacity to Europe – which is now accompanied by the massive growth of LNG import terminal capacity, to feed national based gas pipelines, all of which are interconnected in continental Europe.

Washington self-styled White Witch, Hillary Clinton, is working overtime to try and dislodge the Assad dynasty from power in Syria.

Related to the Syrian regime change experiment, or simply the grisly end of a Mafia-type Arab dictatorship, getting rid of el-Assad is in no rational way the signal for yet another, one more, high cost natural gas pipeline linking West Asia and Europe – this would certainly be one more underutilized or even useless pipeline! Taking overpriced Qatari gas, by pipeline, is for the least eccentric: Qatar is able to export LNG to Europe at high prices, already.

The real interest is to force Qatar to cut its prices – which will happen, however many football teams and luxury hotels the “western-friendly” Qataris can buy to curry favour with European political, media and corporate elites.

The claim that the only “realistic way” that EU governments, from Germany to France to Italy to Spain, will be able to meet EU mandated CO2 reduction targets by 2020 is a major shift to burning gas instead of coal, is also unreal on technical grounds. This claim ignores the complex realities of EU27 energy, and world energy – especially fast-evolving technology in power generation.

Heavily criticised by the Greens and Climate Crazies, Germany’s decision to build more coal-fired power plants takes no account of the Syrian situation, but pays plenty of attention to the fact that even if gas-fired power plants can reduce CO2 emissions by 50-60% over conventional coal-fired plants, they are distanced in CO2 reduction performance by new generation clean coal plants, like IGCC power plants developed and built, in Germany – by Siemens.

Replacing old coal-fired facilities with IGCC technologies can reduce Germany’s current coal power related CO2 emissions by 40 million tons per year for the same amount of power supply (about 46% of total German power supply). For the US, Siemens pitches “clean coal” as follows.

German hard coal resources, notably in the Ruhr basin, are now a highly politicised issue also confused by technology issues – especially concerning in situ underground gasification by fracking, extending to much greater depths than economically extractable “physical coal”. Even in IGCC power plants “physical coal” would emit as much, or more CO2 per unit kWh of electric power generated as gas-fired plants using gasified coal, making coal gasification a major focus of German energy R&D. Resource estimates for German remaining coal reserves range from as high as 75 to 100 billion tons coal equivalent, to less than 500 million tons, due to the politicised spin – very like the “imaginative” estimates of recoverable oil reserves in Arab countries of the Middle East, which always increase, on paper, at any time of geopolitical stress like the present.

Similar politicised and radical variations of coal reserve estimates apply to Poland’s USB, Ukraine’s Donbass and Russia’s western coalfields. Under any rational scenario however, these European coal resources could cover 350 – 500 years of current European and Russian coal needs.

The need for any kind of energy transported across Syria’s frontiers – either oil or gas – is zero in Europe.

We should ask here that Washington and London’s brain-trust take note then, and think about ceasing to promote a bankrupt drive to break yet another nation state – and for the wrong reasons, whilst risking wider regional instability through their own reckless efforts.

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FILM TRAILER: ‘Gilad and All That Jazz’

October 12, 2012

Gilad Atzmon is a world renowned saxophonist, a well respected musician and a controversial public critic of Israel. Born into a pro-Zionist family and serving briefly in the first Lebanon War, Gilad had a dramatic turnaround. He quit the army, picked up his instrument and moved to London, declaring himself an enemy of the Israeli state.

Besides producing some of the modern era’s greatest Jazz albums he also published the controversial book ‘The Wandering Who?’. He is blunt and outspoken in his political and philosophical ideas and his views on Jewishness provoke both the left and ring wing in Israel.

In Gilad and All that Jazz director Golriz Kolahi explores the music, ideas and motivations that drive Gilad Atzmon. Through interviews with supporters, opponents and admirers a complex picture is drawn that makes you wonder: “Should music and politics be mixed?”

Directed by Golriz Kolahi and produced by David Alamouti
Duration: 66′
Year: 2012

See Gilad Atzmon appears as a guest on the 21st Century Wire TV show on SKY in the UK….

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RISK ASSESSMENT: IRAN – ‘Entree to a One World Order’ – Interview with Patrick Henningsen

October 11, 2012

What will a war with Iran look like? What will be the results of a unilateral attack on Iran by Israel and the US? Will it trigger multi-regional military conflict?

21st Century Wire geopolitical analyst, Patrick Henningsen, outlines possible outcomes, including the Hegelian outcome of a One World Order aka ‘New World Order’, in an exclusive, previously unreleased interview with domestic Russian television, filmed in London in Sept 2012. 

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Babar Ahmad Extradition: ‘RIP British Justice’ – But What About Those British Intelligence ‘Informants’ ?

October 6, 2012

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Editorial Comment

ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, LONDON

Five UK-based terror suspects went down in the dock yesterday as the Old Bailey ruled that all will be extradited to the US, after a failed last-minute appeals were rejected in the British High Court late yesterday.

Of the group of British men held without trial and set to be extradited to the US under terrorism charges, at least one, and possibly more have already been outed in the media as informants for British Intelligence, with possible links to US intelligence as well.

Person of interest number six, Haroon Rasheed Aswat, will await proceedings as his case is still under review. It should be noted here that Aswat was outed following 7/7, when he was linked to the alleged bombers.

Aside from his known exploits, allowed to travel freely around the US after 9/11, in the first two weeks following the 7 July 2005 bombings, police sources initially revealed to the British Press that Aswat made at least 20 mobile phone calls to two of the suspected bombers, Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, one just hours before the event. On 29 July 2005, during an interview with Fox News, a former US prosecutor and ranking intelligence agent, John Loftus, stated that Aswat was a ‘double agent’ (also meaning paid informant), backed by Britain’s MI6. Loftus stated that British Intelligence did in fact intervened to protect Aswat while he was trying to evade capture following 7/7.

UK Terror mascots Hamza and Aswat were working closely together, and both worked as British intel ‘informants’.

Aswat’s association with Finsbury Park Mosque links him directly to Abu Hamza, the infamous hook-handed Egyptian cleric who served as the UK tabloid media’s face of terrorism since 2002. Both were close associates and both were British Intelligence informants who happened to be active in recruiting young radical Muslims in the UK. Aswat’s connection to the accused 7/7 bombers has never been properly scrutinized in a British court of law, leaving many unanswered questions as to where the actual red line in the gray world of government-sponsored terror ‘informants’.

Hamza has also been connected to British Intelligence. A confirmation by the London Guardian places Hamza in regular contact with MI5: “Reda Hassaine was a former MI5 operative who infiltrated the mosque. He says Hamza was allowed to operate by the security services as long as he did not threaten Britain’s national security. A senior French intelligence chief told the Guardian in 2006 that for years, Britain had failed to take action against him despite being given evidence that he had extensive involvement in terrorism, including recruiting men for terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.”

Besides Aswat and Hamza, could any of these others on this latest extradition list be past informants too?

Moreover, are these two top operatives, Aswat and Hamza, being used through this latest High Court case by the British legal establishment in order to sell this ‘bundle of extraditions’ quickly and quietly – without too many questions being asked about the employment of Aswat and Hamza?

Certainly, more needs to be know about Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz – but one thing is certain now – the establishment are using their own informants to fast track an unconstitutional and sovereignty-killing illegal precedent which is attempting to justify being held without trial and then extradited to a known torture regime – the US, for any person that the state deems suitable.

In legal terms, this amounts to a ‘flattening’ of the justice system, opening the door for more similar extrajudicial proceeding not requiring evidence or trial in the future.

With such a significant legal precedent at stake in this instance, then shouldn’t British Intelligence’s relationship – be it formal or informal, with both Aswat and Hamza be declared in the interest of the British public? Where they paid by the British government? If so, how much? As a MI5 informant, what exactly was Aswat’s actual involvement – documented or anecdotal, in the London 7/7 bombings?

Is this in the public interest to know (that’s not a trick question by the way)?

Question: why can’t these British citizens be tried here in Britain?

Answer: because at least some of them would be acquitted for lack of evidence, and others would have to answer as government informants.

It appears that the British legal system has painted itself into a corner with ‘indefinite detention’, and now the only way out is to ship the problem overseas – in this case, to the United States. You can almost guarantee that they will wait even longer for a fair trial in the US. Watch and see.

It’s doubtful that either the government or the legal establishment will be willing to answer such a question – making this legal ‘no go’ area the axle currently turning what looks like a state-sponsored miscarriage of British constitutional justice – and the nullification of British sovereignty – thus, opening the door for the US to snatch and person they say is involved in matters of interest to “US national security”.

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Babar Ahmad Extradition Reaction: ‘RIP British Justice’ 

Huff Post

The decision to extradite Babar Ahmad to the US to face terror charges has been condemned as “shameful” and “disappointing” by family and friends as justice campaigners renewed their calls for extradition arrangements with America to be reviewed.

Computer expert Ahmad, who has been in jail without trial since 2004 while fighting extradition, is accused of being involved in a website which encouraged terrorism and which, while operated from London, was hosted in the US.

In a statement, Ahmad who has pleaded to be charged and tried in Britain, said: “By exposing the fallacy of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US, I leave with my head held high having won the moral victory.”

Karl Watkin, the British businessman who has been campaigning to have the men tried in British rather the USA, said he was not “suprised” by the verdict but condemned the UK legal system.

Mr Watkin said he was “extremely frustrated but not at all surprised” by the judges’ decision.

“I have no regrets over pursuing a private prosecution – it was the right thing to do,” he said.

“No ifs, no buts – British citizens should be tried in Britain for crimes perpetrated in Britain and in circumstances where the evidence is found in Britain.

“What’s more, I know tens of thousands of principled British people agree

with me.

Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan wanted their removal stopped so that they could challenge a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to allow Mr Watkin to bring private prosecutions against them in the UK.

Mr Watkin went on: “Allowing the US to expand its extraterritorial reach by claiming jurisdiction over internet servers is undermining British and international justice.

“Servers are commonly cloud-based – which is where the UK’s judicial and government leaders have their heads today.

“British extradition law urgently needs updating to assert jurisdiction over the territory in which cyber crime is physically committed.

“No matter how much the public and their representative MPs protest at today’s outrage, no British court will ever try these two suspects.

“RIP British justice.”

Babar Ahmad’s father Ashfaq said: “After over 40 years of paying taxes in this country, I am appalled that the system has let me down in a manner more befitting of a third world country than one of the world’s oldest democracies.

“We will never abandon our struggle for justice and the truth will eventually emerge of what will be forever remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of Britain.”

Read more

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ALL AMERICA MUST SEE THIS! Breaking Reality ~ 2013

September 19, 2012

What price Freedom? WE must take up Arms in Defense of the Innocent. This Evil Cabal, which includes DC, intends to destroy you, me and everything beautiful and sacred thing left on this planet! If you think that the 2012 election is the answer then, you are still completely asleep. If you think that your world will continue on in tranquility, you are deluded. Please, please Wake-Up, please! Time is very short.

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Enough Already: No Evidence Iran Diverted Any Nuclear Material for Nuclear Weapons Program

September 17, 2012

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