Monthly Archives: February 2007

September 11 just like Dresden, says Le Pen

Telegraph | Feb 23, 2007 

The French presidential candidate Jean-Marie Le Pen provoked outrage among British veterans yesterday when he compared the September 11 attacks on the United States to RAF-led bombing raids during the Second World War.

The National Front leader said both were “terrorist acts as they expressly targeted civilians to force military leaders to capitulate”. Mr Le Pen, 79, also dismissed the al-Qa’eda atrocities in 2001 as a mere “incident”.

He told the Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix: “Three thousand dead — that is how many die in Iraq in a month and it’s far less than the deaths in the Marseille or Dresden bombings at the end of the Second World War.”

Praising those Muslims who condemned the attacks on New York and Washington, Mr Le Pen said: “The September 11 event, or one could say incident, prompted a certain number of people to distance themselves [from Islamic extremism] to avoid falling under the barrage of accusations that was unleashed.”

British Second World War veterans reacted with anger towards Mr Le Pen’s comments about the RAF.

Secret report: Terror threat worst since 9/11

Telegraph | Feb 25, 2007 

 frau_eliza_manningham_buller

Eliza Manningham-Buller warned there are over 1,600 ‘identified individuals’ engaged in terror plots

The terrorist threat facing Britain from home-grown al-Qaeda agents is higher than at any time since the September 11 attacks in 2001, secret intelligence documents reveal.

The number of British-based Islamic terrorists plotting suicide attacks against “soft” targets in this country is far greater than the Security Services had previously believed, the government paperwork discloses. It is thought the plotters could number more than 2,000.

Under the heading “International Terrorism in the UK”, the document – seen by The Sunday Telegraph – states: “The scale of al-Qaeda’s ambitions towards attacking the UK and the number of UK extremists prepared to participate in attacks are even greater than we had previously judged.”

It warns that terrorist “attack planning” against Britain will increase in 2007, and adds: “We still believe that AQ [al-Qaeda] will continue to seek opportunities for mass casualty attacks against soft targets and key infrastructure. These attacks are likely to involve the use of suicide operatives.”

The document, which has been circulated across Whitehall to MI5, Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorist Command, the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence, also reveals that al-Qaeda has grown into a world-wide organisation with a foothold in virtually every Muslim country in North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia.

Entitled Extremist Threat Assessment, the document, which was drawn up this month, also discloses that Afghanistan, where more than 7,000 British troops will be based by the end of May, is expected to supersede Iraq as the location for terrorists planning Jihad against the West.

UK doubles naval presence in Persian Gulf

Telegraph | Feb 25, 2007 

 prince_charles_hms_sutherland_bahrain

Prince Charles meets Royal Marines during a visit today to HMS Sutherland in Bahrain

Britain’s senior naval officer in the Persian Gulf has revealed that Royal Navy deployments in the region have doubled since October in a build-up that matches the rapid escalation of American maritime firepower.

Commodore Keith Winstanley, who serves as deputy commander of coalition maritime operations for US Central Command, has told The Daily Telegraph that British trade and strategic interests dictate the necessity of a high and sustained commitment to patrol the seas around the Middle East.

“If you look at the UK component we have almost doubled it,” he said in an interview aboard HMS Sutherland in Mina al-Salman port.

“Most of these ships are here on training missions but there is no doubt that we could use the warfighting capabilities they possess.”

US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran

Telegraph | Feb 25, 2007 

America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.

In a move that reflects Washington’s growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran’s border regions.

The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.

In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.

Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran’s 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.

Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget but is now “no great secret”, according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: “The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran’s ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime.”

Related

Operation Ajax
Operation Ajax (1953) (officially TP-AJAX) was a covert operation by the United Kingdom and the United States to remove the democratically elected nationalist[1] cabinet of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from power, to support the Pahlavi dynasty and consolidate the power of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in order to preserve the Western control of Iran’s hugely lucrative oil infrastructure.

The leader of Operation Ajax was Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., a senior CIA agent, and grandson of the former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. While formal leadership was vested in Kermit Roosevelt, the project was designed and executed by Donald Wilber, a career contract CIA agent and acclaimed author of books on Iran, Afghanistan and Ceylon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ajax

Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.
Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt, Jr. (February 16, 1916 – June 8, 2000), was the grandson of American president Theodore Roosevelt, and the mastermind of CIA Operation Ajax that orchestrated the coup against Mohammed Mossadegh and returned Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, from self-imposed exile to Iran’s Peacock Throne in August 1953.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Roosevelt_Jr

Virginia apologizes for role in slavery

Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Feb 24, 2007  

Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery.

Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.

“This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution,” said Delegate A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates.

The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s approval.

The measure also expressed regret for “the exploitation of Native Americans.”

The resolution was introduced as Virginia begins its celebration of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, where the first Africans arrived in 1619. Richmond, home to a popular boulevard lined with statues of Confederate heroes, later became another point of arrival for Africans and a slave-trade hub.

Al Gore, Rock Star

Washington Post | Feb 25, 2007 

 aninconvenienttruthposter

Oscar Hopeful May Be America’s Coolest Ex-Vice President Ever

In the annals of vice presidential history, tonight will be something different. In his black tux, the man known to his most fervent fans as “The Goracle” will arrive by hybrid eco-limo and, surrounded by fellow Hollywood greenies Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio, will stroll down the red carpet at the Academy Awards to answer the immortal question: “Al, who are you wearing?”

What a year it has been for Al Gore and his little indie film.

“An Inconvenient Truth,” the 100-minute movie that is essentially Gore giving a slide show about global warming, is the third-highest-grossing documentary ever, with a worldwide box office of $45 million, right behind blockbusters “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “March of the Penguins.”

Incredible as it may seem, Al Gore is not only totally carbon neutral, but geek-chic cool. No velvet rope can stop him. He rolls with Diddy. He is on first-name basis, for real, with Ludacris. But what does this mean? And how did it happen? Did Gore change? Or did the climate — political, cultural, natural — change around him?

[Googlevideo=http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=9005566792811497638&hl=en-CA]

Watch “The Great Global Warming Swindle” – Full documentary: 1 hr 15 min.

RELATED

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” – Homepage on Channel 4 UK
http://www.channel4.com/science/microsites/G/great_global_warming_swindle/index.html

CIA recruited Japanese war criminals

Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Feb 24, 2007  

gen-charles-willoughby

Maj. Gen. Charles Willoughby, a German-born, monocle-wearing admirer of Mussolini, a Falangist member of the feudalist Knights of Malta and, as the chief of G-2 in the occupation government, considered second in power only to his boss, Gen. Douglas MacArthur. When attempts to suppress news to the United States ended in failure, he labeled reporters who defied him, as “Communists”. He also lobbied the US Congress to authorize $100 million for General Franco’s government in Spain. MacArthur once described the six-foot, three-inch, Willoughby as “my little Fascist”. Adolf Tscheppe-Weidenbach, the son of Baron von Tscheppe-Weidenbach from Baden, Germany, and Emma Willoughby, was born in 1892. After attending the University of Heidelberg, Willoughby moved to the United States in 1910 and became known as Charles Willoughby.

Allies turned a blind eye to many Japanese war crimes, particularly those committed against other Asians.

New focus brought some of Japan’s most notorious wartime killers under U.S. sponsorship.

Operatives were suspected of having murky links with the Communists they were assigned to undermine

Col. Masanobu Tsuji was a fanatical Japanese militarist and brutal warrior, hunted after World War II for massacres of Chinese civilians and complicity in the Bataan Death March. And then he became a U.S. spy. Newly declassified CIA records, released by the U.S. National Archives and examined by The Associated Press, document more fully than ever how Tsuji and other suspected Japanese war criminals were recruited by U.S. intelligence in the early days of the Cold War. The documents also show how ineffective the effort was, in the CIA’s view.

The records, declassified in 2005 and 2006 under an act of Congress in tandem with Nazi war crime-related files, fill in many of the blanks in the previously spotty documentation of the occupation authority’s intelligence arm and its involvement with Japanese ultra-nationalists and war criminals, historians say.

In addition to Tsuji, who escaped Allied prosecution and was elected to parliament in the 1950s, conspicuous figures in U.S.-funded operations included mob boss and war profiteer Yoshio Kodama, and Takushiro Hattori, former private secretary to Hideki Tojo, the wartime prime minister hanged as a war criminal in 1948.

The CIA also cast a harsh eye on its counterparts – and institutional rivals – at G-2, the occupation’s intelligence arm, providing evidence for the first time that the Japanese operatives often bilked gullible American patrons, passing on useless intelligence and using their U.S. ties to boost smuggling operations and further their efforts to resurrect a militarist Japan.

The assessments in the files are far from uniform. They show evidence that other U.S. agencies, such as the Air Force, were also looking into using some of the same people as spies, and that the CIA itself had contacts with former Japanese war criminals. Some CIA reports gave passing grades to the G-2 contacts’ intelligence potential.

The operatives also were suspected of having murky links with the Communists they were assigned to undermine, the documents say. The CIA also said some agents sold the same information to different U.S. contacts, increasing their earnings, and funneled information on the American military back into the Japanese nationalist underground.

The files and historians strongly suggest that American lack of knowledge about Japan or interest in war crimes committed in Asia, and a reliance on operatives’ own assessment of their intelligence skills, made U.S. officials, in the words of one CIA report, “easy to fool for a time.”

“This was a bunch of Japanese nationalists taking the G-2 for a ride,” said Carol Gluck, a specialist in Japanese history at Columbia University and adviser to the archives working group administering declassification of the papers. “One thing that was interesting was how absolutely nonsensical it was, of no use to anybody but the people involved. Almost funny in a way.”

The informants, many of whom were held as war criminals after Tokyo’s surrender and subsequently released, operated under the patronage of Maj. Gen. Charles Willoughby, a German-born, monocle-wearing admirer of Mussolini, a staunch anti-Communist and, as the chief of G-2 in the occupation government, considered second in power only to his boss, Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Some of Willoughby’s proteges were seen as prime war trial material by Allied prosecutors.

But even as the occupation authorities were recrafting Japan into a democracy, their focus was shifting to containing the Soviets. Willoughby saw the military men as key to making Japan an anti-Communist bulwark in Asia – and ensuring that Tokyo would rapidly rearm, this time as a U.S. ally.

Historians long ago concluded that the Allies turned a blind eye to many Japanese war crimes, particularly those committed against other Asians, as fighting communism became the West’s priority.

Chief among the Japanese operatives was Seizo Arisue, Japan’s intelligence chief at the end of the war. Arisue had been a key figure in the pro-war camp and in forging Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in the 1930s.

According to the files, Arisue was soon ensconced in G-2, working with former Lt. Gen. Yorashiro Kawabe, who was a military intelligence officer in China in 1938 – to organize groups of veterans and others for underground operations.

These groups consisted of former war buddies and often retained the same chains of command and militarist ideology of the war machine that ground much of Asia into submission in the 1930s and ’40s.

“It shows how we acquiesced to the Japanese … in order to continue to build up Japan as our ally,” said Linda Goetz Holmes, author of “Unjust Enrichment: How Japan’s Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs.”

“The whole thing was Cold War fear and an awful lot of postwar compensation issues … all of that was subservient to our total fear of Russia,” said Holmes, also a historical adviser for the declassification project.

Indeed, that new focus brought some of Japan’s most notorious wartime killers under U.S. sponsorship.

Tsuji, for instance, was wanted for involvement in the Bataan Death March of early 1942, in which thousands of Americans and Filipinos perished, and for allegedly co-signing an order to massacre anti-Japanese Chinese merchants in Malaya.

Yet none of that seemed to matter much to American intelligence. The U.S. Air Force attempted unsuccessfully to recruit him after he was taken off the war crimes list in 1949 and came out of hiding, and CIA and U.S. Army files show him working for G-2. In the 1950s he was elected to Japan’s parliament. He vanished in Laos in 1961 and was never seen again.

The Army considered him a potentially valuable source, but the CIA was not impressed with Tsuji’s skills as an agent. The files show he was far more concerned with furthering various right-wing causes and basking in publicity generated by controversial political statements.

“In either politics or intelligence work, he is hopelessly lost both by reason of personality and lack of experience,” said a CIA assessment from 1954. Another 1954 file says: “Tsuji is the type of man who, given the chance, would start World War III without any misgivings.”

Kodama was another unsavory player. A virulent anti-communist and superbly connected smuggler and political fixer, Kodama commanded a vast network of black marketeers and former Japanese secret police agents in East Asia.

The CIA, however, concluded he was much more concerned about making money than furthering U.S. interests. A gangland boss, he later played a major role in the Lockheed Scandal, one of the country’s biggest post-World War II bribery cases. He died in 1984.

“Kodama Yoshio’s value as an intelligence operative is virtually nil,” says a particularly harsh 1953 CIA report. “He is a professional liar, gangster, charlatan and outright thief… Kodama is completely incapable of intelligence operations, and has no interest in anything but the profits.”

Nowadays, the most powerful legacy of the U.S. occupation is the democratic freedoms and pacifism built into Japan’s 1947 constitution. But the U.S. association with Japanese war criminals illustrates how Washington embraced nationalist and conservative forces after World War II, helping them reassert their grip on the government once the occupation ended in 1952.

“Its hard to imagine back in those days how intent the U.S. was on rapid remilitarization of Japan,” said John Dower, historian and author of “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.”
Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

On the Net:

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:

http://www.archives.gov/iwg/japanese-war-crimes/introductory-essays.pdf

http://www.archives.gov/iwg/reports/japanese-interim-report-march-2002-1.htm

China electrocutes the WoW out of Internet addicts

Tom’s Guide Daily | Feb 23, 2007  

De-facto prisoners housed on military bases with metal bars for doors and windows given antidepressant drugs that you would commonly see in mental institutions.

Locked cells, electrocution and freezing temperatures, no this isn’t a military torture chamber, but China’s new way of dealing with Internet addicts. In the past year, several clinics have opened up that treat people who are addicted to online games, chatting and web surfing. Some of the patients come willing, but most have been forced to attend by their parents or even government officials.

The Chinese government has launched an anti-Internet addiction campaign which includes eight such clinics. Here patients are subjected to yelling, psychiatric counseling and the ever so helpful electrical shock treatments. Many patients are even given antidepressant drugs that you would commonly see in mental institutions. But it doesn’t stop there, some of the patients are actually de-facto prisoners because they are housed on military bases with metal bars for doors and windows.

Despite rigorous online censorship, millions of Chinese surf the web and play online games, mainly in state-licensed Internet cafes. There are more than 3.5 million World of Warcraft players in China.

Indian Army hosting global meet on “Emerging World Order”

Zee News | Feb 24, 2007  

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will on Thursday inaugurate a two-day international seminar organised by the Indian Army on the emerging world order.

Defence think tank Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) is organising the seminar on “Emerging World Order: Implications for the Security Calculus of the extended South Asian Region” that delegates from 28 countries and hosts India will attend.

Among the countries to be represented are Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and the US. Participants from Australia, China, Japan, Sri Lanka and Turkey would be presenting papers.

Dean Foods refuses to use cloned cows’ milk – customers don’t want it

Columbia Tribune | Feb 23, 2007  

Hurray for Free Market Economics! May it be saved from the elite social engineers who want to ram all kinds of unnatural garbage down our throats to poison and weaken the population for further exploitation. If we keep saying no, they’ll be forced to back down.

PW

The nation’s biggest milk company, Dean Foods, said yesterday it will refuse milk from cloned cows.

The Food and Drug Administration gave preliminary approval to meat and milk from cloned animals and could grant final approval by the end of the year. Federal scientists say there is virtually no difference between clones and conventional cows, pigs or goats.

Smaller companies such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Organic Valley previously have said they oppose milk from clones.

Dallas-based Dean Foods is a $10 billion company that owns Land O’ Lakes and Horizon Organic, among dozens of other brands.

In a statement issued yesterday, the company said its customers and consumers don’t want milk from cloned animals.

“Numerous surveys have shown that Americans are not interested in buying dairy products that contain milk from cloned cows, and Dean Foods is responding to the needs of our consumers,” the statement said.