Monday, March 12, 2012

410 Proof there are no terrorists: no Neocon has been assassinated - Paul Craig Roberts

Proof there are no terrorists: no Neocon has been assassinated - Paul Craig Roberts

The US warned many Governments to prepare for embarassing releases by Wikileaks (item 9).

Could this be connected to the prosecution of Assange (item 10)? And "illegal intelligence activities" conducted by the US embassy in Stockholm (item 11)?

(1) Proof there are no terrorists: no Neocon has been assassinated - Paul Craig Roberts
(2) Body scanner CEO accompanied Obama to India
(3) What if NATO is beaten by Afghan farmers and mountain tribesmen? Eric Margolis
(4) Medvedev at NATO: 'Not a piece of furniture' - Eric Walberg
(5) Ten Steps toward Liquidating the Empire - Chalmers Johnson
(6) Most Yemenis see al-Qaeda presence as 'Myth'
(7) Yemenis say, "there is no Al Qaeda"
(8) Judge orders CIA to disclose weapons tests conducted on thousands of soldiers
(9) Israel, U.S. tense as WikiLeaks set to release classified diplomatic cables
(10) Swedish court rejects appeal of WikiLeaks' founder over rape allegation
(11) Swedish probe into US 'espionage'

(1) Proof there are no terrorists: no Neocon has been assassinated - Paul Craig Roberts

From: Paul de Burgh-Day <pdeburgh@harboursat.com.au> Date: 24.11.2010 06:10 AM

Gestapo Empire

By Paul Craig Roberts

November 22, 2010

http://www.vdare.com/roberts/101122_tsa.htm

It doesn't take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority for him as air travel.

It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowed subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next, although it is even more difficult to imagine open air bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and gropers inspecting passengers before they board.

Will taxi passengers be next? In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for retaliating against the Americans are car and truck bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets, highways and interstates to check cars for bombs? That 15 minute trip to the grocery store then becomes an all day affair.

Indeed, it has already begun. Last September agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, conducted a counter-terrorism operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response), the operation required all trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to delivery schedules and truckers' bottom lines.

There are also news reports of federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices that secretly scan cars and pedestrians.

With such expensive counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the hard-pressed taxpayers' money and civil liberties, one would think that bombs were going off all over America. But, of course, they aren't. There has not been a successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of independent experts doubt the government's explanation of that event.

Subsequent domestic terrorist events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected members of society and lead them into displaying interest in participating in a terrorist act. Once the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in prompting all the right words to be said and captured on his hidden recorder, the "terrorists" are arrested and the "plot" exposed.

The very fact that the FBI has to orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real terrorists.

If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets. Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.

Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane.
All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.

The final proof that there are no terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or government official responsible for the Bush regime's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regime's slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has been assassinated. None of these Americans who are responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby, Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of others during the same hour of the same day.

I am not advocating that terrorists assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11 is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being bombed.

If Al Qaeda was anything like the organization that the US government claims, it would not be focused on trivial targets such as passenger airliners. The organization, if it exists, would be focused on its real enemies. Try to imagine the propaganda value of terrorists wiping out the neoconservatives in one fell swoop, followed by an announcement that every member of the federal government down to the lowest GS, every member of the House and Senate, and every governor was next in line to be bumped off.

This would be real terrorism instead of the make-belief stuff associated with shoe bombs that don't work, underwear bombs that independent experts say could not work, and bottled water and shampoo bombs that experts say cannot possibly be put together in airliner lavatories.

Think about it. Would a terror organization capable of outwitting all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel's Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, air traffic control, the Pentagon, and airport security four times in one hour put its unrivaled prestige at risk with improbable shoe bombs, shampoo bombs, and underwear bombs?

After success in destroying the World Trade Center and blowing up part of the Pentagon, it is an extraordinary comedown to go after a mere airliner. Would a person who gains fame by knocking out the world heavyweight boxing champion make himself a laughing stock by taking lunch money from school boys?

TSA is a far greater threat to Americans than are terrorists. Pistole has given the finger to US senators and representatives, state legislators, and the traveling public who have expressed their views that virtual strip searches and sexual molestation are too high a price to pay for "security." Indeed, the TSA with its Gestapo attitude and methods, is succeeding in making Americans more terrified of the TSA than they are of terrorists.

Make up your own mind. What terrifies you the most. Terrorists, who in all likelihood you will never encounter in your lifetime, or the TSA that you will encounter every time you fly and soon, according to Pistole, every time you take a train, a subway, or drive in a car or truck?

Before making up your mind, consider this report from antiwar.com on November 19: "TSA officials say that anyone refusing both the full body scanners and the enhanced pat down procedures will be taken into custody. Once there the detainees will not only be barred from flying, but will be held indefinitely as suspected terrorists . . . One sheriff's office said they were already preparing to handle a large number of detainees and plan to treat them as terror suspects."

Who is cowing Americans into submission, terrorists or the TSA Gestapo?

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

(2) Body scanner CEO accompanied Obama to India

From: WVNS <ummyakoub@yahoo.com> Date: 27.11.2010 01:44 PM

By Daniel Tencer

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/body-scanner-ceo-obama-india/

Ex-Homeland Security secretary's company lobbies for body scanner maker

The CEO of one of the two companies licensed to sell full body scanners to the TSA accompanied President Barack Obama to India earlier this month, a clear sign of the deep ties between Washington politicians and the companies pushing to have body scanners installed at all US airports.

Deepak Chopra, chairman and CEO of OSI Systems and no relation to the New Age spiritualist, was one of a number of CEOs who traveled with the president on his three-day trip to India, which focused primarily on expanding business ties between the US and the emerging Asian power.

"I am honored to be selected to play a role in this very important cause," Chopra said in a statement ahead of the trip. "Currently the trade between US and India is only one tenth of the amount of trade between US and China. There is substantial opportunity to improve the trade relations with India for mutual economic gain."

Chopra's company manufactures the Rapiscan brand of body scanners, currently being deployed across US airports. He joined the CEOs of such companies as GE, PepsiCo and United Technologies on the trip.

The president announced commercial deals worth some $10 billion during the trip, which he said would add some 50,000 jobs to the US economy. India decided earlier this year to implement body scanners at its airports, in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. (An early experiment with body scanners was quickly scuttled in 2007 due to privacy concerns.)

That a manufacturer of body scanners accompanied the US president on a foreign trip shows the extent of the ties between the industry and the US government. With anger growing at the intrusive news screening procedures, many observers have focused attention on Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary whose consultancy, the Chertoff Group, counts OSI as a client.

The original orders for body scanners were made in 2005, during the Bush administration when Chertoff was still head of Homeland Security. Chertoff stepped up his lobbying for body scanners late last year after the attempted Christmas Day bombing.

"Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected '[the alleged Christmas Day bomber's] explosive," Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, told the Washington Post.

"Airport security has always been compromised by corporate interests," wrote James Ridgeway at Mother Jones. "When it comes to high-tech screening methods, the TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies, and there are signs that the latest miracle device may just bring more of the same."

(3) What if NATO is beaten by Afghan farmers and mountain tribesmen? Eric Margolis

http://www.ericmargolis.com/political_commentaries/what-if-nato-is-defeated-in-afghanistan.aspx

WHAT IF NATO IS DEFEATED IN AFGHANISTAN?

November 19, 2010

Amazing as it sounds, NATO, the world's most powerful military alliance, may be losing the only war the 61-year old pact every fought. All its soldiers, heavy bombers, tanks, helicopter gunships, armies of mercenaries, and electronic gear are being beaten by a bunch of lightly-armed Afghan farmers and mountain tribesmen.

This weekend in Lisbon, NATO's 28 members face deepening differences over the Afghanistan War as public opinion in the United States, Canada and Europe continue to turn against the conflict.

President Barack Obama again painfully showed he is not fully in charge of US foreign policy. His pledge to begin withdrawing some US troops from Afghanistan next July has been brazenly – even scornfully - contradicted by US generals and strongly opposed by resurgent Congressional Republicans. Hardly anyone believes the president's withdrawal date.

Obama is fresh from groveling before Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He pleaded with Israel's leader to impose a short, token freeze on settlement building in exchange for a multi-billion dollar bribe from Washington of advanced US F-35 stealth warplanes, promises of UN vetoes, and raising the value of US arms stockpiled for Israel's use to $1 billion. Rarely has a US president crawled so low.  

Israel will likely take Obama's bribe, with more sweeteners, but not before rubbing his face in the dirt to show who really runs US Mideast policy and as a warning not to mess with Israel. The last US president to challenge Israel's colonization of the West Bank, George H. W. Bush, was ousted in 1992 after one term.

Obama appears to want out of the Afghan War. His final gamble of sending 30,000 more troops into the $7.5 billion monthly war has so far failed to produce the hoped-for decisive victory. But powerful pro-war groups, including the Pentagon, the arms industry and Republicans, are thwarting the weakened Obama's attempts to wind down the war.

US, Canadian and European politicians who backed the Afghan War fear admitting the conflict was a huge waste of lives and treasure. Their political careers hang in the balance.

Canada's prime minister, who is trying to assume the former role of Britain's Tony Blair as Washington's most obedient ally, just announced 900 Canadian soldiers will remain in Afghanistan after his own pullout date, ostensibly for "training."

That, of course, is the new euphemism for staying on as a permanent garrison to keep the Afghan client regime in power. "Training," as with US forces in Iraq, really means the old British Raj's native troops under white officers.

Canadian journalists who opposed continuation of the Afghan War, or exposed many of the lies that justify it, have been purged from their newspapers under pressure from the Harper government – which claims, ironically, to be fighting in Afghanistan for "democracy."

While the US heads deeper into war and debt, its European allies are fed up with what was supposed to have been a limited "police action" to eliminate al-Qaida bases.

Instead, Europe got a full-scale war against Afghanistan's Pashtun tribes raising uneasy memories of its 19th-century colonial "pacifications."

France's new defense minister, Alain Juppé, openly called the Afghan conflict a "trap" for NATO and called for an exit strategy. He is quite right.

By contrast, British Defense Chief Gen. Sir David Richards, warned, "NATO now needs to plan for a 30 or 40 year role." In short, permanent occupation. That may be the bottom line, at least for the imperial camp. Central Asia's resources are the real reason.

The US-installed Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, is demanding the US scale back military operations and night raids that inflict heavy civilian casualties. Washington counters that Karzai is mentally unstable. He is marked to be overthrown once Washington can find a suitable Pashtun replacement.

America's rational for invading Afghanistan was to destroy al-Qaida. But CIA chief Leon Panetta recently admitted there were no more than 50 al-Qaida operatives left in Afghanistan. The rest – no more than few hundred - fled to Pakistan years ago.

So what are 110,000 US troops and 40,000 NATO troops doing in Afghanistan? Certainly not nation-building. Most reports show Afghanistan is in worse poverty and distress than before the US invasion.

While the platitudes and synthetic optimism flowed thick at Lisbon, giant US Army bulldozers, demolition teams and artillery were busy leveling wide swathes of Afghan homes around the Pashtun stronghold, Kandahar. In 2006, US Marines conducted a similar ruthless campaign to crush the rebellious Iraqi city of Falluja.

The US is using the same punitive tactics in Afghanistan and Iraq as Israel employs on the occupied West Bank: targeted assassinations, death squads, demolishing buildings and whole neighborhoods to punish and open fields of fire. In fact, the US military has often been guided by Israeli advisors in such operations.

Destroying large parts of Kandahar is a sign of growing US frustration and a sense the war is being lost. It certainly won't win hearts and minds of the locals, the stated goal of US proconsul Gen. David Petraeus.

Like the rest of the Pentagon, Petraeus is determined that the mighty US military must not be defeated by Afghan tribesmen. The humiliation would be intolerable. Defeat in Afghanistan would bring demands for major cuts in the bloated US military, a Leviathan that consumes 50% of world military spending.

Washington's so-called national security establishment (in Britain they used to be called "imperialists") also fears failure in Afghanistan threatens to undermine the entire NATO alliance.

Europe is slowly re-emerging as a world power, however fitfully and painfully. NATO has been the primary tool of US geopolitical control of Western Europe since the late 1940's. The Japan-US security pact has played the same role in north Asia.

The loss of the Afghan War by the US and its reluctant allies will call into question the reason for the alliance and likely hasten Europe building an integrated military independent of US control. America's grip on Western Europe would be ended.

That is why Afghanistan so unnerves Washington's right wingers. The defeat of Soviet armies in Afghanistan in 1989 began the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Could the same fate be in store for the American Raj?

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2010

(4) Medvedev at NATO: 'Not a piece of furniture' - Eric Walberg

From: WVNS <ummyakoub@yahoo.com> Date: 27.11.2010 01:43 PM

Medvedev's presence in Lisbon was more a show of Russia's importance than of subservience to the Euro-Atlantic alliance, says Eric Walberg

Russia and NATO: 'Not a piece of furniture'

Eric Walberg

 Wednesday, 24 November 2010

http://ericwalberg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=291:russia-and-nato-not-a-piece-of-furniture&catid=37:russia-and-ex-soviet-union-english&Itemid=90

The results of the NATO summit were as predictable as a Soviet Communist Party congress, with the word "peace" replaced by "war". NATO's embrace of the US agenda of missile defence, nuclear arms, and its new role as global policeman surprised no one. No word about the United Nations or peacekeeping. In deference to Russia, the only mention of eastern expansion was continued "partnerships" with former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia. Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan were also offered special status. The new Strategic Doctrine, replacing the more modest Euro-centric 1999 model, really just reaffirmed US control of the foreign policy of what Zbigniew Brzezinski called its "vassal states".

There were a few ripples. France's new defense minister, Alain Juppe, openly said the Afghan conflict was a "trap" for NATO and called for an exit strategy, unlike Head of the British Armed Forces Sir David Richards, who opined, "NATO now needs to plan for a 30 or 40 year role." The Euro-spat continues over the continued presence of nuclear weapons in Europe, between France, which prides itself on its force de frappe, and Germany, which was denied any such private nuclear toys during the Cold War.

But they agreed to disagree and the summit was all smiles and photo ops, at least centre-stage. On the sidelines, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told a warm United States President Obama Barack that he was ready to cooperate on missile defence but only in "a full-fledged strategic partnership between Russia and NATO", and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai told a frosty Obama that he should scale back military operations and night raids that inflict heavy civilian casualties.

Through NATO's integration into the Pentagon's world command structure, it can be said that now, officially, the US rules the world. NATO has its Istanbul Initiative, attempting to militarise the Mediterranean Dialogue and Gulf Cooperation Councils covering the entire Middle East, including Israel. Even in Africa, only Eritrea, Libya, Sudan and Zimbabwe do not (yet) have relations with USAFRICOM. But then, NATO's two major "out of area" police roles -- Kosovo and Afghanistan -- are not encouraging signs, nor are the Pentagon's efforts in Iraq. The bigger NATO gets, and the more far-flung the US military, the more unwieldy and expensive both become. How do Malaysian soldiers in Afghanistan converse with Albanians? As Muslims, they may know their prayers in Arabic, but only by rote. And can they be trusted to kill their Afghan brothers? ...

Quite possibly more significant than the hot air emitted in Lisbon was the tete-a-tete between Medvedev, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel a month earlier on 18-19 October at their own mini-summit in Deauville, calling on the EU to launch a "modernisation partnership" with Russia, establishing an economic space with "common security concepts", including visa-free travel and cooperation on European security. The United States was pointedly not mentioned though the security issues involved "the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian zones", a half-step towards Medvedev's proposal for a new European Security Treaty in 2008.

Despite the professed devotion of the French and German leaders to the US and the war in Afghanistan, this clear outreach to Russia by the EU's most important members is an expression of the geopolitical logic at work as the US flounders and Russia matures into an unavoidable and increasingly desirable Eurasian partner. It is Russia that provides Europe with access to a large market and source of raw materials -- a peaceful gateway to the entire continent. This contrasts with the US/NATO forced march from Eurasia's underbelly, creating enemies from the Middle East through Iran to China. Spoiler Britain was pointedly left out of the Deauville summit. Even at its most Atlantist, Russia is establishing a new configuration without the Ango-American empire at the centre.

Both the power struggle among Russia's political elite and the developing facts-on-the-ground in Afghanistan and Washington, where START is probably not going to be ratified by the Senate, will determine just how US-Euro-Russian relations fare, and whether calls for Putin to run for president in 2012 result in a return of Russian geopolitical strategy to the Eurasian path it was taking prior to Medvedev. Medvedev's abrupt cancellation of the S-300 missile deal with Iran was not a popular one; it "undermines Russia's prestige and erodes its security, making the world less safe for every one of us. At the moment, the Islamic world has reasons to believe that Moscow has switched to the camp of its foes," warns former Russian Joint Chief of Staff member General Leonid Ivashov.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, taking a leaf from both Lavrov and Ivashov, insisted at the summit that any missile defence shield should protect NATO members from real threats, which translates into Turkish as "protecting NATO members from Israel, not Iran". He called for a nuclear weapons-free zone ranging from Iran to Israel. Davutoglu might have felt more comfortable outside the summit with members of the "No to War – No to NATO" alliance, who continued their tradition of using NATO summits as platforms of protest against war and militarism. They installed a Square of Peace and held a counter summit and International Anti-war Assembly, suggesting their own Strategic Doctrine for NATO -- euthanasia.

Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/ or efgh1951@yahoo.com

(5) Ten Steps toward Liquidating the Empire - Chalmers Johnson

From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences) <sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: 27.11.2010 03:55 PM

10 Steps Toward Liquidating the Empire

by Chalmers Johnson

Huffington Post, April 30, 2002

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chalmers-johnson/three-good-reasons-to-liq_b_247758.html

Dismantling the American empire would, of course, involve many steps. Here are ten key places to begin:

1. We need to put a halt to the serious environmental damage done by our bases planet-wide. We also need to stop writing SOFAs that exempt us from any responsibility for cleaning up after ourselves.

2. Liquidating the empire will end the burden of carrying our empire of bases and so of the "opportunity costs" that go with them -- the things we might otherwise do with our talents and resources but can't or won't.

3. As we already know (but often forget), imperialism breeds the use of torture. In the 1960s and 1970s we helped overthrow the elected governments in Brazil and Chile and underwrote regimes of torture that prefigured our own treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. (See, for instance, A.J. Langguth, Hidden Terrors [Pantheon, 1979], on how the U.S. spread torture methods to Brazil and Uruguay.) Dismantling the empire would potentially mean a real end to the modern American record of using torture abroad.

4. We need to cut the ever-lengthening train of camp followers, dependents, civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and hucksters -- along with their expensive medical facilities, housing requirements, swimming pools, clubs, golf courses, and so forth -- that follow our military enclaves around the world.

5. We need to discredit the myth promoted by the military-industrial complex that our military establishment is valuable to us in terms of jobs, scientific research, and defense. These alleged advantages have long been discredited by serious economic research. Ending empire would make this happen.

6. As a self-respecting democratic nation, we need to stop being the world's largest exporter of arms and munitions and quit educating Third World militaries in the techniques of torture, military coups, and service as proxies for our imperialism. A prime candidate for immediate closure is the so-called School of the Americas, the U.S. Army's infamous military academy at Fort Benning, Georgia, for Latin American military officers. (See Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire [Metropolitan Books, 2004], pp. 136-40.)

7. Given the growing constraints on the federal budget, we should abolish the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and other long-standing programs that promote militarism in our schools.

8. We need to restore discipline and accountability in our armed forces by radically scaling back our reliance on civilian contractors, private military companies, and agents working for the military outside the chain of command and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (See Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater:The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army [Nation Books, 2007]). Ending empire would make this possible.

9. We need to reduce, not increase, the size of our standing army and deal much more effectively with the wounds our soldiers receive and combat stress they undergo.

10. To repeat the main message of this essay, we must give up our inappropriate reliance on military force as the chief means of attempting to achieve foreign policy objectives.

Unfortunately, few empires of the past voluntarily gave up their dominions in order to remain independent, self-governing polities. The two most important recent examples are the British and Soviet empires. If we do not learn from their examples, our decline and fall is foreordained.

Chalmers Johnson is the author of Blowback (2000), The Sorrows of Empire (2004), and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (2006), and editor of Okinawa: Cold War Island (1999).

(6) Most Yemenis see al-Qaeda presence as 'Myth'

From: WVNS <ummyakoub@yahoo.com> Date: 24.11.2010 03:45 PM

Thursday, November 4, 2010

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/03/most-yemenis-see-al-qaeda-presence-as-myth/

"The truth is there is no al-Qaeda." Such a comment rarely finds currency in a nation's popular consciousness but in Yemen, home to what the CIA calls the most dangerous of al-Qaeda's many affiliates (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP), it is all too common.
For some AQAP is just a cynical excuse for the Saleh government to get increased foreign military aid from the US and others. Other Yemenis, particularly in the south, see it as an excuse to attack separatist groups that have nothing to do with international terrorism.

It isn't naivete on the part of Yemenis, however, but a natural function of the Yemeni government's constant use of "al-Qaeda" as a justification for attacks on separatist-linked civilians, and as a catch-all for the many different groups that have bones to pick with the Saleh regime.

Indeed AQAP appears responsible for precious little of the internal violence in Yemen, and the group's focus on overseas targets makes it difficult to sell the idea of them being something for the Yemeni military to focus on. What few attacks they have claimed were usually clear retaliation for the government offensive, raising the inevitable question of whether the Saleh regime is simply hitting a hornet's nest over and over and claiming a "threat" when it gets stung.

(7) Yemenis say, "there is no Al Qaeda"

Yemen's Drive on Al Qaeda Faces Internal Skepticism

By MONA EL-NAGGAR and ROBERT F. WORTH

The New York Times

Published: November 3, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/world/middleeast/04yemen.html?_r=1&ref=al_qaeda
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26749.htm

Nov, 03, 2010 -- SANA, Yemen — As Yemen intensifies its military campaign against Al Qaeda's regional arm, it faces a serious obstacle: most Yemenis consider the group a myth, or a ploy by their president to squeeze the West for aid money and punish his domestic opponents. Those cynical attitudes — rooted in Yemen's history of manipulative politics — complicate any effort to track down the perpetrators of the recent plot to send explosives by courier to the United States. They also make it harder to win public support for the fight against jihadist violence, whatever label one attaches to it.

"What is Al Qaeda? The truth is there is no Al Qaeda," said Lutfi Muhammad, a weary-looking unemployed 50-year-old walking through this city's tumultuous Tahrir Square. Instead, he said, the violence is "because of the regime and the lack of stability and the internal struggles."

That view, echoed across Yemen, is only partly a conspiracy theory. The Yemeni government has used jihadists as proxy soldiers in the past, and sometimes conflates the Qaeda threat and the unrelated political insurgencies it has fought in northern and southern Yemen in recent years. In a country where political and tribal violence is endemic, it is often impossible to tell who is killing whom, and why. ...

But many Yemenis seem doubtful that Al Qaeda was guilty in all or even most of those killings, which took place in the same southern parts of the country where a secessionist movement has been growing for the past three years.

"We cannot differentiate between what is propaganda and what is real," said Abdullah al-Faqih, a professor of political science at Sana University. "It's impossible to tell who is killing who; you have tribal feuds, Al Qaeda and the Southern Movement, and the state is doing a lot of manipulation."

In a sense, there are two narratives about Al Qaeda in Yemen. One of them, presented by both the Yemeni government and Al Qaeda's Internet postings — and echoed in the West — portrays a black-and-white struggle between the groups. The other narrative is the view from the ground in Yemen: a confusing welter of attacks by armed groups with shifting loyalties, some fighting under political or religious banners, some merely looking for money.

The Yemeni authorities have long paid tribal leaders to fight domestic enemies, or even other tribes that were causing trouble for the government. That policy has helped foster a culture of blackmail: some tribal figures promote violence, whether through jihadists or mere criminals, and then offer to quell it in exchange for cash.

"Some of what looks like Al Qaeda is really terror as a business," Mr. Faqih said.

Yemen's tribes are often cast as the chief obstacle in the fight against Al Qaeda, sheltering the militants because of tribal hospitality or even ideological kinship. In fact, few tribal leaders have any sympathy for the group, and some tribes have forced Qaeda members to leave their areas in the past year.

In a statement released Tuesday, a group identifying itself as Al Qaeda members from the Awlaq tribe — one of Yemen's largest — pleaded with their fellow tribesmen for support, noting that "we were deeply saddened to see the leaders, chiefs, and dignitaries of our community go personally to meet with the government envoy."

Instead, Al Qaeda seems to thrive where tribal authority has eroded, or in the southern areas where hatred of the government is most intense. In many of the recent attacks, it is difficult to draw a line between Al Qaeda and angry, impoverished young men who have easy access to weapons. ...

Mona El-Naggar reported from Sana, and Robert F. Worth from Beirut, Lebanon.

(8) Judge orders CIA to disclose weapons tests conducted on thousands of soldiers

http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/11/17/31924.htm

CIA Must Disclose Data on Human Experiments

By ANNIE YOUDERIAN

Courthouse News Service

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 Last Update: 8:36 AM PT

(CN) - A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco ordered the CIA to produce specific records and testimony about the human experiments the government allegedly conducted on thousands of soldiers from 1950 through 1975.

Three veterans groups and six individual veterans sued the CIA and other government agencies, claiming they used about 7,800 soldiers as human guinea pigs to research biological, chemical and psychological weapons.

The experiments, many of which took place at Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick in Maryland, allegedly exposed test subjects to chemicals, drugs and electronic implants. Though the soldiers volunteered, they never gave informed consent, because the government didn't fully disclose the risks, the veterans claimed. They were also required to sign an oath of secrecy, according to the complaint.

The veterans filed three sets of document requests to find out who was tested, what substances they were given, and how it affected them. Between October and April, the government produced about 15,000 pages of heavily redacted records, most of which related to the named plaintiffs only.

 The CIA argued that much of the information requested was protected under the Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

 U.S. Magistrate Judge James Larson acknowledged that some of the requests were too broad and ordered the veterans to be more specific and to reduce the total number of requests.

 For example, Larson said the plaintiffs' definition of "test program" is "overbroad," as it not only named experimental programs like "Bluebird," "Artichoke" and "MKUltra," but also included "any other program of experimentation involving human testing of any substance, including but not limited to 'MATERIAL TESTING PROGRAM EA 1729.'"

He ordered the veterans to provide a list of specific test programs and test substances.

But once the plaintiffs narrow their requests, Larson said, they are entitled to most of the information. Each government agency must respond individually to each request, he said, and if an agency denies any request, it must explain -- in sufficient detail -- why the records are purportedly privileged. ...

(9) Israel, U.S. tense as WikiLeaks set to release classified diplomatic cables

From: Sami Joseph <sajoseph2005@yahoo.com> Date: 27.11.2010 02:55 AM

Israel, U.S. tense as WikiLeaks set to release classified bilateral communiques

WikiLeaks material includes diplomatic cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world, a senior Israeli official says.

By Barak Ravid

November 26, 2010

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-u-s-tense-as-wikileaks-set-to-release-classified-bilateral-communiques-1.326905

United States Embassy in Tel Aviv has informed the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks was planning on releasing hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic cables, some of which might deal with Israel-America relations.

The Americans said they wanted to let the Israeli government know so it would not be surprised and would be prepared for publicity that might cause diplomatic embarrassment.

A senior Israeli official familiar with the contents of the message, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that according to the Americans, the WikiLeaks material includes diplomatic cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world. Sources in Washington said the documents would be coming out soon, perhaps even today.

The cables date from the past five years and include media reports, talks with politicians, government officials and journalists, as well as evaluations and various analyses by American diplomats regarding their host countries.

According to the senior Israeli official, the U.S. Embassy said that the documents were not highly classified, but the administration did not know the precise content of the cables.

"The Americans said they view the leak very seriously. They don't know when they will be released on the internet and what exactly they say, but they didn't want us to read about it in the newspapers," the official said.

The American message said that if cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv were released, it could be embarrassing because they relate to relations between Israel and the United States, which are usually kept confidential, or because they involve internal correspondence between American diplomats that do not always reflect the official position of the U.S. administration.

The Americans said that if there was embarrassment, it was important for Israel to know that this was not their intention.

Kurt Hoyer, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, neither confirmed nor denied that the embassy had conveyed a message relating to the matter to the Prime Minister's Bureau and the Foreign Ministry.

However, Hoyer said that the release of classified cables from any U.S. embassy in the world could have serious implications and even affect peoples' lives.

Hoyer said the embassy harshly condemned the release of classified documents and was very concerned about the impact on American foreign relations.

The State Department in Washington also approached several other countries to warn them of the implications of the release of the classified cables. From a check of their archives, the Americans reportedly believe WikiLeaks might release as many as 400,000 cables.

The New York Times, The U.K.'s Guardian and the German weekly new magazine Der Spiegel have reportedly been given a preview of the documents to decide which ones they want to publish.

(10) Swedish court rejects appeal of WikiLeaks' founder over rape allegation

Swedish court rejects appeal of WikiLeaks' founder

English.news.cn   2010-11-25 02:20:09
 
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-11/25/c_13620999.htm

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A Swedish court, the Svea Court of Appeal, said on Wednesday that it had rejected the appeal of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange against the international arrest warrant on him.

"The Svea Court of Appeal has today decided to reject Julian Assange's appeal against the Stockholm district court decision to remand him," the court said in a statement.

An international arrest warrant was issued last Saturday after the district court approved the order last Thursday.

The Stockholm District Court ordered an arrest warrant for questioning Assange on an accusation of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion in Sweden in August.

Two women who reportedly attended Assange's seminars launched the accusation in August.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, has denied the charges and claimed that the case was part of a "smear campaign" against him because his whistleblower website posted 77,000 secret U.S. files on the Afghan conflict in July and also published an unprecedented 400,000 classified U.S. documents on the Iraq war last month.

Assange is now believed to be in Britain while he was seen in Geneva early this month.

He had applied for a Swedish permanent residence permit earlier, but was rejected by the Swedish Immigration Office.

(11) Swedish probe into US 'espionage'

From: WVNS <ummyakoub@yahoo.com> Date: 27.11.2010 02:13 PM

Mon Nov 8, 2010

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/150182.html

Sweden has launched an investigation into "illegal intelligence activities" conducted by the US embassy in Stockholm, the country's prosecutor says.

Tomas Lindstrand, Sweden's chief prosecutor on security issues, "has decided to launch a preliminary investigation of illegal intelligence activities," his office said in a statement on Monday.

"The probe regards American actions to protect the US mission in Stockholm and American personnel," it added.

The announcement was made two days after Beatrice Ask, Swedish Justice Minister, said that the US embassy in Stockholm have been secretly spying on its citizens in the capital since 2000.

Similar allegations surfaced in Oslo and Copenhagen last week.

In all three countries, officials said they were not informed of the activities which extended to monitoring demonstrations and storing personal information about protestors.

The US missions in Sweden and Norway have issued statements, insisting the actions are part of common protection procedures.

"The Embassy's Surveillance Detection Unit is exactly what its title states: a program designed to detect surveillance against US posts overseas. It is not a secret program, nor is it an intelligence program," the US embassy in Stockholm said on Saturday.

Ask said on Saturday that it was understandable "that countries under high threat take measures to reduce the risk of attacks."

"But these measures must fall within the framework of Swedish law," and Swedish authorities must be informed, she said, adding that she was uncertain about the legality of the action.

Some experts say if surveillance was carried out without authorization, it constitutes a violation of Swedish national law.

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