On Libya, Now They Tell Us


On Libya, Now They Tell Us

The U.S. capture of an alleged al-Qaeda terror leader in Libya underscores the failure of the major news media to give the public the full story during the military intervention that led to Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster and murder. Mainstream journalists behaved more like propagandists, as Robert Parry reported in 2011.

By Robert Parry (Published on Sept. 15, 2011)

During the six-month uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, major U.S. news outlets repeated again and again that the Libyan dictator was behind the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and they ignored warnings that militant Islamists were at the core of the anti-Gaddafi rebel army.

Indeed, for Americans to get alternative views on these points, they had to search out Web sites, like Consortiumnews.com, which had the audacity not to march in lockstep with the rest of the Western media. Only outside the mainstream press would you find significant questions asked about the certainty over Libya’s guilt in the Pan Am bombing and about the makeup of the rebels.

Libyan Ali al-Megrahi, whose conviction as the “Lockerbie bomber” remains a point of historical dispute.

Now, after the United States and its NATO allies have engineered the desired “regime change” in Libya – under the pretext of “protecting civilians” – those two points are coming more into focus. The New York Times and the Washington Post finally acknowledged that radical Islamists, including some with links to al-Qaeda, are consolidating their power inside the new regime in Tripoli.

And, the proverbial dog not barking – even as Libya’s secret intelligence files have been exposed to the eyes of Western journalists – is the absence of any incriminating evidence regarding Libya’s role in the Lockerbie case. Earlier interrogations of Libya’s ex-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa by Scottish authorities also apparently came up empty, as he was allowed to leave London for Qatar.

Since Gaddafi’s fall, news outlets also have reported that Libyan intelligence agent, Ali al-Megrahi, who was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing by a Scottish court and was later released on humanitarian grounds because of terminal prostate cancer, is indeed gravely ill, bedridden and seemingly near death. [He died May 20, 2012.]

Megrahi’s trial in 2001 before a panel of Scottish judges was more a kangaroo court than any serious effort to determine guilt – even a Scottish appeals court expressed concern about a grave miscarriage of justice – but the Western press continues to describe Megrahi, without qualification, as the “Lockerbie bomber.”

It also was common in the West’s news media to smirk at the notion that Megrahi was truly suffering from advanced prostate cancer since he hadn’t died as quickly as some doctors thought he might. After Gaddafi’s regime fell, Megrahi’s family invited BBC and other news organizations to see Megrahi struggling to breathe in his sick bed.

His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, also continued to insist on his father’s innocence. “He believes and we know that everybody will see the truth,” the younger Megrahi told the BBC. “I know my father is innocent and one day his innocence will come out.”

Asked about the people who died in the bombing, the son said: “We feel sorry about all the people who died. We want to know who did this bad thing. We want to know the truth as well.”

Convicted or Railroaded?

As more information becomes available inside Libya, the facts may finally be clarified about whether Gaddafi’s government did or did not have a hand in the bombing over Lockerbie. However, so far, the indications are that Megrahi may well have been railroaded by the Scottish judges who found a second Libyan defendant innocent and were under political pressure to convict someone for the crime.

After Megrahi’s curious conviction, the West imposed harsh economic sanctions on Libya, agreeing to lift them only if Libya accepted “responsibility” for the bombing and paid restitution to the families of the 270 victims. To get rid of the punishing sanctions, Libya accepted the deal although its officials continued to insist that Libya had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing.

However, amid the 2011 propaganda campaign in support of the Libyan rebels, none of this uncertainty was mentioned in the New York Times, the Washington Post or other leading U.S. news outlets. Gaddafi’s guilt for Lockerbie was simply stated as flat fact, much as the same news organizations endorsed false claims about Iraq’s WMD in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of that Arab country.

Similarly, there was scant U.S. media attention given to evidence that eastern Libya, the heart of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion, was a hotbed for Islamic militancy with that region supplying the most per-capita militants fighting U.S. troops in Iraq, often under the banner of al-Qaeda.

Instead, Gaddafi’s claims that he was battling Islamic terrorists in the Benghazi region were widely mocked or ignored in the West. Even a report by analysts Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman for West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center got short-shrift.

In their report, “Al-Qaeda’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” Felter and Fishman analyzed al-Qaeda documents captured in 2007 showing personnel records of militants who flocked to Iraq for the war. The documents showed eastern Libya providing a surprising number of suicide bombers who traveled to Iraq to kill American troops.

Felter and Fishman wrote that these so-called Sinjar Records disclosed that while Saudis comprised the largest number of foreign fighters in Iraq, Libyans represented the largest per-capita contingent by far. Those Libyans came overwhelmingly from towns and cities in the east.

“The vast majority of Libyan fighters that included their hometown in the Sinjar Records resided in the country’s Northeast, particularly the coastal cities of Darnah 60.2% (53) and Benghazi 23.9% (21),” Felter and Fishman wrote.

The authors added that Abu Layth al‐Libi, Emir of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), “reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan jihadis in his announcement that LIFG had joined al‐Qa’ida.”

Top Libyan Terrorists

Some important al-Qaeda leaders operating in Pakistan’s tribal regions also are believed to have come from Libya. For instance, “Atiyah,” who was guiding the anti-U.S. war strategy in Iraq, was identified as a Libyan named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.

It was Atiyah who urged a strategy of creating a quagmire for U.S. forces in Iraq, buying time for al-Qaeda headquarters to rebuild its strength in Pakistan. “Prolonging the war [in Iraq] is in our interest,” Atiyah said in a letter that upbraided Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for his hasty and reckless actions in Iraq.

After U.S. Special Forces killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan, Atiyah became al-Qaeda’s second in command until he himself was reportedly killed in a U.S. drone strike in August. [See Consortiumnews.com “Time Finally Ran Out for Atiyah.”] ***(Unfortunately Bin Laden had died of natural causes in 2002 or 2005 this has been proven, what they killed in May 1st 2011 is an unfortunate person who was not Bin Laden. Do a research and find out what happened to the CREW and SPECIAL FORCES who were involved in this escapade, If I am not mistaken they are all dead) 

However, to most Americans relying on the major U.S. news media, little of this was known, as the Washington Post itself acknowledged in an article on Sept. 12, 2011. In an article on the rise of Islamists inside the new power structure in Libya, the Post wrote:

“Although it went largely unnoticed during the uprising that toppled Gaddafi last month, Islamists were at the heart of the fight, many as rebel commanders. Now some are clashing with secularists within the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting worries among some liberals that the Islamists — who still command the bulk of fighters and weapons — could use their strength to assert an even more dominant role.”

On Sept. 15, 2011, the New York Times published a similar article, entitled “Islamists’ Growing Sway Raises Questions for Libya.” It began:

“In the emerging post-Qaddafi Libya, the most influential politician may well be Ali Sallabi, who has no formal title but commands broad respect as an Islamic scholar and populist orator who was instrumental in leading the mass uprising. The most powerful military leader is now Abdel Hakim Belhaj, the former leader of a hard-line group once believed to be aligned with Al Qaeda.”

Belhaj was previously the commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was associated with al-Qaeda in the past, maintained training bases in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks, and was listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.

Though Belhaj and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group deny current allegiance to al-Qaeda, Belhaj was captured during George W. Bush’s post-9/11 “war on terror” and was harshly interrogated by the CIA at a “black site” prison in Thailand before being handed over to Gaddafi’s government which imprisoned and – Belhaj claims – tortured him. ****(he was not tortured stayed in prison only a year and then was on a house arrest) 

The Times reported that “Belhaj has become so much an insider lately that he is seeking to unseat Mahmoud Jibril, the American-trained economist who is the nominal prime minister of the interim government, after Mr. Jibril obliquely criticized the Islamists.”

The Times article by correspondents Rod Nordland and David D. Kirkpatrick also cited other recent developments of growing Islamist influence inside the Libyan rebel movement:

“Islamist militias in Libya receive weapons and financing directly from foreign benefactors like Qatar; a Muslim Brotherhood figure, Abel al-Rajazk Abu Hajar, leads the Tripoli Municipal Governing Council, where Islamists are reportedly in the majority; in eastern Libya, there has been no resolution of the assassination in July of the leader of the rebel military, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, suspected by some to be the work of Islamists.”

It may be commendable that the Post and Times finally gave serious attention to this unintended consequence of the NATO-backed “regime change” in Libya, but the fact that these premier American newspapers ignored the Islamist issue as well as doubts about Libya’s Lockerbie guilt – while the U.S. government was whipping up public support for another war in the Muslim world – raises questions about whether any lessons were learned from Iraq.

Do these prestige news outlets continue to see their role in such cases as simply getting the American people to line up behind the latest war against a Mideast “bad guy” – or will they ever take seriously their journalistic duty to arm the public with as much information as possible?

About these ads

AMERICA IS THIS THE DEMOCRACY YOU WANT TO INSTALL IN LIBYA?


AMERICA IS THIS THE DEMOCRACY YOU WANT TO INSTALL IN LIBYA?

Obama and its Allies said that they had to help the Libyan people from our ruler Qaddafi, they said we needed the American/European Democracy installed. What I understand is that our Leader would not obey like a sheep on the NWO demands. Qaddafi was sick and tired watching the White Race together with the Arian-Zionists stealing the wealth of the Middle East and African people. Both Continents have a lot of riches on resources while the WR and AZ have run out of their own resources and gold. They think that we are incapable of ruling our own country rather they are afraid to let us rule are own country because they know we will thrive. So let me show you a video and an article which shows how America’s Democracy works for them and want to install it in the Middle East and Africa.

*WR=> White Race AZ=> Arian-Zionist

Torture Inc. Americas Brutal Prisons

Savaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?

By Deborah Davies

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes.

Lines of men are now slithering across the floor of the cellblock while the guards stand over them shouting, prodding and kicking.

Second by second, their humiliation is captured on a video camera by one of the guards.

The images of abuse and brutality he records are horrifyingly familiar. These were exactly the kind of pictures from inside Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad that shocked the world this time last year.

And they are similar, too, to the images of brutality against Iraqi prisoners that this week led to the conviction of three British soldiers.

But there is a difference. These prisoners are not caught up in a war zone. They are Americans, and the video comes from inside a prison in Texas

They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for Channel 4 that will be broadcast next week.

Our findings were not based on rumour or suspicion. They were based on solid evidence, chiefly videotapes that we collected from all over the U.S.

In many American states, prison regulations demand that any ‘use of force operation’, such as searching cells for drugs, must be filmed by a guard.

The theory is that the tapes will show proper procedure was followed and that no excessive force was used. In fact, many of them record the exact opposite.

Each tape provides a shocking insight into the reality of life inside the U.S. prison system – a reality that sits very uncomfortably with President Bush’s commitment to the battle for freedom and democracy against the forces of tyranny and oppression.

In fact, the Texas episode outlined above dates from 1996, when Bush was state Governor.

Frank Carlson was one of the lawyers who fought a compensation battle on behalf of the victims. I asked him about his reaction when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke last year and U.S. politicians rushed to express their astonishment and disgust that such abuses could happen at the hands of American guards.

‘I thought: “What hypocrisy,” Carlson told me. ‘Because they know we do it here every day.’

All the lawyers I spoke to during our investigations shared Carlson’s belief that Abu Ghraib, far from being the work of a few rogue individuals, was simply the export of the worst practices that take place in the domestic prison system all the time. They pointed to the mountain of files stacked on their desks, on the floor, in their office corridors – endless stories of appalling, sadistic treatment inside America’s own prisons.

Many of the tapes we’ve collected are several years old. That’s because they only surface when determined lawyers prise them out of reluctant state prison departments during protracted lawsuits.

But for every ‘historical’ tape we collected, we also found a more recent story. What you see on the tape is still happening daily.

It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

In one horrific scene, a naked man, passive and vacant, is seen being led out of his cell by prison guards. They strap him into a medieval-looking device called a ‘restraint chair’. His hands and feet are shackled, there’s a strap across his chest, his head lolls forward. He looks dead. He’s not. Not yet.

The chair is his punishment because guards saw him in his cell with a pillowcase on his head and he refused to take it off. The man has a long history of severe schizophrenia. Sixteen hours later, they release him from the chair. And two hours after that, he dies from a blood clot resulting from his barbaric treatment.

The tape comes from Utah – but there are others from Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Arizona and probably many more. We found more than 20 cases of prisoners who’ve died in the past few years after being held in a restraint chair.

Two of the deaths we investigated were in the same county jail in Phoenix, Arizona, which is run by a man who revels in the title of ‘America’s Toughest Sheriff.’

His name is Joe Arpaio. He positively welcomes TV crews and we were promised ‘unfettered access.’ It was a reassuring turn of phrase – you don’t want to be fettered in one of Sheriff Joe’s jails.

We uncovered two videotapes from surveillance cameras showing how his tough stance can end in tragedy.

The first tape, from 2001, shows a man named Charles Agster dragged in by police, handcuffed at the wrists and ankles. Agster is mentally disturbed and a drug user. He was arrested for causing a disturbance in a late-night grocery store. The police handed him over to the Sheriff’s deputies in the jail. Agster is a tiny man, weighing no more than nine stone, but he’s struggling.

The tape shows nine deputies manhandling him into the restraint chair. One of them kneels on Agster’s stomach, pushing his head forward on to his knees and pulling his arms back to strap his wrists into the chair.

Bending someone double for any length of time is dangerous – the manuals on the use of the ‘restraint chair’ warn of the dangers of ‘positional asphyxia.’

Fifteen minutes later, a nurse notices Agster is unconscious. The cameras show frantic efforts to resuscitate him, but he’s already brain dead. He died three days later in hospital. Agster’s family is currently suing Arizona County.

His mother, Carol, cried as she told me: ‘If that’s not torture, I don’t know what is.’ Charles’s father, Chuck, listened in silence as we filmed the interview, but every so often he padded out of the room to cry quietly in the kitchen.

The second tape, from five years earlier, shows Scott Norberg dying a similar death in the same jail. He was also a drug user arrested for causing a nuisance. Norberg was severely beaten by the guards, stunned up to 19 times with a Taser gun and forced into the chair where – like Charles Agster – he suffocated.

The county’s insurers paid Norberg’s family more than £4 millions in an out-of-court settlement, but the sheriff was furious with the deal. ‘My officers were clear,’ he said. ‘The insurance firm was afraid to go before a jury.’

Now he’s determined to fight the Agster case all the way through the courts. Yet tonight, in Sheriff Joe’s jail, there’ll probably be someone else strapped into the chair.

Not all the tapes we uncovered were filmed by the guards themselves. Linda Evans smuggled a video camera into a hospital to record her son, Brian. You can barely see his face through all the tubes and all you can hear is the rhythmic sucking of the ventilator.

He was another of Sheriff Joe’s inmates. After an argument with guards, he told a prison doctor they’d beaten him up. Six days later, he was found unconscious of the floor of his cell with a broken neck, broken toes and internal injuries. After a month in a coma, he died from septicaemia.

‘Mr Arpaio is responsible.’ Linda Evans told me, struggling to speak through her tears. ‘He seems to thrive on this cruelty and this mentality that these men are nothing.’

In some of the tapes it’s not just the images, it’s also the sounds that are so unbearable. There’s one tape from Florida which I’ve seen dozens of times but it still catches me in the stomach.

It’s an authorised ‘use of force operation’ – so a guard is videoing what happens. They’re going to Taser a prisoner for refusing orders.

The tape shows a prisoner lying on an examination table in the prison hospital. The guards are instructing him to climb down into a wheelchair. ‘I can’t, I can’t!’ he shouts with increasing desperation. ‘It hurts!’

One guard then jabs him on both hips with a Taser. The man jerks as the electricity hits him and shrieks, but still won’t get into the wheelchair.

The guards grab him and drop him into the chair. As they try to bend his legs up on to the footrest, he screams in pain. The man’s lawyer told me he has a very limited mental capacity. He says he has a back injury and can’t walk or bend his legs without intense pain.

The tape becomes even more harrowing. The guards try to make the prisoner stand up and hold a walking frame. He falls on the floor, crying in agony. They Taser him again. He runs out of the energy and breath to cry and just lies there moaning.

One of the most recent video tapes was filmed in January last year. A surveillance camera in a youth institution in California records an argument between staff members and two ‘wards’ – they’re not called prisoners.

One of the youths hits a staff member in the face. He knocks the ward to the floor then sits astride him punching him over and over again in the head.

Watching the tape you can almost feel each blow. The second youth is also punched and kicked in the head – even after he’s been handcuffed. Other staff just stand around and watch.

We also collected some truly horrific photographs.

A few years ago, in Florida, the new warden of the high security state prison ordered an end to the videoing of ‘use of force operations.’ So we have no tapes to show how prison guards use pepper spray to punish prisoners.

But we do have the lawsuit describing how men were doused in pepper spray and then left to cook in the burning fog of chemicals. Photographs taken by their lawyers show one man has a huge patch of raw skin over his hip. Another is covered in an angry rash across his neck, back and arms. A third has deep burns on his buttocks.

‘They usually use fire extinguishers size canisters of pepper spray,’ lawyer Christopher Jones explained. ‘We have had prisoners who have had second degree burns all over their bodies.

‘The tell-tale sign is they turn off the ventilation fans in the unit. Prisoners report that cardboard is shoved in the crack of the door to make sure it’s really air-tight.’

And why were they sprayed? According to the official prison reports, their infringements included banging on the cell door and refusing medication. From the same Florida prison we also have photographs of Frank Valdes – autopsy pictures. Realistically, he had little chance of ever getting out of prison alive. He was on Death Row for killing a prison officer. He had time to reconcile himself to the Electric Chair – he didn’t expect to be beaten to death.

Valdes started writing to local Florida newspapers to expose the corruption and brutality of prison officers. So a gang of guards stormed into his cell to shut him up. They broke almost every one of his ribs, punctured his lung, smashed his spleen and left him to die.

Several of the guards were later charged with murder, but the trial was held in their own small hometown where almost everyone works for, or has connection with, the five prisons which ring the town. The foreman of the jury was former prison officer. The guards were all acquitted.

Meanwhile, the warden who was in charge of the prison at the time of the killing – the same man who changed the policy on videoing – has been promoted. He’s now the man in charge of all the Florida prisons.

How could anyone excuse – still less condone – such behaviour? The few prison guards who would talk to us have a siege mentality. They see themselves outnumbered, surrounded by dangerous, violent criminals, so they back each other up, no matter what.

I asked one serving officer what happened if colleagues beat up an inmate. ‘We cover up. Because we’re the good guys.’

No one should doubt that the vast majority of U.S. prison officers are decent individuals doing their best in difficult circumstances. But when horrific abuse by the few goes unreported and uninvestigated, it solidifies into a general climate of acceptance among the many.

At the same time the overall hardening of attitudes in modern-day America has meant the notion of rehabilitation has been almost lost. The focus is entirely on punishment – even loss of liberty is not seen as punishment enough. Being on the restraint devices and the chemical sprays.

Since we finished filming for the programme in January, I’ve stayed in contact with various prisoners’ rights groups and the families of many of the victims. Every single day come more e-mails full of fresh horror stories. In the past weeks, two more prisoners have died, in Alabama and Ohio. One man was pepper sprayed, the other tasered.

Then, three weeks ago, reports emerged of 20 hours of video material from Guantanamo Bay showing prisoners being stripped, beaten and pepper sprayed. One of those affected is Omar Deghayes, one of the seven British residents still being held there.

His lawyer says Deghayes is now permanently blind in one eye. American military investigators have reviewed the tapes and apparently found ‘no evidence of systematic abuse.’

But then, as one of the prison reformers we met on our journey across the U.S. told me: ‘We’ve become immune to the abuse. The brutality has become customary.’

So far, the U.S. government is refusing to release these Guantanamo tapes. If they are ever made public – or leaked – I suspect the images will be very familiar.

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo – or even Texas. The prisoners and all guards may vary, but the abuse is still too familiar. And much is it is taking place in America’s own backyard.

Exposing Obama Regime’s Support to Al Qaeda


 

Exposing Obama Regime’s Support to Al Qaeda

by Arabi Souri

 

What will you do when you discover you’ve been fooled by the ones you chose to lead you, and not only that, they used your money, your children, your future and your reputation to fool you?

If you had a tiny shred of humanity left in you, some of dignity, you’d go mad, but our experience proves you’ll re-elect the same gang time and again to fool you further as long as they can benefit on your account.

Each US Taxpayer contributes to the killing of innocent people worldwide by financing terrorist groups after going to wars directly is not a choice.. Or maybe it is still.

and here is another video which say’s the same things.

by: Western Journalism

Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?


 

Who is responsible for the catastrophes in the Middle East?

by Bill Van Auken

“The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today,” Secretary of State John Kerry declared at a Cairo news conference held in the midst of his recent crisis tour of the Middle East.

As Kerry spoke, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a growing Sunni insurgency were consolidating their grip over the north and west of Iraq, including the country’s borders with Syria and Jordan. Upwards of a million Iraqis had been displaced by the fighting, and thousands had been killed in the mounting sectarian slaughter.

Libya is in a state of complete collapse, with continuous fighting between rival militias, a government that exists in name only, oil production down by at least 80 percent, and over a million ****(unfortunately its over 3 million) people forced to flee the country’s violence. Many thousands ****(over 70 thousand) are incarcerated in a network of prisons run by armed groups that practice systematic torture.

Kerry’s statement merely made official the steady drumbeat from the political establishment and the media since the situation in Iraq turned into a complete debacle: “The US bears no responsibility.”

Typical was the commentary by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a “human rights” imperialist who was a vocal proponent of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. He wrote: “The debacle in Iraq isn’t President Obama’s fault. It’s not the Republicans’ fault… overwhelmingly, it’s the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.” ***(Really? Maliki is the puppet of the USA so how is it his fault?)

Maliki, the stooge put in power and kept there by the US occupation, is made the fall guy.

Thomas Friedman, the Times’ foreign affairs columnist, wrote Sunday that Maliki is an “arsonist,” who, “the minute America left Iraq,” deliberately unleashed mayhem. This is the same Friedman who in 2003 declared that the US invaded Iraq “because we could,” spoke proudly of US troops going house-to-house and ordering Iraqis to “suck on this,” and declared that he had “no problem with a war for oil.”

Listening to the chorus of statements insisting that the US has no responsibility for the deepening tragedy inflicted upon the people of Iraq and Libya, one is reminded of nothing so much as the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, from Hermann Göring on down, rising one-by-one in the dock to declare themselves “not guilty.”

What are the crimes for which Kerry and so many others in the ruling establishment insist Washington bears no responsibility?

The description that they used for their own actions at the time was “shock and awe,” the unleashing of colossal destructive force upon a society already shattered by a decade of sadistic US sanctions. Killing hundreds of thousands of people and turning millions into refugees, the US war and occupation destroyed every institution of Iraqi society, while Washington deliberately fomented sectarian divisions as a means of overcoming Iraqi nationalism. The country’s deposed ruler, Saddam Hussein, was tried by a drumhead court and unceremoniously executed.

All of this was justified with warnings about the imminent threat from “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda. As the whole world now knows, it was all lies.

There were no WMDs and there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until US imperialism overthrew the country’s government and tore its social fabric to pieces. In fact, there was no Al Qaeda at all before Washington set about inciting a bloody war by right-wing Islamists in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

In Libya and now in Syria, the Obama administration abandoned the “war on terrorism” pretext for an equally cynical and fraudulent justification for regime-change: “human rights.” In Libya, the US and NATO heavily bombed the country while organizing and arming Islamist-led militias in a sectarian war that destroyed all of the existing governmental and social structures. As in Iraq, it ended its war with the brutal murder of the country’s secular leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Washington is carrying out a similar war for regime-change in Syria, backing Sunni Islamist and sectarian militias that are led by ISIS, the same force that has overrun much of Iraq. The US hopes to end this war with the assassination of a third secular Arab head of state, Bashar al-Assad.

Just last week, Obama proposed to funnel $500 million in arms to the Syrian “rebels”—weapons that everyone knows will end up in the hands of ISIS, which the US is supposedly committed to defeating in Iraq.

As the contradictions and deceptions of Washington’s policy become ever more glaring, US officials simply act as though the American people won’t notice, or will believe anything. Or, for that matter, they won’t see that $500 million can be conjured up instantly to pay for a criminal war, while working people are being told “there is no money” for health care, education, housing or jobs.

The destruction that the US oligarchs have wrought in the Middle East, with all of its terrible human consequences, is the external manifestation of their destructive role within the US itself—smashing up the country’s manufacturing base, turning its economy into a gambling casino for financial parasites, destroying the jobs and living standards of millions of people. With no answers to the growing crisis at home, they turn to violence abroad, only compounding the catastrophes they have created overseas.

The “not responsibles” and “not guilties” from Kerry, Kristof, Friedman and the other advocates and apologists for American military aggression won’t wash. US imperialism is responsible for terrible crimes against humanity.

Yet no one has been held accountable. Not those in Washington—Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, et al.—who conspired to wage a war of aggression; not those in the current administration, from Obama on down, who conspired to shield their predecessors and continue the same predatory policies; not the military brass who carried out the war; not the private contractors who enriched themselves off of it; not the lying media that helped foist the war onto the American public; not the cowardly and conformist academics who justified and went along with it.

Together, they are responsible for the catastrophes that have been inflicted upon the peoples of Iraq, Libya and Syria.

The Stingers of Benghazi


 

The Stingers of Benghazi

By Jim Geraghty

Stinger missile launcher

Earlier this week, Roger L. Simon of PJ Mediabroke a story with shocking revelations, contending that slain U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi on September 11 to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups that had been originally provided to them by the U.S. State Department.

Simon cited two former U.S. diplomats:

Stevens’ mission in Benghazi, they will say, was to buy back Stinger missiles from al-Qaeda groups issued to them by the State Department, not by the CIA. Such a mission would usually be a CIA effort, but the intelligence agency had opposed the idea because of the high risk involved in arming “insurgents” with powerful weapons that endanger civilian aircraft.

Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted “to overthrow [Qaddafi] on the cheap.”

This left Stevens in the position of having to clean up the scandalous enterprise when it became clear that the “insurgents” actually were al-Qaeda — indeed, in the view of one of the diplomats, the same group that attacked the consulate and ended up killing Stevens.

A careful review of reports from Libya over the past few years corroborates some parts of that account, but contradicts others:

 Some Libyan rebel leaders, including at least one who had spent time in a training camp in Afghanistan and who was in that country in September 2001, specifically asked Western countries to send Stinger missiles.

 Qaddafi’s intelligence services believed that the rebels were having the missiles smuggled in over the country’s southern border — but they believed the French were supplying the missiles.

 There is no evidence that the U.S. supplied the weapons, but it appears they gave their blessing to a secret Qatari effort to ship arms across Libya’s southern border in violation of a United Nations arms embargo.

 Anti-Qaddafi forces also obtained a significant number of anti-aircraft missiles from the regime’s bunkers early in the conflict.

 Enough Stinger missiles disappeared from regime stockpiles during the civil war to become a high priority and serious worry for the administration.

(Note that in much of the coverage of Libya, “Stinger” has turned into a catch-all term for any shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft missile.)

To save Eric Holder and the Department of Justice the trouble of reading my e-mail or collecting my phone records, all of the information in this report is gathered from public and open sources, both in the U.S. and overseas, and none of it can be considered classified or sensitive.

Before the war, Qaddafi’s regime in Libya possessed more of these kinds of missiles than did any other country except where they’re produced. On April 7, 2011, General Carter Ham, then recently promoted to head of U.S. Africa Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “we do estimate that there were as many as 20,000 of these types of weapons in Libya before the conflict began.”

In March 2011, Ambassador Chris Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the Libyan opposition. He first entered Benghazi on April 5, 2011, joined by a USAID team, while the war was still raging, to meet with rebel leaders.

On March 2, 2011, Mike Elkin of Wired reported as rebel forces cleaned out the Salmani weapons-maintenance depot in Benghazi, and mentioned “30-year-old rockets” and “anti-aircraft weapons.”

Ben Knight, a foreign correspondent with the Australian Broadcasting Company, said on a program a few days later (March 7, 2011) that the rebels had shown him Stinger missiles:

TONY EASTLEY: And I guess on top of that, Ben, the rebels really are not as well armed as the government forces?

BEN KNIGHT: Well, clearly not. . . . What they do have we saw some Stinger missiles today, which are missiles that are capable of locking onto a jet fighter and shooting it down. In fact, they are claiming to have shot down another jet fighter today as well as another helicopter. ****(the jet and helicopter were flown by the rebels which the rebels on the ground didn’t know and believed that they were from the Libyan Jamahirya army…so the shot them down. Of course the Western Media never mentioned it, as it would be bad publicity and showing how incompetent were the rebelrats…)

By July 2011, C. J. Chivers of the New York Times reported on more anti-aircraft missiles’ being removed from storage bunkers in Ga’a, Libya:

On a recent day, 43 emptied wooden crates — long, thin and painted in dark green — had been left behind on the sand inside the entrance. The boxes had not been there during a visit to the same spot a few days before, and the weapons were gone.

The stenciled markings showed each crate had contained a pair of lightweight missiles called SA-7s — early Soviet versions of the same class of weapon as the better known American-made Stingers, which were used by Afghan fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan. It was not clear who had taken them. The rebel guards variously blamed Qaddafi forces and misinformed opposition fighters.

Interviews with anti-Qaddafi leaders at the time indicated that one of their top priorities was obtaining anti-aircraft missiles. In light of the PJ Media report’s claims, one of the most intriguing reports from this time period is a March 11, 2011, Canadian Globe and Mail article that interviewed insurgent leader Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi:

“We need Stingers,” he said, referring to shoulder-mounted missiles. “We don’t need your stupid words.” . . . 

Abdul Hakim Al-Hasadi, 45, [was] recently appointed chief of security in the rebel-controlled town of Darnah. Al-Hasadi says he taught history and geography at a local high school until 1995, when he escaped Libya and spent a few years travelling. He finally settled in Afghanistan in 1999. He acknowledged that he lived in a camp and received training in guerrilla warfare, but would not say who controlled the facility.

The rebel commander said he witnessed the awe-inspiring power of U.S. air strikes when bombs hit Taliban and al-Qaeda positions in 2001. “We felt extreme rage,” he said. “They were killing women and children. It made us hate the United States.”

Hasadi was detained as a hostile combatant by U.S. forces in 2002, according to an interview he gave with an Italian newspaper: “I’ve never been in Guantanamo. I was captured in 2002 in Peshawar, Pakistan, while returning from Afghanistan where I fought against foreign invasion. I was handed over to the Americans, held a few months in Islamabad, delivered to Libya, and released in 2008.” ****(he was released after he signed that he would never go back to Al Qaeda or any other extremist organization this the media does not mention it either as it was Saif Qaddafi who released them)

Hasadi was not the only rebel leader imploring the West for Stinger missiles. A March 23, 2011, Reuters report quoted Fawzi Buktif, described as “an oil project engineer” then running “a training base outside Benghazi,” as saying, “We need Kalashnikovs, stingers, anti-tanks, all types of anti-tanks.”

Despite all the focus on anti-aircraft missiles, the Libyan Air Force ceased to be a significant factor in the war in March 2011. The United Kingdom’s Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell declared March 23 that the Libyan Air Force “no longer exists as a fighting force” and that NATO forces now flew over Libyan airspace “with impunity.” ***(yes with impunity the were bombing us 24/7 and Ban Walid with Sirte were bombed with depleted uranium in short the bombed Libya back to the stone age)

Despite Libya being awash in anti-aircraft missiles, not many were fired at NATO aircraft:

A senior U.S. military officer who follows Libya closely said it was puzzling that there had been so few documented instances in which Libyan loyalist troops launched shoulder-fired missiles at NATO aircraft. ****(that is not true the Libyan loyalist did shoot quite a few planes down but NATO and West Media  WILL never admit it. We have the videos to show them who ever is interested and I am sure the mothers of the decease will want to know)

“I’m not sure what that means,” the officer said. “Fewer systems than we thought? Systems are inoperable? Few in Libya know how to operate them?”

Throughout the war, Qaddafi’s regime believed some outside force was supplying the rebels with anti-aircraft weapons. On September 2, 2011, the Wall Street Journal’s Charles Levinson and Margaret Coker managed to obtain the regime’s intelligence files about the rebellion, recovered from the office of Libya’s spy chief and two other security agencies.

By April, the war was expanding and so was the sense of panic inside Tripoli. Mr. Senussi’s [the Libyan spy chief] office did get apparently credible information, but the news was ominous. The reports suggested that the rebels were exploiting the country’s porous southern borders to receive arms and aid.

One memo contained intercepted phone calls between military commanders in Chad who reported Qatari weapons convoys approaching Libya’s southern border with Sudan, apparently intended for anti-[Qaddafi] forces. Another intelligence memo, dated April 4, warned that French weapons, including Stinger antiaircraft missiles and Milan antitank rockets, were making their way to Libyan rebels via Sudan.

French officials declined to comment on the document’s claims. Qatari officials didn’t return email requests for comment.

These Qatari weapons convoys were, in fact approved by the Obama administration, according to the New York Times:

The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats. . . .

The United States, which had only small numbers of C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments. Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official. ****(sorry my friend all what you write above was  financed the plan of Qatar with all the blessings  of CIA, AIPAC AND THE ADMINISTRATION)

The Times article stated that “no evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris to the Benghazi attack,” although it’s not clear how anyone could determine that for certain without precise, accurate accounts of the Qatari weapons and the weapons used in the Benghazi attack. ****(because they were american weapons)

The Obama administration’s approval of these arms shipments almost certainly violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, adopted February 26, 2011, which required all member states to “prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of weapons to any party in Libya.  ****(who gives a shit about the UN? The United States doesn’t give a damn.)

Qaddafi’s forces sought to restock their supply of these missiles during the conflict. In mid July  2011, his regime met with Chinese officials, seeking to purchase $200 million worth of sophisticated weapons, including portable surface-to-air missiles.

Some number of the missiles, perhaps a significant portion, left the country. At least one foreign-intelligence source stated that branches of al-Qaeda were obtaining surface-to-air missiles in Libya. In April 2011, Reuters quoted an Algerian security official who claimed that al-Qaeda was smuggling missiles out of Libya:

The official said a convoy of eight Toyota pick-up trucks left eastern Libya, crossed into Chad and then Niger, and from there into northern Mali where in the past few days it delivered a cargo of weapons . . . al Qaeda’s north African wing, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), had acquired from Libya Russian-made shoulder-fired Strela surface-to-air missiles known by the NATO designation SAM-7.

In October 2011, a Turkish journalist reported that Egyptian security forces had impeded an effort to smuggle Libyan SA-7 missiles through tunnels leading to the Gaza Strip, and expressed fears that the Kurdish separatist group was attempting to obtain them.

Shoulder-mounted missiles were also leaving Libya and ending up in the hands of Somali pirates, according to an April 2012 report:

“We found that Libyan weapons are being sold in what is the world’s biggest black market for illegal gun smugglers, and Somali pirates are among those buying from sellers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other countries,” said Judith van der Merwe, of the Algiers-based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism. ****(I am wondering if on the weapons it was engraved Libya Jamahirya? There is no other explanation by what the Turkish Journalist stated. Otherwise as far as I know this is not the case so my question is how did they know it was Libyan weapons? Did the Libyan weapons sung the Libyan anthem?)

“We believe our information is credible and know that some of the pirates have acquired ship mines, as well as Stinger and other shoulder-held missile launchers,” Van der Merwe told Reuters on the sidelines of an Indian Ocean naval conference. ****(Now Reuters never LIES. What they print or say it’s the TRUTH. Please forgive me but Reuters has done the bidding of the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND NATO’S so forgive me if I don’t believe a word they say.)

By early September 2011, experts on the ground were concluding that “hundreds, if not thousands of surface-to-air missiles were missing,” and Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director, was telling foreign correspondents that “if these weapons fall into the wrong hands, all of North Africa will be a no-fly zone.”

By late September, the highest levels of the U.S. government began focusing on the disappearing missiles and the threat they presented. Brian Ross of ABC News:

The White House announced today it planned to expand a program to secure and destroy Libya’s huge stockpile of dangerous surface-to-air missiles, following an ABC News report that large numbers of them continue to be stolen from unguarded military warehouses.

Currently the U.S. State Department has one official on the ground in Libya, as well as five contractors who specialize in “explosive ordinance disposal”, all working with the rebel Transitional National Council to find the looted missiles, White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters. ****(well they were not searching very hard, as Ambassador Stevens had already collected them and he was shipping them off to Syria THIS IS A WELL KNOWN FACT.)

On October 23, 2011, Con Coughlin of the Daily Telegraph reported that the Central Intelligence Agency was on the ground in Libya in the effort to recover the missiles: ****(Yes the CIA was on the ground and had recovered most of the missiles and were given to the Ambassador who in his bio is also an arms dealer. I apologize for talking ill of the dead but facts are facts.)

Since [Qaddafi]’s regime fell in late August teams of CIA officers, supported by other intelligence services such as Britain’s MI6, have been scouring Libya in search of the missing missiles. Their main target is the thousands of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles [Qaddafi] bought from Moscow during the past decade which, were they to fall into the wrong hands, would pose a massive security risk. ****(What the agencies mean wrong hands: are the loyalists to Qaddafi they were worried that if the loyalist got them they would be back with no mercy for the CIA/MOSSAD/MI6 AGENTS and of course for the betrayers of Libya. They didn’t care for the rest because their mission was to arm AL QAEDA, SHARAIA, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD & LIFG without supplying them with new ones and they had trained them on this kind of arms. Please do not be fooled by the agencies) 

We now know that a significant portion of the U.S. presence in Benghazi was CIA employees. Reuters quoted unidentified government officials who said the annex’s mission was “collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles.” ****(that is also not true, there were over 35 CIA employees who used the annex’s mission as a prison for interrogation and we all know their kind of interrogation.)

In February 2012, Andrew Shapiro, then assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, declared in a speech that the U.S. and the new Libyan government had recovered and secured “approximately 5,000” anti-aircraft missiles. In May 2012, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius detailed the claims of two former CIA counterterrorism officers that about 800 of the missiles were in Niger, which borders Libya to the southwest, in the hands of an African jihadist group called Boko Haram that’s based in Nigeria. ****(Surely you don’t believe that Boko Haram bought anything? it was handed to him by the agencies for convert fighting and to cause more problems to Nigeria)

There is significant reason to believe that both Stevens and the CIA personnel in Benghazi were focused on recovering the missiles in the days leading up to his death on September 11. ****(no he was not recovering but shipping them off to Syria together with Libyan Mercenaries. Actually he had a meeting prior to his death with the Turkish Ambassador for the last details of the shipment)

After the Benghazi attack, there were public reports of Libyan arms, including these types of anti-aircraft missiles, being smuggled to the Syrian resistance fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

On September 14, 2012, three days after Stevens was killed, Sheera Frenkel, a correspondent for the Times of London, reported from Antakya, Turkey:

A Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria since the uprising began has docked in Turkey and most of its cargo is making its way to rebels on the front lines, The Times has learnt.

Among more than 400 tonnes of cargo the vessel was carrying were SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which Syrian sources said could be a game-changer for the rebels.

Frenkel’s report identified the ship’s captain as “Omar Mousaeeb, a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organisation called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support, which is supporting the Syrian uprising.” This was not the first attempt to ship arms from Libya to the Syrian rebels, apparently:

In late April, Lebanese authorities seized a large consignment of Libyan weapons, including RPGs and heavy ammunition, from a ship intercepted in the Mediterranean. The ship was attempting to reach the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, a largely Sunni city seen as supportive of the Syrian rebellion against President Assad.

In October 17, 2012, about one month after the ship docked in Turkey, Reuters reported, “Amateur footage of rebels using shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles have emerged in recent days.” About a week later, Russia’s top military officer, accused the United States of providing American-made Stinger missiles to the Syrian rebels, a charge the Pentagon and State Department denied.

The American government may not have directed the smuggling of weapons from Libya to Syria through Turkey — but there is evidence to suggest they were aware of it. In June 2012, the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt reported that the CIA had personnel in Syria monitoring, and perhaps assisting, the Syrian rebels’ efforts to obtain weapons in Turkey: ****(are you kidding me? they were not aware? really they planned it and Stevens obeyed orders)

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. ****(please Al Qaeda is hand in hand with the U.S.A.)

A March 2013 follow-up report by Schmitt and C. J. Chivers detailed the CIA’s assistance to Arab governments’ efforts to help Syria’s rebels: “The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year.” The vast majority of the cargo flights of arms and equipment went through Esenboga Airport near Ankara, Turkey.

Was Chris Stevens’s “mission in Benghazi” to buy back weapons? Stevens’s planned agenda for his scheduled five-day stay in Benghazi, according to GQincluded plans to “rechristen the U.S.-managed compound ‘an American Space,’ offering local Libyans English lessons and Internet access and show films and stock a library.”*****(It was not a five-day stay and what GQ is saying is absolute BS)

But his final act as ambassador, on the early evening of September 11, 2012, was a meeting with Ali Sait Akin, the Turkish consul general in Benghazi.

For what it’s worth, the Turkish diplomat denies that he discussed arms transfers with Stevens. He told syndicated columnist Diana West that they didn’t talk about “weaponry from the [Qaddafi] stockpiles and where they might be going; the Libyan flagged vessel al-Entisaar which was received in the port of Iskenderun on September 6, 2012; the conflict in Syria and how the opposition to President Assad could be supported by the US and Turkey.” ****(What did you expect him to say?)

During former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Rand Paul asked her if the U.S. was involved in any way in the transfer of weapons from Libya to Turkey.

“To Turkey? . . . Nobody’s ever raised that with me,” Clinton responded. When Paul asked whether the annex, the installation to which Americans fled on the night of the Benghazi attack, was involved, she said, “Senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I do not know.” *****(yes we all believe Hillary I doubt in he adult life if she ever said the truth so why start now?)

Since last autumn, Syria’s rebels have grown bolder in their use of anti-aircraft weapons in that country’s civil war. In late March, Syrian rebels claimed they shot down an Iranian plane landing at Damascus airport that was suspected of carrying weapons and ammunition for the Syrian government. In late April, Russia’s Interfax news agency claimed that two rockets were fired at a Russian charter plane as it flew over Syria. The plane flew from the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to Kazan in Tartarstan, Russia, with 200 passengers on board. On May 8, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the rebels had shot down a fighter jet.

These published reports indicate a sequence of events less incendiary than the one described by Simon’s sources, but still troubling:

During the Libyan civil war, the United States government at least tacitly supported the Qatari effort to arm the rebels, in violation of a U.N. arms embargo. The Obama administration later learned that the weapons were going to Islamists, and acknowledged that the postwar situation of unguarded stockpiles presented an enormous security threat to the region. The CIA was the centerpiece of an effort to recover these weapons, and that was indeed a major component of what the agency was doing in Benghazi in September 2012, in part using the State Department’s facilities. During this time, a large number of weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, were leaving Libya and arriving in Turkey en route to Syrian rebels — and the CIA had personnel in both countries assigned to monitor and assist the arms shipments.

In his February 2012 speech discussing the effort to recover the anti-aircraft missiles in Libya, Assistant Secretary Shapiro made an unnerving concession: “How many are still missing? The frank answer is we don’t know and probably never will.”

That frank answer probably applies to the weapons flowing into Syria, too.