Britain’s Seven Covert Wars


Britain’s Seven Covert Wars

by Mark Curtis

Britain is fighting at least seven covert wars in the Middle East and North Africa, outside of any democratic oversight or control. Whitehall has in effect gone underground, with neither parliament nor the public being allowed to debate, scrutinise or even know about these wars. To cover themselves, Ministers are now often resorting to lying about what they are authorising. While Britain has identified Islamic State (among others) as the enemy abroad, it is clear that it sees the British public and parliament as the enemy at home.

Syria

Britain began training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012. This was also when the SAS was reported to be ‘slipping into Syria on missions’ against Islamic State. Now, British special forces are ‘mountinghit and run raids against IS deep inside eastern Syria dressed as insurgent fighters’ and ‘frequently cross into Syria to assist the New Syrian Army’ from their base in Jordan. British special forces also provide training, weapons and other equipment to the New Syrian Army.

British aircraft began covert strikes against IS targets in Syria in 2015, months before Parliament voted in favour of overt action in December 2015. These strikes were conducted by British pilots embedded with US and Canadian forces.

Britain has also been operating a secret drone warfare programme in Syria. Last year Reaper drones killed British IS fighters in Syria, again before parliament approved military action. As I have previously argued, British covert action and support of the Syrian rebels is, along with horrific Syrian government/Russian violence, helping to prolong a terrible conflict.

Iraq

Hundreds of British troops are officially in Iraq to train local security forces. But they are also engaged in covert combat operations against IS. One recent report suggests that Britain has more than 200 special force soldiers in the country, operating out of a fortified base within a Kurdish Peshmerga camp south of Mosul.

British Reaper drones were first deployed over Iraq in 2014 and are now flown remotely by satellite from an RAF base in Lincolnshire. Britain has conducted over 200 drones strikes in Iraq since November 2014.

Libya

SAS forces have been secretly deployed to Libya since the beginning of this year, working with Jordanian special forces embedded in the British contingent. This follows a mission by MI6 and the RAF in January to gather intelligence on IS and draw up potential targets for air strikes. British commandos are now reportedly fighting and directing assaults on Libyan frontlines and running intelligence, surveillance and logistical support operations from a base in the western city of Misrata. <= ***which involves of AlQaeda, Isis and other Radical groups.

But a team of 15 British forces are also reported to be based in a French-led multinational military operations centre in Benghazi, eastern Libya, supporting renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. In July 2016, Middle East Eye reported that this British involvement was helping to coordinate air strikes in support of Haftar, whose forces are opposed to the Tripoli-based government that Britain is supposed to be supporting.

Yemen

The government says it has no military personnel based in Yemen. Yet a report by Vice News in April, based on numerous interviews with officials, revealed that British special forces in Yemen, who were seconded to MI6, were training Yemeni troops fighting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also had forces infiltrated in AQAP. The same report also found that British military personnel were helping with drone strikes against AQAP. Britain was playing ‘a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program’. In addition, the UK spybase at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire facilitates US drone strikes in Yemen.

Britain has been widely reported (outside the mainstream media) as supporting the brutal Saudi war in Yemen, which has caused thousands of civilian deaths, most of them due to Saudi air strikes. Indeed, Britain is party to the war. The government says there are around 100 UK military personnel based in Saudi Arabia including a ‘small number’ at ‘Saudi MOD and Operational Centres’. One such Centre, in Riyadh, coordinates the Saudi bombing campaign in Yemen and includes British military personnel who are in the command room as air strikes are carried out and who have access to the bombing targets.

The UK is of course arming the Saudi campaign: The British government disclosed on 13 October that the Saudis have used five types of British bombs and missiles in Yemen. On the same day, it lied to Parliament that Britain was ‘not a party’ to the war in Yemen.

A secretmemorandum of understanding’ that Britain signed with Saudi Arabia in 2014 has not been made public since it ‘would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship’ with the Kingdom, the government states. It is likely that this pact includes reference to the secret British training of Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia, which has taken place since mid-2015. Operating from a desert base in the north of the country, British forces have been teaching Syrian forces infantry skills as part of a US-led training programme.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the public was told that British forces withdrew at the end of 2014. However, British forces stayed behind to help create and train an Afghan special forces unit. Despite officially only having ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan, in August 2015 it was reported that British covert forces were fighting IS and Taliban fighters. The SAS and SBS, along with US special forces, were ‘taking part in military operations almost every night’ as the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul.

In 2014, the government stated that it had ended its drone air strikes programme in Afghanistan, which had begun in 2008 and covered much of the country. Yet last year it was reported that British special forces were calling in air strikes using US drones.

Pakistan and Somalia

Pakistan and Somalia are two other countries where Britain is conducting covert wars. Menwith Hill facilitates US drone strikes against jihadists in both countries, with Britain’s GCHQ providinglocational intelligence’ to US forces for use in these attacks.

The government has said that it has 27 military personnel in Somalia who are developing the national army and supporting the African Union Mission. Yet in 2012 it was reported that the SAS was covertly fighting against al-Shabab Islamist terrorists in Somalia, working with Kenyan forces in order to target leaders. This involved up to 60 SAS soldiers, close to a full squadron, including Forward Air Controllers who called in air strikes against al-Shabab targets by the Kenyan air force. In early 2016, it was further reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose troops operate with UK special forces, was saying that his troops were ready with Britain and Kenya to go ‘over the border’ to attack al-Shabaab.

Drones

The RAF’s secret drone war, which involves a fleet of 10 Reaper drones, has been in permanent operation in Afghanistan since October 2007, but covertly began operating outside Afghanistan in 2014. The NGO Reprieve notes that Britain provides communications networks to the CIA ‘without which the US would not be able to operate this programme’. It says that this is a particular matter of concern as the US covert drone programme is illegal.

The Gulf

Even this may not be the sum total of British covert operations in the region. The government stated in 2015 that it had 177 military personnel embedded in other countries’ forces, with 30 personnel working with the US military. It is possible that these forces are also engaged in combat in the region. For example, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, has said that in the Gulf, British pilots fly US F18s from the decks of US aircraft carriers. This means that ‘US’ air strikes might well be carried out by British pilots.

Britain has many other military and intelligence assets in the region. Files leaked by Edward Snowden show that Britain has a network of three GCHQ spy bases in Oman – codenamed ‘Timpani’, ‘Guitar’ and ‘Clarinet’ – which tap in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf. These bases intercept and process vast quantities of emails, telephone calls and web traffic on behalf of Western intelligence agencies, which information is then shared with the National Security Agency in the US.

The state of Qatar houses the anti-IS coalition’s Combined Air Operations Centre at Al Udeid airbase. The government says it has seven military personnel ‘permanently assigned to Qatar’ and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ working at the airbase. These are likely to be covert forces; the government says that ‘we do not discuss specific numbers for reasons of safeguarding operational security’.

Similarly, the government says it has six military personnel ‘permanently assigned’ to the United Arab Emirates and an additional number of ‘temporary personnel’ at the UAE’s Al Minhad airbase. Britain also has military assets at Manama harbour, Bahrain, whose repressive armed forces are also being secretly trained by British commandos.

Kenya and Turkey

Kenya hosts Britain’s Kahawa Garrishon barracks and Laikipia Air Base, from where thousands of troops who carry out military exercises in Kenya’s harsh terrain can be deployed on active operations in the Middle East. Turkey has also offered a base for British military training. In 2015, for example, Britain deployed several military trainers to Turkey as part of the US-led training programme in Syria, providing small arms, infantry tactics and medical training to rebel forces.

The web of deceit

When questioned about these covert activities, Ministers have two responses. One is to not to comment on special forces’ operations. The other is to lie, which has become so routine as to be official government policy. The reasoning is simple – the government believes the public simply has no right to know of these operations, let alone to influence them.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament in July that the government is ‘committed to the convention that before troops are committed to combat the House of Commons should have an opportunity to debate the matter’. This is plainly not true, as the extent of British covert operations show.

Similarly, it was first reported in May that British troops were secretly engaged in combat in Libya. This news came two days after Fallon told MPs that Britain was not planning ‘any kind of combat role’ to fight IS in Libya.

There are many other examples of this straightforward web of deceit. In July 2016, the government issued six separate corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes in Yemen. However, little noticed was that these corrections also claimed that ‘the UK is not a party’ to the conflict in Yemen. This claim is defied by various news reports in the public domain.

British foreign policy is in extreme mode, whereby Ministers do not believe they should be accountable to the public. This is the very definition of dictatorship. Although in some of these wars, Britain is combatting terrorist forces that are little short of evil, it is no minor matter that several UK interventions have encouraged these very same forces and prolonged wars, all the while being regularly disastrous for the people of the region. Britain’s absence of democracy needs serious and urgent challenging.

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Overthrowing Qadafi in Libya: Britain’s Islamist Boots on the Ground


Overthrowing Qadafi in Libya: Britain’s Islamist Boots on the Ground

by:MARK CURTIS

An extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam, by Mark Curtis

Britain’s willingness to work with Islamist forces has been evident in Libya, where it took a brutal civil war between armed opposition forces and remnants of the regime to overthrow Libyan ruler, Muammar Qadafi, who was killed in October 2011. Massive NATO air strikes, mainly by Britain and France, were conducted during March-October in support of the rebel forces and significantly contributed to the rebel victory. What concerns the story here is not a review of the whole intervention but the extent to which it involved an Islamist element being supported by Britain in furtherance of its objectives in the Middle East.

The Islamist forces were only part of the military opposition that overthrew Qadafi, but were an important element, especially in the east of the country which was where the uprising began and which provided the centre of opposition to Qadafi. The episode, to some extent, echoes past British interventions where Islamist actors have acted as among the foot-soldiers in British policy to secure energy interests. That the British military intervention to overthrow Qadafi was primarily motivated by such interests seems clear – in the absence of access to government files – to which we briefly turn later. Such oil and gas interests in Libya, however, has been downplayed by ministers and largely ignored by the media, in favour of notions of Britain being motivated by the need to support the human rights of the Libyan people and promote democracy: concerns completely absent when it came to defending the rights of other Middle Easterners being abused at precisely the same time, notably Bahrainis.

Britain provided a range of support to the rebel Libyan leadership, which was grouped in the National Transitional Council (NTC), an initially 33-member self-selected body of mainly former Qadafi ministers and other opposition forces, formed in Benghazi in February 2011 to provide an alternative government. UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was passed on 17 March, imposing a no fly zone over Libya and authorizing ‘all necessary measures…to protect civilians’ under threat of attack. In an echo of Kosovo in 1999, it was certainly questionable whether civilians in Libya were under the extent of attack described by British ministers as justification for their military intervention, such as David Cameron’s claim that ‘we averted a massacre’.

Subsequently, British policy went well beyond the narrow strictures of the UN resolution, clearly seeking to target Qadafi personally and overthrow the regime. British air strikes and cruise missile attacks began on 19 March and within the first month of what became a seven-month bombing campaign NATO had flown 2,800 sorties, destroying a third of Qadafi’s military assets, according to NATO. The RAF eventually flew over 3,000 sorties over Libya, damaging or destroying 1,000 targets, while Britain also sent teams of regular army, SAS and MI6 officers to advise the NTC on ‘military organizational structures, communications and logistics’. Britain also assisted NATO airstrikes by deploying SAS troops to act as ground spotters and supplied military communications equipment and body armour. Whitehall also aided the NTC’s ‘media and broadcasting operations’ and invited the NTC to establish an office in London.

Military operations were coordinated with France while the US, which played no overt part in the military intervention, authorised $25 million in covert aid to the rebels in April. British ministers denied that they provided arms and military training to the NTC (given that an international arms embargo was applied to Libya) but media reports suggested that the US gave a green light for the new Egyptian regime to supply arms and also asked Saudi Arabia to covertly do so.

The NTC’s military forces were led by various former Libyan army officers, such as Colonel Khalifa Haftar who had set up the ‘Libyan National Army’ in 1988 with support from the CIA and Saudis and who had been living for the past 20 years near Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, which also provided him with a training camp. But Islamist elements were also prominent. Two former mujahideen who had fought in Afghanistan led the military campaign against Qadafi’s forces in Darnah, to the east of Benghazi, for example. Abdel Hakim al-Hasady, an influential Islamic preacher who spent five years at a jihadist training camp in eastern Afghanistan, oversaw the recruitment, training and deployment in the conflict of around 300 rebel fighters from Darnah. Both al-Hasady and his field commander on the front lines, Salah al-Barrani, were former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), the Islamist force that had long targeted Qadafi, and which Britain covertly funded to kill Qadafi in 1996.

It was also reported that Sufyan Ben Qumu, a Libyan army veteran who worked for Osama bin Laden’s holding company in Sudan and later for an al-Qaida-linked charity in Afghanistan, ran the training of many of Darnah’s rebel recruits. Qumu spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before he was turned over to Libyan custody in 2007; he was released, along with al-Hasady, from a Libyan prison in 2008 as part of Libya’s reconciliation with the LIFG. Al-Hasady, who had fought against the US in Afghanistan in 2001, had been arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and turned over to the US, imprisoned probably at the US base at Bagram, Afghanistan, and then mysteriously released. The US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, told Congressmen he would speak of al-Hasady’s career only in a closed session.

In an interview with an Italian newspaper in late March 2011, al-Hasady said he had previously recruited ‘around 25’ men from the Darnah area to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, were ‘today are on the front lines in Adjabiya’, a coastal city in north-central Libya which saw some of the heaviest fighting against Qadafi’s forces. Wikileaks cables obtained by the British media revealed US files highlighting supporters of Islamist causes among the opposition to Qadafi’s regime, particularly in the towns of Benghazi and Darnah, and that the latter area was a breeding ground for fighters destined for Afghanistan and Iraq.

Captured al-Qaida documents that fell into American hands in 2007 showed that Libya provided more foreign fighters to Iraq in per capita terms than any other country and that most of the volunteers were from the country’s northeast, notably Benghazi and Darnah. Former CIA operations officer Brian Fairchild wrote that since ‘the epicentre of the revolt [in Libya] is rife with anti-American and pro-jihad sentiment, and with al-Qaida’s explicit support for the revolt, it is appropriate to ask our policy makers how American military intervention in support of this revolt in any way serves vital US strategic interests’.

Other commentators recognised the Islamist nature of some of the rebels. Noman Benotman, a former member of the LIFG who had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, estimated that there were 1,000 jihadists fighting in Libya. Former Director of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove observed that the rebel stronghold of Benghazi was ‘rather fundamentalist in character’ and Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said that US intelligence had picked up ‘flickers’ of terrorist activity among the rebel groups; this was described by senior British government figures as ‘very alarming’.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said in parliament that since there was evidence of the presence of al-Qaida-linked forces among the rebels, Britain should ‘proceed with very real caution’ in arming them. In response, William Hague downplayed the concern, saying that ‘of course we want to know about any links with al-Qaida, as we do about links with any organisations anywhere in the world, but given what we have seen of the interim transitional national council in Libya, I think it would be right to put the emphasis on the positive side’. Following a Freedom of Information request by the author to the Ministry of Defence, asking for the latter’s assessment of the presence of al-Qaida forces or their sympathisers in the Libyan rebel forces, the MoD replied that it did not even want to disclose whether it held such information because this would be contrary to the ‘public interest’.

The extent to which these Islamist and al-Qaida-linked elements may have received weapons or military support from the British, French, Egyptians or Saudi Arabians is not yet known, but officials in Chad and Algeria repeatedly expressed concerns that the al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb organisation might have acquired heavy weapons, thanks to the arms supply. What is known is that the state of Qatar was a major financial backer of the Libyan rebels, providing them with a massive $400 million worth of support, much of which was provided to the Islamist radicals. Moreover, Qatar also sent hundreds of troops to fight on the frontline and to provide infantry training to Libyan fighters in the western Nafusa mountains and in eastern Libya. Much of Qatar’s support went to the so-called 17 February Martyrs Brigade, one of the most influential rebel formations led by Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, a leading member of the LIFG who became the rebel military commander in Tripoli.

Qatar’s support for the Islamists in Libya was surely known to British ministers, as they consistently supported Qatar’s prominent role in the campaign against Qadafi, alongside deepening military and commercial cooperation, as we see in the next section. Indeed, Qatar’s chief-of-staff, Major-General Hamad bin Ali al-Atiya, later said: ‘We acted as the link between the rebels and Nato forces’. Qatar also played a key role alongside Britain in the ‘Libya contact group’ that coordinated policy against the Qadafi regime; the first meeting of the group, in April 2011, for example, was convened by Qatar and co-chaired by Britain in Doha. After Qadafi was overthrown, Libya’s new oil minister, Ali Tarhouni, issued a rebuke to Qatar saying that ‘anyone who wishes to come to our house should knock on the front door first’; this was described by the Economist as ‘a thinly-veiled warning to Qatar to stop favouring ambitious Islamists at the expense of the shaky central government’.

What is especially intriguing about this episode relates to the past British support for the LIFG to overthrow Qadafi and whether the British still saw LIFG fighters and other Libyan Islamists as, in effect, their boots on the ground, similar to the way the British saw the Kosovo Liberation Army, then working alongside al-Qaida, in the Kosovo war of 1999. This is surely likely but again the details are murky. Certainly, there were plenty of LIFG fighters available to challenge Qadafi both in Britain and Libya, helped by a reconciliation process between the regime and the LIFG begun in 2007 and presided over by Saif al-Islam al-Qadafi, the son of the ruler. This process resulted in 2009 in dozens of LIFG members being freed from jail in Libya in return for giving up their war against the regime. In July 2009, 30 LIFG members living in Britain, some of them senior figures in the group, signed on to the reconciliation process. British Home Office Control Orders imposed on them, having been regarded as posing a danger to UK national security, were, in some cases at least, dropped. Many of the released LIFG fighters are likely to have taken part in the uprising against Qadafi alongside those who had never been captured by the regime. A series of documentaries shown on the al-Jazeera news channel followed a group of Libyan exiles in London return to Libya to take part in the overthrow of Qadafi.

In mid-March 2011, when the Qadafi regime was still clinging to power in Tripoli, Libyan authorities paraded in front of the world’s media a British citizen captured in Libya and branded an Islamic terrorist. Salah Mohammed Ali Aboaoba said he was a member of the LIFG and had moved from Yemen to Britain in 2005, where he stayed until 2010, having been granted asylum, living with his family in Manchester and raising funds for the LIFG. There is no evidence that the British authorities facilitated the despatch of LIFG fighters from Britain to Libya, which may have been a re-run of the Kosovo conflict. Yet there is the suspicion that the Libyan reconciliation process could have enabled the British, and US, to maintain contacts with the LIFG and to regard them as potential future collaborators to remove Qadafi.

At the very least, Britain in 2011 once again found that its interests – mainly concerning oil – coincided with those of Islamist forces in Libya. By now, however, the British relationship with the LIFG was clearly quite complex. Blair’s government had been so keen to curry favour with Qadafi that in 2004 MI6 was involved in the seizure of LIFG leader Abdel-Hakim Belhaj and his deputy Sami al-Saadi. Belhaj was captured at Bangkok airport and claims he was handed over to the CIA, who he alleges tortured him and injected him with truth serum before flying him back to Tripoli for interrogation. Belhaj subsequently spent six years in solitary confinement at Tripoli’s notorious Abu Selim jail, and claims that he was questioned by three British agents, who ignored his complaints about mistreatment.

MI5 sent a delegation to Tripoli in 2005, apparently to cement relations with the Qadafi regime at a time when the British were concerned with the potential threat posed to British security by other dissident members of LIFG living in the UK, whom they believed were increasingly inspired by al-Qaida. MI5 also gave the Libyan regime the names, personal details and addresses of 50 LIFG members living in the UK. Once again, the episode highlights how expedient British policy towards the LIFG was – covertly supporting the organisation in the mid-1990s and acquiescing in its presence in London as a counter to the Libyan regime, then taking action against it at the behest of Qadafi, while later finding itself on the same side again and working alongside those, such as Qatar, providing significant military and financial support to it.

****Editors note: In other words England for over a century has been affiliating all kind of terrorists gave them asylum a British passport aka British citizens all terrorists were working with MI5/MI6 and black ops and when Britain would find a window to overthrow any sovereign government so that it could steal its resources they would use these terrorists. Britain has no intention to protect its own people so any terrorist act that is taken towards Britain the only one who is to blame is MI5/MI6 and the shadow government same goes to all other European countries who have been sleeping with the devil (Alqaeda, Isis, Nusra etc) using them for their own interests. Europe and USA have no interest in DEMOCRACY or saving civilians but how to steal resources and war my friends is a GOOD BUSINESS, as refugees is a GOOD BUSINESS, human trafficking is a GOOD BUSINESS, organ harvesting is a GOOD BUSINESS.

IF YOU THINK THAT YOUR COUNTRY WORRIES ABOUT YOU.  YOU ARE SADLY MISTAKEN AND UNLESS YOU WAKE UP AND GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND START FIGHTING AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT THAT IS EARNING IN THE TRILLIONS WHILE YOU GET CHUM-CHANGE AND SUFFER AUSTERITY. WAKE UP

 

Libya, David Cameron’s “Iraq”? Damning Report Shreds Another War Monger.


Libya, David Cameron’s “Iraq”? Damning Report Shreds Another War Monger.

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron is consistent in just one thing – jumping ship when the going gets tough. He announced his resignation in the immediate wake of the 23rd July referendum in which Britain marginally voted to leave the EU, a referendum which he had fecklessly called to appease right wing “little Englanders”, instead of facing them down.

He lost. The result is looming financial catastrophe and the prospect of unraveling forty three years of legislations (Britain joined the then European Economic Community on 1st January 1973.) No structure was put in place for a government Department to address the legal and bureaucratic enormities should the leave vote prevail. There is still none.

Cameron however committed to staying on as an MP until the 2020 general election, vowing grandiosely: “I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed”, he said of the small island off Europe which he had potentially sunk, now isolated from and derided by swathes of its continental neighbours – with the sound of trading doors metaphorically slamming shut reverberating across the English Channel.

David Cameron has now jumped again, resigning unexpectedly and immediately as an MP on Monday 12th September, giving the impression that he was not in agreement with certain policies of his (unelected) successor, Theresa May. He stated: “Obviously I have my own views about certain issues … As a former PM it’s very difficult to sit as a back-bencher and not be an enormous diversion and distraction from what the Government is doing. I don’t want to be that distraction.” What an ego.

Over the decades of course, the House of Parliament has been littered with former Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers who have remained constituency MPs without being a “distraction.”

DEVASTATING INDICTMENT

The following day the real reason for his decision seemed obvious. Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee released their devastating findings on Cameron’s hand in actions resulting in Libya’s near destruction, contributing to the unprecedented migration of those fleeing UK enjoined “liberations”, creating more subsequent attacks in the West – and swelling ISIS and other terrorist factions.

“Cameron blamed for rise of ISIS”, thundered The Times headline, adding: “Damning Inquiry into Libya points finger at former PM.” The Guardian opined: “MPs condemn Cameron over Libya debacle” and: “Errors resulted in country ‘becoming failed state and led to growth of ISIS.’ ”

The Independent owned “I”: “Cameron’s toxic Libya legacy”, with: “Former PM blamed for collapse in to civil war, rise of ISIS and mass migration to Europe in Inquiry’s scathing verdict” and “Cameron ignored lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan …”

The Independent chose: “Cameron’s bloody legacy: Damning Report blames ex-PM for ISIS in Libya.”

No wonder he plopped over the side.

The Report is decimating. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee concluding: “Through his decision-making in the National Security Council, former Prime Minister, David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy.”

The disasters leading to that final verdict include the UK’s intervention being based on “erroneous assumption” an “incomplete understanding” of the situation on the ground, with Cameron leaping from limited intervention to an: “opportunist policy of (entirely illegal) regime change”, based on “inadequate intelligence.”

Once Gaddafi had been horrendously assassinated, resultant from the assault on his country: “ … failure to develop a coherent strategy … had led to political and economic collapse, internecine warfare, humanitarian crisis and the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in North Africa.”

After his death, Gaddafi’s body, with that of his son, Mutassim, was laid out on the floor of a meat warehouse in Misrata. (“I”, 14th September 2016.)

“We came, we saw, he died”, then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton told the media, with a peal of laughter. (1) Just under a year later US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three US officials were murdered in Benghazi. Payback time for her words, taken out on the obvious target?

Muammar Gaddafi, his son Muatassim and his former Defence Minister were reportedly buried in unmarked graves in the desert, secretively, before dawn on 25th October 2011. The shocking series of events speaking volumes for the “New Libya” and the Cameron-led, British government’s blood dripping hands in the all.

The UK’s meddling hands were involved from the start. France, Lebanon and the UK, supported by the US, proposed UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Britain was the second country, after France, to call for a “no fly zone” over Libya in order to: “to use all necessary measures” to prevent attacks on civilians. “It neither explicitly authorised the deployment of ground forces nor addressed the question of regime change or of post conflict reconstruction”, reminds the Committee.

Moreover: “France led the international community in advancing the case for military intervention in Libya … UK policy followed decisions taken in France.” Former Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder confirmed to the Committee: “Cameron and Sarkozy were the undisputed leaders in terms of doing something.” (Emphasis added.)

The US was then “instrumental in extending the terms of the Resolution” to even a “no drive zone” and “assumed authority to attack the entire Libyan government’s command and communications network.”

INSTITUTIONAL IGNORANCE

On the 19th March 2011, a nineteen nation “coalition” turned a “no fly zone” into a free fire zone and embarked on a blitzkrieg of a nation of just 6.103 million (2011 figure.)

All this in spite of the revelation to the Committee by former UK Ambassador to Libya Sir Dominic Asquith, that the intelligence base at to what was really happening in the country: “… might well have been less than ideal.”

Professor George Joffe, renowned expert on the Middle East and North Africa, noted: “the relatively limited understanding of events” and that: “people had not really bothered to monitor closely what was happening.”

Analyst Alison Pargeter: ‘expressed her shock at the lack of awareness in Whitehall of the “history and regional complexities” of Libya.’

Incredibly Whitehall appeared to have been near totally ignorant as to the extent to which the “rebellion” might have been a relatively small group of Islamic extremists.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Richards was apparently unaware that Abdelhakim Belhadj and other Al Qaeda linked members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were involved. “It was a grey area”, he said. However: “a quorum of respectable Libyans were assuring the Foreign Office” that militant Islam would not benefit from the rebellion. “With the benefit of hindsight, that was wishful thinking at best”, concluded his Lordship.

“The possibility that militant extremist groups would attempt to benefit from the rebellion should not have been the preserve of hindsight. Militant connections with transnational militant extremist groups were know before 2011, because many Libyans had participated in the Iraq insurgency and in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda”, commented the Committee. (Emphasis added)

Iraq revisited. Back then it was the “respectable” Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and their ilk selling a pack of lies to the seemingly ever gullible, supremely unworldly Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Much was made by William Hague, Foreign Secretary at the time and by Liam Fox, then Defence Secretary, of Muammar’s Gaddafi’s threatening rhetoric. The Committee pointed out that: ”Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

Further, two days before the 19 nation onslaught: ‘On 17 March 2011, Muammar Gaddafi announced to the rebels in Benghazi, “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.”

Subsequent investigation revealed that when Gaddafi’s forces re-took Ajdabiya in February 2011, they did not attack civilians. “Muammar Gaddafi also attempted to appease protesters in Benghazi with an offer of development aid before finally deploying troops.”

Professor Joffe agreed that Gaddafi’s words were historically at odds with his deeds: “If you go back to the American bombings in the 1980s of Benghazi and Tripoli, rather than trying to remove threats to the regime in the east, in Cyrenaica, Gaddafi spent six months trying to pacify the tribes that were located there. The evidence is that he was well aware of the insecurity of parts of the country and of the unlikelihood (that military assault was the answer.) Therefore, he would have been very careful in the actual response…the fear of the massacre of civilians was vastly overstated.”

In June 2011 an Amnesty International investigation failed to find corroborative evidence of mass human rights violations by government troops but did find that: “the rebels in Benghazi made false claims and manufactured evidence” and that: “much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events …”

CONDEMNATION; AIDING ISIS

The Committee wrote damningly:

We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya. It may be that the UK Government was unable to analyse the nature of the rebellion in Libya due to incomplete intelligence and insufficient institutional insight and that it was caught up in events as they developed.

It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi’s rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion. UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence.

Moreover: “The deployment of coalition air assets shifted the military balance in the Libyan civil war in favour of the rebels”, with: “The combat performance of rebel ground forces enhanced by personnel and intelligence provided by States such as the UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.” Lord Richards informed that the UK “had a few people embedded” with the rebel forces.

Arms and tanks were also provided to the rebels by members of the “coalition” in contravention of Resolution 1973.

Was the aim of the assault regime change or civilian protection? Lord Richard said: “one thing morphed almost ineluctably in to the other.”

The Committee summarized: “The UK’s intervention in Libya was reactive and did not comprise action in pursuit of a strategic objective. This meant that a limited intervention to protect civilians drifted into a policy of regime change by military means.” (Emphasis added.)

The Cameron-led UK government had “focused exclusively on military intervention”, under the National Security Council, a Cabinet Committee created by David Cameron.

The Committee’s final observation is:

We note former Prime Minister David Cameron’s decisive role when the National Security Council discussed intervention in Libya. We also note that Lord Richards implicitly dissociated himself from that decision in his oral evidence to this inquiry. The Government must commission an independent review of the operation of the NSC … It should be informed by the conclusions of the Iraq Inquiry and examine whether the weaknesses in governmental decision-making in relation to the Iraq intervention in 2003 have been addressed by the introduction of the NSC.

Cameron who said he wanted to be “heir to Blair” seems to have ended up as just that, pivotal cheerleader for the butchery of a sovereign leader, most of his family, government and the destruction of a nation.

Muammar Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa . However, by the time he was assassinated, Libya was unquestionably Africa ‘s most prosperous nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy in Africa and less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands. Libyans did not only enjoy free health care and free education, they also enjoyed free electricity and interest free loans. The price of petrol was around $0.14 per liter and 40 loaves of bread cost just $0.15. Consequently, the UN designated Libya the 53rd highest in the world in human development. (2)

End note: David Cameron jumped ship yet a third time – he refused to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

The full text of the Committee’s findings: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/119/11905.htm#_idTextAnchor023

Notes

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-on-qaddafi-we-came-we-saw-he-died/
http://www.countercurrents.org/chengu120113.htm

The original source of this article is Global Research

Militiaman who became Libya’s oil kingpin


Militiaman who became Libya’s oil kingpin

By ADAM NATHAN

RA’S LANUF, Libya — Ibrahim Jadhran has gone from an alleged car thief imprisoned in Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s most notorious prison to a warlord in charge of a powerful militia sitting on billions of dollars of oil money.

Now he’s one of the most important players in an effort to end the chaos that has torn Libya apart since Qadhafi’s overthrow in 2011: He has thrown his weight behind the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), signing a breakthrough deal to reopen Libya’s oil ports.

Jadhran is the chief of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), a militia force of more than 20,000 men that is supposed to protect the country’s vital oil industry. Speaking in the large boardroom of his office complex in the deep-water port of Ra’s Lanuf, in the oil crescent of central Libya, he spelt out his supposed conversion.

Jadhran’s voice matters both because of the men and the money he controls.

“I am a Muslim but I consider myself a moderate,” said Jadhran, who had shed his normal military uniform for a dark suit. “And it is because of that I chose the middle … The area where we sit now is in the middle of Libya. It is my country’s security valve and it is the beating heart of Libya’s wealth.”

His voice matters both because of the men and the money he controls. Jadhran has been an extremely skillful player in the turmoil of post-Qadhafi Libya as militias, tribes and rival governments — an internationally recognized one in the eastern city of Tobruk, and a more Islamist one called the General National Congress (GNC) based in the capital Tripoli in the west — battled for control.

In mid-2013, Jadhran closed two major oil export terminals, demanding the GNC government give eastern Libya more autonomy, particularly over oil revenues, and branded the former management of the National Oil Company corrupt.

His brand of maverick separatism increased and, in March 2014, he allowed an oil tanker named the Morning Glory to set sail from the eastern port of Sidra under the North Korean flag. It was promptly stopped and boarded by the U.S. Navy.

Jadhran claims the Morning Glory crude oil shipment had been authorized by the Tobruk government, but the Tripoli government tried to stop the tanker, and the incident led to the ousting of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.

Now Jadhran denounces all sides. He accused the GNC of being dominated by Islamic extremists. Jadhran in turn was accused of not doing enough to stop ISIL when the terror group seized part of the central Libyan coast that had been under the control of his forces.

Jadhran is also critical of the eastern legislature in Tobruk, which he claimed was seeking a military dictatorship under General Khalifa Haftar****(that is not true Khalifa Haftar is not under the HoR), who led an assault on the GNC government and remains a powerful warlord.

“We stood by the government, but at the time the National Congress started to lean toward the Islamists and then the parliament [House of Representatives in Tobruk] leaned towards the militarization of the state and the return of a dictatorship. So we saw that we were the only ones standing in the middle,” said Jadhran.

Jadhran supported a national political dialogue and it was this process that led to the December formation of the new U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. “We released a statement of support three hours after the GNA was formed despite the fact it was almost political suicide to support its newly-born presidential council,” he said.

Call to arms

Others point out that Jadhran’s loyalty to the GNA came at a price, the payment of his 20,000 plus PFG forces of all their back salaries.

Mattia Toaldo, policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, is critical of what he called Jadhran’s “opportunistic choices” but is pragmatic about his importance to Libya’s political future.

“Jadhran remains in the eyes of many Libyans a very controversial figure,” he said. “Yet, the truth is that along with Defence Minister Mahdi Al-Barghathi, he’s the only easterner who supported the GNA from day one and the GNA needs not just the oil he sits on but his loyalty.”

That support for a new and internationally recognized government, complete with a signing ceremony — attended by tribal leaders — to reopen the ports is something of a change for Jadhran. He’s been embroiled in his country’s violent politics since the war that ousted Qadhafi.

The son of an army officer, the muscular 34-year-old had spent the previous six years in the notorious Abu Slim prison, where he was sent at 22 for a life sentence for what he says was his political activism, but which records suggest was for car theft. However, Qadhafi never called anyone a political prisoner and inmates were branded pretty thieves, traitors or spies.

“I was released three days after the spark of the February 17th revolution,” said Jadhran. “Because the demonstrators calling for change were met with live fire and mortars from the Qadhafi regime, peaceful protest was not possible and we were forced to take up arms. Young men found themselves forced to carry arms and return fire on an enemy.”

He formed a battalion of volunteers to defend Libya’s oil crescent around Ra’s Lanuf and Ajdabiya, his hometown. “I managed to gather 16 battalions under the one flag, all of which participated in the revolution.”

In a deeply divided country, Jadhran defended Cyrenaica, the east of the country that has traditionally been hostile to the Tripoli-dominated west and slowly took over Libya’s oil infrastructure.

Now he controls the four main oil ports of Ra’s Lanuf, Zueitina, Sidra and Brega, many oil wells and hundreds of miles of pipelines and says that his goal is to protect the oil wealth that accounts for 97 percent of Libya’s economic output

His forces helped oust ISIL fighters from key oil terminals and in recent weeks have led assaults on key ISIL locations along Libya’s coast. He has also followed through on his promise to allow for renewed oil exports under a unified National Oil Company.

“The issue of selling and marketing oil is strictly the business of the National Oil Company, it has been entrusted to carry out this mission by the government and the people of Libya,” he said.

This week, the House of Representatives voted against the GNA in a no confidence motion. The vote means that Jadhran’s commitment to the GNA, together with his influence in the east and control over the security of oil exports, are even more vital to Libya’s future.

So the question is, what does Jadhran want? The answer seems to be political respectability and to present the PFG as an example of good governance to encourage investment back into Libya.

“There is no doubt that I have high expectations in assuming a high and honorable position and that this position should be for the good of the people,” said Jadhran. “If Libya becomes independent, its institutions secured within a real democratic and good governance blueprint, then this will enable international investment companies to re-enter Libya.”

Clinton Foundation’s “pay-to-play” structure becoming clearer


From Wayne Madsen Report (WMR):

August 15-16, 2016 —

Clinton Foundation’s “pay-to-play” structure becoming clearer

The recent release of additional private emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email servers based at her New York home provide a clearer picture of the “pay-to-play” connections between Clinton’s State Department, her and her husband’s and daughter’s Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative, and the private investment consulting and investment firm of Teneo Holdings, Inc. in Manhattan. In addition to these entities, there are separate Clinton family foundations that maintain their own revenue streams: the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton (BHCC) Foundation, the Clinton Foundation Hong Kong, William J. Clinton Foundation Charitable Trust (Kenya), William J. Clinton Foundation Charitable Trust (UK), and the Clinton Foundation Insalingsstiftelse (Sweden). All these entities maintain separate operations for the Clintons’ pay-to-play global racketeering operations.

The Clinton operations are massive in relation to the reported lobbying dealings that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, maintained with the former Yanukovych government of Ukraine. The sudden appearance of “secret ledgers” containing Manafort’s name and alleged cash payments to him by the puppet Ukrainian government of George Soros bear all the signs of another Soros/Cass Sunstein disinformation operation.
.

Donor Amount given to Clinton Foundation/Global Initiative (CGI) Received in return

-Prince of Abu Dhabi and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahayan and the Al Nahayan family of Abu Dhabi <$5,000,000 Access to HRC at State Dept. and a $500,000 environmental speech by Bill Clinton given at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi while HRC was meeting in Washington with Shaikh Abdullah.

-Algeria $500,000 State clearance for U.S. arms sales to Algeria. Deal included biological and chemical agents.

-Australia, Commonwealth of $75,000,000 Strong State Dept. for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which stands to be a boon for Australian multinational firms.

-Bahrain, Kingdom of $250,000 Muted criticism by State of Bahrain’s abysmal human rights practices.
Boeing Corp. $900,000 State Dept. clearance for $29 billion arms U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia, including Boeing’s F-15 fighter.

Brunei Darussalam, Sultanate of $5,000,000 State Dept. clearance for U.S. weapons sales to Brunei.

Cameroon, Republic of <$100,000 Influence buying by the Cameroon government with the Clinton State Department.

-Canada $500,000 State Dept. support for Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline, eventually vetoed by Barack Obama.

Chagoury Group <$5,000,000 in cash and a $1,000,000,000 pledge HRC delayed designating Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization because of Chagoury Group’s investments and operations in Nigeria. Chagoury Group received the “Sustainable Development Award” from the CGI. Chagooury helped the family of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha hide his wealth stolen from Nigeria’s oil revenues.

-Confederation of Indian Industry <$1,000,000 Access for Indian businesses to U.S. government officials.
Corning, Inc. $150,000 Clinton arranged for international access for the New York-based firm.
Dahdaleh, Victor <$5,000,000 Lobbyist for Bahrain state-owned aluminum company who sought a contract between the Bahraini firm and the U.S.-owned Alcoa World Alumina.

Dominican Republic <$25,000,000 Clinton Foundation board member Rolando Gonzalez’s company InterEnergy received contracts from Dominican government for wind energy projects. The firm received Domican President’s Gold Citizen Award in 2010.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) <$100,000 State pressure on Justice Dept. to curtail criminal investigation of FIFA.

Fernwood Foundation (Canadian foundation run by Canadian uranium mining mogul Ian Telfer $2,600,000 Telfer’s UrAsia and Uranium One Corporations, co-owned with Canadian mining magnate and “Friend of Bill” Frank Giustra receved favorable uranium mining deals with Kazakhstan and Russia’s ROSATOM and Kazakhstan’s KAZATOMPROM.

-Flanders, Government of €780,000 ($872,000) High-level access to U.S. government officials by Flemish government officials and businesses.

GEMS Education, Dubai $5,600,000 Bill Clinton made “honorary chairman” of the Dubai company.

Germany, Federal Republic of $250,000 High-level access to U.S. government officials by German officials and businessmen.

-Giustra, Frank (Canadian mining magnate) (Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership/Radcliffe Foundation) $31,300,000 State soft-peddled threat of the Islamic State because Lafarge had negotiated with the terrorists to maintain its operations in ISIL-controlled territory in Syria. arranged favorable deals with Kazakhstan and its president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Hindustan Construction Corp. (India) <$500,000 Access for corporate officials to U.S. government officials.

Ireland, Republic of <$158,300,000 Influence-buying by Irish government with the Clintons.

Italy, Republic of $100,000 Influence buying by the Italian government with the Clinton State Department.

Jamaica $100,000 Digicel Group, owned by Irish billionaire and Friend of Bill, Denis O’Brien, received USAID grant for a telecommunications project in Jamaica. Digicel (Jamaica) paid Bill Clinton $225,000 for a speech in Kingston. That was in addition to the $100,000 kicked in by Jamaica to the Clinton Foundation.

Kuwait, Emirate of $10,000,000 State Dept. clearance for U.S. weapons sales to Kuwait.

Lafarge Group <$100,000 State soft-peddled threat of Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria because Lafarge had an agreement with ISIL not to interfere in Lafarge activities in ISIL-controlled territory in Syria. HRC was a director of Lafarge between 1990 and 1992, at a time when the firm was selling strategic military materials to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Lesotho, Kingdom of <$100,000 Kickback from $11.2 million Irish grant to Clinton Foundation for HIV/AIDS abatement in Lesotho.

Mittal, Lakshmi, owner of ArcelorMittal, a major steel company, and board member of Goldman Sachs <$5,000,000 Favorable opportunities in Kazakhstan, where Mittal is a member of the Foreign Investment Council of Kazakhstan. Dovetails with Bill Clinton’s uranium deals with Giustra and Nazarbayev.

-Sheikh Mohammed H. Al Amoudi (Ethiopian-Saudi billionaire)1 <$10,000,000 Influence-buying within the Clinton State Dept.

Monsanto <$5,000,000 State advocated for Monsanto “Frankenfood” and “Frankenseeds” worldwide.

Netherlands, Kingdom of the (Netherlands National Lottery) $10,000,000 State helped open up investment opportunities for Dutch firms in Africa.

-New Zealand, Government of $1,200,000 Influence-buying within the Clinton State Dept.

Norway, Kingdom of $89,600,000 Norwegian government split up donations to make them look smaller than they actually were. Norwegian firms received investment opportunities in the developing world, courtesy of the U.S. Millennium Goals Corporation.

Oman, Sultanate of <$5,000,000 State clearance for U.S. weapons sales to Oman.

Papua New Guinea, Government of <$100,000 Influence-buying within the Clinton State Dept.

Qatar, Emirate of <$5,000,000 State Dept. approval for U.S. arms sales to Qatar. State pressure on Justice Dept. to curtail investigation of bribery payments regarding FIFA and 2022 World Cup host, Qatar.

Ras al Khaimah, Emirate of $50,000 Influence-buying within the Clinton State Dept.

Rwanda, Republic of $200,000 Influence-buying with HRC’s State Department.

Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of $25,000,000 State Dept. approval for U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Suzlon Energy, Ltd. (Amsterdam) <$5,000,000 State and CGI promoted wind turbine solutions in developing countries. Suzlon, owned by an Indian national, is a leading supplier of wind turbines.

Swaziland, Kingdom of <$100,000 Access to U.S. government officials for Swazi government/private business leaders.

Sweden, Kingdom of $7,200,000 Access to U.S. government officials for Swedish government/private business leaders.

Switzerland, Confederation of $325,000 Access to U.S. government officials for Swiss government/private business leaders.

Tenerife Island, Government of $50,000 High-level access to U.S. government officials by Flemish government officials and businesses.

Taiwan $10,000,000 State Dept. approval for U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.

United Arab Emirates <$5,000,000 State Dept. approval for U.S. weapons sales to the UAE.

United Kingdom £50,000,000 ($78,000,000) Access for key UK officials and UK businesses to key U.S.government policymakers.

Victor Pinchuk Foundation (Ukraine) $8,600,000 Buy influence with Clinton at State to pressure Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to free jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Walmart, Inc. <$5,000,000 HRC pressured Indian government to open up India to Walmart, an action opposed by India’s small retailers.

1 Al Amoudi once threatened to sue WMR and he demanded some $110,000 to be deposited in his Swiss bank account to drop the suit. Al Amoudi hired the Jewish law firm of Nabarro Nathanson in London to make his legal threat. WMR informed the FBI that a Saudi national, who we reported had links to Saudi-funded jihadist organizations, attempted an extortion shakedown of WMR. WMR never heard back from Al Amoudi or his Jewish lawyers after we informed him that he could go pound sand up his ass (and there is a lot of that in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia for him to pound).