Thursday, December 30, 2010


Miss Nigeria Tomi John

In 2010, Christmas Eve bombs, and attacks on churches, killed at least 86 people in Nigeria.

A mad 'Islamist' group called Boko Haram claims it did the bombings. (Boko Haram? Reuters)

Boko Haram says it supports the CIA's al Qaeda.

Before he was 'killed', Mohammed Yusuf was leader of Boko Haram.

Analysts say he was very wealthy and highly educated. (BBC - Nigeria's 'Taliban' enigma)

"He is graduate educated and very proficient in English," said Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria.

"He lives lavishly - people say he drives a Mercedes Benz. And he is very well-educated in a Western context."

Did he receive money and help from the CIA and its friends in Saudi, Israeli and Indian intelligence?

The aim of the CIA and its friends may be to keep Nigeria weak, divided and easy to exploit; and to frustrate the Chinese and Russians in Nigeria.

The Moslem and Christian leaders in Nigeria want peace.

They blame political forces for stirring up conflict (Jos bombing: Politicians 'fuel Nigeria unrest')

The CIA is active in Nigeria. (NIGERIA'S UNDERWEAR MAN?)

'CIA asset' General Ibrahim Babangida, the man the CIA reportedly wants as Nigeria's president.

THIS is what we wrote in October 2010:

Nigeria would be a success story, if it was not for the CIA/MOSSAD, Dutch, French, British and other trouble makers.....

Nigeria is being helped by high oil prices, a lot of foreign investment and the gradual liberalization of its economy.

But, certain people may be stirring up trouble.

There appears to be a war going on for Nigeria's oil.

Car bombs in Lagos. (AFP)

There have been talks between Nigeria and a Chinese oil company.

China hopes to grab certain oil blocks from western energy groups, Shell, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil.

Goodluck Jonathan, now Nigeria's president, shakes hands with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, 8 January 2010.

If the Chinese state-controlled oil company's bids are accepted this will double China’s oil reserves in Africa. (China seeks a sixth of Nigeria's oil reserves - Telegraph / China's oil talks with Nigeria: the unanswered questions FT ...)

Obama Senior. On 17 August 2010, at voltairenet, Wayne Madsen "documented the connections between Barack Obama, Sr. and CIA-affiliated operations in Kenya." (OBAMA'S FATHER AND THE CIA )

On 1 October 2010, Bombs rattled Independence day in Nigeria

The car bomb explosions killed eight people in Lagos, Nigeria's capital.

Former President, General Ibrahim Babangida, allegedly a CIA asset, was the only past Nigerian leader absent at the Independence Day ceremony. (IBB, Atiku absent at celebration)

UK VIPs pulled out ahead of the deadly Nigeria parade. "The Queen's representative was due to attend but did not. Ex-PM Gordon Brown cancelled his visit to the country."

The Duke of Gloucester did not attend.

MEND, Nigeria's Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Nigeria's biggest rebel militia, reportedly warned it had planted bombs.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan was quoted by AFP news agency as saying: "It has nothing to do with Mend."

MEND wants a greater share of oil revenues to go to the impoverished Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry.

Reportedly, MEND has struck at off-shore oil installations.

In 2009, an amnesty was agreed with rebels in the Delta.

MEND may have been infiltrated by a certain group.

Allegedly, in Nigeria, the CIA is "positioning Ibrahim B. Babangida to return to power." (CIA Agents & Nigeria.)

Orji Kalu, linked to a mysterious death. He may be Babangida's running mate.

The CIA may want Ibrahim Babangida standing as the presidential candidate and Orji Uzor Kalu as his running mate.

General Ibrahim Babangida ruled Nigeria from his coup against Muhammadu Buhari in 1985 until his departure in 1993.

Allegedly, Babangida is a CIA asset.

"The CIA cut a deal with Babangida, where Nigeria was used as a major drug transit and money laundering center for the proceeds of the CIA drug trade." (CIA Agents & Nigeria.)

Orji Uzor Kalu was a candidate for President of Nigeria in the April 2007 general election. [1]

(Maryland police cleared Orji Uzor Kalu of involvement in the death of a woman, Chinwe Masi at his residence in Maryland, USA.)

"Reports say, Kalu drives into CIA Virginia Headquarters freely, with little on no clearance required of him as expected of visitors at CIA headquarters; sources told RR that only CIA agents and its operatives can have such access in that CIA Virginia facility, others pointed that Orji Uzor Kalu is in proximity to CIA Virgina headquarters, ‘he is their boy’ another commentator who spoke on condition of anonymity added." (CIA Agents & Nigeria.)

Reportedly, Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian 'underwear bomber', bound for Detroit, was doing the work of the CIA and Mossad.

According to the writer at CIA Agents & Nigeria. :

Former dictator Ibrahim Babangida and Kalu may be CIA operatives (Moshood Abiola too) who assisted the US, with drug trafficking.

The CIA may want Ibrahim Babangida standing as the presidential candidate and Orji Uzor Kalu as his running mate.

Reportedly, the CIA did not want Chinwe Masi's mysterious death in Kalu’s Mansion to become a distraction to the “CIA Nigeria Roadmap”.

If Nigeria becomes balkanised (broken up along tribal lines) by 2015 or earlier as predicted by the CIA, the US will use its AFRICOM to protect the oil-wells.

In 1986, the Time Magazine reported that during the Reagan administration, the U.S had the elite commando unit, the SEALS, dispatched to several different countries for covert activities.

This unit was in Nigeria in August 1985, during the week that Babangida overthrew Muhammadu Buhari.

General Buhari

After the coup, the CIA cut a deal with Babangida, where Nigeria was used as a major drug transit and money laundering center for the proceeds of the CIA drug trade.

The phony or rogue bank, BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) was used to launder the proceeds of the drug business and take them out of the country.

Babangida’s loot left the country through this bank. Remember that branches of this bank were everywhere in Lagos and the North.

Journalist Dele Giwa stumbled on this information about drugs and was about to break the news when, in 1986, he was killed by a mail bomb.

Dele Giwa

Toward the end of 1986, or 1987, Babangida was given a “Strategic” award, by the Heritage Foundation.

There was an explosion of drug activities during Babangida’s regime.

It was during Babangida’s regime that most of the wealth was looted.

"Monumental kleptocrat and notorious dictator" General Sani Abacha, President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. He was trained at the Defense Officers cadet Training College in Aldershot, England.

Abacha and Abiola may have been killed with the assistance of the CIA.

The only leader that Nigerian people ever elected was Abiola.

Moshood Abiola (1937 – 1998) ran for the presidency in 1993, and won, but remained President-Elect till his death, as he was denied his mandate when the election results were annulled by the preceding military president Ibrahim Babangida.

Nigeria needs the likes of Nuhu Ribadus, Gani Fawhinmis, Tai Solarins, Mohammed Buharis and Babatunde Idiagbons.

Most of Nigeria's problems, especially the Niger Delta, can be traced back to LONDON AND WASHINGTON, through their multinational corporations.


Friday, December 17, 2010

“When Wikileaks meets U.S. policy”

“When Wikileaks meets U.S. policy”

Not even Wikileaks can help: Obama’s inexplicable diplomacy in South Asia

As I write this, much of the international media is consumed with WikiLeaks’ gradual publication of a quarter-million US diplomatic reports. Why? Well first off, everyone likes to be let in on a secret, and if that secret involves acronyms like CIA, RAW, MI6, or ISI, the sexiness quotient skyrockets. That’s more or less just human nature. But the reports also provide grist for media publications—especially European ones—always eager to spread some dirt about the Americans. London’s Guardian, Madrid’s El Pais and Paris’s Le Monde were fairly salivating as the documents’ release date approached, and wrote with near-orgasmic prose once publication began. Their behaviour, too, was more or less predictable.

But the whirlwind around this batch of WikiLeaks leaks seems to point to a deeper concern among the public, one that stems from the increasing distance between the international reality they see and what their leaders describe to them. In recent years, the US public has had to hear its leaders repeatedly tell Americans that black was white: President Clinton said he didn’t know Monica (in the biblical sense) or who attacked the USS Cole in Yemen; President George W. Bush said Saddam was a WMD threat and then that there was no insurgency in Iraq; and President Barack Obama has said we are winning in Afghanistan, jihad is self-improvement (like stopping alcohol consumption) and that Indonesia is a model of sectarian tolerance. The latter is a particularly remarkable black-is-white moment—there have been times in Indonesia in recent years when you probably could have turned off your car lights and driven safely at night by the illumination provided by burning Christian churches.

This sort of regular and routine deceit has increased the suspicion of Americans—and I’d bet the suspicion of other nations’ publics, too—that they are being lied to about the conduct of governmental affairs. As a result, Americans seem to have become ever more eager to examine illegally acquired and disclosed ‘secret’ information in the hope of finding out what’s really going on.

Obama’s recent diplomatic trip through Asia—and especially his visit to India—is a very good example of an exercise so counterintuitive to the average observer, and so counterproductive to US interests, that one can only assume the real goal of the sojourn has intentionally been buried deep in highly classified messages not meant to be seen by the average citizen.

Preparing to leave Washington as the US-led war effort in Afghanistan is verging on collapse, Obama made clear that he wouldn’t visit Pakistan. Whatever one thinks of Pakistan’s track record as an ally, the truth is that the logistical viability of the US-NATO Afghan war effort depends on Pakistan keeping open overland supply routes from Karachi and Peshawar into Afghanistan. It also depends on Pakistan’s military doing something to hurt al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the border area, or at least not doing much to help them. These two facts alone, one would think, would have merited a day’s visit to Islamabad to protect vital US interests. So why didn’t they? I can’t think of a reason.

Once in India, Obama behaved as if the nature of the Pakistan-India relationship was comparable with that of the US-Canada relationship, with just a few more rough patches. Apparently unaware of what can only be described as the paranoia and zero-sum approach with which each nation assesses the other, the oblivious Obama called for ‘progress’ on the Kashmir conflict, probably leaving both New Delhi and Islamabad wondering whose ox was to be gored to afford progress.

But after this opening bit of even-handedness, Obama tilted toward India with reckless abandon. He called for greater Indo-US economic, military and nuclear cooperation; praised India—but not Pakistan—for its counter-terrorism efforts; recommended new contracts between India’s military and US arms manufacturers; and urged the expansion of India’s expensive but doomed commitment in Afghanistan. Obama finished up by unequivocally endorsing a seat for India on the UN Security Council. (Imagine the questions and comments Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Kiyani will face from his corps commanders at their next meeting.)

So one must again ask: Why were all of these things on Obama’s New Delhi script? At this moment in history it hardly seems in the interests of the United States to tell Pakistan that its place as a US ally ends when the Afghan war is lost, and yet this is exactly what Obama was effectively doing. Likewise, he signalled Washington’s willingness to join Israel in helping to qualitatively improve India’s military capabilities, while encouraging New Delhi to continue and expand its presence in Afghanistan, which will do nothing but increase Pakistan’s perception that its security demands that it ally itself with forces bent on restoring the Taliban’s Islamic emirate. (Another anomaly is why Obama thinks long-term Indo-US relations will benefit from pushing India into a greater Afghan commitment when he knows—as documented in Bob Woodward’s recent book, Obama’s Wars—that the United States and NATO have lost the Afghan war and that Washington will depart and leave India to its own devices.)

Each of these US positions will, of course, be seen by Pakistan’s generals as deepening the strategic threat posed by India. And if driving forward Pakistan’s paranoia over US support for India’s aspirations for regional hegemony wasn’t enough, Obama’s championing of a Security Council seat for India and offering to strengthen New Delhi’s military will have been seen as a threat by Beijing.

To top it all off, the India visit will have done Obama no good at all in the Muslim world. With many Muslims already viewing the United Nations as an imperialistic tool that the ‘Christian West’ uses to advance its and Israel’s interests, Obama has put the US government on record as approving a Security Council seat for polytheistic Hindu India. With no ‘Islamic’ Security Council seat mentioned by Obama (or indeed any other major world leader), the Muslim world will continue to believe that the UN is evolving in a markedly anti-Islamic direction. Obama’s praise for India’s democratic development and societal tolerance, meanwhile, will strike Muslims as signifying Washington’s satisfaction with an Indian society that positions Muslims as second-class citizens who lag significantly behind in education, income, life expectancy and access to higher education and government employment, and who also are confronted by a limited but virulent anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist movement.

The US and Indian media have trumpeted the business contracts resulting from Obama’s visit—it’s said they’ll yield 50,000 US jobs (not enough to make even a small dent in US unemployment)—but beyond that achievement there seems nothing but downsides for the United States: a fully alienated Pakistan, likely to increase support for the Taliban; a dicey bet on great economic returns from friendship with an India plagued by corruption; an enduring and resentful underclass of Hindus and Muslims; numerous domestic insurgencies beyond that in Kashmir; and an offended China at a time when the US economy is dependent on Chinese loans for debt-funding.

All of which brings us back to the public’s interest in WikiLeaks’ documents and other illicitly acquired and published ‘secret’ materials. Could Obama really have gone to India to intentionally achieve such a long list of negative results?

In an attempt to reconcile the contrast between the obvious negative reality of the India visit based on the information available to the public, and Washington’s description of it as having yielded stunning results, one is faced with only two explanations: (1) the real purpose, goals, and accomplishments of Obama’s visit are secret or (2) Obama and his lieutenants are singularly incompetent in designing and conducting a foreign policy that serves near- and long-term US interests.

Frankly, I’m leaning toward the latter. But I suppose it’s at least possible that some time in the future the maestro of WikiLeaks—if he’s not in prison—will steal and publish US or Indian government documents that show how the visit was actually a brilliant substantive success.

Until then, though, we’ll have to wait and see if, as Washington now says, black really is white.....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Colombia: the Israel of Latin America

42689.jpegColombia has become the Israel of Latin America to destabilize the region

María José Estero Poves

Jorge Eliecer Molano is a Colombian lawyer who is 23 years in the defense of human rights. He took care of cases like the disappearance of 11 prisoners after the siege of the Palace of Justice in 1985, the massacre in the community of San José de Apartado, where two children were beheaded by the military and paramilitaries, the bond of four Colombian generals in creating a group paramilitary murder of a student during the military invasion of the University.

Now, Molano denounces the actions of the Colombian intelligence service and the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), after the revelations of the Colombian Attorney who brought to light that during the tenure of President Alvaro Uribe, the DAS investigated politicians, trade unionists, journalists and human rights defenders (Colombian and Spanish) to defame them. During these years, Molano was threatened.

By which sectors have you been threatened for defending human rights?

Jorge Molano – The threats came from the Ministry of Defense and were forwarded by the vice-presidency of Colombia in 2008. They told me that I run an extraordinary risk. I asked where this risk comes from, but the question was not answered. This year the government told me that after meeting with the Board of Generals and Defense Minister, the military did not regard my job well because I was “attacking military honor” and was even asked to leave the country.

One of the cases you reported is the disappearance of prisoners after the siege of the Palace of Justice in Bogota in 1985.

These events occurred 25 years ago. Now Colombian Justice issued a sentence. Eleven people from the M19 guerrilla group were taken away by the Colombian Army from the Palace in the heart of the capital, with television cameras recording this event. Nothing more was heard of them. They were taken to military prisons and died from torture. This was denounced and there was a judicial process in which intimidation was a recurring practice.

After 13 years, the attorney overseeing the case managed to open the ditch from where the bodies were exhumed, but they were murdered on April 18, 1998. The judge who sentenced General Plazas Vega in July had to leave the country because of threats 15 days after delivering the sentence. The magistrate who directed the case was removed from office by pressures from the army and political sectors.

We are hoping that they consider several generals, that is positive, but the government has no intention of fulfilling it. General Plazas Vegas has been sentenced to 30 years for all these events. But he is imprisoned in his residence, a house of 600 per 400 m². In addition, last year, while he was undergoing trial, Plazas Vegas was hired by the Military University to teach discipline of Juridica War, in which lawyers for Human Rights are considered – after the guerrillas – as the second front of subversion of the country.

What involvement does the ex-president Alvaro Uribe have in the investigations ordered from the DAS secret service against human rights defenders?

During eight years of the Uribe government we were facing an incompetent president, who did not know what was going on, and a president who headed a criminal enterprise. The action of DAS, besides, also crossed the border, and was an action done with Operation Freedom in different countries against European citizens, parliamentarians and members of the Spanish Parliament. These actions of espionage are related to subsequent murders, displacements of populations and attacks.

All these facts can be considered as a crime against humanity, as recognized by the UN. Therefore, Uribe has to answer. He will be judged by the Commission on Accusations of the Congress, which some prefer to call the commission of acquittals, because in the last 50 years, it did not resolve any case after all the denunciations, under the argument that all allegations are unfounded.

We have doubts that the prosecutor acts against the four directors of the secret service linked to criminal activities. The new government has also been giving posts to those involved. When the facts are known, the prosecutor’s office orders the confiscating of computers and documents from DAS. The decision comes from the director of DAS. But the detectives kept a lot of information which they themselves protected. What’s troubling is that the current director of the DAS is the person who received notice of the action and who ordered the destruction of evidence.

What implicates the CIA and what economic interests lie behind these facts?

Most of the wiretapping equipment that they used was provided by the United States. Even the keys of the offices of DAS in the capital were held by members of the U.S. embassy. Colombia has become the Israel of Latin America and has held a destabilizing role in the region. In one of the reports of the Prosecutor, it is clear that the Colombian secret service was funded by the CIA in order to infiltrate the embassy of Venezuela, Ecuador and Cuba. International pressure has increased, but the European Union, which is aware of the murders that were committed and the connections between military and paramilitary forces, prefers to look the other way. They advanced, including winning space with the European Union, and the signing of an agreement for free trade. It is incredible that economic interests prevail over human rights.

What is the number of political disappearances in recent years?

Official statistics say 42,000 missing since 1980. According to the Forensic Medicine Department, an agency of the General Prosecutor’s office, over the past three years 7,060 Colombians forcibly disappeared. Before that, it was affirmed that Colombia was the most ancient democracy in Latin America. Anyone can see that we have been surviving a dictatorship. The numbers far outweigh those that disappeared during the dictatorship of Pinochet in Chile, Argentine military juntas and the dictatorships in Uruguay and Paraguay.

What progress has been made in investigating the killing of San Jose de Apartado?

This process is quite painful. As a defender of human rights, what moves me most is thinking about the image of Santiago, an 18-month baby who was beheaded. The argument of those who beheaded it was that it was killed so that, when he was an adult, there was no subversive and he would not recognize the killers.

First the government attributed it to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). What happened was that a colonel of the Colombian army received money from the paramilitaries to buy witnesses who accused FARC. After three or four years, we have the investigation reopened. A person of the 17 Brigade was linked to those who had worked with the paramilitaries.

It was proven that the paramilitaries were summoned to come from different places. Two days later, the army was summoned to meet with paramilitaries in the same place. For five days, military and paramilitary forces marched together, slept in the same place and during the massacre, were together.

The court decided to sue the ten Colombian military, a trial which was attended by observers from Spain, Sweden, the United States and other countries. The judge ruled on August 4 this year to absolve the military because he felt that there was no proof that they had a pact with the paramilitaries and that is not considered a crime to dismember a girl of four and a baby of 18 months.

Another Colombia is possible …!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pakistan elites turn blind eye to war

Pakistan elites turn blind eye to war....
By Fatima Bhutto

With governments like Pakistan's current regime, who needs the strong arm of the US Central Intelligence Agency? According to Bob Woodward's latest bestseller, Obama's Wars, when Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, an obsequiously dangerous man, was notified that the CIA would be launching missile strikes from drones over his country's sovereign territory, he replied, "Kill the seniors. Collateral damage worries you Americans. It doesn't worry me."

Why would he worry? When his wife, Benazir Bhutto, returned to Pakistan in 2007 to run for prime minister after years of self-imposed exile, she was already pledged to a campaign of pro-American engagement. She promised to hand over nuclear scientist and international bogeyman Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the "father" of the Pakistani atomic bomb, to the International Atomic Energy Agency. She also made clear that, once back in power, she would allow the Americans to bomb Pakistan proper, so that George W Bush's global "war on terror" might triumph. The Americans had been involved in covert strikes and other activities in Pakistan since at least 2001, but we didn't know that then.

This has been the promise that has kept Zardari, too, in power.

According to the recent cache of US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks, his position and those of his colleagues in government haven't wavered. In 2008, for example, Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani enthusiastically told American ambassador Anne Paterson that he "didn't care" if drone strikes were launched against his country as long as the "right people" were targeted. (They weren't.) "We'll protest in the National Assembly," Gilani added cynically, "and then ignore it."

In fact, protests by the National Assembly have been few and far between and yet, by the end of November, Pakistani territory had been targeted by American unmanned Predator and Reaper missile strikes more than 100 times this year alone. CIA drone strikes have, in fact, been a feature of the American war in Pakistan since 2004. In 2008, after Barack Obama won the presidency in the US and Zardari ascended to Pakistan's highest office, the strikes escalated and soon began occurring almost weekly, later nearly daily, and so became a permanent feature of life for those living in the tribal borderlands of northern Pakistan.

Obama ordered his first drone strike against Pakistan just 72 hours after being sworn in as president. It seems a suitably macabre fact that, according to a United Nations report on "targeted killings" (that is, assassinations) published in 2010, Bush employed drone strikes 45 times in his eight years as president. In Obama's first year in office, the drones were sent in 53 times. In the six years that drone strikes have been used in the fight against Pakistan, researchers at the New America Foundation estimate that between 1,283 and 1,971 people have been killed.

While the dead are regularly identified as "militants" or "suspected militants" in newspaper stories and on the TV news, they almost never have names, nor are their identities confirmed or faces shown. Their histories are always vague. The Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) took a careful look at nine drone strikes from the last two years and concluded that they had resulted in the deaths of 30 civilians, including 14 women and children. (Perhaps superior American military intelligence classified them as "militants in training".) Based on this study, an average rate of error can be calculated: 3.33 civilians mistakenly killed in each drone attack. The dead, Pakistanis will assure you, are largely unnamed, faceless, unindicted and unconvicted civilians.

Pakistanis are considered irrelevant, however, and collateral damage, as it turns out, doesn't seem to worry anyone in the governing elite.

Think of it this way: this summer, monsoon rains and floods submerged one-fifth of Pakistan, affecting 20 million people. It was the country's worst natural disaster in its history. Although the body count, under the circumstances, was considered comparatively low - 2,000 killed - the United Nations concluded that the destruction caused by the floods surpassed the devastating Asian tsunami of 2004, the Pakistan earthquake of 2005, and the recent earthquake in Haiti combined.

Two million homes were destroyed and the crucial food belt in the key agricultural provinces of Punjab and Sindh was ravaged. Millions of children were left homeless or at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery and other water-borne diseases. According to the World Heath Organization, 1.5 million potentially fatal cases of diarrhea and another two million cases of malaria are still expected.

During what UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon termed the worst disaster he'd ever seen, with the country desperate and prostrate, the CIA launched its most extensive drone campaign yet. Over the 30 days of September, as Islamabad rushed to assure Washington that it would not divert too many troops from the war effort to help with flood relief, 20-odd drone strikes were called in. They would produce the highest number of drone fatalities for a single month in the past six years.

In 2009, in one of the many State Department cables WikiLeaks loosed on the world, US ambassador Paterson confirmed that key player and Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Ashfaq Kiani directed his forces to aid those American drone strikes. Various US operations in the country's northern and tribal regions were, the ambassador wrote, "almost certainly [conducted] with the personal consent of ... General Kiani".

The Pakistani media have welcomed the release of the State Department documents because much that reporters and pundits have long claimed (and which Washington has long denied) has now been confirmed: that, for instance, the mercenary private contractor Blackwater (now known as Xe Services) has been operating in Pakistan at the behest of the Americans, that the country's military high command has given the green light for drone strikes on its own people, and that the government of President Zardari has turned the country over to the Americans for money.

Pakistan already receives approximately US$2 billion in military aid a year, and that's just for the army. Under the Kerry Lugar Bill passed by the US Congress, if Pakistan plays nice, opens up its nuclear secrets, and the army's internal documentation on how it selects the chief of army staff and other matters, the country will get $7.5 billion of "civilian aid" over five years - and this is just the tip of the financial iceberg, which, of course, offers the present leadership the chance to extend their incompetent rule just a little longer.

One newspaper baron and government chamcha - apple polisher in Urdu - became the laughing stock of the country's new media when he went on television to suggest that revelations about how Pakistan's government had lied to its people, subverted its national sovereignty, and coordinated foreign attacks didn't faintly measure up to those about leaders in other countries. Look at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi!

The Pakistani political establishment has always believed that the West is best. It has, after all, been the ultimate source of their power; and so, on December 3, Gilani called a meeting of the Joint Chiefs, the defense minister, and various cabinet ministers, including the finance minister, to discuss the WikiLeaks scandal and strategies for dealing with any potential embarrassments in yet-to-be-released cables. (Lie, undoubtedly. It worked so well before.)

Tariq Ali, a Pakistani writer and historian, reacted to the WikiLeaks revelations swiftly and with a frustration and anger felt by many Pakistanis:
The WikiLeaks confirm what we already know: Pakistan is a US satrapy. Its military and political leaders constitute a venal elite happy to kill and maim its own people at the behest of a foreign power. The US proconsul in Islamabad, Anne Patterson, emerges as a shrewd diplomat warning her country of the consequences if they carry on as before. Amusing, but hardly a surprise, is that Zardari reassures the US that if he were assassinated, his sister would replace him and all would continue as before. Always nice to know that the country is regarded by its ruler as a personal fiefdom.
Still, that elite carries on with little sense of the grim absurdity of recent events. As the WikiLeaks documents pour out, various members of parliament are queuing up to have their names put forward as possible replacements for the prime minister. Since the only person capable of replacing the president is his sister, there's no need for debate there.

Like many military chiefs in the past, Kiani is putting forward his own set of favored names, overstepping the official limits of his office with impunity, while the unelected dark overlord of the government, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, has been offering himself for another unelected posting.

Malik came to public notoriety as Benazir Bhutto's security adviser - until her assassination in December 2007. The job of policing the nation was always a peculiar reward to offer a man who couldn't keep his one charge safe. Malik, for whom Zardari issued a presidential pardon and who had all corruption charges against him dropped under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (an odious law pardoning 20 years worth of graft carried out by politicians, bankers and bureaucrats) was also given a senate seat by his friend the president.

Zardari, it is worth noting, did not stand for elections either, has no constituency, and was made president in the very same manner as Pakistan's previous ruler, General Pervez Musharraf: he was selected by his own parliament.

What will Pakistan's elite learn from WikiLeaks? Undoubtedly nothing. And if we're going by the White House's response so far, nor will Washington feel more constrained than it ever has been when it comes to choosing its allies and running the South Asian arm of its informal global empire.

The Zardari government makes no secret of its gratitude for American support. They have, after all, watched as a foreign power bombs its land, illegally detains or renders its citizens, and turns a blind eye to Pakistan's flagrant censorship and abuse of human rights.

This obeisance to power is the key to Zardari's American engagement. And so it will remain. While we wait for WikiLeaks to reveal the rest of the cables, which are unlikely to have any bearing on Washington's future dealings with the governments of Zardari in Pakistan or President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan (or anywhere else for that matter), we watch as American officials argue for expanding their drone attacks southwards into the natural-gas-rich province of Balochistan. That it shares a border with Iran hardly seems a coincidence.

The Zardari regime's essential acquiescence has recently been acknowledged via a multi-year "no strings attached" offer of a military aid package by Washington. At the height of the devastation wreaked by the summer floods, the health secretary of Balochistan and the deputy chairman of the Pakistani senate both alleged that aid could not be airlifted out of an air base in the city of Jacobabad on the border between Sindh and Balochistan, two flood-ravaged provinces, because it was being used by the Americans for their drone strikes in Pakistan. The American Embassy issued a swift and suitably hurt-sounding denial, but the damage was done - and the message was clear: the war against Pakistan continues unabated, with its own government at the helm....

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Zimbabwe. (Website for this image)

At the UK's Financial Times, James Mackintosh has explained that the USA's wealthy elite got good news on 7 December 2010. (The Short View - Good news comes in threes)

On that day it was announced that the tax cuts for the super-rich would continue.

The US has "abandoned any pretense" that it is trying to balance the books.

Inflation is likely to rise.

"The total cost of the tax cuts will be $1,000bn over two years."

"A coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral forces like NATO, and an international financial elite could conceivably forge a single, possibly unstable, supra-national nexus that would make it no longer meaningful to speak of national empires at all." - Professor Alfred McCoy (Four ways the doomed American empire could collapse) - see below

According to Li Daokui, an academic member of China's central bank monetary policy committee:

"The fiscal (government spending) situation in the United States is much worse than in Europe.

"In one or two years... US Treasury bonds and the dollar will experience considerable declines." (US fiscal health is worse than Europe's: according to a Chinese central bank adviser)

Detroit - Website for this image

America's decline could be seen to have started when the military-industrial-narco complex embarked on the Vietnam War or the Iraq War.

Alfred W. McCoy is professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On 5 December, at, Professor McCoy wrote about Four ways the doomed American empire could collapse

Among the points made:

1. The US Empire could collapse within 15 years.

The following empires, after things started to go badly wrong, ended as follows:

Portugal within one year.

Soviet Russia within two years.

The UK within 17 years.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 may be the start of America's downfall.

2. China may be top nation some time after 2020.

By 2020, "China's global network of communications satellites, backed by the world's most powerful supercomputers, will also be fully operational, providing Beijing with an independent platform for the weaponization of space and a powerful communications system for missile- or cyber-strikes into every quadrant of the globe."

3. Historian Paul Kennedy prophecied that the USA was going to fail as a result of losing control of its economy and becoming overextended.

4. American jobs have been heading overseas.

5. Australia and Turkey are using their American weapons for joint air and naval maneuvers with China.

6. By 2008, the US had already fallen to number three in global merchandise exports, behind the European Union and China.

7. American leadership in technological innovation is on the decline.

The World Economic Forum ranked the United States 52nd in the quality of its university math and science instruction in 2010.

8. The dollar may cease to be the world’s reserve currency.

Big US deficits have been caused partly by continual wars.

9. The US may be forced to pull U.S. forces back from hundreds of overseas bases.

10. Russia and Iran control much of the world's gas and oil.

The US has done too little to develop alternative sources.

11. A New World Order?

"A coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral forces like NATO, and an international financial elite could conceivably forge a single, possibly unstable, supra-national nexus that would make it no longer meaningful to speak of national empires at all.

"While denationalized corporations and multinational elites would assumedly rule such a world from secure urban enclaves, the multitudes would be relegated to urban and rural wastelands."

12. Reform?

"The American system is flooded with corporate money meant to jam up the works; and there is little suggestion that any issues of significance, including our wars, our bloated national security state, our starved education system, and our antiquated energy supplies, will be addressed with sufficient seriousness to assure the sort of soft landing that might maximize our country's role and prosperity in a changing world."

Early in 2010, "Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva" and struck a "secret deal."

Documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza "were removed and possibly destroyed by Assange....."

The sources of the report are said to be former WikiLeaks volunteers. (WIKILEAKS STRUCK A DEAL WITH ISRAEL OVER CABLE LEAKS)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

US ambasassor to Honduras knew coup against Zelaya was illegal but supported it anyway

December , 2010 -- US ambasassor to Honduras knew coup against Zelaya was illegal but supported it anyway

On July 6, 2009, WMR reported on the involvement of the Obama administration and its ambassdor to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, a Bush holdover, in the coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. In the following cable, dated July 24, 2009, Llorens admitted that the coup that he supported was illegal and that the present president, Porfirio Lobo, should have been ineligible to serve as president for ten years:


DE RUEHTG #0645/01 2050023
O 240023Z JUL 09




E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/2019


Classified By: Ambassador Hugo Llorens, reasons 1.4 (b and d)

1. (C) Summary: Post has attempted to clarify some of the
legal and constitutional issues surrounding the June 28
forced removal of President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya. The
Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the
military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired
on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and
unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while
accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya
have committed illegalities and may have even violated the
constitution. There is equally no doubt from our perspective
that Roberto Micheletti's assumption of power was
illegitimate. Nevertheless, it is also evident that the
constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing
clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by
the President and resolving conflicts between the branches
of government. End summary.

2. (U) Since the June 28 removal and expulsion of President
Zelaya by the Honduran armed forces, the Embassy has
consulted Honduran legal experts (one cannot find a fully
unbiased professional legal opinion in Honduras in the
current politically charged atmosphere) and reviewed the
text of the Honduran Constitution and its laws to develop a
better understanding of the arguments being parlayed by the
coup's supporters and opponents.

Arguments of the Coup Defenders

3. (SBU) Defenders of the June 28 coup have offered some
combination of the following, often ambiguous, arguments to
assert it's legality:

-- Zelaya had broken the law (alleged but not proven);

-- Zelaya resigned (a clear fabrication);

-- Zelaya intended to extend his term in office

-- Had he been allowed to proceed with his June 28
constitutional reform opinion poll, Zelaya would have
dissolved Congress the following day and convened a
constituent assembly (supposition);

-- Zelaya had to be removed from the country to prevent a

-- Congress "unanimously" (or in some versions by a 123-5
vote) deposed Zelaya; (after the fact and under the cloak
of secrecy); and

-- Zelaya "automatically" ceased to be president the moment
he suggested modifying the constitutional prohibition on
presidential reelection.

4. (C) In our view, none of the above arguments has any
substantive validity under the Honduran constitution. Some
are outright false. Others are mere supposition or ex-post
rationalizations of a patently illegal act. Essentially:

-- the military had no authority to remove Zelaya from the

-- Congress has no constitutional authority to remove a
Honduran president;

-- Congress and the judiciary removed Zelaya on the basis
of a hasty, ad-hoc, extralegal, secret, 48-hour process;

-- the purported "resignation" letter was a fabrication and
was not even the basis for Congress's action of June 28;

-- Zelaya's arrest and forced removal from the country
violated multiple constitutional guarantees, including the
prohibition on expatriation, presumption of innocence and
right to due process.

Impeachment under the Honduran Constitution

5. (U) Under the Honduran Constitution as currently
written, the President may be removed only on the basis of
death, resignation or incapacitation. Only the Supreme
Court may determine that a President has been
"incapacitated" on the basis of committing a crime.

6. (U) There is no explicit impeachment procedure in the
1982 Honduran Constitution. Originally, Article 205-15
stated that Congress had the competence to determine
whether "cause" existed against the President, but it did
not stipulate on what grounds or under what procedure.
Article 319-2 stated that the Supreme Court would "hear"
cases of official or common crimes committed by high-level
officials, upon a finding of cause by the Congress. This
implied a vague two-step executive impeachment process
involving the other two branches of government, although
without specific criteria or procedures. However, Article
205 was abrogated in 2003, and the corresponding provision
of Article 319 (renumbered 313) was revised to state only
that the Supreme Court would hear "processes initiated"
against high officials. Thus, it appears that under the
Constitution as currently written, removal of a president
or a government official is an entirely judicial matter.

7. (U) Respected legal opinion confirms that the removal of
a president is a judicial matter. According to a 2006 book
by respected legal scholar Enrique Flores Valeriano -- late
father of Zelaya's Minister of the Presidency, Enrique
Flores Lanza -- Article 112 of the Law of Constitutional
Justice indicates that if any government official is found
to be in violation of the Constitution, that person should
be removed from office immediately with the ultimate
authority on matters of Constitutionality being the Supreme

8. (U) Many legal experts have also confirmed to us that
the Honduran process for impeaching a President or other
senior-level officials is a judicial procedure. They
assert that under Honduran law the process consists of formal
criminal charges being filed by the Attorney General
against the accused with the Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court could accept or reject the charges. If the Court
moved to indict, it would assign a Supreme Court
magistrate, or a panel of magistrates to investigate the
matter, and oversee the trial. The trial process is open and
transparent and the defendant would be given a full right
of self-defense. If convicted in the impeachment trial,
the magistrates have authority to remove the President or
senior official. Once the President is removed, then the
constitutional succession would follow. In this case, if a
President is legally charged, convicted, and removed, his
successor is the Vice President or what is termed the
Presidential Designate. In the current situation in
Honduras, since the Vice President, Elvin Santos, resigned
last December in order to be able to run as the Liberal
Party Presidential candidate, President Zelaya's successor
would be Congress President Roberto Micheletti.
Unfortunately, the President was never tried, or
convicted, or was legally removed from office to allow a
legal succession.

The Legal Case Against Zelaya

9. (C) Zelaya's opponents allege that he violated the
Constitution on numerous grounds, some of which appear on
their face to be valid, others not:

-- Refusing to submit a budget to the Congress: The
Constitution is unambiguous that the Executive shall submit
a proposed budget to Congress by September 15 each year
(Art. 367), that Congress shall approve the budget (Art.
366) and that no obligations or payments may be effectuated
except on the basis of an approved budget (Art. 364);

-- Refusing to fund the Congress: Article 212 states that
the Treasury shall apportion quarterly the funds needed for
the operation of the Congress;

-- Proposing an illegal constitutional referendum: The
Constitution may be amended only through two-thirds vote of
the Congress in two consecutive sessions (Art. 373 and
375); a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution,
as Zelaya promoted, is therefore unconstitutional; however,
it is not clear that proposing a constituent assembly in
itself violates the constitution, only that any changes
ensuing from that assembly would be invalid;

-- Defying the judgment of a competent court: Zelaya
insisted on pushing ahead with his constitutional reform
opinion poll after both a first-instance court and an
appeals court ordered him to suspend those efforts;
however, while he clearly intended to follow through with
the poll, he never actually did it;

-- Proposing to reform unreformable articles: Since
Zelaya's proposed constituent assembly would have unlimited
powers to rewrite the constitution, it violated Article
374, which makes certain articles unamendable; once again,
though, Zelaya never actually attempted to change the
so-called "carved in stone" articles; it was only assumed
he intended to;

-- Dismissing the armed forces chief: The Supreme Court's
Constitutional Hall ruled June 25 that Zelaya was in
violation of the Constitution for dismissing Defense Chief
Vasquez Velasquez; the Constitution (Art. 280) states that
the President may freely name or remove the chief of the
armed forces; but the court ruled that since Zelaya fired
him for refusing to carry out a poll the court had ruled
illegal, the firing was illegal.

10. (C) Although a case could well have been made against
Zelaya for a number of the above alleged constitutional
violations, there was never any formal, public weighing of
the evidence nor any semblance of due process.

The Article 239 Cannard

11. (U) Article 239, which coup supporters began citing
after the fact to justify Zelaya's removal (it is nowhere
mentioned in the voluminous judicial dossier against
Zelaya), states that any official proposing to reform the
constitutional prohibition against reelection of the
president shall immediately cease to carry out their
functions and be ineligible to hold public office for 10
years. Coup defenders have asserted that Zelaya therefore
automatically ceased to be President when he proposed a
constituent assembly to rewrite the Constitution.

12. (C) Post's analysis indicates the Article 239 argument
is flawed on multiple grounds:

-- Although it was widely assumed that Zelaya's reason for
seeking to convoke a constituent assembly was to amend the
constitution to allow for reelection, we are not aware
that he ever actually stated so publicly;

-- Article 239 does not stipulate who determines whether it
has been violated or how, but it is reasonable to assume
that it does not abrogate other guarantees of due process
and the presumption of innocence;

-- Article 94 states that no penalty shall be imposed
without the accused having been heard and found guilty in a
competent court;

-- Many other Honduran officials, including presidents,
going back to the first elected government under the 1982
Constitution, have proposed allowing presidential
reelection, and they were never deemed to have been
automatically removed from their positions as a result.

13. (C) It further warrants mention that Micheletti himself
should be forced to resign following the logic of the 239
argument, since as President of Congress he considered
legislation to have a fourth ballot box ("cuarta urna") at
the November elections to seek voter approval for a
constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution. Any
member of Congress who discussed the proposal should also
be required to resign, and National Party presidential
candidate Pepe Lobo, who endorsed the idea, should be
ineligible to hold public office for 10 years.

--------------------------------------------- -
Forced Removal by Military was Clearly Illegal
--------------------------------------------- -

14. (C) Regardless of the merits of Zelaya's alleged
constitutional violations, it is clear from even a cursory
reading that his removal by military means was illegal, and
even the most zealous of coup defenders have been unable to
make convincing arguments to bridge the intellectual gulf
between "Zelaya broke the law" to "therefore, he was packed
off to Costa Rica by the military without a trial."

-- Although coup supporters allege the court issued an
arrest warrant for Zelaya for disobeying its order to
desist from the opinion poll, the warrant, made public days
later, was for him to be arrested and brought before the
competent authority, not removed from the county;

-- Even if the court had ordered Zelaya to be removed from
the country, that order would have been unconstitutional;
Article 81 states that all Hondurans have the right to
remain in the national territory, subject to certain narrow
exceptions spelled out in Article 187, which may be invoked
only by the President of the Republic with the agreement of
the Council of Ministers; Article 102 states that no
Honduran may be expatriated;

-- The armed forces have no/no competency to execute
judicial orders; originally, Article 272 said the armed
forces had the responsibility to "maintain peace, public
order and the 'dominion' of the constitution," but that
language was excised in 1998; under the current text, only
the police are authorized to uphold the law and execute
court orders (Art. 293);

-- Accounts of Zelaya's abduction by the military indicate
he was never legally "served" with a warrant; the soldiers
forced their way in by shooting out the locks and
essentially kidnapped the President.

15. (U) The Armed Forces' ranking legal advisor, Col.
Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, acknowledged in an interview
published in the Honduran press July 5 that the Honduran
Armed Forces had broken the law in removing Zelaya from the
country. That same day it was reported that the Public
Ministry was investigating the actions of the Armed Forces
in arresting and deporting Zelaya June 28 and that the
Supreme Court had asked the Armed Forces to explain the
circumstances that motivated his forcible exile.

16. (C) As reported reftel, the legal adviser to the
Supreme Court told Poloff that at least some justices on
the Court consider Zelaya's arrest and deportation by the
military to have been illegal.

Congress Had no Authority to Remove Zelaya

17. (C) As explained above, the Constitution as amended in
2003 apparently gives sole authority for removing a
president to the judiciary. The Congressional action of
June 28 has been reported in some media as acceptance of
Zelaya's resignation, based on a bogus resignation letter
dated June 25 that surfaced after the coup. However, the
June 28 Congressional resolution makes no mention of the
letter, nor does it state that Congress was accepting
Zelaya's resignation. It says Congress "disapproves" of
Zelaya's conduct and therefore "separates" him from the
office of President -- a constitutional authority Congress
does not have. Furthermore, a source in the Congressional
leadership told us that a quorum was not present when the
resolution was adopted, rendering it invalid. There was no
recorded vote, nor a request for the "yeas" and "nays."

18. (C) In sum, for a constitutional succession from Zelaya
to Micheletti to occur would require one of several

Zelaya's resignation, his death, or permanent medical
incapacitation (as determined by judicial and medical
authorities), or as discussed previously, his formal criminal
conviction and removal from office. In the absence of any of
these conditions and since Congress lacked the legal
authority to remove Zelaya, the actions of June 28 can only
be considered a coup d'etat by the legislative branch, with
the support of the judicial branch and the military, against
the executive branch. It bears mentioning that, whereas the
resolution adopted June 28 refers only to Zelaya, its effect
was to remove the entire executive branch. Both of these
actions clearly exceeded Congress's authority.


19. (C) The analysis of the Constitution sheds some
interesting light on the events of June 28. The Honduran
establishment confronted a dilemma: near unanimity among
the institutions of the state and the political class that
Zelaya had abused his powers in violation of the
Constitution, but with some ambiguity what to do about it.
Faced with that lack of clarity, the military and/or
whoever ordered the coup fell back on what they knew -- the
way Honduran presidents were removed in the past: a bogus
resignation letter and a one-way ticket to a neighboring
country. No matter what the merits of the case against
Zelaya, his forced removal by the military was clearly
illegal, and Micheletti's ascendance as "interim president"
was totally illegitimate.

20. (C) Nonetheless, the very Constitutional uncertainty
that presented the political class with this dilemma may
provide the seeds for a solution. The coup's most ardent
legal defenders have been unable to make the intellectual
leap from their arguments regarding Zelaya's alleged crimes
to how those allegations justified dragging him out of his
bed in the night and flying him to Costa Rica. That the
Attorney General's office and the Supreme Court now
reportedly question the legality of that final step is
encouraging and may provide a face-saving "out" for the two
opposing sides in the current standoff. End Comment.

Lebanon's Al Akhbar newspaper has released State Department cables not previously released by Wikileaks. The Wikileaks saga has grown more mysterious. Two examples of the Lebanese paper's cable haul follows:

ClassificationSECRET//NOFORN Header

DE RUEHRB #0679/01 2181914
P 061914Z AUG 09
S E C R E T RABAT 000679



E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/06/2019

REF: A. 08 RABAT 0311 (NOTAL)
B. 08 RABAT 0178 (NOTAL)
C. 08 RABAT 0222 (NOTAL)

Classified By: CDA Robert P. Jackson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Summary: On July 28, a Sale court sentenced
Moroccan-Belgian Abdelkader Belleraj to life in prison
(instead of the death penalty requested by prosecutors) for
running an international terrorist network. The 34 other
defendants on trial with Belleraj received sentences ranging
from one to 30 years. While Belleraj and some of his
associates undoubtedly had links to terrorism, the link is
much less clear for six Islamist politicians, who received
sentences ranging from two to 25 years. These six
politicians have come to be known in the public and the press
as "political detainees" because of allegations that they
were arrested for their political affiliation rather than any
real connection to terrorist acts. Human rights activists
monitoring this case have condemned the trial and the
verdict. A family member of one of the politicians sentenced
to 20 years called the trial a "farce" and wondered, in the
context of celebrations of King Mohammed VI's ten years of
rule, "How can this be possible in the new Morocco?" End


2. (C) In February 2008, Minister of the Interior Chakib
Benmoussa publicly announced the dismantling of a dangerous
terrorist network, masterminded by Moroccan-Belgian
Abdelkader Belleraj. Belleraj was arrested for possessing an
arsenal of firearms, allegedly to be used to assassinate
Moroccan ministers, members of the military, and Jewish
citizens. He is suspected of having committed at least six
assassinations in Europe, as well as conducting arms
trafficking, money laundering, robberies and other crimes
(Ref A). The 34 other men arrested in connection with the
network were charged with crimes such as "disturbing the
national security of the State" and "conspiracy to plot and
carry out terrorist acts," the highest crimes under Moroccan
terrorism laws.

The Six Politicians

3. (C) While there is little doubt that Belleraj and some of
his associates have committed grave crimes, the public and
media have labeled six of the defendants "political
detainees" because of allegations that they were arrested for
their political affiliation rather than for having any real
connection to terrorist actions or intentions. While the
Embassy and other diplomatic missions do not dispute the
prima facie threat from Belleraj, who has a long history of
relations with Islamic radicals from Ayatollah Khomeini to
Osama bin Laden, there appears to be little evidence that the
six politicians had any involvement in planning terrorist
acts. Nevertheless, the GOM persisted in trying all of the
accused together under the anti-terrorism laws enacted after
the May 2003 suicide attacks in Casablanca, dismissing
repeated attempts by lawyers to separate the trials of the
six from the larger group. As a result, the politicians were
charged, like the other members of the group, with
involvement in terrorist activity, including plotting against
the regime, being a member of an armed group with the
objective of destabilizing the nation, and threatening public
safety -- among the most severe crimes under Morocco's
terrorism laws.

4. (U) Five of the politicians affiliated with
Islamist-inspired political parties at the time of their
arrest were sentenced to 20 and 25 years in prison.
Maelainin Laabadla, a Sahrawi member of the national council
of the Islamist-inspired Party of Justice and Development
(PJD), headed the PJD's commission on the Western Sahara;
Mustafa Moatassim served as Secretary General of the
Civilized Alternative (Al Badil Al Hadari), a small,
Islamist-inspired political party which was disbanded two
days after his arrest; Mohamed Marouani and Amine Regala had
been, respectively, the Secretary General and party
spokesperson of the unauthorized party of the Nation (Al
Oumma), an Islamist organization that had been seeking party
status; and Abdelhafid Sriti worked as a television

correspondent for Hezbollah's Al Manar.

5. (SBU) The sixth politician, Hamid Najibi, a member of the
national council of the Unified Socialist Party (PSU), and
the only politician not affiliated with an Islamist party,
received a suspended sentence of two years. International
reaction to the heavy sentences of the politicians has been
mostly shock, especially given the skepticism increasingly
voiced by the press and public regarding the case.

Political Links to Belleraj

6. (C) In the early 1990's, under the reign of King Hassan
II, at least four of the six politicians belonged to an
organization called Islamic Choice, an Islamic cultural and
political organization. For ideological reasons, Islamic
Choice eventually dissolved and then split into two smaller
Islamist political parties, the Civilized Alternative and the
Nation. According to Moroccan government officials, Belleraj
and his co-conspirators hoped to use these parties as the
foundation of a new political wing of their network, and
then, under the guise of political activity, use them to
destabilize Morocco (Ref B).

7. (C) At the time of the arrests, the Civilized Alternative
had been formally recognized by the GOM, and, according to
Sidi Ali Maelainin, the brother of Mr. Laabadla, had been
encouraged as an alternative to the Islamist-inspired PJD,
until the terrorist network was uncovered. The Nation had
applied for and was awaiting approval as a political
organization at the time of the arrests in February 2008.
Because it had not yet received an official refusal, it was
on the verge of becoming a party by default, Maelainin said.
He speculated that the GOM opposed the recognition of the
Nation because it could open the way for Sheik Yassine's
Islamist Justice and Good Works Organization (al-Adl wa
al-Ihsan or AWI) to enter politics -- a move strongly opposed
by the Palace.

A Message to the PJD

8. (C) Relatives of the politicians, and increasingly the
press, suggest that the arrest of the six political
defendants was designed to deter the proliferation of
Islamist politicians and political parties, rather than
terrorist acts. As reported, shortly after the arrests of
the six politicians, even the PJD acknowledged that the
arrests may have been intended as a message to stay in line
(Ref C). The PJD has denounced the verdicts against the
politicians, suggesting that such punishments evoke the
authoritarian reign of Hassan II and the &Years of Lead.8

9. (C) According to Abdelaziz Nouyidi, a prominent human
rights attorney and member of the defense team, the arrest
and trial of Islamist political figures was timed to send a
clear message to the political parties in the lead up to the
June 2009 local elections. "The Palace wanted to remind the
Islamists to stay within the bounds established by the King,"
he said, continuing that an alliance between the PJD and the
left would not be welcome. Nouyidi speculated that the
inclusion among the defendants of Hamid Najibi of the Unified
Socialist Party signaled the Palace's displeasure at the
prospect of such an alliance.

Evidence and Irregularities

10. (C) According to human rights NGOs, defense attorneys
and European diplomats familiar with the case, the state's
evidence against all 35 of the accused consisted of the
defendants' statements to the police in which they implicate
themselves and others, and two seizures of weapons which were
allegedly intended to be used to conduct assassinations and
other terrorist acts. The defendants initially affirmed
their statements before a preliminary judge, but then
retracted them before the trial judge, saying they had been
obtained under duress or had been altered.

11. (S/NF) The judge's written decision on the case has not
yet been made available, and it is, therefore, not clear
what, if any, other evidence the GOM may have against the
accused. The Moroccan Government provided to the Regional

Affairs Office photographs of the seized weapons which
included guns, ammunition, silencers, and balaclavas.
Despite repeated requests, the GOM did not provide
satisfactory evidence to the Mission of a connection between
the politicians and the terrorist network. Daniel Bernard,
Belgian Legal Advisor to the Government of Morocco, who has
closely followed this case, speculated, "Maybe there is
something behind the accusations" of the six politicians, but
if so, the Moroccan Government has not divulged it to anyone.

12. (C) Calling the trial and prosecution of his brother "a
farce," Sidi Ali Maelainin outlined for PolOff other
irregularities in the case. The judge had repeatedly refused
to allow the defense access to files, to call witnesses or to
introduce evidence, he said, accusations confirmed by
Bernard. In addition, nearly all the defendants alleged that
their statements had been altered by the police. The Charge
raised these concerns in his June 24 meeting with Human
Rights Council Chairman Ahmed Herzenni, who acknowledged the
irregularities and promised to review the trial following
delivery of the verdict (Ref D).

No Fair Trial

13. (C) Calling the trial "pre-cooked," Johan Jacobs,
Counselor at the Belgian Embassy, said there is "no doubt"
the trial was unfair. Not a single person had been
acquitted, he observed, an unlikely outcome given the large
number of defendants. He also questioned how an impartial
judge could reach a verdict and determine sentences for 35
different individuals less than 12 hours after the closing
arguments. He told PolOff that some of the evidence used in
the trial had been provided by Belgium and was written in
French and Dutch. Even though the evidence provided by
Brussels was accurate and, in some cases damning, Jacobs
wondered how the trial could be fair if neither the defense
nor the prosecution could understand it. When the defense
requested to have the files translated into Arabic, the court
ruled that only parts of the files could be translated,
orally, during court proceedings. This is a peculiar way of
honoring a defendant's right to know the evidence against
him, he said, adding, "Some of these guys have real proof
against them, but that does not change the fact that the
trial was unfair." Sidi Ali Maelainin called the lack of a
fair trial "frightening." In the context of national
celebration of the reforms initiated by King Mohammed VI over
the last ten years, he wondered, "How can this be possible in
the new Morocco?"


14. (C) The GOM's heavy-handed approach taken by the GOM in
this case illustrates Morocco's willingness to use its
counterterrorism laws to marginalize Islamist-inspired
political activities. The nearly universal belief that the
verdict of this trial was predetermined by the Ministry of
the Interior -- a not unlikely scenario -- highlights the
lack of trust many Moroccans have in the justice system.
Equally troubling for Morocco's governance reform outlook is
the plausible prospect that at least six defendants were
tried and convicted for political reasons unrelated to
zealous counter-terrorism objectives. If true, this would
represent a manipulation of the courts not only for security
goals but also to affect legitimate political activity -- a
step backward in the political and democratic progress the
Kingdom has realized in the past decade. Although the GOM
has made great progress in respecting human rights under King
Mohammed VI, there is still room for improvement,
particularly in respecting non-establishment viewpoints. End

Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website; cco

O 171334Z FEB 09



E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2021

REF: A. STATE 14163

Classified By: CDA Cornelius Walsh, reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (C/NF) Summary: Having watched the evolution of the
Israeli relations issue in the context of the Mauritanian
political crisis, we believe that the junta, particularly
Foreign Minister Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, is deeply
concerned about the repercussions of a formal break in the
Mauritanian-Israeli relationship. Their steps to date, while
detrimental to Israeli interests, have been incremental and
hesitant. However, given the volatile nature of the issue,
American engagement at this very sensitive time may be used
by more radical members of the junta and its constituents,
who have a planning horizon much more limited than that of
the Foreign Minister, as a pretext to sever the relationship
and free Mauritania from what they consider its onerous
restraints. End Summary.

2. (U) Since the advent of the coup d'etat in early August,
Embassy Nouakchott has observed and reported on the junta's
approach towards relations with Israel as well as the
attitudes and statements of other participants in the current
political crisis affecting Mauritania. Inasmuch as Israeli
Ambassador Arbel had not presented his credentials prior to
the coup and that Israel hewed to the western policy of
non-recognition, this kept the issue off the table for some
months. Always a delicate subject, it appeared that both the
junta and its opponents preferred that the issue not enter
their political world.

3. (U) The late December Israeli incursion into Gaza,
however, changed the nature of the discussion. The junta
found itself pressured by its domestic constituency, its
opponents, and fellow Muslim states to cut relations with
Israel as a show of solidarity with Gaza and the Muslim
mainstream. Indeed, it appears that some states offered
recognition and financial support for just such a gesture.
Large and sometimes violent anti-Israeli demonstrations
focused on the Israeli Embassy in Nouakchott further forced
the junta to address the issue. On the domestic front the
junta appeared to be in a competition with its opponents as
to which could be more anti-Israel than the other.

4. (C/NF) Despite these pressures, the junta has proceeded
slowly and very carefully in its measures against the Israeli
presence. It has recalled its Ambassador (Ref B), declared a
freeze in relations (Ref C), almost surreptitiously closed
its Embassy in Tel Aviv and removed its personnel (Ref D),
and finally two weeks ago informally called the Israeli
Ambassador and asked that he take "appropriate measures"
regarding the freeze (Ref E). As of February 16, the Israeli
Ambassador has not been contacted again by the junta's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

5. (C/NF) We have sometimes considered the junta's steps to
be an attempt to have its cake and eat it as well, i.e., give
the appearance of distancing itself from Israel while
maintaining a straightened relationship. However, its
hesitancy, its apparent rejection of blandishments from Iran,
Libya and other players, and its rhetorical back and forth
with the opposition lead us to believe that the junta is well
aware of the serious consequences of an actual break in
diplomatic relations. The formal break is indeed a card that
the junta may wish to play at some point. However,
indications until now have been that it will not do so
without a pretext or an action that will allow it to gain an
advantage either from international partners (it already has
anti-sanction support from the Arab League) or against its
domestic opponents.

6. (C/NF) Intervention at this point may be the pretext the
junta desires/needs to make its final break. Using a USG
reminder as the focus of its rupture would burnish the
junta's "eastern" credentials with a number of Muslim states.
Having identified the United States as the most adamant of
its international critics, the junta would also be tempted to
use such an intervention to undermine our democratic
credentials with the Abdallahi administration, the FNDD, and
other parties with whom we have worked throughout the past
six months. There are those, evidenced, in a recent article
in a minor local newspaper "Points Chauds" who choose to see
the sanctions question and the internationalization of the
Mauritanian crisis as (in the words of the paper's headline)
"the Jewish lobby against the Arab pressure group, who will
have the last word?" We would therefore recommend that the
request outlined in Ref A be reconsidered.

7. (C/NF) Comment: In our conversations with the Israeli
Ambassador we sense that the GOI does not realize that the
full spectrum of political opinion in Mauritania, junta,
anti-junta, and opportunistic, is opposed to continuing
relations with Israel. The sole factor that has kept the
junta from a full breach is its understanding that such a
move would make its relations with the United States and the
west that much more difficult. This is understood as well by
the opposition parties which, while goading the junta to take
action, do not make such a break a sine qua non in their own
position papers. In our view, the Israelis could garner
possible good will in the future were they to follow the
Mauritanian lead and depart quietly and unofficially to
return just as quietly when conditions here and in the Middle
East improve. There is, of course, the danger that this
would be another pretext for a formal break but there is also
the possibility that the junta and/or any follow-on
administration would consider such discretion as a positive
factor in the future. End Comment.