Bolivia Rumble

Well right now the media are again indulging in their fetish to report on Latin America through a lens provided by US hegemony. Morales expelled the US ambassador, this is reported without reference to the secret meeting with secessionist leaders and whorehouse gun toting arrests of covert US assets. As ever Uncle Sam can do no wrong in ‘his backyard’. Some wilder headlines are going for the full Civil War pimpage. They unerringly refer to groups of fascist thugs as ‘right wing youth groups’ (bless) and the resounding victory of Morales in the recent referendum is forgotten (by a margin our leading parties could only dream of) as it would rather impinge on the legitimacy of the secessionist movement which is a combination of fascism, wealth worship, slavery and bending over backwards for the Empire. Bolivia also has some important resources, try and act surprised, the US destabilising a country and backing right wing militants while coveting its resources, who’d a thunk it? See, quite apart from the historical & geopolitical factors, oil, gas, the global corporate community are getting excited about…

Bolivia holds half the World’s lithium reserves, but is reluctant to damage its untouched salt flats in order to exploit this potentially lucrative resource. Almost all new electric car models appear to rely on Lithium for their batteries and one of Japan’s leading battery makers is warning there could be a shortage of Lithium within just a few years.

Ain’t the future grand? While still fighting oil wars the next generation of conflict is being set up. Combined with the Empire’s distaste of anything remotely leftish and its manifest destiny ordained by God!! to have an uninterrupted sphere of influence stretching the length of the continent, the new strategy of backing rightwing, greedy & racist secessionists seems it is about to be tested. The craptastic media have the expulsion of the Ambassador to hang their standard narrative of dangerous Bolshie foreign types who need controlling require a robust response in defence of freedom & democracy ™ Won’t someone save the poor ickle rich people from such dangerous uppity indigenous pinkos? But Morales has been dealing with this provocation for a while and as the New Latin Left is showing, Washington no longer calls the shots even if the North’s media is still pretty obedient.

Amy Goodman & 2 Producers Arrested At RNC

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfuly detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sherrif Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman’s office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amenmdent rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation’s leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

The Best Little Whore House in Santa Cruz

Wherein a US Iraq War veteran armed and drunk is arrested in Santa Cruz’s finest brothel only hours after the US ambassador Philip Goldberg secretly meets with Prefect Ruben Costas -leader of the ‘breakaway’ movement and racist (his macaco moment) who is being used to destabilise Evo Morale’s administration (which only recently got a resounding approval in the polls). Drunky McArmed-Vet is then whisked out of custody under US diplomatic immunity and a (cover) story of the Ambassador meeting Costas to talk about the Special Olympics is released, no really.

News of the Restless:- The prefect of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, secretly met on Monday with the US ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg. The meeting comes nine days after Costas’s radical speech, in which he insulted President Evo Morales and announced a series of measures that skirt the edges of the constitution. Although there was no official mention of what the two discussed, the meeting occurred amid the beginning of the measures with which Costas and his colleagues of the so-called “Media Luna” region sought to put pressure on the Morales government, which was ratified with two-thirds of the popular vote at the polls (67.4%).

According to a report by the Gigavision network, the encounter took place in the Prefectural Palace, a location where the press was barred from entering.

The TV report informed that the Costas-Goldberg meeting went on for at least an hour and 30 minutes, and proved the encounter had taken place with images taken before and after.

Having been caught on camera Goldberg sez-

“I went to Santa Cruz for various reasons; to deliver aid packages, I was at the inauguration of the special Olympics with the Prefect (Ruben Costas), and I also showed via tele-info the aid in this sector and the aid given in computing. I also took advantage of this visit to meet, in public, with the prefect Costas, only because this is part of my diplomatic duties.”

Inca Kola News though-

…that thing about “public meeting” is total bull, as according to all sources they had a one-on-one private, closed door meeting that went on for an hour and a half and nobody but nobody was even let into the corridor that leads to the door they were behind. Are the Special Olympics such an interesting subject of conversation?

Then-

In the wee small hours of that same Monday/Tuesday, at 3:30am to be precise, a drunken man was arrested for causing a disturbance at a Santa Cruz nightclub. He barged his way in to the late night establishment (that’s Otto’s nice way of saying ‘whorehouse’, ok?) known as ‘Curris Internacional’ and started threatening both public and staff. When the police were called in and arrested him they found that;

  • His name is Gregory Gordon Michel
  • He is a US citizen
  • He is a member of the US military
  • He was carrying a loaded .45mm handgun with three spare clips
  • He was also carrying a folding police officer’s nightstick

He was taken to the local police station when just 30 minutes later a posse of his fellow citizens arrived, claimed Gregory Michel was protected by Diplomatic Immunity and spirited him away.

[ABI report here]

So..the US destabilising a Latin American country and using a separatist right wing (proto-facist) leader to do it while also having armed military in country under diplomatic protection…the War on Democracy continues apace. Pictures and more at Inca Kola News, News of the Restless, Abiding in Bolivia & BoRev.

Culture For ‘Em- G8 Leaders As Popular As Leprosy

Huddled alone on an island the world’s most powerful political leaders (slumming it without all of their corporate chums) overrun the place with 21,000 security & police. A perspicacious leader might at some point ask themselves while any figurehead may be a target of assassination simply from fame seeking sniping enthusiasts, there is a point where the security and isolation of your presence is indicative that you are not perhaps doing things in the best interests of the people and the people have twigged. The question is having realised that are you overcome with regret and radically change your ways to represent the will of the people, or do you say- Fuck it I’m rich, give them riot police more guns. And as ever from the realms of the exploited you can always co-opt enough vicious suckers (I said suckers!) to put on those uniforms of the mid-level overseer.

Now while obviously they’ll not do anything materially to halt the flow of capital to the elite as the biosphere collapses they should pull the usual ploy of a PR makeover because, well there’s one born every minute plus it helps the hacks who geisha them retain a modicum of self respect, hey look they’re different stop being such a downer you rabble rouser’s (I mean Davos lets you put youtube clips of questions to ask the great and good, imagine it, so democratic!). So the G8 should become The Gr8t! Maybe using Queen’s ‘One Vision’ as a theme, a song so incredibly fascistic it took Laibach the arch Slovenian situationists (or anti-situationist depending on your mood) & satirists to bring out its latent shallows-

Next they will need to sucker in those ever gullible youths and this might be where Hokkaido comes in, emulating the climax of Godzilla movie- scientists in one last ditch attempt gather at the island base to defeat the rampaging monsters. The Gr8t! will produce a graphic novel (soon to be a major motion picture) where they fight terror, crime and gigantic atomic monsters (possibly Iranian ones) from this island fortress. And the protesters will be revealed as zombie slaves of the evil forces of Anti-Neoliberalism, mindless drones intent on depriving the North’s consumers of shiny things that use batteries…or something. Of course you might be suspicious that his has already taken place looking at what is exhibited in cinemas now, which is doing a far better job for it being less explicit. But I’m sure The Gr8T! would like to be immortalised as super heroes directly, because while the ability to enjoy any depravity coupled with the power to indulge without consequence will keep them sated for a while, it’s always better to have the lower orders marvel at your supremacy, to see your glory and cruelty reflected in their terrified, institutionalised yet adoring eyes.

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India Dammit!

India has agreed to build a $120m seaport and transportation system in Myanmar. 

Senior General Maung Aye, second-in-command of Myanmar’s military government, and Mohammad Hamid Ansari, India’s vice president, signed the accord. India also called for Myanmar to push forward with plans for national reconciliation, saying the country’s rulers should engage Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader, the statement said.

During his visit, Maung met Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, who reiterated New Delhi’s commitment to support Myanmar in telecommunication and IT sectors, the Indian statement said. An Indian defence ministry official separately told the AFP news agency that Maung “reviewed bilateral military co-operation” in his talks with the Deepak Kapoor, the Indian army chief.

“The talks included Indian military exports to the government in Yangon,” the official said. Over the past decade, India has increased its economic and military ties with Myanmar. New Delhi has been eager to secure the co-operation of the Myanmar military to help contain separatist groups fighting New Delhi’s rule in northeastern India near the Myanmar border.

The infrastructure agreement was signed the same day as Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party urged voters to reject a military-backed draft constitution, saying it was undemocratic and written under the government’s direct control.

Yes I’m sure saying the junta should engage with the democracy movement really puts the sting in the $120 million deal.

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Paddington Gitmo

They want 42 days detention without charge, what that means is six weeks of interrogation, here is what they did in just 12 days to one woman, it might seem familiar-

When Farrah arrived at Paddington Green, her clothes were taken from her. Suffering from diarrhoea, she was in constant pain. She described the basic washing and hygiene facilities in detention. “There was no toilet roll and only paper towels for body drying. I wasn’t even allowed to comb my hair.”

Exercise consisted of walking around in a circle in a small yard behind the station for five minutes while officers held guard dogs in each corner. Farrah said: “I was frightened of the dogs so rather than getting any exercise, I just found these exercise periods really frightening.”

She became unwell, suffering from diabetes, and a doctor was called on numerous occasions. He confirmed that an existing condition had been exacerbated by the stress of her arrest and detention.

She was not allowed to speak with her family for four days. Eight days had passed before the police disclosed the reason she was being held.

Farrah claimed the guards were constantly rude and aggressive when dealing with her. She was effectively held in solitary confinement and not allowed to communicate with or pass another prisoner when being taken to and from her cell between questioning. After four days, she was permitted to make a telephone call to her parents. They speak English but she was told to make sure she spoke in English and not in “your language”.

After 12 days of 24-hour detention in a cell and repeated questioning in a room with no natural light, Farrah was released without charge. No explanation was given and no apology made. She had no way of travelling home and was not offered assistance; her solicitor organised a taxi. She said she felt “tired, shocked and exhausted”, and had thought she was never going to get out. Her clothes were never returned.

After release, Farrah said she became increasingly paranoid, not wanting to leave the house alone. Her employers were understanding but the pressure of colleagues knowing what had happened to her, the increasing paranoia and her poor health forced her to quit her job. Friends and family stopped visiting, terrified they would become suspects by association.

The Heart Of Saturday Night

It’s just raining and raining here, not windy just a relentless rain. It’s about to go down in Tibet, Chinese deadline set for Monday, the Olympic PR machine whining about please don’t mention boycotts. Dalai Lama statement and quick timeline @ Jotman. Winter Soldier is broadcasting-

One of the veterans testifying Adam Kokesh is taking part in the Iraq War Blogswarm, almost 250 now, the Freeway blogger just joined.

Join the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Pics from the London demo @ Lenin. The BBC report was quite good a few hours ago but has since been re-edited to add more establishment ‘balance’, as if agitating for wars of aggression is a reasonable position. Ho-hum.

Take it away Tom…

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Goons Meet Lawyer, Goons Lose

This is excellent, via Citizen Orange some immigration goons throwing their weight around think they can just arrogantly threaten and storm into this man’s apartment, except…he’s a veteran immigration lawyer and he knows his rights and the law, from Immigration Prof Blog, enjoy-

Please accept this letter as a complaint against Officers “John Doe” and Caroline Hum of USICE-San Francisco, who came to my private residence on the morning of February 4, 2008 at 8:15 a.m. My home address is ——————–, Apt 2, San Francisco, California.
I am a citizen of the United States and an attorney at law. I practice immigration law exclusively, with a particular focus on removal defense. I consequently have frequent interactions with employees of USICE and USCIS in San Francisco.
So, it was an interesting coincidence that two ICE officers rang my doorbell this morning–having bypassed the street security gate and buzzer that most people understand to be an indication that the 12-unit apartment building is not open to the general public. At 8:15 a.m., as I happened to be discussing case strategy on the phone with co-counsel regarding a bond hearing the same day, my apartment doorbell rang.
I opened the door and was greeted by Officer Hum. She identified herself as an ICE officer. She was accompanied by a male officer, who did not identify himself. Officer Hum stated that she was looking for an individual, but she had difficulty articulating the individual’s name.
I inquired whether the officers possessed a judicial warrant to enter the premises. The officers did not respond. I then stated to the officers that I declined to answer any questions, and I stated to them that they needed to leave. Officer Hum then stated “that’s fine, we’re just going to wait here until you come out.”
After I closed the door, the unidentified male officer stated, “I’m going to kick your door down.” He also threatened me with prosecution for alien harboring.
I continued to speak to the officers through my closed door. I again inquired whether the officers had a judicial warrant to enter my premises, as the male officer had stated he would forcibly enter my residence. They did not respond. I stated to the officers that they were not entitled to forcibly enter my home without a judicial warrant.
I next instructed the officers to leave the common space of my apartment building, unless they had other business at the building. The officers refused to promptly leave. I informed them that they must leave private property when requested if they did not possess a judicial warrant. I stated that I would call the San Francisco Police Department.
The male officer inquired whether I was the manager of the apartment building. I informed him that I was not the manager, but that I had a right to possession of the common area, and that I chose to exclude the officers from the common areas of the building. I further stated to the officers that they had no claim to possession of the property. The male officer stated that “your claim is not valid.” He stated that he would contact the apartment building manager, which I invited him to do. There is no on-site building manager. Control of the premises is exercised by the residents.
The officers then continued to loiter directly in front of my apartment door for approximately 15 minutes. This made it difficult to continue my phone conversation with co-counsel regarding the bond hearing. Due to the lay-out of my apartment, it is easy to overhear conversations through my front door. The doors are also made of shaded glass. Out of courtesy, the residents do not loiter in front of each others doors because of the invasion of privacy this causes.
Towards the end of the exchange, I asked the officers why they were at my residence, to which they did not respond. At this point, I disclosed to the officers that I am an immigration defense attorney and that I would therefore decline to answer any questions related to their enforcement efforts. Officer Hum then gave me her contact information and I believe the officers left, although they may have been lurking about the building.
As an American citizen, I feel that it is very important that the representatives of my own government respect the law rather than break it. The conduct of the unidentified officer in threatening to kick down my door, though he obviously lacked the legal authority to do so, is indefensible. Such behavior is unbecoming a federal law enforcement agent. The officer’s threat placed me in fear of my physical safety.
But for my training as a lawyer, I have little doubt that my rights would have been completely brushed aside. By making criminal threats against my home and physical safety, threatening prosecution without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, and refusing to respect my property rights, the officers clearly sought to dissuade the exercise of my constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
I also object to the officers trespassing on private property. Federal officers may violate state law only where federal law preempts that law. No federal law authorizes officers to enter and remain in the common access areas of an apartment building pursuant to an investigation without warrant, after having been requested to leave by the person in possession thereof. Because no federal law authorizes the officers’ conduct, they are subject to state laws regulating that conduct.
California Penal Code Section 602(o) defines as trespass the “[r]efusing or failing to leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general public, upon being requested to leave by … the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession … however, this subdivision shall not apply to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution, or to persons who are on the premises at the request of a resident or management and who are not loitering or otherwise suspected of violating or actually violating any law or ordinance.”
Cal. P.C. § 602(o).
Whether as the person in possession of the common area, or the agent of the owner for the purpose of excluding unauthorized persons from the premises, I was authorized to exclude the officers from the building.
ICE officers undergo extensive training on immigration and constitutional law. I have no doubt that the conduct of the above officers was knowing and willful. This incident also appears to be just one example of a pattern of constitutional violations in recent times by ICE officers, suggesting the agency has adopted a policy of aggressive violations of constitutional rights in its enforcement efforts.
I request acknowledgment of this complaint, and disclosure of the identity of the male officer (or at a minimum confirmation that you have identified him and are able to investigate this complaint). I appreciate your attention to this matter. If I can provide any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me in writing at the address above.
Sincerely,
Kevin M. Crabtree
Attorney at Law

This bit is key “ICE officers undergo extensive training on immigration and constitutional law. I have no doubt that the conduct of the above officers was knowing and willful.” They are banking on people being intimidated and not knowing their rights and they are widely abusing their power-

New York City residents, take note: I’ve now heard reports in NYC of Long Island-style random ICE raids on apartment buildings where ICE agents kick down the door ostensibly looking for a particular individual but then sweep up everyone in sight who “looks illegal” and can’t produce immigration papers. As far as I know, this is a recent development—before, ICE raids within the five boroughs were more limited, with agents going to homes and businesses looking for particular individuals.

But at least in this one incident they got more than they bargained for. Is that bacon I can smell frying?

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Uribe’s Hubris

“The Israel of Latin America”

Well that is what Chavez quipped as he referred to Colombia’s assault on a FARC group in Ecuador, adding-

“Colombia is a terrorist state that is subject to the great terrorist, the government of the United States and their apparatus,” 

No words minced there, the attack turns out to be a lot bigger operation than a quick ground attack-

Investigations on the part of the Ecuadorian authorities show there was no combat on the side of the FARC unit which was attacked. With the exception of three of them keeping guard, the 18 killed were asleep in their undergarments; none of the guerrillas had the opportunity of fighting or surrendering. The arms in the camp were piled up. They did not have the chance even to reach for their rifles and grenades; they were massacred while asleep.

After the bombing from these aircraft, several ‘Supertuscan’ helicopters of the Colombian air force came in and from these the attack on the FARC camp in Ecuadorian territory continued. The helicopters landed special commandos who finished off the injured guerrillas. As the bullet wounds in the bodies of the majority of the guerrillas show, many of them were piled up in a part of the camp and killed from behind. Even the photographs taken by the Colombian government of Raul Reyes’ body show he had a shot on the left side of his face.

Information coming from Ecuadorian military intelligence indicates that the country’s air space was not only violated on the dawn of March 1 but also that on the dawn of March 2 there was another incursion of the helicopters with night vision equipment to pick up members of the armed forces and Colombian police still in Ecuadorian territory. The position of the trees brought down by the bombardment, the multiple bullet holes on them, as also the position of the bodies, demonstrate that while the FARC was guarding the camp on the northern side facing the Colombian frontier, the air incursion happened from the south, which indicates that the Colombian air force intruded without permission or notification, contravening all international norms about Ecuadorian air space.

Washington is of course backing Uribe to the hilt, he is their kind of guy-

After years of increased violations of civilian human rights, the ongoing suppression of trade-unionism, assassinations of left-of-centre activists and politicians, and a political reality that has witnessed 75 governors, mayors and Congressional politicians alleged or found guilty of having direct links to the paramilitaries- including Vice-President Francisco Santos Calderón and his cousin Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos and President Uribe’s brother Santiago and their cousin Senator Mario Uribe-now the Colombian state has deemed it necessary to illegally encroach upon those nations that deviate from their ideological model of political and economic centralization. 

FARC while no angels, have been designated as terrorists for political and strategic reasons-

Characterizing the FARC-EP as a foreign terrorist organization dramatically alters the dynamics of the peace process in favour of a killer state. Stipulating that the FARC-EP is terrorist results in the inability for legal peace negotiations to take place between the FARC-EP and any government that subscribes to the categorization. According to James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, promoting the FARC-EP-and its supporters-as terrorists “puts them on the list of targets to be assaulted by the US military machine” and “thus subject to total war.” 

And the timing of this attack might be about Uribe’s domestic agenda-

The actions of March 1 took place days before a major international demonstration scheduled for March 6. Promoted by The National Movement of Victims of State-Sponsored Crimes (MOVICE), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and countless social justice-based organizations, March 6 has been set as an international day of protest against those tortured, murdered and disappeared by the Colombian state, their allies within the paramilitary United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) and the newly-reformed Black Eagles. Recently, President Uribe’s top political adviser, José Obdulio Gaviria, proclaimed that the protest and protesters should be criminalized.

It came at an opportune time, because there’s been criticism of Uribe Velez for not really carrying out serious measures to release the hostages that the FARC have been holding for some time now. Just last week, four hostages were released by the FARC to the Venezuelan government because of the intervention of Hugo Chavez and the Venezuelan government. And those people, when they got to Venezuela, those people who were in captivity for five, six years, immediately started criticizing and calling into question Uribe Velez’s positions 

The military assistance that the United States has directed has been presented as a counter-narcotics aid package of over $5 billion over the last eight years in Plan Colombia. But there’s no doubt that it has been really geared towards attacking the guerrillas. It’s been a counterinsurgency assistance package that continues to maintain the same levels that it did even in 1999 and 2000, when Plan Colombia first started. 

Which is sort of, could be good news (domestic repression, Uribe’s ego, imperialism and state terror aside) as it doesn’t relate to a deeper motive of regional war to benefit America and its allies, but the criminal disregard of Ecuador’s sovereignty and Uribe’s alliance with Washington have created a risk of conflict. The antagonism towards non US aligned states and leftists informs all the corporate reporting of this, one view is despite shiny new Russia weapons the Venezuelan military are no match for the ‘battle-hardened Colombian troops‘ and their US allies. Or should that be Colombians are no match for internal and external war- two borders and an insurgency. And then there appeared another ‘laptop of death’ claimed to be Paul Reyes and captured by the Colombians and suddenly a chorus of nuclear terrorism is being hawked around the place- Colombia says some documents suggest the rebels have bought and sold uranium– As Rafeal puts it Imperial Pet Stalks the Land. Certainly the Uribe regime prefers killing their opposition rather than negotiation-

Careful analysts of the Colombian situation continue to debate whether the Colombian state is pre-fascist or actually fascist. It is certainly neither humane nor actually democratic. 

However the closed borders impede the large volume of trade between Colombia and Venezuela- $6 billion per year in trade, with Venezuela importing cars, beef and medicine from its neighbor. Colombia imports chemicals, iron and plastic from Venezuela.- And Colombia’s stock’s are falling. But Uribe enjoys great popularity playing this as Bush does, as a war on terror-

The case is being presented as a justified incursion into Ecuadorian territory in pursuit of terrorist groups that haven’t been persecuted by the Ecuadorian government. This is basically the position of the government. And as I say, both the media and opposition parties have also fully supported the decision of the government to present the case in this way.

So Uribe might be happy this has helped defuse the coming demonstrations against his abuses but the reaction might be more than he bargained for and is the Empire’s already overstretched military ready to back up its proxy? So rather than Colombia being Latin America’s Israel, Uribe is Latin America’s Bush, but it would be better if Colombians didn’t have to learn that via a bloody quagmire.

Dirty War Scumbag To Face Trial

Spain has agreed to extradite a former Argentine navy officer accused of torturing and killing thousands of dissidents during Argentina’s so-called Dirty War. Ricardo Miguel Cavallo was arrested in Mexico in 2000 and extradited to Spain in 2003 on genocide and terrorism charges.

Now then Cavallo, what a lovely man he is, let’s count the ways-

The former naval officer was known as “Serpico” (for his resemblance to Al Pacino) when he worked at the Navy Mechanics School–often called the “Argentine Auschwitz” or the “Harvard of Death” — where he was famous both for executing and teaching the art of torture.

According to the indictment issued by the Spanish Court, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, also known by the pseudonyms “Miguel Angel Cavallo,” “Serpico,” or “Marcelo,” was part of ESMA’s Task Group 3.3.2. The procedures used by ESMA Task Group 3.3.2 included, among others, kidnapping specific targets, torture, murder, disappearances, servitude, and selection of prisoners for “recovery,” a practice designed to recruit persons thought to have betrayed their former friends. These recruits were intended to form the base of a political party to launch Admiral Massera’s political ambitions. Cavallo served in the intelligence sector of ESMA from 1976 until early 1979, when he became responsible for kidnapped people who were in the process of “recovery.” According to the indictment and survivors, Cavallo was a “Capitan de Corbeta,” a relatively high-ranking position in ESMA, ultimately under Massera’s command. Cavallo, in addition to committing torture himself, made operational decisions such as identifying targets for torture. He also contributed to the decisions of his superiors regarding the final disposition of the victims.

According to Judge Garzón, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo is accused of having participated in 227 kidnappings and acts of torture concerning 110 people, as well as in the kidnapping of 16 babies who had been removed from their mothers who were in prison. The Judge’s investigation also mentions the cases of 248 individuals who had been arrested, detained and finally freed.

Now then about that Al Pacino thing:-

20030630elpepipor_1.jpg47ba16ec9cdd3.jpg

Um, not seeing it myself, maybe when he was younger he was not such a pasty, pig-eyed, sack of -torturing- shit. And in case you forget let Chalmers Johnson remind you of US involvement and support of the torture regimes.

It is said that dead men tell no tales, but in Latin America they are speaking with exceptional clarity– revealing the sordid details of U.S. Cold War foreign policy toward the area. In 1992, in AsunciÑn, Paraguay, a survivor of the regime of former dictator Gen. Alfredo Stroessner stumbled on five tons of reports and photographs left over from Operation Condor. This was the cooperative effort from 1975 on among military and police officials of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia to identify, torture, and kill as many representatives of workers and advocates of democracy as they could find.

The “methods” that the CIA contends are too delicate to reveal to the American public are its routine practice of turning over the names of people it wants executed to military and police authorities that it has trained and helped put in power. It can then pretend that it had nothing to do with their subsequent deaths, even expressing shock and disappointment at the excesses of its former pupils. This was the pattern of American operations in Indonesia from Gen. Suharto’s rise to power in 1965 to the American refusal in the autumn of 1999 to get involved in rescuing the victims of Indonesian army terror in East Timor.34 The CIA employed these same methods in bringing Pinochet to power and in its relations with Operation Condor.

Another Journalist Swallowed Into The Gulag

Jawed Ahmad. A journalist for a Canadian TV network who has been held for four months without being charged has been designated an unlawful enemy combatant, the U.S. military said Wednesday.Ahmad, 22, who is also known as Jojo Yazemi, was detained Oct. 26 at a NATO air base in the southern city of Kandahar, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based group. He was later transferred to a detention center at the U.S. military base in Bagram, north of Kabul.

“CTV news continues to be deeply concerned about Jojo Yazemi’s well-being and we are continuing to work all diplomatic channels available to find out additional information and get Jojo his due process,” Robert Hurst, president of CTV News, said in a statement.

PJ, which said Tuesday that it received a letter from the Pentagon on Feb. 22 about Ahmad being held as an enemy combatant, demanded that U.S. authorities disclose evidence and specify charges against him.

“Although the Pentagon has made a very serious assertion, it has yet to disclose any supporting evidence. And despite holding Jawed Ahmad for four months, authorities have yet to charge him with a crime,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We urge military officials to either charge Jawed Ahmad with a recognizable criminal offense or, if they have no intention of doing so, to release him immediately.”

One moment he was a human being with rights, now he is an”unlawful enemy combatant” some mysterious undefined state of unbeing the Empire uses to turn human beings into…what exactly? Puppets for the rack? Gulag livestock? What stops them from doing it to us?

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Gitmo Torture Tapes Not Wiped

The claim they were wiped was a deliberate misdirection, the tapes wiped were standard CCTV security tapes not the recordings of interrogations, but the Admiral they wheeled out deliberately blurred the distinction to give the impression the torture tapes were wiped.

Cernig @ Atlargely:-

Just over a week ago, the Seton Hall Law’s Center for Policy and Research published a report that said military records and statements showed over 24,000 tapes had been made of interrogations carried out at Guantánamo Bay. The same day, a Washington Post article following up on that report said that many of those recordings might have been taped over, destroying valuable evidence. That article was based upon a court filing “by Guantanamo’s commander, Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, who said video surveillance recordings in several areas of the facility have been automatically overwritten and no longer exist”.

However, in an email and a comment to my posts on the subject, Michael Ricciardelli – one of the co-authors of the Seton Hall Law report – wrote –

There seems to be some confusion stemming from the Military (there’s a surprise) and the press concerning the “automatic over-writes” on the video recorders in hallways and common areas in Guantanamo. These cameras (think in terms of the video cameras in convenience stores– but more sophisticated) were said to have recorded “day-to-day” “mundane” life at Guantanamo. According to the Military, every certain number of days these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recording systems automatically taped over themselves( i.e., were “overwritten”).

These statements came from a declaration of Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, United States Navy on February 8, 2008 (case 1:05-cv-00023-RWR Document84-4; Washington Post, February 14, 2008). Importantly, these “hallway” and “common area” monitor recordings are specifically NOT video recordings of interrogations– And the Rear Admiral is exceedingly careful to NOT say that they are in his declaration; though, perhaps, it could be anticipated that because of the way the declaration was made the media would confuse the two separate and distinct issues. Which is to say, that the responsive statement’s by Rear Admiral Buzby have misdirected and now obfuscate the issue. As such, some of the media reporting has failed to make clear this distinction between the “day-to-day” video recording and the video recording of interrogations. This distinction, however, is readily apparent if one looks to the partially redacted text of Rear Admiral Buzby’s declaration.

So copious evidence of war crimes exists in the possession of the perpetrators, if they are not seized soon and investigated (and impeachment of the Commander in Chief and the co-conspirators in creating the legal ‘gray ‘ framework for torture and the medical professionals who also took part) then they get away with war crimes previously the United States has convicted people for. And the journey into the abyss continues.

There are key stages in a descent into this depravity, points at which the correct action, pressure applied, leverage utilised can turn course, points that once you go beyond it becomes much harder to change course. Iraq was a key one, a tipping point of the project and let’s forget the 911 excuses, it was planned before that, the warrantless wiretap program began before that, American torture manuals were written before that. All the tools were available, the empire was already far reaching and corrupt when the Bush project took power through his brother’s state Florida and a biased packed Supreme Court. And with the means, the motive & the opportunity, they got to work. Time to make some choices people. Time for action.

Turkish ‘Gladio’ Fascists In Trouble & State Terror

About frickin’ time-

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish authorities charged on Saturday 13 ultra-nationalists, including retired army officers, with involvement in plans for a violent uprising against the government, Turkish media said.

The court decision followed the arrests of dozens of people this week in a police investigation into a far-right group known as Ergenekon. Turkish media say the group had been plotting a series of bomb attacks and assassinations.

Retired brigadier general Veli Kucuk, retired major Zekeriya Ozturk and lawyer Kemal Kerencsiz were among those facing charges of inciting people to armed revolt, private broadcaster CNN Turk said.

Kerencsiz is well known in Turkey for prosecuting writers and journalists, including Nobel Literature Laureate Orhan Pamuk, under article 301 of the country’s penal code that makes it a crime to insult “Turkishness”.

Officials have declined to comment on the Ergenekon case, which began with the seizure of explosives and weapons at a house in Umraniye, Istanbul, last summer.

Turkish newspapers said this week the group had been planning to kill Pamuk, author of novels such as “Snow” and “My Name is Red”, as well as several Kurdish politicians.

The newspapers also said the group was preparing a series of bomb attacks aimed at fomenting chaos ahead of a coup in 2009 against Turkey’s centre-right government, whose European Union-linked reforms are opposed by the ultra-nationalists.

The Ergenekon group may have been behind the murder last January of Hrant Dink, a prominent Turkish Armenian journalist, outside his office in Istanbul, newspapers have quoted police sources as saying.

Some commentators have seen in the Ergenekon case the workings of a “deep state”, a phrase used to denote ultra-nationalists in the security forces and state bureaucracy who are ready to subvert the law for their own political ends.

Police have been observing Ergenekon, which is named after a valley in Turkish nationalist mythology, for several years and have compiled a 7,000-page dossier on the group and its activities, newspapers say.

But please ladies & gentlemen notice how these ‘ultra-nationalists’ do not get tarred with the ‘terrorist’ brush and the case is not exactly headline news. Interestingly one Turkish site says-

Turkey determined to purge its Gladio: The prime minister has said a police inquiry resulting in the arrest of dozens of people, including ex-army officers and lawyers, shows the determination of Turkey to bring an end to state and military-linked gangs.

No wonder this is not a big item, the right are always excused their terrorism as a matter of European policy, instead it is called extremism. Gladio and the left behind program where America and Britain funded Nazis & right wing nationalists to perpetrate terror attacks to be blamed on the left is still a much denied open secret, yet the evidence abounds of state sponsored terrorism, except they are our states doing the false flag sponsoring. Thus the mainstream press is extremely reluctant to broach the subject, for example this from the Independent recently headlined How Britain plotted coup d’état to topple Italy’s Communists yet no mention of Gladio at all in the article, an oblique reference to Kissinger is as far as the writer will go (ooh that connects Gladio, Turkey, Pakistan, BCCI etc etc Sibel Edmonds and nuclear proliferation! Oh my, lions and tigers and bears! The tales ‘enry could tell). A sort of insider tip, if you know the history the story ads something to it, if you don’t it is unlikely this will enlighten you much. Gladio is also important because neo-cons who helped lie us into Iraq and are doing the same with Iran were cutting their teeth in these programs, (hello Michael ‘yellow cake‘ Ledeen). And now another state within the state of right wing terrorists is revealed in Turkey, ostensibly because Turkey wants to play nice with the EU, but what is for sure is yet again the story is not going to lead to a full revelation of the extent of right wing terrorism in Europe and governments involvement in it. Which reminds me, can you imagine you had a story that connected the British government, with terrorists and a multi-million narcotics kingpin, imagine the splash that would make, yeah ok you see where this is going, a handful of reports on local Northern Irish news, otherwise silence.

An ex-RUC reservist who had 40 properties worth about £5m confiscated by the Assets Recovery Agency has said he is happy with what he kept. In an out of court settlement, Colin Armstrong, 40, from Tullynewbank Road, Glenavy, retains four properties, including a house in France.

It’s hilarious, out of court and he keeps a King’s ransom anyway-

…retains four properties, including a house in France…He also keeps a motorbike, cars, including a Porsche, and bank accounts… The Assets Recovery Agency has agreed to pay Mr Armstrong’s legal costs which amount to £175,000.

Hmmm, buying silence perchance? No one wants to get into loyalist collusion with the government’s security forces especially where drugs are concerned. No, only the bad guys on the other side do that. Meanwhile the government expects us to trust it with a 4 week -and if they get their way 6 week- detention without charge or evidence in ‘terrorist’ cases. Oh yeah, nothing to worry about there. Go back to sleep, everything’s fine…

Update: Part 3 of Sibel Edmonds Times interview and analysis without fear of UK libel (ie. “State Department official” come on down Marc Grossman!). Still a corporate news blackout in the homeland. The ‘war on terror’ the biggest grift going.

Complicity: Pakistan Edition

Imagine a military dictator who seized power in a coup and may well have had his main opposition publicly assassinated, well we certainly wouldn’t be welcoming him around Europe for high level talks with national leaders and the corporatocracy would we? I mean we’re like the good guys and everything, for freedom and democracy and all that good shit huh?

After his meetings in Belgium, Musharraf will go on to Paris to meet Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president. He is also scehduled to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland before talks in London with Gordon Brown, Britain’s prime minister.

Oh, um…

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