Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Officials say Iraq motivated London Bombings

Not that we didn't know this already. From the Guardian:

The war in Iraq contributed to the radicalisation of the July 7 London bombers and is likely to continue to provoke extremism among British Muslims, according to reports based on secret assessments by security and intelligence chiefs.

...

References to Britain's role in the invasion of Iraq and continuing military presence there are made in a section of the report dealing with the radicalisation of the four British suicide bombers.

The draft narrative, ordered by Charles Clarke, the home secretary, after calls for a public inquiry into the bombings, is said to refer to economic deprivation, social exclusion, and disaffection with community leaders as other "motivating factors".

The document echoes views in a top secret report by the Joint Intelligence Committee, leaked yesterday. It states: "Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalisation of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the UK as legitimate."

The report, International Terrorism: Impact of Iraq, was drawn up in April last year - before the London bombings - and sent to senior ministers, including Tony Blair. It warns that Iraq had "reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the west and motivated others who were not".

It adds: "We judge that the conflict in Iraq has exacerbated the threat from international terrorism and will continue to have an impact in the long term."

Reader's, that's it for me for a long while. I'm off to Canada to do permaculture work and won't have the time to contribute to this site. Follow Permaculture Reflections for more details. Thank you _H_ wherever you are.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rummy vs. Facts

From American Progress:

"From what I've seen thus far, much of the reporting in the U.S. and abroad has exaggerated the situation [in Iraq]."
-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 3/7/06

VS.

"[A]ctually most reporters get it wrong...the situation on the ground is actually worse than the images we project on television."
-- NBC reporter Richard Engel, the only television news correspondent to cover the entire war in Iraq for an American television network from Baghdad, 3/22/06

Predictable and predicted

Many analysts warned that if the U.S. made claims to the right of preemptive strikes, others would follow suit. They have. From the AP via Common Dreams:


North Korea suggested Tuesday it had the ability to launch a pre-emptive attack on the United States, according to the North's official news agency. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the North had built atomic weapons to counter the U.S. nuclear threat.

"As we declared, our strong revolutionary might put in place all measures to counter possible U.S. pre-emptive strike," the spokesman said, according to the Korean Central News Agency. "Pre-emptive strike is not the monopoly of the United States."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Buster is back!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jamal al-Ghurairy was a fake

From Madison Capital Times via Common Dreams:


In November 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, two high-profile U.S. journalists Chris Hedges of the New York Times and Christopher Buchanan of PBS' "Frontline" were ushered to a meeting in a Beirut hotel with a man identified as Jamal al-Ghurairy, an Iraqi lieutenant general who had fled Saddam Hussein.

The high-ranking Iraqi military officer claimed he had witnessed terrorist training camps in Iraq where Islamic militants learned how to hijack airplanes. About 40 foreign nationals were based there at any given time, he said.

"We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States," he told the journalists at the meeting arranged by the Iraqi National Congress.

Reporter Hedges and producer Buchanan found Ghurairy to be very convincing, worried for his life and very insistent that his face couldn't be shown on camera. He was accompanied by a well-organized entourage.

A story appeared a couple of days later on the front page of the Times and then "Frontline" followed with a report on public television. The stories generated numerous editorials and op-ed pieces and, of course, became the topic of the week on cable talk shows.

Now, the liberal investigative magazine Mother Jones has exposed the "general" as a fake.

"The story of Saddam training foreign fighters to hijack airplanes was instrumental in building the case to invade Iraq," a detailed report in the March-April issue says. "But it turns out that the Iraqi general who told the story to the New York Times and 'Frontline' was a complete fake a low-ranking former soldier whom Ahmed Chalabi's aides had coached to deceive the media."

Freedom = Detained Without Trial

From the Guardian via Common Dreams:


US and UK forces in Iraq have detained thousands of people without charge or trial for long periods and there is growing evidence of Iraqi security forces torturing detainees, Amnesty International said today.

In a new report published today, the human rights group criticised the US-led multinational force for interning some 14,000 people.

Around 3,800 people have been held for over a year, while another 200 have been detained for more than two years, the report - Beyond Abu Ghraib: detention and torture in Iraq - said.

"It is a dangerous precedent for the world that the US and UK think it completely defensible to hold thousands of people without charge or trial," Amnesty spokesman Neil Durkin said.

The detainee situation in Iraq was comparable to Guantánamo Bay, he added, but on a much larger scale, and the detentions appeared to be "arbitrary and indefinite".

"It sends a very worrying message to the people of Iraq that the multinational force does not think normal human rights standards apply," he said.

Amnesty said there was no fresh evidence of US-led troops abusing detainees in ways similar to Abu Ghraib prison, but it warned that the US practice of denying detainees access to lawyers or visits by relatives for their first 60 days in custody left the door open to mistreatment.

In a few weeks, I'll be stopping in Dallas on a flight to Canada. I certainly hope that the U.S. government does not "liberate" me like they did my countryman Maher Arar.