Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Skeletons in the Closet

Some highlights from the newly released CIA documents via the National Security Archive:

Top Ten Most Interesting "Family Jewels"
Released by the CIA to the National Security Archive, June 26, 2007

1) Journalist surveillance - operation CELOTEX I-II (pp. 26-30)

2) Covert mail opening, codenamed SRPOINTER / HTLINGUAL at JFK airport (pp. 28, 644-45)

3) Watergate burglar and former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt requests a lock picker (p. 107)

4) CIA Science and Technology Directorate Chief Carl Duckett "thinks the Director would be ill-advised to say he is acquainted with this program" (Sidney Gottlieb's drug experiments) (p. 213)

5) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) reflecting Agency employee resentment against participation (p. 326)

6) Plan to poison Congo leader Patrice Lumumba (p. 464)

7) Report of detention of Soviet defector Yuriy Nosenko (p. 522)

8) Document describing John Lennon funding anti-war activists (p. 552)

9) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) (pp. 591-93)

10) CIA counter-intelligence official James J. Angleton and issue of training foreign police in bomb-making, sabotage, etc. (pp. 599-603)

Plus a bonus "Jewel":
Warrantless wiretapping by CIA's Division D (pp. 533-539)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lord Blair of Palestine

Robert Fisk
Of course, he'll be in touch with Mahmoud Abbas, will try to marginalise Hamas, will talk endlessly about "moderates"; and we'll have to listen to him pontificating about morality, how he's absolutely and completely confident that he's doing the right thing (and this, remember, is the same man who postponed a ceasefire in Lebanon last year in order to share George Bush's ridiculous hope of an Israeli victory over Hizbollah) in bringing peace to the Middle East...


His visits - especially to the late King Hussein - came to nothing, of course. But Waldheim's ability to draw a curtain over his wartime past does have one thing in common with Blair. For Waldheim steadfastly, pointedly, repeatedly, refused to acknowledge - ever - that he had ever done anything wrong. Now who does that remind you of?

Friday, June 22, 2007

The economics of oppression

Israeli 'security fence'. MOFA French-language web page. Title: "saving lives"

Naomi Klein
Discussions of Israel's military trade usually focus on the flow of weapons into the country - US-made Caterpillar bulldozers used to destroy homes in the West Bank, and British companies supplying parts for F-16s. Overlooked is Israel's huge and expanding export business. Israel now sends $1.2bn in "defence" products to the United States - up dramatically from $270m in 1999. In 2006, Israel exported $3.4bn in defence products - well over a billion more than it received in American military aid. That makes Israel the fourth largest arms dealer in the world, overtaking Britain. (...) It's no coincidence that the class projects at Ben-Gurion that so impressed Friedman have names like Innovative Covariance Matrix for Point Target Detection in Hyperspectral Images, and Algorithms for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance. Thirty homeland security companies have been launched in Israel during the past six months alone, thanks in large part to lavish government subsidies that have transformed the Israeli army and the country's universities into incubators for security and weapons start-ups - something to keep in mind in the debates about the academic boycott. (my emphasis - Jez)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Orwellian nightmare


They have been trying to flee Gaza after it was taken last week by Hamas militants from their rivals Fatah.

(...) Israel's Physicians for Human Rights has sent a petition to the Supreme Court to force the authorities to offer immediate medical treatment to those needing it.

Suddenly, because Israel and its allies along with the official media, have decided, that Gaza has been 'taken over' by its democratically-elected government, suddenly there are refugees deserving to be rescued from their democratically-elected government. One wonders where those refugees were over the years when their homeland was being bombarded by Israeli planes and helicopters.

Is this man a Terrorist B***ard?!


A day earlier, on May 23, the disease control centers alerted the Atlanta office of Customs and Border Protection, a part of the Homeland Security Department, that a man with a serious medical condition might try to enter the United States and the information was entered in the department's computer system.


Speaker's new wife, Sarah, fought back tears as she told ABC about the horrible things she had heard said about her husband: that he was a terrorist, that he should have been eradicated.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Threat Level: Orange!

Beware of hamburger.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The end of a Nazi

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin showing U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim a map of Israel and the distribution of Jewish settlements in Arab lands

Robert Fisk
So the old rogue is dead. That is all I could say when I heard yesterday that Kurt Waldheim had reached the end of his days at 88.I spent months, years, investigating his dark past in what we now call Bosnia, when he - let us not be coy about this - was part of the Bosnien-Kampfgruppen of Wehrmacht Army Group E of General Löhr, fighting "terroristen" (yes, indeed, the Nazis called them terrorists, just as they talked about the "RAF Terroristenfliegen") in the Balkans. Waldheim had been secretary general of the UN, had lectured UN officers in Lebanon on the lessons of "terrorism" and, well - as was later to ruminate - he knew about that, didn't he?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Israel and the west get what they want. Or do they?

Robert Fisk

For that is what it is about - control - and that is why we hold out, and withdraw, favours from their leaders. Now Gaza belongs to Hamas, what will our own elected leaders do? Will our pontificators in the EU, the UN, Washington and Moscow now have to talk to these wretched, ungrateful people (fear not, for they will not be able to shake hands) or will they have to acknowledge the West Bank version of Palestine (Abbas, the safe pair of hands) while ignoring the elected, militarily successful Hamas in Gaza?
Does the west want a 'moderate' Palestinian government and an end to violence, or does it wish to provoke more violence?