Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor

Published in The Nation

If we are to believe the G-7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full "forgiveness" of its foreign debt. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told Al Jazeera English, but "It's time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt." In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor—and it is we, in the West, who are deeply in arrears.

Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor are they merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms and agreements. Here, far too briefly, are highlights of the Haiti case.

§ The Slavery Debt. When Haitians won their independence from France in 1804, they would have had every right to claim reparations from the powers that had profited from three centuries of stolen labor. France, however, was convinced that it was Haitians who had stolen the property of slave owners by refusing to work for free. So in 1825, with a flotilla of war ships stationed off the Haitian coast threatening to re-enslave the former colony, King Charles X came to collect: 90 million gold francs--ten times Haiti's annual revenue at the time. With no way to refuse, and no way to pay, the young nation was shackled to a debt that would take 122 years to pay off.

In 2003, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, facing a crippling economic embargo, announced that Haiti would sue the French government over that long-ago heist. "Our argument," Aristide's former lawyer Ira Kurzban told me, "was that the contract was an invalid agreement because it was based on the threat of re-enslavement at a time when the international community regarded slavery as an evil." The French government was sufficiently concerned that it sent a mediator to Port-au-Prince to keep the case out of court. In the end, however, its problem was eliminated: while trial preparations were under way, Aristide was toppled from power. The lawsuit disappeared, but for many Haitians the reparations claim lives on.

§ The Dictatorship Debt. From 1957 to 1986, Haiti was ruled by the defiantly kleptocratic Duvalier regime. Unlike the French debt, the case against the Duvaliers made it into several courts, which traced Haitian funds to an elaborate network of Swiss bank accounts and lavish properties. In 1988 Kurzban won a landmark suit against Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier when a US District Court in Miami found that the deposed ruler had "misappropriated more than $504,000,000 from public monies."

Haitians, of course, are still waiting for their payback--but that was only the beginning of their losses. For more than two decades, the country's creditors insisted that Haitians honor the huge debts incurred by the Duvaliers, estimated at $844 million, much of it owed to institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. In debt service alone, Haitians have paid out tens of millions every year.

Was it legal for foreign lenders to collect on the Duvalier debts when so much of it was never spent in Haiti? Very likely not. As Cephas Lumina, the United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt, put it to me, "the case of Haiti is one of the best examples of odious debt in the world. On that basis alone the debt should be unconditionally canceled."

But even if Haiti does see full debt cancellation (a big if), that does not extinguish its right to be compensated for illegal debts already collected.

§ The Climate Debt. Championed by several developing countries at the climate summit in Copenhagen, the case for climate debt is straightforward. Wealthy countries that have so spectacularly failed to address the climate crisis they caused owe a debt to the developing countries that have done little to cause the crisis but are disproportionately facing its effects. In short: the polluter pays. Haiti has a particularly compelling claim. Its contribution to climate change has been negligible; Haiti's per capita CO2 emissions are just 1 percent of US emissions. Yet Haiti is among the hardest hit countries—according to one index, only Somalia is more vulnerable to climate change.

Haiti's vulnerability to climate change is not only—or even mostly—because of geography. Yes, it faces increasingly heavy storms. But it is Haiti's weak infrastructure that turns challenges into disasters and disasters into full-fledged catastrophes. The earthquake, though not linked to climate change, is a prime example. And this is where all those illegal debt payments may yet extract their most devastating cost. Each payment to a foreign creditor was money not spent on a road, a school, an electrical line. And that same illegitimate debt empowered the IMF and World Bank to attach onerous conditions to each new loan, requiring Haiti to deregulate its economy and slash its public sector still further. Failure to comply was met with a punishing aid embargo from 2001 to '04, the death knell to Haiti's public sphere.

This history needs to be confronted now, because it threatens to repeat itself. Haiti's creditors are already using the desperate need for earthquake aid to push for a fivefold increase in garment-sector production, some of the most exploitative jobs in the country. Haitians have no status in these talks, because they are regarded as passive recipients of aid, not full and dignified participants in a process of redress and restitution.

A reckoning with the debts the world owes to Haiti would radically change this poisonous dynamic. This is where the real road to repair begins: by recognizing the right of Haitians to reparations.

The interview with economist Camille Chalmers was conducted by my partner Avi Lewis for an in-depth report that aired today on Al Jazeera English. The piece, Haiti: The Politics of Rebuilding, offers a deeply compelling portrait of a people who are brimming with ideas about how how to rebuild their country based on principles of sovereignty and equity—far from the passive victims we have seen on so many other networks. It was produced by my former colleague Andrea Schmidt, one of the main researchers on The Shock Doctrine, and is crucial viewing for anyone concerned with avoiding a disaster capitalism redux in Haiti.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone: On Accountability for War Crimes

Judge Richard Goldstone is a native of South Africa and well known for investigating atrocities committed by white security forces during apartheid. He also is the former chief prosecutor for war-crime tribunals on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. More recently, Judge Goldstone was asked to head the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict that investigated allegations of war crimes between Israelis and Palestinians. We talk with Judge Goldstone about accountability for war crimes.


By Bradley Burston

Shock (noun): a major medical emergency, often seen after serious injury. Among its signs and symptoms are mental changes including a sense of great anxiety and foreboding, confusion and, sometimes, combativeness.

This is about fear of the dark. Of the monstrous. In this case, the terror of finally uncovering what we ourselves are really made of.

This is about the lengths we will go, and the depths, in order to protect what we so desperately need to believe about ourselves. This is about how many others we will need to blame, vilify, assault, scapegoat and smear, before we actually take one wholly honest long look in the mirror.

This is about the war we made in Gaza, and what it did to Israel. This is about how Israel’s conduct of the war has done more damage to the Jewish state than all the thousands and thousands of Palestinian rockets and mortar shells put together. It has been a year and more since a truce was called in Gaza, and – thanks in no small part to Israel’s freely admitted policy of hamstringing and stonewalling UN investigators – the world is still at war with Israel.

The result is only now becoming felt. In a thousand ways, in new ways every single day, we have brought the war home.

Israel’s battle plan, which effectively called for bludgeoning Hamas and the whole of Gaza into a state of shock, had the further effect, intentional or not, of inducing shock in Israel itself.

We have been sensing the symptoms for a year now. In shock, the first sign to appear is often confusion. A curious sense of weakness can be felt. A restlessness that is little understood. A coldness. Mental clouding. Apathy. Inactivity. There may be blurred vision.

We think: It’s not the war. The war is over. The war was over there. The place we can’t see. The place we’re not allowed to see. The place, that is, that we don’t want to look.

The place that makes us much prefer dreading the truth, to the truth itself.

In some cases, shock expresses itself in combativeness. A lashing out even at those who are trying to help.

In our state of shock, we were unable to see that Richard Goldstone was trying to save us. And that the Goldstone Report is exactly what Israel needs. We fought him every step of the way, convincing ourselves – just as in Gaza – that the unfolding catastrophe was the best of the available scenarios.

Had Israel cooperated with the panel, it might have begun to learn how to prevent another war like this one, and how to fight future wars entirely differently. Only now, with the shock beginning to subside, have Israeli military and legal officials begun publicly to concede that battling the Goldstone panel was a colossal blunder.

We fought Goldstone with everything we had. As if our very identity depended on it. More than Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida, Ahmadinejad – Justice Richard Goldstone became the enemy. In a bizarre twist of something very akin to self-hatred, far-rightists began routinely, intentionally, sneeringly mispronouncing his name as Goldstein.

Even people whose business it is to know better, people who consider themselves temperate, moderate, lost their minds in calling Goldstone the worst names in the Jewish book.

What is most instructive in this context, is the fact that of all the
epithets which Alan Dershowitz hurled at Goldstone in an interview to Israel’s Army Radio, the one viewed as the worst of them all – so grave that he later retracted it – was the word moser, used to condemn one who betrays his people by, yes, informing. Divulging privileged information to the outside world.

There is a reason why we so recoiled in horror when Goldstone touched a nerve. It was the nerve that we had done everything in our power to avoid.

Critics of the Goldstone Report have noted that its methodology is deeply flawed, that it fails to adequately acknowledge, assess, and evaluate Israel’s side of the conflict. Of late, rightists have gone further, blaming the New Israel Fund, its president Naomi Chazan, and its constituent non-profit organizations for acting as sources of information to the Goldstone mission.

But the attacks have spared the one non-profit organization that, far more than any other, was responsible for the flow of information to the Goldstone panel, and for the tenor of the final report: the government of Israel.

It was Israel which deprived the committee of access to Sderot and Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket attacks. It was Israel which kept the committee from hearing testimony, including rebuttals, from government and military officials. It was Israel which – even before the committee began its work – blackballed any cooperation with the panel, in the process guaranteeing an unbalanced result.

It was the same Israeli government which provided, in the bluster of public statements by the deputy prime minister, the foreign minister, and senior IDF commanders, the most damning evidence of a strategy which would bring devastation to the whole of the Gaza Strip, civilians and armed groups alike, in the form of bellicose public statements

It is this Israeli government – lending credence to those who believed that it had much to hide – which resisted until the last possible moment the Goldstone Report’s most crucial and also its fairest finding: the recommendation that both Israel and Hamas establish independent investigations into its allegations of human rights violations

And it is this Israeli government, in continuing its siege of Gaza, in denying Gazans access to concrete and other materials needed to rebuild homes destroyed by Israeli fire during Cast Lead, that lends further credence to the Goldstone Report’s suspicions that Israel’s policy has been and continues to be one of collective punishment of a civilian population.

Despite the nightmarish numbers of civilians killed in Gaza, the right has argued again and again that the problem with the war was that it was not pursued aggressively enough. Now, at home, they are getting their way. Finally, the war is being pressed to the full – with peace activists and human rights workers as the primary targets.

The Dahiya Doctrine of overkill and unimaginable, unremitting force, is being applied against the elements of Israeli society most strongly defending democracy and elemental rights. Finally, the war at home is being run the way the right wants. No holds barred. A fresh new onslaught on democracy every single day.

The Goldstone Report is, indeed, deeply flawed. But it is exactly what Israel needs. A deeply flawed report for a deeply flawed country. A country which will not, and cannot, begin to heal itself, repair itself, right itself, unless it faces with honesty and courage the issues and allegations raised by the report.

As long as Israel ducks the report, and keeps buried the whole truth about Cast Lead, it will not recover from this state of shock. Israel will be more vulnerable than ever to destruction from within. And Gaza, ruled by a Hamas which wants to see Israel exterminated – and which has only grown richer, better armed, and more popular as a result of the Israeli embargo – will continue to hold the whole of Israel in a crippling, withering, ultimately destructive state of siege.

Yanukovych victory in Ukraine reverberates in Thailand

The presidential victory of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and the death of the CIA's and George Soros's "Orange Revolution" in that country has seen a ripple effect in far-away Thailand.

Thailand has dropped criminal charges against four Kazakh nationals and a Belarus citizen arrested on December 12 in Bangkok when their Ilyushin IL-76 cargo transport landed in Bangkok with a cargo from the Korea Mechanical Industry Company in Pyongyang, North Korea. A cache of weapons was discovered on the aircraft. Although the Thai authorities claim that Kazakhstan and Belarus requested their citizens be freed in order that they can conduct their own investigation, the ouster of the neocon government of Ukraine signals that the new government of Yanukovych may be in a position to shine a bright light on an Israeli Mossad and CIA operation designed to get two bangs for the buck -- after the plane, which was flying the North Korean arms to Sri Lanka in support of that nation's U.S.- and Israeli-supported repressive government, was discovered by Thai authorities, the Israelis and Americans decided to concoct a story that the weapons were destined for Mehrabad Airport in Tehran. The CIA had another goal -- it wanted to "test" what types of weapons North Korea was offering for sale on the black market.

On December 15, 2009, WMR reported: "WMR's Asian intelligence sources strongly suspect that an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane seized in Bangkok on December 12 transporting 40 tons of North Korean weapons was a CIA sting operation designed to obtain, using a 'front' airline and regular arms smuggling route, the latest North Korean weaponry available for purchase on the black market.

The IL-76 plane was registered in the Republic of Georgia, a close military ally of the United States and Israel. The IL-76, tail number 4L-AWA, has a history that is emblematic of planes used for smuggling weapons. Earlier this year, the plane was sold by East Wing, a 'private' airline in Kazakhstan, East Wing, which was formerly known as GST Aero and was accused of involvement in arms smuggling -- particularly to Eritrea, Somalia, and India -- and banned by the European Union and Bahrain -- sold the plane in October to Beibarys, another Kazakh airline. The plane was then sold to Air West Georgia and was re-registered in the Republic of Georgia. The flight number of the IL-76 while flying through Bangkok was AWG 732. The plane has also been associated with Asia Wings JSC of Kazakhstan, which also flies to Hanoi.

The firm that chartered the company to fly the weapons from Pyongyang, North Korea is a New Zealand company called SP Trading Ltd. of Auckland. SP Trading also does business in Ukraine. SP Trading is part of a larger firm called GT Group, a firm incorporated in Vanuatu.

GT Group's website states the firm 'is dedicated to providing an extensive range of offshore company services for privacy, legal tax avoidance, asset protection, financial independence and freedom.' In addition to New Zealand and Vanuatu, the company has offices in Samoa (Samoa International Company, Inc.) and the Cook Islands (Cook Islands International Company, Inc.). The Vanuatu subsidiary, Vanuatu International Business Company, registers yachts and boats under the Vanuatu flag.

'GT' appears to stand for Geoffrey Taylor who also is the main shareholder of Vicam of 369 Queen Street in Auckland, the same address that houses the offices of SP Trading and GT Group. Taylor has brokered the sale of Azerbaijani oil to New Zealand via two firms, Sumato Energy Group, Ltd. and Vicam (Auckland), Ltd. Taylor has also been involved with two other firms, Petromobil Ltd. and Sunseeker Energy (Australasia), Ltd., solar power equipment company that has operations in New Zealand, Australia, Norfolk Island, and Lord Howe Island.

Of the IL-76's five-man crew arrested by Thai authorities at Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport, four were carrying Kazakhstan passports: Alexandr Zrybnev, Viktor Abdullayev, Vitaliy Shumkov, and Ilyas Issakov. The fifth, pilot Mikhail Petukhou, was in possession of a passport from Belarus.

When Thai authorities seized the weapons, reportedly after a 'tip' from U.S intelligence sources, the plane was discovered to have a false cargo declaration stating the plane was carrying oil drilling equipment, a rather strange export from North Korea, a non-oil producing or exploration nation. Instead, the plane was found to be transporting rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, missile tubes, surface-to-air missile launchers, military spare parts and other weapons. Thai authorities stated that the U.S. intelligence sources that tipped them off stated that the final destination for the cargo was 'sensitive information.' Thai authorities claimed the military cargo would be 'destroyed' but the crates and boxes were trucked to a secure warehouse at a Thai air force base in Nakhon Sawan province outside of Bangkok.

The IL-76 landed at Hostomel Airport, near Kiev on October 13, reportedly without any cargo, and flew to Baku, Azerbaijan on December, 8 and onward to the United Arab Emirates (reportedly Sharjah), landing in Bangkok on the morning of December 12 for refueling. The plane took off for Pyongyang and after picking up the weapons landed back in on Mueang, Bangkok at 4 pm on December 12. The plane's onward destinations from Bangkok were reportedly Colombo, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. WMR's Asian intelligence sources believe that the CIA knew the plane was planning to pick up weapons in North Korea and may have even chartered the aircraft and arranged a deal to purchase the North Korean weapons through shadowy front companies to both embarrass the North Koreans and discover what was being sold on the global weapons black market.

After the plane was seized in Bangkok, dubious sources reported that the plane was en route to Pakistan, Afghanistan, or an unnamed 'Middle Eastern' country, such as Iran, to deliver its weapons.

The IL-76's most recent owner, Air West Georgia, has close links with the same ownership, to Sun Air, a privately-owned airline headquartered in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, which runs service to Nyala, the largest city in war-torn Darfur.

WMR's Asian intelligence sources report that the ultimate destination for the weapons was the Sri Lankan regime of President Mahinda Rajapakse, who, after his bloody genocide launched with the assistance of Israeli and American military advisers against his nation's Tamil minority, needed to replenish his army's weaponry. Rajapakse defeated former Sri Lankan Army commander, General Sareth Fonseka, in a presidential election widely believed to have been fraudulent. Rajapakse, who planned to steal the election, understood he needed additional weapons to put down anticipated street demonstrations. Rajapakse has arrested Fonseka and the wife of the former army commander has described the conditions of her husband's detention is worse than how an animal in treated.

After the IL-76 was detained in Thailand, the neocon media began to spread the word that the North Korean weapons were destined for Iran. However, that charge was denied by Iran and Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayarkorn said reports that the North Korean weapons were heading to Iran were incorrect. It was the neocon-owned and Israel-influenced Wall Street Journal that first floated the Iran connection to the North Korean weapons story. The paper reported that the IL-76 was destined for Tehran with the North Korean weapons. Other media outlets quickly picked up on the Mossad-designed disinformation campaign and happily echoed it.

The botched North Korean operation also highlighted the connections between U.S., Israeli, Ukrainian, Georgian, and Azerbaijani intelligence services. On December 23, 2009, WMR reported: "The cargo plane used to transport the weapons from North Korea was chartered by an intricate web of CIA front and pass-through companies registered in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Vanuatu, Georgia, British Virgin Islands, and Sharjah. The Air West Georgia plane is owned by Overseas Cargo FZE of Sharjah and was leased to SP Trading of Auckland, New Zealand. The IL-76 was previously owned by a Kazakhstan-based company linked to international weapons smuggler Viktor Bout, now imprisoned in Bangkok while the United States appeals a Thai court decision not to extradite him to the United States. Bout has flown charter missions for the Taliban, Al Qaeda, the United Nations, the CIA, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Bout apparently knows enough about U.S. intelligence operations, including 9/11-related information, for him to be a threat to the CIA.

The operation to smuggle weapons from North Korea was a CIA sting operation, conducted with the assistance of Mossad assets in Azerbaijan, where the IL-76 stopped en route to North Korea from Ukraine, and Georgian and Ukrainian intelligence. The North Koreans responded favorably to the request from Sri Lanka for arms because the two countries have been close allies in the Non-Aligned Movement. There is also a possibility, according to our sources, that the IL-76 picked up weapons in Azerbaijan while en route to Sri Lanka, Bangkok, and North Korea.

One of the organizations that served as a 'source for the Wall Street Journal's disinformation about Iran being the final destination for the North Korean weapons, TransArms of Chicago, is, according to our sources in China and Japan, linked to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The only other time TransArms, a non-governmental organization, has surfaced in the main stream media in the recent past has concerned its reports about the smuggling of weapons to Hamas in Gaza.

Chinese intelligence sources report that the 'sting' operation conducted against North Korea and Iran appears to have been part of a plan by the CIA to resurrect the pro-U.S. "GUAM" alliance of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. All four countries are now led by governments put into office by elements associated with George Soros and his Open Society Institute/Foundation."

With Yanukovych coming to power in Kiev, the Ukrainian component of the new intelligence partnership has turned into a weak link. The Obama administration understands that it stands to be exposed in the covert operation, including its aiding and abetting of genocide and the bloody crackdown on the opposition in Sri Lanka. The U.S. embassy in Bangkok has remained silent on the Thai announcement of the release of the Kazakhs and Belarussian to their home countries.

The Israelis and Americans attempted to cover their tracks by putting out a false flag story that the IL-76 was chartered by an entity called Union Top Management Ltd., of Hong Kong to fly oil industrial parts from Pyongyang to Tehran with only a refueling stop in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Union Top's owner is a shadowy Spaniard from Barcelona who set up the firm through an entity called R & G Management Consultancy. The Associated Press was the main source of the Iranian link to the IL-76 false flag story. The Thai Foreign Ministry also released a report citing the bogus Iranian link to the North Korean weapons and the validity of the Thai report was actually questioned by Wattanayagorn, the Thai government spokesman.

It is anticipated that Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakshtan and Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko will ensure the IL-76 crewmen remain silent about their covert operation as a quid pro quo for their release by Thailand. However, the question still remains. Did the United States and Israel pressure Thailand to release the North Korean weapons to Sri Lanka, the actual destination for the armaments cache?

We're The Cops Of The World

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Obama waging economic warfare on several fronts, including Japan

The Obama administration has expanded its economic warfare against other countries, first reported on January 18 by WMR in the case of an authorized financial campaign against Venezuela. The Obama administration, according to WMR's Asian sources, is waging an economic warfare campaign, coupled with industrial sabotage, against Japan through a pre-planned operation directed against the Japanese automobile manufacturer, Toyota.

WMR has learned that the Obama administration authorized the anti-Toyota campaign as a warning shot to Japan over its reformist government's insistence that the U.S. pull its military troops out of Okinawa. WMR has learned that Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, have decided to turn the screws on Japan, not only for auto market leverage, but also to punish Japan over the insistence by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and the newly-elected anti-U.S. military mayor of Nago on Okinawa to move the U.S. military off of Okinawa.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Peoria, Illinois and who is owned and operated by Peoria-based Caterpillar, whose major competitor is Japan's Kubota Tractor Corporation, kicked off the anti-Toyota campaign when he stated that all Toyota owners should stop driving their vehicles and return them to the dealership for a fix. LaHood was referring to a problem with some uncontrolled acceleration problems with some Toyota vehicles. However, LaHood painted a wide brush in his comments about Toyotas when the problem, which resulted in a voluntary recall of millions of Toyota vehicles, including the popular Camry and Corolla, by the Japanese auto giant, affected only a small fraction of Toyota vehicles. LaHood has also threatened Toyota with unspecified civil penalties.

Asian intelligence agencies have discovered that LaHood was implementing a White House operation to grab a major portion of Toyota's market share and hand it over the General Motors and Ford. The Obama administration, through its bailout of GM, has become a virtual auto company and, therefore, is playing economic hard-ball with Japan. Ford also benefited from the Obama administration's stimulus package. The chief architects of the anti-Toyota campaign, according to our sources, are Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House chief of staff Emanuel.

By increasing GM's viability at the expense of Toyota, Geithner sees a potential windfall when the federal government sells its share of GM stock to the public. The corporate media has played along with the Obama administration's anti-Toyota and anti-Japan operation by hyping the safety issues with Toyota's vehicles, especially the once-popular Prius hybrid vehicle. The Obama administration has decided on economic warfare against Toyota to restore GM as the world's number one auto manufacturer, a position enjoyed by GM until 2007 when Toyota overtook it in sales.

The Japanese government is aware of the machinations of the Obama administration in creating the controversy about Toyota. Tokyo is also acutely aware of the ill-effects the Toyota recall is having on the value of the yen vis a vis the dollar.

Informed sources point out to WMR that some 37,000 Americans died last year in road accidents. The issue of sticky accelerator pedals arose last year after a California Highway Patrolman and three of his family members were killed when their Lexus ES350 attained speeds in excess of 120 mph and struck another vehicle and was propelled off an embankment bursting into flames. One of the passengers in the Lexus reported in a 911 call that the accelerator was stuck. There is a controversy over whether the crash was caused by electronics or the floor mat. Toyota recalled millions of vehicles last October over concerns that gas pedals were catching on floor mats.

Ironically, Toyota does not make the sensor-equipped accelerator pedal for its recalled vehicles. Elkhart, Indiana-based CTS (formerly known as Chicago Telephone Supply) manufactures the pedals for Toyota, as well as for Ford. China's Jiangling Motors has complained about sticking gas pedals from CTS and the firm has developed a reputation for faulty accelerator pedals and their associated sensors. CTS's President and CEO is India-born Vinod Khilnani. Curiously, the Obama administration, which is flush with Indian-Americans at high levels, has not criticized CTS, especially since it supplied the very same accelerator pedals it manufactures for Toyota and GM to the U.S. military.

WMR has learned additional details about the hype by the Obama administration over Toyota's accelerator pedals. We are informed by a knowledgeable source that the earlier problem with 2002-2004 Toyota models regarding the so-called sticking floor mat has nothing to do with Toyota Corporation, since the mats are fastened to the floorboard with clips and there's a space around each pedal. The problem occurs when a cheap substitute carpet is installed by a garage or a cheating dealer. Toyota always prefers to see its own products used inside their vehicles. WMR has also learned that the Prius brake problem is not serious and that it is caused by a difference in torque when the car switches from engine to electric motors.

Some may question why the Obama administration chose to target Toyota in its economic warfare campaign and not other Japanese auto manufacturers. The major shareholder in Isuzu is GM, which the Obama administration effectively owns. In addition, Ford owns Mazda.

The CTS-manufactured accelerator pedal used in Toyotas relies on an electronic pressure sensor. WMR has been informed by knowledgeable sources that the sensors are vulnerable to non-civilian frequencies. The Obama administration, fearful that military transmissions may be responsible for accelerator accidents, may have sought to jump the gun by blaming Toyota for the accelerator problems.

The last time an American president authorized a major economic intelligence operation against Japan was during the administration of Bill Clinton. In 1995, Clinton authorized NSA to spy on companies like Toyota and Nissan during U.S. trade negotiations with Japan over Japanese luxury car imports to the United States. George H W Bush also used NSA to eavesdrop on Indonesia during negotiations between that government and Japan's NEC on a major multi-million dollar telecommunications contract. Bush shared the intelligence with AT&T, a competitor of NEC on the Indonesian contract. On January 30, Obama met with former President George H. W. Bush at the White House in what was described as a "courtesy call."

In addition to Japan, the Obama administration is also waging war on the "soft underbelly" of the European Union. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank have decided that if the national economies of the "PIGS" -- Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain -- are attacked, the euro will fall against the dollar, since the European Central Bank will be forced to bail out the most vulnerable large economies in the European Union. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a Socialist, recently attended the National Prayer Breakfast meeting in Washington, also attended by Obama, in order to plead Spain's case. Apparently, Zapatero came away empty-handed and he was roundly criticized for attending an event sponsored by an ultra-right wing group, The Fellowship, which had tied with the Spanish fascist government of Francisco Franco. Obama also snubbed Zapatero, the current president of the rotating EU presidency, by saying he would not attend an EU-US summit scheduled for Madrid in May.

Obama's worsening relations with China, developing from the U.S. administration's agreement to sell advanced weaponry to Taiwan, and the tweaking of the nose of the Russian bear by placing missile systems in Poland and Romania, have a number of worldwide intelligence agencies wondering whether Obama is trying to outdo George W. Bush in obstinacy and diplomatic bluster.

Law Suit against 4 US Presidents & 4 UK Prime Ministers for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity & Genocide in Iraq

Statement on Closure of Legal Case for Iraq in Spain

Law Suit in Spanish Court directed against George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown

MADRID/CAIRO: Public inquiries on the decision to wage war on Iraq that are silent about the crimes committed, the victims involved, and provide for no sanction, whatever their outcome, are not enough. Illegal acts should entail consequences: the dead and the harmed deserve justice.

On 6 October 2009, working with and on behalf of Iraqi plaintiffs, we filed a case before Spanish law against four US presidents and four UK prime ministers for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq. The case presented spanned 19 years, including not only the wholesale destruction of Iraq witnessed from 2003, but also the sanctions period during which 1.5 million excess Iraqi deaths were recorded.

We brought the case to Spain because its laws of universal jurisdiction are based on principles enshrined in its constitution. All humanity knows the crimes committed in Iraq by those we accused, but no jurisdiction is bringing them to justice. We presented with Iraqi victims a solid case drawing on evidence contained in over 900 documents and that refer to thousands of individual incidents from which a pattern of accumulated harm and intent can be discerned.

When we brought our case, we knew that the Spanish Senate would soon vote on an amendment earlier passed by the lower house of parliament to curtail the application of universal jurisdiction in Spain. We were conscious that this restriction could be retroactive, and we took account of the content of the proposed amendment in our case filing. As we imagined, 2009 turned out to be a sad year for upholding universal human rights and international law in Spain. One day after we filed, the law was curtailed, and soon thereafter our case closed. Serious cases of the kind universal jurisdiction exists to address became more difficult to investigate.

One more jurisdiction to fall

Despite submitting a 110-page long referenced accusation (the Introduction of which is appended to this statement), the Spanish public prosecutor and the judge assigned to our case determined there was no reason to investigate. Their arguments were erroneous and could easily have been refuted if we could have appealed. To do so we needed a professional Spanish lawyer — either in a paid capacity or as a volunteer who wished to help the Iraqi people in its struggle for justice. As we had limited means, and for other reasons mostly concerning internal Spanish affairs, which were not our concern, we could not secure a lawyer in either capacity to appeal. Our motion for more time to find a lawyer was rejected.

We continue to believe that the violent killing of over one million people in Iraq since 2003 alone, the ongoing US occupation — that carries direct legal responsibility — and the displacement of up to a fifth of the Iraqi population from the terror that occupation has entailed and incited suggests strongly that the claims we put forward ought to be further investigated.

In reality, our case is a paramount example of those that authorities in the West — Spain included — fear. To them, such cases represent the double edge of sustaining the principle of universal jurisdiction. Western states used universal jurisdiction in the past to judge Third World countries. When victims in the global South began using it to judge Israel and US aggression, Western countries rushed to restrict it. Abandoning universal jurisdiction by diluting it is now the general tendency.

Call for wider collective effort to prosecute

We regret that the Spanish courts refused to investigate our case, but this will not discourage us. We have a just cause. The crimes are evident. Those responsible are well known, even if the international juridical system continues to ignore Iraqi victims. Justice for victims and the wish of all humanity that war criminals should be punished oblige us to search for alternative legal possibilities, so that the crimes committed in Iraq can be investigated and accountability established.

At present, failed international justice allows US and UK war criminals to stand above international law. Understanding that this constitutes an attack — or makes possible future attacks — on the human rights of everyone, everywhere, we will continue to advocate the use of all possible avenues, including UN institutions, the International Criminal Court, and popular tribunals, to highlight and bring before law and moral and public opinion US and UK crimes in Iraq.

We are ready to make our experience and expertise available to those who struggle in the same direction. We look forward to a time when the countries of the global South, which are generally victims of aggression, reinforce their juridical systems by implementing the principle of universal jurisdiction. This will be a great service to humanity and international law.

Millions of people in Iraq have been killed, displaced, terrorised, detained, tortured or impoverished under the hammer of US and UK military, economic, political, ideological and cultural attacks. The very fabric and being of the country has been subject to intentional destruction. This destruction constitutes one of the gravest international crimes ever committed. All humanity should unite in refusing that law — by failing to assure justice for Iraqi victims — enables this destruction to be the opening precedent of the 21st century.

Ad Hoc Committee For Justice For Iraq

Press contacts:

Hana Al Bayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal
+20 10 027 7964 (English and French)

Dr Ian Douglas, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal, coordinator, International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq
+20 12 167 1660 (English)

Serene Assir, Advisory Committee, BRussells Tribunal (Spanish)

Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal
+20 11 181 0798 (Arabic)

Dirk Adriaensens, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal
+32 494 68 07 62 (Dutch)


This statement:


The following is the introduction to a legal case filed 6 October 2009 before the Audiencia Nacional in Spain against four US presidents and four UK prime ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq. The case was filed under laws of universal jurisdiction.

This case, naming George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack H Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown, was brought by Iraqis and others who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in defence of their rights and international law.


The respondents herein identified in this complaint have all held or hold high public office in the administrations of the United States and the United Kingdom, and/or commanding authority in the respective armed forces of these countries, and whilst in command or in office actively instigated, authorized, supported, justified, executed and/or perpetuated:

1. A 13-year sanctions regime on Iraq known and proven to have an overwhelmingly destructive impact on Iraqi public health, especially child mortality
2. The use of disproportionate and indiscriminate military force, including numerous extra-legal strikes and bombing campaigns throughout the 1990s, entailing the purposeful destruction of Iraq’s water and health facilities, and defence capacities, and the widespread contamination of Iraq’s ecosphere and life environment by the unjustified and massive use of depleted uranium munitions
3. The prevention by means of comprehensive sanctions, and/or military strikes, of the reconstruction of Iraq’s critical civil infrastructure, including its health, water and sanitation systems, and the decontamination of Iraq’s ecosphere/life environment, backed by the threat of Security Council veto where unanimity was not present for such strikes and/or the continuance of the sanctions regime
4. The launching of an illegal war of aggression against Iraq based on deliberate falsification of threat assessment intelligence and systematic efforts to conceal from the general public in the United States and the United Kingdom, and other countries, along with parts of the military command structure of the respective armed forces deployed, the true aims and objectives of that war
5. Establishing by design an occupation apparatus that by its incompetence, inexperience, corruption and/or ideological or sectarian alignment and actions would finalize the destruction of the Iraqi state and the attempted destruction of Iraqi national unity and identity, entailing an attack upon Iraqis as a whole and the intended destruction of the Iraqi national group as such.

The acts ordered and/or continued and perpetuated by the respondents identified in this complaint were unlawful in nature, were known to be and/or ought reasonably to have been known to be unlawful in nature, and were based on manifest and purposive lies, manipulations, deliberately misleading presentations of facts, and baseless assertions and other false justifications. The consistency of the propaganda effort that supported and contextualized these unlawful acts was such — and was aimed and known to be so — that it constituted an international campaign of demonization and dehumanization of Iraqis, the Iraqi nation, the Iraqi state, Iraq’s civil and military leadership, Iraq’s civil administrative apparatus, and Iraq in its Arab context. As such, and through actions taken and summarized below, the respondents:

1. Deprived the Iraqi people of all or the majority of their fundamental rights as established and protected by international human rights law and international humanitarian law, expressed in the UN Charter and conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, including the right of defence
2. Structured and implemented policies that continue to deprive the Iraqi people of their sovereignty and the exercise of their freedom, human rights, and civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as established and guaranteed by international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the UN Charter and conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions
3. Consistently gave political and legal cover to these acts, even as these acts were known to be and/or ought reasonably to have been known to be in violation of international law, including peremptory or jus cogens standards of law
4. Asserted and defended extra-legal immunity for all those engaged in acts that have attacked the protected rights of the Iraqi people, and established a pattern of impunity for those accused of such attacks by failing to adequately investigate and prosecute specific and general allegations of grave abuses, and/or to ensure responsibility is assumed throughout the chain of command that permitted or failed to prohibit such attacks, and/or dismissed or distorted numerous customary legal standards, including the laws of war and those that outlaw the preemptive use of force in international relations
5. Abused and overran international law, the guarantor of international order, peace and security, which the United Nations System exists to protect and is deemed to embody, enshrined in the UN Charter, and upon whose foundation the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gains positive affect and final meaning.

Opportunity for redress for Iraqi victims in their own national jurisdiction is non-existent as Iraq remains occupied, its sovereign institutions dismantled and non-functioning. Despite numerous individual petitions submitted to its chief prosecutor, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has stated that it has no jurisdiction to hear cases of abuses and violations of human rights standards and international humanitarian law in Iraq. In light of US and UK threats to use permanent member veto power in the past, it is not foreseeable that the Security Council in the future will refer complaints in Iraq to the ICC, and nor can Iraqis wait for Security Council reform. Without effective investigation and prosecution of these abuses and violations, the international community runs the risk of allowing a precedent of unlawful action of such grave magnitude to be set without censure, thereby endangering the rights and dignity not only of Iraqis but also of people the world over. Such a precedent would be contrary to the UN Charter and the principles upon which the international order of states is deemed to be founded. The basis for public acceptance of a state of law is that it protects peace and defends the wellbeing of the people. Failure to investigate and effectively prosecute the catalogue of grave abuses and violations perpetrated by the respondents in Iraq, and against the Iraqi people, would constitute an ongoing and inherent threat to the basis of the international order in general and to international peace and security specifically.

Alongside those in official positions of authority, key political advisers, lobbyists, strategists and corporate representatives have also played a crucial role in the ideological and political justifications and legitimization sought and falsely proposed in order to execute the overall policy embraced, inclusive of an accumulated pattern of attacks, military and otherwise, that has lasted 19 years to date, culminating in the 2003 illegal war of aggression waged on Iraq and that continues to be executed despite wide and ongoing condemnation. Though there are nuances of responsibility inherent to the nature of policy construction and execution, the personal relations and interconnections between primary and secondary level individuals involved, and the groups or common circles to which they belong, testify to a large degree of cohesion present in intent and action among the respondents identified and those who support and benefit from the policies they have pursued. At the least, this shared intent is one of deliberate harm; at worst, it amounts to an objective intent to destroy for definable, and at times publicly enunciated, strategic, geopolitical and geo-economic reasons. Furthermore, none of the respondents can reasonably claim they did not have knowledge of the likely outcome of their policies, and those they supported, as all had not only participated in the design and execution of these policies, but they continued to execute said policies once their effects were widely known and had been proven to be detrimental to — and destructive of — the health, sovereignty and rights of the Iraqi people, and further have defended these policies and in majority continue to do so.

From the start of the implementation of a US-instigated and dominantly administered sanctions regime up to the present day, an approximate total of 2,700,000 Iraqis have died as a direct result of sanctions followed by the US-UK led war of aggression on, and occupation of, Iraq beginning in 2003. Among those killed during the sanctions period were 560,000 children. From 2003 onwards, having weakened Iraq’s civil and military infrastructure to the degree that its people were rendered near totally defenceless, Iraq was subject to a level of aggression of near unprecedented scale and nature in international history, occurring in parallel with the promotion of a partition plan for Iraq, the substantial direct funding of sectarian groups and militias that would play a key role in fragmenting the country under occupation, both administratively and in terms of national identity, the cancellation of the former state apparatus and the dismissal of its personnel entailing the collapse of all public services and state protection for the Iraqi people, the further destruction of the health and education systems of Iraq, and the creation of waves of internal and external displacement totaling nearly 5,000,000 Iraqis, or one fifth of the Iraqi population. By December 2007, the Iraqi Anti-Corruption Board reported that there were up to 5,000,000 orphans in Iraq, while the Iraqi Ministry of Women’s Affairs counts 3,000,000 widows as of 2009.

Such massive destruction of life, having as context a 19-year period of accumulated attacks, with numerous warnings and opportunities for remedy and a reversal of policy ignored, cannot be mere happenstance. Indeed, the paramount charge that must be investigated, and that plain fact evidence suggests, is that this level of destruction has been integral to the US and UK’s shared international policy for Iraq. The destruction in whole or in part of the Iraqi people as a national group, and depriving this group of all or the majority of its rights, appears from a reasoned account of the catalogue of violations, abuses and attacks to which the Iraqi people have been subject to be the unlawful means pursued purposely by the respondents in order to redraw by force the strategic and political map of the Arab region and Iraq’s place within that context, and to capture, appropriate and plunder, via the cancellation of the sovereignty of the Iraqi people and the destruction and fragmentation of their identity and unity as a national group, Iraq’s substantial natural energy resources. Historically, the Iraqi national group, variegated yet cohesive, was and continues to be, despite the aggression faced, firmly rooted in its overwhelming majority in the concept of citizenship of the Iraqi state — a state founded on public provision of services and a nationally owned energy industry. The policy that the respondents have sought and continue to seek to impose, that has entailed privatizing and seizing ownership of Iraqi citizens’ resources, along with the administrative and political partition of the former unitary state, is contrary to the basis of, and cohesion of, the Iraqi people as a national group.

Until prevented by effective legal investigation and precautionary action, it is highly likely that the combined US/UK strategy in Iraq will continue, though its tactics may change. Iraqis in the majority show no sign of surrendering their right to and belief in Iraqi citizenship, including sovereign control over Iraq’s natural resources. Between a belligerent foreign aggressor and a resilient, resistant people legal action is crucial to end the ongoing and by all likelihood perpetual slaughter of Iraqis and the destruction of their national identity and rights. We are before immoral and unlawful acts, contrary to the basis on which the international order of state sovereignty and peace and security rests, and that brought about and continue to pursue the destruction of the Iraqi state and attempted destruction of the Iraqi nation. Whereas 1,200,000 Iraqis, according to credible estimates, have lost their lives to violence since 2003 alone, the Iraqi people continue to lose their lives or at best live under constant fear of death, mutilation, detention, exile and lack of access to their rightful resources and freedoms. The sum of these conditions, the outcome of a pattern of purposeful action whose consequences could be foreseen, and of which detailed and compelling notice was served, situated in a context of false justifications, deceptions, and outright lies, and matched by the unlawful use of force, and disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force, amounts to substantive violations of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

As proof of the widespread impact of past and current US and UK policies, in 2009 the American Friends Service Committee, in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported that some 80 per cent of Iraqis surveyed in Iraq had witnessed a shooting, 68 per cent had been interrogated or harassed by militias, 77 per cent had been affected by shelling/rocket attacks, 72 per cent had witnessed a car bombing, 23 per cent of Iraqis in Baghdad had had a family member kidnapped, and 75 per cent had had a family member or someone close to them murdered.

Military operations in Iraq from 2003 have already cost for the United States an estimated $800 billion, with long-term costs estimated at $1.8 trillion. By 2009, the estimated cost for the United Kingdom, according to figures released by the UK Ministry of Defence, was £8.4 billion ($13.7 billion). The United States continues to spend $12 billion on the war per month. There has been a total of 513,000 US soldiers deployed to Iraq since 2003. Some 170,000 were stationed during the “Surge” campaign of 2007, and 130,000 remain deployed as of June 2009. In addition to regular armed forces, the US administration is believed to employ up to 130,000 additional private security contractors and has refused to release official numbers in this regard. Security companies have been granted blanket immunity under Iraqi law. Equally, there is no effective mechanism, or hope, for Iraqis to hold US and UK forces to account directly.

The narration of facts that follows is substantiated with evidence detailed in the Annex. Other facts to be investigated while reported are not mentioned in the following.

For further information:

U.S. Attempts to Erase Haitian Nationhood

The world’s sole superpower behaves as if Haitian sovereignty no longer exists. Notions of legality are wholly absent in America’s occupation of Haiti, where the U.S. poses as the internationally recognized authority. Washington arrogantly improvises the terms of the Haitian “protectorate.”
U.S. Attempts to Erase Haitian Nationhood
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Haitian people ‘need democracy and self determination, said the U.S.-based Black is Back Coalition.”
Proud Haiti has been reduced to a de facto “protectorate” of the United States – a grotesque form of non-sovereignty in which the subjugated nation is “protected” by its worst enemy. Namibia under white-ruled South African administration comes to mind, although in Haiti’s case the United Nations does not even pretend to be on the side of the oppressed, acting instead as agent and enforcer for the superpower.
As Haiti writhes under the agony of hundreds of thousands dead, Bill Clinton picks through the bones in search of prime tourist spots and mango plantation sites. America’s most successful snake oil salesman is pleased to do the Haitian people’s thinking, planning and dreaming for them – and quite willing to speak for the afflicted country, as well. “This is an opportunity to reimagine the future for the Haitian people, to build what they want to become, not rebuild what they used to be,'' Clinton told the global oligarchs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In one sweeping sentence, Clinton claimed a kind of sovereignty over the Haitian people’s very imaginations, assigning himself the right to filter what was good or bad about Haiti’s past, and what is permissible in the future. Haitians are no longer allowed to possess their own dreams and remembrances, which have apparently been placed in United Nations trusteeship, under control of UN special envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton.
MINUSTAH and the U.S. expeditionary force have conspired to starve out what’s left of Cite Soleil.”
As one of the world’s most shameless personalities, the former president is eminently qualified to represent both the UN and the U.S. armed missions in Haiti. The 9,000 troops and police of the UN Stabilization Force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) have for years waged war on the seaside shanty neighborhood of Cite Soleil, a political stronghold of exiled president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Before the February, 2004, U.S.-backed coup, Cite Soleil was home to at least 300,000 desperately poor but politically organized people. Relentless MINUSTAH raids have drastically shrunk the slum’s population. By 2006, only 30 percent of residents still remained in some sections of Cite Soleil, according to human rights workers.
Since the earthquake, MINUSTAH and the U.S. expeditionary force have conspired to starve out what’s left of Cite Soleil. Three weeks after the catastrophe, the United Nations World Food Program described Cite Soleil as “no-go, for security reasons.”
Have the people of Cite Soleil been condemned to death and dispersal because of their pro-Aristide politics – a trait they shared with at least 60 percent of the population the last time a count was permitted – or are they doomed by their choice seaside location? Either reason will do, or both. Haiti’s poor are condemned in advance, for existing where inconvenient.
Small rice farmers were forced off the land and into the shanty-opolis.”
The Haitian peasantry, which not so long ago kept the country self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs, became inconvenient after Washington forced Haiti to accept U.S. government-subsidized rice. Port-au-Prince, a town of about a quarter million in 1960, swelled to at least 2.5 million as small rice farmers were forced off the land and into the shanty-opolis, where they built what they could with the resources at hand. U.S.-imposed “structural adjustment” made Port-au-Prince a high-density death trap.
Somehow, this U.S.-mandated migration – which also contributed to the exodus abroad of many hundreds of thousands – is now numbered among the many “failures” of the Haitian people. They must now move again, to places outside Port-au-Prince where they can “reimagine the future,” in Bill Clinton’s words. But whatever the Haitians might imagine, the United States is determined to deny them the right to pursue those dreams. Americans hector Haitians to summon the will to rebuild, but strangle Haitian civil society by effectively outlawing the nation’s most popular political party, Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas. Self-determination is among those things Haitians must not be permitted to rebuild or reclaim.
The U.S. strangles Haitian civil society by effectively outlawing the nation’s most popular political party.”
The Americans seem to prefer that Haitians have no government, at all, even one as compliant as that of President Rene Preval, who collaborated in banning Fanmi Lavalas from taking part in elections. Only one cent of every dollar in U.S. “relief” money goes to or through the Haitian government, which is thus reduced to a crippled and largely irrelevant spectator. The Americans will at some point “reimagine” precisely how the Haitian “protectorate” will be managed in these extraordinary times.
The Haitian people “need democracy and self determination,” said a statement by the U.S.-based Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, “not more military interventions by the U.S., which has sent more than 10,000 troops to subdue our people.” On February 20, the Black is Back Coalition will hold a National March and Rally to Defend Haiti, in Miami, Florida. “Our people in Haiti must have reparations, not self serving charity from France and the U.S.”
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at
For more information on the March and Rally for Haiti, contact, call (727) 821-6620 or go to

Obama’s Murder Inc.


When the president can coldly order the extrajudicial killing of American citizens, the rule of law ceases to exist. Yet only Rep. Dennis Kucinich has categorically challenged President Obama's claim to be legal judge, jury and executioner. “
We have a 'gangsta' presidency and a Congress that isn’t any better.”
Freedom Rider: Obama’s Murder Inc.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
There are no warrants or indictments or grand juries impaneled in order for Barack Obama to decide to kill any individual he chooses.”
No one has the right to kill, or so we are told. Regardless of motive, murder is illegal, and the legal system rightfully sets the bar at a very high level before excusing this act. Not so where the government is concerned. Our constitutional law professor president, Barack Obama, like his predecessor George W. Bush, claims the right to murder American citizens.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush gave the CIA and later the military, permission to kill American citizens abroad if those persons were declared threats to the United States, its people or its interests. President Obama believes that he too can decide to assassinate Americans if he declares them to be terrorists. This is not some bizarre assertion made by tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. The president’s Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, stated for the record and under oath before a congressional committee, that the president can give “special permission” to target American citizens for death.
In words that would make George Orwell proud, Blair explained that the rationale for killing is the taking of actions threatening American lives. “If that direct action -- we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” So, if an American outside of the United States is considered a threat to other American lives, the American suspect can be killed on orders of the president. If that circular logic was followed consistently, then the killers of the terror suspect would also be killed for taking an American life. Of course, that would never happen because acting on behalf of the government absolves any and all criminal behavior.
If an American outside of the United States is considered a threat to other American lives, the American suspect can be killed on orders of the president.”
Brown’s assurances are not very comforting and are worthless in any case. There are no checks and balances governing how this permission to kill may be granted. There is no need to prove to congress or to other American citizens when this act is deemed justifiable. There are no warrants or indictments or grand juries impaneled in order for Barack Obama to decide to kill any individual he chooses.
This Obama administration policy originally came to light in a Washington Post article about the targeting of Yemen as a so-called terrorist haven. According to the Post, the Obama administration has been trying to kill Yemeni-American Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki is a Muslim cleric, allegedly “radical” and a “terrorist” but he is also inconveniently an American citizen, having been born in New Mexico. He came to public notice after the Fort Hood killings committed by Major Nidal Hasan, with whom he is said to have corresponded. The would be Christmas airplane bomber, Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab allegedly met al-Awlaki in Yemen.
Due process rights shouldn’t end at the Oval Office or at the United States’ borders.”
No evidence has been presented proving any of these government claims or al-Awlaki’s involvement in any of these acts. Yet members of the Obama cabinet can tell Congress, the media and the public that we have a government run by hit men. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that our life and liberty cannot be taken away without due process. Those due process rights shouldn’t end at the Oval Office or at the United States’ borders and our government should not be allowed to get rid of us because we are unlucky enough to be in Yemen or any other part of the world.
We have a “gangsta” presidency and a Congress that isn’t any better. Only Congressman Dennis Kucinich was willing to go on the record in opposition to these crimes. “Even the most superficial reading of Article XIV makes it clear that extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government or its agents are by definition outside the law.” Kucinich’s colleagues, most of whom are lawyers, apparently are unable to perform even a superficial reading of the document they are sworn to uphold.
Extra judicial killings are to be expected in banana republics and communist dictatorships and Islamic theocracies or, well, by Israel. They aren’t supposed to be committed in violation of the Bill of Rights. There is only one silver lining to this cloud. We now know what Sarah Palin meant when she spoke about “Obama death panels.” Maybe she isn’t so dumb after all.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Forget trillions of currency units at stake, try quadrillions and . . .

WMR has learned from sources inside "The Temple," otherwise known as the Federal Reserve Bank, that the amount of money that is at risk worldwide is not in the trillions but the quadrillions.

On December 18, 2008, WMR first reported on the "quadrillion" dollar international fraud scheme and its relationship to the Clearstream scandal in France that has prompted French President Nicolas Sarkozy to misuse France's judicial system to stymie any legitimate investigation into the bribing of French leaders, including Sarkozy, to keep secret the massive laundering and manipulation of cash worldwide. Sarkozy continues to tie up former French Prime Minister Dominique deVillepin in a political vendetta aimed at finding him guilty for investigating Sarkozy and his colleagues' involvement in the massive global financial fraud scheme.

De Villepin was recently cleared of criminal charges of a conspiracy against Sarkozy. Sarkozy, nevertheless, is believed to have mis-used his power as president to secretly have de Villepin re-indicted through the abuse of the French judiciary. Sarkozy's forces also forced deVillepin's wife and two children, both college students, to testify in the trial against the former French Prime Minister. DeVillepin likens himself to a French resistance fighter and he has vowed to challenge Sarkozy to rid France of the cabal that has seized control of Paris.

If Sarkozy succeeds in convicting deVillepin, the former French Prime Minister would be barred from challenging Sarkozy in the next presidential election. The manipulation of the courts and electoral system is a favorite neocon tactic as evidenced by similar operations in the United States, Ukraine, Colombia, Mexico, and other countries agianst those who threaten the neocon/corporatist domination of the planet.

WMR reported: "WMR has learned from informed sources that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will soon face renewed charges that he received illegal foreign funds through the Luxembourg banking company Clearstream. Luxembourg is a well-known tax haven that maintains strict confidentiality over banking and corporate records.

Then-French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin met with the recently-retired head of French military intelligence Philippe Rondot and EADS deputy director Jean Louis Gergorin. Gergorin told de Villepin that two names on the secret list of French politicians who had Clearstream accounts -- Paul de Nagy and Stéphane Bosca -- were pseudonyms for Sarkozy. It was believed by French intelligence that the names came from Sarkozy's father's full name, Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkösy de Nagy-Bosca.

Clearstream reportedly represented a massive money laundering operation that financed political and other operations around the world. Banks and companies with Clearstream accounts included the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Bank Menatep of jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Banco Ambrosiano (also known as the Vatican Bank), Bahrain International Bank (with reported links to Osama Bin Laden), and The Carlyle Group.

Sarkozy was Interior and, for a short time, Finance Minister in the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) government in which De Villepin served as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister.

Sarkozy's camp denounced the Clearstream list as a forgery and, as President, Sarkozy has put de Villepin under a criminal investigation. However, WMR has learned from sources close to France's General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) that Sarkozy's removal of Pierre Brochand, a Jacques Chirac appointee, as the head of DGSE in October will soon have unpleasant consequences for the mercurial Sarkozy.

DGSE classified documents could soon appear that will re-ignite the Clearstream affair and prove that Sarkozy's political career was financed by foreign funds. The revelations will reportedly exonerate de Villepin and Chirac, who have been charged by pro-Sarkozy elements in France of a criminal conspiracy to defame Sarkozy.

Sarkozy and his neocon allies were able to kill the story of Clearstream by lawsuits against journalists and criminal charges against French officials who were aware of the details of the case. An Excel spreadsheet of Clearstream accounts was removed from several web sites under threat of legal action. WMR obtained a copy of the 2002 spreadsheet.

The release of classified information on Clearstream may have repercussions far beyond France and shed light on an international quadrillion dollar scheme involving Israeli-connected gangsters to line the pockets of billionaires, launder cash, defraud banks, and loot national treasuries."

The neocons and their allies in the corporate media have labeled the Clearstream documents as forgeries. However, neocons, who favor using forgeries to push their own agenda, are also apt to label as "forgeries" any document that threatens their continued grip on power. Because of what Clearstream represents, Sarkozy has also sought to abolish the posts of independent investigative judges in France so they are not prompted to dig further into the world's shadow economy.

The term quadrillion in relation to worldwide derivatives was also cited in Len Bracken's guest editorial in WMR on October 9, 2009: "The worldwide notional value of outstanding derivatives is now estimated to be $1.405 quadrillion, up 22 percent from the 2008 level. DK Matai of the Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance notes that a conservative 10 percent default or decline could result in $100 trillion of payouts. Financial institutions, nation states, even blocs such as the European Union will be unable to fund these obligations, often owed to speculators by bankers that grossly mispriced risk . . . The Soviet Union, by the most reliable accounts, imploded in large part because of its Afghan war. While the United States and its allies now have their crippling campaign in that unforgiving country, the weakest links to the empire controlled by Wall Street and The Square Mile are formed by a quadrillion dollars in derivatives and a hundred trillion dollars of securitized debt."

If deVillepin succeeds against the hordes of financial marauders in France as a modern-day Charles Martel and begins to unravel the global financial shysters and fraudsters who have, like locusts and rats, decimated the economies of Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and, soon, possibly bring the United States and France to economic collapse, it may be an issue of being too little and too late.

One Federal Reserve employee recently posed the question, "What comes after a quadrillion?" The answer to that question is "quintillion." That is one-thousand quadrillion dollars. And with those kinds of numbers at stake, it is understandable why the world's bankers choose to meet in secret conclaves in Davos, Australia, and Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic.

Ode to Cynthia

By Israel Shamir

Things must be bad indeed if a woman steps forward to the line of fire. Nature arranged that a woman does not court danger unless her land and her folks are in real trouble. But when she does, she teaches men a lesson of manly behaviour.

When France was fading away, a shepherd girl Jeanne d’Arc took a heavy sword and led the flower of French nobles to assault the walls of Orleans. When cities of Republican Spain was strafed by the Nazi Luftwaffe, it was a woman, Dolores Ibarruri, La Pasionaria, who said to her people: it is better to die tall, than to live on your knees. In 1990, when Mikhail Gorbachev led his country to disaster and disintegration, a year before the wealth of Russia was embezzled in privatisation spree, only one person has dared to raise her voice against the dictator in the parliament. She was the indomitable Sashie Umalatov, an MP from the Chechen Mountains.

Now it is the turn of the US to feel the chilly wind of eternity on its face. It came from unexpected direction. People of America became hostage in the hands of a few men with too many dollars in their pockets and endless greed in their hearts. For millennia, the difference of income, education, and standard of living was not so vast in one land. The wealth of the nation could provide every American with a superb education, perfect medical care, happy childhood, secure old age, guaranteed home, and free time to open one’s mind to new thoughts and old friends. America could be on its way to the Golden Age of universal happiness and wisdom.

Instead of it, a small group of men squeezes the nation in order to add another billion to their coffers. They would surely destroy the US by their limitless greed. The devotees of Mammon, they are totally devoid of compassion to the people they live amongst. They do not see the local people as ‘their own kind’. If they want to show compassion, they send money to Israel. Out of five dollars American taxpayer gives for aid, four dollars land in the coffers of the Jewish state. They appear unstoppable, as the politicians are scared of them and docilely raise their hands and sign the pledge promising to send more money to Israeli generals. Support of Israel is not a foreign policy. It is the covenant of the Mammonites, and you sign it with blood. With Palestinian blood.

But one woman refused to sign the pledge. One woman, Cynthia McKinney, a member for Georgia, dared to refuse. Four hundred congressmen signed it; they preferred their own personal advancement to the good of the country. Ancestors of Cynthia were slaves in her native Georgia. But she is one of a very few free persons in the US Congress. As we Israelis were used to say about our Golda Meir, she is the only man over there. She is a black woman, but she is the whitest man of them all, they would say before the Politically Correct era. She knew the billions of Israeli aid are needed for the poor people of the United States, for her own Afro-American community. She wanted to uphold the sovereignty of the people and congress of the United States, in face of encroaching servility to the Jewish Lobby.

She is not alone. Another wonderful Afro-American congresswoman, Barbara Lee, cast the only vote against the slaughter in Afghanistan; John Conyers, Jessie Jackson Jr, and Maxine Waters supported the cause of Palestine on different occasions. Ron Paul of Texas voted against all-house resolution sending obsequious greeting to General Sharon. Nick Rahall, John Sununu, David Bonior did not bend.

Cynthia was just more outspoken in seeing the evil. She said , “There are many Members of Congress who want to be free. I am one of them. I wanted to be free to vote according to my conscience, but I had been told that if I didn't sign a pledge supporting the military superiority of Israel, no support would come my way. And sure enough, I didn't sign the pledge and no support came my way. I suffered silently year in and year out, because I refused to sign that pledge. And then, like a slave that found a way to buy his freedom... I went to work ... I wanted to be free ... Free to cast the votes in the United States Congress as I saw fit and not as I was dictated to”.

Now she stands for re-election, and her chances are dim, as the frightful AIPAC, the spearhead of the organised Jewish community, targeted her. They do not want to see independent and free congressmen on the Capitol Hill. Their huge financial might, network of connections in the media and universities are used to smother every free voice. They succeeded to unseat Earl Hilliard, another Black Congressman, who did not bow to Sharon, and now plan to do Cynthia in. If they succeed, the cause of freedom will suffer a huge setback. If she succeeds, the myth of Jewish omnipotence will evaporate, and America will look towards better days, as support or rejection of segregated Israel speaks volumes about true agenda of a candidate.

Cynthia is not ‘against Jews’, as there are many very good folks of Jewish origin. While the organised Jewish community implements quite a disgusting policy, in domestic and foreign affairs alike, there are wonderful outsiders, ‘the remnant of Israel’. Rejected by the community and rejecting it, they stand for integration in Palestine and in the US. Some of them have supported Cynthia’s campaign; another outsider manages her campaign. Through them, ‘you will be blessed by all people’, the Lord’s promise to Abraham is made true.

I am not sure whether Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun, a “Progressive Jewish monthly” from California, will be equally blessed. Rabbi Lerner has spoken in support of Cynthia McKinney, but demanded in return to “call for Israel to be given either membership in NATO or a mutual defence pact with the U.S.” Such a support defeats its purpose. As if the military and political US backing of the racist Jewish state were not sufficient, Lerner wants to establish it in law. Cynthia openly spoke against hegemony of the Zionist Lobby, against Israel connection. Lerner offers to achieve the purpose of the Zionist lobby under pretence of fighting it. This sophisticated cunning is not unusual for crypto-Zionists, acting as deep penetration agents outside their milieu, and Lerner already has performed a similar task for the Zionists during Durban Conference . Next time, he will fight heroin addiction by demanding the drug to be sold in every shop. Cynthia and other congressmen should accept his offer of help for what it is worth, but reject his demand of political payoff to Zionists.

Cynthia’s is not a divisive voice of Blacks vs. Whites, nor Democrats vs. Republicans, neither Left against Right. She speaks for the people of the US against foreign interests. She is the congresswoman who dared to remind of the USS Liberty seamen, butchered by Israeli heavy machine guns and missiles. She reminded her audience of the last stand of Faris Ode, the brave Palestinian kid who faced the Israeli tank with a stone and was murdered. She stands against corporate greed. She stands for the nature deemed expendable by the Greedies.

This woman with a name from the love lyrics of Propertius, the delicate Greek poet, who called himself ‘a pale knight in thrall of my angry Cynthia’, is an all-American figure, brought forth by the spirit of America. The great country does not want to die. In such moments, the land calls for its sons and daughters to step forward to the line of fire. Cynthia heard the call. Support of Cynthia is the ultimate test of love to America, of belief in America’s future in the family of nations, as an equal and friendly nation, not as an enforcer for creed of Greed.

It is paramount to rally around her, as the French nobles rallied to Jeanne d’Arc. Whether you are a descendant of African slaves or Muslim immigrants, a son of Confederacy or a Daughter of American Revolution, a freedom-loving Jew or a born-again Christian - it is the time to unite for Cynthia and for America.