Posted on February 27, 2012 by Marivel Guzman
Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Probably Not Guilty—So Who Is the Real Criminal?
US and UK pushed the courts to release Megrahi on humanitarian grounds, rather that allow him to present his evidence in his appeal. At the Lockerbie trial so-called “key witness” Abdulmajid Gauci would identify Megrahi as the purchaser of certain items of clothing found at the crash site that Gauci claimed were purchased at his shop in Valetta, Malta. But on the witness stand Gauci proved to be a flop at identification. An FBI officer, Harold Hendershot, called to the witness stand to bolster Gauci’s testimony, also appeared to lack credibility.
Megrahi was released and received hero welcome in Libya by Col Muamar Gadhafee.
Gadhafee denied that he was pressure to give up his claim that Libya did not have anything to do with the Pam 103. The economical sanctions were lifted right after Gadhafee allowed the extradition of the two suspects. One of them was found innocent, only Megrahi was found guilty.
Lockerbie bombing: Forensic evidence ‘casts fresh doubt on Megrahi guilt’
The wreckage of Pan Am 103. Picture: AP
By TIM CORNWELL
Published on Monday 27 February 2012 00:00
NEW forensic evidence claiming to destroy key pillars of the case against the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing will be revealed today.
Forensic examination of a small fragment of circuit board, cited as critical evidence linking Libya to the atrocity that claimed 270 lives on 21 December, 1988, does not originate from the source identified by prosecutors, it is claimed.
The new evidence is detailed in two documentaries on the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, 59, screened today on BBC Scotland and the Al Jazeera network. They coincide with the launch of a book telling the story of Megrahi and featuring extensive interviews with him, released by the Scottish company Birlinn.
The book, too, is said to probe deeply into the forensic evidence in the case.
In the BBC Scotland documentary, Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, says he “forgives” Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci, who identified him as purchasing clothes which were found packed around the bomb, on a day Megrahi admitted he was in Malta.
“Forgiving him, I am facing my God very soon,” Megrahi says. “I swear I have never been in his shop or buy any clothing from his shop. I swear with my God, which is my God and his God as well, I swear I have never been in his shop or buy any clothing from his shop.
“He has to believe this, because when we meet together before the God, I want him to know that before I die. This is the truth.”
The circuit board, found at the crash site, was linked to the bombing because the fragment, labelled PT35b by investigators, was identified as coming from an MST-13 timer made by the Swiss firm Mebo. Megrahi had regular dealings with the firm. The Crown also claimed the timers had only ever been supplied to Libya. Megrahi was described at his trial as a member of the Libyan intelligence services who worked in Malta at the Libyan Arab Airlines office. He was accused of helping to place the bomb on an Air Malta flight, from which it was transferred to the doomed Pan Am 103.
Megrahi’s defence team was not able to secure access to the fragment to conduct its own expert analysis before the trial, or his first unsuccessful appeal, the documentary is said to claim.
But in preparation for the second appeal, which Megrahi abandoned when he was released on compassionate grounds after a cancer diagnosis, his defence team was able to examine the fragment and other key pieces of evidence.
Their experts claimed it contained no trace of explosive residue. But, more importantly, defence experts also claimed it was made of a different combination of materials to the MST-13s, meaning it did not originate with the Mebo device.
The BBC confirmed yesterday that their documentary explored forensic evidence.
The two programmes feature an interview Megrahi gave in December to his friend George Thomson, a former police officer and criminal defence specialist who was part of his legal team for four years.
Today also sees the publication of John Ashton’s book, Megrahi: You Are My Jury – The Lockerbie Evidence, published by Birlinn. Mr Ashton, an investigative journalist, was also in Megrahi’s defence team and worked closely with him to produce the book.
BBC Scotland insisted last night that, while the interview in the documentary was conducted by Thomson, the programme itself “was produced in accordance with our guidelines on impartiality”.
The Rev John Mosey, a British parent who lost his daughter in the bombing, said he expected both the book and the documentaries to launch a major re-examination of the Lockerbie case.
For those sceptical of the trial and conviction, it “promises evidence of things that we have been saying for many years”, he added.
He had closely followed the circuit-board evidence at Megrahi’s lengthy trial, he said. “It was extremely, extremely dodgy. It was very, very suspicious.
“The way it suddenly appeared, embedded in a shirt collar, with the information on the page overwritten and changed, all police procedures were thrown out of the window.”
But Susan Cohen, an American whose daughter also died in the bombing, said: “None of this sounds any different from what I’ve heard before. With these documentaries, is there going to be a panel afterwards, someone who is representing someone who is not the voice for Megrahi propaganda?
“This is simply allowing this conspiracy theory to flourish. In all these years nothing has ever, ever come out that really shows any significance.”
Megrahi, the only man convicted in the Lockerbie bombing, was said to be three months from death when he was released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 following a decision by justice secretary Kenny MacAskill. He remains alive in Libya, but in the December interview clearly considers himself close to death.
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which investigated Megrahi’s 2001 conviction, found six reasons why it may have been a miscarriage of justice and sent the case back to the Appeal Court. The appeal ended when he was released.
Among the SCCRC’s reasons were inconsistencies in Mr Gauci’s statements and controversy surrounding an identification parade in Kamp van Zeist at which he identified Megrahi. It is understood the documentary makers gained access to the SCCRC’s investigations into the case.
Megrahi was interviewed in his bed in his home in Tripoli. Looking frail and straining to make his words audible, Megrahi laments that he will die while still branded “the Lockerbie bomber”.
Asked by Mr Thomson what he would say to Mr Gauci if he were in the room, he says: “I’d say he dealt with me very wrongly. I have never seen him in my life before he came to the court. But I do forgive him.”
• Many believe convicted killer Mohammed Abu Talb is the real Lockerbie bomber.
Talb was freed from prison in Sweden in 2010. He was serving a life sentence for terrorist attacks in Copenhagen and Amsterdam using explosive devices.
He was the original suspect for the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 until 1990, when attention switched to Libya.
At the time of the Lockerbie trial, Talb admitted he and members of his family were involved in the fight to liberate Palestine. But he denied he was “a murderer and a liar”, and claimed he had given up the military struggle before the Lockerbie bombing.
The trial in Kamp van Zeist heard Talb had used many aliases as a member of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, including one that translated as “he who takes revenge”.
Gadhafi defiant after 20 years of not bending to US-UK-Israel rule. The man that stood alone against the giants with the dreams of creating a Unifying Greater Africa. The African Puppets made kings exchanged their dignity for crowns, and a bad society…..Read More…Qadhafi Defiance after 20 years of UN and US Sanctions: Who Benefits from it?
Lockerbie bombing: New book claims Megrahi was ‘innocent victim of dirty politics and judicial folly’
Scottish publisher Birlinn launches into the Lockerbie controversy today with the publication of a book that promises the fullest account yet of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s story in his own words.
Posted on February 18, 2012 by Akashma Online News
Nothing seems to change in Gaza. Politicians come and go, Israel attacking again. The leaders of the world silence. The United Nations busy with PR and budgets. While Gaza still in the dark. The visit of two royals delegations in the past might had put Gaza in the news for few hours, but nothing really change.
Gaza, Palestine/-Gaza in its darkest hour after the fuel stopped getting to the only electrical plant of Gaza after Israel bombed the other plants in the assault of 2008-2009.
When we talk about Tunnels in Gaza we have to talk about the Bedouins Tribes that control the Rafah border.
Before the Egyptian Revolution I have the opportunity to talk to my Egyptian friends about all themes, but one of my favorites was to talk about Palestine.
Some of my friends have this idea that most of their economical problems, and security situation is due to Palestinians crossing illegally the border.
And that the security problem is according to them to the terrorists that are financed by Iran and Hezbollah, that was the propaganda feed thru all the regimen of Mubakark that was in bed with Israel, and kept the country deprived, oppressed, with more than 2,000,000 people incarcerated for their political views, specially the then illegal Muslim brotherhood that they said was financed from Iran to destabilize the country.
Off course this idea is not shared for the majority of Egyptians, they know their own problems were created along the way, since British Empire decided to colonize these great lands of the Nile.
With this notion I have to mention also, that they do not see themselves as an Arab people but proudly they refer themselves as the Pharaoh people, some how superior race, or more intellectually advanced.
I m not sure that the tribes of Bedouins share the same idea, but for sure they are merchants that travel the deserts selling goods, and having a semi sedentary life only to raise their live stock of sheep.
These same tribes now controlling the border with Gaza, where the tunnels are dug.
They control completely the entrances of the tunnels, and according to reports from CNN, after the revolution, No police dare to get closer to the Tribes and their controlled lands of the Sinai.
They control the smuggling weapons, and the official sell of weapons that enter Gaza for the official government as well, they gauge the food, medicines and fuel, And Fuel being of of the commodities that can bring more profits. One of the most disturbing news coming directly from Tel Avid is that they also controlled the human traffic coming to Israel, women to be sold as prostitutes and migrant workers to be exploit by Israeli farmers.
“For centuries their identity was nomadic. They roamed the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula with little care for national borders or sovereign rule. Modern life has persuaded many Bedouin to opt for a more sedentary existence in the various countries they inhabit, but they haven’t shaken their reputation as professional outlaws.
Nowhere is that reputation more pronounced than in North Sinai, where they control much of the smuggling into Gaza. Their motivation is profit, not any particular affinity with the Palestinian people.
And it’s big business.” CNN
Ibrahim, from the Sawarka tribe around El Arish, the North Sinai governate’s capital, says he “chipped in” with some partners to build five tunnels into Gaza costing about $100,000 each. The tunnels are used to transport big-ticket items such as cars, most of them these days with Libyan number plates. Ibrahim shows off his array of battered old Mercedes, Kias, even a Range Rover. Usually, he sends about 10 cars through the tunnels at a time, once or twice a week.
Salem is a friend of Ibrahim’s from the neighboring Tarabin tribe. Neither wanted to use his full name for fear of police reprisal. Salem smuggles weapons, olives, tomatoes and canned food through the tunnels into Gaza. Olives cost about $100 per carton. Animals, such as a tiger or small elephant for the Gaza zoo, cost as much as $20,000, Salem said.
“But there’s a red line,” he said. “We refuse to allow suicide bombers through the tunnels to bomb Israeli targets from the Egyptian side. And we won’t smuggle hostages,either. I was once offered $500,000 to smuggle an Israeli hostage to Islamist groups in Gaza. I refused.”
Truth is that most of the problems facing Gaza; from water, food, construction material, medical equipment and most important Fuel Supplies are due to Israel Unfair and illegal blockade of the Mediterranean Port of Gaza, and Now added to the latest punitive measures implemented for Israel, punishing the innocent population of Gaza for the Unity deal reach by the two main factions, the Price Gouging in the Egyptian fuel prices had put Gaza in its darkest moments.
Hamas and Fatah have decided to work as a team and elect their leaders in the next elections, decision that was not welcome by Israel.
A Palestine United will be a invincible force against the tactics of divide and conquer used by Israel.
The Unity will boots the mood of Palestinians and will give them a respite in this internal conflict.
The constant harassment from both of the parties in Gaza and West Bank have been a tremendous drain of energy in the fight against the occupation.
Egypt wants to stop the passage of fuel through tunnels under the border between the countries, the official Rafah terminal is not equipped for goods transfers and its development is restricted to people only by an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. We wonder whose interest serve this close door agreement that undermine the well being of almost 2 million people in Gaza…
The agreement still in force since 2006, after Hamas won the election in 2007, Israel and PA have tried to castigate Hamas for wining the elections; for the PA a political pressure exercised to their political enemy, and for Israel to push the PA to take back Gaza.
There is no secret that PA has been a playmate to implement most of the policies dictated by Israel, and Hamas has not.
But the internal agreements convened in Cairo and Doha has not bring benefits for Gaza, even thought the fuel is a bare necessity for Gaza to run the hospitals, schools, Official business and households is not meet yet.
As Monday the 20 of February Fuel from Egypt was yet to be transferred to Gaza despite assurances it would arrive on Sunday to alleviate an energy crisis, a power authority official said Sunday afternoon.
“The current crisis is a political problem that started six years ago. The Israeli occupation, the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to provide the Gaza Strip with funds, and the policy of Egypt which is dealing with Gaza out of security calculations, have all contributed to the current situation,” said Hamas government spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
The constant battle for public support have pushed Hamas to put the PR campaign first, instead of the welfare of Gaza. The refusal t0 buy the Israel fuel has been the pivotal point in this electricity shortage. I m that sounds to said but, we know that Israel is the occupying power, and control what enters and don’t. Most of the deals are done behind doors, and what transpire is obvious.
If Israel control the money that enters Gaza, and Israel collect the taxes of the Palestinians society, and the money donated by the International community is obvious to assume that Israel and the Government of Gaza have their mechanism to transfer the money, the goods, and the embargo as well.
Israel ‘approved’ companies provide much of the fuel necessities of Gaza, the rest is bought, and smuggle thru the tunnels.
Last year when the European Union stop the funneling of funds to Gaza, the first blackest days started to feel in Gaza, and the deterioration of the electrical Plant due to the impossibility to import parts, and the lack of fuel to run it, put Gaza in the Dark.The only plant was providing electricity on schedule. Where only the people working for the government knew exactly when will the light will come.
Karl Schembri Photo
-Wasfi Al Nider sits motionless on a couch with his legs stretched looking at a small screen. Whenever it goes blank, it is the sign of yet another power cut hitting Gaza. But unlike the frustrations of thousands of others working on computers or watching TV, the screen the 63-year-old is looking at is connected to his blood and a kidney dialysis machine.
“Whenever there is a blackout, I’m in Allah’s hands,” Wasfi says. “The machine just stops, blood stops circulating, I just cry. Then we have to wait until the generator starts.”- A journalist Jorney
Thousands of electrical devices were ruined because the electrical unannounced cuts, if you did not have Outrage Plug Protector, you were out of luck, and your computer most probably was blown out.
The entrance of fuel thru the tunnels not never stopped completely, and the smuggling of petrol that serve the private residents also never stopped. The dark side of Gaza can be see in the belt of the refugee camps, and in the impoverished neighborhoods that can not effort generators and/or fuel.
Gaza like any other society in the world, regardless of its state of war, and blockade to the outside of the world, has it blocks of ‘Rich’ families that never have felt the blockade, at least not with full force as the rest of the population.
Gaza is comprised mostly of refugee camps, where thousands of Palestinians linger waiting for freedom, not every one enjoy the benefit of being connected to the ‘Grid’, still now thousands of families live in tents, and in half destroy homes that lit their nights with candles and if they are lucky enough to have a working person they will have little money to share electricity provided by a better accommodated neighbor that have the luxury to have a generator.
Most of the petrol that enters under the line ‘Tunnels’ comes with a stiffly tag price, not all the fuel that enters Gaza is controlled by the Government.
Gaza like any other region of the world, have their hustlers, ‘this active group’ of Palestinians that are not deterred by the occupation, or the blockade and they find the ways to make ‘little money’ even if it means doubling the prices of the already expensive fuel prices.
This business goes both ways, in the Egyptian side and the Palestinians side in Rafah where all the tunnels are situated.
Sad as it sounds it is a reality, and Money it is the wheel that moves Gaza Society.
As I m finishing this article some developments are moving along in Gaza on the order of fuel, they received some Diesel from Egypt under a contract but not enough to satisfy the whole Gaza. They were talking of 5000 littler of diesel a day will cross to Gaza, but Gaza needs 100,000 littler of Gas at least to serve a population of almost 2,000,000.
Posted on February 14, 2012 by Marivel Guzman
Who is Behind Wikileaks?Global Research Center for Research on globalization
Global Research, December 13, 2010
“World bankers, by pulling a few simple levers that control the flow of money, can make or break entire economies. By controlling press releases of economic strategies that shape national trends, the power elite are able to not only tighten their stranglehold on this nation’s economic structure, but can extend that control world wide. Those possessing such power would logically want to remain in the background, invisible to the average citizen.” (Aldous Huxley)
Wikleaks is upheld as a breakthrough in the battle against media disinformation and the lies of the US government.
Unquestionably, the released documents constitute an important and valuable data bank. The documents have been used by critical researchers since the outset of the Wikileaks project. Wikileaks earlier revelations have focussed on US war crimes in Afghanistan (July 2010) as well as issues pertaining to civil liberties and the “militarization of the Homeland” (see Tom Burghardt, Militarizing the “Homeland” in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis, Global Research, October 11, 2008)
In October 2010, WikiLeaks was reported to have released some 400,000 classified Iraq war documents, covering events from 2004 to 2009 (Tom Burghardt, The WikiLeaks Release: U.S. Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed, Global Research, October 24, 2010). These revelations contained in the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs provide “further evidence of the Pentagon’s role in the systematic torture of Iraqi citizens by the U.S.-installed post-Saddam regime.” (Ibid)
Progressive organizations have praised the Wikileaks endeavor.
Our own website Global Research has provided extensive coverage of the Wikileaks project.
The leaks are heralded as an immeasurable victory against corporate media censorship.
But there is more than meets the eye.
Even prior to the launching of the project, the mainstream media had contacted Wikileaks.
There are also reports from published email exchanges (unconfirmed) that Wikileaks had, at the outset of the project in January 2007, contacted and sought the advice of Freedom House. This included an invitation to Freedom House (FH) to participate in the Wikileaks advisory board:
“We are looking for one or two initial advisory board member from FH who may advise on the following:1. the needs of FH as consumer of leaks exposing business and political corruption 2. the needs for sources of leaks as experienced by FH 3. FH recommendations for other advisory board members 4. general advice on funding, coallition [sic] building and decentralised operations and political framing” (Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007).
There is no evidence of FH followup support to the Wikileaks project. Freedom House is a Washington based “watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world”. It is chaired by William H. Taft IV who was legal adviser to the State Department under G. W. Bush and Deputy Secretary of Defense under the Reagan administration.
Wikileaks had also entered into negotiations with several corporate foundations with a view to securing funding. (Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007):
The linchpin of WikiLeaks’s financial network is Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation. … “We’re registered as a library in Australia, we’re registered as a foundation in France, we’re registered as a newspaper in Sweden,” Mr. Assange said. WikiLeaks has two tax-exempt charitable organizations in the U.S., known as 501C3s, that “act as a front” for the website, he said. He declined to give their names, saying they could “lose some of their grant money because of political sensitivities.” Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks gets about half its money from modest donations processed by its website, and the other half from “personal contacts,” including “people with some millions who approach us….” (WikiLeaks Keeps Funding Secret, WSJ.com, August 23, 2010)
Acquiring covert funding from intelligence agencies was, according to the email exchanges, also contemplated. (See Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007)
At the outset in early 2007, Wikileaks acknowledged that the project had been “founded by Chinese dissidents, mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa…. [Its advisory board] includes representatives from expat Russian and Tibetan refugee communities, reporters, a former US intelligence analyst and cryptographers.” (Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007).
Wikileaks formulated its mandate on its website as follows: “[Wikileaks will be] an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations,” CBC News – Website wants to take whistleblowing online, January 11, 2007, emphasis added).
This mandate was confirmed by Julian Assange in a June 2010 interview in The New Yorker:
“Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations. (quoted in WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 7, 2010, emphasis added)
Assange also intimated that “exposing secrets” “could potentially bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality—including the US administration.” (Ibid)
From the outset, Wikileaks’ geopolitical focus on “oppressive regimes” in Eurasia and the Middle East was “appealing” to America’s elites, i.e. it seemingly matched stated US foreign policy objectives. Moreover, the composition of the Wikileaks team (which included Chinese dissidents), not to mention the methodology of “exposing secrets” of foreign governments, were in tune with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering “regime change” and fostering “color revolutions” in different parts of the World.
The Role of the Corporate Media: The Central Role of the New York Times
Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The London Economist has also played an important role.
While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully “redacted” by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010)
This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks’ editor Julian Assange.
The important question is who controls and oversees the selection, distribution and editing of released documents to the broader public?
What US foreign policy objectives are being served through this redacting process?
Is Wikileaks part of an awakening of public opinion, of a battle against the lies and fabrications which appear daily in the print media and on network TV?
If so, how can this battle against media disinformation be waged with the participation and collaboration of the corporate architects of media disinformation?
Wikileaks has enlisted the architects of media disinformation to fight media disinformation: An incongruous and self-defeating procedure.
America’s corporate media and more specifically The New York Times are an integral part of the economic establishment, with links to Wall Street, the Washington think tanks and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Moreover, the US corporate media has developed a longstanding relationship to the US intelligence apparatus, going back to “Operation Mocking Bird”, an initiative of the CIA’s Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s.
Even before the Wikileaks project got off the ground, the mainstream media was implicated. A role was defined and agreed upon for the corporate media not only in the release, but also in the selection and editing of the leaks.
In a bitter irony, the “professional media”, to use Julian Assange’s words in an interview with The Economist, have been partners in the Wikileaks project from the outset.Moreover, key journalists with links to the US foreign policy-national security intelligence establishment have worked closely with Wikileaks, in the distribution and dissemination of the leaked documents. I
n a bitter irony, Wikileaks partner The New York Times, which has consistently promoted media disinformation is now being accused of conspiracy. For what? For revealing the truth? Or for manipulating the truth? In the words of Senator Joseph L. Lieberman:
“I certainly believe that WikiLleaks has violated the Espionage Act, but then what about the news organizations — including The Times — that accepted it and distributed it?” Mr. Lieberman said, adding: “To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, and whether they have committed a crime, I think that bears a very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department.”
(WikiLeaks Prosecution Studied by Justice Department – NYTimes.com, December 7, 2010)
This “redacting” role of The New York Times is candidly acknowledged by David E Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent of the NYT:
“We went through [the cables] so carefully to try to redact material that we thought could be damaging to individuals or undercut ongoing operations. And we even took the very unusual step of showing the 100 cables or so that we were writing from to the U.S. government and asking them if they had additional redactions to suggest.”
(See PBS Interview; The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks documents by the Corporate Media, PBS interview on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross: December 8, 2010, emphasis added).
Yet Sanger also says later in the interview: “It is the responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest issues of the day and to do it independently of the government.” (ibid) “Do it independently of the government” while at the same time “asking them [the US government] if they had additional redactions to suggest”?
David E. Sanger cannot be described as a model independent journalist. He is member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Aspen Institute’s Strategy Group which regroups the likes of Madeleine K. Albright, Condoleeza Rice, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former CIA head John Deutch, the president of the World Bank, Robert. B. Zoellick and Philip Zelikow, former executive director of the 9/11 Commission, among other prominent establishment figures.
(See also F. William Engdahl, Wikileaks: A Big Dangerous US Government Con Job, Global Research, December 10, 2010). It is worth noting that several American journalists, members of the Council on Foreign Relations have interviewed Wikileaks, including Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel (November 30, 2010) and The New Yorker’s Raffi Khatchadurian.
(WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 11, 2007) Historically, The New York Times has served the interests of the Rockefeller family in the context of a longstanding relationship.
The current New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, son of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and grandson of Arthur Hays Sulzberger who served as a Trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation.
Ethan Bronner, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times as well as Thomas Friedman among others are also members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
(Membership Roster – Council on Foreign Relations)
In turn, the Rockefellers have an important stake as shareholders of several US corporate media.
The Embassy and State Department Cables It should come as no surprise that David E. Sanger and his colleagues at the NYT centered their attention on a highly “selective” dissemination of the Wikileaks cables, focussing on areas which would support US foreign policy interests:
Iran’s nuclear program, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s support of Al Qaeda, China’s relations with North Korea, etc.
These releases were then used as source material in NYT articles and commentary.
The Embassy and State Department cables released by Wikileaks were redacted and filtered.
They were used for propaganda purposes. They do not constitute a complete and continuous set of memoranda. From a selected list of cables, the leaks are being used to justify a foreign policy agenda.
A case in point is Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, which is the object of numerous State Department memos, as well as Saudi Arabia’s support of Islamic terrorism.
Iran’s Nuclear Program The leaked cables are used to feed the disinformation campaign concerning Iran’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. While the leaked cables are heralded as “evidence” that Iran constitutes a threat, the lies and fabrications of the corporate media concerning Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program are not mentioned, nor is there any mention of them in the leaked cables.
The leaks, once they are funnelled into the corporate news chain, edited and redacted by the New York Times, indelibly serve the broader interests of US foreign policy, including US-NATO-Israel war preparations directed against Iran.
With regard to “leaked intelligence” and the coverage of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, David E. Sanger has played a crucial role. In November 2005, The New York Times published a report co-authored by David E. Sanger and William J. Broad entitled “Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims”.
The article refers to mysterious documents on a stolen Iranian laptop computer which included “a series of drawings of a missile re-entry vehicle” which allegedly could accommodate an Iranian produced nuclear weapon:
“In mid-July, senior American intelligence officials called the leaders of the international atomic inspection agency to the top of a skyscraper overlooking the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer. The Americans flashed on a screen and spread over a conference table selections from more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments, saying they showed a long effort to design a nuclear warhead, according to a half-dozen European and American participants in the meeting. The documents, the Americans acknowledged from the start, do not prove that Iran has an atomic bomb. They presented them as the strongest evidence yet that, despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is peaceful, the country is trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its Shahab missile, which can reach Israel and other countries in the Middle East.”(William J. Broad and David E. Sanger Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims – New York Times, November 13, 2005, emphasis added) These “secret documents” were subsequently submitted by the US State Department to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, with a view to demonstrating that Iran was developing a nuclear weapons program. They were also used as a pretext to enforce the economic sanctions regime directed against Iran, adopted by the UN Security Council. While their authenticity has been questioned, a recent article by investigative reporter Gareth Porter confirms unequivocally that the mysterious laptop documents are fake. (See Gareth Porter, Exclusive Report: Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent, Global Research, November 18, 2010). The drawings contained in the documents leaked by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger do not pertain to the Shahab missile but to an obsolete North Korean missile system which was decommissioned by Iran in the mid-1990s. The drawings presented by US State Department officials pertained to the “Wrong Missile Warhead”: In July 2005, … Robert Joseph, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, made a formal presentation on the purported Iranian nuclear weapons program documents to the agency’s leading officials in Vienna. Joseph flashed excerpts from the documents on the screen, giving special attention to the series of technical drawings or “schematics” showing 18 different ways of fitting an unidentified payload into the re-entry vehicle or “warhead” of Iran’s medium-range ballistic missile, the Shahab-3. When IAEA analysts were allowed to study the documents, however, they discovered that those schematics were based on a re-entry vehicle that the analysts knew had already been abandoned by the Iranian military in favor of a new, improved design. The warhead shown in the schematics had the familiar “dunce cap” shape of the original North Korean No Dong missile, which Iran had acquired in the mid-1990s. … The laptop documents had depicted the wrong re-entry vehicle being redesigned. … (Gareth Porter, op cit, emphasis added) David E, Sanger, who worked diligently with Wikileaks under the banner of truth and transparency was also instrumental in the New York Times “leak” of what Gareth Porter describes as fake intelligence. (Ibid) While this issue of fake intelligence received virtually no media coverage, it invalidates outright Washington’s assertions regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons. It also questions the legitimacy of the UN Security Council Sancions regime directed against Iran. Moreover, in a bitter irony, the selective redacting of the Wikileaks embassy cables by the NYT has usefully served not only to dismiss the central issue of fake intelligence but also to reinforce, through media disinformation, Washington’s claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. A case in point is a November 2010 article co-authored by David E. Sanger, which quotes the Wikileaks cables as a source: “Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a [Wikileaks] cable dated Feb. 24 of this year…. (WikiLeaks Archive — Iran Armed by North Korea – NYTimes.com, November 28, 2010). These missiles are said to have the “capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or easily reach Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.” (Ibid, emphasis added). Wikileaks, Iran and the Arab World The released wikileaks cables have also being used to create divisions between Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States on the other: “After WikiLeaks claimed that certain Arab states are concerned about Iran’s nuclear program and have urged the U.S. to take [military] action to contain Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took advantage of the issue and said that the released cables showed U.S. concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program are shared by the international community.” Tehran Times : WikiLeaks promoting Iranophobia, December 5, 2010) The Western media has jumped on this opportunity and has quoted the State Department memoranda released by Wikleaks with a view to upholding Iran as a threat to global security as well as fostering divisions between Iran and the Arab world. “The Global War on Terrorism” The leaks quoted by the Western media reveal the support of the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to several Islamic terrorist organizations, a fact which is known and amply documented. What the reports fail to mention, however, which is crucial in an understanding of the “Global War on Terrorism”, is that US intelligence historically has channelled its support to terrorist organizations via Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, Montreal, 2005). These are US sponsored covert intelligence operations using Saudi and Pakistani intelligence as intermediaries. In this regard, the use of the Wikleaks documents by the media tends to sustain the illusion that the CIA has nothing to do with the terror network and that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are “providing the lion’s share of funding” to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, among others, when in fact this financing is undertaken in liaison and consultation with their US intelligence counterparts: “The information came to light in the latest round of documents released Sunday by Wikileaks. In their communiques to the State Department, U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states describe a situation in which wealthy private donors, often openly, lavishly support the same groups against whom Saudi Arabia claims to be fighting.” ( Wikileaks: Saudis, Gulf States Big Funders of Terror Groups – Defense/Middle East – Israel News – Israel National News) Similarly, with regard to Pakistan: The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations, make it clear that underneath public reassurances lie deep clashes [between the U.S. and Pakistan] over strategic goals on issues like Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerance of Al Qaeda,…” (Wary Dance With Pakistan in Nuclear World, The New York Times December 1, 2010) Reports of this nature serve to provide legitimacy to US drone attacks against alleged terrorist targets inside Pakistan. The corporate media’s use and interpretation of the Wikileaks cables serves to uphold two related myths: 1) Iran has nuclear weapons program and constitutes a threat to global security. 2) Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are state sponsors of Al Qaeda. They are financing Islamic terrorist organizations which are intent upon attacking the US and its NATO allies. The CIA and the Corporate Media The CIA’s relationship to the US media is amply documented. The New York Times continues to entertain a close relationship not only with US intelligence, but also with the Pentagon and more recently with the Department of Homeland Security. “Operation Mocking Bird” was an initiative of the CIA’s Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s. Its objective was to exert influence on both the US as well as the foreign media. From the 1950s, members of the US media were routinely enlisted by the CIA. The inner workings of the CIA’s relationship to the US media are described in Carl Bernstein’s 1977 article in Rolling Stone entitled The CIA and the Media: “[M]ore than 400 American journalists who [had] secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. [1950-1977]Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. … Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners,… Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work….; Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune. (The CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein) Bernstein suggests, in this regard, that “the CIA’s use of the American news media has been much more extensive than Agency officials have acknowledged publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress” (Ibid). In recent years, the CIA’s relationship to the media has become increasingly complex and sophisticated. We are dealing with a mammoth propaganda network involving a number of agencies of government. Media disinformation has become institutionalized. The lies and fabrications have become increasingly blatant when compared to the 1970s. The US media has become the mouthpiece of US foreign policy. Disinformation is routinely “planted” by CIA operatives in the newsroom of major dailies, magazines and TV channels: “A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the scoops, that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources, where the parameters of debate are set and the “official reality” is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain.”(Chaim Kupferberg, The Propaganda Preparation of 9/11, Global Research, September 19, 2002). Since 2001, the US media has assumed a new role in sustaining the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) and camouflaging US sponsored war crimes. In the wake of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld created the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or “Office of Disinformation” as it was labeled by its critics: “The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries — as an effort to influence public opinion across the world.'” (Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002, see also Michel Chossudovsky, War Propaganda, Global Research, January 3, 2003). Today’s corporate media is an instrument of war propaganda, which begs the question: why would the NYT all of a sudden promote transparency and truth in media, by assisting Wikileaks in “spreading the word”; and that people around the World would not pause for one moment and question the basis of this incongruous relationship. On the surface, nothing proves that Wikileaks is a CIA covert operation. However, given the corporate media’s cohesive and structured relationship to US intelligence, not to mention the links of individual journalists to the military-national security establishment, the issue of a CIA sponsored PsyOp must necessarily be addressed. Wikileaks Social and Corporate Entourage Wikileaks and The Economist have also entered into what seems to be a contradictory relationship. Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange was granted in 2008 The Economist’s New Media Award. The Economist has a close relationship to Britain’s financial elites. It is an establishment news outlet, which has, on balance, supported Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war. The Economist’s Editor-in-Chief, John Micklethwait was a participant in the June 2010 Bilderberg conference. The Economist also bears the stamp of the Rothschild family. Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild was chairman of The Economist from 1972 to 1989. His wife Lynn Forester de Rothschild currently sits on The Economist’s board. The Rothschild family also has a sizeable shareholder interest in The Economist. Former Editor of The Economist (1974-86), Andrew Stephen Bower Knight is currently Chairman of the J. Rothschild Capital Management Fund. He is also reported to have been member of the Steering Group (1986) of the Bilderberg. The broader question is why would Julian Assange receive the support from Britain’s foremost establishment news outfit which has consistently been involved in media disinformation? Are we not dealing with a case of “manufactured dissent”, whereby the process of supporting and rewarding Wikileaks for its endeavors, becomes a means of controlling and manipulating the Wikileaks project, while at the same time embedding it into the mainstream media. It is also worth mentioning another important link. Julian Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), a major London elite law firm, happens to be the legal adviser to the Rothschild Waddesdon Trust. While this in itself does prove anything, it should nonetheless be examined in the broader context of Wikileaks’ social and corporate entourage: the NYT, the CFR, The Economist, Time Magazine, Forbes, Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), etc. Manufacturing Dissent Wikileaks has the essential features of a process of “manufactured dissent”. It seeks to expose government lies. It has released important information on US war crimes. But once the project becomes embedded in the mould of mainstream journalism, it is used as an instrument of media disinformation: “It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent. To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition… To be effective, however, the process of “manufacturing dissent” must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement ” (See Michel Chossudovsky, “Manufacturing Dissent”: the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, September 2010) What this examination of the Wikileaks project also suggests is that the mechanics of New World Order propaganda, particularly with regard to its military agenda, has become increasingly sophisticated. It no longer relies on the outright suppression of the facts regarding US-NATO war crimes. Nor does it require that the reputation of government officials at the highest levels, including the Secretary of State, be protected. New World Order politicians are in a sense “disposable”. They can be replaced. What must be protected and sustained are the interests of the economic elites, which control the political apparatus from behind the scenes. In the case of Wikileaks, the facts are contained in a data bank; many of those facts, particularly those pertaining to foreign governments serve US foreign policy interests. Other facts tend, on the other hand to discredit the US administration. With regard to financial information, the release of data pertaining to a particular bank instigated via Wikileaks by a rival financial institution, could potentially be used to trigger the collapse or bankrutpcy of the targeted financial institution. All the Wiki-facts are selectively redacted, they are then “analyzed” and interpreted by a media which serves the economic elites. While the numerous pieces of information contained in the Wikileaks data bank are accessible, the broader public will not normally take the trouble to consult and scan through the Wikileaks data bank. The public will read the redacted selections and interpretations presented in major news outlets. A partial and biased picture is presented. The redacted version is accepted by public opinion because it is based on what is heralded as a “reliable source”, when in fact what is presented in the pages of major newspapers and on network TV is a carefully crafted and convoluted distortion of the truth. Limited forms of critical debate and “transparency” are tolerated while also enforcing broad public acceptance of the basic premises of US foreign policy, including its “Global War on Terrorism”. With regard to a large segment of the US antiwar movement, this strategy seems to have succeeded: “We are against war but we support the ‘war on terrorism'”. What this means is that truth in media can only be reached by dismantling the propaganda apparatus, –i.e. breaking the legitimacy of the corporate media which sustains the broad interests of the economic elites as well America’s global military design. In turn, we must ensure that the campaign against Wikileaks in the U.S., using the 1917 Espionage Act, will not be utilized as a means to wage a campaign to control the internet. In this regard, we should also stand firm in preventing the prosecution of Julian Assange in the US. Note: Minor changes were added to this article on December 14 and 26, 2010
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Posted by Marivel Guzman on February 12, 2012
By Barbara Lubin
I am writing this letter to you late at night and I am asking you to help me. Over the years I have asked for you to step up and reach out to the people here in Palestine because to be honest with you are the only people I know who have responded over and over again throughout the years. This is an emergency and people’s lives are depending on all of us to help.
Sometimes I feel like I have seen it all and there is nothing left to surprise me in life and then there are days like TODAY.
I woke up early because ever since I arrived in Gaza I have been going to bed very early – sometimes as early as 6:00 P.M. This is because on our way here Dr. Mona El-Farra and I were in a horrible automobile accident somewhere between Cairo and Gaza. We were very lucky, just very bad bruises, much luckier than those in the other little mini car that crashed head on at a very fast speed into our car. All of them were taken away to the hospital bloody and screaming. I will never get over the images of the mother, father, grandmother and 3 children laying on the ground waiting to be taken to the hospital. So I have been going to bed early trying to recover from this and then getting up very early and spending the days going to visit MECA’s projects here in the Gaza Strip.
This morning there was a lot of noise outside Dr. Mona’s apartment building so I got out of bed to see what was happening. Dr. Mona lives on the 10th floor in an apartment building in Gaza City facing the beach. About a block down the road there was a group of very old homes on the beach where 61 families have lived since 1948. Some of them have lived there since the early days of the first intifada when Sharon [Ariel Sharon, an Israeli government minister during the first intifada] came to Gaza and demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes to make the roads wide enough for the Israeli tanks to enter the cities. These wide roads were called Sharon Highways. Imagine the shock of the Palestinians to see their own elected government behaving the same way as the Israelis did. They and their sons and daughters are fishermen and fisherwomen. I had met the families a few days ago when one of the daughters, Ibtisam, came to see Dr. Mona. Dr. Mona El-Farra is the person you go to in Gaza if you have a problem or need help. She knows everyone. Ibtisam was very upset and she asked Dr. Mona and me to come and speak with her father. So we walked down the street to where the she lived and went into her house where I met the whole family. The problem was that the government (not the Israeli Government, the government in Gaza) was demanding that all 61 families move out of their homes in 3 days but the families refused saying that they had lived next to the sea in their homes for 63 years. But they were willing to discuss this as long as the government found housing for all of them near to the sea.
This morning without any more discussion about 100 male and female police officers came to tell the families that they had 1 hour to get all their belongings out of their homes because they were going to demolish the houses. Dr. Mona and I ran down to the homes and pushed our way through the police and the onlookers and found our friend and her family. Everyone begged me to take pictures but the police made it clear that they would take away anyone’s camera if they caught them taking photos.
I did get some pictures without being seen [the photos are too large to send via internet from Gaza but we will post them when Barbara returns to the US] and I called Dennis Bernstein at KPFA and talked to him which was pretty difficult because the police kept coming over and threatening Mona and me and all the men, women and children around us and shoving us with their bully clubs. People were screaming and crying. Everyone was going into their homes and carrying out whatever they could. An old man probably around my age (70) just sat in front of his candy store staring out in disbelief.
Mona and I stayed as long as we could unable to stop what was going on, begging the government stormtroopers to stop this nightmare and let us help with some kind of negotiation to deal with the situation, at least to figure out where the families were going to stay. But no all they did was push all of us around and give the peoples a few more minutes to get what they could out of their homes and then they started to threaten Mona and me with arrest and jail. As Mona and I ran from the scene I turned around only to see the enormous earth movers start leveling the homes and I became sick because all I could think about was beautiful, heroic Rachel [Corrie]’s last moments.
As soon as we got to Mona’s apartment we opened the window in her living room on the 10th floor and watched the government of Gaza carry out it’s dastardly acts. I want to tell you that ever since I arrived in Gaza it has been cold and windy with rain storms like I have never seen. There are times during the day and night when you can’t see 6 inches in front of you and the fact that there is only electricity in Gaza for 8 hours a day on and off makes if almost impossible live. This is the first time in 5 days that I have been able to use internet.
It is late, Mona and I are exhausted. We have just come home from the Mosque (one of about 15 enormous mosques that have recently been built, some right on the beach near the fishermen’s homes) where the families are sitting women and children in one room and men in another. Some of the men have built a huge bonfire outside and are sitting and standing in front of it trying to stay warm. There is only one tall building left and it is about to fall. At about 3:00A.M. Mona, Talal, Mohammed and I [Talal works with MECA's partner Afaq Jadeeda Association and Mohammed is a MECA volunteer] jump into cars and drive all around Gaza waking up merchants and getting them to come down to their stores and open them so we can buy 65 warm blankets and pillows for the people. And hundreds of dollars of food to tide them over tonight.
When we arrived with the trucks loaded with these supplies everyone came running to us, crying and thanking us. It is not easy finding merchants who will take VISA here in the Gaza Strip. I have been to the bank window taking as much money as I possibly can from my own account. This is where you come in. You must help me. We need to feed these families and help them get lodging today and we can’t do it on our own. We called the Red Cross and they said they would try to get here today. Well that’s not good enough. Please call them yourself and demand that they come and help right now and please, please make as large a contribution as you can to help me buy the necessary things to keep people here going. To feed the families and help them find shelter.
I am too tired to go on. I must sleep but knowing what the men, women and children in the Mosque face tomorrow and in the future will give me the strength I need to help them tomorrow but I can’t do it without your financial help. I know you are thinking that you just gave donations to MECA at the end of the year but that money went to our projects. Now you must call everyone that you know and ask them to help because this project will save lives. We can’t stand by without doing everything we can to help. We must show these Palestinian mothers, fathers and children that we as Americans can do more than provide f16 fighters, apache helicopters, tanks and all the other weapons that we have given to Israel that have been used to kill and injure them.
Good Night, Barbara
According to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) website, “ the Middle East Children’s Alliance is the fiscal sponsor for ISM-USA.” Donations for ISM’s campaign to “interfere with the construction of the annexation barrier” can be made to “MECA (ISM-USA Fund).”
MECA organizes delegations to “Palestine/Israel” where participants can “witness the impact of the Israeli occupation and…learn about refugees, land confiscation, political prisoners…” Trip highlights include learning “about the origins of the Palestinian refugees and the Right of Return, and how it can be implemented” (emphasis added).
MECA founder and Executive Director Barbara Lubin wrote “I think that the Jewish State is racist to the core.” Lupin refers to the 1948 “ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population” and wrote that “[t]he concept of ‘Jewish morality’ is truly dead. We can be fascists, terrorists, and Nazis just like everybody else.”
In an interview, MECA Director of Gaza Projects, Dr. Mona El-Farra, explained that MECA refused USAID funding because it came with the condition that they promise “not [to] give any help or any aid whatsoever for the families of the militiamen, or their relatives, or anyone related to ‘terrorist attacks’” because “we consider it resistance” (emphasis added).
MECA raised funds for British MP George Galloway’s “Viva Palestine” convoy “following the massacre in Gaza.”
Partners include pro-Palestinian groups such as Addameer, Badil, the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Bat Shalom, and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP). Also partners with the Lajee Center, which refers to the “Israeli regime of Apartheid, colonization, and belligerent occupation.”
The situation in Gaza is devastating for all its residents, the Israeli Illegal Siege has taken the industry to almost a complete halt, the farmers unable to export their products have two options, to feed them to the animals or to stop cultivating. The fishing industry after all the assaults in the fishermen and the 3 mile limit has paralyzed the fishing industry in Gaza. The Hospitals are running on generators which are not sufficient to satisfy the energy needs of the medical equipment, the whole Gaza Strip is immersed in desperation and need for food and products. And in top of all the necessity that the people live due to the blockade and the Occupation itself, Hamas has not stopped it harassment against the citizens.
There are many accounts of abuses from the security forces of Hamas against journalists and regular citizens that dare to hold a camera, illegal detentions, incarceration, and confiscation of laptops and cameras, and cell phones are common complain.
Since last January that the Gaza Youth Broke the Silence and they published the Gaza Broke the Youth Manifest, Hamas has stepped the assault in journalist, students and ordinary citizens that all they ask is to end the Israel Occupation and the Internal Divisions
Gaza, Palestine(Akashma Web Blogs) Gaza is under attack, Israel have stepped up her attacks in the Besieged Gaza Strip and even under such circumstances the Youth of Gaza leading “The Initiative Call Home” staged a protest in the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City before they were ordered to evacuated the Plaza. The protest led by Young Palestinians to end the internal divisions is a sign that the Revolution that started in Tunisia and Egypt has sparked the light in Palestine. There is not to say that they did not want to brake the old rule, but with the air of Revolution and the global support is a good moment to engage the world in their calls for Freedom.
The protest was broken up by security agencies of the Government by force, today they organized a sit-in group where Young People peacefully gathered to demand an end to the internal divisions, in the Square of the unknown soldier in Gaza City, Palestine. Their demands have been growing stronger since last December when the Youth of Gaza Broke Out, a movement started growing support around the world, when they declare in their Famous “Gaza Youth’s Manifesto For Change” made public by blogger, Opinion Maker Online Newspaper and many others News Outlets around the world.
Such Manifesto was not welcome for factions inside Palestine and for many activists around the world, they saw in this Youth Manifesto more divisions, but in reality was a desperate call for a change. Free Gaza Today
Omar Karem a photojournalist in Gaza and co-founder of Akashma Web Blogs have seen the rage of the security forces of Hamas in many occasions while covering the events in Gaza, the public sit ins demonstrating against the division, in the protests to support Egypt, in the March 15 but in On March 18, 2011 he was violently assaulted on the street in Center of Gaza, and forced to accompanied some security men for ‘questioning!’, but he was not take to the police department office, but to some rooms around the Unknown Soldier Square, ” before the incident occurred he witnessed how some other security officers also approached two foreign women and took their cameras. When he was in those small rooms, he saw how two other women were there probably arrested. He made a public denounce to Mr Hammad head of Security in the Interior Minister of Gaza, he was being treated as criminal and not as a Palestinians that is fighting against the same aggressor Israel. And again on February 01, 2012 after the demonstrations on Beit Hanoun he was arrested, his laptop, camera, and phone confiscated, his home searched and given an order to appear again for interrogation at Hamas Security Headquarters of Monday February 6 2012.
The internal division and the paranoia is taking its toll, Hamas sees enemies in every person that walks in Gaza, not realizing that elections sooner of later will take place and they can not stage a victory, they need to win Palestinians to their side, unifying the people that has been divided for so many years of internal conflict.
Israeli occupation forces broke up the peaceful March on Tuesday with live bullets. Israeli occupation forces opened fire towards a peaceful march was headed for the buffer zone north of Beit Hanoun, accompanied International Peace Activists . March gained access to about 50 meters near the Beit Hanoun “Erez”, adding that “the fire heavily towards the march led us to turn it off and return for fear of casualties, and, fearing for the lives of the people. Palestine News
Please come with no banners, no flags, no colors, security forces please do not give bad image to the world. Do not copy the practices of Israel, we are tired of repression and oppression. Support us, in the new Palestine Nation that we all try to build. Tomorrow is a new day, to rectify the errors, to take lessons of the past. Inshallah Omar Karem, Gaza, March 15 2011 Palestine One Nation
He is being accused by the Security Forces of Hamas of being Israel collaborator, CIA operative, FATAH member, Egypt Spy all absurd and nonsense charges that he denies categorically, for Hamas the idea of a Gazawan to externalize his opinions as a Citizens of the besieged Gaza or as a journalist telling the world the crimes that Israel commits everyday is censored as if this was a crime against the state.
The way I see Hamas now throwing punches to the wind in its effort to curtail the opposition ideas to a system that is not working. Hamas has lose sight of what it is important. Israel was and still the enemy of the people, the people of Gaza are not enemies of the state, they all fighting for a common enemy, and all the Gaza society has to be united to be able to defeat so strong enemy, and Hamas as the government elected by the people of Gaza has to show restrain in its security extremes or lose the sympathy of the citizens that put them in the chair.
Many Arab/Muslim activists reject our movement & consider us as some Zionist machinery because in the manifesto, we’ve been denouncing Hamas – among others. It’s always amazing to see the shortcuts people’s minds can take and how good they are at condemning without even trying to understand. We’d like to remind all our goal: yes we are frustrated and tired of being oppressed, killed, humiliated and kept from even leaving to study in other countries, yes we denounce political parties governing us because they didn’t help in anything, but we denounce ALL of them, not ONLY Hamas. Abu Yasan Gybo
No crime go unpunished, no deeds go unrewarded, if Hamas saw its victory in Gaza was because its support for its people, they need to stop the the harassment and see that the times are changing and they need to be the leaders to their people and not their oppressors.
It turned out that our crime is that we’ve been very active in the March 15 protests that called for unity between Fatah and Hamas. We were interrogated separately, but had the same reaction when we felt that they deal with this movement as a crime and actually going after its members now. We tried to explain that we didn’t go against anyone and what we called for was in our cause’s interest which is the only thing that matters to us! What we did understand from their questions is that we’ve “as in March 15 members” been meeting with politicians (both Palestinian and foreign), implementing their agendas as getting funded by them and asking them for visas. Also sitting with Israelis “which means we’re spies” and they’re holding all kinds of evidences against us! Gazanism
It takes courage to speak the truth in a place such Gaza, that even with close to two million souls crumble down in a tiny strip of land, the news goes faster that Israel Bullets and the arrests of activists are to the order of the day. But with all the oppression and repression and Israel Occupation Gazawans don’t give up their hopes for a better Gaza, a New Gaza Palestine where diversity will be found only in the cultures and the International Peace Activists that have shared their struggles and not in the party lines that seems to divide the people.
Now all the lies are exposed, the internal fights need to settled, the youth of Gaza is forcing the old leaders to rethink their role, to lead Palestine as a Nation and come as one voice. They created a big platform where all the dissidents voices can be heard and the obsolete policies and old practices be clean away.