Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hazy Shade of Winter, Part 4

In this post, we will examine some of the terrorist tactics against Israel and the propaganda campaign those tactics drive. You may wish to review previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, but it is not really necessary to understand this post.

In response to a link on Facebook, there was posted a link to a site called If Americans Knew, the goal of which is "to provide full and accurate information" about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which the site describes as "one of the world's major sources of instability."

A cursory glance through the site shows so much distortion that it is difficult to know where to begin.

I shall begin with "the children", because liberals so often justify by saying they are being committed for "the children".

The website offers this graphic on the front page, along with a link to supporting information:


What they don't tell you is that it is deliberate policy of Palestinian-based terrorist groups to maximize suffering on behalf of innocent Palestinians in order to have data to support a propaganda campaign against Israel.

For example, an excerpt from statements made by PA Workers' Union Official Bassam Zakarneh indicates that Hamas leaders hid in tunnels and deliberately launched rockets from a position with a great many children and elderly (video clip/transcript):

After the [UN discussion of the Goldstone Report] was postponed, voices criticized us: "Because of you, the blood of 1,400 martyrs was spilt in vain." This was heard especially from the mouthpieces of the Hamas movement, from the same leaders who used these martyrs as sandbags, while they hid in tunnels. They would place a missile, cover it with a tent, amid buildings with 200 children and old people, and they would launch the missile and hide.

This tactic presents Israeli forces with a dilemma: do nothing, and innocent Israelis die, or suppress the rocket fire, and innocent Arabs die. Either way, the terrorists calling the shots are hidden in a safe place; either way, the terrorists either kill Israelis or they get something they can use as propaganda, knowing that their useful dupes in the West will spread the statistics without looking further into the matter.

And, this is not an isolated incident. From A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery, January 10, 2009 (see original for links which I did not reproduce):

Hamas, with training from Iran and Hezbollah, has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership's war room is a bunker beneath Gaza's largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say.

[snip]

Interviews last week with senior Israeli intelligence and military officers, both active and retired, as well as with military experts and residents of Gaza itself, made it clear that the battle, waged among civilians and between enemies who had long prepared for this fight, is now a slow, nasty business of asymmetrical urban warfare. Gaza's civilians, who cannot flee because the borders are closed, are "the meat in the sandwich," as one United Nations worker said, requesting anonymity.

Needless to say, the Israelis will get the blame for not allowing the civilians to leave. But, the real problem is that Gazans live under the domination of a terrorist thugocracy; unless and until they overthrow their terrorist government, Gazans will continue to be the meat in the sandwich.

Israeli officials confirm that they are trying to protect their troops; however, within the bounds of that, they try to minimize civilian casualties among Gazans, but this is difficult, since the terrorists use Gazan civilians as human sheilds.

Skipping down in the article:

But the most important strategic decision the Israelis have made so far, according to senior military officers and analysts, is to approach their incursion as a war, not a police operation.

Civilians are warned by leaflets, loudspeakers and telephone calls to evacuate battle areas. But troops are instructed to protect themselves first and civilians second.

[snip]

Today, he said, "the mind-set from top to bottom is fight and fight cruel; this is a war, not another pinpoint operation."

Israeli officials say that they are obeying the rules of war and trying hard not to hurt noncombatants but that Hamas is using civilians as human shields in the expectation that Israel will try to avoid killing them.

Israeli press officers call the tactics of Hamas cynical, illegal and inhumane; even Israel's critics agree that Hamas's regular use of rockets to fire at civilians in Israel, and its use of civilians as shields in Gaza, are also violations of the rules of war. Israeli military men and analysts say that its urban guerrilla tactics, including the widespread use of civilian structures and tunnels, are deliberate and come from the Iranian Army's tactical training and the lessons of the 2006 war between Israel and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Violation of the Law of Armed Conflict is very deliberate policy on the part of Hamas terrorist leadership.


What else is left out of the story is that, in addition to using children and non-combatants as human shields to maximize casualties among the civilian population and thus have something for which to condemn Israel, the terrorists also train children beginning at a very early age for jihad against Israel; this, too, is a clear violation of the Law of Armed Conflict.


When they talk about "children", too many international sources refer to anyone under the age of 18. That is a trick the gun control crowd uses in the US: they decry gun deaths of children, not acknowledging that most of these are 16- and 17-year-olds killing each other in gang-related activity. Dig deeper; go to the little kids who are being raised to hate infidels and who are being taught to be suicide bombers throughout the Islamic world. Don't just take your information from one source; do your own research.


It is a question of the terrorist regimes that indoctrinate their people like this, and that kill those who oppose such extreme views, maintaining themselves in power by terrorizing their own people, so they can terrorize their neighbors in Israel.

There can be no peace with such a regime.

Israel is a democracy that is in a perpetual state of war or near-war, constantly having to defend itself or be ready to defend itself against neighbors who would rather die destroying Israel than have peace with a nation that they have claimed has no right to exist.

Depending on how you define "Arab", the Arabs have anywhere from a dozen to nearly two dozen countries in the world; Arabs in Palestine have had their own country, the Kingdom of Jordan, since before Israel existed. The Jewish people have only one country: Israel - and it is very small.

Yet, the regime that controls "Palestine" and claims to want self-determination in fact indoctrinates its people to seek death fighting Israel rather than to live in peace; these terrorists cynically maximize casualties among their own people for propaganda victories.

And, Westerners soak up terrorist propaganda and regurgitate it as if it were true.

There can be no peace with such people, other than the peace that is imposed after a military victory so decisive that the terrorist regimes dare not rise up while the generation is still alive that lived through the defeat.

Israeli military power and the sound, consistent defeat of aggressor nations that have attacked Israel is what brings some semblance of peace to a region that is involved in wars that often have nothing to do with Israel (Iraq/Kuwait, Egypt/Yemen, Libya/Chad, Iran/Iraq).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Truths Denied, Part 1

None of this information is new. It has all been put out previously by other sources, and I do not know or recall how I came across it, thus I do not know to whom I should give credit. I consolidate it here in this post for my benefit and for the benefit of my readers.



From Twin Towers Engineered To Withstand Jet Collision February 27, 1993:

Engineers had to consider every peril they could imagine when they designed the World Trade Center three decades ago because, at the time, the twin towers were of unprecedented size for structures made of steel and glass.

"We looked at every possible thing we could think of that could happen to the buildings, even to the extent of an airplane hitting the side," said John Skilling, head structural engineer. "However, back in those days people didn't think about terrorists very much."

Skilling, based in Seattle, is among the world's top structural engineers. He is responsible for much of Seattle's downtown skyline and for several of the world's tallest structures, including the Trade Center.

Concerned because of a case where an airplane hit the Empire State Building, Skilling's people did an analysis that showed the towers would withstand the impact of a Boeing 707.

"Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed," he said. "The building structure would still be there."

Skilling - a recognized expert in tall buildings - doesn't think a single 200-pound car bomb would topple or do major structural damage to a Trade Center tower. The supporting columns are closely spaced and even if several were disabled, the others would carry the load.

"However," he added, "I'm not saying that properly applied explosives - shaped explosives - of that magnitude could not do a tremendous amount of damage."

He took note of the fact that smoke and fire spread throughout the building yesterday. He said that is possibly because the pressurizing system that stops the spread of smoke didn't work when the electric power went off. Skilling, 72, was not involved in the design of the building mechanics.

Although Skilling is not an explosives expert, he says there are people who do know enough about building demolition to bring a structure like the Trade Center down.

"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it."



The following quotes are taken from oral interviews of emergency responders who were present at 9/11 in New York. The collection of transcipts of the oral interviews can be found at The Sept. 11 Records:

Battalion Chief Brian Dixon

File No. 9110166
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
BATTALION CHIEF BRIAN DIXON
Interview Date: October 25, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins

MR. CAMPBELL: Today's date is October 25th. The time is 12:41 p.m. This is Patrick Campbell, fire marshal of the Fire Department of the City of New York. I'm conducting an interview regarding the events of September 11th. I'm here with Battalion Chief Brian Dixon in his office. Also present is --

MR. STEPONAITIS: Fire Marshal Stephen Steponaitis, Fire Department.

MR. CAMPBELL: You can identify yourself too.

CHIEF DIXON: Battalion Chief Brian Dixon.

Q. Chief, we're conducting an interview, just like I said, regarding the events of September 11th. What we're looking for is from the time that you became aware of the incident up until any time during the day. We're looking for people you'd seen, just what you noticed around you. You can just go on on your own.

[snip]

A: . . . Ganci was just figuring out where they were putting people. I was watching the fire, watching the people jump and hearing a noise and looking up and seeing -- it actually looked -- the lowest floor of fire in the south tower actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because the whole bottom I could see -- I could see two sides of it and the other side -- it just looked like that floor blew out.

I looked up and you could actually see everything blew out on the one floor. I thought, geez, this looks like an explosion up there, it blew out. Then I guess in some sense of time we looked at it and realized, no, actually it just collapsed. That's what blew out the windows, not that there was an explosion there but that windows blew out.

Firefighter Christopher Fenyo

File No. 9110295
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER CHRISTOPHER FENYO
Interview Date: December 11, 2001
Transcribed by Nancy Francis

BATTALION CHIEF KENAHAN: Today's date is December 11, 2001. The time is 12:31. This is Battalion Chief Dennis Kenahan of the Safety Battalion of the Fire Department of the City of New York. I'm conducting an interview with Christopher Fenyo of Engine 35 in the quarters of Engine 35.

Q. Chris, just tell us what you saw on September 11th.

A. This is Firefighter 6th Grade Christopher Fenyo. . . .

[snip]

There was an explosion at the top of the Trade Center and a piece of Trade Center flew across the West Side Highway and hit the Financial Center, and Arthur went to hook up with another chauffeur to the Financial Center.

[snip]

About a couple minutes after George came back to me is when the south tower from our perspective exploded from about midway up the building.

[snip]

At that point a debate began to rage because the perception was that the building looked like it had been taken out with charges. We had really no concept of the damage on the east side of 2 World Trade Center at that point, and at that point many people had felt that possibly explosives had taken out 2 World Trade, and officers were gathering companies together and the officers were debating whether or not to go immediately back in or to see what was going to happen with 1 World Trade at that point. The debate ended pretty quickly because 1 World Trade came down.

Battalion Chief Dominick DeRubbio

File No. 9110064
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
BATTALION CHIEF DOMINICK DeRUBBIO
Interview Date: October 12, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins

MR. CUNDARI: The time is 10:15, and this is George Cundari with Murray Murad from the Fire Department of the City of New York. I'm conducting an interview with the following individual.

Q. Please state your name, rank, title and assigned command.

A. My name is Battalion Chief Dominick DeRubbio. I'm assigned to Division 8. I'm doing the 25R group in Battalion 21. That morning I was surplus, so I was assigned to the field comm. unit.

[snip]

A. . . . After a while we were looking up at the tower, and all of a sudden someone said it's starting to come down.

Q. This would be the north tower coming down?

A. This would be the first one.

Q. Or the south tower?

A. This one here. It was weird how it started to come down. It looked like it was a timed explosion, but I guess it was just the floors starting to pancake one on top of the other.

Paramedic Daniel Rivera

File No. 9110035
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
PARAMEDIC DANIEL RIVERA
Interview Date: October 10, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins

MS. BASTEDENBECK: Today is October 10th, 2001. The time is 1520 hours. My name is Chris Bastedenbeck. I work for the New York City Fire Department. I'm conducting an interview with the following individual.

Please state your name, your rank, your title, where you're assigned.

PARAMEDIC RIVERA: Daniel Rivera, paramedic. I'm assigned to Battalion 31, Station 36 in Brooklyn.

Q. I'd just like you to give me the events of September 11th, 2001.

[snip]

A. . . . Then that's when -- I kept on walking close to the south tower, and that's when that building collapsed.

[snip]

Q. How did you know that it was coming down?

A. That noise. It was a noise.

Q. What did you hear? What did you see?

A. It was a frigging noise. At first thought it was -- do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop"? That's exactly what -- because I thought it was that. When I heard that frigging noise, that's when I saw the building coming down.

Q. What did you do?

A. Run. . . .

[snip]

A. . . . Then the next thing you know, the next building collapsed. I was right in front of that building.

Q. So you were still over there when the second building collapsed?

A. Right, because I ran back. Not too bright of me, of course. I ran right back in, and I was right -- I could actually touch the building when it collapsed, the second time when it collapsed.

But again, I was prepared because I heard that same noise. It was like a waterfall noise. That's when I ran.

Firefighter Edward Cachia

File No. 9110251
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER EDWARD CACHIA
Interview Date: December 6, 2001
Transcribed by Laurie A. Collins

CHIEF KENAHAN: Today's date is December 6th, 2001. The time is 2 p.m. This is Battalion Chief Dennis Kenahan of the New York City Fire Department, Safety Division. I'm conducting an interview with Ed Cachia of Engine 53.

Q. Please state your recollections for September 11th.

[snip]

A. . . . As my officer and I were looking at the south tower, it just gave. It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit, because we originally had thought there was like an internal detonation explosives because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down.

With that everybody was just stunned for a second or two, looking at the tower coming down.

Chief Frank Cruthers

File No. 9110179
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
CHIEF FRANK CRUTHERS
Interview Date: October 31, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

MR. RIGNOLA: This is Salvatore Rignola. I'm here with my partner Fire Marshal Cliff Krug. Today's date is Wednesday, October 31, 2001. The time is approximately 9:50. I'm at 9 Metrotech, 7th floor, speaking to Chief Cruthers, who is the Citywide Tour Commander. Chief, I'm going to ask you some questions about the events that happened on September 11, the year 2001.

Q. Tell me when you initially received the alarm and how you responded and where you went.

[snip]

A. . . . There were some units there, along with a Battalion Chief and I gave them some instructions as to what to try to do. And while I was still in that immediate area, the south tower, 2 World Trade Center, there was what appeared to be at first an explosion. It appeared at the very top, simultaneously from all four sides, materials shot out horizontally. And then there seemed to be a momentary delay before you could see the beginning of the collapse.

Firefighter James Curran

File No. 9110412
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER JAMES CURRAN
Interview Date: December 30, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

BATTALION CHIEF MALKIN: December 30, 2001. The time is now 1233 hours. This is Battalion Chief Malkin of the Safety Battalion. I'm conducting an interview today with Firefighter sixth grade James Curran of Ladder Company 8. We are in the quarters of Ladder Company 8. There is nobody else in the room. This interview is in regards to the events of September 11, 2001. What follows is the interview with Fireman Curran.

Q. Take it away.

[snip]

A. . . . We started filing out and following the line of the building. I got just to underneath the north walkway. A guy started screaming to run. When I got underneath the north bridge I looked back and you heard it, I heard like every floor went chu-chu-chu. Looked back and from the pressure everything was getting blown out of the floors before it actually collapsed. . . .

Captain Karin Deshore

File No. 9110192
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
CAPTAIN KARIN DESHORE
Interview Date: November 7, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

INVESTIGATOR TAMBASCO: Today is November 7. I'm Mike Tambasco with the World Trade Center Task Force. We are doing an interview with Captain Karin Deshore of Battalion 46 into the events of September 11 at the World Trade Center. Interview time is beginning at 0549 a.m.

Q. Captain, would you be good enough to tell us your story?

[snip]

A. . . . I had no clue what was going on. I never turned around because a sound came from somewhere that I never heard before. Some people compared it with an airplane. It was the worst sound of a rolling sound, not a thunder. I can't explain it, what it was. All I know is -- and a force started to come hit me in my back. I can't explain it. You had to be there. All I know is I had to run because I thought there was an explosion.

I ran about 10, 12 feet up this little grassy hill and by then this force and this sound caught up with me already. I threw myself behind the last support column of the pedestrian overpass. It became pitch dark. The sound got worse, the force just kept passing me. At times I thought it was like an orange light maybe, coming past me.

I was unaware what was happening. I thought it was just a major explosion. I didn't know the building was collapsing. I was sitting with my left side towards the support beam, total darkness, total noise. I felt beyond alone. I felt desolated. I felt like, all I could say was people think about their families and whatever. All I kept saying to myself within me I don't want to die, I don't want to die, I don't want to die.

I can't tell you how long it was before it died down. I just felt like the darkness the loneliness and being alone was the worst thing I ever experienced in my life and not being able to breathe. There was no air. Whatever this explosion was simply sucked all the oxygen out of the air. You couldn't breathe and the feeling of suffocation, I can't explain no further on that.

[snip]

Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it was initially an orange and then a red flash came out of the building and then it would just go all around the building on both sides as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building.

I went inside and I told everybody that the other building or there was an explosion occurring up there and I said I think we have another major explosion. I don't know if we are all going to be safe here. I told them I can't force you, but I don't know if we are going to be safe here. I'm going to try to get as far away from this building as possible. Unbeknown to me, a half a block down was the water.

[snip]

So here these explosions are getting bigger and louder and bigger and louder and I told everybody if this building totally explodes, still unaware that the other building had collapsed, I'm going in the water. I said I can swim. . . .

Again, I didn't see what was happening behind me, but knowing of all the explosions I thought here was another explosion coming and this sound again and this wave of this force again. I just jumped on the boat, closed the door with my left hand and just sank down to my knees. Here whatever it was just came right at us again.

Firefighter Kenneth Rogers

File No. 9110290
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER KENNETH ROGERS
Interview Date: December 10, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

BATTALION CHIEF KENAHAN: December 10, 2001. The time is 10:48 a.m. This is Battalion Chief Dennis Kenahan of the Safety Battalion of the New York City Fire Department. I'm conducting an interview with Kenny Rogers, Firefighter first from Ladder 16 in the quarters of Ladder 16.

Q. All right Kenny, please give me any information you have regarding the events of September 11.

[snip]

A. . . . Meanwhile we were standing there with about five companies and we were just waiting for our assignment and then there was an explosion in the south tower, which according to this map, this exposure just blew out in flames. A lot of guys left at that point. I kept watching. Floor after floor after floor. One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing. I was there in '93.

Firefighter Richard Banaciski

File No. 9110253
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
FIREFIGHTER RICHARD BANACISKI
Interview Date: December 6, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

BATTALION CHIEF KENAHAN: December 6, 2001. The time is 3:30 p.m. This is Battalion Chief Kenahan of the Safety Battalion of the Fire Department of the City of New York. I'm conducting an interview with Rich Banaciski of Ladder 22.

Q. Please tell us the events of September 11 as you recall them?

[snip]

A. . . . We were there I don't know, maybe 10, 15 minutes and then I just remember there was just an explosion. It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions.

Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory

File No. 9110008
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER STEPHEN GREGORY
Interview Date: October 3, 2001
Transcribed by Nancy Francis

MR. McALLISTER: This is Kevin McAllister from the Bureau of Administration. It's October 3rd, 2001, 1540 hours. I'm with Jim Drury from the Bureau of Investigations and Trials and with Commissioner Stephen Gregory of the Bureau of Communications. We're in Commissioner Gregory's office and we are now commencing the interview.

COMMISSIONER GREGORY: On Tuesday, September 11th, I was sitting in my office, it was just shortly before 9:00 o'clock, having a cup of coffee, and I heard on the scanner in my office on the PD SOD frequency police units frantically screaming about a plane that had just crashed into the World Trade Center. . .

[snip]

A. . . . I know I was with an officer from Ladder 146, a Lieutenant Evangelista, who ultimately called me up a couple of days later just to find out how I was. We both for whatever reason -- again, I don't know how valid this is with everything that was going on at that particular point in time, but for some reason I thought that when I looked in the direction of the Trade Center before it came down, before No. 2 came down, that I saw low-level flashes. In my conversation with Lieutenant Evangelista, never mentioning this to him, he questioned me and asked me if I saw low-level flashes in front of the building, and I agreed with him because I thought -- at that time I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the building collapsing, things exploding, but I saw a flash flash flash and then it looked like the building came down.

Q. Was that on the lower level of the building or up where the fire was?

A. No, the lower level of the building. You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw. And I didn't broach the topic to him, but he asked me. He said I don't know if I'm crazy, but I just wanted to ask you because you were standing right next to me. He said did you see anything by the building? And I said what do you mean by see anything? He said did you see any flashes? I said, yes, well, I thought it was just me. He said no, I saw them, too.

I don't know if that means anything. I mean, I equate it to the building coming down and pushing things down, it could have been electrical explosions, it could have been whatever. But it's just strange that two people sort of say the same thing and neither one of us talked to each other about it. I mean, I don't know this guy from a hole in the wall. I was just standing next to him. I never met the man before in my life. He knew who I was I guess by my name on my coat and he called me up, you know, how are you doing? How's everything? And, oh, by the way did you... It was just a little strange.

Q. On the television pictures it appeared as well, before the first collapse, that there was an explosion up on the upper floors.

A. I know about the explosion on the upper floors. This was like eye level. I didn't have to go like this. Because I was looking this way. I'm not going to say it was on the first floor or the second floor, but somewhere in that area I saw to me what appeared to be flashes. I don't know how far down this was already. I mean, we had heard the noise but, you know, I don't know.

Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick

File No. 9110001
WORLD TRADE CENTER TASK FORCE INTERVIEW
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER THOMAS FITZPATRICK
Interview Date: October 1, 2001
Transcribed by Elisabeth F. Nason

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: We can begin by stating your name and your rank.

MR. FITZPATRICK: Tom Fitzpatrick, Deputy Commissioner for Administration, assigned to the Commissioners office.

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER DRURY: Just for the record, its Monday, October 1, 2:40 p.m., conference room 8N6 at headquarters.

MR. FITZPATRICK: On the morning of the event I was in my office and I was alerted by Commissioner Feehan and one of the secretaries outside that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I looked out the window, saw a slice in the side of the north tower, and then Bill came down the hall and said let's go. So we responded from headquarters.

[snip]

A. . . . We looked up at the building straight up, we were that close. All we saw was a puff of smoke coming from about 2 thirds of the way up. Some people thought it was an explosion. I don't think I remember that. I remember seeing, it looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building. I assume now that that was either windows starting to collapse like tinsel or something. Then the building started to come down. My initial reaction was that this was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV.

Finally, from Letter to Thomas Kean from Sibel Edmonds August 5, 2004 (see also here):

In October 2001, approximately one month after the September 11 attack, an agent from a [city name omitted] field office, re-sent a certain document to the FBI Washington Field Office, so that it could be re-translated. This special agent, in light of the [September 11] terrorist attacks, rightfully believed that, considering his target of investigation (the suspect under surveillance), and the issues involved, the original translation might have missed certain information that could prove to be valuable in the investigation of terrorist activities. After this document was received by the FBI Washington Field Office and re-translated verbatim, the field agent's hunch appeared to be correct. The new translation revealed certain information regarding blueprints, pictures, and building material for skyscrapers being sent overseas. It also revealed certain illegal activities in obtaining visas from certain embassies in the Middle East, through network contacts and bribery. However, after the re-translation was completed and the new significant information was revealed, the unit supervisor in charge of certain Middle Eastern languages, Mike Feghali, decided not to send the re-translated information to the special agent who had requested it. Instead, this supervisor decided to send this agent a note stating that the translation was reviewed and that the original translation was accurate. This supervisor stated that sending the accurate translation would hurt the original translator and would cause problems for the FBI language department.

We have statements from the people who engineered and supervised the construction of the Twin Towers that one airplane crashing into one of the towers would be insufficient to bring it down; yet, we are told this happened twice in one day, and a third building that wasn't even hit came down as well.

Next, we have eyewitness statements from emergency responders, some with significant experience and rank, that the collapse of the Twin Towers looked like a controlled implosion.

Finally, we have a report from a credible witness that US intelligence services were aware that key information regarding US skyscrapers, including blueprints, had been sent overseas prior to 9/11.

This combination of information suggests the terrorist plot on 9/11 was far more intricate and well-planned than we have been led to believe.

If Osama bin Laden just wanted a terrorist attack, hijacking the planes and crashing them would have been more than adequate. Islamic terrorists had been working on similar plots for several years prior to 9/11.

If Osama bin Laden wanted to destroy the Twin Towers, a scheme to steal technical information on them and then plant explosives would have been adequate. They would not need to place just the right amount of explosives in just the right places to minimize collateral damage, as is done with a conventional implosion; instead, the emphasis would have been on making sure the building came down, and maximizing collateral damage - overkill would be good, and that's what we saw.

Why do both?

And, why was the 9/11 attack not listed as one of the crimes Sheikh bin Laden was wanted for?



It is difficult to imagine pulling off either aspect of this operation without some kind of inside help. However, with the kind of money Osama bin Laden had funding his terrorist operations, it would not be difficult to buy some help - especially if the people whose help he was buying did not know what exactly they were helping to do or who their boss was.

The dynamic that allowed this operation to go off successfully, and which prevented an adequate investigation of it, is alive and well. A very similar dynamic was in place yielding similar results for the OKBOMB incident, and a dynamic not unlike this one is in place now with the scandal involving ATF agents being directed to allow firearms to cross the border into the hands of Mexican drug cartels these past few years.

In this series, we will look at some of the information surrounding 9/11, but with frequent references to other situations and events.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Comment on Defensible Borders and "Occupied" Land

Tammy Bruce posted a link to a note on Facebook that linked back to this: The Topography of Defensible Israeli Borders.

Here was my extensive comment to her note:

The article brings up good points that are routinely neglected in the typical media discourse. Here are some of the points the article brings up, plus a few.

"Palestine" also refers to the territory of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; the PLO and others want to "liberate" this, too.

The territory of Israel is considered "occupied" by the "Palestinian" leadership. The "Palestinian" leadership has never backed off from the idea that they need to "liberate" the entire region, killing or driving into the sea every single Jew there.

"Palestinian" Arabs are latecomers to the area; the Jews had the Holy Land as a homeland even after Rome changed the province's name. It was when Arabs attacked in the seventh century, waging Islamic jihad, that many Jews finally left. The Muslim Arabs built nothing, and very few stayed. As late the end of the nineteenth century, there was essentially nothing and no one there; that is why the international community agreed to establish the Jewish homeland there - they didn't have to move anybody.

Even today, most of Samaria and Judea are empty, except for a few cities.

And so on...

The Arabs keep getting clobbered every time they attack. Allah is letting them down. They know that the only chance they have is to negotiate Israel back to the 1967 "borders", and then attack from there. If they can do this, they will be able to launch their attack from the high ground overlooking the densely populated coastal plain that is the core of Israel. Arab artillery will be able to shell the whole region, Arab forces will descend to attack, and the hills of Judea and Samaria will block Israeli radar to attacking Arab military aircraft.

Israel should keep all the land the IDF has taken in repelling the Arab attacks, for security reasons, but also as a price the Arabs pay for their continued aggression. Egypt, in signing a peace treaty with Israel (which I think is now very much in jeopardy) deserved to have the Sinai returned. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan also has good relations with Israel, now, but Jordan occupied the West Bank as a result of the War of Independence. It is not really Jordanian territory; it should belong to Israel, if we are to keep with the Balfour Declaration.

Still, Israel does not want to do this. But, it is important that Israel maintain a presence in the Golan Heights and along the Jordan River. In the Golan Heights, the Syrians would currently have to ascend to attack, and the fight would be in mostly deserted land. Should Israel give up the Golan Heights, the Syrians would be able to descend to attack, shelling into populated Israeli territory. This is kind of parallel to the situation in Samaria and Judea. Currently, Israel has forces along the Jordan River. They could fight a delaying action, withdrawing up into the hills, as Israeli forces mobilized and marshalled for the defense and counterattack. Furthermore, with Israeli radars and surface-to-air missiles in the hills of the "West Bank", Israel is far less vulnerable to surprise Arab air attack coming through the airspace of Jordan. Give this up to the people who have repeatedly sworn to kill them, and the Israelis will be in real jeopardy.

The Arabs enthusiastically collaborated with the Nazis in the extermination of the Jews during World War II, and have frequently announced their desire to destroy Israel as a nation, driving its people into the sea. It is written in Islamic holy texts that Jews must be exterminated; the Muslim Arabs consider it their duty to Allah to destroy Israel and kill all Israelis. They frequently announce this intention in the media in Arabic, intended for domestic consumption; they are a little less obvious with what they say to the international community in English.

Until the Arabs change their rhetoric, both in Arabic and in English, and until they demonstrate a commitment to doing things peacefully, there can be no peace in the region. Beyond Israel, the Arabs repeatedly fight among themselves; Egypt invaded Yemen, Iraq invaded Kuwait, Jordan got tired of PLO agitation and drove the PLO out - during this latter fight, the PLO was crossing the Jordan River to surrender to Israelis so they wouldn't be murdered at the hands of their fellow Palestinian Arabs of Jordan. The problem is not Israel; it is the Arab regimes in the region.

In my opinion, Israel should never give up Judea and Samaria; it is acceptable that they allow the Palestinian Arabs in the few population centers there to rule themselves, but the uninhabited expanses of the West Bank were intended by the Balfour Declaration to belong to Israel, and Israel had to take them in self defense against one of many Arab attacks. Israel should keep Samaria and Judea regardless of any settlement.

Thanks for keeping this issue on the front burner, Tammy. Obama's recipe of withdrawal to the 1967 "borders", which echoes a proposal by Saudi Arabia, is a recipe for what the Arabs want most - an Israel vulnerable to a new war of annihilation.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Take A Long Holiday, Part 2

I hope you are familiar with Part 1 and with other things I have written at this blog, because this topic is headed in your direction.


To establish some background, we begin with a passage from Cocaine, kidnapping and the al-Qaeda cash squeeze, from March 6, 2010:

The three al-Qaeda agents assured the Colombians that they would have no problem moving their shipment of European-bound cocaine through the Islamist badlands of the Sahara.

As supporters of the terrorist organisation's North African branch, they would guarantee shipment of the drugs through territory they controlled - so long as they were paid fee of $2,000 per kilo.

The trio, all from the impoverished desert nation of Mali, thought they were setting up a deal with representatives of Colombia's Marxist FARC guerrillas to smuggle up to 1,000 kgs of cocaine.

In fact, they were speaking to informants for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who secretly taped the meeting in Ghana in a sting operation in December.

[snip]

Every business needs cash flow, and Islamic terror is no exception. Across the world, al-Qaeda is turning to drug smuggling and sharply stepping up kidnapping and extortion to plug the gap in its finances caused by a fierce international crackdown on its original sources of cash. The trend raises the prospect of new floods of illegal drugs entering the West, and a sharply increased risk to Western tourists and businesspeople as they travel outside Europe.

When the terror group first began its activities more than a decade ago, it did not need to resort to criminal activities of a kind which might offend the strict Koranic principles proclaimed by its founder, Osama bin Laden. Deep-pocketed donors, in countries like Saudi Arabia, and Islamic charities throughout the Middle East channelled the cash needed to bankroll bin Laden's drive to create an Islamic caliphate across the region.

There has been a nexus between terrorism and organized crime for decades. These guys run in the same circles, and ever since the Cold War began to die down, terrorists began to look to drug trafficking as a source of money. Credible evidence suggests Al Qaeda and its predecessors were getting a significant amount of funding from trafficking Afghan heroin going all the way back to the 1980's jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden's group had previously been able to rely on wheeler-dealers like Abdul al Hamid al Mujil, known in jihadist circles as "the million dollar man" for his ability to solicit donations to the cause of holy war.

The 60-year-old Saudi was a regular visitor to Afghanistan during the 1990s and on friendly terms with bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, as he channelled funds from Arab states to al-Qaeda.

But in August 2006, al Mujil and the Philippine and Indonesian branches of the International Islamic Relief Organisation, which he headed, were designated by the US treasury as financiers of terrorism.

Western firms were prohibited from doing business with him, UN member states froze his assets and Saudi Arabia restricted the outflow of funds from the charity.

Deprived of his largesse, groups such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (the Arabic name for North Africa) are turning increasingly to international crime to provide their cash flow. And for bin Laden, that represents a dilemma.

At first he did not want al-Qaeda to dirty its hands with the drugs trade. But he apparently was won round by a combination of fiscal necessity and the argument, as often voiced on jihadist websites, that the drugs trade weakens Western "infidels" by feeding their sinful addictions.

Kidnapping of Western tourists to the Sahara has also become a lucrative money-spinner for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Its members also traffic everything from arms to cigarettes to people.

And, AQIM is connected to Nigeria's Boko Haram which, in turn, just got people back from training with Al Shabaab in Somalia, as mentioned in Unity and Faith, Part 4. There we also considered Iranian trafficking of arms and heroin through Nigeria. And, in Hazy Shade of Winter, Part 3, we considered evidence of and rationale for Shi'ite Iran's support of Sunni extremist groups.

If you think about it, it all kind of comes together.

We now consider excerpts from South American drug gangs funding al-Qaeda terrorists, December 29, 2010:

Islamic rebels familiar with the barren terrain of the Sahara have struck deals under which they provide armed security escorts for drug traffickers in return for a slice of their profits.

Counter-terrorism experts said that the terrorists belong to the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group, which has kidnapped a series of Westerners and killed a British tourist last year.

They warned that the money they receive from drugs gangs could be used to attract new recruits and plan terrorist attacks on European cities.

Olivier Guitta, a counter-terrorism and foreign affairs consultant, said that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Marxist rebel group, was the "force behind the agreement with AQIM".

In the past drugs were flown or shipped from South America straight to Spain or Portugal but the introduction of more rigorous controls in those countries led FARC to change its way of operating.

"Since the routes going through Europe became much more difficult to use, FARC saw an opportunity to use the Sahel and North Africa as its new drug route," said Mr Guitta.

"And since AQIM has a hold over the area and was already involved in major smuggling operations it made sense to offer them a deal.

"AQIM is an independent unit of al-Qaeda and does not share the monies with al-Qaeda central but is looking to pull off terror attacks on its own in Europe."

I have been warning about this for some time.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the legitimate government of President Gbagbo was overthrown, and French-backed strongman (and friend of Sarkozy) Ouattara was installed with French military force under UN auspices. In Libya, Gaddafi's regime is being destabilized, with the intent to overthrow it.

There are many factors in play. One of them is to open up a way for South American cocaine to enter Africa via Côte d'Ivoire; another is to open up Libya as a staging ground to move cocaine into Europe's soft underbelly, possibly to open up connections with long-established transnational criminal cartels based nearby in the Balkans and Turkey - important players and key connections in trafficking Afghan heroin.

These newly-opened routes will provide redundancy against interdiction, offering options against those routes currently in use to move cocaine from South America to Europe.


But, a major focus of this series is what is happening on this side of the Atlantic, so let's continue:

Terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in north Africa have made $130m (£84m) from helping drugs gangs and kidnap ransoms since 2007, according to one report citing an investigation by the Algerian government.

[snip]

Algeria's paramilitary police have reported dozens of clashes with AQIM rebels carrying Kalashnikovs and providing armed escorts for drug smugglers since 2008.

[snip]

Counter-terrorism officials in Europe and the United States fear that the Sahara is fast becoming a safe haven for the activities of Islamic terrorists, along the lines of Somalia and Yemen.

May I suggest you also review Standing There on Freedom's Shore, Part 1 and Standing There on Freedom's Shore, Part 2 for further background on what is happening in and around the Sahara/Sahel region?

But Mr Guitta said attempts by Europe, the US and some north African states such as Morocco to tackle the growing links between terrorism and drug trafficking are hampered by the attitudes of other governments.

"In South America, only Colombia really helps. In Africa, most other countries do not co-operate very much and a few allegedly actually profit from the drug trafficking," he said.

Once you've made the connection to Columbia and its fight against the FARC, connections to Venezuela's strongman Chavez jump out at you.


But, it doesn't end there.

Here is Mexican Groups Team Up With Islamic Terrorists, from July 16, 2008, in its entirety (see the original for a link which I did not reproduce):

The same Mexican drug cartels that violently smuggle their goods through the United States' porous southern border are buying arms from radical Islamic terrorists and teaming up with them to distribute narcotics in Europe and the Middle East.

An alarming U.S. government intelligence report reveals this dangerous relationship, lending credibility to what advocates of immigration enforcement—including a barrier along the southern border—have said for years: National security is at risk. The southern border is not utilized only by desperate, hard-working people in search of the American dream.

Published by the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), the report identifies terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestine Liberation Front and the Palestine Liberation Organization as Arab associates of Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. All are officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State.

The Islamic terrorist groups have trafficked large amounts of heroin and cocaine in Europe and the Middle East sold to them by Mexican drug cartels as well as similar enterprises in South America. In turn, the terrorist groups have established multi million-dollar contracts in order to sell weapons to Mexican drug traffickers that are commercialized by providers in Yemen, Kuwait and Syria.

The investigation was conducted by the three U.S. government agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), probing Islamic groups operating on the common border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. It revealed that these groups launder money, sell arms and traffic drugs of the same Mexican criminal organizations that operate within a stone's throw of the United States.

And this brings us full circle: Islamic terrorist groups are based and operating literally a stone's throw from the United States, receiving their funding from trafficking drugs in this hemisphere.


And the reason we can't have honest investigations of this is because the investigations would connect the terrorists to the drug traffickers, and the drug traffickers to corrupt officials in Washington. That's why there is no effective policy to control the flow of drugs and terrorists into the US along the border with Mexico: the drug traffickers are paying Washington officials for ineffective control of the border, so they can move their drugs to a very lucrative North American market.

The only good news is that now Europe is becoming the destination-of-choice for South American cocaine. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Take A Long Holiday, Part 1

I hope you're ready for this series, because you'll never guess where it leads! :)

First, please check out the photo essay Holy Heroin by Tanya Habjouqa, from July, 2007. Here's one photo, with its caption:


Next, we consider the beginning of East Jerusalem suffers heroin plague, July 6, 2011:

"I didn't think I would ever stop", Abu Salah tells the circle. "After 14 years of buying and selling, hashish, heroin and cocaine, I had lost control of my life. I had no job. I would never speak to my family."

His story, and the clinic we are sitting in, is an indication of how Palestine's drug problem is fast becoming a crisis. The towns in and around East Jerusalem have become breeding grounds for addiction, made vulnerable by poverty and a lack of security.

Unlike neighbouring Egypt and Lebanon, Palestine has no historic connection with the drugs trade. Its arrival has been sudden and spectacular, with heroin in particular spreading like wildfire. Al Quds University estimates there are over 6,000 addicts in East Jerusalem today, compared with 300 in 1986.

In the town of Al Ram, pressed up against Israel's Separation Barrier, degradation has set in. Once a lively suburb of Jerusalem, since 2006 it has been locked out by the Barrier, which surrounds it on three sides. The effect of this sudden disconnection from the city has been devastating.

One-third of all businesses have been forced to close, 75 per cent of youths under 24 are unemployed, and around half of the town's 62,000 residents have been denied the ID they require to enter Jerusalem.

Al Ram, like neighbouring Abu Dis and Al Ezzariya, has been left in limbo. It is now classified as a mixture of Area B and C, under the terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which stipulates Israeli security control with some Palestinian Authority administration. Palestinian police are forbidden from operating here without permission, so residents live with anarchy.

"There is no authority, no security and no police", says Dr Ajman Afghani of al Maqdese, a social development NGO. "It is easy to steal cars and rob houses, and it has become like a supermarket for drugs". Palestinian Authority Spokesman Ghassan Khatib acknowledges the problem; "these areas are suffering because we are not allowed to function, and is Israel is neglecting them as a policy."


It goes without saying that the drug problem is Israel's fault - at least according to Israel's detractors. For example, from The scourge of drugs in Jerusalem, dated January 3, 2011:

Conclusion

The city of Jerusalem is of special interest to Israeli politicians as they consider it to be the "undivided" capital of their state. As a result, they are seeking ways to end the Palestinian presence in the city and have plans to reduce the Arab population of East Jerusalem so that the Palestinians become a minority of not more than a quarter of the total population over the next ten years. Israeli policies to isolate the city from its Palestinian heritage and culture through closing institutions are part of this process, known as "Judaization" of the Holy City. Those who resist are seeing their homes demolished and themselves "deported" from their occupied city to the occupied West Bank.

It appears to be a clear policy that Israel uses the illegal trade in drugs as a weapon against the Arab presence in Jerusalem, ruining the health of young people and weakening their mental and moral strength. The drugs to which the Israeli police turn a blind eye are destroying young Palestinians on an intellectual, cultural and economic level as part of the process to destroying them completely. The problem is exacerbated by the decline in social and moral values, civil unrest and political tensions arising from the occupation. Rising unemployment and the widening circle of poverty play their part.

The failure of the Palestinian Authority and Arab politicians to take this seriously means that there is a serious lack of programmes in place to help Palestinians in Jerusalem to tackle the drug problem. International impotence in the face of the Israeli occupation does nothing to help this situation. It appears to have been forgotten that according to international law Jerusalem is still occupied territory and is thus supposed to be protected from geographic and demographic change at the hands of the occupying power, Israel. As long as the world ignores even that fundamental point, then it is unlikely that any significant progress is going to be made towards combating the evils of drugs in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

But, is there another side to the regional drug problem?

For background, we consider information presented to Congress twenty-one years ago. From The World's Largest Drug Field -- (by Dennis Eisenberg) (Extension of Remarks - July 27, 1990):

As the U.S. government cracks down on the Colombian drug traffic, Lebanon's lush Bekaa Valley has emerged as the largest 'killing field' on the globe. Already producing 80 percent of the world's cannabis, its farmers have now planted a record acreage of poppies to cope with the growing demand for the even more profitable heroin.

Hundreds of acres of fruit orchards, wheat fields, and vineyards of the Bekaa Valley -- known in Roman times as the breadbasket of the world -- have been uprooted to make way for the intensive cultivation of crops in eager demand by international drug dealers.

The Syrian government, which invaded the area to 'bring law and order,' is an active partner with local merchants and raked in an estimated $1 billion last year. This money was desperately needed, as the Syrians have to pay off their vast debts to the Soviet Union before Moscow will supply any more sophisticated missiles, fighter planes, and other weapons for President Hafez Assad's 800,000-strong army.

Syrian troops not only guard the poppy and cannabis fields to prevent theft and ensure that supplies are not sold to competing bidders, but they also intervene to settle disputes between rival terrorist gangs, who have their own drug estates and transportation networks to Scandinavia, France, Finland, Holland, Belgium, and West Germany. Yasser Arafat's PLO (known locally as the 'poppy lovers' organization') uses its links with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to rake in massive profits from sending drugs via Holland to its network of agents in Britain, West Germany, and Ireland for international distribution. Terror groups today spend far more time as merchants of death selling drugs than carrying out violent attacks for their cause.

European police first stumbled on this trade when Scotland Yard special units, in cooperation with the Dutch Narcotics Squad, unearthed a haul of 300,000,000 pounds' worth of top-grade 'Lebanese Gold' transported from Lebanon in two freighters chartered by the PLO. Earlier, and six-man PLO squad led by one of Arafat's chief aides, Ali Mahmoud Buro, was arrested at Heathrow Airport after customs men found a 150-kilogram cache of Bekaa Valley cannabis in their luggage.

Following up on these leads as well as information from Western intelligence services operating in the Middle East, Scotland Yard detectives recently cracked down on a vast IRA-PLO money-laundering operation. The IRA was using British banks and other financial organizations to purchase arms with their drug profits for terrorist operations in Ireland, Britain, Germany, and France.

An intelligence source told me: 'Most of the IRA and Arab terror group leaders spend far more time and energy today buying legal businesses under registered company names and stashing money away in their private banking accounts than fighting for 'freedom and liberation.'

The Palestine Liberation Organization - Yasser Arafat's crowd - was so into heroin trafficking that it was known as the "Poppy Lovers' Organization". Wow! And their ties went to the IRA - not any alliance against any kind of common enemy, just simple drug trafficking.

Experts say the drug trade is worth $6 billion a year to Lebanon. The street value in Western cities is a staggering $150 billion.

As no one in Lebanon even pretends to try to stop the growth of cannabis and poppies, three-quarters of the 4,280-square-kilometer Bekaa Valley is cultivated with these two crops. The Muslim farmers in the eastern and central valleys of the Bekaa, especially in the town of Manara, have concentrated on the easy-to-grow cannabis weed to provide Western marijuana and hashish users with their needs. Poppies, which are the source of opium before it is converted into heroin, require greater skill in care and extraction and until recently have been planted near the homes of local peasants.

Farmers have discovered, however, that heroin is a far more profitable crop. They have been helped by the Syrians, who supplied them with mobile laboratories transported in army trucks. As a result, peasants can plant poppies among cannabis fields even in the mountains of the Bekaa to increase their profits. Heroin from the Bekaa is considered to be superior even to the best quality Turkish-produced drug.

Of course, today the best heroin comes from Afghanistan. But two decades ago, Lebanon was the happening place.

Skipping down:

Although the civil war in Lebanon is theoretically one between various Christian and Muslim sects, there is close cooperation between all groups when it comes to the mind-boggling profits being made from the drug business. The local trades are mostly Christian Lebanese who buy entire harvests from one Muslim village after another. In return for 'protection' by Syrian soldiers in areas controlled by Damasus, they hand over half their profits to officers working under Kenaan.

I was told by an intelligence source: 'The entire Lebanon is really a country of 24 fiefdoms, each one ruled by its own Mafia chief whose wealth and power spring from the drug trade. The Lebanese civil war is really about who controls the best cannabis and poppy fields as well as ports from where to export the drug harvest. It also explains why the Syrian government refuses to withdraw from the Bekaa and has even strengthened its vast armies stationed there.

So, much of the unrest in the Middle East was, at least twenty-plus years ago, fighting over the trade in illegal drugs.

Do you suppose this is still a problem?

(And, by analogy, do you suppose this might be part of the reason why the war in Afghanistan has been going on so long?)

Yasser Arafat died a very rich man. According to a 60 Minutes report from November 7, 2003, entitled Arafat's Billions

(CBS) Yasser Arafat diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds to insure his political survival, but a lot more is unaccounted for.

Jim Prince and a team of American accountants - hired by Arafat's own finance ministry - are combing through Arafat's books. Given what they've already uncovered, Arafat may be rethinking the decision. Lesley Stahl reports.

------------------------


"What is Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority worth today?" asks accountant Jim Prince. "Who is controlling that money? Where is that money? How do we get it back?"

So far, Prince's team has determined that part of the Palestinian leader's wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion -- with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands.

Although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And, Prince says, none of these dealings were made public.

[snip]

Martin Indyk, a top adviser on the Middle East in the Clinton administration and now head of the Saban Center, a Washington think-tank, says Arafat was always traveling the world, looking for handouts. Money, he says, is "essential" to Arafat's survival.

"Arafat for years would cry poor, saying, 'I can't pay the salaries, we're gonna have a disaster here, the Palestinian economy is going to collapse,'" says Indyk. "And we would all mouth those words: 'The Palestinian economy is going to collapse if we don't do something about this.' But at the same time, he's accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars."

[snip]

According to Indyk, "The Israelis came to us and said, basically, 'Arafat's job is to clean up Gaza. It's going to be a difficult job. He needs walking-around money,' because the assumption was that he would use it to get control of all of these terrorists who'd been operating in these areas for decades."

Obviously, that hasn't happened. No one knows this better than Dennis Ross, who was Middle East negotiator for the first President Bush and President Clinton, and now heads the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He says Arafat's "walking-around money" financed a vast patronage system.

[snip]

All told, U.S. officials estimate Arafat's personal nest egg at between $1 billion and $3 billion.

[snip]

He also uses the money to bolster his own standing. Both Israeli and U.S. sources say those recent outpourings of support at Arafat's compound were "rent-a-rallies," and that Arafat has spent millions to support terrorists and purchase weapons.

At this point, you might wish to do an internet search and see how much money you gave to Yasser Arafat. For example, according to a February 2, 2006, report entitled U.S. Aid to the Palestinians, the total for US money to the Palestinian Authority from FY2002 to FY2006 was in the hundreds of millions of dollars; of course, half way through this time frame, Arafat died, but you get the idea.



And, the US wasn't the only country to give the PA money.


So, if you are reading this, chances are your government gave this drug-dealing terrorist some "walking-around money" on your behalf.

All this time, Arafat was also making money by trafficking drugs. And, much of this drug money, plus the money that your government so generously donated to the Palestinian Authority on your behalf, all went to make Yasser Arafat personally wealthy, and to fund his support of terrorists.

Meanwhile, the heroin addiction problem was growing, and the "Palestinians" were some significant victims of their own leadership's narcotrafficking. For example, in East Jerusalem, it went from 300 addicts in 1986 to 6000 today. Needless to say, the Palestinian leadership didn't spend a whole lot of money on taking care of the "Palestinians" who were getting addicted to the heroin that the Palestinian leadership was helping move; in fact, it has been since the Oslo Accords of 1993 which paved the way for the Palestinian Authority to take control of the "occupied" areas of the "West Bank" that the problem has really gotten bad.

And, Israel (and, by extension, America, for supporting Israel) gets the blame for it all.

But, this problem is hitting closer to home than you think. ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hazy Shade of Winter, Part 3

In Part 1 we looked at President Obama's call for Israel's withdrawal to the 1967 "borders" and began considering how suicidal that would be for Israel; in Part 2 we saw how a former Mossad chief, considered a "hawk", picked up the same refrain, contradicting Prime Minister Netanyahu's assertion that the 1967 borders would not work - this at a time when Israel should present a united front against the Obama Administration, whose pronouncements, if implemented, would literally lead to Israel's destruction.

We now pick up the story from a very different angle.

The "Arab Spring" is a name given to a wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, as Arab unrest leads to the overthrow of long-established regimes. Use of the term "Spring" implies that this should be counted on the plus side for the Arabs in those lands, and for humanity as a whole.

However, revolutionary fervor tends to get misdirected, misguided and hijacked; it doesn't take a senior analyst in the US intelligence or diplomatic community to recognize the possibility that things could quickly become worse than ever.

We begin with excerpts from Historic Relations Between Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, dated April 10, 2010, by Nabil Al-Bukairi. The first addresses how different factions of the Muslim Brotherhood view the situation with the Houthi rebels (a Shia insurgent group in Yemen):

The press releases of Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and Syria concerning the development of Houthi invasion to Saudi lands raised an exaggerated argument about the reality of the Iranian-Muslim brotherhood relation. The Egyptian release urged King Abdullah of Saudi to immediately stop the war against Houthi rebels calling him to increase his efforts to reach consolation between the two Yemeni fighting sides instead. Some have understood this stance as support for Houthi rebels in the war, and therefore support for Iran.

However, in contrast, the Syrian Muslim brotherhood laid the blame for the war on Houthi rebels who according to the release is a tool in the hands of regional parties who have an extension project in the region; indirectly referring to Iran.

These two contrary stances display the scale of differences between the different Muslim brotherhood sections and Tehran, and therefore reflect how mysterious is the Iranian-Muslim brotherhood relation.

In other words, the Egyption MB seemed to support the Houthi rebels as proxies of Iran. But, Syria seemed to support Riyadh. At first glance, this may seem surprising, since we normally consider Syria as having closer ties to Iran.

The lesson I draw from this is that, like anything else in the Middle East, alliances are not always what we might expect just by examining the surface. In that part of the world, there is factionalism that often seems to be the driving factor in events.

Skipping down:

Iran and Muslim Brotherhood Today

Since the fall of Baghdad, the Iranian-Muslim brothers relation have not been well. There are some of the Muslim brotherhood who doubt the Iranian policy towards regional and Arabian issues like the issues of Afghanistan and Iraq and afterward Lebanon and Yemen. It is true that Egyptian and Palestinian Muslim brotherhood have an intimate relationship with Iran; a result of Iran's support for the right struggle of Palestinian people against the Israeli invaders.

However, the case seems to be the opposite with Muslim brotherhood in Yemen, Lebanon, or in the gulf for example. In these countries, the Muslim brotherhood are angry at the Iranian intervention in the internal affairs of their countries like the case in Iraq, Lebanon, and finally in Yemen. Therefore, Muslim brothers are not pro-Iranian policy in their countries as some like to describe them.

Al-Bukairi concludes by assessing that Iran is acting in Iran's own interests, pure and simple, and advises caution to any Arab Sunni groups that may be considering an alliance. But, caution is also advised regarding Sunni/Shi'ite hostilities, which "only served the Israeli goals."


Apparently, in this Houthi/Yemen fight, each side accuses the other of being allied with unsavories. Yemen says the Houthis are backed by Iran; the Houthis say Yemen's government is affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


(Frankly, I suspect both accusations are true.)

According to The Muslim Brotherhood's Ideological Ties to Iran & its Islamic Revolution by Diana Gregor, from earlier this year (numbers in [brackets] are footnotes; see original):

Iran's revolution has served as a model for both Sunni and Shiite Islamist movements seeking power. Thomas Joscelyn from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies concluded that: "[...] ties between the Brotherhood and Iran predate 1979. Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, believed that Sunnis and Shiites should overcome their differences to face their common enemies. So, too, did Ayatollah Khomeini, who openly advocated an alliance between the two main branches of Islam." [8]

Iran has maintained informal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood for many years. Mehdi Khalaji, senior fellow at the Washington Institute, noted: "If Iran were to develop close relations with the Brotherhood, Iranian influence would grow considerably in the Arab world, giving Tehran a significant say among Arab radicals [...]." [9]

This last article footnoted, by Mehdi Khalaji, is interesting. From Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, February 12, 2009:

Ties between Iran and Sunni Extremists

Egypt has long been suspicious of the connection between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, based in large part on Iran's longstanding strong ties to Hamas -- an offshoot of the Brotherhood. The recent conflict in Gaza is likely to further arouse Cairo's suspicions. During the fighting, Iran was highly vocal in their support of Hamas, blasting the Egyptian government for its inaction. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal thanked Iran for its support of his organization, asserting that the "people of Gaza . . . have always appreciated the political and spiritual support of the Iranian leaders and nation." According to Iranian state television, Mashal reportedly said that "Iran has definitely played a big role in the victory of the people of Gaza and is a partner in that victory."

Iran has also forged stronger working relations with other Sunni extremists. According to the New York Times, Saudi authorities allege that the leader of "al-Qaeda in the Persian Gulf," Abdullah al-Qaraqi, lives and moves freely in Iran, along with more than a hundred Saudis working for him. The Treasury Department, in its recent enforcement action, announced that Saad bin Laden, son of Usama bin Laden, was arrested by Iranian authorities in early 2003 but that "[a]s of September 2008, it was possible that Saad bin Laden was no longer in Iranian custody." According to Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, Saad bin Laden is now most likely in Pakistan.

It seems Iran is trying to establish itself as the leader of the anti-Western jihad, and is cultivating necessary contacts to do so. While Arab governments have oppressed the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran has reached across the Sunni/Shi'ite aisle to lend a helping hand.

On February 26, 2011, Brian Fairchild began WikiLeaks Cables Reveal Muslim Brotherhood Ties to Iran with the following:

The Obama administration believes that the Muslim Brotherhood is an acceptable player in forming a new government in Egypt despite the fact that about a dozen very public quotes from the former and current leaders of the Brotherhood, which I provided in a Pajamas Media article last week, reveal the Brotherhood's Salafi-jihadi worldview and support for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

These quotes are readily available to anyone who wants to take the time to look for them, but the Obama team's acceptance of the Brotherhood is all the more mystifying due to the fact that the government's own classified State Department cables document that Iran, our arch-enemy in the region, has been clandestinely supporting it as a proxy in Egypt.

The link in the passage was in the original; it provides a whole list of quotes from the Muslim Brotherhood showing how the MB supports terrorism and is a threat to everything that should be important to the United States.

What else is of concern is that the Muslim Brotherhood is very organized and in a strong position to leverage unrest throughout the region into political power. From Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Lurks as a Long-Term Threat to Freedom by James Phillips, February 8, 2011, which begins:

Although Egypt's widely supported protest movement was reportedly instigated by secular opposition activists, the largest and most well-organized group within Egypt's diverse coalition of opposition groups remains the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement determined to transform Egypt into an Islamic state that is hostile to freedom.

In other words, the MB is going to pull an Iranian Revolution on us.

Skipping down to the end of the article:

Hijack Prevention

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood pursues a radical long-term Islamist agenda while masking its hostility to freedom and genuine democracy with self-serving tactical rhetorical moderation. The Obama Administration should patiently seek to advance freedom and stability in Egypt through a transition to a more representative government that gives the Muslim Brotherhood the smallest possible opportunity to hijack the reform process.

The worst possible outcome of the present crisis would be to open the door to a takeover by a totalitarian Islamist group hostile to the United States while working to replace President Mubarak's authoritarian regime.

This "worst possible outcome" is exactly what the Obama Administration seems to be engineering.

The Obama team has given the green light to French involvement in Côte d'Ivoire. Under the auspices of the UN, Sarkozy has installed his friend Ouattara as strongman of Côte d'Ivoire, deposing President Gbagbo, in violation of Ivoirian law and with a terrible toll of civilian casualties. Many of those civilians were killed by French air attacks, but many were also killed by Ouattara's supporters, who are mostly Muslims, and whose atrocities often take the form of religious attacks on Gbagbo's predominantly Christian supporters: jihad by any other name....

In Sudan, the Bashir regime is committing a preplanned genocide in Southern Kordofan. I have written about this in previous posts, especially in Land of the Blacks, Part 5, where I call attention to the fact that Bashir appointed his henchman Harun, also under ICC indictment for his activities in Darfur, as governor of Southern Kordofan two years ago. Obviously, Bashir saw an opportunity with Obama coming into office to rework the ethnic composition of the Nuba Mountains. From The Abandoned Army: War Returns to Sudan's Nuba Mountains (notice the different spelling of Harun; I adopt the spelling on the ICC indictment and arrest warrant):

Under the current regime, there have been extensive efforts to "Islamize" the Nuba, by force if necessary.

[snip]

The new governor, Ahmad Haroun, is a veteran of the largely Arab Murahileen mounted militias formed to raid Southern Sudanese tribes in the border regions during the 1980s. In the 1990s Haroun was involved in the brutal campaign to punish the Nuba of South Kordofan for supporting the SPLA, a reprisal campaign that did not differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim and left roughly 200,000 civilians dead. By 2003 Haroun was Minister of the State for the Interior and played a major part in organizing the Arab Janjaweed militia to attack non-Arab Muslim civilians suspected of supporting the Darfur insurgency. In respect to these activities, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Haroun on multiple charges of crimes against humanity in April 2007. In response, Khartoum appointed Haroun to head an investigation into human rights abuses in Darfur.

Wow!



And, Obama does nothing about this.

In Egypt, the Obama Administration supported ousting Mubarak, knowing the Muslim Brotherhood would be the best situated to replace him. In Libya, Obama used US forces to begin ousting Gadaffi Khadafy whatever, knowing Libyan rebels would have a healthy sprinkling of Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

And then Obama calls for Israel to suicidally return to the 1967 "borders", which are completely indefensible, and which would thus invite yet another Arab attack, akin to all the previous Arab attacks that were beaten back resulting in the lines of control that exist today in the West Bank and Golan Heights.

It seems quite clear to me that the Obama Administration's strategy is to promote, at every opportunity, the success of Islam's holy warriors throughout the region, giving preference to the worst of the bunch, who are allied to Tehran, where Iranian President Adminijihad whatever has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. The only thing keeping Obama from throwing Israel under the bus is a substantial pro-Israel lobby, which he needs to please America's Jewish voters to win re-election. (In 2008, he had roughly three quarters of America's Jewish vote.)

This "Arab Spring" is turning out to be a very cold "spring", full of murky maneuverings. In fact, to me, it looks more like a hazy shade of winter.

Conspiracy Theories

From a discussion on Facebook, I reproduce my extensive comment:

Sibel Edmonds has pretty much told us what is going on. For several years, she talked around a gag order, then she was ordered to do a deposition, and she named names. I have the links at my blog. The Sibel Edmonds Deposition
The first many minutes of the deposition are objections and so on, but then it gets interesting.

Sibel Edmonds was a low-level interpreter at the FBI's Washington, DC, Field Office; she speaks Turkish, among other important languages. She had applied to do work for the FBI, but only in the wake of 9/11 did they suddenly want to get caught up on their backlog of untranslated information.

In the information she translated, there was a great deal to clue us in that blueprints of US skyscrapers had been sent to the Middle East, and that Al Qaeda was going to crash airliners into US skyscrapers - not surprising, since Al Qaeda had been toying with the idea for a decade.

However, the information on this came in through channels that collect intelligence on narcotics and money-laundering operations, not on terrorism. The cartels that trafficked heroin through Turkey at the time, tied in to the Turkish Deep State, were connected to Al Qaeda, and that is how the information got passed; Al Qaeda, like other terrorist organizations since the end of the Cold War, funds its terrorist operations through organized crime, and trafficking Afghan heroin is a major aspect of this.

On the other end, though, the connections went to very important US officials, both elected and appointed, from both major parties, who were on the payroll of these Turkish organized crime groups.

Consequently, a serious investigation into 9/11 would have connected key Washington politicians to transnational organized crime and even to Al Qaeda itself. These officials derailed any attempts at such investigations by using State Secrets Privelege, telling the FBI that an investigation would hurt sensitive national security and foreign relations interests, when in fact the intervening officials were protecting their own criminal activity.

None of this is now secret; do an internet research, and you can confirm everything written here.

What I find interesting is her assertions that she saw papers that showed we knew Al Qaeda was going to attack with airplanes, and that she knew blueprints of skyscrapers had gone to the Middle East.
9/11 theories have it either 1) it was the Muslims, and stop being a conspiracy-theorist, the Musims are a threat, or 2) it was an inside job, and the Muslims were just the fall guys.

The truth is that Islam lends itself to terrorism, and, while there are good people who are Muslims, a disproportionate number of the world's terrorists are Muslims. They hate infidels, and they did attack us; the intelligence community was following the development of their plans to use aircraft to attack us for a decade prior to 9/11. Documents to support this were made available during the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, and I have copies.

But, the Twin Towers were designed to be able to withstand multiple airliner hits per tower; yet, two hits took down the Twin Towers and WTC-7.

Islamic terrorists did indeed attack, but the hijacking of the aircraft and their crashing into buildings was only part of the plan; it succeeded against all odds, and did far more damage than was even remotely possible.

It is my belief they laundered drug money through computers in the towers that were still running while the people who were supposed to be operating them were contemplating jumping out of windows to escape the fire. The buildings were imploded; I believe this was in part to destroy the computers and cover up the evidence of money-laundering.

To do this required some inside help, but, as we established from the Sibel Edmonds case, there is enough corruption in the US tied to friends of Al Qaeda for the help to be available.

I have more information, and more theories that fit the facts.

The Plame case is connected to the Edmonds case; both cases give us a glimpse of the same iceberg by looking at different parts of it that broke the surface of the water.

The Terrance Yeakey case is more remote, and at first does not appear to be connected, but I believe very similar dynamics are involved.

Investigative reporter and author Jayna Davis connected the OKBOMB to the Middle East, specifically to Iraq intelligence operatives.

In my opinion, a thorough investigation of the OKBOMB would have connected the Clinton Administration to narcotics traffickers. Instead, Clinton declared that it was only right-wing terrorists, covering up the Middle East connection, and used the attack for domestic political purposes; he then won re-election, just barely.

Terrance Yeakey was a sergeant with the OKPD, a first responder at the OKBOMB. He saw something very suspicious, and was brutally murdered for what he saw. The OKBOMB and the TiNRATs, Part 1.

Do your own research. My theories are my theories, but the facts can be readily confirmed, and I tried to clearly identify what were my theories and hypotheses, and what are verifiable facts.