Wednesday, November 29, 2006


November 29, 2006 -- Like father, like son. The Presidents Bush do not seem to appreciate White House receptions for newly-elected incoming Democrats who trounced Republicans for whom the incumbent Bushes campaigned.

The Hill newspaper is reporting that at a post-election White House reception welcoming newly-elected members of Congress, there was a nasty exchange between George W. Bush and Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb, who has a son serving with the Marines in Iraq.

In the reception line, Bush asked Webb how his son was doing in Iraq, Webb responded by saying he wanted to see his son come back home. Bush responded, "I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing." Webb said he was so angered by Bush's response he wanted to slug him.

Bush campaigned for Webb's defeated incumbent opponent, the neo-Confederate poltroon, George Allen.

In 1991, when the late Minnesota Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone met George H. W. Bush in a similar White House pro forma reception line for newly-elected legislators, Wellstone used the occasion to urge Bush on three different occasions to spend more time on issues like education and cautioning him against the Persian Gulf War. Of course, Bush was more concerned about fighting the war against Iraq (sound familiar?) and could care less about Wellstone's issues.

Wellstone and Webb both received the Bush White House reception line "treatment."

After Wellstone challenged the president at the White House reception, Poppy Bush was overheard saying, "Who is this chicken shit?"

Wellstone had defeated incumbent Republican Senator Rudy Boschwitz, a supporter of Bush 41's foreign and domestic policies. Boschwitz, like Allen, engaged in a dirty campaign against Wellstone. Boschwitz's campaign claimed that because Wellstone, who was Jewish, and his Southern Baptist wife Sheila raised their children as Christians, Wellstone was somehow "anti-Semitic." Boschwitz's religion card failed as miserably as Allen's racial one.

Boschwitz co-chaired George W. Bush's Minnesota campaign and was a top "Pioneer" fundraiser (to the tune of $388,000) for George W. Bush in 2000.


November 29, 2006 -- Boris Berezovsky's other friend. While much attention is being paid by the corporate media on Russian-Israeli criminal chieftain Boris Berezovsky (aka Platon Elenin) and his dubious involvement with the recently murdered former Russian FSB and KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, little attention is being paid to Berezovksy's other business partner -- Neil Bush, the brother of George W. Bush and Silverado Savings & Loan crook.


George W. Bush's visit to Riga was not the first by a Bush to the Latvian capital. Neil Bush met wanted Russian oligarch/gangster Boris Berezovsky in Riga in 2005.

Berezovsky is a major investor in Ignite! -- an educational software company. Berezovsky's co-investors include Barbara and George H. W. Bush -- Neil's parents -- Berezovsky's business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili, a former Georgian Communist Komsomol youth leader, chairman of the Georgian Olympic Committee, media mogul, and major investor in soccer clubs in Britain, Georgia, and Brazil; Kuwaiti financier Mohammed al Saddah; and Chinese computer tycoon Winston Wong. Patarkatsishvili is also wanted by Russian authorities but his Georgian citizenship and citizenship rights in Israel have prevented his extradition.

Suspiciously, other investors in Ignite! hail from one of the notorious homes of secret corporations -- the British Virgin Islands -- and the always questionable Dubai and Russian-Israeli Mafia-connected Ukraine. Because of Neil Bush's frequent trips to the Philippines and Taiwan to appear at events (between romps with Asian prostitutes) with Unification Church head Sun Myung Moon, there are rumors that Moon is also a silent partner in Ignite!

Boris Berezovsky's (right) other business partner -- Neil Bush (left).

Neil Bush has been a business partner of Berezovsky -- who is wanted for various crimes in Russia -- since at least 2003. Neil Bush and the wanted Russian fugitive met in September 2005 in Riga, Latvia (where Neil's brother met with NATO leaders recently and in a delusional state-of-mind yammered on about an "Al Qaeda" threat in Iraq and a booming economy (opium?) in Afghanistan. Neil was also seen in Berezovsky's private box at a British soccer match.


November 29, 2006 -- Guest Column:

The Highjacking of a Nation

Part 2: The Auctioning of Former Statesmen & Dime a Dozen Generals

By Sibel Edmonds

“The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”- - Justice Felix Frankfurter

It used to be the three branches - congress, the executive, and the courts - that we considered the make-up of our nation’s federal government. And some would point to the press as a possible fourth branch, due to the virtue of its influence in shaping our policies. Today, more and more people have come to view corporate and foreign lobby firms, with their preponderant clout and enormous power, as the official fourth branch of our nation’s government. Not only do I agree with them, I would even take it a step further and give it a higher status it certainly deserves.

Operating invisibly under the radar of media and public scrutiny, lobby groups and foreign agents have become the ‘epicenter’ of our government, where former statesmen and ‘dime a dozen generals’ cash in on their connections and peddle their enormous influence to the highest bidders turned clients. These groups’ activities shape our nation’s policies and determine the direction of the flow of its taxpayer driven wealth, while to them the interests of the majority are considered irrelevant, and the security of the nation is perceived as inconsequential.

In Part1 of this series I used Saudi influence via its lobby and foreign agents by default as a case to illustrate how certain foreign interests, combined with their U.S. agents and benefactors, override the interests and security of the entire nation. This illustrative model case involved three major elements: the purchasing of a few ‘dime a dozen generals,’ bidding high in the auctioning of ‘former statesmen,’ and buying one or two ex-congressmen turned lobbyists. In addition, the piece emphasized the importance of the “Military Industrial Complex (MIC),” which became a de facto ‘foreign agent’ by the universally recognized principle of ‘mutual benefit.’

This article will attempt to illustrate the functioning of the above model in the case of another country, the Republic of Turkey, and its set of agents and operators in the U.S. In doing so, I want to emphasize the importance of separating the populace of example nations - Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Pakistan… - from their regimes and select key participating actors. As is the case with our nation, they too suffer the consequences of their regime’s self-serving policies and conduct. Not only that, they also have to endure what they consider ‘U.S. imposed policies’ that further the interests of only a few. Think of it this way, the majority of us in the States do not see the infamous and powerful neocon cabal as the chosen and accepted representatives of our nation’s values and objectives. We do not want to be perceived and judged based on the actions of a few at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. The same is valid for these nations’ citizenry; so let not their corrupt and criminal regimes be the basis of our judgment of them.

Moreover, as we all know, those subject to criticism in these articles have mastered the art of spinning when it comes to the media and propaganda. The Israeli lobby is quick to stamp all factually backed criticism as ‘anti-Semitic’ and attack it as such. The Turkish lobby, in this regard, as with everything else, follows its Israeli mentors; they label all dissent and criticism as anti-Turkey, or, Kurdish or Armenian propaganda; while the Saudi lobby goes around kicking and screaming ‘anti-Muslim propaganda.’ I am not known to be ‘politically correct’ and am often criticized for it. I readily accept that and all responsibilities associated with it. I am not seeking a position as a diplomat, neither am I serving any business, organization, or media channel furthering a particular ideology. This is me, saying it as I see it; no more, no less. By the end of this series it should be obvious, at least for many, that the selection of the nations encompasses varied sides and affiliations. Moreover, the main purpose, and the target of these commentaries, goes to the heart of our own government and its epicenter; lobbyists and the MIC.

* * * *

Many Americans, due to the effective propaganda and spin machine of Turkey’s agents in the U.S., and relentless efforts by high-level officials and lobbying groups on Turkish networks’ payroll, do not know much about Turkey; its position and importance in the areas of terrorism, money laundering, illegal arms sales, industrial and military espionage, and the nuclear black-market. Not many people in the States would name Turkey among those nations that threaten global security, the fight against terrorism, nuclear proliferation, or the war on drugs. For the purpose of this article it is necessary to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of Turkey, its strategic location within global criminal networks, its various networks and entities operating behind seemingly legitimate fronts, and its connection to the military and political machine in the U.S.

For many Americans Turkey is one of the closest allies of the United States; a most important member of NATO; a candidate for EU membership; and the only Middle-Eastern close ally and partner of Israel. Some acknowledge Turkey’s highly prized status in the United States due to its location as the artery connecting Europe to Asia, its cross borders with Iran, Iraq and Syria to its East and South, with the Balkan states to its west, and with the Central Asian nations to its north and northeast. Others may recognize the country as one of the top U.S. customers for military technology and weapons.

Interestingly enough, these same qualities and characteristics which make Turkey an important ally and strategic partner for the nation states, make it extremely crucial and attractive to global criminal networks active in transferring illegal arms and nuclear technology to rogue states; in transporting Eastern Narcotics, mainly from Afghanistan through the Central Asian states into Turkey, where it is processed, and then through the Balkan states into Western Europe and the U.S.; and in laundering the proceeds of these illegal operations via its banks and those on the neighboring island of Cyprus.

The Real Lords of the Poppy Fields

It is a known fact that there often is a nexus between terrorism and organized crime. Terrorists use Narco-traficking and international crime to support their activities. Frequently, the same criminal gangs involved in narcotics smuggling have links to other criminal activities, such as illegal arms sales, and to terrorist groups. The Taliban's link to the drug trade is irrefutable. In 2001, a report by the U.N. Committee of Experts on Resolution 1333 for sanctions against the Taliban stated that “funds raised from the production and trade of opium and heroin are used by the Taliban to buy arms and war materials and to finance the training of terrorists and support the operation of extremists in neighboring countries and beyond.”

Afghanistan supplies almost 90% of the world's heroin, which is the country’s main cash crop, contributing over $3 billion a year in illegal revenues to the Afghan economy, which equals 50% of the gross national product. In 2004, according to the U.S. state department, 206,000 hectares were cultivated, a half a million acres, producing 4,000 tons of opium. “It is not only the largest heroin producer in the world, 206,000 hectares is the largest amount of heroin or of any drug that I think has ever been produced by any one country in any given year,” says Robert Charles, former assistant secretary of state for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, overseeing anti-drug operations in Afghanistan.

Heroin trafficking is also the main source of funding for the al-Qaeda terrorists. A Time Magazine article in August 2004 reported that al-Qaeda has established a smuggling network that is peddling Afghan heroin to buyers across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, and in turn is using the drug revenues to purchase weapons and explosives. The article states: “…al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies are increasingly financing operations with opium sales. Anti-drug officials in Afghanistan have no hard figures on how much al-Qaeda and the Taliban are earning from drugs, but conservative estimates run into tens of millions of dollars.” Anti-drug officials say the only way to cut off al-Qaeda's pipeline is to attack it at the source: by destroying the poppy farms themselves. This year, Afghanistan's opium harvest is expected to exceed 3,600 tons—enough to produce street heroin worth $36 billion.

Key congressional leaders have been pressing the Pentagon to crack down on the major drug traffickers in Afghanistan upon learning that Al Qaeda is relying more than ever on illicit proceeds from the heroin trade. Congressional investigators who returned from the region in 2004 found that traffickers are providing Osama bin Laden and other terrorists with heroin as funds from Saudi Arabia and other sources dry up. "We now know Al Qaeda's dominant source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics," said Rep. Kirk-IL, a member of the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, as reported by Washington Times. Rep. Kirk added that Bin Laden's Al Qaeda terror organization is reaping $28 million a year in illicit heroin sales.

It is puzzling to observe that in reporting this major artery of terrorists’ funding, the U.S. mainstream media and political machine do not dare to go beyond the poppy fields of Afghanistan and the fairly insignificant low level Afghan warlords overseeing the crops. Think about it; we are talking about nearly $40 billion worth of products in the final stage. Do you believe that those primitive Afghan warlords, clad in shalvars, sporting long ragged beards, and walking with long sticks handle transportation, lab processing, more transportation, distribution, and sophisticated laundering of the proceeds? If yes, then think again. This multi billion-dollar industry requires highly sophisticated networks and people. So, who are the real lords of Afghanistan’s poppy fields?

For Al Qaeda’s network Turkey is a haven for its sources of funding. Turkish networks, along with Russians’, are the main players in these fields; they purchase the opium from Afghanistan and transport it through several Turkic speaking Central Asian states into Turkey, where the raw opium is processed into popular byproducts; then the network transports the final product into Western European and American markets via their partner networks in Albania. The networks’ banking arrangements in Turkey, Cyprus and Dubai are used to launder and recycle the proceeds, and various Turkish companies in Turkey and Central Asia are used to make this possible and seem legitimate. The Al Qaeda network also uses Turkey to obtain and transfer arms to its Central Asian bases, including Chechnya.

Since the 1950s Turkey has played a key role in channeling into Europe and the U.S. heroin produced in the "Golden Triangle" comprised of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. These operations are run by mafia groups closely controlled by the MIT (Turkish Intelligence Agency) and the military. According to statistics compiled in 1998, Turkey’s heroin trafficking brought in $25 billion in 1995 and $37.5 billion in 1996. That amount makes up nearly a quarter of Turkey’s GDP. Only criminal networks working in close cooperation with the police and the army could possibly organize trafficking on such a scale. The Turkish government, MIT and the Turkish military, not only sanctions, but also actively participates in and oversees the narcotics activities and networks.

In July 1998, Le Monde Diplomatique reported that in an explosive document made public at a press conference in Istanbul, the MIT, Turkish Intelligence Agency, accused Turkey’s national police, of having “provided police identity cards and diplomatic passports to members of a group which, in the guise of anti-terrorist activities, traveled to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Azerbaijan to engage in drug trafficking”. MIT provided a list of names of some of the traffickers operating under the protection of the police. The Turkish police returned the compliment and handed over a list of named drug traffickers employed by the MIT!

In January 1997, Tom Sackville, minister of state at the British Home Office, stated that 80% of the heroin seized in Britain came from Turkey, and that his government was concerned by reports that members of the Turkish police, and even of the Turkish government, were involved in drug trafficking.

In an article published in Drug Link Magazine, Adrian Gatton cites the case of Huseyin Baybasin, the famous Turkish heroin kingpin now in jail in Holland. Baybasin explains: “I handled the drugs which came through the channel of the Turkish Consulate in England,” and he adds: “I was with the Mafia but I was carrying this out with the same Mafia group in which the rulers of Turkey were part.” The article also cites a witness statement given to a UK immigration case involving Baybasin’s clan, and states that Huseyin Baybasin had agreed to provide investigators with information about what he knew of the role of Turkish politicians and officials in the heroin trade. The article quotes Mark Galeotti, a former UK intelligence officer and expert on the Turkish mafia, “Since the 1970s, Turkey has accounted for between 75 and 90 per cent of all heroin in the UK. The key traffickers are Turks or criminals who operate along that route using Turkish contacts.” In 2001, Chris Harrison, a senior UK Customs officer in Manchester, told veteran crime reporter Martin Short that Customs could not get at the Turkish kingpins because they are “protected” at a high level.

In 1998, the highly official International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) of the U.S. State Department, revealed that “about 75% of the heroin seized in Europe is either produced in, or derives from, Turkey”, that “4 to 6 tons of heroin arrive from there every month, heading for Western Europe” and that “a number of laboratories for the purification of the opium used in transforming the basic morphine into heroin are located on Turkish soil". The report stresses that Turkey is one of the countries most affected by money-laundering, which takes place particularly via the countries of the ex-Soviet Union, such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, through the medium of casinos, the construction industry, and tourism. INCSR’s 2006 report cites Turkey as a major transshipment point and base of operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and other drugs.

We know that Al Qaeda and Taliban’s main source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics. Based on all the reports, facts, and expert statements, we know that Turkey is a major, if not the top, player in the transportation, processing, and distribution of all the narcotics derived from the Afghan poppies, and as a result, it is the major contributing country to Al Qaeda. Yet, to date, more than five years into our over exhaustive ‘war on terror propaganda’, have we heard any mentioning of, any tough message to, any sanction against, or any threat that was issued and targeted at Turkey?

We all know of our president’s ‘selective evilization’ of countries that have been ‘chosen’ to be on our hit list. But how many of us know of our government’s ‘selective go free cards’ that have been issued to those ‘ally countries’ that directly fund and support the terrorist networks? In fact, our government would rather move heaven and earth, gag ‘whistleblowers’ with direct knowledge of these facts, classify congressional and other investigative reports, create a media black-out on these ‘allies’ terrorist supporting activities, than do the right thing; do what it really takes to counter terrorism.

…and the WMDs we actually located & have known about

In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush declared he would keep “the world's most destructive weapons" from Al Qaeda and its allies by keeping those weapons from evil governments. Later he told a campaign audience in Pennsylvania, “We had to take a hard look at every place where terrorists might get those weapons and one regime stood out: the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.” Well, the Iraqi WMD that never was!

Here is what CIA Director Porter Goss said bluntly before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2004, “It may be only a matter of time before Al Qaeda or other groups attempt to use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. We must focus on that.” And we know that he knows; has known for the longest time!

Seymour Hersh in his March 2003 article quotes Robert Gallucci, a former United Nations weapons inspector who is now dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, “Bad as it is with Iran, North Korea, and Libya having nuclear-weapons material, the worst part is that they could transfer it to a non-state group. That’s the biggest concern, and the scariest thing about all this. There’s nothing more important than stopping terrorist groups from getting nuclear weapons.”

Although numerous prestigious reports by agencies and organizations such as IAEA, and news articles in the European media, have clearly established Turkey, and various international networks operating in and out of Turkey, as major players within the global nuclear black-market and illegal arms sales, the relevant agencies and main media in the U.S. have maintained a completely silent and hands off position.

Nuclear black-market related activities depend on Turkey for manufacturing nuclear components, and on its strategic location as a transit point to move goods and technology to nations such as Iran, Pakistan, and others. Not only that, Turkey’s status and close relationship with the U.S. enables it to obtain (steal) technology and information from the U.S.

Lying at the crossroads not only between Europe and Asia, but also between the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, Turkey is already a well-established transit zone for illicit goods, including nuclear material and illegal weapons sales. According to a report by Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEA), at least 104 nuclear smuggling incidents had occurred in the past eight years in Turkey. For instance, in September 1999, 5 Kilograms of Uranium enriched to 4.6 percent were confiscated from an international smuggling ring in Turkey, which included four Turkish, one Azerbaijani, and three Kazakhstani citizens. The report cites over one hundred incidents like this, and these are only cases that have been intercepted and reported.

Turkey played a major role in Pakistan and Libya’s illicit activities in obtaining nuclear technologies. In June 2004, Stephen Fidler, a reporter for Financial Times reported that in 2003, Turkish centrifuge motors and converters destined for Libya's nuclear weapons program turned up in Tripoli aboard a ship that had sailed from Dubai. One of those detained individuals in this incident, a ‘respected and successful’ Turkish Businessman, Selim Alguadis, was cited in a public report from the Malaysian inspector-general of police into the Malaysian end of a Pakistani-led clandestine network that supplied Libya, Iran and North Korea with nuclear weapons technologies, designs and expertise. According to the report, “he supplied these materials to Libya." Mr. Alguadis also confessed that he had on several occasions met A Q Khan, the disgraced Pakistani scientist who has admitted transmitting nuclear expertise to the three countries. Selim Alguadis remains a successful businessman in Turkey with companies in several other countries. He was released immediately after being turned over to Turkish authorities. His partner, another well-known and internationally recognized wealthy businessman, Gunes Cire, also actively participated in transferring nuclear technology and parts to Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. Although under investigation by several international communities, Alguadis and his partners continued to roam free in Turkey and conduct their illegitimate operations via their ‘legit international business’ front companies.

David Albright and Corey Hinderstein of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) identify Turkey’s major role in the nuclear black-market. According to their report, workshops in Turkey made the centrifuge motor and frequency converters used to drive the motor and spin the rotor to high speeds. These workshops imported subcomponents from Europe, and they assembled these centrifuge items in Turkey. Under false end-user certificates, these components were shipped from Turkey to Dubai for repackaging and shipment to Libya.

Turkey’s illegal arms smuggling activities are not limited to Europe and the Middle East; many of these activities reach U.S. soil. According to a report published by the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, in April 2004 the Italian police searched a container destined for the port of New York onboard a Turkish ship at the port of Tauro during a routine customs inspection, sparked by discrepancies between the various customs declarations. Inside the container more than 8,000 AK47 assault rifles, 11 submachine guns, and magazines worth over seven million dollars were discovered.

Our tough talking president works very hard to sound convincing when he says ‘we have to take a hard look at every place where terrorists might get those weapons;’ in fact, he has succeeded in fooling many into believing those words. However, while he was determined to move heaven and earth to get our nation into a war and a quagmire with a country that did NOT possess ‘those weapons,’ he refused and continues to refuse to look at his own ‘allies-packed backyard’ where he would find a few that not only do possess ‘those weapons,’ but also distribute and sell them to the highest bidders no matter what their affiliation.

* * * *

Curiously enough, despite these highly publicized reports and acknowledgements of Turkey’s role in these activities, Turkey continues to receive billions of dollars of aid and assistance annually from the United States. With its highly placed co-conspirators and connections within the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Congress, Turkey never has to fear potential sanctions or meaningful scrutiny; just like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The criminal Turkish networks continue their global criminal activities right under the nose of their protector, the United States, and neither the catastrophe falling upon the U.S. on September Eleven, nor their direct and indirect role and ties to this terrorist attack, diminish their role and participation in the shady worlds of narcotics, money laundering and illegal arms transfer.

The ‘respectable’ Turkish companies established and operate bases in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and other similar former soviet states. Many of these front companies, disguised under construction and tourism entities, have received millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. government, allocated to them by the U.S. congress, to establish and operate criminal networks throughout the region; among their networking partners are Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Albanian Mafia. While the U.S. government painted Islamic charity organizations as the main financial source for Al Qaeda terrorists, it was hard at work trying to cover up the terrorists’ main financial source: narcotics and illegal arms sales. Why?

For years and years, information and evidence being collected by the counterintelligence operations of certain U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been prevented from being transferred to criminal and narcotics divisions, and from being shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency and others with prosecutorial power. Those with direct knowledge have been prevented from making this information available and public by various gag orders and invocation of the State Secrets Privilege. Why?

Is this due to the fact that the existence and survival of many U.S. allies; Turkey, almost all Central Asian nations, and after the September Eleven attack, Afghanistan; greatly depend on cultivating, processing, transporting, and distributing these illegal substances? Is it caused by the fact that a major source of income for those who procure U.S. weapons and technology, our military industrial complex’s bread and butter, is being generated from this illegal production and illegal dealings? Or, is it the fear of exposing our own financial institutions, lobbying firms, and certain elected and appointed officials, as beneficiaries?

When it comes to criminal and shady global networks most people envision either Mafiosi like entities who keep to themselves and are separated from society, or, street level gangster-like criminals. Contrary to these expectations, the top tier Turkish criminal networks consist mainly of respectable looking businessmen, some of whom are among the top international businessmen, diplomats, politicians, and scholarly individuals. Their U.S. counterparts are equally respected and recognizable; some of whom are high-level appointed bureaucrats within the State Department and the Pentagon; some are elected officials, and others consist of the combination of the two who have now set up their own companies and lobbying groups.

The American Turkish Council (ATC)

Operating tax-free and under the radar is one of the most powerful “non-profit” associations in the U.S., the American Turkish Council (ATC). Some who are familiar with its operations and players describe it as ‘Mini AIPAC;’ this description aces it. ATC followed the AIPAC model; with the direct help of AIPAC & JINSA, it created a base out of which to stretch its tentacles, reaching the highest echelons of our government. While the ATC is an association in name and in charter, the reality is that it and other affiliated associations are the U.S. government, lobbyists, foreign agents, and MIC. Investigative journalist, John Stanton, correctly describes the ATC as an extraordinary group of elite and interconnected Republicans, Democrats and corporate and military heavyweights who are spearheading one of the most ambitious strategic gambits in U.S. history.

Included in ATC’s management, board of directors, and advisors; in addition to Turkish individuals of ‘interest;’ is a dizzying array of U.S. individuals. The ATC is led by Ret. General Brent Scowcroft, who serves as Chairman of the Board; George Perlman of Lockheed Martin, the Executive Vice President; other board members include: Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Ret. General Elmer Pendleton, Ret. General Joseph Ralston, Ret. Col. Preston Hughes, Alan Colegrove of Northrop Grumman, Frank Carlucci of Carlyle Group, Christine Vick of Cohen Group, Representative Robert Wexler, Former Rep. Ed Whitfield…Basically many formers; statesmen, ‘dime a dozen generals,’ and representatives.

On the members - paying clients – side; their list includes all the MIC’s who’s who, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman; the Washington Lobby scene’s who’s who; The Cohen Group, The Livingston Group, Washington Group International…

Of course, there are also many Turkish companies that are members of the ATC. Most of these companies have branches and operations in Libya, Dubai, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. Although the official listings of their businesses are cited as ‘construction,’ ‘real estate’, ‘manufacturing,’ and ‘tourism’; the main activities of these businesses are known to be related to global illegal arms sales and narcotic processing and trafficking. These companies provide necessary fronts and channels to launder proceeds. Curiously enough, hundreds of millions of dollars have been granted by the United States government, approved by the congress, to these Turkish companies under the guise of various ‘U.S. Central Asian development programs;’ and ‘Iraq & Afghanistan reconstruction programs.’

Stanton notes: ‘ATC is joined in the creation of the New EuroAsia by the American Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC). AACC’s Honorary Council of Advisors just happens to have General Scowcroft and the following persons of significance: Henry Kissinger and James Baker III. Former Council members include Dick Cheney and Richard Armitage, and Board of Trustee members include media-overkill subject Richard Perle of AEI, and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas.’

The MIC Factor

In part1 we discussed the MIC as ‘agents by default;’ marriages and loyalties based on ‘mutual benefit;’ our previous example was Saudi Arabia, top customer of U.S. weaponry. Well, Turkey only tails the Saudis slightly in that category; between 1992 and 1996, Turkey was the second largest importer of weaponry, spending more than $7 billion in four years. A report by the World Policy Institute shows that Turkey is the third largest recipient of U.S. military aid, behind Israel and Egypt. Between 1994 and 2003, Turkey took delivery of more than $6.8 billion in U.S. weaponry and services.

In fiscal year 1989, U.S. aid to Turkey was $563,500,000. According to a Multi National Monitor Report, in 1991, Turkey received more than $800 million in U.S. aid, “an exceptional return” on its $3.8 million investment in Washington lobbyists. At the time, International Advisors, INC. (Douglas Feith & Richard Perle lobbying firm as registered agents for Turkey) was paid more than $1 million for representing Turkey in the U.S. for the purpose of securing these types of deals. In 2003, Turkey received a $1 billion aid package. During this period their registered and known lobbyists were the Livingston Group, headed by the former Speaker of the House Bob Livingston, and Solarz Associates, headed by a formerly powerful Representative, Stephen Solarz. Turkey, from 2000 to 2004, for only four years, paid Livingston $9 million for his lobbying services. What did the Republic of Turkey get for its $2 million per year investment in Ex-Congressman Livingston’s services?

A Joint Report by the Federation of American Scientists and the World Policy Institute found that the vast majority of U.S. arms transfers to Turkey were subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. In many cases, these taxpayer funds are supporting military production and employment in Turkey, not in the United States. Of the $10.5 billion in U.S. weaponry delivered to Turkey since 1984, $8 billion in all has been directly or indirectly financed by grants and subsidized loans provided by the U.S. government. Many of the largest deals - such as Lockheed Martin's sale of 240 F-16s to the Turkish air force and the FMC Corporation's provision of 1,698 armored vehicles to the Turkish army - involve co-production and offset provisions which steer investments, jobs, and production to Turkey as a condition of the sale. For example, Turkey's F-16 assembly plant in Ankara - a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) - employs 2,000 production workers, almost entirely paid for with U.S. tax dollars.

Let’s recap the above data: Not only does our government, actually, our taxpayers, subsidize $8 billion of Turkey’s $10 billion weapons purchases; the production of this weaponry and the associated employment occurs not in the U.S., but overseas, in Turkey. We, the taxpayers, are subsidizing these purchases; our nation readily transfers its technology to a country that ranks high in global narcotics, terrorist and WMD related activities; while a select few MIC related firms such as Lockheed and the pimping middlemen, the lobbyists, get fatter and richer.

One Stop Shop: The Cohen Group

Like many other former statesmen, William Cohen, former Secretary of Defense, dived into the business of lobbying and consulting, and created his own Washington firm, The Cohen Group, which works for some of the largest companies in the defense industry, such as Lockheed Martin, and serves numerous foreign players. The Cohen Group is one of the primary and most active members of the American Turkish Council (ATC). Cohen’s client, Lockheed Martin, happens to be on the board of ATC, in addition to being listed as ATC’s top paying client.

The group claims on its Website that its principals have "a century and a half of combined experience in the Congress, the Defense Department, the State Department, the White House, and state and local governments" and that they “have developed extensive expertise and relationships with key international political, economic, and business leaders and acquired invaluable experiences with the individuals and institutions that affect our clients' success abroad.” Abroad indeed. With a few ‘dime a dozen generals’ and former statesmen, the firm owes its phenomenal speedy success to interests ‘abroad’ and of course, the MIC! Let’s look, with great amazement, I hope, at how this ingenious lobby venture serves as foreign agent for several influences without having to register as such; with complete immunity against any scrutiny.

According to Intelligence Online, in its March 27, 2006 issue, Cohen accompanied Bush on his trip to India and Pakistan in March 2006. The Cohen Group is very active in India; Joseph Ralston, Cohen’s Vice Chairman, led two delegations of U.S. Defense Chiefs to India the previous year. The trips were organized in conjunction with the U.S. India Business Council; among the participants were Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.

On June 9, 2006, Intelligence Online reports ‘already operating in India, the Cohen Group headed by William Cohen, has just opened an office in Beijing... Since 2003 the Cohen Group has equally been employing Christine Vick. She is a former Vice President of Kissinger Associates; the consultancy founded by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and had been in charge of the firm’s Chinese business.’

Prior to the October 2005 release of Paul Volcker's report on violations of the United Nations' Iraq oil-for-food program, the Australian wheat exporter AWB Limited hired Cohen’s firm. AWB paid approximately $A300 million in trucking fees on its wheat contracts to a Jordanian company, Alia, which owns no trucks! The funds were funnelled to Saddam’s regime. AWB hired Cohen Group as part of its ‘strategy, ’ code-named ‘Project Rose’, to deal with the UN inquiry headed by Paul Volcker and corruption allegations made against it by U.S. wheat farmers and ‘hostile US politicians.’ Cohen Group is not a law firm; what kind of services and representation is it providing for this criminal case?

So who are the key players at Cohen’s lobby firm, giving it its value? Well of course, a handful of powerful formers; in addition to Cohen as the top principal we have former Undersecretary of State Mark Grossman, and two formerly high-level ‘dime a dozen generals:’ General Joseph Ralston and General Paul Kern; let’s briefly look at them; shall we?

Ret. General Paul Kern

Cohen Group senior counselor is retired general Paul J. Kern, a former head of the Army Materiel Command, who recently served on a panel convened by the Defense Department to recommend improvements in how it acquires weapons systems; of course, a topic of great interest to Cohen clients.

Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Panel , DAPAP, was created to recommend changes in the awarding of military contracts. Over half of this panel is executives of large defense corporations. Among the Committee’s six members are Frank Cappuccio, VP of Lockheed Martin, and retired General Kern, who is the Senior Counselor of the Cohen Group!

When the Pentagon is informed of wasteful practices, it commonly ignores them. Congressman Walter Jones, (R-N.C.) is quoted as understating, "We’ve got an agency that is not doing its job of being a watchdog for the taxpayers." Retired Army Reserve officer Paul Fellencer Sr. complained to the Pentagon’s fraud hot line last year about $200-million worth of outrageous overpayments for ordinary supplies. Pentagon investigators never bothered to call him and dismissed his tip as "unsubstantiated," the news service said.

One wonders how many American citizens are aware of the fact that a ‘dime a dozen general’ such as Kern, who happens to be a Senior Counsel of a lobby firm with foreign interests and MIC representation, who happens to sit on the board of Lockheed Martin, gets to sit on a panel that monitors and advises on awarding military contracts to the private MIC companies by the Pentagon. Would it take an absolute genius to figure out that this is ‘putting a fox in charge of the hen house’? If not, then how could this get past the decision makers at the Pentagon? How come our lawmakers, those in charge of ensuring the checks and balances in our government, those we consider our representatives, sit there either unaware or unbothered by this red flag visible from a hundred miles away? What happened to ‘investigative journalists with good noses;’ were they all inflicted by congested sinuses at the same time?

Fmr. Gen. Joseph Ralston

General Joseph Ralston, one of Cohen Group’s Vice Chairmen, is on the board of Lockheed Martin, which paid the Cohen Group $550,000 in 2005, according to a Lockheed filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ralston is also a member of the 2006 Advisory Board of the American Turkish Council (ATC), and one of Turkey’s top advocates. If you think this ‘dime a dozen general’ ended one career and removed himself from the U.S. government by becoming ‘the foreign agent man,’ think again after reading the following.

On August 28, 2006, the U.S. State Department appointed the former U.S. Air Force General, current Vice Chairman of the Cohen Group, board member of American Turkish Council, registered lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, Joseph Ralston, as a “Special Envoy” for countering the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)! Lo and behold, Ralston’s appointment came as Turkey was finalizing the purchase of 30 new Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft valued at $3 billion, and as Turkey was due to make its decision on the $10 billion purchase of the new Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF aircraft. Coincidentally, the U.S. Congress approved the sale of the F-16s to Turkey in October 2006, shortly after Ralston’s return from Turkey.

While the implications of Ralston’s appointment caused a major stir within the Kurdish community and organizations, mainly pointing to Ralston’s position with the Turkish lobby in the U.S. (he is on the board of ATC), and within Turkey’s own communities, pointing to Ralston’s position with Lockheed Martin (he is on the board of Lockheed Martin), our own media, watchdog organizations, and congress let this gargantuan conflict of interest pass under the radar.

Our government sent this man, Ralston, as a special envoy to help resolve the highly critical Northern Iraq situation with possible dire consequences in the near future. Considering Ralston’s livelihood and his loyalties, as a member of the board of the directors of Lockheed Martin, as the vice chairman of a lobbying firm with foreign interests, as an advisor and board member for the most powerful Turkish Lobby group, ATC, who did this man represent while in Turkey as the special envoy? What interests did he really represent; Iraq’s situation, Lockheed’s livelihood, which depends on further conflicts and bloodshed; the corrupt and criminal government of Turkey and its representation via ATC; or, the furthering of the Cohen Group’s future pimping opportunities?

Why in the world did no one within the U.S. mainstream media give even the slightest coverage of this conflict of interest? Why did no one, Democrat or Republican, in our congress make a peep? Why haven’t we heard anyone asking Ralston the most important question, in dire need of an answer: ‘Who’s your daddy Ralston; boy?’ Ralston’s position is no different than what is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: “A person conceived and born out of wedlock.” With the possibility of any one of four daddies, and without the benefit of a DNA test, how do we go about determining Ralston’s real daddy?

Fmr. Undersecretary Marc Grossman

The second Vice Chairman of Cohen’s firm is Marc Grossman, who was the U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs in the State Department from 2001 until 2005. From November 1994 to June 1997, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. In January 2005 Grossman resigned from his position and joined the Cohen Group. In late December 2005, Grossman joined Ihlas Holding, a large and alleged shady Turkish company which is also active in several Central Asian countries. Grossman is reported to receive $100,000 per month for his advisory position with Ihlas.’ Most and foremost, Grossman is known for his extraordinarily cozy relationship with Turkey and Israel; followed by Pakistan.

Here is Grossman as the key speaker at an ATC conference in March 2002; while Undersecretary of State; and here it is followed by Grossman’s visit to Turkey in December 2002, to approve the $3 billion U.S. aid to Turkey for the Iraq Cooperation deal. There he goes again, Grossman back to Turkey in December 2003 re: approval of Turkey’s eligibility to participate in tenders for Iraq’s reconstruction! Here is Grossman as the key speaker at an ATC Conference held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in December 2004, while Undersecretary. Here is Grossman as the guest of honor and key speaker at the American Turkish Society dinner in New York in February 2005, while Undersecretary. Here he is again, at the lavish Turkish Ottoman Dinner Gala in November 2005. Here is Grossman at the award dinner gala by the Turkish lobby group, the Assembly of American Turkish Association (ATAA), in Chicago, receiving his award in November 2005. Here is Grossman as the key speaker at the ATC annual conference in March 2006, and later, in June 2006, at the MERIA Conference to discuss Turkey’s importance to the U.S. & Israel. This list can go on for pages and pages; but I believe you all get it; right?

Here is a comment by Wolfowitz during his visit to Turkey: ”I'm delighted to be back in Turkey and so is my colleague Marc Grossman, who feels like Turkey is a second home.” Second home indeed, Mr. Grossman!

Please do not make the grave and naive mistake of assuming that Grossman found and obtained his highly lucrative and questionable positions after his resignation in January 2005. Within two months after his confident resignation, this boy got the vice chairmanship of the Cohen Group. Only six months later, Grossman ended up securing a ‘special advisory’ position for a foreign company that reported his monthly fee at $100,000 a month. The industrious Grossman seems to be juggling so many balls simultaneously: numerous foreign sponsored dinner speeches, the demanding pimping activities of Cohen’s firm, the very ‘special advising’ of a shady foreign company…

We all have a pretty good idea how long and how much work it takes to secure that level of income and those positions. Did Grossman beat the odds and get lucky as soon as he got out of the State Department? Did he hit the jackpot? Or, did he diligently and industriously work at it, while in his position as the ambassador to Turkey and as Deputy Secretary of State? Did he sell his soul while under his oath of office? Did he sell our government’s soul? Did he sell our nation and its interests? If so; for what and how much?

* * * *

Long gone are the days when generals were content to retire and go back home where they held their heads high as honorable patriots and heroes who had served their nation; where they marched in their towns’ parades as proud distinguished men and women who had fulfilled their duty to the people. Today, as we clearly see, they perceive themselves and their authority as a commodity; they go about marketing their worth (nationally and internationally; foreign and domestic) long before they leave their positions as public servants.

The same goes for many of our statesmen. While in office, Grossman and others like him appear to have one objective in mind and in action: to make sure that their future employer who is waiting for them on the other side of the revolving door will receive special and lucrative arrangements so that they can be compensated handsomely later.

In Part 1, we briefly described the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), established to insure that the American public and its lawmakers know the source of propaganda intended to sway public opinion, policy, and laws; and the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) of 1995, which was passed to make the regulation and disclosure of lobbying the federal government more effective. The article emphasized that both of these cosmetic laws are filled with exemptions and loopholes that allow minimization of, and in some cases complete escape from, warranted scrutiny, and have serious loopholes and limitations.

The Cohen Group is an excellent case, illustrating the futility of FARA, since the firm does not have to be registered. They can claim that Turkey is not their ‘direct’ client; they can argue that they are not getting paid ‘directly’ by the government of Turkey or any other foreign entity or government. They certainly can; no matter that Grossman receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from a dubious Turkish company. Does Cohen discount Grossman’s Vice Chairmanship salary accordingly? No matter that half a million dollars per year from their client Lockheed Martin is mainly for services provided to Turkey, and having the group’s second chairman serve on Lockheed’s board is another way to get around all restrictions. The incestuous relationship twists and turns: The Cohen Group on the board of ATC, The Cohen Group a paying member client of ATC, The Cohen Group as Lockheed’s lobbyist, Cohen’s men on the board of Lockheed, Lockheed on the board of ATC, Lockheed also a paying client of ATC…How is your head; spinning yet?

We are proud of the large turnout at the ballot box for the midterm elections a few weeks ago; a sign of participatory citizenship. Perhaps we’ll be repeating this phenomenon, if not increasing it, for the presidential elections in two years; another means to demonstrate our ‘democratic government process in action’ for badly needed change. But who really runs our country? Who really shapes our public policies and determines the flow of our hard-earned tax money entrusted to our government? If you had the patience to go through this article, which sheds light on only a fragment of what really takes place behind our backs, within the halls of our government, in all three branches, you would start questioning your significance as a voter and taxpayer, and you would begin wondering whether you are governed by who you think you are.

The foreign influence, the lobbyists, the current highly positioned civil servants who are determined future ‘wanna be’ lobbyists, and the fat cats of the Military Industrial Complex, operate successfully under the radar, with unlimited reach and power, with no scrutiny, while selling your interests, benefiting from your tax money, and serving the highest bidders regardless of what or who they may be. This deep state seems to operate at all levels of our government; from the President’s office to Congress, from the military quarters to the civil servants’ offices. Let’s let Marcus Cicero’s timeless warning from over two thousand years ago put the finishing touch on this article:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder[er] is less to fear.”- - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

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World on Fire

The Voice of the White House

Washington. D.C., November 26, 2006:” I have been talking about our imminent plans to institute a putsch in Baghdad, oust and “permanently remove” the current Iraqi government and replace it with a well-known Sunni general officer.

The CIA has been fomenting this for the past three months, on Bush’s orders, because he views the current government as “not responsive” to his views and, worse, in collusion with elements in Iraq that are hostile to the United States.

They are laying the groundwork here in Washington to prepare the PR way for this “urgent change of government,” and the chinless geeks in the Pentagon’s Public Relations division have sent out helpful directives to the captive press indicating the necessity for this radical change.

The new general, whose name I know and will publish, has agreed to “materially aid” American interests on the condition that he and his claque be allowed to govern without interference and who is certainly expected to slaughter all the Shiites in Iraq or drive them into Iran.

This, too, is a policy formulated by both Bush and Cheney. The Sunnis were always cozy with the U.S. government, back when the CIA hired Saddam to attack Iran and God alone know how much U.S,. taxpayer’s money found its way into his pocket.

The CIA encouraged Saddam to use nerve gas on the Iranian military units, even supplying him with a good deal of it…which he did not use on the Iranians but did use on the rebellious Kurds.

If Saddam had been smart, he would have exposed the CIA and the DoS plus Bush Senior years ago. George Jr. doesn’t want to “establish Western Democracy” Iraq. He and his Zionist Neocon friends wanted to grab all their oil and use the country as a permanent military base in the Near East so as to be able to work with Israel in terrorizing other Arab countries and be able to launch attacks on any one of them that crossed their paths.

Now, I laugh to read that Cheney is being nice to the Saud Royal Family at the very same time the CIA is supporting yet another coup d’Etat in Saudi Arabia to replace the corrupt Saud dynasty with Waahibists.

One would think that this would be an act of rank idiocy because the latter are fanatic fundamentalists but then no one ever accused the CIA of having any more collective and working brains than a dead turtle.

Of course we won’t get any more oil from Saudi Arabia if there is a régime change but the oil is running out there and no one wants to talk about it.

The new Democratic rulers are still involved with pork issues but not like the thieving Republicans who actually chased the lobbyists around on K Street, offering their decaying and sagging bodies for sale for the price of a good dinner at the Jockey Club. And if the Democrats are fuzzy and liberal, at least they are not murderous ideologues who start wars, steal everything but a hot stove, slaughter legions of young Americans and even larger numbers of unarmed civilians like Josef Stalin in his glory days.

Or Saddam Hussein with his CIA nerve gas.”

Note: To the small claque of professional unbelievers who do not like the Voice of the White House and claim it never has any basis in truth (as if they were capable of discerning truth) we are publishing a selection of current news stories that are very obviously laying the foundation for the coming CIA putsch. Ed.

Iraqi Coalition on Brink of Collapse as Country Descends Towards Civil War

· Key ally tells PM to choose between him and Bush

· Iranian leaders to meet Talabani at Tehran talks

November 25, 2006

by Jonathan Steele in Irbil, Robert Tait in Tehran and Julian Borger in Washington


Iraq's precarious government was teetering yesterday as a powerful Shia militia leader threatened to withdraw support after sectarian killings reached a new peak and the country lurched closer to all-out civil war.

The prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, was forced to choose between his US protectors and an essential pillar of his coalition, when Moqtada al-Sadr declared his intention to walk out, potentially bringing down the government, if Mr Maliki went ahead with a meeting with President George Bush in Jordan next week.

Mr Maliki, a moderate Shia, faced the dilemma as the cycle of killings reached new levels of savagery. Yesterday, there were reports that at least 60 Sunnis had died in revenge killings and suicide attacks, including one episode in which Shia militiamen seized six Sunnis as they were leaving a mosque, doused them with petrol and set them alight, while soldiers reportedly stood by. In another attack, gunmen burned mosques and killed more than 30 Sunnis in Baghdad's Hurriya district before US forces intervened.

The violence added new urgency to a regional summit in Tehran this weekend on Iraq's fate. Iraq's neighbours, particularly Syria and Iran, have been accused of pulling strings in the Iraqi chaos, and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is today due to play host to his Iraqi counterpart, Jalal Talabani.

The Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, was invited but reports from Damascus suggested he would not attend. Syria restored diplomatic relations with Iraq this week after a 24-year gap.

In a reflection of the importance Iran attaches to the summit, Mr Talabani is also expected to meet the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate say on foreign policy.

Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, predicted that Mr Talabani's visit would produce "important agreements". He described the violence and the US-British occupying forces as "two sides of the same coin" adding: "The two issues should be taken into consideration jointly and a comprehensive solution found."

Observers in Tehran said the government there hoped to use its summit as an overture to Washington. "The Iranian leadership are trying to use Mr Talabani, who has a special role inside Iraq and has never criticised Iran, as a mediator between Tehran and Washington," said Saeed Leylaz, a political analyst. "Mr Ahmadinejad is hopeful that he can attract America's attention through Iraq."

One unknown quantity at the summit will be how much sway the Ahmadinejad government has over Mr Sadr, who visited Tehran last January and met senior Iranian officials, including the country's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.

The broader question, growing more urgent each day, is whether anyone can now control the cycle of violence. Thursday was the most deadly day for Iraqi civilians, and morgue statistics showed that the past month has been the bloodiest since the 2003 invasion, according to the UN, with 3,709 civilians killed.

Since taking office, Mr Maliki has been under constant US pressure to disarm the Mahdi army and other Shia militias, while remaining beholden to them to stay in power. The Sadr party demanded yesterday that Mr Maliki "specify the nature of its relations with the occupation forces", demanded a timetable for a US withdrawal, and issued its ultimatum over the scheduled Bush-Maliki meeting in Jordan next Wednesday and Thursday.

"There is no reason to meet the criminal who is behind the terrorism," said Faleh Hassan Shansal, a Sadrist MP.

The White House appeared determined that the meeting should go ahead, after President Bush attends a Nato summit in Latvia on Tuesday. "The United States is committed to helping the Iraqis and President Bush and prime minister Maliki will meet next week to discuss the security situation in Iraq," said Scott Stanzel, a deputy White House spokesman.

Mr Sadr's people have six cabinet seats and 30 members in the 275-member parliament. Their vote in the intra-Shia haggling helped to select Mr Maliki as prime minister over other Shia rivals.

Mr Sadr used Friday prayers in the main mosque in Kufa, his headquarters in the Shia heartland south of Baghdad, to focus on Sunni leaders. He urged them to help end the slide into sectarian civil war.

Appealing directly to Harith al-Dari, the leader of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a radical Sunni organisation which has always denounced the US occupation, Mr Sadr told the congregation: "He has to release a fatwa prohibiting the killing of Shias so as to preserve Muslim blood and must prohibit membership of al-Qaida or any other organisation that has made Shias their enemies."

Hoyer: U.S. commitment to Iraq is finite

November 25, 2006
by Natasha T. Metzler
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - American support for the fledgling Iraqi government is not unconditional, and

Iraq should expect changes in the U.S. role, incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Saturday.

"In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future," Hoyer, D-Md., said during the weekly Democratic radio address. "And the Iraqis must know: Our commitment, while great, is not unending."

Hoyer's comments were taped Wednesday, before an escalation in sectarian violence in Iraq. At least 215 Shiites were killed in bomb and mortar attacks Thursday in Sadr City. Shiites retaliated Friday by burning six Sunni Arabs alive and killing 19 others in attacks on Sunni mosques.

Once in power, Hoyer said, the Democrats hope to work with Republicans and the Bush administration to change direction in Iraq war plans, "because, clearly, the current strategy is not working."

Democrats will also seek to reach across the aisle to accomplish their other goals. One of their first priorities, Hoyer said, is to pass lobbying and ethics reform.

"We will restore civility and integrity to our legislative process, and transparency and accountability to our government," he said.

Other Democratic goals in the new Congress include:

_Increasing the minimum wage.

_Enacting the Sept. 11 Commission's security recommendations.

_Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare patients.

_Cutting energy industry tax breaks.

_Lowering financial hurdles for access to higher education.

"Democrats pledge to address the concerns and issues that affect the lives of working families," Hoyer said.

Lawmakers lose patience with Iraq gov't

November 26, 2006
by Ben Feller

WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders displayed eroding patience in the Iraqi government on Sunday, adding pressure on President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to find a faster path to peace when they meet this week.

It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iran ," Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a potential presidential contender in 2008, said in urging for a planned withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“If the president fails to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder – one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead,” Hagel wrote in Saturday’s Washington Post.

As the U.S. involvement in Iraq surpassed the length of America's participation in World War II, lawmakers have dwindling confidence in the U.S.-supported Iraqi government. It was the deadliest week of sectarian fighting in Baghdad since the war began in March 2003.

"I think what we've got to do is go around the Maliki government in certain situations," said Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, another possible presidential candidate. "Let's work with other groups, and let's get regional buy-in into this."

Bush, after a NATO summit in Europe, plans to meet with al-Maliki on Wednesday and Thursday in Jordan. That summit, coupled with Vice President Dick Cheney's trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, is evidence of the administration's stepped-up effort to bring stability to the region.

The host of the meeting, Jordan's King Abdullah, said Sunday the problems in the Middle East go beyond the war in Iraq. He said much of the region soon could become engulfed in violence unless the central issues are addressed quickly.

The king said he was hopeful the leaders will find a way to reduce the level of violence.

"We hope there will be something dramatic. The challenges, obviously, in front of both of them are immense," he said.

Iraq's leaders promised Sunday to track down those responsible for the recent attacks, and al-Maliki urged his national unity government of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds to curb the violence by stopping their public disputes.

The Iraqi prime minister is under pressure from Shiite politicians loyal to the radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who have threatened to boycott parliament and the Cabinet if al-Maliki meets with Bush.

"This is all political posturing. It's all red herring. It's an anti-threat. This is a very stable government," responded Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie. He said he had no doubt the prime minister would meet with Bush in Jordan.

As for Bush, some of the toughest criticism is coming from within his own party.

"We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam," said Hagel, a combat veteran of that war. "Honorable intentions are not policies and plans."

Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, called Iraq the worst U.S. foreign policy decision since Vietnam. He said Democrats do not have a quick answer and any solution must be bipartisan.

"It is time to tell the Iraqis that unless they're willing to disband the militias and the death squads, unless they're willing to stand up and govern their country in a responsible fashion, America is not going to stay there indefinitely," Durbin said.

That theme — pressuring al-Maliki and his government — seemed to unify Republicans and Democrats."I think we're going to have to be very aggressive and specific with him," said Sen. Trent Lott, R. Miss, the incoming No 2 GOP leader. “and if he doesn’t show real leadership, doesn’t try to bring the situation under control - if, in fact, he becomes a part of the problem — we're going to have to make some tough decisions."

Yet Rep. Duncan Hunter, the outgoing chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said the United States will win the conflict in the long run by supporting a free government in Iraq. Before any decisions are made on reducing U.S. troop levels, he said, more U.S.-trained Iraqi battalions should be moved into the heavy-fighting areas of Baghdad

"Saddle those guys up," Hunter said. "Move them into the fight."

Bring back Saddam Hussein

November 27, 2006
Los Angeles Times

The debate about Iraq has moved past the question of whether it was a mistake (everybody knows it was) to the more depressing question of whether it is possible to avert total disaster. Every self-respecting foreign policy analyst has his own plan for Iraq. The trouble is that these tracts are inevitably unconvincing, except when they argue why all the other plans would fail. It's all terribly grim.

So allow me to propose the unthinkable: Maybe, just maybe, our best option is to restore Saddam Hussein to power.

Yes, I know. Hussein is a psychotic mass murderer. Under his rule, Iraqis were shot, tortured and lived in constant fear. Bringing the dictator back would sound cruel if it weren't for the fact that all those things are also happening now, probably on a wider scale.

At the outset of the war, I had no high hopes for Iraqi democracy, but I paid no attention to the possibility that the Iraqis would end up with a worse government than the one they had. It turns out, however, that there is something more awful than totalitarianism, and that is endless chaos and civil war.

Nobody seems to foresee the possibility of restoring order to Iraq. Here is the basic dilemma: The government is run by Shiites, and the security agencies have been overrun by militias and death squads. The government is strong enough to terrorize the Sunnis into rebellion but not strong enough to crush this rebellion.

Meanwhile, we have admirably directed our efforts into training a professional and nonsectarian Iraqi police force and encouraging reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites. But we haven't succeeded. We may be strong enough to stop large-scale warfare or genocide, but we're not strong enough to stop pervasive chaos.

Hussein, however, has a proven record in that department. It may well be possible to reconstitute the Iraqi army and state bureaucracy we disbanded, and if so, that may be the only force capable of imposing order in Iraq.

Chaos and order each have a powerful self-sustaining logic. When people perceive a lack of order, they act in ways that further the disorder. If a Sunni believes that he is in danger of being killed by Shiites, he will throw his support to Sunni insurgents who he sees as the only force that can protect him. The Sunni insurgents, in turn, will scare Shiites into supporting their own anti-Sunni militias.

And it's not just Iraqis who act this way. You could find a smaller-scale version of this dynamic in an urban riot here in the United States. But when there's an expectation of social order, people will act in a civilized fashion.

Restoring the expectation of order in Iraq will take some kind of large-scale psychological shock. The Iraqi elections were expected to offer that shock, but they didn't. The return of Saddam Hussein — a man every Iraqi knows, and whom many of them fear — would do the trick.

The disadvantages of reinstalling Hussein are obvious, but consider some of the upside. He would not allow the country to be dominated by Iran, which is the United States' major regional enemy, a sponsor of terrorism and an instigator of warfare between Lebanon and Israel. Hussein was extremely difficult to deal with before the war, in large part because he apparently believed that he could defeat any U.S. invasion if it came to that. Now he knows he can't. And he'd probably be amenable because his alternative is death by hanging.

I know why restoring a brutal tyrant to power is a bad idea. Somebody explain to me why it's worse than all the others.

Iraq's fate hanging on a new axis

November 23, 2006
by Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

While the US is actively exploring alternative options to salvage its intervention in Iraq, regional realities are dictating their own dynamic, not necessarily in tune with the United States' objectives. Slowly but surely, a new realignment is shaping up that is making Washington nervous - a Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus axis.

The possibility of such a "strategic alliance" being formed, to quote a headline in Tehran's conservative daily, Kayhan, is high, given this weekend's summit in Tehran that brings together the presidents of Iran, Iraq and Syria. (That's two out of three of the United States' "axis of evil" - Iran and Iraq, with the third being North Korea.) This comes at a volatile and uncertain time marked with the continuing bloodbath in Iraq, growing tension in Lebanon and the stalemated Arab-Israeli conflict.

On Tuesday, Iraq announced that it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Syria after a 26-year break, saying the move would increase cooperation on security.

The Kayhan editorial said, "America's fear of the trilateral meeting is very natural, since this alliance can translate into a new crisis for the United States at a time of the breakdown of the system of decision-making in that country." It further stated that while Iraq's deadly instability was the immediate reason for the Tehran summit, the issue of "strategic alliance" among the three countries went well beyond that.

Predictably, the US, which has been prodding both Syria and Iran to play a more constructive role in Iraq, has been lukewarm to Tehran's initiative for the trilateral meeting. Various US government spokespersons have repeated the old accusations of Iran's and Syria's "meddlings" in Iraq, with a Pentagon official claiming that some 70 to 100 foreign fighters crossed into Iraq from Syria each month.

This coincides with new reports in the Israeli and Western press on Iran's alleged al-Qaeda connections, vigorously denied by Tehran, which insists that it has itself been a victim of al-Qaeda terrorism in the past and that the Wahhabi terrorists are vehemently anti-Shi'ite.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the summit, the assassination of Pierre Gemayel, a fierce Christian and anti-Syria leader in Lebanon, has been seized on by US President George W Bush, who has pointed the finger of blame toward both Iran and Syria. This adds to the complexity of the Middle East scene wrought with multiple, simultaneous crises.

There is now a growing and realistic fear of the "Iraqization" of Lebanon and the "Lebanonization" of Iraq, with both countries descending to the depth of a bloody civil war far worse than anything now.

From the prisms of Tehran and Damascus, Israel is the only country that potentially benefits from such a nightmare scenario that they believe must be avoided at all costs. Yet the fragile truce in Lebanon may work in the United States' favor as a lever with regard to Syria and Iran with respect to Iraq, given the fact that unlike Tehran and Damascus, Washington has no intrinsic interests at stake in Lebanon.

Thus it could be that Lebanon will prove to be the Achilles' heel of the emerging axis. Clearly, the complex inter-relationships between Iraq and Lebanon require further scrutiny by strategists in both Tehran and Damascus, nowadays pressured by Washington as if they have identical interests.

Not so, and recently in his major foreign-policy speech, British Prime Minister Tony Blair made a point of referring to the divergent interests of Iran and Syria in the region. This resonates with the view of some political analysts in Tehran, such as Professor Kamran Taromi of Tehran University. He has written: "Iran may very much prefer to have stronger links to the Arabs which are neither at the mercy of the [Syrian Bashar al-]Assad regime nor constrained by Syrian interests. Iraq could provide just that."

The issue, then, is about Damascus' preparedness to enter a new strategic alliance with Iran and the Shi'ite-dominated new Iraq that would tilt the regional balance primarily in Iran's favor and likely diminish the influence of Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Syria's former ally, Egypt.

The driving forces

Tehran and Damascus agree on the hegemonic intentions behind the United States' invasion of Iraq and share fears of the US leviathan putting itself at the disposal of Israel, which pushed vigorously for the 2003 invasion through its vast network of influence-peddlers in the US. However, there are solid grounds for their present initiative toward setting new patterns in inter-regional relations, instead of passively observing the US-Israel machinations for a "greater Middle East" dominated by their particular geostrategic interests.

Doubtless, another common fear is the political and security meltdown inside Iraq, aggravating Iranian and Syrian fears of spill-over insecurity, given their porous borders with the "new Iraq" - which increasingly looks like a stateless country partitioned into the competing fiefdoms of armed factions.

In fact, Iraq's insecurity is a double-edged sword, simultaneously affording the US a weapon with which to threaten Iran and Syria, both of which, in turn, use the same insecurity and the potential for even greater insecurity against the US-led coalition forces.

Concerning the latter, the Kayhan editorial cited above poignantly states that there is little terrorism in the "nine Shi'ite provinces and five Kurdish provinces" of Iraq today, and that Muqtada al-Sadr's Medhi Army has succeeded in creating a protective ring for Baghdad's million and a half population. Another important point raised by Kayhan is: "Americans are strongly in favor of separating Iran's nuclear dossier from Iraq's security dossier, so that they can pressure Iran at one point and yet take advantage of Iran's support elsewhere. But this is not possible." This, in turn, raises another question: Does Damascus entirely share Iran's interest in linking the two issues?

The answer to this question touches on the Syria-Israel conflict and the desirability of Iranian (nuclear) support or even deterrence for Syria against Israel, which has shown absolutely no tangible sign of movement toward peace with Syria. This assumes, for the sake of argument, that one day Tehran decides to go nuclear full-force based on strategic calculations.

Consequently, irrespective of much talk of "strategic uncertainties" in the Middle East, Syria and Iran are convinced about Israel's warmongering and sub-imperialist intentions and its successful "rent-a-superpower" manipulation of the US. This drives Syria's and Iran's proactive search for new tools of deterrence and regime survival, including, but by no means limited to, their common "spoiler role" in Iraq.

But there are limits to that role for both Tehran and Damascus, which must calculate the intended and unintended consequences of runaway insecurity in Iraq spreading beyond Iraq's long borders with both neighbors.

After all, the bottom line is that Syria and Iran are of one mind with respect to the twin pillars of their Iraq policy, that is, Iraq's national unity and territorial integrity. Syria is fearful of Iraq's disintegration impacting its nearly 2 million Kurds, in light of the Syrian government's crackdown on Kurdish protesters in March 2004. This could erupt again if Iraq's Kurds reach full autonomy.

Iran, on the other hand, is rattled by the Americans' and Israelis' open support for Kurdish irredentism inside Iran, and this forms yet another common bond among Tehran, Damascus and the central government in Iraq, which has a Kurdish president (Jalal Talabani) who is due to visit Tehran shortly.

Challenges and opportunities for Tehran

As far as Tehran is concerned, the Iraq crisis is both a regional and an international crisis representing a multi-dimensional policy challenge. The visible intensification of chaos in Iraq poses a major threat to Iran's national-security interests that requires from Iran a multi-layered response at both regional and international levels.

No wonder Tehran's leaders are pushing for a multilateral approach toward the Iraq crisis as a key "damage control" measure that will, it is hoped, minimize the potential for damage and attain a better regional situation in the (near) future, instead of the currently growing quagmire.

In his recent Friday-prayers speech, Iran's former president, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, pointed at the irony of the US seeking Iran's support to "tow them out of the bottom" of Iraq's morass, openly wondering what incentives Iran would have to do so. A response to this question was given by James Baker, the former US secretary of state and now head of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG). In a recent meeting with Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, he reminded Iran that Iraq's crisis is also a crisis for neighboring Iran.

Reportedly the ISG will recommend direct US dialogue with Iran and Syria over Iraq, and Baker and his colleagues must now be encouraged that both countries are showing serious signs of improving relations with Iraq, reflected most vividly in Syria's initiative to normalize diplomatic relations with Baghdad after 24 years.

Thus the weekend's summit in Tehran may prove a prelude to dialogue with the US, which continues to occupy Iraq at exorbitant price and yet without any prospect of "military victory", to paraphrase US statesman Henry Kissinger.

Turning the challenge of Iraq's (in)security into an opportunity for Tehran and Damascus, a modus vivendi with the US is now a distinct possibility, although opposition will come as stern objections from Israel and the pro-Israel forces encircling the White House.

Yet irrespective of the latter, and the relentless Israeli disinformation campaign aimed at torpedoing any Western policy shift on Iran, eg, by spreading the rumors of an Iranian nuclear test per a report in the Jerusalem Post, Iran continues to push for its revised and invigorated Iraq policy based primarily on its highly intertwined Iraq and US policies.

What the US invasion of Iraq managed to do almost overnight was to turn the long-standing Iran-Iraq dispute into an extension of Iran-US relations, as a result of which today it is nearly impossible to disentangle the two issues. This is at least so as long as Iran perceives the "new Iraq" less as an independent state and more as a continuously occupied state that it must penetrate and create zones of influence both to deter the US threat and to enhance its regional standing.

"Let us not forget that the Iraq crisis today is also a crisis of American hegemony," a Tehran political analyst told this author recently, adding that a net benefit of this "double crisis" for Iran has been the absence of an invasion by the US - the augment being that in all probability the US would have invaded Iran by now had it succeeded in Iraq.

Iran's dilemma, however, is that a complete failure of the US in Iraq is not in Iran's interests either, given Iran's fear of terrorism, mass refugees and irredentism from behind its vast western borders with Iraq. Tehran and the occupying powers may have their own interests in mind, but their common fear of Iraq's collapse is what could ultimately heal their great divide.

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) and co-author of "Negotiating Iran's Nuclear Populism", Brown Journal of World Affairs, Volume XII, Issue 2, Summer 2005, with Mustafa Kibaroglu. He also wrote "Keeping Iran's nuclear potential latent", Harvard International Review, and is author of Iran's Nuclear Program: Debating Facts Versus Fiction.

The Department of No Surprise

Ex-employee says FAA warned before 9/11

November 24, 2006
by Catherine Rampell,

From 1995 to 2001, Bogdan Dzakovic served as a team leader on the Federal Aviation Administration's Red Team. Set up by Congress to help the FAA think like terrorists, the elite squad tested airport security systems.

In the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Dzakovic says, the team was able to breach security about 90% of the time, sneaking bombs and submachine guns past airport screeners. Expensive new bomb detection machines consistently failed, he says.

The team repeatedly warned the FAA of the potential for security breaches and hijackings but was told to cover up its findings, Dzakovic says.

Eventually, the FAA began notifying airports in advance when the Red Team would be doing its undercover testing, Dzakovic says. He and other Red Team members approached the Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General, the General Accounting Office and members of Congress about the FAA's alleged misconduct regarding the Red Team's aviation security tests. No one did anything, he says.

Then came 9/11.

"Immediately (after 9/11), numerous government officials from FAA as well as other government agencies made defensive statements such as, 'How could we have known this was going to happen?' " Dzakovic testified later before the 9/11 Commission. "The truth is, they did know."

About a month after 9/11, he filed a complaint with the Office of the Special Counsel, the government agency that investigates whistle-blower cases. It alleged that the FAA had covered up Red Team findings. A subsequent Department of Transportation Inspector General's report, ordered by the OSC in response to Dzakovic's complaint, concluded that the "Red Team program was grossly mismanaged and that the result was a serious compromise of public safety."

After filing his complaint, Dzakovic was removed from his Red Team leadership position. He now works for the Transportation Security Administration, which has responsibility for airport security. His primary assignments include tasks such as hole-punching, updating agency phonebooks and "thumb-twiddling," he says. At least he hasn't received a pay cut, he says. He makes about $110,000 a year for what he describes as "entry-level idiot work."

TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser would not comment on Dzakovic's allegations that he was retaliated against for being a whistle-blower. He said in an e-mail, "While TSA transitioned functions out of FAA, many employees were doing work outside of their pre-9/11 duties. Once TSA was established, Mr. Dzakovic did find a productive position within the agency and has been a valued contributor in our efforts to provide the highest level of security in all modes of transportation."

Financial Section

Dollar loses ground against euro

November 24, 2006
BBC News

The dollar has plunged to its lowest level against the euro since April 2005 amid concerns for the US economy.

The euro surged to $1.3086 against the dollar, with many other currencies following suit.

Sterling rose almost 1% to $1.93, the yen hit a two-month high and Russia's rouble rose to a seven-year high.

Analysts have voiced concerns about the US economy after the White House downgraded its growth forecasts amid a sharp slowdown in the housing market.

Meanwhile, expectations that the European Central Bank is once again about to raise interest rates gave a lift to the euro.

Recent figures showing an unexpected rise in German business sentiment - its seventh quarterly rise in a row - also helped. So did French data showing that business confidence held at five-year highs in November.

However, traders added that thin trade as a result of the US Thanksgiving holiday might have benefited the euro.

"For the time being, the news flow is favouring the euro. If we close above $1.30 today, the key will be if we reject all of this as a Thanksgiving phenomenon or not," said Ian Gunner, head of foreign exchange research at Mellon Bank.

November 28, 2006 -- Ecuador's newly-elected President Rafael Correra is already facing U.S. and international banking syndicate Psyops designed to weaken his administration. Correa, an avowed opponent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and other global financial elite contrivances, is already being blamed by such "news" organizations as Bloomberg for driving down Ecuador's bond prices.

Other dubious global media outlets tied to the financial elites, particularly the Washington Post and the Associated Press, are claiming that Correa will not be able to govern Ecuador since the Ecuadorian Congress is in the hands of his political opposition.

Usual suspects wasting no time in attacking and undermining Ecuador's President-elect Correa.

And in the most obvious Psyops strategy, Correa is being linked by various neo-con "think tank" and private intelligence operations in the United States to the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), the guerrilla group that has been battling the Colombian oligarchy for decades. The U.S. right has attempted to link both Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morlaes of Bolivia to the FARC.

Correa's threat to close the U.S. "drug interdiction" airbase at Manta, Ecuador has also resulted in the U.S. right accusing him of links to drug dealers. In fact, Manta is a US Special Operations "forward operating location" used to provide military assistance to oligarchies in Colombia and Peru to fight populist insurgents and right-wing paramilitaries in Bolivia and Venezuela to topple progressive governments.


November 28, 2006 -- In addition to Russian-Israeli Mafia, Litvinenko radiation poisoning now linked to Iraqi oil business and military occupation. British police have discovered traces of polonium 210, the radioactive substance sued to kill former Russian FSB and KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, in the office of wanted Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky. London sources confirmed that traces of the radioactive substance were found at 7 Down Street in London's Mayfair district, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper.

An Internet search shows that the Interpark House office building at 7 Down Street also houses the headquarters of the coal, oil, and energy hedge fund firm Starsupply Tullett Energy; offices of Metro International, the global media firm; Nichiei, Ltd., a Japanese consulting firm; and Capital Corporation plc, which owns three London casinos, Crockfords and the Colony Club in Mayfair and the Cromwell Mint in Kensington.

The Litvinenko murder grows murkier with ties discovered to Ahmad Chalabi-connected security firm.

Although British police were on guard at Berezovsky's office, the Russian-Israeli businessman who is wanted for a variety of crimes in Russia, told the Guardian, "I don't know anything about police at my office," and refused any further comment on the case. Berezovsky was a colleague of Litvinenko and were working jointly to topple the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian President has made it a hallmark of his administration to crack down on the Russian mobsters and oligarchs who looted the Soviet and Russian treasuries, consorted with Chechen terrorists and engaged in "true flag" bombings involving Chechens in Moscow and other Russian cities, and then fled to Israel.

One tycoon who did not escape Putin is former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was jailed for tax evasion.

Scotland Yard has also found traces of polonium at an office building in London's West End that houses the business intelligence firm, Titon International Ltd., and Erinsys UK Ltd., a private military contractor that is operating in Iraq. ABC News reported that an Erinsys spokesman confirmed that Litvinenko vicited the Erinsys office on a "matter totally unrelated" to the poisoning but declined to provide any details.

WMR previously reported on Erinsys' ties to the Iraqi agent of influence Ahmad Chalabi:

October 16, 2006 -- With the Iraqi bloodbath against civilians and policemen continuing, it is interesting to note the comments made by the the Iraqi Interior Minister about the parties that he claims are principally responsible for the massacres. Jawad al-Bolani, in a Friday press conference in Baghdad, rejected neo-con Bush administration claims that most of the deaths in Iraq are caused by insurgents who infiltrated the military and police. al-Bolani laid responsibility for the deaths, including gruesome beheadings of civilians, at the feet of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)-inspired Facilities Protection Service (FPS), an unregulated force of 150,000 foreign and Iraqi private security contractors. 14,000 of the Iraqi security personnel are from the Iraqi Free Forces, a militia loyal to neocon Iraqi shill Ahmad Chalabi. The remainder are drawn from paramilitary forces with some of the worst human rights records in the world: South Africa's apartheid regime security forces; Colombian, Salvadoran, and Chilean anti-guerrilla paramilitaries; and other special forces from the United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Nepal, Fiji, and the Philippines. Beheadings, such as those seen in Iraq, are a hallmark of the Nepalese Gurkhas, some of whom are working as private contractors in Iraq.

The chief private contractor involved in the FPS is Erinsys Ltd., which received a sole source contract from the CPA to provide security for the "oil infrastructure" in Iraq. Only in Bush's Iraq, is the oil infrastructure deserving of greater importance than the protection of human life. Erinsys is connected to Chalabi through its partnership with northern Virginia-based Nour USA Ltd., incorporated in May 2003 by Aboul Huda Farouki, a Jordanian-American who has been the recipient of a number of Department of Defense contracts. Darouki's seed money for his business, HAIFinance, originated in the 1980s from Petra International Banking Corporation, a Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) Jordanian affiliate, which was managed by Mohammed Chalabi, a nephew of Ahmad Chalabi. Erinsys Iraq's counsel is Salam Chalabi, another nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, and a business partner of Douglas Feith's Jerusalem-based law partner, Marc Zell (Feith & Zell [FANZ]).

A full circle indeed: Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Litvinenko, Ahmad Chalabi, Aboul Huda Farouki, Mohammed Chalabi, Salam Chalabi, Marc Zell, and Douglas Feith. While in exile, Ahmad Chalabi was a high-flying London resident and known as the "Savile Row Shi'ite." We can begin to see who the real perpetrators of America's disastrous decision to invade and occupy Iraq. And now the neo-cons are trying to distance themselves from their heinous actions and policies.


November 28, 2006 -- George W. Bush Library and associated "think tank" to be located in Dallas. The contest to host the George W. Bush Presidential Library and an associated think tank is down to Baylor, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Dallas. The final decision is expected by December or January. The library's fund is already drawing large million dollar donations from the Bush family's wealthy cronies.

The choice of Dallas to house the Bush II Library provides a stark reminder of the impact the Bush family has had on U.S. history over the past 45 years, Dallas is also the home of the infamous Texas School Book Depository (TBSD). The founder of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol, David Harold Byrd, owned the TSBD when it was used as one of the snipers nests for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Louisiana Civil Air Patrol (LCAP) figures prominently in the hit on Kennedy. The LCAP alumni include David Ferrie, Lee Harvey Oswald, James R. Bath (George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard pal and fellow AWOL truant as well as Bin Laden family agent), Charles Rogers, Barry Seal and John Liggett.

A WMR reader who is also a JFK assassination expert maintains that Rogers was one of the three tramps in Dallas' Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963. The researcher also claims that CIA operative Chauncey Holt (also one of the three tramps) confirmed that Rogers was one of the tramps.

George W. Bush Presidential Library to be in Dallas -- however, the fitting legacy to Bush Family crimes is the Texas School Book Depository.

Seal was a notorious CIA drug runner who was gunned down with George H. W. Bush's telephone number in the trunk of his car (George deMohrenshildt, Lee Harvey Oswald's Dallas handler upon Oswald's return from the USSR, also had George H. W. Bush's home address and phone number in his personal address book just before his suicide and 1978 Congressional testimony on his knowledge of the JFK assassination). Liggett was a Dallas mortician who was considered the best in face and head reconstruction, and was utilized to alter the true appearance of JFK after the assassination.

And the Bush connections with a Kennedy assassination do not end with November 22, 1963 in Dallas. A recent Guardian report places CIA agent David Morales -- who was posted as the Operations Chief at the CIA's JM/WAVE station and was involved in the CIA's ZF/RIFLE plot to kill Fidel Castro -- at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5th, 1968. The same Morales that was part of Operation 40 and was in the TSBD according to witnesses in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The Guardian quotes Morales as saying in 1973, "I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard." Veteran US State Department diplomat Wayne Smith, the former chief US liaison officer in Havana, said Morales told him at a Buenos Aires cocktail party in 1975 that "Kennedy [Bobby] got what was coming to him." Smith said that Morales "hated the Kennedys, blaming their lack of air support for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961."

Morales was part of the CIA's Operation 40, the program that engineered the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. Morales' colleagues included Luis Posada Carriles (who carried out the terrorist bombing of the Barbados-Trinidad-Havana Cubana Flight 455 off the coast of Barbados in 1976) and Orlando Bosch (involved in the 1976 car bombing of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his American colleague on Massachusetts Avenue in the heart of Washington's Embassy Row in 1976). Both terrorist acts were signed off and approved by then-CIA Director George H. W. Bush. Another Operation 40 principal was former CIA Director and Florida Representative Porter Goss.

Morales died of a heart attack in 1978, just a few week before testifying before the House Committee on Assassinations.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas will serve as a perception management center that will work in tandem with the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University to hype the "good deeds" of America's most hideous and atrocious family.