organization:department of state

  • The New York Times and its Uyghur “activist” - World Socialist Web Site

    9 May 2019 - The New York Times has furnished a case study of the way in which it functions as the conduit for the utterly hypocritical “human rights” campaigns fashioned by the CIA and the State Department to prosecute the predatory interests of US imperialism.

    While turning a blind eye to the gross abuses of democratic rights by allies such as Saudi Arabia, the US has brazenly used “human rights” for decades as the pretext for wars, diplomatic intrigues and regime-change. The media is completely integrated into these operations.

    Another “human rights” campaign is now underway. The New York Times is part of the mounting chorus of condemnation of China over its treatment of the Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uyghur minority in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

    In an article on May 4 entitled “In push for trade deal, Trump administration shelves sanctions over China’s crackdown on Uyghurs,” the New York Times joined in criticism of the White House, particularly by the Democrats, for failing to impose punitive measures on Beijing.

    The strident denunciations of China involve unsubstantiated allegations that it is detaining millions of Uyghurs without charge or trial in what Beijing terms vocational training camps.

    The New York Times reported, without qualification, the lurid claims of US officials, such as Assistant Secretary of Defence Randall Schriver, who last Friday condemned “the mass imprisonment of Chinese Muslims in concentration camps” and boosted the commonly cited figure of up to a million to “up to three million” in detention. No evidence has been presented for either claim.

    The repression of the Uyghurs is completely bound up with the far broader oppression of the working class by the Chinese capitalist elites and the Chinese Communist Party regime that defends their interests. The US campaign on the Uyghurs, however, has nothing to do with securing the democratic rights of workers, but is aimed at stirring up reactionary separatist sentiment.

    The US has longstanding ties to right-wing separatist organisations based on Chinese minorities—Tibetans as well as the Uyghurs—that it helped create, fund and in some cases arm. As the US, first under President Obama and now Trump, has escalated its diplomatic, economic and military confrontation with China, the “human rights” of Uyghurs has been increasingly brought to the fore.

    Washington’s aim, at the very least, is to foment separatist opposition in Xinjiang, which is a crucial source of Chinese energy and raw materials as well as being pivotal to its key Belt and Road Initiative to integrate China more closely with Eurasia. Such unrest would not only weaken China but could lead to a bloody war and the fracturing of the country. Uyghur separatists, who trained in the US network of Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, openly told Radio Free Asia last year of their intention to return to China to wage an armed insurgency.

    The New York Times is completely in tune with the aims behind these intrigues—a fact that is confirmed by its promotion of Uyghur “activist” Rushan Abbas.

    Last weekend’s article highlighted Abbas as the organiser of a tiny demonstration in Washington to “pressure Treasury Department officials to take action against Chinese officials involved in the Xinjiang abuses.” She told the newspaper that the Uyghur issue should be included as part of the current US-China trade talks, and declared: “They are facing indoctrination, brainwashing and the elimination of their values as Muslims.”

    An article “Uyghur Americans speak against China’s internment camps” on October 18 last year cited her remarks at the right-wing think tank, the Hudson Institute, where she “spoke out” about the detention of her aunt and sister. As reported in the article: “I hope the Chinese ambassador here reads this,” she said, wiping away tears. “I will not stop. I will be everywhere and speak on this at every event from now on.”

    Presented with a tearful woman speaking about her family members, very few readers would have the slightest inkling of Abbas’s background, about which the New York Times quite deliberately says nothing. Abbas is a highly connected political operator with long standing ties to the Pentagon, the State Department and US intelligence agencies at the highest level as well as top Republican Party politicians. She is a key figure in the Uyghur organisations that the US has supported and funded.

    Currently, Abbas is Director of Business Development in ISI Consultants, which offers to assist “US companies to grow their businesses in Middle East and African markets.” Her credentials, according to the company website, include “over 15 years of experience in global business development, strategic business analysis, business consultancy and government affairs throughout the Middle East, Africa, CIS regions, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and Latin America.”

    The website also notes: “She also has extensive experience working with US government agencies, including Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and various US intelligence agencies.” As “an active campaigner for human rights,” she “works closely with members of the US Senate, Congressional Committees, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the US Department of State and several other US government departments and agencies.”

    This brief summary makes clear that Abbas is well connected in the highest levels of the state apparatus and in political circles. It also underscores the very close ties between the Uyghur organisations, in which she and her family members are prominent, and the US intelligence and security agencies.

    A more extensive article and interview with Abbas appeared in the May 2019 edition of the magazine Bitter Winter, which is published by the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions. The magazine focuses on “religious liberty and human rights in China” and is part of a conservative, right-wing network in Europe and the United States. The journalist who interviewed Abbas, Marco Respinti, is a senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Centre for Cultural Renewal, and a board member of the Centre for European Renewal—both conservative think tanks.

    The article explains that Abbas was a student activist at Xinjiang University during the 1989 protests by students and workers against the oppressive Beijing regime, but left China prior to the brutal June 4 military crackdown that killed thousands in the capital and throughout the country. At the university, she collaborated with Dolkun Isa and “has worked closely with him ever since.”

    Dolkun Isa is currently president of the World Uyghur Congress, established in 2004 as an umbrella group for a plethora of Uyghur organisations. It receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy—which is one of the fronts used by the CIA and the US State Department for fomenting opposition to Washington’s rivals, including so-called colour revolutions, around the world.

    Isa was the subject of an Interpol red notice after China accused him of having connections to the armed separatist group, the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation, a claim he denied. East Turkestan is the name given to Xinjiang by Uyghur separatists to denote its historic connections to Turkey. None of the Western countries in which he traveled moved to detain him and the red notice was subsequently removed, no doubt under pressure from Washington.

    Bitter Winter explained that after moving to the US, Abbas cofounded the first Uyghur organisation in the United States in 1993—the California-based Tengritagh Overseas Students and Scholars Association. She also played a key role in the formation of the Uyghur American Association in 1998, which receives funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Last year its Uyghur Human Rights Project was awarded two NED grants totaling $320,000. Her brother Rishat Abbas was the association’s first vice-chairman and is currently the honorary chairman of the Uyghur Academy based in Turkey.

    When the US Congress funded a Uyghur language service for the Washington-based Radio Free Asia, Abbas became its first reporter and news anchor, broadcasting daily to China. Radio Free Asia, like its counterpart Radio Free Europe, began its existence in the 1950s as a CIA conduit for anti-communist propaganda. It was later transferred to the US Information Agency, then the US State Department and before being incorporated as an “independent,” government-funded body. Its essential purpose as a vehicle for US disinformation and lies has not changed, however.

    In a particularly revealing passage, Bitter Winter explained: “From 2002–2003, Ms. Abbas supported Operation Enduring Freedom as a language specialist at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.” In the course of the interview with the magazine, Abbas attempted to explain away her involvement with the notorious prison camp by saying that she was simply acting on behalf of 22 Uyghurs who were wrongfully detained and ultimately released—after being imprisoned for between four to 11 years!

    Given the denunciations of Chinese detention camps, one might expect that Abbas would have something critical to say about Guantanamo Bay, where inmates are held indefinitely without charge or trial and in many cases tortured. However, she makes no criticism of the prison or its procedures, nor for that matter of Operation Enduring Freedom—the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that resulted in the deaths of a million civilians.

    It is clear why. Abbas is plugged into to the very top levels of the US state apparatus and political establishment in Washington. Her stints with Radio Free Asia and at Guantanamo Bay are undoubtedly not the only times that she has been directly on the payroll.

    As Bitter Winter continued: “She has frequently briefed members of the US Congress and officials at the State Department on the human rights situation of the Uyghur people, and their history and culture, and arranged testimonies before Congressional committees and Human Rights Commissions.

    “She provided her expertise to other federal and military agencies as well, and in 2007 she assisted during a meeting between then-President George W. Bush and Rebiya Kadeer, the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs, in Prague. Later that year she also briefed then First Lady Laura Bush in the White House on the Human Rights situation in Xinjiang.”

    It should be noted, Rebiya Kadeer is the “the world-famous moral leader of the Uyghurs,” only in the eyes of the CIA and the US State Department who have assiduously promoted her, and of the US-funded Uyghur organisations. She was one of the wealthiest businesswomen in China who attended the National People’s Congress before her husband left for the US and began broadcasting for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. She subsequently fled China to the US and has served as president both of the World Uyghur Congress and the American Uyghur Association.

    The fact that Russan Abbas is repeatedly being featured in the New York Times is an indication that she is also being groomed to play a leading role in the mounting US propaganda offensive against China over the persecution of the Uyghurs. It is also a telling indictment of the New York Times which opens its pages to her without informing its readers of her background. Like Abbas, the paper of record is also plugged into the state apparatus and its intelligence agencies.

    #Chine #Xinjiang_Weiwuer_zizhiqu #USA #impérialisme #services_secretes

    新疆維吾爾自治區 / 新疆维吾尔自治区, Xīnjiāng Wéiwú’ěr zìzhìqū, englisch Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

  • Trump administration ban on cruises to Cuba creates chaos for U.S. travelers - Reuters

    The Trump administration banned cruises to Cuba under new restrictions on U.S. travel to the Caribbean island imposed on Tuesday to pressure its Communist government to reform and stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

    The tightening of the decades-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will further wound its crippled economy, as well as hurt U.S. travel companies that had built up Cuban business during the brief 2014-2016 detente between the old Cold War foes.

    The State Department said the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, as well as private and corporate aircraft.

    The U.S. Commerce Department told Reuters the ban would be effective from Wednesday, giving cruise lines no grace period to change destinations and creating confusion among cruise passengers.

  • US now seeking social media details from all visa applicants

    The State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers. It’s a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors. In a move that’s just taken effect after approval of the revised application forms, the department says it has updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to request the additional information, including “social media (...)

    #Identité #SocialNetwork #migration #surveillance #web


  • Netanyahu shows off Trumps map of Israel with Golan Heights marked nice - anews

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, embroiled in political chaos after failing to assemble a governing coalition, attempted Thursday to divert public attention with his signature strategy: political theater.

    Addressing a nation bewildered by the prospect of an unprecedented second election campaign in the same year, Netanyahu brandished an official State Department map that had been updated to incorporate the long-disputed Golan Heights as part of Israel.

    He said that U.S. President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner gifted him the map during his visit to Israel. Kushner and other architects of the administration’s Mideast peace plan are traveling the region to build momentum for the long-awaited proposal.

    #clichés_arabes #israël

  • Le Département des transports états-uniens suspend tous les vols, passagers ou fret, de et vers le #Venezuela.

    Estados Unidos suspendió todos los vuelos desde y hacia Venezuela

    El Departamento de Transporte de Estados Unidos informó este martes la suspensión de todos los vuelos desde y hacia Venezuela debido a la crisis que padece el país. 

    En el texto explica que en el territorio nacional existe una amenaza a la seguridad de los pasajeros, aeronaves y tripulaciones que viajan desde un aeropuerto extranjero hasta Venezuela o desde este país hacia destinos foráneos. 

    La publicación, autorizada por Kevin McAleenan, secretario interino de la seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos, recomienda a los ciudadanos no viajar al país luego de la suspensión de las operaciones de su embajada. Los inspectores de la Administración de Seguridad del Transporte (TSA) advierten que no viajen al territorio debido a las preocupaciones de seguridad. 

    El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) sostiene que debido a los factores que afectan al país se requiere una suspensión inmediata de todos los vuelos comerciales de pasajeros y de carga entre Estados Unidos y Venezuela.

    • Departamento de Transporte de EEUU suspende todos los vuelos desde y hacia Venezuela | United States Department Of Homeland Security (158K views)

      Acting Secretary McAleenan has based his conclusion on a number of factors including:
      (1) reports of civil unrest and violence in and around the airports;
      (2) the inability of TSA to gain access to Venezuelan airports to conduct required security assessments to ensure that adequate security measures are in place;
      (3) the current economic and political crisis in Venezuela;
      (4) cancellation of flights to the country by American Airlines, the largest air carrier providing service, and two other carriers;
      (5) the U.S. Department of State’s publication of Do Not Travel advisories, suspension of Embassy operations, and recommendation that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspectors not enter the country owing to safety concerns;
      (6) the Federal Aviation Administration’s issuance of a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on May 1, 2019, which prohibits all flight operations by U.S. air carriers and commercial operators in Venezuela airspace below FL 260; and
      (7) the risk of Maduro regime actions against Americans and American interests located in Venezuela.

      Based on these findings regarding current conditions in Venezuela by DHS, I agree that the public interest requires an immediate suspension of foreign air transportation between the United States and Venezuelan airports.

    • Venezuela : les sanctions, c’est bien, mais y a des limites ! Quand ça nous embête, c’est pas bien ! [l’opposition vénézuélienne en exil aux É.-U.]

      Veppex pidió a Trump reactivar vuelos de EE UU a Caracas

      Grupos del exilio venezolano pidieron este viernes al presidente Donald Trump reactivar los vuelos de Estados Unidos a Venezuela, al señalar que la suspensión ha afectado a la gente común y ha dejado varados a decenas de pasajeros en aeropuertos.

      Los grupos Venezolanos Perseguidos Políticos en el Exilio (Veppex) y Madres Venezolanas en el Exterior (Amavex) señalaron en rueda de prensa que aprueban las medidas de presión «para aislar al régimen de Nicolás Maduro», pero que se debe «corregir» la suspensión de los vuelos.

      La activista Helene Villalonga, de Amavex, hizo un llamado de atención al gobierno de Trump por esa medida, al subrayar que ha afectado no a los funcionarios, como se podría pensar en principio, sino al venezolano común. Además, dijo a Efe que los venezolanos varados en el aeropuerto de Miami no han tenido respuesta a sus reclamos por parte de las aerolíneas, que solo les ofrecen llevarlos a un tercer país.

  • Pakistan : des insurgés baloutches visent les intérêts chinois à #Gwadar

    Des forces de sécurité pakistanaises patrouillent dans le port de Gwadar, à 700 km à l’ouest de Karachi, le 13 novembre 2016. La cité portuaire doit devenir le point d’ancrage sur la mer du Corridor économique Chine-Pakistan (CPEC).

    L’attaque, samedi 11 mai, contre le seul hôtel de luxe de la petite ville portuaire de Gwadar, aux confins de la province du Baloutchistan, symbole de la présence chinoise au Pakistan, a fait cinq morts, dont quatre employés de l’établissement et un soldat. Les forces de sécurité sont parvenues à reprendre le contrôle des lieux, dimanche, après avoir tué les trois assaillants qui s’y étaient repliés. L’opération a été revendiquée par l’Armée de libération du Baloutchistan (ALB) qui visait « les Chinois et autres investisseurs étrangers ».

    Le commando armé, habillé en militaires, s’était introduit à l’intérieur de l’hôtel, construit sur une colline faisant face à la mer. Souvent peu occupé, voire quasi désert, le Pearl Continental accueille généralement des officiels pakistanais de passage ou des étrangers, surtout des cadres chinois, travaillant à la construction d’un port en eau profonde qui doit être l’un des maillons des « nouvelles routes de la soie » promues par Pékin. Le premier ministre pakistanais, Imran Khan, a condamné l’attaque, considérant qu’elle voulait « saboter [les] projets économiques et [la] prospérité » du pays.

    Le symbole est fort. Gwadar doit devenir le point d’ancrage sur la mer du Corridor économique Chine-Pakistan (CPEC), dans lequel Pékin a prévu d’investir 55 milliards d’euros pour relier la province occidentale chinoise du Xinjiang et la mer d’Arabie. En 2018, le responsable du développement portuaire de Gwadar, Dostain Jamaldini, indiquait au Monde « qu’en 2014, la ville n’était encore qu’un village de pêcheurs mais en 2020-23, nous disposerons de 2,6 kilomètres de quais capables de recevoir cinq cargos, et dans vingt ans, ce sera l’un des principaux ports du monde ».

    Pour l’heure, en dépit de l’inauguration, au printemps 2018, par le premier ministre pakistanais d’alors, de plusieurs bâtiments construits par les Chinois dans la zone franche qui longe le port, l’activité demeure très faible.

    #OBOR #One_Belt_One_Road

  • Patrick Syring Convicted Of Hate Crimes After Targeting Arab American Group : NPR

    The institute’s ordeal with Syring began in 2006, during Israel’s war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Syring, at the time a long-serving State Department diplomat, saw Zogby interviewed on TV about the conflict and began sending him hate-filled emails and voicemails. Often, he spammed the whole office with his tirades, which included phrases such as, “Death to all Arabs.”

  • Spain’s Far-right Vox Received Almost $1M from ’Marxist-Islamist’ Iranian Exiles: Report | News | teleSUR English

    It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    With the April 28 general elections in Spain over, the far-right party Vox gained about 10 percent of parliamentary seats, marking the far-right’s rising comeback into politics four decades after Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. While a less alarmist reading would say that the far-right was always there, hidden in the conservative People’s Party (PP), the fact that they are out in the open strengthens Europe’s wave of far-right xenophobic and anti-European advance.

    The party appealed to voters in one of Spain’s most contested elections since its return to democracy, mostly basing its arguments against leftists politics, social liberals, migrants, charged mainly with an Islamophobic narrative. Emphasizing the return of a long lost Spain and pushing to fight what they refer to as an “Islamist invasion,” which is the “enemy of Europe.” One could summarize it as an Iberian version of “Make Spain Great Again.”

    Yet while this definitely appealed to almost two million voters, many are unaware of where their party’s initial funding came from. Back in January 2019, an investigation made by the newspaper El Pais revealed, through leaked documents, that almost one million euros - approximately 80 percent of its 2014 campaign funding - donated to Vox between its founding in December 2013 and the European Parliament elections in May 2014 came via the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a self-declared “Marxist” organization and an Islamist group made up of Iranian exiles.

    However, this is where things get complicated. The NCRI is based in France and was founded in 1981 by Massoud Rajavi and Abolhassan Banisadr, nowadays its president-elect is Maryam Rajavi (Massoud’s wife). The Rajavis are also the leaders of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). A reason for many to believe that the NCRI is just a front for the MEK, which over the past few decades has managed to create a complicated web of anti-Iranian, pro-Israel and right-wing government support from all over the world.

    To understand MEK, it’s necessary to review the 1953 U.S. and British-backed coup which ousted democratically elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh and instituted a monarchical dictatorship led by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

    The oppression carried out by the Pahlavi royal family led to the creation of many radical groups, one which was MEK, whose ideology combined Marxism and Islamism. Its original anti-west, especially anti-U.S. sentiment pushed for the killing of six U.S citizens in Iran in the 1970s. While in 1979, they enthusiastically cheered the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. After the Iranian Revolution, its young leaders, including Rajavi, pushed for endorsement from the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but were denied.

    So Rajavi, allied with the winner of the country’s first presidential election, Abolhassan Banisadr, who was not an ally of Khomeini, either. Soon Banisadr and MEK became some of Khomeini’s main opposition figures and had fled to Iraq and later to France.

    In the neighboring country, MEK allied with Sadam Hussein to rage war against Iran. In a RAND report, allegations of the group’s complicity with Saddam are corroborated by press reports that quote Maryam Rajavi encouraging MEK members to “take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards."

    The organization was deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union for the better part of the 1990s, but things changed after the U.S. invasion to Iraq in 2003. This is when the U.S. neoconservative strategist leading the Department of State and the intelligence agencies saw MEK as an asset rather than a liability. Put simply in words they applied the dictum of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    The U.S.’s dismissal of past crimes reinvigorated MEK’s intense lobbying campaign to have itself removed from terrorist lists in the U.S. and the European Union. MEK, which by the beginning of the 21 century had morphed into a cult-like group according to many testimonies from dissidents, moved from Camp Ashraf to the U.S-created Camp Liberty outside of Baghdad. And that’s when things rapidly changed.

    According to the Guardian, between 2007 and 2012, a number of Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked. In 2012, NBC News, citing two unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the attacks were planned by Israel’s Mossad and executed by MEK operatives inside Iran. By 2009 and 2012, the EU and the U.S. respectively took it out of its terrorist organizations list.

    Soon after it gained support from U.S. politicians like Rudy Giuliani and current National Security Advisor John Bolton, who now call MEK a legitimate opposition to the current Iranian government. As the U.S. neocon forefathers did before, MEK shed its “Marxism.” After the U.S.’s official withdrawal from Iraq, they built MEK a safe have in Albania, near Tirana, where the trail of money can be followed once again.

    Hassan Heyrani, a former member of MEK’s political department who defected in 2018, and handled parts of the organization’s finances in Iraq, when asked by Foreign Policy where he thought the money for MEK came from, he answered: “Saudi Arabia. Without a doubt.” For another former MEK member, Saadalah Saafi, the organization’s money definitely comes from wealthy Arab states that oppose Iran’s government.

    “Mojahedin [MEK] are the tool, not the funders. They aren’t that big. They facilitate,” Massoud Khodabandeh, who once served in the MEK’s security department told Foreign Policy. “You look at it and say, ‘Oh, Mojahedin are funding [Vox].’ No, they are not. The ones that are funding that party are funding Mojahedin as well.”

    Meanwhile, Danny Yatom, the former head of the Mossad, told the Jersulamen Post that Israel can implement some of its anti-Iran plans through MEK if a war were to break out. Saudi Arabia’s state-run television channels have given friendly coverage to the MEK, and Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, even appeared in July 2016 at a MEK rally in Paris.

    With Israel and Saudi Arabia backing MEK, the question of why a far-right movement would take money from an Islamist organization clears up a bit. Israel’s support of European far-right parties has been public. In 2010, a sizeable delegation arrived in Tel Aviv, consisting of some 30 leaders of the European Alliance for Freedom, gathering leaders such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Philip Dewinter from Belgium and Jorg Haider’s successor, Heinz-Christian Strache, from Austria.

    Yet for the U.S., Israel, and Saudi Arabia, MEK represents an anti-Iranian voice that they so desperately need, and that on the surface didn’t come from them directly. It is unlikely that Vox’s hyper-nationalist voters know that their party scored a significant presence in Spain’s parliament mostly thanks to Zionists, Islamists and foreigners.

    #Espagne #extrême_droite #Israël #Iran #Arabie_Saoudite #OMPI #Albanie

  • Here Are The US Government Damage Reports Made In The #WikiLeaks Aftermath Obtained Through Freedom Of Information Laws

    The Department of Defense authorized several damage assessment reports after WikiLeaks released its massive cache of classified documents, and BuzzFeed News can reveal some of their contents for the first time.

    The heavily redacted reports cover a roughly three-year time span. BuzzFeed News obtained more than 300 pages in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.


    Several damage assessment reports say that the records released by WikiLeaks contained details about previously undisclosed civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, which “could be used by the press or our adversaries to negatively impact support for current operations in the region .”

    Regarding the hundreds of thousands of Iraq-related military documents and State Department cables, the report assessed “with high confidence that disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former U.S. leadership in Iraq .”

    One heavily redacted damage assessment report determined that a different set of documents published the same year, relating to the US war in Afghanistan, would not result in “significant impact” to US operations .

    It did, however, have the potential to cause “serious damage” to “intelligence sources, informants and the Afghan population,” and US and NATO intelligence collection efforts. The most significant impact of the leaks, the report concluded, would likely be on the lives of “cooperative Afghans, Iraqis, and other foreign interlocutors.”

    #etats-unis #propagande #punition

  • Opinion | Two Women, Heroes for Our Age - The New York Times

    They are women who bravely challenged misogyny and dictatorship, one in Iran, the other in Saudi Arabia. Those two nations may be enemies, but they find common cause in their barbaric treatment of women — and since they are trying to squelch and smother these two women, we should shout their names from the mountaintops.

    Nasrin Sotoudeh, 55, is a writer and human rights lawyer who for decades has been fighting for women and children in Iran. Her family reports that this week she was sentenced to another 33 years in prison, on top of a five-year sentence she is now serving, plus 148 lashes.

    Loujain al-Hathloul, 29, a leader of the Saudi women’s rights movement, went on trial Wednesday after months of imprisonment and torture, including floggings, sexual harassment, waterboarding and electric shocks.

    Her sister Alia al-Hathloul told me that Loujain was finally presented with the charges against her, which included communicating with human rights organizations and criticizing the Saudi “guardianship” system for women.

    I previously suggested that Hathloul should get the Nobel Peace Prize, and she has now been nominated for it. So let me revise my proposal: Hathloul and Sotoudeh should win the Nobel together for their courageous advocacy of women’s rights before rival dictators who share one thing: a cruel misogyny.

    I know I’ll get notes from people who harrumph that the problem is simply Islam. That’s too glib, but it is fair to say that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei together tarnish the global image of Islam more than any army of blasphemers could.

    “This sentence is beyond barbaric,” the U.S. State Department said of Sotoudeh’s reported sentence. Quite true. But the State Department refuses to be equally blunt in denouncing Hathloul’s torture and imprisonment; that’s because it sees the Saudis as allies and the Iranians as enemies.

    What the Trump administration doesn’t seem to understand is this: If you care about human rights only in countries that you despise, you don’t actually care about human rights.

    Alia al-Hathloul said that her sister was ordered to sign a letter requesting a royal pardon, and did so, and that the torture appears to have ended. I’m hoping that the crown prince is looking for a way to climb down from his brutal mistreatment of the women’s rights activists and will eventually grant the pardon that she “requested.”

    Meanwhile, Iran seems to be cracking down harder. Amnesty International reports that Iran arrested more than 7,000 dissidents last year and that the 38-year combined sentence for Sotoudeh, if true, is the harshest imposed against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years. Iran state media suggested that she had been given a shorter sentence, but Sotoudeh and her family have much more credibility than Iran’s government.

    “The shockingly harsh sentence against her is a signal of just how unnerved the Iranian authorities have become,” Kumi Naidoo, the secretary general of Amnesty International, told me. He noted that women’s rights activists in Iran have become bolder, sometimes waving their head scarves on a stick and posting videos on social media.

    “With this cruel sentence, the Iranian authorities appear to be seeking to make an example of Nasrin Sotoudeh and to intimidate other women’s rights defenders,” he said.

    Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, was separately sentenced in January to six years in prison, for posting updates about his wife’s case on Facebook. The couple has two children, a 12-year-old son named Nima and a 19-year-old daughter named Mehraveh. Hadi Ghaemi of the Center for Human Rights in Iran said that relatives may now have to raise Nima and Mehraveh.

    “My dearest Mehraveh,” Sotoudeh once wrote her daughter from prison, “you were my main motivation for pursuing children’s rights. … Every time I came home from court, after having defended an abused child, I would hold you and your brother in my arms, finding it hard to let go of your embrace.”

    #femmes #héros #arabie_saoudite #iran

  • In first, U.S. drops ’occupied’ from report on West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights - U.S. News -

    After scrapping ’occupied territories’ from human rights report headline in 2018, State Department drops ’occupied’ from entire text

    #états-unis #israel #droit #leadership

  • Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Maduro Burned Aid Convoy - The New York Times

    Les conservateurs américains et Donald Trump pris en flagrant délit de fake news.

    Du bon journalisme de la part du New York Times, qui veut certainement redresser la barre et faire oublier son rôle de pourvoyeur de récits des faucons qui ont précédé la Guerre d’Irak.

    Une véritable manière d’éviter une intervention militaire que le journalisme basé sur les faits...

    CÚCUTA, Colombia — The narrative seemed to fit Venezuela’s authoritarian rule: Security forces, on the order of President Nicolás Maduro, had torched a convoy of humanitarian aid as millions in his country were suffering from illness and hunger.

    Vice President Mike Pence wrote that “the tyrant in Caracas danced” as his henchmen “burned food & medicine.” The State Department released a video saying Mr. Maduro had ordered the trucks burned. And Venezuela’s opposition held up the images of the burning aid, reproduced on dozens of news sites and television screens throughout Latin America, as evidence of Mr. Maduro’s cruelty.

    But there is a problem: The opposition itself, not Mr. Maduro’s men, appears to have set the cargo alight accidentally.

    Unpublished footage obtained by The New York Times and previously released tapes — including footage released by the Colombian government, which has blamed Mr. Maduro for the fire — allowed for a reconstruction of the incident. It suggests that a Molotov cocktail thrown by an antigovernment protester was the most likely trigger for the blaze.

    At one point, a homemade bomb made from a bottle is hurled toward the police, who were blocking a bridge connecting Colombia and Venezuela to prevent the aid trucks from getting through.

    But the rag used to light the Molotov cocktail separates from the bottle, flying toward the aid truck instead.

    Half a minute later, that truck is in flames.

    The same protester can be seen 20 minutes earlier, in a different video, hitting another truck with a Molotov cocktail, without setting it on fire.

    #Fake_News #Vénézuela #Donald_Trump #Guerre

  • U.S. Cancels Journalist’s Award Over Her Criticism of Trump – Foreign Policy

    Jessikka Aro was to receive a “#Women_of_Courage” prize. Then officials read her Twitter feed.

    Jessikka Aro, a Finnish investigative journalist, has faced down death threats and harassment over her work exposing Russia’s propaganda machine long before the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. In January, the U.S. State Department took notice, telling Aro she would be honored with the prestigious International Women of Courage Award, to be presented in Washington by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    Weeks later, the State Department rescinded the award offer. A State Department spokesperson said it was due to a “regrettable error,” but Aro and U.S. officials familiar with the internal deliberations tell a different story. They say the department revoked her award after U.S. officials went through Aro’s social media posts and found she had also frequently criticized President Donald Trump.

  • ’Outrageous abuse of privacy’ : New York orders inquiry into Facebook data use

    Order follows report that Facebook may access highly personal information including weight, blood pressure and ovulation status New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has ordered two state agencies to investigate a media report that Facebook may be accessing far more personal information than previously known from smartphone users, including health and other sensitive data. The directive to New York’s department of state and department of financial services (DFS) came after the Wall Street (...)

    #Facebook #algorithme #smartphone #données #santé #BigData #marketing #profiling


  • She Fled China’s Camps—but She’s Still Not Free – Foreign Policy

    Sayragul Sauytbay sits inside a defendants’ cage during a hearing at a court in Zharkent, Kazakhstan, on July 13, 2018.
    Ruslan Pryanikov/AFP/Getty Images

    Sayragul Sauytbay, the only person to have worked inside an internment camp in Xinjiang and spoken publicly about it, now faces an uncertain future in Kazakhstan.

    ALMATY, Kazakhstan—Speaking to a packed courthouse in eastern Kazakhstan in August 2018, Sayragul Sauytbay—an ethnic Kazakh Chinese national—provided some of the earliest testimony about Beijing’s vast internment camp system for Muslim minorities in its western Xinjiang region. As a former instructor at a camp, Sauytbay had crossed the border illegally into Kazakhstan four months earlier, as she feared internment herself, and now stood on trial with prosecutors in the Central Asian country vying for her deportation back to China.

    Sauytbay’s lawyers argued that she would be arrested or even killed for having shared knowledge of the camps, where between 800,000 and 2 million members of traditionally Muslim ethnic groups have been detained since 2017, according to U.S. State Department estimates. Despite Kazakhstan’s strong ties to Beijing, the court declined to send Sauytbay back to China. The ruling was seen as a rebuke of Kazakhstan’s powerful neighbor, and as Sauytbay was ushered out of the courtroom, she was greeted by a mob of supporters, who chanted, “Long live Kazakhstan!

    Then the previously outspoken Sauytbay went silent, engaging in a media blackout shortly after her trial. Now, six months later, the summer celebrations atop the courtroom steps look premature, with her future in Kazakhstan uncertain and pressure from China for her extradition growing.

    In an interview with Foreign Policy, Sauytbay, 42, said she fears that she may be sent back to China and that despite the August court ruling, her status in the country remains in limbo. Facing a growing set of obstacles—from attempts to ensure her silence to absent legal representation to having been repeatedly denied asylum status by the government—she said her time in Kazakhstan, where her husband and two children are both citizens, could be coming to an end.

    I am an inconvenient witness. I saw everything [in the camps],” Sauytbay said in a late January interview. “I can’t say that [China is] afraid of me, but they want me to keep silent.

    As the only person to have worked inside an internment camp in Xinjiang and spoken publicly about it, Sauytbay remains a particular liability for Beijing as it seeks to curb the mounting international criticism around its mass internment system.

    I’d love nothing more than to get asylum in Kazakhstan and be a happy mom with my children,” Sauytbay said. “But I don’t know if that is possible anymore. I can’t exclude pressure from the Chinese side on the government of Kazakhstan.

    Sauytbay said she remains conflicted about what to do. She is still committed to finding a way to have her status formalized in Kazakhstan, but she also feels a sense of duty to keep speaking out about the abuses she witnessed. Sauytbay reiterated claims she made during her hearing in August that she was granted access to classified documents that offered new insights about the inner workings of the network of camps in Xinjiang but refused to disclose any details.

    I don’t want to talk about that until I have some kind of protection,” she said. “I’d prefer that protection to come from Kazakhstan, but I might need help from other countries.

    Beijing made efforts to ensure Sauytbay’s silence. As first reported by the Globe and Mail, she received news that members of her family still in Xinjiang had been arrested and possibly sent to a camp by Chinese authorities during her trial in Kazakhstan. Sauytbay said she believes the arrests were in retaliation for her releasing information about the internment system in China and that a few months after her post-trial silence, she received word from contacts in Xinjiang that her family had been released and were now back home.

    Sauytbay also said a small group of people, unknown to her, came to her house after the trial and told her to keep silent. The small group of Kazakh-speaking men spoke in vague terms about the Chinese government’s policies in Xinjiang and said there would be consequences for her and her family if she spoke out again.

  • US calls for ‘new government’ in Venezuela | TheHill

    The State Department expressed support Saturday for an opposition party’s bid to replace Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela’s leader, declaring Maduro’s government illegitimate.

    A statement from the agency’s deputy spokesman, Robert Palladino, encouraged the Venezuelan General Assembly’s president, Juan Guaidó, who on Friday told supporters outside the legislature he was prepared to invoke the country’s constitution to remove Maduro and serve as interim president.

  • How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa

    The visits came in waves, sometimes as many as seven a month, and often at night. The strangers would lurk outside or bang on the automatic fence at the driveway. Many of them, accompanied by police officers, would accuse John and Ann of stealing their phones and laptops. Three teenagers showed up one day looking for someone writing nasty comments on their Instagram posts. A family came in search of a missing relative. An officer from the State Department appeared seeking a wanted fugitive. Once, a team of police commandos stormed the property, pointing a huge gun through the door at Ann, who was sitting on the couch in her living room eating dinner. The armed commandos said they were looking for two iPads.

    la suite de

    #internet #IP #géolocalisation

  • U.S. and North Korean officials met in Hanoi to discuss second Trump-Kim summit: South Korean newspaper | Reuters

    U.S. State Department officials recently met multiple times with North Korean counterparts in Hanoi and discussed planning a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a South Korean newspaper reported on Monday.

    U.S. officials discussed the schedule for the second Trump-Kim summit while in contact with North Korean officials in the Vietnamese capital city, fuelling speculation that Vietnam could host the event, the Munhwa Ilbo reported, citing unnamed diplomatic sources in Seoul and Washington.
    On Sunday, Trump told reporters in Washington that the United States and North Korea are “negotiating a location” for a second summit.

    It will be announced probably in the not too distant future,” Trump said. “They do want to meet and we want to meet and we’ll see what happens.

  • Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED

    Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.

    Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.

    Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.

    THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.

    TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.

    Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.

    A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.

    It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.

    Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

    For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.

    “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”

    He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.

    Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”

    Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.

    The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.

    Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.

    His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.

    On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.

    Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”

    In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”

    For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.

    Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals

    None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.

    THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.

    Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”

    At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.

    It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.

    The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.

    The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.

    An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.

    Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.

    Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”

    On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.

    When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.

    Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.

    INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.

    Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.

    By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.

    The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.

    As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.

    Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”

    Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.

    As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.

    The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)

    The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.

    Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”

    The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.

    The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.

    Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.

    From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.

    Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.

    IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.

    The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.

    The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.

    As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”

    At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”

    Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”

    After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.

    Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.

    There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.

    The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.

    To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”

    Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.

    Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.

    That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

    To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.

    “We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”

    At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.

    At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”

    From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.

    Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.

    THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.

    The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.

    Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.

    An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.

    With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.

    That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”

    The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.

    JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.

    The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.

    “Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”

    That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.

    “Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”

    For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.

    Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”

    #USA #Libye #impérialisme #terrorisme #histoire #CIA #idéologie #propagande

  • « Affirmer que l’Europe c’est la paix est une fadaise doublée d’une mystification » Olivier Delorme
    - 27 Novembre 2018 - Le Comptoir

    Le Comptoir : Vous vous moquez du lieu commun européiste disant que l’Europe c’est la paix… La formation de l’Union européenne n’a-t-elle pas aidé à pacifier une Europe qui a connu deux guerres mondiales et bien d’autres encore ?

    Olivier Delorme : Nullement. En réalité, la guerre est impossible en Europe dès lors que les États-Unis d’Amérique en 1945, puis l’Union soviétique en août 1949, ont acquis l’arme atomique. En effet, au mois d’avril de cette même année 1949, dix États européens de l’Ouest se sont liés au Canada et aux États-Unis par le pacte d’assistance mutuelle qu’on appelle l’Alliance atlantique, tandis que des troupes soviétiques stationnent dans la plupart des États d’Europe de l’Est qui formeront le Pacte de Varsovie en 1955. Dès lors, les deux Grands peuvent, en Europe, se jauger, se gêner, mais pas provoquer une remise en cause de l’équilibre qui dégénérerait en conflit nucléaire, puisque chacun considère son “glacis européen” comme faisant partie de ses intérêts vitaux. C’est l’équilibre de la terreur, et rien d’autre, qui assure la paix en Europe après 1945.

    Quant à la possibilité d’une guerre franco-allemande dans ce contexte géopolitique, elle relève simplement du burlesque. Les États-Unis exerçant sur l’Europe de l’Ouest une hégémonie sans partage jusqu’en 1958, il est en effet extravagant d’imaginer que des États qui dépendent entièrement d’eux pour leur sécurité et beaucoup pour leur approvisionnement et leur reconstruction (plan Marshall), qui abritent en outre sur leur territoire des bases américaines, puissent entrer en guerre les uns contre les autres. Enfin, lorsque la France quitte l’organisation militaire intégrée de l’Alliance atlantique (1966), c’est que sa force de dissuasion nucléaire est devenue opérationnelle : aucune agression directe contre elle de la part d’une puissance non nucléaire n’est donc plus envisageable. Dans ces conditions, affirmer que “l’Europe c’est la paix” est une fadaise doublée d’une mystification.

    La réalité, c’est que ce qu’on appelle la “construction européenne” et c’est une construction américaine de guerre froide : il ne s’est jamais agi que d’organiser économiquement la partie de l’Europe sous hégémonie américaine. On sait aujourd’hui que les services spéciaux américains ont abondamment financé les mouvements paneuropéens, et que la plupart des “Pères de l’Europe” ont été ce que les archives de la CIA désignent comme des hired hands ou mains louées, ce que je propose, dans ces 30 bonnes raisons pour sortir de l’Europe, de traduire par mercenaires ou domestiques appointés. D’ailleurs, nombre de ces Pères ont aussi eu une carrière à l’OTAN et/ou une retraite dorée dans des multinationales américaines.

    Quant à la pacification des relations entre les deux blocs de la guerre froide, elle n’a elle non plus strictement rien eu à voir avec la “construction européenne”. Elle s’est faite d’abord à l’initiative du général de Gaulle, qui parlait volontiers d’Europe de l’Atlantique à l’Oural, c’est-à-dire sans aucun rapport avec l’Europe américaine de Monnet et de ses compères, et pour partie en réaction à l’échec du seul plan européen qui n’a pas été inspiré ou patronné par les Américains (Plan Fouchet, 1961-1962) et que, pour cette raison, les partenaires d’alors de la Communauté économique européenne (CEE) ont fait capoter. De même, l’autre politique de détente européenne a été initiée par un autre État-nation du continent, et de nouveau hors du cadre de la CEE. C’est l’Ostpolitik de l’Allemand Willy Brandt, qui répond d’abord à des impératifs nationaux allemands. Les États-nations ont donc joué, dans la pacification de l’Europe, un rôle bien plus actif que la “construction européenne”.

    Ajoutons encore que, à Chypre, l’Union européenne (UE) n’a fait qu’entériner l’occupation et la colonisation illégale (depuis 1974) de 37 % d’un État qui en est devenu membre en 2004 (la République de Chypre) par un État candidat à l’Union (la Turquie) : situation parfaitement ubuesque ! Et l’UE n’a jamais sérieusement tenté quoi que ce soit, ni exercé la moindre pression significative sur la Turquie, afin de dégager une solution politique à ce conflit. Elle n’a pas davantage manifesté la moindre solidarité aux Chypriotes qui, depuis plusieurs mois, doivent faire face à des intimidations de la marine de guerre turque destinées à empêcher la mise en valeur de gisements gaziers situés dans la zone économique exclusive de la République de Chypre.

    De même l’UE n’a-t-elle jamais rien tenté de sérieux pour obtenir de la Turquie – qu’elle finance pourtant largement au titre de la pré-adhésion et, plus récemment, à celui du chantage aux migrants – qu’elle mette fin à ses innombrables violations des espaces maritime et aérien grecs, c’est-à-dire à la violation des frontières de l’Union ! Et lorsque, en 1996, la Turquie occupe les îlots grecs d’Imia (de nouveau menacés le printemps dernier), conduisant les deux pays au bord du conflit (trois morts dans le crash d’un hélicoptère grec), la Commission et le Conseil se taisent. Seul le Parlement vote une résolution, sans la moindre conséquence pratique, réaffirmant les droits souverains de la Grèce et invitant le Conseil à « prendre les mesures qui s’imposent pour améliorer les relations entre la Grèce et la Turquie ». Ce qu’il ne fera pas. C’est finalement une médiation américaine qui rétablira le statu quo.

    Or, la permanence de la menace turque, qui a connu un regain ces derniers temps sans plus de réaction de l’UE, contraint la Grèce à soutenir un effort militaire disproportionné : elle est le pays de l’OTAN qui consacre, après les États-Unis, la part la plus importante de son PIB aux dépenses militaires. Et cet effort a largement contribué à la “construction” de la fameuse dette grecque, tout en enrichissant les industries de défense allemande et française, dont la Grèce figure régulièrement parmi les clients les plus importants.

    Enfin, ce qu’on appelait alors les “Communautés européennes” a joué un rôle singulièrement toxique dans le déclenchement des guerres de sécession yougoslaves, et fait la démonstration que la prétendue solidarité européenne ne pèse rien dès que des intérêts nationaux puissants sont en jeu. En effet, si le 16 décembre 1991 le Conseil européen fixait à l’unanimité les critères de reconnaissance des indépendances slovène et croate et chargeait une commission d’arbitrage de les apprécier, l’Allemagne puis l’Autriche, soucieuses de se reconstituer un espace d’influence plus ou moins exclusive sur d’anciennes terres austro-hongroises devenues yougoslaves en 1918, violaient la décision du Conseil dès le 23 décembre, mettant ainsi le feu aux poudres. De même, les décisions européennes, comme je l’explique dans le troisième tome de La Grèce et les Balkans (Gallimard, 2013) contribuèrent-elles largement au déclenchement des hostilités intercommunautaires en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Donc non seulement la “construction européenne” n’a pas créé les conditions de la paix en Europe, mais elle s’est montrée incapable de contribuer à la maintenir.

    On parle beaucoup de “faire l’Europe”, et les euro-libéraux mettent en avant qu’il s’agit de la seule façon de s’opposer aux grandes nations comme les USA, la Chine ou la Russie. Mais n’est-ce pas contradictoire avec l’implication grandissante de l’OTAN au sein de l’UE ? Quels sont d’ailleurs ces liens avec cette organisation issue de la Guerre froide ?
    OTAN et UE ont une même origine – la Guerre froide – et un même but : l’intégration entre les deux rives de l’Atlantique. Comme l’ont de nouveau montré la rage de la Commission européenne à négocier le TAFTA dans la plus totale opacité, de manière à cacher la réalité à des opinions européennes largement hostiles à cet accord, et sa volonté de contourner les parlements nationaux dans la ratification du CETA.

    Si l’on examine la chronologie, la création en 1952 de la première Communauté européenne, celle du charbon et de l’acier (CECA), conçue par Monnet, agent d’influence américain – stipendié ou non peu importe – est suivie de peu par la substitution1, dans les importations des pays de cette CECA, du charbon américain en surproduction au charbon polonais, de bien meilleure qualité mais se trouvant dans une Europe avec laquelle les États-Unis veulent que les échanges commerciaux cessent. Puis les États-Unis accordent à la CECA, dès 1953, un prêt dont la contrepartie est l’augmentation des achats de leur charbon au coût minoré par des subventions au fret. Au final, la CECA a permis aux États-Unis d’exporter en Europe leur surproduction, ce qui conduit, à terme, à la fermeture des mines des États membres de la CECA eux-mêmes.

    Ajoutons que le premier ambassadeur américain près la CECA, nommé à la demande pressante de Monnet, est David Bruce, qui fut chef de la branche européenne de l’OSS (l’ancêtre de la CIA) puis un très interventionniste ambassadeur en France (1949–1952) ; il le sera ensuite en Allemagne (1957-1959) et au Royaume-Uni (1961-1969). Bruce sera également chargé de pousser à la constitution de la Communauté européenne de défense (CED), destinée à répondre aux exigences américaines d’un réarmement allemand après le début de la guerre de Corée (juin 1950). Car les États-Unis devant envoyer des troupes en Corée, ils demandent aux Européens de participer davantage à leur propre défense (ça ne date pas de Trump !). La CED est imaginée de nouveau par Monnet (ou par ceux qui lui soufflent ses idées) pour neutraliser les oppositions en Europe à la renaissance d’une armée allemande cinq ans après la fin du second conflit mondial, et le gouvernement français de René Pleven la fait sienne (octobre 1950). Le traité est signé en mai 1952, mais l’opposition des gaullistes et des communistes fera échouer sa ratification au Parlement français en août 1954.
    Parallèlement, en février 1952, la conférence de Lisbonne des États membres de l’Alliance atlantique adopte le rapport d’un comité de sages – dont Monnet, l’indispensable bonne à tout faire des Américains, est bien sûr l’un des membres – qui crée une organisation militaire intégrée, l’OTAN, destinée à placer sous commandement américain l’armée dite européenne (CED) qui n’a d’autre fonction que d’être une troupe de supplétifs. Enfin, on confie aussi à Bruce la tâche de promouvoir la création d’un organe politique européen unique. Moins d’un an après la mort de la CED, se réunit la conférence de Messine (juin 1955) qui lance la négociation sur les traités de Rome signés le 25 mars 1957. Et le 16 mai suivant, le Belge Paul-Henri Spaak, qui a été le principal artisan de ces traités, devient le 2e secrétaire général de l’OTAN, poste dans lequel un autre des “pères-signataires” de Rome en 1957, le Néerlandais Joseph Luns, sera le recordman de durée (1971-1984). OTAN et “construction européenne” sont intimement liées : elles ont toujours été les deux faces d’une même monnaie !
    Et la “défense européenne”, aujourd’hui comme au temps de la CED, n’a jamais été qu’un leurre. Lors de la négociation du traité de Maastricht, il s’est rapidement avéré que la plupart des États ne pouvaient concevoir que le “pilier” de défense et de sécurité commune fût autre chose que l’OTAN. On y a mis les formes parce que la France n’avait pas encore liquidé l’héritage gaullien, mais la réintégration de celle-ci dans cette organisation militaire sous commandement américain, ébauchée par Chirac, conclue par Sarkozy et ratifiée (malgré des engagements contraires) par Hollande, rend inutiles les circonlocutions d’autrefois. Ce n’est pas tant qu’il y ait une “implication grandissante” de l’OTAN dans l’UE, c’est juste qu’on dissimule moins une réalité consubstantielle à la “construction européenne”.
    Par ailleurs, pour les États de l’Europe anciennement sous hégémonie soviétique, l’intégration à l’UE a été l’antichambre de l’intégration à l’OTAN (raison pour laquelle Moscou a réagi si vigoureusement lors de l’association de l’Ukraine à l’UE). Et j’oserais dire que, pour eux, l’appartenance à l’OTAN est beaucoup plus importante que leur appartenance à l’UE.

    Mais ce qui est aujourd’hui le plus drôle, c’est que les orientations de la nouvelle administration américaine viennent troubler ce très vieux jeu. Parce que la monnaie européenne, largement sous-évaluée pour les fondamentaux de l’économie allemande (et largement surévaluée pour la plupart des économies de la zone que cette monnaie étouffe), est devenue un redoutable instrument de dumping au service des exportations allemandes, Trump range désormais l’UE parmi les ennemis des États-Unis et remet en cause le libre-échange avec cet espace. Alors qu’on sait que, par le passé, les États-Unis ont été à la fois les moteurs du libre-échange (qui est toujours la loi du plus fort… mais les États-Unis n’étant plus aujourd’hui les plus forts, ils n’y ont plus intérêt) comme de la monnaie unique. L’ouverture des archives américaines a ainsi révélé un mémorandum de la section Europe du département d’État américain, en date du 11 juin 1965, dans lequel Robert Marjolin, l’ombre de Monnet et vice-président de la Commission (1958-1967), se voyait prescrire « de poursuivre l’union monétaire à la dérobée (ou en rusant), jusqu’au moment où ‘l’adoption de ces propositions serait devenue pratiquement inéluctable »²… Ceci est à mettre en parallèle avec la décision du sommet européen de La Haye, en décembre 1969, de confier à une commission présidée par le Luxembourgeois Pierre Werner l’élaboration du premier projet (rapport remis en octobre 1970) d’union économique et monétaire.

    Par ailleurs, le même Trump n’a plus de mots assez durs pour l’OTAN qui, à ses yeux, coûte trop cher aux Américains. D’autant que ses relations avec Poutine semblent indiquer qu’il souhaite sortir de l’actuel remake de Guerre froide. On oublie souvent, en Europe, que le principe fondamental de la diplomatie américaine, depuis l’indépendance jusqu’en 1948, a été le refus des alliances permanentes. Ce n’est que le contexte de la Guerre froide qui a justifié le vote au Congrès de la résolution Vandenberg autorisant le président des États-Unis à conclure des alliances en temps de paix. Trump entend-il refermer ce qui pourrait n’avoir été qu’une parenthèse de soixante-dix ans ?

    Hostilité à l’UE et désintérêt pour l’OTAN – deux créations états-uniennes –, c’est en tout cas ce qui cause aujourd’hui une forme d’affolement chez beaucoup de dirigeants européens et dans la nomenklatura de l’UE : comment des marionnettes pourront-elles vivre sans leur marionnettiste ?

    Vous plaidez pour l’indépendance de la France, mais la France n’est-elle pas trop petite pour s’imposer sur la scène internationale ?
    Non. Hier comme aujourd’hui, la question de la taille est une fausse question. Je ne vais pas vous faire la liste de tous les Empires, colosses aux pieds d’argile – jusqu’à l’URSS –, qui ont péri non en dépit mais, en tout ou partie, à cause de leur taille et de leur hétérogénéité. Ni la liste des petits États qui ont profondément marqué l’histoire de l’humanité – les cités grecques plus que l’immense Empire perse – ou le monde contemporain, quoi qu’on pense par ailleurs de leur action – Israël, par exemple. Le petit Uruguay est aujourd’hui un laboratoire politique, économique et social qui a engrangé bien plus de réussites que ses deux voisins géants, l’Argentine et le Brésil.

    Un État n’est pas fort parce que son territoire est étendu ou sa population nombreuse. Il est fort parce que s’y exprime une volonté d’exister et de se projeter dans l’avenir en tant que peuple, une conscience d’avoir des intérêts communs, de former une communauté qui se traduit en volonté politique.

    L’UE n’est pas une volonté – parce les Européens ne forment pas et ne formeront pas un peuple, en tout cas pas avant très longtemps. Elle n’est pas davantage une addition de volontés. Parce que ses États membres, et les peuples dont ils sont l’expression, n’ont ni les mêmes intérêts, ni la même vision du monde, ni la même conception de leur rôle dans ce monde, ni le même mode de vie, etc. L’UE n’est jamais que la soustraction de vingt-huit ou vingt-sept objections à chaque décision qu’elle doit prendre, et chaque décision n’est, au final, que le plus petit commun dénominateur entre vingt-sept ou vingt-huit intérêts divergents. Un plus petit commun dénominateur qu’il faut à chaque fois négocier âprement pendant que passent les trains de l’histoire. On ne joue aucun rôle, on ne pèse rien quand on est un plus petit commun dénominateur : on ne fait que subir la volonté de ceux qui ont le courage de l’exprimer.

    En réalité, l’UE n’est que l’expression de vingt-sept lâchetés, de vingt-sept renoncements à exister par soi-même ; l’UE ne peut-être qu’un monstre mou, un géant aboulique et privé d’agilité. Aujourd’hui comme hier, et peut-être plus qu’hier, mieux vaut être une puissance moyenne, agile, qui sait ce qu’elle veut et coopère tous azimuts avec d’autres, sur la base de l’égalité et des avantages mutuels, plutôt qu’une partie impuissante d’un Empire impotent – plutôt le roseau que le chêne, pour paraphraser La Fontaine.

    Par ailleurs, que dire d’un pays comme la Belgique, morcelée de l’intérieur et de faible envergure tant du point de vue géographique et militaire que du point de vue démographique ? Pablo Iglesias pour les mêmes raisons refuse d’envisager une sortie de l’UE. La sortie n’est-elle pas l’apanage des nations privilégiées ?
    Comme je l’ai dit plus haut, la question n’est pas la taille mais la volonté de faire communauté politique. Il y a, je crois, 193 États membres de l’ONU, c’est-à-dire qu’il n’y a jamais eu autant d’États sur notre planète, et des États de toutes tailles. Prétendre donc que le temps des États nationaux serait révolu est une baliverne : nous vivons précisément le triomphe des États nationaux, indépendamment de leur taille, du niveau de leur PIB ou de l’importance de leur population.

    En revanche, plus vous éloignez le citoyen des centres réels de décision, plus vous soustrayez le pouvoir réel à tout contrôle démocratique réel, plus vous décrédibilisez à la fois la démocratie et l’État national. Mais, contrairement au plan des eurolâtres, cette décrédibilisation ne se traduit pas par une demande de “plus d’Europe”, elle produit un repli vers l’infranational. Puisqu’on sait que l’État national ne protège plus et que l’Europe ne protège pas, on se replie vers des identités – réelles ou fantasmées – culturelles, linguistiques, religieuses… dont on attend une autre forme de protection. Et ce phénomène est particulièrement sensible dans certains États de formation récente ou fragiles du fait de régionalismes forts comme la Belgique, l’Espagne ou l’Italie.

    Quant aux responsables politiques de gauche dite radicale ou populiste, leur pusillanimité à l’égard de la question européenne tient à mon avis à deux méprises qui risquent d’être mortelles pour eux. Ils pensent qu’on ne peut pas gagner une élection en expliquant pourquoi la sortie de l’UE est indispensable à la reconstruction de la démocratie et de l’État social. Mais lors du référendum grec de 2015, on a pilonné les Grecs, du soir au matin et du matin au soir, avec une propagande extravagante professant que s’ils votaient “non”, la Grèce serait expulsée de l’euro et de l’Union. Et les Grecs ont pourtant voté “non” à 61,31 %, avec une participation de 62,5 %. Ils n’étaient certes pas tous pour la sortie, mais ils en ont tous pris le risque. Puis il y a eu le Brexit. De même, les calamiteux taux de participation aux élections européennes (on a atteint 13 % en Slovaquie en 2014, et péniblement 43 % dans l’ensemble des pays, seulement parce que certains pratiquent le vote obligatoire) sont un excellent indicateur de l’absence totale d’adhésion populaire à ce projet. Et on va probablement voir, au printemps prochain, un affaissement supplémentaire de la participation conjugué à des gains substantiels pour les partis plus ou moins hostiles à l’UE – avec à la clé un parlement probablement très différent de l’actuel et une Commission où siégeront sans doute un nombre non négligeable d’eurosceptiques plus ou moins déterminés.

    La deuxième raison, c’est qu’à gauche on continue à s’aveugler sur la nature intrinsèque, c’est-à-dire non réformable, de l’UE. Autrement dit à prendre les vessies ordolibérales et libre-échangistes de l’UE pour les lanternes de l’internationalisme.

    La France forme-t-elle vraiment un couple avec l’Allemagne ? De l’extérieur, on a plutôt l’impression d’un maître et son valet suivant à la lettre ses demandes…
    Cette histoire de “couple franco-allemand” relève de la mystification. Comme toute relation bilatérale, celle de la France et de l’Allemagne est fondée sur un rapport de force et connaît des hauts et des bas – plus de bas que de hauts si on fait le compte avec un minimum de bonne foi.
    La fable du couple commencerait avec le tant célébré traité franco-allemand de 1963. Initiative française prise en réponse à l’échec du Plan Fouchet dont j’ai parlé plus haut, ce traité est signé par le chancelier Adenauer. Mais il déchaîne, au sein de son gouvernement comme au Bundestag, une telle opposition haineuse qu’Adenauer fut obligé de s’engager à démissionner pour obtenir sa ratification et que le Bundestag lui ajouta – cas unique dans l’histoire diplomatique –, un préambule interprétatif unilatéral – en partie rédigé par l’inévitable Monnet ! – qui… vidait le texte de son contenu politique en précisant que les liens de la RFA avec les États-Unis primeraient toujours ses engagements envers la France. Là-dessus, Ludwig Erhard remplaça Adenauer à la chancellerie : il était l’homme des Anglo-Américains depuis 1947, et sans doute le politique allemand le plus francophobe de son temps. Sacré mariage !

    Le seul véritable couple fut celui d’Helmut Schmidt et Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1974-1981). On sait combien Mitterrand vécut mal la réunification à marche forcée imposée par Kohl et sa politique yougoslave à l’opposé de ce que voulait la France. Puis vint le temps – bientôt un quart de siècle – où la France, prisonnière du piège mortel de l’euro, se trouve confrontée aux perpétuelles injonctions allemandes à faire les “réformes nécessaires” pour satisfaire à des règles toujours plus imbéciles et contraignantes d’une monnaie unique absurde. Vingt-cinq ans durant lesquels les gouvernements français – pour préserver le “couple” et par délire eurolâtre – ont renoncé à défendre les intérêts de la France face au gouvernement d’un pays, l’Allemagne, qui mène une politique économique et monétaire dictée par ses seuls intérêts : si couple il y a, il n’est plus que celui du patron et de son larbin.

    Vous parlez de l’influence ordolibérale sur la volonté de soustraire des décisions politiques (liées à des élections) les enjeux économiques. Antonin Cohen qui retrace les liens entre Vichy et la communauté européenne rappelle que la déclaration de Schuman de 1950 visait précisément à promouvoir l’avènement d’une technocratie économique – une déclaration qui rappelle les théories d’inspiration technocratique des années 1930. D’où vient cette méfiance profonde pour la politique et la démocratie sous toutes ses formes ?

    Si on lit Monnet, que de Gaulle définit comme l’inspirateur de toute cette “construction”, ce qui frappe c’est la méfiance qu’il a pour les peuples. En la résumant avec à peine d’exagération pédagogique, la doctrine Monnet c’est : les peuples sont bêtes et donc inclinés à faire des bêtises ; notre rôle, à nous gens raisonnables et sachants, est de les empêcher d’en faire. En conséquence et dès l’origine, le principe central de la “construction européenne” consiste à dessaisir les instances démocratiques des leviers essentiels pour remettre ceux-ci entre les mains de sages qui savent mieux que les peuples ce qui est bon pour eux.

    C’est aussi vieux que la politique ! Lorsque Hérodote, au Ve siècle avant notre ère, fait dialoguer trois hiérarques perses sur le meilleur régime politique, il met les mots suivants dans la bouche de celui qui défend l’oligarchie : « choisissons un groupe d’hommes parmi les meilleurs, et investissons-les du pouvoir ; car, certes, nous serons nous-mêmes de leur nombre, et il est dans l’ordre de la vraisemblance que les hommes les meilleurs prennent les meilleures décisions ». Monnet ET la “construction européenne” sont tout entiers là-dedans.

    Car en dépit de ce que serinent certains, l’Europe n’est pas une “belle idée” détournée de ses fins initiales. Le projet européen vise, dès l’origine et intrinsèquement, à placer en surplomb des démocraties nationales une oligarchie qui vide ces dernières de tout contenu, qui les réduit à des formes creuses, à un rite électoral sans signification puisque ce qui est en jeu n’est plus que de désigner celui qui conduira, dans son pays, la politique unique déterminée dans le sein de l’oligarchie européenne à partir des principes qu’elle a fait graver dans le marbre des traités.

    En outre, l’échec de la CED convainc Monnet que, pour parvenir au but, il faut que les peuples l’ignorent. Il convient donc, plutôt que de présenter un projet fédéral condamné à l’échec, d’empiler les faits accomplis d’apparence technique qui, à terme, rendront inéluctable la réalisation de l’objectif politique. La “méthode européenne” n’a jamais consisté qu’à accumuler les micro coups d’État technocratiques, invisibles sur le moment, qui dessèchent les démocraties nationales de l’intérieur, les privant d’efficacité et de crédibilité. Si l’on refuse de voir ces réalités, on se réduit à l’impuissance face au Moloch européen.

    Alors oui, l’illusion technocratique est au cœur de l’histoire du XXe siècle : les tyrannies totalitaires comme les démocraties nationales d’après-guerre qui ont cherché à concilier démocratie, efficacité et justice partagent ce goût des “experts”. Mais, dans le cas européen, la technocratie est un instrument au service d’un projet oligarchique.

    Ainsi voit-on en Grèce et en Italie, en novembre 2011, à moins d’une semaine d’intervalle, l’UE combiner, et en réalité imposer, le remplacement de deux chefs de gouvernement issus d’élections, un social-démocrate et un conservateur (Papandréou et Berlusconi), par deux technocrates sans la moindre légitimité démocratique : Papadimos, ex-banquier central grec et ex-vice-président de la Banque centrale européenne, et Monti, ex-professeur en économie et management et ex-commissaire européen, tous deux membres de haut niveau de la nomenklatura technocratique européenne. Et l’on voit aujourd’hui en France un gouvernement qui est à la fois le plus technocratique, le plus autoritaire et le plus méprisant pour les droits du Parlement qu’il entend réduire, en même temps qu’il est le plus européen. Exemple qui, pas plus que les deux autres, ne doit rien au hasard mais doit tout à la réalité du projet européen.

    Notes :
    1 Voir Régine Perron, Le Marché du charbon, en enjeu entre l’Europe et les États-Unis de 1945 à 1958 (Publications de la Sorbonne, 2014).
    2 « The State Department also played a role. A memo from the European section, dated June 11, 1965, advises the vice-president of the European Economic Community, Robert Marjolin, to pursue monetary union by stealth. It recommends suppressing debate until the point at which “adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable“. » Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, « Euro-federalists financed by US spy chiefs », The Telegraph (19 septembre 2000).

    #UE #Union_européenne #Communautés_européennes #nomenklatura #guerre #Paix #Allemagne #Belgique #Chypre #France #Italie #Turquie #Yougoslavie #construction_européenne #OTAN #TAFTA #CETA #CECA #BREXIT

  • With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the U.S. Change Policy? - FPIF

    The United States has also taken sides in the war. The Obama administration supported President Kiir, helping him acquire arms from Uganda, a close U.S. ally in the region. “Uganda got a wink from us,” a former senior official has acknowledged.

    To keep the weapons flowing, the Obama administration spent years blocking calls for an arms embargo.


    Jon Temin, who worked for the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the final years of the Obama administration, has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s choices. In a recent report published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Temin argued that some of the worst violence could have been avoided if the Obama administration had implemented an arms embargo early in the conflict and refrained from siding so consistently with President Kiir.

    “The United States, at multiple stages, failed to step back and broadly reassess policy,” Temin reported.


    More recently, the Trump administration has started paying some attention. The White House has posted statements to its website criticizing South Sudanese leaders and threatening to withhold assistance. Administration officials coordinated a recent vote at the United Nations Security Council to finally impose an arms embargo on the country.

    In other ways, however, the Trump administration has continued many of the policies of the Obama administration. It has not called much attention to the crisis. With the exception of the arms embargo, which could always be evaded with more winks to Uganda, it has done very little to step back, reassess policy, and change course.

    The United States could “lose leverage” in South Sudan “if it becomes antagonistic toward the government,” U.S. diplomat Gordon Buay warned earlier this year.

    #etats-unis #sud-Soudan

  • Scum vs. Scum

    Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don’t bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week’s elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics. Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans’ $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg, weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

    #etats-unis « #élite » #corruption

  • How Vilification of George Soros Moved From the Fringes to the Mainstream - The New York Times

    On both sides of the Atlantic, a loose network of activists and political figures on the right have spent years seeking to cast Mr. Soros not just as a well-heeled political opponent but also as the personification of all they detest. Employing barely coded anti-Semitism, they have built a warped portrayal of him as the mastermind of a “globalist” movement, a left-wing radical who would undermine the established order and a proponent of diluting the white, Christian nature of their societies through immigration.

    In the process, they have pushed their version of Mr. Soros, 88, from the dark corners of the internet and talk radio to the very center of the political debate.

    “He’s a banker, he’s Jewish, he gives to Democrats — he’s sort of a perfect storm for vilification by the right, here and in Europe,” said Michael H. Posner, a human rights lawyer and former State Department official in the Obama administration.

    Mr. Soros has given his main group, the Open Society Foundations, $32 billion for what it calls democracy-building efforts in the United States and around the world. In addition, in the United States, Mr. Soros has personally contributed more than $75 million over the years to federal candidates and committees, according to Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service records.

    That qualifies him as one of the top disclosed donors to American political campaigns in the modern campaign finance era, and it does not include the many millions more he has donated to political nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors.

    By contrast, the network of conservative donors led by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, who have been similarly attacked by some on the American left, has spent about $2 billion over the past decade on political and public policy advocacy.❞

    The closing advertisement for Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign featured Mr. Soros — as well as Janet L. Yellen, the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve at the time, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, both of whom are Jewish — as examples of “global special interests” who enriched themselves on the backs of working Americans.

    If anything, Mr. Soros has been elevated by Mr. Trump and his allies to even greater prominence in the narrative they have constructed for the closing weeks of the 2018 midterm elections. They have projected on to him key roles in both the threat they say is posed by the Central Americans making their way toward the United States border and what they characterized as Democratic “mobs” protesting the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad in October in Minnesota suggesting that Mr. Soros, who is depicted sitting behind a pile of cash, “bankrolls” everything from “prima donna athletes protesting our anthem” to “left-wing mobs paid to riot in the streets.” The ad links Mr. Soros to a local congressional candidate who worked at a think tank that has received funding from the Open Society Foundations.

    Even after the authorities arrested a fervent Trump supporter and accused him of sending the pipe bombs to Mr. Soros and other critics, Republicans did not back away. The president grinned on Friday when supporters at the White House responded to his attacks on Democrats and “globalists” by chanting, “Lock ’em up,” and yelling, “George Soros.”

    #Antisémitisme #Georges_Soros #Néo_fascisme #USA

  • Yasha Levine sur Twitter : “As a Soviet-American Jew here is what I (and many others) find, eh, disturbing: 1) A Nazi in America is generally considered a Nazi. 2) A Nazi in, say, Ukraine is considered a freedom-loving patriot.” / Twitter

    Yasha Levine sur Twitter : “That’s what happens when you let your #definition of #Nazi be defined by State Department #neocons.” / Twitter

  • In Khashoggi Disappearance, Turkey’s Slow Drip of Leaks Puts Pressure on Saudis - The New York Times

    Political analysts noted that Mr. Erdogan seemed to increase the pressure by releasing descriptions of audio recordings after it appeared that President Trump would offer cover to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known as M.B.S., by promoting the Saudi line that the death had been the work of “rogue killers.”


    "Initially, it seemed Turkey was seeking a bargain with or financial support from Saudi Arabia,” said Amanda Sloat, a former State Department official now at the Brookings Institution. “But it increasingly appears that Turkey is seeking to inflict maximum damage on M.B.S.”

    It is not clear what Mr. Erdogan is demanding, but the policy of official leaks has been clearly to prevent a complete whitewash of the disappearance. Pro-government columnists have called for the Saudi crown prince to go.