Monday, March 07, 2011

125. Peter Myers laatste nieuwsbrief.

Geoffrey Robertson backs "Just War". Castro says NATO pressing Libya rebels to allow intervention

U kunt de nieuwsbrief ontvangen door U daarvoor aan te melden bij Peter Myers.
Ik zie dat hij nu zelf ook enkele nieuwsbrieven op zijn site heeft gezet.

I have put the two latest bulletins online:

State Department, NED, Soros & CIA links to "regime change" dissidents in Belarus, MidEast:

Chomsky, Zunes & Zinn defend Gene Sharp, say Meyssan wrong about CIA link:

(1) State Dept-sponsored school for revolutionaries includes anti-Chavez & Castro groups
(2) State Dept's "democracy promoter" James K. Glassman is a Zionist and Neocon
(3) State Dept-affiliated website tells Activists to use (Google) Android mobile phones
(4) China blocks protests by spying on mobile phones
(5) China Tracks Foreign Journalists
(6) Geoffrey Robertson backs Libya war, says ICC referral counters Veto
(7) Geoffrey Robertson backs Libya intervention as "Just War"
(8) Castro: NATO pressing Libya rebels to allow intervenention
(9) Petras: Greek PM George Papandreou bends knee to Israel
(10) Assange complains of Jewish Smear Campaign; Guardian's David Leigh is Jewish, and brother-in-law of Editor
(11) Shamir: Assange police files show Guardian bias; Anna Ardin takes Sofia Wilen to police but stays in background

(1) State Dept-sponsored school for revolutionaries includes anti-Chavez & Castro groups

The following pdf file is an official report on the State Dept-sponsored school for revolutionaries in 2008.
The list of attendees is at the top; detailed biographies are in the body.

Note the anti-Chavez stance: one of the groups attending is No Mas Chavez.

While the attendees are from many countries, a cursory inspection seems to show a disproportionate % of Jewish names among the Moderators & Speakers, Hosts, and especially the Sponsors.

Google, Facebook and MTV (all Sponsors) are Jewish-owned & operated.

It looks as if Howcast is too  (eg Jason Liebman, Co-founder and CEO, Howcast).

Also look at the representatives from the State Dep't:

James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Jared Cohen, Policy Planning Staff
Andy Rabens
Attendee Biographies
3-5 December 2008
New York City

 2 / 26

Delegates 4

Million Voices Against FARC 4
Oscar A. Morales Guevara 4
Save Darfur Coalition 4
Andrew Burnette 4
Genç Siviller (Young Civilians) 4
Ceren Kenar 4
Turgay Ogar 5
Invisible Children 5
Chris Sarette 5
Illuminemos Mexico 5
Elias Kurí 5
Youth for Tolerance 5
Elie Awad 5
One Million Voices Against Crime in South Africa 5
Herman Lochner 6
Burma Global Action Network 6
Sophie Lwin 6
Imran Jamal 6
To Write Love on Her Arms 6
Jamie Tworkowski: 6
Byron Cutrer 6
Genocide Intervention Network 6
Janessa Goldbeck 7
No Mas Chavez 7
Juan David Lacouture 7
Cuba Development Initiative 7
Marc Wachtenheim 7
Saudi Women Petitioning the Government for Driving Rights 8
The People's March Against Knife Crime 8
Sharon Singh 8
Gemma Always 8
Raices de Esperanza 8
Felice Gorordo 8
Veronica Nur 8

Observers 9

Quilliam Foundation 9
Maajid Nawaz 9
Sisters Against Violent Extremism 9
Edit Schlaffer 9
Elisabeth Kasbauer 9
A Better L.A. 9
Brian Center 9
Sumate 10
Rosa E. Rodriguez 10
Anomoli Youth Empowerment Center 10
Reggy Hasibuan 10
Iraqis Rebuilding our Country (IROC) 10
Luke Jubair 10
Centre for Peace-Building and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka 11
S.A.L.A. (Awdaarya) Seneviratne 11
Emmanuel Prabahar Tharava Deepan (Prabu Deepan) 11
Crossing Borders 11
Michael Kim 11
Full Court Peace 11
Mike Evans 11

Moderators & Speakers 11

Whoopi Goldberg, Actress and Host of ABC’s “The View” 11
Matthew Waxman, Professor Columbia Law School 12
Dustin Moskovitz, Co-Founder Facebook 12
Micah Silfry, Co-founder and Editor of the Personal Democracy Forum 12
David Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor Fortune Magazine 12
Larry Diamond, Founding Co-editor Journal of Democracy and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution 12
Peter Kafka, Senior Editor, 13
Chris Michael, Witness 13
Luke Russert, Correspondent MSNBC, Moderator 13
Nicole Lapin, CNN Correspondent 13
Tim Kash, VJ, MTV 14

Panelists 15

Amy Webb, CEO, Webbmedia Group 15
Andrew Rasiej, Founder of Personal Democracy Forum 15
Stephen Smith, Founder, PACT 16
Joe Green, CEO Causes 16
Sam Graham-Felson, Director of Blogging and Blog Outreach for 2008 Obama Campaign 16
Scott Goodstein, External Online Director for Obama for America 16
Joe Rospars, New Media Director Barack Obama 2008
Presidential Campaign 16
Richard Robbins, Marketing Director Media Innovation, AT&T 16
Shaarik Zafar, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security 17
Sherif Mansour, Program Officer, Freedom House 17

Hosts 18

Jason Liebman, Co-founder and CEO, Howcast 18
Roman Tsunder, CEO, Access 360 Media, Inc. 18
Stephanie Rudat, Philanthropist 18

Sponsors 19

AT&T 19
Patricia A. Jacobs, Ph.D., Regional Vice President – International Public Affairs 19

Howcast 19
Jason Liebman, Co-founder and CEO Howcast 19
Alex Ellerson, Senior Vice President of Business Development & Legal Affairs 19
Daniel Blackman, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer 19
 3 / 26
Darlene Liebman, Co-Founder & Vice President of Production 19
Sanjay Raman, Co-Founder & Vice President of Product Development 19
Jeffrey Kaufman, Vice President of Programming and Content Development 19
Tessa Barerra, Communications Manager 19
Rachel Silver, Executive Assistant 20

Google 20
Megan Smith, Vice President New Business Development, Google 20
Gisel Hiscock, Director of New Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa 20
Katie Stanton, Principal in the New Business Development Team, Google 20

Facebook 20
Chris Kelly, Chief Privacy Officer and Head of Global Public Policy of Facebook 20

MTV 21
Ian Rowe 21

Gen-Next 21
Michael Davidson, CEO Gen-Next 21
Paul Makarechian, Founder and Chairman, Gen Next 21
Sean Sassounian, CEO, SAS Textiles 21

U.S. Department of State 22

James Glassman, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs 22
Jared Cohen, Policy Planning Staff, Office of the Secretary of State 22
Andy Rabens, U.S. Department of State 22
Farah Pandith, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State 23
Glen Roberts, Advisor, U.S. Department of State 23
D. Marie Tyler, Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State 23
Adnan Kifayat, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State 23
Alexandra Abboud, Editorial Director, American Life and Culture 23

Guests 24

Craig Hatkoff, Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival 24
Derek Brown, Peace Appeal 24
James Haven 24
Marc Sageman, Founder, Sageman Consulting 24
Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President and CEO, Meridian House 24
Susan Bean, Senior Vice-President and Partner, Fleishman- Hillard New York 25
Pat Keane 25

... visit the link to see the body of the document:

(2) State Dept's "democracy promoter" James K. Glassman is a Zionist and Neocon

From: Tim OSullivan <> Date: 07.03.2011 01:10 AM

Egypt: A Virtual Smoking Gun

Posted on 06. Mar, 2011 by Maidhc O Cathail in Mid East

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

On January 12, 2009, US Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman joined a group of Egyptian political bloggers from the Virtual Newsroom of the American University in Cairo. Is this the "virtual" smoking gun that indicates American collusion in the subsequent ouster of Hosni Mubarak?

Less than two months earlier, Glassman and Jared Cohen from Secretary Clinton's Policy Planning Staff had given an on-the-record briefing on the State Department's alliance with ten partners in the private sector—including Facebook, Google, MTV, AT&T, Howcast, Access 360 Media—to form the Alliance for Youth Movements (AYM). During that briefing, Glassman singled out Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement for special mention, saying that some of its members would be in attendance at the inaugural AYM youth summit in New York from December 3-5. Asked about "the risk of unleashing something here that is going to come back to bite you, especially with our allies," Glassman replied: "We are very supportive of pro-democracy groups around the world. And sometimes, that puts us at odds with certain governments."

When pressed by the questioner, Glassman explained: "Now, we have to work with those governments. And let me also just say, there's a difference on an operational level between public—what we do in public diplomacy and what is often done in official diplomacy. We are communicating and engaging at the level of the public, not at the level of officials. So you know, it certainly is possible that some of these governments will not be all that happy that—at what we're doing, but that's what we do in public diplomacy."

After Jared Cohen pointed out that the organizations that are coming together online form "a new kind of civil society organization" that eventually leads to a "transformation," Glassman acknowledged that the US government has "been engaging with such civil society organizations in places like Egypt for a long time."

As Al Jazeera revealed in a behind the scenes look at Egypt's non-violent coup, the State Department-backed April 6 Youth Movement did indeed play a crucial role in that "transformation," through organizing and directing the protests that toppled America's erstwhile ally Mubarak. The April 6 leaders also received training from the Belgrade-based Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), which works closely with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). The ICNC was founded and funded entirely by Peter Ackerman, the multi-millionaire junk bond "teflon guy," who chaired Freedom House between 2005 and 2009. Freedom House is funded in part by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the US government-sponsored neoconservative-led regime change specialists.

On April 19, 2010, Ackerman attended an event entitled "Cyber-Dissidents and Political Change" sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute, which Glassman has headed since September 3, 2009. "Inspired by President and Mrs. Bush's unwavering commitment to freedom for all people," its website states, "the Bush Institute works to embolden dissidents and freedom advocates, creating a powerful network for moral support and education." Among the cyber-dissidents in attendance at its Dallas event were Rodrigo Diamanti from Venezuela; Arash Kamangir, from Iran; Oleg Kozlovsky, from Russia; Ernesto Hernández Busto, from Cuba (who lives in Barcelona); Isaac Mao, from China; and Ahed Alhendi, from Syria. Clearly, some people are seen as more deserving of Mr. and Mrs. Bush's freedom advocacy than others.

In 2007, Glassman became chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a US government agency that provides propaganda to overseas audiences via the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). Norman J. Pattiz, the "founding father" of Radio Sawa, which is increasingly popular in Egypt, sits on BBG's board. Pattiz is also on the national board of the Israel Policy Forum, which is "committed to a strong and enduring U.S.-Israel relationship and to advancing the shared interests of the United States and the State of Israel." Its Israeli Advisory Council is comprised of prominent figures from Israel's military and intelligence establishment, mostly notably David Kimche, who was once described as "Israel's leading spy and would-be Mossad chief." According to a Washington Report profile, "The 'man with the suitcase,' as Kimche became known by colleagues in Israel, would appear in an African country a day or two before a major coup, and leave a week later after the new regime was firmly in control, often with the aid of Israeli security teams."

Prior to his involvement with "democracy promotion," Glassman was a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the neoconservative propaganda mill that pushed the concept of a "global war on terror" primarily to advance the national interest of Israel. While there, he founded The American, a magazine of ideas for business leaders, and was its editor-in-chief from 2005 to 2007. Evidently, Glassman's neocon paymasters were not put off by his unenviable financial track record. In his 1999 book, Dow 36,000, written shortly before the dot-com bubble burst, he predicted that the Dow Jones Industrial Average would rise to 36,000 within a few years. Commenting on the "hysteria" that fueled the deregulation-induced financial crisis nine years later, Ralph Nader singled out Glassman's bestseller, joking that he would send it back to Glassman with one of the zeros missing.

Let's hope that the Egyptian activists who put their faith in Glassman's "public diplomacy" haven't a similar rude awakening in store.

(3) State Dept-affiliated website tells Activists to use (Google) Android mobile phones

February 16, 2011

By Brannon Cullum

5 Reasons Why Android Is Becoming The Go-To Mobile Device For Activists

Android, the open-source mobile operating system developed by Google, is quickly becoming the smartphone of choice for activists. It's growing in popularity around the world, recently becoming the number two smartphone in the world behind Nokia's Symbian operating system and outranks the iPhone in the U.S. Here are 5 reasons why Android should be on any activist's radar.

1. More Possibilities with Open Source

Android is an open-source platform, meaning that the source code is accessible to anyone, allowing for developers to create apps that extend the functionality of devices. With closed platforms like Apple's iPhone, on the other hand, the manufacturer and/or network have much more control over what users can do with their devices.

As Melissa Loudon of MobileActive points out: "Perhaps the biggest problem with closed platforms, at least for mobile activism work, is the threat of surveillance. Without access to the code, there is no way of knowing that surveillance features aren't present. For anyone dealing with sensitive data or communications, this should be a red flag." With open source, experts in the security industry, for example, can pour over the code and look for bugs and holes in the software.

2. Better Security

Compared to other types of mobile devices on the market, Android seems to offer the most security. The open-source platform makes it possible for developers to develop apps that make texting, calling, and mobile browsing safer. Two programs of note:

- Orbot, developed by the Guardian Project, is an application that implements Tor on Android phones. It allows mobile phone users to access the web, instant messaging, and email without being monitored or blocked by their mobile internet service provider. Learn more about Tor at or visit our how-to guide for installing Tor on your phone.

- Whisper Systems, a company run by a security researcher who goes by the name Moxie Marlinspike, has released two different applications for Android that "help restore your ability to conduct your personal and business communications privately." RedPhone 0.4 provides end-to-end encryption for voice calls. Red Phone is currently in beta release. If you want to try it out, join #whispersystems on An Egypt-specific version of the app was rolled out to aid activists there during the recent protests. Whisper System's other app, TextSecure, encrypts texts for your phone, meaning you can send and receive securely. According to the release, "all text messages sent or received with TextSecure are stored in an encrypted database on your phone, and text messages are encrypted during transmission when communicating with someone else also using TextSecure."

Note: Just because Android devices seem to offer more security options via these apps does not make them void of security flaws. Chris Palmer of the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that compared to computer operating systems, "mobile systems lag far behind the established industry standard for open disclosure about problems and regular patch distribution." He points out that versions of Android from carriers like HTC and Verizon may have features that aren't secure. Learn more by checking out his detailed post here.

3. Nonprofit Friendly

Android has a handful of nonprofit-friendly apps that allow users to make donations within an app. In late December, Benevity Social Ventures launched the Givatron, an open-choice charitable giving application that lets users find and make mobile donations of any amount to any registered charity in the United States and Canada. PayPal's Android app also has a donate feature that lets you select charities to give funds to. MissionFish is used to vet the featured charities and process payments.

On the other hand, under Apple's current policy, users cannot donate to a nonprofit using charity apps on the iPhone. Prospective donors using an app must be redirected out of the app and to an outside website to give. At the end of 2010, Beth Kanter, chief executive of Zoetica, took up a new cause: petitioning Steve Jobs and Apple to make the iPhone more nonprofit friendly. So far the petition has over 25,000 signatures.

4. Greater Variety of Devices at Different Price Points

Unlike Blackberry or Apple, the Android operating system is available on a number of different handset, including those made by HTC, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei, giving users a variety of devices to choose from. The number of apps being developed for the Android Marketplace is growing at an exponential rate as well.

5. Growth in Emerging Markets

Nokia's Symbian platform is the leader in emerging markets, but Android hopes to expand its marketshare in India, Asia, and Africa. At the Mobile World Congress, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that 300,000 Android devices are activated daily, making it the fastest-growing mobile operating platform in the world. While the cost of a smartphone is the greatest barrier to ownership, hopefully the expansion of Android into new markets will drive prices down.

Ory Okolloh, Google Africa's Policy Manager and co-founder of Ushahidi, recently asked on Twitter: What features must an Android phone have in order to be successful in the emerging markets? Reponders noted the need for a low cost device with a strong battery, security baked in, proper multilingual support, dual SIM and a good camera.

Do you use an Android device? What made you choose the Android operating system over others? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

(4) China blocks protests by spying on mobile phones

Beijing to stymie protests by spying on mobile phones

Sharon LaFraniere

March 5, 2011

APPARENTLY unnerved by an anonymous internet campaign urging Chinese citizens to emulate the protests that have rocked the Middle East, Chinese authorities this week have begun a forceful and focused clampdown on activities by foreigners that the government deems threatening to political stability.

Public security officials summoned dozens of foreign journalists in Beijing and Shanghai to be dressed down on videotape, warning them they had broken regulations by visiting locations that had been selected as protest sites in internet postings.

Journalists were warned they faced the loss of their visas, revocation of their credentials and expulsion if they did not abide by new limits on interviewing and photographing Chinese citizens, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said.

In Shanghai, authorities objected to the location of an annual St Patrick's Day parade set for March 12, which had been expected to attract more than 2000 people, prompting Irish organisations to cancel the event. The parade was to have taken place close to a cinema where the internet postings had urged people to gather every Sunday to show their displeasure with the Chinese government.

Western diplomats in China said other events planned by foreigners or with their help had also been cancelled.

On Wednesday Beijing officials announced they intended to monitor the movements of millions of residents via information transmitted by their mobile phones. One official was quoted on a government website as saying the new program would provide ''real-time information about a user's activity''.

The project aims to monitor all Beijing residents who use mobile phones - about 20 million people - to detect unusually large gatherings. One official said the primary use would be to detect and ease traffic and subway congestion. But Chinese media reports said government officials could use the data to detect and prevent protests.

The government's actions this week are the latest in a steady process of restricting speech and assembly freedoms, which has increased after anti-government protests in Tibet in March 2008 and in the western region of Xinjiang in 2009.

The limitations follow two weeks of harsh treatment of political activists, possibly inspired by fear the upheaval in the Middle East could spread to China.

The New York Times

(5) China Tracks Foreign Journalists


Published: March 6, 2011

BEIJING — Western journalists have lately been tolerated in China, if grudgingly, but the spread of revolution in the Middle East has prompted the authorities here to adopt a more familiar tack: suddenly, foreign reporters are being tracked and detained in the same manner — though hardly as roughly — as political dissidents.

On Sunday, about a dozen European and Japanese journalists in Shanghai were herded into an underground bunker-like room and kept for two hours after they sought to monitor the response to calls on an anonymous Internet site for Chinese citizens to conduct a "strolling" protest against the government outside the Peace Cinema, near Peace Square in Shanghai.

In Beijing, several plainclothes officers planted themselves on Saturday night outside the home of a Bloomberg News correspondent who was severely beaten by security officers the previous week as he sought to cover a similar Internet-inspired protest there. In a telephone interview, the correspondent said that seven officers in two separate cars had trailed him to a basketball game on Sunday, recording his trip on video the entire time.

A dozen other foreign journalists based in Beijing, as well as their researchers and photographers, were visited in their homes over the weekend and repeatedly warned not to cause trouble — or, as one officer put it, try to "topple the party."

The intimidation of foreign journalists is a marked shift for the Chinese authorities and a sign of the government's resolve to head off any antigovernment revolts like those that have swept the Middle East and North Africa during the past two months.

Anonymous Chinese-language posts on the Internet have called for people to show their discontent with the central government by taking a "stroll" at 2 p.m. every Sunday outside well- known locations in Beijing, Shanghai and several dozen other cities. Efficient mobilization of the nation's extensive security apparatus has helped ensure that no protests have materialized.

Indeed, the news has been limited to the government's crackdown on the foreign media. The August 2008 Olympics initiated a relaxation of reporting rules for the foreign media, culminating in a decree signed by Premier Wen Jiabao that essentially removed the need for journalists to seek government permission for interviews.

But the past 10 days have reversed that momentum. Indeed, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry warned journalists on Thursday that they should not rely on the 2008 decree "as a shield."

David Bandurski, an analyst at the China Media Project of the University of Hong Kong, said: "They have gone into control mode once again. What we are seeing now, in the short term, is China is closing in on itself, because it doesn't have another answer or response."

He added: "Intimidation of journalists is the classic response. It is not necessarily entirely new, but it is something we have not seen for a long time."

Over the weekend, the police called or visited more than a dozen foreign journalists at their homes, including reporters and photographers for The New York Times, The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg News. One person said he received a knock on his door as early as 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Another was not home when a police officer called, but a child who answered the phone was reportedly interrogated.

A third said an officer told him that the Public Security Ministry's Guobao — or domestic security arm — was in charge of the operation to keep foreign journalists in line. That department also keeps track of dissidents.

"In 10 years living in these parts, this kind of unannounced call was a first," said the reporter, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation.

Journalists were told to abide by the rules and warned not to report on protests. Several journalists said over Twitter that one colleague had been ordered by the police to sign a document explicitly saying the journalist would never again report on the so-called Jasmine Revolution in China; the journalist refused.

At least four journalists have reported what appeared to be the hacking of their gmail accounts, according to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.

(6) Geoffrey Robertson backs Libya war, says ICC referral counters Veto

March 7, 2011

Another NATO Intervention?

Libya: Is This Kosovo All Over Again?


Less than a dozen years after NATO bombed Yugoslavia into pieces, detaching the province of Kosovo from Serbia, there are signs that the military alliance is gearing up for another victorious little “humanitarian war”, this time against Libya. The differences are, of course, enormous. But let’s look at some of the disturbing similarities.

A demonized leader.

As “the new Hitler”, the man you love to hate and need to destroy, Slobodan Milosevic was a neophyte in 1999 compared to Muammar Qaddafi today. ...

The specter of “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” is evoked to justify war.

As with Kosovo, an internal conflict between a government and armed rebels is being cast as a “humanitarian crisis” in which one side only, the government, is assumed to be “criminal”. This a priori criminalization is expressed by calling on an international judicial body to examine crimes which are assumed to have been committed, or to be about to be committed. In his Op Ed piece, Geoffrey Robertson made it crystal clear how the International Criminal Court is being used to set the stage for eventual military intervention. The ICC can be used by the West to get around the risk of a Security Council veto for military action, he explained.

“In the case of Libya , the council has at least set an important precedent by unanimously endorsing a reference to the International Criminal Court. […] So what happens if the unarrested Libyan indictees aggravate their crimes - eg by stringing up or shooting in cold blood their opponents, potential witnesses, civilians, journalists or prisoners of war?” [Note that so far there are no “indictees” and no proof of “crimes” that they supposedly may “aggravate” in various imaginary ways.) But Robertson is eager to find a way for NATO “to pick up the gauntlet” if the Security Council decides to do nothing.]

“The defects in the Security Council require the acknowledgement of a limited right, without its mandate, for an alliance like NATO to use force to stop the commission of crimes against humanity. That right arises once the council has identified a situation as a threat to world peace (and it has so identified Libya, by referring it unanimously to the ICC prosecutor).”

Thus referring a country to the ICC prosecutor can be a pretext for waging war against that country! By the way, the ICC jurisdiction is supposed to apply to States that have ratified the treaty establishing it, which, as I understand, is not the case of Libya – or of the United States. A big difference, however, is that the United States has been able to persuade, bully or bribe countless signatory States to accept agreements that they will never under any circumstances try to refer any American offenders to the ICC. That is a privilege denied Qaddafi.

Robertson, a member of the UN justice council, concludes that: “The duty to stop the mass murder of innocents, as best we can if they request our help, has crystallized to make the use of force by Nato not merely ‘legitimate’ but lawful.”

Leftist idiocy.

Twelve years ago, most of the European left supported “the Kosovo war” that set NATO on the endless path it now pursues in Afghanistan. Having learned nothing, many seem ready for a repeat performance. A coalition of parties calling itself the European Left has issued a statement “strongly condemning the repression perpetrated by the criminal regime of Colonel Qaddafi” and urging the European Union “to condemn the use of force and to act promptly to protect the people that are peacefully demonstrating and struggling for their freedom.” Inasmuch as the opposition to Qaddafi is not merely “peacefully demonstrating”, but in part has taken up arms, this comes down to condemning the use of force by some and not by others – but it is unlikely that the politicians who drafted this statement even realize what they are saying.

The narrow vision of the left is illustrated by the statement in a Trotskyist paper that: “Of all the crimes of Qaddafi, the one that is without doubt the most grave and least known is his complicity with the EU migration policy…” For the far left, Qaddafi’s biggest sin is cooperating with the West, just as the West is to be condemned for cooperating with Qaddafi. This is a left that ends up, out of sheer confusion, as cheerleader for war. ...

My own impression, partly as a result of visiting Tripoli four years ago, is that the current rebellion is a much more mixed bag, with serious potential internal contradictions. Unlike Egypt, Libya is not a populous historic state with thousands of years of history, a strong sense of national identity and a long political culture. Half a century ago, it was one of the poorest countries in the world, and still has not fully emerged from its clan structure. Qaddafi, in his own eccentric way, has been a modernizing factor, using oil revenues to raise the standard of living to one of the highest on the African continent. The opposition to him comes, paradoxically, both from reactionary traditional Islamists on the one hand, who consider him a heretic for his relatively progressive views, and Westernized beneficiaries of modernization on the other hand, who are embarrassed by the Qaddafi image and want still more modernization. And there are other tensions that may lead to civil war and even a breakup of the country along geographic lines.

So far, the dogs of war are sniffing around for more bloodshed than has actually occurred. Indeed, the US escalated the Kosovo conflict in order to “have to intervene”, and the same risks happening now with regard to Libya, where Western ignorance of what they would be doing is even greater.

The Chavez proposal for neutral mediation to avert catastrophe is the way of wisdom. But in NATOland, the very notion of solving problems by peaceful mediation rather than by force seems to have evaporated.

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions.She can be reached at

(7) Geoffrey Robertson backs Libya intervention as "Just War"

Geoffrey Robertson: Using force to stop slaughter is lawful

The duty to stop the mass murder of innocents, as best we can, has crystallised to make the use of force by Nato not merely ‘legitimate’ but lawful

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Will the world stand idly by once Colonel Gaddafi, a man utterly without mercy, starts to deliver on his threat to "fight to the last man and woman" – and, inferentially, to the last child?

The shadow of Iraq invasion illegality has tainted talk of "liberal interventionism" – unfairly, since Bush was no liberal and Blair has wrongly used it as a retrospective excuse. There was no looming humanitarian crisis in Iraq in March 2003, and the aggressor states (the US, UK and Spain) explicitly ruled out this justification: they claimed an entitlement to circumvent the Security Council because of a convoluted reading of an earlier resolution and a bizarre claim to the right of self-defence against Saddam's imaginary weapons for mass destruction. The lesson of Iraq is not that this country should never use force against another, but that never again should it do so in breach of international law.

Which raises the big question, namely the circumstances in which there is a right – or, more importantly, a duty – to use force to relieve a humanitarian nightmare. The UN charter bans "the use of force against territorial integrity or political independence of any state" other than in individual or collective self-defence, or else with Security Council authorisation after the council has determined under Chapter VII of the charter that a threat or a breach of the peace has occurred. This is clear, as far as it goes, but the problem is that the "big five" each have a Security Council veto, and China and Russia generally oppose intervention other than to liberate invaded states (which was the case with Kuwait when it was invaded by Saddam).

In the case of Libya, the council has at least set an important precedent by unanimously endorsing a reference to the International Criminal Court. International justice, however, grinds slowly. So what happens if the unarrested Libyan indictees aggravate their crimes – eg by stringing up or shooting in cold blood their opponents, potential witnesses, civilians, journalists or prisoners of war? If the Security Council in secret session decides to do nothing, does international law permit others – eg the Nato alliance – to pick up the gauntlet?

In my view – contested by some – there is now a narrowly proscribed international law right for states to render assistance to innocent civilians battling for their lives. This right of humanitarian intervention goes back to the "just war" theories of Grotius and Vattel in the 17th century. Examples of such action include the Tanzanian invasion of Uganda to overthrow Idi Amin and India's invasion to stop genocide in Bangladesh. Such actions were, however, justified at the time on very dubious grounds of self-defence and the chief objection to a broadly stated "right of humanitarian intervention" without Security Council approval remains that it is liable to be mistaken for "a right of ideological intervention". Hitler invoked it to justify the use of force to protect German minorities from alleged brutality – in Czechoslovakia and then in Poland. ...

Geoffrey Robertson QC is a member of the UN's justice council. His books include 'Crimes Against Humanity' (Penguin)

(8) Castro: NATO pressing Libya rebels to allow it to intervene

NATO's Inevitable War: The Flood of Lies regarding Libya

by Fidel Castro Ruz

Global Research, March 4, 2011

In contrast with what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies the first spot on the Human Development Index for Africa and it has the highest life expectancy on the continent. Education and health receive special attention from the State. The cultural level of its population is without a doubt the highest. Its problems are of a different sort. The population wasn't lacking food and essential social services. The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.

For that reason, it provided jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers from Egypt, Tunisia, China and other countries. It had enormous incomes and reserves in convertible currencies deposited in the banks of the wealthy countries from which they acquired consumer goods and even sophisticated weapons that were supplied exactly by the same countries that today want to invade it in the name of human rights.

The colossal campaign of lies, unleashed by the mass media, resulted in great confusion in world public opinion. Some time will go by before we can reconstruct what has really happened in Libya, and we can separate the true facts from the false ones that have been spread.

Serious and prestigious broadcasting companies such as Telesur, saw themselves with the obligation to send reporters and cameramen to the activities of one group and those on the opposing side, so that they could inform about what was really happening.

Communications were blocked, honest diplomatic officials were risking their lives going through neighbourhoods and observing activities, day and night, in order to inform about what was going on. The empire and its main allies used the most sophisticated media to divulge information about the events, among which one had to deduce the shreds of the truth.

Without any doubt, the faces of the young people who were protesting in Benghazi, men, and women wearing the veil or without the veil, were expressing genuine indignation.

One is able to see the influence that the tribal component still exercises on that Arab country, despite the Muslim faith that 95% of its population sincerely shares.

Imperialism and NATO – seriously concerned by the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, where a large part of the oil is generated that sustains the consumer economy of the developed and rich countries – could not help but take advantage of the internal conflict arising in Libya so that they could promote military intervention. The statements made by the United States administration right from the first instant were categorical in that sense.

The circumstances could not be more propitious. In the November elections, the Republican right-wing struck a resounding blow on President Obama, an expert in rhetoric.

The fascist "mission accomplished" group, now backed ideologically by the extremists of the Tea Party, reduced the possibilities of the current president to a merely decorative role in which even his health program and the dubious economic recovery were in danger as a result of the budget deficit and the uncontrollable growth of the public debt which were breaking all historical records.

In spite of the flood of lies and the confusion that was created, the US could not drag China and the Russian Federation to the approval by the Security Council for a military intervention in Libya, even though it managed to obtain however, in the Human Rights Council, approval of the objectives it was seeking at that moment. In regards to a military intervention, the Secretary of State stated in words that admit not the slightest doubt: "no option is being ruled out".

The real fact is that Libya is now wrapped up in a civil war, as we had foreseen, and the United Nations could do nothing to avoid it, other than its own Secretary General sprinkling the fire with a goodly dose of fuel.

The problem that perhaps the actors were not imagining is that the very leaders of the rebellion were bursting into the complicated matter declaring that they were rejecting all foreign military intervention.

Various news agencies informed that Abdelhafiz Ghoga, spokesperson for the Committee of the Revolution stated on Monday the 28th that "'The rest of Libya shall be liberated by the Libyan people'".

"We are counting on the army to liberate Tripoli' assured Ghoga during the announcement of the formation of a 'National Council' to represent the cities of the country in the hands of the insurrection."

"'What we want is intelligence information, but in no case that our sovereignty is affected in the air, on land or on the seas', he added during an encounter with journalists in this city located 1000 kilometres to the east of Tripoli."

"The intransigence of the people responsible for the opposition on national sovereignty was reflecting the opinion being spontaneously manifested by many Libyan citizens to the international press in Benghazi", informed a dispatch of the AFP agency this past Monday.

That same day, a political sciences professor at the University of Benghazi, Abeir Imneina, stated:

"There is very strong national feeling in Libya."

"'Furthermore, the example of Iraq strikes fear in the Arab world as a whole', she underlined, in reference to the American invasion of 2003 that was supposed to bring democracy to that country and then, by contagion, to the region as a whole, a hypothesis totally belied by the facts."

The professor goes on:

"'We know what happened in Iraq, it's that it is fully unstable and we really don't want to follow the same path. We don't want the Americans to come to have to go crying to Gaddafi', this expert continued."

"But according to Abeir Imneina, 'there also exists the feeling that this is our revolution, and that it is we who have to make it'."

A few hours after this dispatch was printed, two of the main press bodies of the United States, The New York Times and The Washington Post, hastened to offer new versions on the subject; the DPA agency informs on this on the following day, March the first: "The Libyan opposition could request that the West bomb from the air strategic positions of the forces loyal to President Muamar al Gaddafi, the US press informed today."

"The subject is being discussed inside the Libyan Revolutionary Council, 'The New York Times' and 'The Washington Post' specified in their online versions."

"'The New York Times' notes that these discussions reveal the growing frustration of the rebel leaders in the face of the possibility that Gaddafi should retake power".

"In the event that air actions are carried out within the United Nations framework, these would not imply international intervention, explained the council's spokesperson, quoted by The New York Times".

"The council is made up of lawyers, academics, judges and prominent members of Libyan society."

The dispatch states:

"'The Washington Post' quoted rebels acknowledging that, without Western backing, combat with the forces loyal to Gaddafi could last a long time and cost many human lives."

It is noteworthy that in that regard, not one single worker, peasant or builder is mentioned, not anyone related to material production or any young student or combatant among those who take part in the demonstrations. Why the effort to present the rebels as prominent members of society demanding bombing by the US and NATO in order to kill Libyans?

Some day we shall know the truth, through persons such as the political sciences professor from the University of Benghazi who, with such eloquence, tells of the terrible experience that killed, destroyed homes, left millions of persons in Iraq without jobs or forced them to emigrate.

Today on Wednesday, the second of March, the EFE Agency presents the well-known rebel spokesperson making statements that, in my opinion, affirm and at the same time contradict those made on Monday: "Benghazi (Libya), March 2. The rebel Libyan leadership today asked the UN Security Council to launch an air attack 'against the mercenaries' of the Muamar el Gaddafi regime."

"'Our Army cannot launch attacks against the mercenaries, due to their defensive role', stated the spokesperson for the rebels, Abdelhafiz Ghoga, at a press conference in Benghazi."

"'A strategic air attack is different from a foreign intervention which we reject', emphasized the spokesperson for the opposition forces which at all times have shown themselves to be against a foreign military intervention in the Libyan conflict".

Which one of the many imperialist wars would this look like?

The one in Spain in 1936? Mussolini's against Ethiopia in 1935? George W. Bush's against Iraq in the year 2003 or any other of the dozens of wars promoted by the United States against the peoples of the Americas, from the invasion of Mexico in 1846 to the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982?

Without excluding, of course, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the dirty war and the blockade of our Homeland throughout 50 years, that will have another anniversary next April 16th.

In all those wars, like that of Vietnam which cost millions of lives, the most cynical justifications and measures prevailed.

For anyone harbouring any doubts, about the inevitable military intervention that shall occur in Libya, the AP news agency, which I consider to be well-informed, headlined a cable printed today which stated: "The NATO countries are drawing up a contingency plan taking as its model the flight exclusion zones established over the Balkans in the 1990s, in the event that the international community decides to impose an air embargo over Libya, diplomats said".

Further on it concludes: "Officials, who were not able to give their names due to the delicate nature of the matter, indicated that the opinions being observed start with the flight exclusion zone that the western military alliance imposed over Bosnia in 1993 that had the mandate of the Security Council, and with the NATO bombing in Kosovo in 1999, THAT DID NOT HAVE IT".

To be continued tomorrow.

(9) Petras: Greek PM George Papandreou bends knee to Israel

From: Ken Freeland <> Date: 01.03.2011 09:34 AM
Subject: [shamireaders] FW: Greek P M .doc

Greek P.M.: Zionism and the IMF's Last Best Friend

By James Petras

27 FEBRUARY 2011


In the midst of the Arab uprisings throughout the Middle East, at a time when even the European (EU) has publically condemned Israel's blockade of Gaza and its illegal land seizures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou promised a visiting delegation of American Jewish leaders, that he would do everything possible to undermine EU opposition and promote Israeli economic, diplomatic and political interests in Europe. US Zionists, recently returned from a visit to Athens described Papandreou as by far the most amenable ('servile') European leader they have met in recent memory. Papandreou's slavish submission to Israeli interests includes his promise, to a delegation of U.S. zionist notables, to use his influence to pressure the new Egyptian military junta to continue to uphold the Mubarak agreements with Israel (European Jewish Press 2/11/11). These include the continued blockade of Gaza and support of Israel's military assaults on Lebanon, Syria and Palestinians. In other words Papandreou is openly supportive of Egypt's past collaboration with Israeli clandestine assassinations and kidnapping of Arab militants.

Papandreou demonstrates a greater interest in promoting Israel's exports to the European market, than the country he ostensibly represents. He promised a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations "to integrate Israel into the European market" (European Jewish Press 2/11/11) while he shrinks the Greeks economy by 10% between 2009-11 and doubles unemployment from 8% to 16%. Papandreou's gross servility to Israel and the American Zionist power structure is manifested in his cordial reception and recent agreements with Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and his foreign minister, the notorious Zionist-fascist Avigdor Lieberman – the same Lieberman who advocates wholesale expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank. No Greek Prime Minister, since the Zionist state was founded, has exhibited such a bizarre display of active collaboration with Israel's colonial claims in the Middle East. No European leader has so eagerly anticipated and implemented the demands of American Zionist organizations with such zeal.

What is most striking about Papandreou's servility to Israeli and American Zionist interests, is that it takes place when most of the rest of the world, from Europe, Turkey, Lebanon, Latin America, to North Africa (Egypt, Tunisia) and the vast majority of Arabs are moving toward isolating Israel. In other words, Papandreou is embracing a pro-Israel policy which is alienating Europe, isolating Greece from over a hundred million Arabs and undermining Greek agricultural (citrus) exports to the EU market.

Papandreou's perverse and highly prejudicial foreign policy is matched by his extraordinary adherence and enforcement of the debt payment policies dictated by the IMF and the bankers of the EU and the US. His behavior is particularly shameless at a time when the next Irish government is threatening to declare a debt default if payments are not reduced. In his eagerness to ingratiate himself with the overseas bankers, Papandreou has systematically extracted billions of euros via a 20% reduction in wages, salaries and pensions and transferred it to the coffers of the banks. In the process Papandreou's policies have doubled the unemployment rate, shrank the economy and undermined any future growth for the next decade. Papandreou rejected the Argentine formula, which in the face of a similar crises in 2001-02 , defaulted rather than deepen poverty. Under President Kirchner, Argentina renegotiated its debt, shaving bond payments by 75% and imposing a moratorium. As a result, Argentina recovered from the crises and maintained a growth rate of 7% for over a decade while reducing unemployment from 22% to less than 6%.

If Papandreou acts as a submissive messenger boy for Israel and its Zionist fifth column in America, he features prominently as the eager and aggressive "bill collector" for the overseas banks. He will go down in historical infamy as a willing accomplice of Israeli war crimes, an upholder of its unequal treaties with Egypt in his foreign policy and the enforcer of financial predators who impoverish millions of Greeks at home.

Having decimated the Greek economy via transfers of billions abroad and undermined economic relations with the Arab countries, Papandreou offers to sell Greece's most lucrative transport, ports energy and communication companies to Chinese, Israeli and Wall Street investors and speculators. It is ironic that George Papandreou the son of former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou should reverse each and every one of his father's policies, especially with regard to the Middle East.

In 1981 after Andreas Papandreou was elected he invited me to Athens to discuss policies and programs of his future government. The first thing he told me was the importance of supporting the Palestinian struggle and how he had a successful meeting with Yasser Arafat, who regaled him with a prized pistol, which he displayed to me. A year later when I returned to Greece to direct and develop a research center, he invited me for a swim. We were accompanied by a dozen underwater security guards, patrolling offshore, against a potential assassination plot by Mossad, according to the prime minister, in reprisal for his solidarity with the Palestinians in Lebanon.

A few days later over 50,000 Greeks led by Culture Minister Melina Mercuri marched in solidarity with the Palestinians and in repudiation of Israel's role in the bloody massacre of 2000 women and children in Sabra and Shatila. The contrast of the two generations of Papandreou's could not be more stark; while Andreas saw Greece as a bridge between Europe and the Arab East, George sees Greece acting as a pimp for Israeli business interests in Europe and as a lobbyist for its dominance in the Middle East. The Zionists have lost an old client in Mubarek and gained a new one in Papendreou.

Like Mubarak, George Papandreou combines servility to his imperial mentors with arrogance and brutality to his Greek subjects. As the Egyptians demonstrated it will take the Greek people more than marches and occasional strikes to bring down an entrenched client of the empire. But it can be done as was exemplified in Cairo!

(10) Assange complains of Jewish Smear Campaign; Guardian's David Leigh is Jewish, and brother-in-law of Editor

Assange Complains of Jewish Smear Campaign


Published: March 1, 2011

LONDON — A report published by a British magazine on Tuesday said the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, suggested that British journalists, including the editor of The Guardian, were engaged in a Jewish-led conspiracy to smear his organization.

His remarks appeared in the magazine Private Eye, in an article by its editor, Ian Hislop, who outlined a rambling phone call that Mr. Assange made on Feb. 16 to complain about the coverage of WikiLeaks.

He was especially angry about a Private Eye report that Israel Shamir, an Assange associate in Russia, was a Holocaust denier. Mr. Assange complained that the article was part of a campaign by Jewish reporters in London to smear WikiLeaks.

A lawyer for Mr. Assange could not immediately be reached for comment, but in a statement later released on the WikiLeaks Twitter feed, Mr. Assange said Mr. Hislop had “distorted, invented or misremembered almost every significant claim and phrase.”

The Private Eye article quoted Mr. Assange as saying the conspiracy was led by The Guardian and included the newspaper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, and investigations editor, David Leigh, as well as John Kampfner, a prominent London journalist who recently reviewed two books about WikiLeaks for The Sunday Times of London.

When Mr. Hislop pointed out that Mr. Rusbridger was not Jewish, Mr. Assange countered that The Guardian’s editor was “sort of Jewish” because he and Mr. Leigh, who is Jewish, were brothers-in-law. Later, the article recounted, Mr. Assange asked Mr. Hislop to “forget the Jewish thing,” but he continued to insist there was a conspiracy against WikiLeaks based on the friendship among Mr. Rusbridger, Mr. Leigh and Mr. Kampfner.

In the Twitter feed, Mr. Assange said that “in particular” the Private Eye report that he believed in a “‘Jewish conspiracy’ is false, in spirit and in word. It is serious and upsetting. Rather than correct a smear, Mr. Hislop has tried to justify one smear with another.”

“That he has a reputation for this, and is famed to have received more libel suits in the U.K. than any other journalist as a result, does not mean that it is right,” Mr. Assange’s statement said. “WikiLeaks promotes the ideal of ‘scientific journalism’ — where the underlying evidence of all articles is available to the reader precisely in order to avoid these type of distortions. We treasure our strong Jewish support and staff, just as we treasure the support from pan-Arab democracy activists and others who share our hope for a just world.”

After Mr. Assange was accused of sexual abuse by two women in Stockholm last summer, he cited a “smear campaign” against WikiLeaks. A London court ruled last week that he must be extradited to Sweden to face questioning on those accusations.

(11) Shamir: Assange police files show Guardian bias; Anna Ardin takes Sofia Wilen to police but stays in background


By Israel Shamir

Look for it on Counterpunch - soon.
Until then:

The British magistrate court has decided to surrender Julian Assange to the Nordic Amazons who were hunting for his head – pending appeal. Thus the long Saga of the Broken Condom, or whatever name by which it will become known to posterity, took a definite turn for the worse. The judge decided to honor the European Arrest Warrant issued by man-eating Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny. Julian has appealed to the High Court, ensuring that the saga will go on as a side divertissement to the main story, Cablegate.

We shall not delve again into what happened between Julian and the two women; this has already been covered <> in previous installments.  Today we turn to the dramatic events that occurred immediately afterwards. We live in an age of leaks, and this story is no exception.  The Swedish police papers pertaining to Assange case have surfaced on the web – and there are some shocking revelations. One revelation concerns the investigative editor of The Guardian, David Leigh and his accomplice Nick Davies. They were given the leaked police papers well before they were made public, and Davies constructed a story <> that revealed his special "unauthorised access". Now the original documents (in Swedish) have been published on the site, and the English version is now available on <,02.shtml> with this touching foreword from the translator:

"The truth will out, the truth wins out. Let no journalist ever again speculate into what the protocols say. Six months of digging and the people at Flashback have the actual documents. The sleaze printed by rags such as the Daily Mail, Sweden's Aftonbladet and Expressen, and perhaps above all the toxic Nick Davies of The Guardian, can stand no more. Yet more: these documents are an indictment of the 'news organisations' who've printed deliberate inaccuracies all along or even worse: refused to print anything at all. Nick Davies' account of the protocols was maliciously skewed; both Aftonbladet and Expressen had copies early on and printed nothing. Bloggers had copies but arrogantly kept the information to their Smeagol selves."

Once again we can compare the raw data with the official story, and once again we can confirm that Leigh and his partners are brazen, busy little cooks. They cooked the Embassy Cables, as we reported <> in Counterpunch, and now we can see exactly how they cooked the Assange police papers too. Leigh and his supporters have loudly proclaimed that his deletions and redactions were due to British libel laws. In this story, he proves how empty was his rhetoric. Every damaging accusation against Assange was given a place of prominence; the true and disturbing picture has remained buried until now.

Our story begins on Friday, August 20, 2010, when the two women of our story, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen met in Stockholm, compared their experiences and discussed how to commemorate their weekend with Julian. Manipulative and ambitious, Anna Ardin had decided to get some sweet revenge on our breezy, festive Julian, who had drifted like a butterfly away from her bed and over to the bed of the younger Sofia.  Anna's plan was to stay out of the limelight – she convinced Sofia to make out the complaint. But she did arrange for it: Anna took Sofia to see the police.

But Anna did not take Sofia directly to the nearest police station. No, Anna had already arranged an appointment with her good friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans. Anna Ardin and Irmeli Krans were once political running mates for a city hall election – Irmeli came in at 38th place and Anna won 12th. Irmeli is a well-known gender activist, a member of the LGBT movement and the Gay Police Union. Krans's blog <> is full of pictures taken at gay parades from Riga, Tallinn, and Stockholm. It might appear as if this stern criminal investigator treats her police work as a hobby while her real work is attending gay parades all over Europe, but she dropped everything for the Assange case.

Anna delivered Sofia to the police station only after the main force had gone home at 4 pm, leaving Anna's friend Irmeli to handle the distraught Sofia. At 4:21pm, Irmeli began writing what would later be described as "the interrogation of Sofia Wilen". Anna Ardin was always present in the room: she brought Sofia in and introduced her to the policewoman, but her presence was never mentioned in the protocols. This is a gross violation of law: fellow witnesses are never present during police questioning! Furthermore, every person present at the inquiry must be listed, yet Anna unaccountably remains invisible. She gave no evidence at all.

In the end, all this careful police-room theatre was spoiled with a too-hasty denouement. The interrogation was not even over before a different policewoman, as if on cue, called the prosecutor and obtained an order to arrest Julian in absentia. It almost seems as if a thoughtful hand had prearranged it all. The prosecutor issued the arrest warrant without having read the complaint and before Anna had made a statement or even a complaint. The climax of our drama took place at 6 pm on Friday, and yet the very next morning (Saturday, August 21st), the sleazy right-wing tabloid Expressen, a Swedish clone of the New York Post, had already published all of the police allegations, featuring a photo of Assange on the front page and the headline 'DOUBLE RAPIST'.

That was a Pentagon threat coming true. The US military demanded from Assange to destroy all the files, or else. "If doing the right thing is not good enough for them (WikiLeaks), then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing," the Pentagon spokesman said. The sex case was a device to compel Julian, and Sofia's feelings were of no importance.

The leaked police papers reveal that Sofia was heart-broken when she learned of the charges; she never expected Assange to be charged with rape. As we learn in testimony from her American boyfriend, Sofia was raised to have a hysterical fear of unprotected sex. After a lifetime of horror stories, she feared the fatal consequences of unprotected sex; she was terrified at the thought of viruses crawling over her body, and the only thing she wanted from the police was to force Julian to take an STD test immediately. Julian was willing but the labs were closed for weekend.

Even Irmeli Krans, our man-hating interrogator, could not help but think there was no crime committed. Apparently Irmeli had made plans to comfort Sofia, and voiced her intentions to her superiors; she was promptly taken off the case and her boss Mats Gehlin took over. The first thing he did was order her to fix the record of the Sofia interview. Irmeli knew this was wrong, and she wrote him a message saying "With the risk of appearing difficult I do not want to have an unsigned document with my name circulating in DurTvå-space. Particularly not now when the case has developed as it has." But he kept pushing her, and eventually she submitted to his authority. The computer system (DurTvå) however, would not allow her to falsify the records – instead, the system re-dated the protocols to August 26, a sure sign of tampering. So now the original protocol does not even exist. Yet even after doctoring the records, the interrogation of Sofia Wilen is a most peculiar one: she did not sign it and there is no voice recording, so we can only guess what went on in there.  Discrepancies in Swedish police records might not be news, but that night of August 20th - the night the prosecutor authorized Julian's arrest - was a very busy night for a pandering political party and its pet journalists.

That evening there had been a lavish crayfish party at Harpsund Slott, the Prime Minister's summer residence, a Swedish Chequers. Harpsund is a fabulous place, and every important guest of the Swedish government has visited it: from Nikita Khrushchev to Angela Merkel. Besides the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, there were present several politicians and political journalists, among them Niklas Svensson, a political journalist for Expressen. Svensson was fired from Expressen in 2006 for hacking into an opposition party computer and stealing an important document, the party strategic paper for elections. Later he was reinstalled and rewarded for his strong political sympathies for the ruling right-wing (and very pro-American) coalition.

That night Svensson received a message on his cell phone describing the double complaint against Julian, although we know that at the time there was still only one reluctant statement. We don't know whether or not he shared the good news with the ministers and Ambassadors at the party, but I don't see how he could have contained himself. The elections were scheduled in thee weeks' time, and the government was eager to placate the Americans, upset at Julian's new Swedish base of operations. Svensson called the police and the prosecutor, and they confirmed the news as an official press release from the police department.

The next morning, policewoman Sara Wennerblom telephoned Anna Ardin and told her that she would have to give evidence. They did the interview by telephone that same day. In this phone interview Anna said that she freely consented to have sex with Assange, but that she wouldn't have let it happen if she'd known he didn't have a condom. So much for the rape charge! A few hours later, the warrant was voided when another prosecutor, Eva Finne, looked at the reports and concluded that no crime was committed. Case closed. 

But the closed case was soon to be reopened. Pro-American right-wing forces in Sweden wanted to do as much damage to Julian as possible. They were worried that Sweden might become Wikileaks headquarters, and they knew that allegations of sexual misconduct would (and did) prevent Julian from obtaining permanent residency. The right-wing Swedes were supported and guided by Karl Rove, <> the American political adviser and longtime Bush supporter who has been advising Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt for the past two years. Reinfeldt would like to be considered "the Ronald Reagan of Sweden"; he has tried for years to dismantle Swedish socialism and bring them into NATO.  The American lawyer Roger Shuler has argued <> convincingly that Rove's fingerprints are all over the Assange case.

In order to reopen the case, a law firm run by two political heavyweights was brought in, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, sorry, Bodstrom and Borgstrom. Tweedledum Thomas Bodstrom was once a Justice minister whose claim to fame is that he delivered two hapless Swedish-resident Arabs to a CIA rendition plane so that they could be tortured in one of Mubarak's jails. Tweedledee Claes Borgstrom was once a minister for equality, no, not social equality, God forbid, but "gender equality". Feminism is always a good career move for a Swedish man, at the very least as a way to atone for his offensive gender. Borgstrom is a super-feminist, forever calling for a more expansive definition of rape. He famously stated that no woman could know for sure whether or not she was raped; only the lawyers can tell for sure. Swedish bloggers noticed <,00.shtml> that he "defended the European Data Retention Directive on the grounds that it helps 'catch more rapists'."

Borgstrom spoke to his old comrade Marianne Ny, and together they prepared new laws that stretched the definition of rape so far that "if a woman doesn't have multiple orgasms during hetero sex, the man can be charged with rape", in the witty words of a sister feminist. Ny is heading a "development center" specializing in sexual offences, and is attempting to take feminism to the next level (a la Valerie Solanas <>). Retired judge Brita Sundberg-Wietman writes this about Marianne Ny: She is known to have said that when a woman alleges she has been a victim of assault by a man, it is a good idea to have the man detained, because it is not until he is arrested that the woman has time to think of her life in peace and realize how she has been treated. According to Ny the detention has a good effect as protection for the woman "even in cases where the perpetrator is prosecuted but not found guilty".

Marianne Ny is a prosecutor in far-away Gothenburg, but Swedish laws allow her to take on any case as long as there is some new development. And lo and behold, under Borgstrom's guidance new evidence suddenly appeared: ten days after Julian's arrest and release, Anna Ardin carried a soiled condom into a police station. The condom was checked, and the examination came up blank: the condom showed no sign of being used at all. But Marianne Ny did not need a positive result, all she needed was a "new development"; and so she re-opened the case.

Afterwards, she did nothing. From time to time she called a witness to be interrogated, but Julian was not called up again. It was only much later, when he was in the UK, that Marianne Ny decided to demand his extradition. This was a smart move. If she had called him in for questioning while he was in Sweden, the case would have immediately collapsed. Since he will now be brought into Sweden against his will, Ny and Borgstrom will be able to lock Assange up for months until the trial, as Swedish law does not permit bail. Once in custody, Julian can be shipped to the US, or directly to Guantanamo without even returning to Sweden; as a detained foreigner he can be deported at the pleasure of the Swedish government.

Our hero has found himself in quite a mess. And meanwhile, in order to create more confusion and undermine Julian's unflagging popularity, the Guardian team has cooked up a new charge: this time it is anti-Semitism. It is much easier to shout "Anti-Semite!" than to defend The Guardian against these very real accusations: falsification of cables, plagiarism, manipulation, deliberate smearing of Julian Assange… The best answer to their newest baseless accusation is given in this fabulous Julian Assange kicks little kittens <> video.

Anna Ardin: Follow Up

If Anna Ardin hoped to enjoy her revenge, it misfired badly. She ran in the local elections just after the story broke; she received 6 (six) votes altogether, while the next lowest contender pulled 1500 votes. In a classic case of cooking your own goose, Anna Ardin became the biggest turn-away name in the country. Her only chance at rehabilitation lies in the fact that she may be sought out by Black PR agencies <> for her negative public relations capabilities.

We wrote in Counterpunch that the young lady had some CIA connections, and that she was deported from Cuba for that very reason. Some feminists pointed out that a lady should not be called names after suffering at the hands of the brute Assange. However, we have now a confirmation from a sterling source: the BBC <>. 

Their man in Cuba, Fernando Ravsberg reported: "Anna Ardin, the Swede who is accusing Julian Assange of rape, appears to have worked for some Cuban dissident faction. Dissident sources confirmed that Ardin supported the opposition in Cuba for years. "

"Manuel Cuesta, a leader of the Arco Progresista admitted that this political connection lasted from 2004 to 2006. The activities of the Swede in Cuba had little to do with those of a normal tourist.  The opposition leader assured that she "advised us on how to form a political party, we exchanged bibliographies and her group gave us a minimal amount of economic assistance."

"It seems everything was running along fine until she tried to "make us pay the cost" for her services.  According to the opponent, "she tried to influence us too forcefully on how we should lead Arco Progresista. Our reluctance generated certain uneasiness on her part."

Manuel Cuesta described her as a very beautiful woman, "Self-centered, having a strong personality, committed, intelligent and very Eurocentric.  Her principal virtue is her determination and her worst defect is her Eurocentric arrogance."

Cuesta told Ravsberg that in 2006 Anna established some tie with Carlos Alberto Montaner, who is seen by some as a CIA contact.  Montaner vigorously denied <> knowing Anna. 

Ravsberg concluded: "Arco Progresista has few certainties but many suspicions.  Manuel told us that all of this "enters into an intriguing realm of political jockeying, and it amazes me a little.  We're thinking back so we can piece things together, because it's evident that there's something strange in all this."

Edited by Paul Bennett

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