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Argentina: la CIA y el Mossad en un intento de “golpe blando”

Buenos Aires, Argentina

por Stella Calloni

Estadounidenses e israelíes manipularon desde un inicio la investigación de un cruento atentado en Argentina en 1998. Por casi 2 décadas buscaron acusar a Irán, pero ni una sola prueba pudieron ofrecer. El último fiscal del caso reportaba secretamente a la inteligencia estadounidense los avances en la investigación y le consultaba el rumbo que tomarían las pesquisas. Con la muerte de este funcionario argentino, ahora Estados Unidos busca hacer una jugada de tres bandas: además de implicar al siempre incómodo Irán, ahora ha orquestado un “golpe blando” contra la presidenta Cristina Fernández. De prosperar esa maniobra, seguiría Venezuela, para debilitar el bloque de países suramericanos que han puesto dique a las ambiciones de Estados Unidos en la región.

 

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El pasado 18 de enero de 2015, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la Unidad Especial que investigaba la causa sobre el cruento atentado contra la Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) el 18 de junio de 1994, fue encontrado muerto con un disparo en la cabeza, en el baño de su departamento y con todas las puertas de su casa cerradas por dentro. Cuatro días antes había presentado una denuncia, sin prueba alguna, mal redactada y con serias contradicciones, en la que acusaba a la presidenta de la nación, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, al canciller Héctor Timerman, y a otras personas, de intentar encubrir a funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– de ser culpables del atentado. En días se había puesto en marcha un golpe encubierto de origen externo.El fiscal había sido colocado al frente de la investigación en 2004, después de 10 largos años, cuando se cerró el más escandaloso e irregular juicio de la historia sin lograr encontrar a los culpables del atentado que dejó 85 muertos y centenares de heridos. Este hecho aparece como un eslabón más de un golpe en desarrollo, en el que participan un sector del aparato judicial argentino, la oposición, los medios masivos de comunicación junto a la CIA (Agencia Central de Inteligencia, siglas en inglés) y el Mossad, de Estados Unidos e Israel, respectivamente.

Para entender esto hay que entender de qué se trata el caso AMIA y conocer las graves irregularidades cometidas con la entrega en la década de 1990 de laa investigación a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses e israelíes, que operaron conjuntamente con el grupo de la Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado (SIDE) de Argentina.

Investigación bajo control externo

El cruento atentado conmovió al país; el juez que quedó a cargo de la investigación en julio de ese año fue Juan José Galeano, quien comenzó su actuación bajo una presión muy evidente.

En sólo 24 horas, la inteligencia israelí –que envió sus hombres a colaborar desde las primeras horas del hecho– y la CIA acusaron a la República Islámica de Irán y al Hezbolá de Líbano, sin pruebas.

Sin haber iniciado la investigación, ofrecieron un testigo importante al juez argentino Galeano, quien viajó a Venezuela para entrevistarlo.

El hombre se llamaba Manouchehr Moatamer y se presentó como un ex funcionario iraní, que había huido de su país y que acusaba al gobierno de Irán de ser responsable del atentado, sin ninguna prueba. Sus declaraciones erráticas se derrumbaron en poco tiempo. Es decir, la CIA y el Mossad habían vendido a la justicia argentina un testigo falso.

Moatamer se había ido de Irán con su familia en 1993. Falta saber cómo llegó a Venezuela en 1994, y cómo terminó al final en Los Angeles, Estados Unidos, como «testigo protegido de la CIA».

La causa de Galeano siguió navegando en un mar de irregularidades. Pero aún en 1997, el juez fue nuevamente a ver a Moatamer, en Estados Unidos, quien nada agregó a su testimonio anterior. En 2008, Moatamer finalmente confesó que había mentido para obtener la visa estadounidense.

En 1998, nuevamente la CIA y el Mossad ofrecieron otro supuesto testigo, en este caso radicado en Alemania, Abolghasem Mesbahi, llamado el “testigo C”. Mesbahi había sido desplazado en 1989 de algunas tareas menores para la inteligencia iraní, sospechoso de ser agente doble. Se dedicó a la actividad privada y realizó una serie de estafas, tras lo cual se fue a Alemania donde se radicó desde 1996.

En ese tiempo, Mesbahi acusó a Irán de cada uno de los “atentados terroristas” que no se esclarecían en el mundo –lo que siempre sucede con los atentados de falsa bandera– como el de Lockerbie, Escocia, y otros.

El “testigo C”, que ganó fama por el misterio que rodeaba su nombre, vio una nueva oportunidad acusando a Irán, con la anuencia de los servicios alemanes, estadounidenses e israelíes de la voladura de la AMIA.

Sin pruebas, contó su versión en Alemania ante un juez nacional y el juez argentino Juan José Galeano, que viajó a ese país en 1998.

«Mesbahi declaró 5 veces bajo juramento en la causa, y en los puntos esenciales dio 5 versiones distintas y contradictorias de éstos, que no podrían servir nunca como prueba. Sólo dichos y palabras, y por supuesto, conjeturas y deducciones de inteligencia», resume el abogado Juan Gabriel Labaké en su libro AMIA-Embajada, ¿verdad o fraude?

El abogado Labaké, por cierto no oficialista, viajó a Teherán, Europa y Estados Unidos, reuniendo datos y entrevistándose con fuentes importantes, y finalmente llegó a la conclusión de que no existían pruebas contra Irán en el juicio de AMIA, ni bajo la dirección de Galeano, ni bajo la del fiscal Nisman, quien sólo recopiló y reescribió los expedientes de su predecesor, y les dio cierto orden pero siempre acusando a Irán, como ordenaron Washington y Tel Aviv.

El periodista Gerth Porter, de The Nation, escribió en una nota el 16 de mayo de 2010 que el embajador de Estados Unidos en Argentina en el momento del atentado a la AMIA, James Cheek, le dijo en una entrevista:

«Que yo sepa no hay ninguna evidencia real de la participación iraní. Nunca probaron nada.»

Lo extraño es que cuando Nisman acusa a Irán en 2006 ya se sabía que ambos testigos no eran creíbles y la justicia británica incluso había rechazado, por falta de pruebas, un pedido de extradición contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour. El diplomático iraní estaba haciendo un curso en Londres cuando lo detuvieron en 2003 hasta que llegara el exhorto de extradición. Pero hubo que liberarlo en 2004 y pagarle una indemnización de 189 000 libras esterlinas.

También la Organización Internacional de Policía Criminal (Interpol) devolvió un primer pedido de alerta roja por falta de pruebas, y el segundo pedido en 2013, y que esta hasta estos días, por especial pedido del gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner y el canciller Héctor Timerman, tampoco tiene aún el fundamento de las pruebas que el juez Rodolfo Canicoba Corral le pidió a Nisman que investigara. Ahora se sabe que Nisman no había cumplido con reunir pruebas, sino solamente simples deducciones de inteligencia que no sirven a la justicia ni a la verdad.

El primer juicio de la AMIA debió ser cerrado por escándalos e irregularidades graves, una de las cuales consistió en que el juez Galeano, con apoyo del entonces presidente de la Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas-Argentinas (DAIA), Rubén Berajas, pagó 400 mil dólares a un reducidor de autos robados, Carlos Telledín, para que acusara a diplomáticos iraníes y a policías de la provincia de Buenos Aires.

Estos últimos estuvieron 5 años detenidos y debieron ser liberados por absoluta falta de pruebas, sin vinculaciones con la causa. Así escandalosamente terminó ese juicio.

La enmarañada red de falsedades y mentiras, presiones e intereses que eran los expedientes de la causa del cruento atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA obligó a terminar con el juicio en 2004, y el entonces presidente Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) exhortó a la justicia a avanzar, profundizando en la causa hacia la verdad.

Se creó entonces la Unidad Especial de la Causa AMIA, que quedaría por decisión de la Procuraduría en manos del fiscal Alberto Nisman, lo que sorprendió, ya que el propio Nisman también había sido parte del fracaso del juicio iniciado en julio de 1994 y cerrado 10 años después, sin haber logrado nada.

El caso Nisman

Nisman había comenzado en 1997 su camino hacia la actual Fiscalía, en Morón, provincia de Buenos Aires. En su historia hay un caso que marcó su camino y fue la investigación sobre el destino de Iván Ruiz y José Díaz, dos de los participantes en el fracasado ataque al cuartel de la Tablada en enero de 1989, dirigido por el ex jefe guerrillero Enrique Gorriarán Melo, durante el gobierno democrático de Raúl Alfonsín. Ambos detenidos, después del cruento enfrentamiento que dejó varios muertos y heridos, fueron vistos por última vez brutalmente torturados y llevados por militares y policías en un automóvil Ford Falcon.

Hasta ahora están desaparecidos, pero Nisman y un juez que lo puso a cargo de la investigación apoyaron la versión oficial del Ejército de que «habían muerto en combate» a pesar de las evidencias de su desaparición forzada.

En julio de 1997, el entonces procurador general Nicolás Becerra lo convocó para sumarse a los fiscales que investigaban el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA, José Barbaccia y Eamon Mullen, por pedido expreso de ambos.

De acuerdo con Infojus Noticias de Argentina «el equipo de Nisman, Barbaccia y Mullen trabajó hasta el juicio oral, pero no terminó bien». Durante ese juicio por la llamada «conexión local», muchos testigos dijeron que ellos y el juez Juan José Galeano habían cometido una serie de irregularidades que se comprobaron.

Al final del debate, el Tribunal Oral absolvió al delincuente Carlos Telleldín, a quien el propio juez entregó 400 000 dólares para que acusara a funcionarios iraníes y a policías, con el visto bueno de Rubén Berajas, entonces presidente de la poderosa Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas.

En los fundamentos del fallo se acusó a Galeano –quien terminó destituido y procesado–, a su equipo y a los fiscales Mullen y Barbaccia, también procesados.

«En el juicio oral quedó demostrado que no se investigó absolutamente nada» en la Causa AMIA , afirmó a Infojus Noticias el abogado Juan Carlos García Dietze, defensor de Ariel Nizcaner, quien fue absuelto de haber participado en la adulteración de la camioneta Traffic, que supuestamente fuera usada en el atentado.

«Siempre hubo un tema parádojico: Barbaccia y Mullen quedaron imputados, y Nisman siguió a cargo. Es extraño», reflexionó García Dietze.

En 2004 Nisman, ya a cargo de Unidad Especial para concentrar todas las investigaciones vinculadas al atentado, se acerca a un hombre clave de la entonces Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado, la antigua SIDE, Antonio Stiusso, alias “Jaime”. Éste había sido desplazado de la Causa AMIA por ser parte de las irregularidades del juicio, pero con Nisman recuperó un lugar de importancia. Ambos trabajaban con la CIA y el Mossad.

La Unidad Especial recibía importantes sumas de dinero para investigar. Pero Nisman sólo se dedicó a clasificar los expedientes de Galeano y continuó responsabilizando a los iraníes, sin haber producido, en los últimos 10 años, ninguna prueba para confirmar la acusación. Su primer pedido de alerta roja contra 12 iraníes, diplomáticos y funcionarios acusados, fue devuelto por falta de pruebas. Como sucedió con el pedido de extradición enviado a Londres contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour, cuando la justicia británica devolvió la solicitud por falta de pruebas, indemnizando al diplomático en 2004. Una vergüenza para la justicia argentina.

Nisman y la Embajada de Estados Unidos

Durante 10 largos años, los expedientes que investigaba Nisman siguieron incorporando «informes basados en deducciones y armados» sin prueba real, imposibles de comprobar, que proveían la CIA y el Mossad, al igual que hicieron al proporcionar los falsos testigos.

En 2010, cuando se publicaron en Argentina una serie de cables secretos referidos al caso AMIA, del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos revelados por WikiLeaks, quedó en evidencia que el fiscal Nisman anticipaba las medidas que iba a tomar en esta causa a diplomáticos de esa Embajada.

Estos descubrimientos no dieron lugar a tomar una medida clave, la de separar al fiscal de esta causa ya que no se puede ser “juez y parte”, como sucedía en su relación de subordinación a Estados Unidos e Israel.

La pista iraní no lograba reunir pruebas concretas, pero sin duda favorecía los intereses geopolíticos de ambos países, que continúan intentando invadir Irán, enlazando esta situación con el anunciado plan imperial de un Oriente Medio ampliado, que significó invasiones y ocupaciones coloniales de varios países en esa región en el siglo XX. Jamás la inteligencia estadounidense o israelí debieron haber participado, monitoreado y armado la Causa AMIA.

En un despacho del 22 de mayo de 2008, desde la sede diplomática estadounidense en Buenos Aires, se especificaba: «Los oficiales de nuestra Oficina Legal le han recomendado al fiscal Alberto Nisman que se concentre en los que perpetraron el atentado y no en quienes desviaron la investigación.»

Eso fue precisamente cuando el entonces juez federal Ariel Lijo ordenó la detención e indagatoria del ex presidente Carlos Menem, de su hermano Munir –ya fallecido–, del entonces titular de la SIDE Hugo Anzorreguy, y otros, como el magistrado Juan José Galeano y del ex comisario Jorge Palacios, por encubrir el atentado.

Nisman no había informado de esa medida a la Embajada estadounidense como lo hacía normalmente. Otros cables de WikiLeaks demostraron que el fiscal de la Causa AMIA se había disculpado con los oficiales estadounidenses por no haber anticipado los pedidos de detención. Hay varios cables referidos al tema, publicados por el periodista Guillermo O’Donell.

Ya en 2013, Memoria Activa y familiares y amigos de las víctimas del atentado de julio de 1994 se pronunciaban por un alejamiento de Nisman de la Causa AMIA. En noviembre de 2013, en una carta abierta al fiscal, los familiares respaldaron el Memorándum de Entendimiento entre Argentina e Irán y cuestionaron «la falta de compromiso de Nisman y la inacción en la causa», por considerarlo «funcional a los intereses de los que siempre nos quieren alejar de la verdad».

El Memorándum de Entendimiento con Irán es un verdadero documento de política exterior que podía sentar precedentes en la resolución de conflictos sin salida, como era el caso AMIA. Se trataba de que los jueces de la Causa AMIA pudieran ir a Teherán a indagar, ante la presencia de una Comisión de personalidades reconocidas y neutrales, a los altos funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– del atentado. Por primera vez se podría saber la verdad, fuera la que fuera.

Al cumplirse 20 años del atentado, el 19 de julio de 2014, los familiares de las víctimas no sólo reclamaron una vez más el esclarecimiento del hecho, sino que solicitaron formalmente que se apartara a Nisman del caso por «haber mostrado su total incapacidad para investigar en esta Causa», como denunció entonces Diana Malamud de Memoria Activa.

Irán siempre ofreció su cooperación, pero la CIA y el Mossad rechazaban toda posibilidad. Ningún país soberano en el mundo iba a entregar a un grupo de funcionarios acusados sin que se presentaran las pruebas necesarias a la justicia de terceros países. Incluso surgió de Irán una propuesta de crear una Comisión mixta, argentina-iraní, para investigar el tema AMIA.

En Irán no existe extradición y por eso el gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner trató de hallar un camino, que fue rechazado incomprensiblemente por el gobierno de Israel.

La DAIA y la AMIA, que habían apoyado en principio el Memorándum debieron plegarse al mandato israelí. La oposición argentina rápidamente se alió a este rechazo y surgieron jueces que declaraban la inconstitucionalidad de la ley, lo que era una aberración jurídica.

Irán quedó a la expectativa frente a esta situación. Lo que nadie sabía es que, con base en falsas denuncias, convertirían este tema en una maniobra golpista contra el gobierno de Fernández de Kirchner, el que más trabajó a favor de la verdad, como se puede constatar en los esfuerzos ante la Organización de las Naciones Unidas y en el propio Memorándum.

El 12 de enero de 2015, en plena Feria Judicial, e interrumpiendo un viaje que lo había llevado a recorrer Europa para festejar el cumpleaños 15 de una de sus hijas, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la investigación sobre el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA decidió regresar imprevistamente a Argentina, según él mismo comunicó a las amistades más allegadas en un mensaje de WhatsApp.

Sólo 1 día después de llegar a Buenos Aires, Nisman anunció que iba a presentar una denuncia contra la presidenta de la nación, el canciller, el diputado Andrés Larroque, dirigente del movimiento juvenil La Cámpora y contra 2 dirigentes sociales, Luis D’Elía y Fernando Esteche, por intento de presunto encubrimiento de los iraníes acusados mediante un pacto secreto con Irán por «intercambios comerciales», un pacto que nunca existió,.

Trama de guerra sucia

El 18 de enero, Nisman fue encontrado muerto, como se conoce, en su departamento. Y la rigurosa investigación fiscal continúa para no dejar ningún espacio de duda en su conclusión final.

La Feria Judicial permitía a Nisman elegir el juez, y buscó a Ariel Lijo, quien lleva causas creadas contra funcionarios gubernamentales por denuncias basadas en informaciones periodísticas y sin pruebas. El 14 de enero Nisman presentó la denuncia, generando un gran escándalo, sin aportar pruebas de sus incriminaciones, pero tampoco nada sobre el atentado que mató a 85 personas en 1994.

De inmediato la dirigencia opositora salió a respaldarlo, porque esta noticia les permitía montar un ataque brutal contra el gobierno en año electoral.

Prometía Nisman dar a conocer escuchas telefónicas (ilegales hasta ahora) para justificar su acusación, y el 19 de enero iba a hablar de su denuncia ante la Comisión de Legislación Penal de la Cámara de Diputados, citado por la oposición, aunque iba a asistir también el oficialismo, que pedía hacer público este evento, y no cerrado.

Las escuchas trasmitidas ilegalmente por un canal de televisión opositor de conversaciones entre dirigentes sociales y una persona de la comunidad islámica jamás podrían ser pruebas de nada. Pero el 19 de enero, la muerte de Nisman conmocionaba al país, atrayendo la atención también fuera de Argentina.

En las declaraciones que hizo ante la fiscalía, la ex esposa de Nisman, la jueza Sandra Arroyo Salgado, quien estaba en Barcelona, España, con otra de las hijas del matrimonio, señaló que Nisman la llamó el 12 de enero desde el Aeropuerto de Barajas, en Madrid, para decirle que debía regresar urgentemente a Buenos Aires porque su madre se iba a operar de un brazo y que luego iba a volver a Europa para continuar su viaje.

Arroyo Salgado dice haber discutido porque se negó a que Nisman regresara con su hija a Buenos Aires y convinieron en que la dejaba en el aeropuerto para que su madre llegara a recogerla desde Barcelona.

Se agrega a esto que la propia madre de Nisman, Sara Garfunkel, declaró en la causa que ella ya se había operado del brazo antes. Nisman había mentido a su familia en un regreso muy apresurado.

Por eso la pregunta es:
- ¿Quién llamó a Nisman tan urgentemente para presentar una denuncia sólo 2 días después de su regreso, nada menos que contra la presidenta?

La fiscal que ahora investiga la muerte de Nisman, Viviana Fein, a todas luces bajo intensa presión, dijo que el occiso había comprado el pasaje de regreso del día 12 de enero desde el 31 de diciembre. Esto abre entonces otra interrogante:
- ¿Por qué envió un mensaje de WhatsApp a sus amigos más cercanos, según transmitió la propia prensa opositora antes que la fiscal revelara la compra anticipada del boleto, de que tenía que regresar de forma intempestiva? ¿O era una trama ya urdida de antemano?

La incriminación fue la noticia bomba de comienzos de un año electoral y la diputada derechista Patricia Bullrich, de Unión Por Todos-Propuesta Republicana, organizó rápidamente que Nisman explicara la denuncia a una Comisión del Congreso.

Bullrich, quien habló varias veces con el fiscal antes de su muerte, está vinculada a varias fundaciones estadounidenses en Argentina, y de la misma manera la diputada Laura Alonso, destacadas ambas por apoyar a los sectores más fundamentalistas de Estados Unidos contra Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina o cualquiera de los países claves en la integración latinoamericana.

El domingo 18 de enero por la tarde, el fiscal Nisman fue encontrado sin vida, por su madre, llamada por dos custodios ante la falta de respuesta de éste. El departamento estaba cerrado por dentro, incluyendo la puerta de servicio, que tiene dos cerrojos; el de arriba, que podía abrir la madre, pero el de abajo tenía una llave trabada por dentro y debieron llamar al cerrajero para que la abriera.

El cuerpo de Nisman obstaculizaba abrir la puerta del baño. Tenía un disparo en la cabeza, una pistola y un casquillo de bala calibre 22 estaban en el piso a su lado. Una imagen desoladora. Tenía 51 años. Y los primeros resultados de la autopsia realizada por reconocidos forenses con presencia de expertos peritos determinaron que «no habían intervenido terceros».

Toda la información, incluyendo lo que se conoció después, mencionaba un disparo sólo a poco más de 1 centímetro de la sien derecha, lo que llevaba a pensar en un suicidio. La muerte se clasificó como «dudosa» hasta que se terminen las pericias, algunas repetidas para que no queden dudas.

La presidenta Fernández de Kirchner, en su primera carta en Twitter, nunca dijo que fuera un suicidio. Incluso lo puso en duda al escribir la palabra entre signos de interrogación. Y en su segunda carta sostuvo con mayor precisión que no creía en un suicidio. En todo caso en un suicidio inducido, y no precisamente por el gobierno, ya que en realidad es el gobierno el único afectado en este juego de servicios de inteligencia extranjeros y locales y de la oposición interna, mayoritariamente dependiente de Washington y sus fundaciones.

Desde Bolivia, el presidente Evo Morales definió certeramente esta situación: le pusieron una emboscada a la presidenta argentina, dijo al denunciar los sucesos.

Es de un simplismo aterrador pensar que a un gobierno a cuya presidenta se acusa sin prueba alguna, con una denuncia tan deficiente que ni siquiera parece redactada por el fiscal, podría convenirle la trágica muerte de éste.

La oposición política local, que ya armó varios escenarios golpistas en el país, se tomó el hecho como una bandera para acusar al gobierno. Los medios de comunicación y especialmente el Grupo Clarín, que se niega a cumplir con la Ley de Medios Audiovisuales que debe terminar con los nefastos monopolios mediáticos, comenzaron a especular confundiendo a la población, cautiva de ese enorme poder desinformador.

Es tal la intoxicación informativa, que nadie sabe distinguir entre el informe de la Fiscalía investigadora y los “juicios paralelos” que se escenifican en televisión.

Fue el gobierno el que insistió para que la reunión en el Congreso fuera pública, es decir, para que todo el mundo pudiera ver lo que se iba a debatir allí, lo que curiosamente la oposición rechazaba. Los legisladores del oficialismo desde el primer momento que Bullrich convocó la audiencia especial, afirmaron que concurrirían para interrogar profundamente al Fiscal con la determinación de llegar al fondo del asunto. La muerte del fiscal se lo impidió.

La muerte de Nisman está siendo utilizada de una manera perversa por los medios de comunicación opositores y por toda la red de desinformación mundial al servicio del poder hegemónico, intentando responsabilizar al gobierno en una de las campañas más duras que se recuerde.

El golpismo encubierto está siendo desarrollado por un sector del Poder Judicial, una estructura decadente que nunca se democratizó, y por los medios de comunicación masiva, la oposición y la acción de los servicios de inteligencia locales que fueron desplazados por el Ejecutivo y venían desde la pasada dictadura y antes de ésta. Pero, indudablemente, también por Estados Unidos e Israel.

El Estado israelí publicó en Estados Unidos un breve comunicado en la mañana del 19 de enero de 2015 sobre «la trágica circunstancia» de la muerte de Nisman, término que se utiliza para describir un suicidio; y el mismo día el secretario general de la DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, dijo a los medios argentinos –como está registrado– que «creían que era un suicidio» y que esa entidad estaba preocupada por el destino de la Causa. ¿Por qué luego cambiaron de rumbo?

Siguiendo el lineamiento del Estado israelí, exhortaban a continuar con la Causa –como si alguien hubiera hablado de abandonarla– y además a llevar a la justicia a los culpables del hecho y continuar con lo que estaba actuando Nisman. Es decir –y esto no puede perderse de vista– mantener la acusación contra Irán, lo que significa continuar en el cerrado círculo que comenzó en julio de 1994 con pistas y testigos falsos. ¿Qué hay en las sombras de esta Causa?

En la escena del crimen

El colaborador cercano del fiscal fallecido, Diego Lagomarsino, “experto en informática”, contratado por Nisman con un salario inusualmente altísimo, fue a ver al fiscal el sábado 17 de enero. Él mismo se presentó espontáneamente a la justicia para decir que le había llevado un arma vieja, la pistola calibre 22 con la que luego se “suicidó” el fiscal.

Primero dijo que Nisman le pidió la pistola para defenderse. Pero en realidad Lagomarsino estuvo 2 veces al edificio donde vivía el fiscal, supuestamente seguro y altamente vigilado, como se ofrecía a los compradores de departamentos en ese lugar. De la última visita en la noche no hay registros de salida. La investigadora Fein dijo que, según lo registrado, Lagomarsino salió el domingo en la mañana, es decir, al día siguiente de la muerte de Nisman.

La denuncia publicada íntegra el día 20 de enero es absolutamente una pieza sin valor jurídico, por su redacción, sus contradicciones y la falta de pruebas. Las escuchas telefónicas ilegales, que un canal de televisión opositor dio a conocer también violando toda norma, no agregan nada, al contrario, resultan hasta pueriles. Reconocidos juristas señalan que aunque todo lo que se dice fuese cierto no constituye delito porque nada de eso se realizó.

El curioso –y desconocido en el medio– periodista colaborador en el sitio de internet del Buenos Aires Herald, Damián Pachter, quien en la noche del 18 de enero dio, por Twitter y sin avisar a su medio, la primicia de que se había encontrado muerto al fiscal Nisman, decidió irse del país argumentando «miedo». Primero sacó un boleto de ida y vuelta a Uruguay, pero de pronto apareció en Tel Aviv.

Pero lo extraño es que sale hacia Uruguay y sigue hasta Israel, donde dice que pidió refugio. Luego se sabe que Pachter es argentino-israelí y que viajó con su pasaporte de Israel.
- ¿Por qué pidió asilo, si era ciudadano israelí y estuvo 3 años en el ejército de ese país?

Lagomarsino también estaba gestionando la actualización de su pasaporte, para lo cual concurrió a las oficinas pertinentes el mismo día 12, cuando Nisman hizo pública su imputación. Inmediatamente tras la muerte del fiscal, las autoridades le retuvieron el documento y se le prohibió salir del país.

La sospecha sobre Pachter aumentó cuando dio a medios europeos varias entrevistas hablando de la persecución de periodistas en Argentina, donde los medios opositores publican notas insultantes contra la presidenta y otros funcionarios sin ningún problema.

Otro dato importante a registrar. El fiscal Nisman utilizaba un automóvil de alta gama, un Audi, de un yerno de uno de los denunciados como encubridor local en el caso AMIA, Hugo Anzorreguy, el ex jefe de la SIDE en el momento de la voladura de la AMIA. Y además ligado al ex agente de la CIA Frank Holder, de oscura historia en Centroamérica, que como tantos ex agentes de otros países manejan agencias de seguridad locales.

En Estados Unidos, los sectores más recalcitrantes como el republicano Marcos Rubio, Bob Menéndez y otros, acusan a la presidenta y al gobierno de Argentina sin prueba alguna, lo cual es una amenaza y una presión sobre la justicia local, la misma que ejercen los medios masivos de comunicación argentinos, que de diversas formas advierten a fiscales y jueces que esta causa, como la de la AMIA, tienen que tener los “culpables” que ellos determinen. Los llamados de esos legisladores, además, evidencian su conexión con la derecha argentina.

Quieren una destitución aparentemente “institucional” del gobierno, un golpe blando, pero con muertes. No quieren la verdad.

Además de golpear a Argentina en el mismo momento en que se acrecienta el golpismo en Venezuela contra el presidente Nicolás Maduro, intentan debilitar a los organismos de unidad e integración que se consolidan en América Latina.

Si algo faltaba al terminar esta serie, se conoció que el ex presidente, de Uruguay, José Mujica desmintió la versión de que un diplomático de la Embajada de Irán en Montevideo fuese expulsado 2 semanas antes por estar vinculado a la colocación de un aparente artefacto explosivo en las inmediaciones de la Embajada israelí en esa ciudad. Esa versión la publicó el diario israelí Haaretz y la retomaron varios medios en el mundo.

Queda entonces la pregunta que puede tener una rápida respuesta: ¿qué están preparando los expertos en atentados de falsa bandera en nuestros países?

- «Causa AMIA: el atentado de 1994 fue problablemente fomentado por un ex ministro argentino del Interior», Red Voltaire , 3 de julio de 2013.
- “Argentina’s President slams Israel Lobby”, Voltaire Network, 18 February 2013.
- « Mensaje de Cristina Fernández sobre el Memorandum entre Argentina e Iran», por Cristina Fernández de Kirchner , Red Voltaire , 8 de febrero de 2013.
- «Ataques terroristas en la Argentina 1992 y 1994: no fueron de origen islámico», por Adrian Salbuchi, James Fetzer, Red Voltaire , 28 de octubre de 2009.
- “Iran and the AMIA Bombing in Argentina”, by Belén Fernández, Voltaire Network, 26 July 2009.
- «El AJC acusa al Hezbollah de los atentados de Buenos Aires a pesar del fallo de la Corte Suprema argentina», Red Voltaire , 16 de agosto de 2006.
- «Fuga documentación clasificada de inteligencia sobre atentado terrorista», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Tango, Red Voltaire , 27 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Se acusa a los musulmanes de los ataques a AMIA y la embajada de Israel sin pruebas», por Juan Gabriel Labaké, Red Voltaire , 4 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Investigando la bomba en la Asociación Mutual Israelita», por José Petrosino, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «¿Musulmanes o pista israelí?», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «Washington pretende rescribir la historia de los atentados de Buenos Aires», por Thierry Meyssan, Red Voltaire , 20 de julio de 2006.
- «Kirchner y el sistema de inteligencia argentino», por Jorge Serrano Torres, Red Voltaire , 26 de septiembre de 2004.
- «Nota del ministerio de las relaciones exteriores de Argentina, 25 de Agosto de 2003», Red Voltaire , 25 de agosto de 2003.

The Secret History of the EPA

by Carol Van Strum

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts,” Richard Feynman famously declared in 1966. Ever quick to challenge accepted wisdom, he distinguished the laudable ignorance of science, forever seeking unattainable certainties, from the dangerous ignorance of experts who professed such certainty.

Twenty years later, he would drop a rubber ring into a glass of ice water to show a panel of clueless rocket experts how willful ignorance of basic temperature effects likely caused the Challenger shuttle disaster (1).

Experts with delusions of certainty create imitative forms of science, he warned, producing “the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisors.” (2)

POISON SPRING-VALLLIANATOS

Feynman’s warning against faith in the phony trappings of “cargo cult science” fell on deaf ears. Policies affecting every aspect of our lives are now based on dangerous forms of ignorance.

A prime case in point is the noble edifice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where a high-ranking EPA official was recently jailed and fined for collecting pay and bonuses for decades of non-existent work while he claimed to be working elsewhere for the CIA. Such long-standing fraud would hardly come as a surprise to Evaggelos Vallianatos, who toiled for a quarter of a century in the EPA’s Pesticide Division, ostensibly responsible for protecting human health and the environment from commercial poisons. His new book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA, documents a culture of fraud and corruption infesting every corner and closet of the agency.

The EPA, created with much fanfare by Richard Nixon in 1970, was an agency crippled at birth by inadequate funding, political hypocrisy, and laws protecting industry profits above all. Vallianatos points out that one of the fledgling agency’s greatest handicaps was its initial staffing with personnel from USDA, steeped in the religion of corporate agriculture and lethal technologies. With USDA staff came also USDA’s outdated pesticide registrations, which were to be reviewed and reregistered by EPA.  In addition, hundreds of new pesticide applications accumulated every year, each supported by industry-produced safety studies to meet new federal requirements. Hired as scientists, EPA staffers spent their time cutting and pasting industry studies and conclusions into rubber-stamped registration approvals. Under industry-crafted laws, once a pesticide was registered, it could never be unregistered without massive, unequivocal evidence of harm.

As if such misuse of science weren’t bad enough, audits by FDA and EPA soon found that most of the thousands of industry safety studies used to approve pesticide registrations were fraudulent. Alerted by FDA scientist Adrian Gross, EPA had discovered in 1976 that Industrial BioTest Laboratories [IBT], which had conducted many of the pesticide safety tests submitted to EPA by manufacturers, had been routinely faking tests, falsifying data, and altering results for years.  Subsequent investigations of other testing laboratories found similar practices poisonspringin more than half the labs whose tests supported EPA registrations of pesticides.

“IBT was not a unique case of scientific fraud,” Vallianatos writes, “it was emblematic of a dark and deviant scientific culture, a ‘brave new science’ with deep roots throughout agribusiness, the chemical industry, universities, and the government.” (3)

In 1979, during the seven years of EPA dithering over this scandal, Vallianatos came to work at EPA. He soon learned that not a single pesticide registration was to be canceled due to fraudulent or nonexistent test data. Instead, he notes, EPA’s reaction was to outsource science. It shut down its own testing laboratories, closed its own libraries of toxicity data on thousands of chemicals, and outsourced all evaluations of industry-sponsored studies. “The unspoken understanding in this outsourcing of government functions has been the near certainty of finding industry data satisfactory – all the time.” This issue is relevant today, given that chemicals such as 2,4-D and glyphosate (Roundup™), whose uses have been vastly increased by GMO practices, were originally registered on the basis of invalid IBT studies.

During Vallianatos’s first year at EPA,1980, some 1.1 billion pounds of pesticide active ingredients were applied to U.S. food crops, a number that does not include home and garden uses, parklands, golf courses, playing fields, and municipal landscapes. In 2011, two billion pounds of pesticides were sold in the U.S.  Most if not all of those pesticides lacked valid testing data then, and still lack such data today.  Furthering the fraud, Vallianatos points out, the active ingredient is only the tip of the iceberg, being as little as one percent of the product; the remainder is a trade secret stew of untested, unknown “inert” ingredients that are often more toxic than the active ingredients. What he calls “The Big Business of Fraudulent Science” has replaced even the semblance of environmental protection.

Poison Spring chronicles some of the consequences of that fraud in an agency snared in its own tangled lies: cover-ups of dioxin levels in drinking water and in dead babies; routine suppression of data linking pesticides to soaring rates of cancer, birth defects, and chronic disease; industry access to everything; “revolving door” administrators serving corporate bosses; political appointees dismantling EPA labs and data libraries to dispose of damaging evidence; the cutting of research funds for nontoxic alternatives; the harsh retribution visited on whistleblowers; and ever and again, bureaucrats, with full knowledge of the consequences, setting policies that result in death and suffering. For 25 years, Vallianatos saw and documented it all.

“EPA officials know global chemical and agribusiness industries are manufacturing science,” Vallianatos writes. “They know their products are dangerous…. [EPA] scientists find themselves working in a roomful of funhouse mirrors, plagiarizing industry studies and cutting and pasting the findings of industry studies as their own.”

“This entire book is, in a sense, about a bureaucracy going mad,” Vallianatos adds.

Bureaucracy does not go mad by itself, however. Public indifference to the ignorance of experts and public tolerance of lies are what allow such madness to flourish, enabled by the scientific community’s silence. Inexorably, Vallianatos found, “science and policy themselves have been made a prop to the pesticides industry and agribusiness.”

Such monumental fraud demands drastic remedies, which Vallianatos bravely urges: rebuild an EPA completely independent from industry and politics, remove incentives for huge scale, chemically-dependent corporate agriculture, and address the underlying problem by encouraging small family farms and agriculture without chemical warfare.

“Traditional (and often organic) farmers – until seventy-five years ago, the only farmers there were – are slowly beginning to make a comeback.  They have always known how to raise crops and livestock without industrial poisons,” Vallianatos points out.  “They are the seed for a future harvest of good food, a healthy natural world, and democracy in rural America – and the world.”

These are facts, and this is a book that scientists and citizens alike ignore at great peril.

 

[Carol Van Strum is a writer, editor, farmer, parent, and chronic thorn in the side of those who endanger the health and safety of people and the environment. She lives and works in the Oregon Coast Range. She is the author of  A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights.]

 

Footnotes

(1) See his account of the investigation into the Challenger disaster in What Do You Care What Other People Think? By Richard P. Feynman, 1988.

(2) Richard Feynman, What is Science? Presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, 1966 in New York City, and reprinted from The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6, 1969, pp. 313-320 by permission of the editor and the author.

(3) For more information about the extent of this lab fraud, see A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights, by Carol Van Strum, 1983, revised 2014 with full texts of Peter von Stackelberg’s exposé of the issue in a new appendix.

This review originally ran on Independent Science News.

 

Da’esh : Washington’s Proxy Army Trained to “Occupy” Syria [Brookings Institute]

Libya 360

November 27, 2014

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Smoke rises from the the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, after a strike from the US-led coalition as it seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on October 14, 2014. (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Is the US planning the occupation of Syria by training an unconventional insurgent invasion force?

Think regime change in Syria is off the drawing board? Think again. The bombing of the ISIL or ISIS in Syria is part of a brinkmanship campaign leading up to a potential non-conventional invasion, parallel to the re-introduction of the US military to Iraq.

The ISIL and the other anti-government forces in Iraq and Syria are not the only ones to disregard the Iraqi-Syrian border drawn by the British and French by Sykes-Picot in 1916. The US also disregarded the border and international law when it began to illegally bomb Syria.

The bombing campaign was not enough for some in the US Congress. In a joint statement on September 23, the arch-hawks US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for US troops to be sent into Syria too. Both of them praised the Pentagon’s illegal airstrikes in Syria and then argued for US ground troops as well.

Although McCain and Graham went out of their way to say that this would not be an occupation of either Syria or Iraq, this is almost exactly what they were calling for when they said that the military campaign had to also be directed against the Syrian government.

Since, and even before the calls for an invasion of Syria by McCain and Graham different suggestions have circulated about an invasion of Syria.

The dilemma is that Washington does not want the Pentagon to directly invade Syria itself. It wants to pull the strings while another force does the work on the ground. Candidates for an outsourced invasion of Syria include the Turkish military or other US regional allies. There, however is also an impasse here as Washington’s allies are also afraid of the consequences of an invasion of Syria.

This is where a third opinion comes into the picture: the construction of a multinational insurgent army by the US.

Using non-state actors to invade and occupy Syria

While there seems to be no consensus on a Syrian strategy within the US political, intelligence, and military establishments, the objective of regime change is universally adhered to across the board. Regardless of the existence of a consensus, the US is moving ahead with the creation of an anti-government invasion force.

The third option is slowly emerging.

A few days after the US began the bombing of Syria, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey made it clear that the Pentagon also planned on creating a viable anti-government army in Syria consisting of 12,000 to 15,000 insurgents.

There also seems to be a growing consensus among the realist and neocons for US President Obama’s preference of using a rebel army to invade Syria. The Brookings Institute has been a major cheerleader for this.

During this same timeframe, the Brookings Institute released an opinion piece clearly calling for US intervention. The text, authored, by former CIA analyst for monitoring the Persian Gulf and US National Security Council official Kenneth Pollack, stipulated that Washington’s “strategy cannot require sending U.S. troops into combat. Funds, advisers, and even air power are all fair game — but only insofar as they do not lead to American boots on the ground.”

Pollack played an influential role in getting support for the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. He worked at the Council of Foreign Relations as its director of national security studies. He made the above statement as the director of research for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and goes well beyond it by publishing a drawn-out October 2014 proposal for creating a US-made rebel invasion force as a means of taking over Syria and eventually conducting regime change in Damascus.

The Brookings Institute proposal suggests that a rebel Syrian army “is best not done in Syria itself. At least not at first” (p.9). The report points to the US and NATO success in “covertly” creating armed forces around the world, including the assembly of a Croat military, and deduces that these experiences would make it “entirely realistic for the United States to build a new Syrian opposition army” (p.8). It also says that the ideology of the fighters does not matter by stating the following: “A great many of those recruited may well be religious, even highly religious, including Salafist. That is not the issue” (p.9).

Welcome to the Brookings Institute and its Saban Center

What is the Brookings Institute exactly and why do suggestions from this think tank and others like it, matter?

The Brookings Institute is an influential think tank that has a revolving door of personnel with the US government and major corporations. All that one needs to do is look at its trustees and executives, which include interlocked directorships with the Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase.

Brookings also has ties to Israel and a full branch dedicated to Washington’s Middle East strategies and policies called the Saban Centre for Middle East Policy. Martin Indyk – the former US ambassador to Israel, a former high-level lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the founder of AIPAC’s research arm (the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) – is the Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. Like Indyk, Kenneth Pollack was involved in shaping the Middle East policies of the Clinton Administration.

It is also worth noting that the Brookings Institute’s Saban Center is named after US-Israeli businessman and media mogul Haim Saban. Saban himself is on the board of trustees for Brookings.

There is a Qatari connection too. One may remember that Washington was hostile towards Al Jazeera when it first emerged as a news broadcaster, because of its coverage of US actions in the Middle East.

Saban tried to buy half of the Al Jazeera network from Qatar in 2004 and 2009, but failed. In the same timeframe as the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the first set of negotiations happened when he went to Qatar with Bill Clinton in 2003.

It is possible that Brookings may have played a role in pacifying Al Jazeera. In 2009, the Institute setup an overseas branch in Qatar called the Brookings Doha Center. The new chapter in Doha included Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family alongside people like Madeleine Albright, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Fareed Zakaria as chairs and advisors.

It was in the same year that the Brookings Institute published a report, which included Pollack and Indyk as authors, called Which Path to Persia? The report outlined a map for confronting Iran and alluded to the neutralization of Syria, in one way or another (including the procurement of a peace agreement with Damascus by Israel), to “mitigate blowback” from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the Palestinians, specifically Hamas, as a prerequisite for an enabling an attack on Iran.

All in all, the ideas that come out of the Brookings Institute are discussed at the highest levels within policymaking and corporate circles.

Is the Syrian Invasion Force Slowly Emerging?

Is a rebel invasion force emerging to attack Syria? In no uncertain terms, Brookings argues that it is.

Pollack’s report stipulates the following: “Adopting such a strategy would mean first and foremost that Washington would have to commit itself to building a new Syrian army that will rule Syria when the war is over. Although [Obama’s] description of his new Syria policy was more modest and tepid than his explanation of the Iraq piece of the strategy, he does appear to have committed the United States to just that course. More than that, it will mean putting the resources, prestige and credibility of the United States behind this effort. The $500 million now appropriated is a good start, but it is only a down payment on a much larger project” (p.8).

The US goal of training rebels in Saudi Arabia and Turkey is an indication of this too. On September 10, about two weeks before it started bombing Syria, Washington declared that Saudi Arabia had given it the green light to train a rebel army in the Arabian Peninsula. “We now have the commitment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a full partner in this effort — the train-and-equip program — to host that program,” one official was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

The Brookings Institute in its proposal for an invasion of Syria: “The Saudi offer to provide facilities to train 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters is one of reasonable possibility, although one of Syria’s neighbors would probably be preferable. Jordan already serves as a training ground for America’s current training program and it would be an ideal locale to build a real Syrian army. However, Turkey could also conceivably serve that purpose if the Turks were willing” (p.10).

About two months later, in November, after US Vice President Joe Biden met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, it was announced that Kirsehir would be used by Turkey to train Syrian anti-government forces that the US would equip against Damascus.

The report also makes it clear that building the new opposition army “should not mean bolstering the existing ‘Free Syrian Army’” (p.10). Instead, the existing US-backed insurgent groups will slowly be swallowed or destroyed by the new opposition force that the US and its allies are constructing.

In mid-November, the Pentagon also presented a proposal to the US Congress, saying that it wants to arm Iraqi tribesmen with Kalashnikov rifles, rocked propelled grenades, and mortars. What is omitted is the cross-border dispersion of these tribes in both Iraq and Syria and the possibility that these weapons could be used in an attack on the Syrian government.

What moderates?

The talk about supporting “moderates” is very misleading. It is already clear that the ideology of the proposed insurgent army is not a key issue in practice for many US officials. There is also enough evidence to show that the Free Syrian Army, Al-Nusra, the ISIL, and the other insurgent forces are also collaborating and trading fighters.

The Telegraph, for example, had this to say on November 10 about Saddam Jamal, a US-backed Free Syrian Army commander that became an ISIL commander: “Before joining ISIL, Jamal had been a drug dealer, then a commander in the western-backed Free Syrian Army, claiming contacts in the CIA.

It is also clear that religion is a mask for the ISIL too. The same British article writes the following testimony from Saddam Jamal’s body guard about his massacre of a Syrian family: “The ISIL commander felt no remorse for killing this Syrian family, his bodyguard said, nor did he believe he was fulfilling a God-given creed: for him being a member of the extremist group was a matter of business, not religion.

In the end the ISIL may be used to incubate fighters or collapse, like the Free Syrian Army, into the proposed invasion force to occupy Syria.

Invasion army or armies?

General Dempsey said that “the anti-ISIL campaign could take several years to accomplish.” Leon Panetta, the former head of the CIA and Pentagon, has also claimed that this war will turn into a thirty-year US military project that will extend to North Africa, West Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

According to Brookings: “At some point, such a new Syrian army would have to move into Syria, but only when it was ready. Only when a force large enough to conquer and hold territory – something on the order of two to three brigades -were ready should it be sent in” (p.11).

A war of attrition that that will take years of fighting is underway. This matches up with the ideas about training an insurgent invasion force over the years.

In their joint statement Senators McCain and Graham said that President Bashar Assad will not stop fighting the so-called “moderate” US-backed insurgents “that remain committed to his ousting- especially when the United States and [its] partners still, correctly, share the same goal and will now be arming and training Assad’s moderate opponents.” In other words, the US-trained Syrian forces will ultimately target the Syrian government.

 

[Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst.]

The Intercept’s Interference: Notes on Media, Capitalism, & Imperialism | Part II: Non-Governmental Force Multipliers

Cats, Not War

April 6, 2014

civil-participation-in-policy-making-ucranian-examples-3-638

In wondering whether Marcy Wheeler could plausibly claim legitimate doubt about the activities of Pierre Omidyar’s NGO in Ukraine, Tarzie asked whether an NGO could ever be anything other than an arm of soft imperialism. The answer to that latter question is actually yes, conceivably and even probably, although I can’t think of any such NGOs off the top of my head. The reason to believe that an NGO can be something other than a soft arm of imperialist power is that there are just so damned many of them. To shine a light on this, we have Eyal Weizman, to whose work I will return several times in this post. He offers specifics on the explosion of NGOs in just a few slivers of the world:

‘While in 1980 there were about 40 NGOs dealing with the Ethiopian famine, a decade later 250 were operating during the Yugoslavian war; by 2004, 2,500 were involved in Afghanistan.’

One must now imagine how many NGOs are operating worldwide. They serve a wide range of purposes, receiving money from a wide range of donors. The question as it pertains to Marcy Wheeler and The Intercept more generally is not about any old NGO; it’s about an NGO funded by USAID, a worldwide organization that shares funding and partnerships with the CIA and the State Department, and, in Ukraine, an oligarch, Pierre Omidyar. Therein lies the proper question: can this specific kind of NGO ever be anything other than the soft arm of imperialism? Of course not, I say.

A ‘transparency’ NGO against a rival regime of the United States plays a very particular role, which is why I mentioned multiple locales of NGOs in my last post about The Intercept. The meaning of an NGO funded by USAID in Ukraine is quite different from the meaning of a humanitarian NGO operating in the West Bank. The first is, in Ames’ words, ‘a force multiplier’ for the goal of regime change; the second is mainly a humanitarian agent, very often nominally aligned against Israel’s military occupation, or at least against the general spirit of it, but nonetheless tolerated by Israel. In both cases, the NGOs, as I mentioned before, obscure class consciousness; the reason is that the fascist state–as an absorber of superfluous capital and, through its police forces, protector of private property–is fundamentally opposed to the emergence of the communistic movements of the societies they are tasked with governing, by which I mean controlling and containing.

I’ll begin with the Israeli case and then work back to Ukraine. In the case of Israel, NGOs exist in lieu of the military policies and architecture that have ghettoized hundreds of segments of society within historic Palestine. Palestinians have been separated from Israelis; Druze have been separated from Palestinians; Palestinians have been separated from Palestinians (think of the distance between Gaza and the West Bank); Palestinians have been separated from Ethiopian refugees, which have in turn been separated from Israeli Jews, and you are beginning to get an idea of the utter fragmentation that Israel’s divide-and-conquer strategies have produced. But one more fragmentation must be mentioned, among the most crucial: class fragmentation, which includes even the strategic placement of the Israeli working and under classes in relation to the upper classes. In physically organizing its society according to relatively modern identities it’s helped to shape, Israel has thus far successfully thwarted communistic threats to its power (albeit not very often with ease), and that success increases if these respective identity groups embrace as political projects in themselves the various identities given to them by power. The political dilemma of identity cannot be ignored, as there are real differences between the marginalization of the Israeli working class and that of Palestinians under Israel’s racializing project. (As the Palestinians experience a more advanced form of alienation, it is the job of the Israeli working class to offer proper solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.) But this is not to say that the procurement of identity makes for a worthy political end goal in itself. Should these groups treat identity formation as a critique and a resistance in itself, they will, as subjects of Israeli power, from Israeli working classes to the Druze to the Palestinians, overlook the demands of their own struggles, as well as the possibilities hinted at by famed Palestinian revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani in a 1972 interview (a possibility again hinted at by the Qassam Brigades on November 17, 2012, as mentioned in the above-linked article by Max Ajl):

‘So you do see contradictions within the Israeli population which can divide them in the future, and provide the Palestinian resistance with allies within Israeli society?

‘Of course. But this will not happen easily. First of all, we must escalate the revolution to the stage where it poses an alternative to them, because up to now it has not been so. It is nonsense to start talking about a ‘Democratic Palestine’ at this stage; theoretically speaking it establishes a good basis for future debates, but this debate can only occur when the Palestinian resistance is a realistic alternative.

‘You mean it must be able to provide a practical alternative for the Israeli proletariat?

‘Yes. But at the moment it is very difficult to get the Israeli working-class to listen to the voice of the Palestinian resistance, and there are several obstacles to this. These include the Israeli ruling class and the Arab ruling classes. The Arab ruling classes do not present either Israelis or Arabs with a prospect of democracy. One might well ask: where is there a democracy in the Arab world? The Israeli ruling class is obviously an obstacle as well. But there is a third obstacle, which is the real, if small, benefit that the Israeli proletariat derives from its colonialist status within Israel. For not only is the situation of Israeli workers a colonialist one, but they gain from the fact that Israel as a whole has been recruited to play a specific role in alliance with imperialism. Two kinds of movement are required to break down these barriers, in order for there to be future contact between an anti-Zionist Israeli proletariat and the Arab resistance movement. These will be the resistance movement on the one hand and an opposition movement within Israel itself; but there is no real sign of such a convergence yet, since, although Matzpen exists, what would be necessary is a mass proletarian movement.’

Within the primarily Palestinian space of the West Bank, countless NGOs have cropped up, which leads to another Tarzie question: can’t the Israeli working class work with NGOs in the West Bank? The answer is, once again, conceivably, but that’s as far as it goes. This has not been the case, and we must account for the reasons. The first question worth asking is, why does Israel, a state that typically gets away with whatever brutality it wishes to exact, tolerate so many NGOs working nominally against it in territories under its direct military control? Answering that question requires another question: what do these NGOs do? There are two primary types of NGOs in the West Bank: humanitarian ones, those which offer general health supplies to the brutalized Palestinian population, and informational NGOs, those which provide the brutalized population with a space for political organization, things like publishing pamphlets and setting up lectures and panel discussions.

The humanitarian NGOs working in Palestine have, according to Weizman, adopted an essentially theological ethos to address the issue of suffering. (This would not be the first or only time social justice movements have adopted monotheistic tenants to meet the world’s problems; I hope to address this in a future post.) Weizman proposes that the main theological presupposition animating humanitarian impulse in an occupation situation is St. Augustine’s principle of lesser evil: lesser evils are to be tolerated when they are deemed unavoidable. More:

‘The lesser evil is the argument of the humanitarian agent that seeks military permission to provide medicines and aid in places where it is in fact the duty of the occupying military power to do so, thus saving the limited military resources. The lesser evil is often the justification of the military officer who attempts to administer life (and death) in an “enlightened” manner; it is sometimes, too, the brief of the security contractor who introduces new and more efficient weapons and spatio-technological means of domination, and advertises them as “humanitarian technology”. In these cases the logic of the lesser evil opens up a thick political field of participation bringing together otherwise opposing fields of action, to the extent that it might obscure the fundamental moral differences between these various groups. But, even according to the terms of an economy of losses and gains, the concept of the lesser evil risks becoming counterproductive: less brutal measures are also those that may be more easily naturalized, accepted and tolerated—and hence more frequently used, with the result that a greater evil may be reached cumulatively.’

So there it lies. A calculation that seeks to alleviate a suffering tacitly accepts the endurability of that suffering and ultimately prolongs it. The Israeli ruling class is, like most imperialists, not stupid; it knows that humanitarian NGOs pose zero threat, and so it tolerates them.

Informational NGOs in the West Bank are more so the hangouts of those foreigners too politically savvy to get caught up in the obvious pitfalls of liberal humanitarianism, which is really just so Daily Show and Obama ’08. Here is where young foreigners of a more radical bent can go to exchange political ideas with Palestinians, perhaps even to set up times and dates for attending demonstrations so that they can make themselves useful by obstructing an IDF’s soldier’s path when he attempts to arrest a Palestinian. And these young internationalist activists will likely help with lectures from guest speakers around the world and will help to publish pamphlets detailing the harsh realities of Israeli occupation. It is telling how these outlets are staffed so overwhelmingly with volunteers from around the world, as opposed to Israeli proles, but not necessarily surprising. This is the class makeup that can be expected in the wake of Israel’s forcible fragmentation of the society underneath it: the class makeup of the propaganda NGO is first of all a function of Israeli structure. After all, who can afford to take up life in the West Bank, an area deprived of water and job opportunities (outside these NGOs, of course) and right to movement? Not Israeli proles, generally speaking, but rather upper class students from the United States and Europe. And Israel tolerates this form of Palestinian political expression because it allows Palestinians a vent for their frustrations without forming the kinds of political bonds that can easily (if at all) upend the Zionist system. In this sense, these NGOs play the same role as state-sanctioned demonstrations in the United States, allowing people the illusion of impact because people are, at the end of the day, ‘doing something.’ There simply is no comparison between a bond formed between a Palestinian and an international student only in Palestine for a semester or two (and with a bright future to lose) and a bond formed between a Palestinian and an Israeli worker condemned to existence in Israeli society for the long haul. Not all bonds are equally dangerous.

The role of NGOs in places where the U.S. desires regime change is markedly different, because the situation is markedly different. Admittedly, when examining the situation in Ukraine, claims about U.S. regime change require more work to prove, because the policy there is less overt than was regime change in, say, Iraq. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is the main dilemma of detailing imperialism in the age of Obama. But it is worth noting still that even in those instances of overt regime change, brought about through land invasion and long-term occupation using ground troops, NGOs played an important role in U.S. policy. To quote Weizman once again, ‘After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, American NGOs funded via USAID were informed by the US Administration that “their cooperation was linked inextricably to America’s strategic goals.”‘ Weizman notes that Colin Powell referred to these NGOs operating in Iraq as a ‘force multiplier,’ which perhaps explains where Mark Ames picked up the phrase.

One way of knowing that Pierre Omidyar knew what he was getting into when he decided to share an investment with USAID in Ukraine is that USAID’s worldwide purpose is openly available knowledge, especially to those money men with a direct financial interest in USAID’s purpose. Powell and the ‘U.S. administration’ acknowledged it. If one fails to be satisfied by the open declarations of the U.S. regime, one can of course consult its ‘private’ correspondences about USAID, revealed in leaked Wikileaks cables. As with open declarations, the private dialogues of the U.S. regime are loaded with euphemism; ‘regime change’ is described as a ‘transition to democracy.’ Over at the Anti-Empire Report, William Blum quotes a cable mentioning USAID’s activities in Venezuela:

‘During his 8 years in power, President Chavez has systematically dismantled the institutions of democracy and governance. The USAID/OTI program objectives in Venezuela focus on strengthening democratic institutions and spaces through non-partisan cooperation with many sectors of Venezuelan society.’

Blum goes on to describe these initiatives as ‘a transition from the target country adamantly refusing to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs to a country gladly willing (or acceding under pressure) to cooperate with American imperialist grand designs.’ These initiatives were to be taken against Chavez and ‘his attempt to divide and polarize Venezuelan society using rhetoric of hate and violence. OTI supports local NGOs who work in Chavista strongholds and with Chavista leaders, using those spaces to counter this rhetoric and promote alliances through working together on issues of importance to the entire community.’ Eventually the cable becomes mercifully frank about the efforts USAID and OTI must take against this hateful rhetoric (also know as class conscious agitation): ‘1) Strengthening Democratic Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez’ Political Base, 3) Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5) Isolating Chavez Internationally.’ Sounds like a recipe for regime change to me.

As I mentioned in my previous article, NGOs participate in PsyOps. Among the most common forms of PsyOp is the attempt to convince a subject population (or potential subject population) that the United States supports it. One way this is done is by providing aid to underclass populations; the example I provided was the aid Junglas provide to rural Colombians. As these PsyOps are simple and common, one can easily learn about them–and USAID’s role in them–by doing a simple Wikileaks search. Here USAID’s PsyOps efforts in Nigeria are described:

‘Nigerians reacting to Mission-sponsored media reports June – September 2003 on U.S.-Nigeria partnership successes on health, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, education, and conflict resolution, say they are amazed at the level of support given to Nigeria by the U.S. Government.  They expressed similar sentiments on their assessment of media reports on the Ambassador’s Self-Help and the Ambassador’s Girl Scholarship programs, as well as the Widernet’s university interconnectivity program.  The positive impact of the success stories was clearly evident during the recent defeat of stiff conservative northern opposition to the August polio vaccination rounds.  Reactions have been very positive on USAID’s contributions towards revival of agriculture, especially gum arabic trade, and the LEAP program to upgrade primary educational standards in northern Nigeria.  The Basketball for Peace Project is another success story that Nigerians say they value greatly because the program targets jobless youths in the crisis-prone Kaduna State.  Radio listeners, television viewers and Hausa readers in 19 northern States, including conservative Muslim radicals in Nasarawa, Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno, Plateau, Zamfara, and Jigawa States, say the success stories surprised them because they never knew the U.S. was doing so much for Nigeria. Hopefully, these images may change some of their negative views about the U.S.’

I especially like this example because it includes mention of a basketball program–my Colombia example included mention of basketball courts constructed for poor Colombian youth. So because the function of USAID’s programs is so obvious, it is reasonable to say that Omidyar knew what he was getting into when he decided to collaborate with USAID in Ukraine. So reasonable that it is not necessary to assume anything. USAID’s goals in Ukraine are clearly described in other leaked cables; they are economic goals in which any sensible billionaire would interested–the most salient example being intellectual property rights to be ensured by the World Trade Organization, that is, ‘types of intellectual property rights that will be protected by the State Customs Service… or the customs regimes in which Customs will intervene to protect these rights. Customs reform that is anchored into a modern code consistent with international standards, will be critical for greater market integration.’ In other words, in order for international investors to make profits off of investments in Ukraine, the legal standards must first exist by which corporate conduits can extract those profits and deliver them to individual oligarchs. If you’re wondering how intellectual property accomplishes this, do yourself a favor and read Kevin Carson’s definitive essay on the subject.

Those are just a few examples. I. Could. Go. On. All. Fucking. Day. About. This. USAID. Shit.

We know what kinds of interests Omidyar held in the Ukraine, and we know even more about the means by which he tried to secure them. But even if we didn’t know these matters exactly, we’d have enough information to reach reasonable conclusions about the activities of this billionaire. That some progressive journalists think we don’t seems to me, well, counterintuitive. Either that, or the effect of a billionaire buying progressive journalists is that progressive journalists cease to be skeptical of billionaires, which rather cancels out the ‘progressive’ part. It’s a matter of rich men removing ‘Eat the Rich’ from the political program, for self-explanatory reasons. In addition to that, the employees of rich men are marshaling group acceptance and ostracizing those hungry for the rich. More on that, specifically on our favorite celebrity journalist, Glenn Greenwald, in the next and final post of this series. See you tomorrow for that one, everybody.

 

Further Reading:

Introduction: The Intercept’s Interference: Notes on Media | http://catsnotwar.blogspot.ca/2014/03/the-intercepts-interference-notes-on.html

Part 1: Financial Capital is Destructive Capital | http://catsnotwar.blogspot.ca/2014/04/part-i-financial-capital-is-destructive.html

Part 2: Above

Part 3: A Return to Conspiracy and Its Theories | http://catsnotwar.blogspot.ca/2014/04/part-iii-return-to-conspiracy-and-its.html

 

ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final

From Where I Sit…

September 13, 2014

Sophia Tesfamariam

On 5-7 September 2014 Jay Taber’s Counterpunch article, “Imperial Civil Society, False Fronts for Wall Street”, Taber writes about “compromised NGOs” such as Avaaz and Amnesty International, the foundations and other entities that fund them,  and how they have become “imperial civil society” cow towing to Wall Street, and being used to “justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US”.

In his article, Taber writes about the relationship between these international NGOs, Corporate America and the Government. The two salient points presented are:

  1. “…With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime…As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony…”
  1. “…Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states…”

So the reader might be asking what or how that has anything into do with Eritrea and in this sitting, the author will present the facts and allow the readers to make their own determinations…

The Carpetbaggers

Carpetbaggers and Scalwags collage 2The bulk of the articles, reports, books that advance the narrative on Eritrea disseminated through academia, media and policy making institutions in the United States and Europe have been generated by a handful of individuals and the “NGOs” that they are associated with. There may be others, but these are the repeat offenders…and the “wonks” who have made Eritrea their forte-lucrative one at that…and who work and collaborate with each other on the Eritrean Project…

  • Tricia Redeker Hepner– Funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Wenner-Gren Foundation began her research of Eritreans in the Philadelphia area and today, as Eritrea expert at Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the anti-Eritrea campaign. Her involvement with Eritrean politics is fishy from the get go. How is it that a young American college graduate on her very first trip to Eritrea finds herself entangled in Eritrean politics?
  • Dan Connell– Grassroots international, RootsNet and the Cape Ann Forum and Freedom House-Recipient of several grants including the MacArthur Foundation. This is the same Foundation that funds Human Rights Watch and other “NGOs”.
  • Frank Smyth-Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ)-Too numerous to list here-Annual Report[1] has details of the individuals and corporations that fund this outfit-with Dan Connell, is a staple in the Eritrean political scene
  • David Bozzini-self professed expert on Eritrea- Funded by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, which is funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany
  • Victoria Bernal– Bernal has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Wenner-Gren, Fulbright, the Rockefeller Foundation and others
  • Maryan Van Reisen-European External Policy Advisors (EEPA)-self professed expert on Eritrea-Clients include the European Parliament, various organs of the UN, various NGOs[2] including Caritas, Human Rights Watch, Action Aid, Save the Children etc. etc. Might explain the reluctance of the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the trafficking of Eritrea’s youth. As we shall see later, Van Reisen, like her counterparts, also has an interest in prolonging the agony of asylum seekers and Eritrean migrants.
  • Jennifer Riggan-Came to Eritrea through the Peace Corps as an “English Teacher” in 1995-but now is an expert on Eritrea, and like the others “prepares affidavits and testifies on behalf of asylum seekers. Eritrea’s education system is her main target
  • Sara Dorman-Came to Eritrea as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Asmara.  The new graduate claims “They needed a political scientist and I needed a job. It seemed like a great way to bridge the transition from student-hood to the real world”.  Today, she “studies” the behavior of Eritreans in social media and judging from the papers produced about Eritrea in the past, she will insist on painting a bleak picture of Eritrea and its leadership.
  • Kjetil Tronvoll-A Norwegian researcher with the  Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OCPHR) is in a new “Struggle for Freedom in Eritrea”, and has worked closely with the EQL-His papers, books and articles on Eritrea are too numerous to list here. He is also one of the first western anthropologist to enter Eritrea in 1991-to conduct “research”. An avowed anti-EPLF westerner, he insists on defining Eritrea and the needs of her people.

Those who have followed developments in Africa and especially the Horn of Africa for the last 25 years are familiar with these agencies and their “work” in Africa, but none has experienced as an aggressive campaign by groups funded by the “false fronts”, as the State of Eritrea and its people…(Zimbabawe comes close)

The carpetbaggers, dual hatted researchers, “anthropologists” by day, and “hired intellectuals” by night, have become a staple at every conference, forum, meeting, seminar, workshop etc. held about Eritrea. The many “by invitation only” conferences and presentations are made at academic institutions and forums and are never known with the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora. The idea is to “sensitize” the American and European public so that any actions of their governments will then become easily accepted.

Sometimes, one gets the feeling that Eritrea is a European state… as those around the table are almost always Caucasians, with the members of the Eritrean Quislings League (EQL) serving as the “Eritrean faces”. Most of the papers are placed in “academic journals” and other repositories not easily accessible to the general public, and if they were, the Eritrean public was not aware of their existence. Heck, even the Eritrean Studies Association is run by scalawags and carpetbaggers…hence its slow demise.

WikiLeaks’ Quito Cables Show How US Worked Against Correa

Green Left Weekly

September 8, 2014
By Linda Pearson
President Rafael Correa in Otavalo in northern Ecuador in 2011. Cables show the US embassy ‘warned our political, economic, and media contacts of the threat Correa represents to Ecuador’s future’ ahead of the 2006 elections. Photo by Miguel Romero via Wikipedia.

In the months leading up to Ecuador’s October 2006 presidential election, the US Embassy in Quito claimed to be impartial.

Rather than supporting one particular candidate, then-US ambassador Linda Jewell said the embassy only wanted to help facilitate “a fair and transparent electoral process”.

However, diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show that behind the rhetoric of “democracy promotion”, the embassy sought to stop the election of “dark horse populist, anti-American candidate Rafael Correa”.

Correa’s support for a Citizens’ Revolution did not accord with the US’s vision for Ecuador. The US Embassy in Quito had worked to undermine Correa during his brief term as finance minister in 2005.

In an August 2006 cable entitled “Ecuador Election: What’s at Stake”, Jewell wrote: “While none of the candidates will return the bilateral relationship to the halcyon days when then-president-elect Lucio Gutierrez declared himself our ‘strongest ally in Latin America’, none of the top contenders would affect USG interests as thoroughly as Rafael Correa.”

Gutierrez may have been loved by the US government, but opposition to his neoliberal policies led to his overthrow in a popular uprising in 2005.

Opposing Correa

In regard to Correa, the embassy was specifically concerned about his promise to “cut off his hand before signing a renewal” of the US lease on the forward operating military base at Manta.

The embassy also judged that Correa was the “candidate most likely to get run out of office”, as he had promised to confront Ecuador’s unpopular Congress and powerful political parties.

However, the ambassador wrote, Correa “has staked out his harshest positions on economic issues, and his election would derail any hope for more harmonious commercial relations with the United States”.

Correa had promised to break with the neoliberal policies of his predecessors. Instead, he called for a more regulated economy and government control over the exploitation of Ecuador’s oil resources.

Moreover, he had said he would relegate the idea of a free trade agreement with the US “to the trashcan of history”.

The ambassador wrote: “We would expect Correa to eagerly seek to join the Chavez-Morales-Kirchner group of nationalist-populist South American leaders.”

A cable from November 2005 entitled “Ecuador Elections, One Year Out”, laid out the Embassy’s strategy to influence the presidential elections.

The cable cautioned that because of “political sensitivities” to US interference, “it would be neither politically wise nor programmatically effective to invest significant USAID resources in public presidential debates or other high-profile activities”.

Covert interference

An “election working group” had been formed by staff from the Embassy and USAID to come up with a more suitable strategy.

The embassy planned to “Monitor presidential campaigns for effects on USG interests, and build relationships with major presidential candidates and staffs”. Over the next year, embassy officials met frequently with Ecuadorian political parties, business leaders and academics to share views on the election and the prospects of a Correa victory.

Cables from this period variously described Correa as a “brash leftist ‘outsider’”, “a stalking-horse for Chavez” and a “disaster for Ecuador’s development prospects”.

To “encourage sound economic policies”, the November cable suggested “sponsoring forums for candidates to participate in to discuss economic issues/policies”.

The cable also suggested that “Focusing USG efforts on promoting voter education and public awareness about congressional candidates could help encourage Ecuadorians to elect more effective and responsible representatives”.

Several cables emphasised the importance of trying to influence Ecuador’s “lower classes”. Poorer Ecuadorians, according to the ambassador, “by virtue of their numbers, will select Ecuador’s next government at the polls in October”.

She suggested that “effective Embassy outreach to the lowest classes could conceivably help blunt the appeal of anti-American candidates”.

In August 2006, the ambassador wrote, “there are few signs that Ecuadorians or their candidates understand the dangers of supporting ‘populist politicians who promise magic solutions that haven’t worked anywhere.’

“We will be alert to signs that Ecuador’s poorest voters break toward Correa in the final weeks of the campaign.”

Another cable written by the ambassador said the US planned to spend a total of US$884,000 on the presidential elections. This included $384,000 to “fund civil society civic education and debates and monitor campaign spending”.

A further $300,000 was allocated to fund “domestic observation and quick counts”, and $200,000 to Ecuador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

According to its website, the US Congress-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) spent more than $1 million in Ecuador in 2006.

The largest portion of this, $350,000, was allocated to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. It was to provide “technical assistance” to Ecuador’s “largest and most representative political parties”, which opposed Correa.

The NED was founded during the Cold War in 1983 to give the veneer of legitimacy to “political operations” previously carried out secretly by the CIA.

While claiming to be “dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world”, the group is better known for destabilising democratically elected government that threaten US interests.

Recent examples include the Ukraine, where NED projects helped foment opposition to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

Backing Noboa

Concern over avoiding a backlash against open interference in Ecuador’s presidential election did not stop the US Embassy trying to work against Correa behind the scenes.

In August 2006, the ambassador wrote: “Beyond supporting a clean electoral process … we have few levers to influence Ecuadorian voters. Ecuador’s media elite is hyper-sensitive to perceived internal meddling, so overt attempts to influence voter decisions is fraught with risk.

“Privately, however, we have warned our political, economic, and media contacts of the threat Correa represents to Ecuador’s future, and have actively discouraged potential alliances which could balance Correa’s perceived radicalism.”

In October 2006, banana billionaire Alvaro Noboa won the first round of voting with 27% of the vote. Correa came second with 23%, followed by Gutierrez’s brother, Gilmar Gutierrez.

US diplomats tried to persuade the Gutierrez brothers and their Patriotic Society Party to back “right-of-center alternative” Noboa in the second round run-off, in order to defeat Correa.

In contrast to Correa, Noboa promised that if elected he would sign a free trade agreement with the United States and would not seek enhanced relations with Venezuela or Cuba.

Noboa also said he would negotiate a settlement with US oil company Occidental Petroleum, whose contract had been terminated and assets repossessed by the outgoing Palacio administration in May 2006.

The US ambassador met with the Gutierrez brothers on October 30 to “gauge potential Patriotic Society Party (PSP) support for Alvaro Noboa’s candidacy”.

According to a cable about the meeting, the ambassador warned the Gutierrez brothers that “a Noboa victory, while possible, was by no means a certainty” and a “Correa victory would threaten progress made under the Gutierrez government to put Ecuador’s economy on a solid footing”.

The cable reported that the ambassador had told Lucio Gutierrez that he could “protect this legacy by helping Noboa consolidate his lead in the polls, and break the cycle of political instability Gutierrez fell prey to by working together in the new Congress”.

The embassy’s deputy chief of mission added that the Gutierrez brothers “could make an enormous contribution by helping to counter Correa rhetoric and educate voters about the benefits of market-based economic principles and the FTA with the U.S.; PSP interests were clearly more aligned with Noboa”.

However, US overtures were to no avail. The Gutierrez brothers, according to the embassy, were too “consumed with their revenge agenda”.

Lucio Gutierrez was demanding legal action be taken against those who deposed his government in exchange for his party’s support in the second round of voting. According to the cables Noboa publicly agreed to this but refused to include Palacio among those to be prosecuted. This left the Gutierrez brothers feeling “miffed”, and they ultimately declined to endorse either Noboa or Correa.

 

 

[This article is the third of an ongoing series exploring diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Ecuador published by WikiLeaks. The articles are based on about 1000 cables that have mostly not been reported on in English before.]

 

Ex-CIA Agent Reveals how Venezuelan “Students” Get Putschist Training

Aporrea | News of  the Restless

March 25, 2014

By 

Entrevista a Raúl Capote

Who is this man, and why does the CIA fear him? Because they thought he was one of theirs, and it turns out he’s quite the opposite. And now he’s spilling the beans on them. Read on:

In a recent interview in Havana, a former CIA collaborator, Cuban Raúl Capote, revealed the strategy of the CIA in Venezuelan universities to create the kind of destabilizing opposition student movement the country is currently facing. He also discusses media manipulation, and alleges that one of the U.S. diplomats that President Maduro expelled from Venezuela last September was in fact a CIA agent. The following translation and notes were made by Sabina C. Becker. Original interview in Spanish here.

Raúl Capote is a Cuban. But not just any Cuban. In his youth, he was caught up by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They offered him an infinite amount of money to conspire in Cuba. But then something unexpected for the US happened. Capote, in reality, was working for Cuban national security. From then on, he served as a double agent. Learn his story, by way of an exclusive interview with the Chávez Vive magazine, which he gave in Havana:

Q. What was the process by which you were caught up?

It started with a process of many years, several years of preparation and capture. I was leader of a Cuban student movement which, at that time, gave rise to an organization, the Saiz Brothers Cultural Association, a group of young creators, painters, writers, artists. I worked in a city in southern-central Cuba, Cienfuegos, which had characteristics of great interest to the enemy, because it was a city in which an important industrial pole was being built at the time. They were building an electrical centre, the only one in Cuba, and there were a lot of young people working on it. For that reason, it was also a city that had a lot of young engineers graduated in the Soviet Union. We’re talking of the last years of the 1980s, when there was that process called Perestroika. And many Cuban engineers, who arrived in Cuba at that time, graduated from there, were considered people who had arrived with that idea of Perestroika. For that reason, it was an interesting territory, where there were a lot of young people. And the fact that I was a youth leader of a cultural organization, which dealt with an important sector of the engineers who were interested in the arts, became of interest to the North Americans, and they began to frequent the meetings we attended. They never identified themselves as enemies, or as officials of the CIA.

Q. Were there many of them, or just always the same person?

Several. They never presented themselves as officials of the CIA, nor as people who had come to cause trouble, or anything.

Q. And who do you suppose they were?

They presented themselves as people coming to help us and our project, and who had the ability to finance it. That they had the chance to make it a reality. The proposal, as such, sounded interesting because, okay, a project in the literary world requires that you know a publisher, that you have editorial relations. It’s a very complex market. And they came in the name of publishers. What happened is that, during the process of contact with us, what they really wanted became quite evident. Because once they had made the contact, once they had begun frequenting our meetings, once they began to promise financing, then came the conditions for being financed.

Q. What conditions did they demand?

They told us: We have the ability to put the markets at your disposal, to put you on the markets of books or sculpture or movies or whatever, but we need the truth, because what we’re selling in the market, is the image of Cuba. The image of Cuba has to be a realistic one, of difficulties, of what’s going on in the country. They wanted to smear the reality of Cuba. What they were asking is that you criticize the revolution, based on anti-Cuba propaganda lines, which they provided.

Q. How big was these people’s budget?

They came with an infinite amount of money, because the source of the money, obviously, we found out over time from whence it came. For example, there was USAID, which was the big provider, the overall contractor of this budget, which channeled the money via NGOs, many of them invented just for Cuba. They were NGOs that didn’t exist, created solely for this type of job in Cuba, and we’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars. They weren’t working on small budgets. To give you an example, at one time, they offered me ten thousand dollars, just to include elements of anti-Cuba propaganda, in the novel I was writing.

Q. What year are we talking about?

Around 1988-89.

Q. How many people could have been contacted by these people, or captured?

In reality, their success didn’t last long, because in Cuba there was a culture of total confrontation with this type of thing, and the people knew very well that there was something behind that story of them wanting to “help” us. It was nothing new in the history of the land, and for that reason, it was very hard for them to get to where we were. In a determined moment, around 1992, we held a meeting, all the members of the organization, and we decided to expel them. They weren’t allowed to attend any more of our meetings. Those people, who were already coming in with concrete proposals, and also preconditioned economic aid they were giving us. What happened is that at the moment we did that, and rejected them, we expelled them from the association headquarters, then they started to particularize. They began to visit with me, in particular, and other comrades as well, young people. With some they succeeded, or should I say, they succeeded in getting some of them out of the country as well.

Q. What kind of profile were they looking for, more or less, if any kind of profile could be specified?

They wanted, above all at that time, to present Cuba as a land in chaos. That socialism in Cuba had not managed to satisfy the needs of the population, and that Cuba was a country that socialism had landed in absolute poverty, and which, as a model, no one liked. That was the key to what they were pursuing, above all, at that time.

Q. How long were you an agent of the CIA?

We were in this initial story until 1994. Because in 1994, I went to Havana, I came back to the capital and here, in the capital, I began to work for the Union of Cultural Workers, a union which represented the cultural workers of the capital, and I became more interesting yet to them, because I went on to direct — from being a leader of a youth organization with 4,000 members, to directing a union with 40,000 members, just in the city of Havana. And then, it gets much more interesting. Contacts followed. In that period there appeared a woman professor from a new university who came with the mission of kick-starting the production of my literary work, to become my representative, to organize events.

Q. Can you give her name?

No, because they used pseudonyms. They never used real names. And that type of work, promoting me as a writer, was what they were very interested in, because they wanted to convert me into a personality in that world. Promoting me now, and compromising me with them in an indirect manner. And then, in 2004, there arrived in Havana a person well known in Venezuela, Kelly Keiderling. Kelly came to Havana to work as Chief of the Office of Press and Culture. They set up a meeting. they arranged a cocktail party, and at that party I met with 12 North American functionaries, North Americans and Europeans. They weren’t only North Americans. All of them people with experience, some also inside the Soviet Union, others who had participated in training and preparation of the people in Yugoslavia, in the Color Revolutions, and they were very interested in meeting me. Kelly became very close to me. She began to prepare me. She began to instruct me. I began to receive, from her, a very solid training: The creation of alternative groups, independent groups, the organization and training of youth leaders, who did not participate in the works of our cultural institutions. And that was in 2004-5. Kelly practically vanished from the scene in 2005-6. And when I started to work, she put me in direct contact with officials of the CIA. Supposedly, I was already committed to them, I was ready for the next mission, and they put me in touch with Renee Greenwald, an official of the CIA, who worked with me directly, and with a man named Mark Waterhein, who was, at the time, the head of Project Cuba, of the Pan-American Foundation for Development.

This man, Mark, as well as directing Project Cuba, had a direct link to Cuba, in terms of financing the anti-revolutionary project, as well as being involved in working against Venezuela. That is, he was a man who, along with much of his team of functionaries of that famous project, also worked against Venezuela at that time. They were closely connected. At times it took a lot of work to tell who was working with Cuba, and who was not, because many times they interlocked. For example, there were Venezuelans who came to work with me, who worked in Washington, who were subordinates of the Pan-American Foundation and the CIA, and they came to Cuba to train me as well, and to bring provisions. From there arose the idea of creating a foundation, a project called Genesis.

Genesis is maybe the template, as an idea, of many of the things going on in the world today, because Genesis is a project aimed at the university youth of Cuba. They were doing something similar in Venezuela. Why? The idea was to convert universities — which have always been revolutionary, which have produced revolutionaries, out of those from which many of the revolutionaries of both countries came — and convert them into factories for reactionaries. So, how do you do that? By making leaders. What have they begun to do in Venezuela? They sent students to Yugoslavia, financed by the International Republican Institute (IRI), which was financed by USAID and by the Albert Einstein Institute, and sent them, in groups of ten, with their professors.

Q. Do you have the names of the Venezuelans?

No, we’re talking of hundreds being sent. I spoke with the professor, and watched one group and followed the other. Because they were working long-term. The same plan was also in place against Cuba. Genesis promoted, with in the university, a plan of training scholarships for Cuban student leaders and professors. The plan was very similar. Also, in 2003, they prepared here, in Havana, a course in the US Interests Section, which was called “Deposing a leader, deposing a dictator”, which was based on the experience of OTPOR in removing Slobodan Milosevic from power. And that was the idea, inside the Cuban university, to work long-term, because these projects always take a long time in order to reap a result. For that reason, they also started early in Venezuela. I believe as well — I don’t have proof, but I believe that in Venezuela it began before the Chávez government, because the plan of converting Latin American universities, which were always sources of revolutionary processes, into reactionary universities, is older than the Venezuelan [Bolivarian] process, to reverse the situation and create a new right-wing.

Q. Did the CIA only work in Caracas?

No, throughout Venezuela. Right now, Genesis has a scholarship plan to create leaders in Cuba. They provide scholarships to students to big North American universities, to train them as leaders, with all expenses paid. They pay their costs, they provide complete scholarships. We’re talking 2004-5 here. It was very obvious. Then, those leaders return to university at some time. They’re students. They go to end their careers. Those leaders, when they end their student careers, go on to various jobs, different possibilities, as engineers, as degree-holders in different sectors of Cuban society, but there are others who go on constantly preparing leaders within the university. One of the most important missions of the university leaders was to occupy the leadership of the principal youth organizations of the university. In the case of Cuba, we’re talking about the Union of Communist Youth, and the University Student Federation. That is, it was not to create parallel groups at that time, but to become the leaders of the organizations already existing in Cuba. Also, to form a group of leaders in the strategies of the “soft” coup. That is, training people for the opportune moment to start the famous “color revolutions” or “non-violent wars”, which, as you well know, have nothing to do with non-violence.

Q. What were they looking for in a professor, in order to capture them?

Professors are very easy. Identify university professors discontented with the institution, frustrated people, because they considered that the institution did not guarantee them anything, or didn’t recognize their merits. If they were older, even better. They didn’t specify. Look for older persons, so you can pick them. If you send a scholarship plan, or you send it and, first crack, they receive an invitation to participate in a great international congress of a certain science, they will be eternally grateful to you, because you were the one who discovered their talent, which has never been recognized by the university. Then that man you sent to study abroad, if you’re from his university, and participating in a big event, and publish his works, and constructing him a curriculum. When that person returns to Cuba, he goes back with a tremendous curriculum, because he has participated in a scientific event of the first order, has passed courses from big universities, and his curriculum reaches to the roof, then the influence he could have in the university will be greater, because he could be recognized as a leading figure in his specialty, even though in practice the man could be an ignoramus.

Q. And how effective were these types of captures, that type of missions they came to accomplish here?

In the case of Cuba, they didn’t have much of a result. First, because there was a most important reason, because I was the one directing the project, and I, in reality, was not an agent of the CIA, I was an agent of Cuban security, and so, the whole project passed through my hands, and they thought I was the one who would execute it. And the plan always passed through the work I was able to do, and what we did was slow it down as much as possible, knowing right away what was being planned. But just think, the goal of their plan, they were calculating for the moment in which the historic figures of the Revolution would disappear. They were figuring on a five- or ten-year term, in which Fidel would disappear from the political scene, and Raúl, and the historic leaders of the land. That was the moment they were waiting for, and when that happened, I was to leave university, with all the support of the international press and that of the NGOs, USAID, and all the people working around the CIA’s money, and that there would arise an organization which would present itself before the light of the public, as an alternative to what the Revolution was doing. That is what was to have happened with the Genesis Foundation for Freedom.

Q. What is that Foundation?

The Genesis Foundation for Freedom was to have a discourse, apparently revolutionary, but the idea was to confuse the people. The idea is that they would say they were revolutionaries, that what they wanted was to make changes in the government, but, when it comes to practice, when you get to the essence of the project, when you ask yourself “What is the project?” the discourse was, and the project was, exactly the same as those of the traditional right-wing. Because the changes they promoted, were the same that the right-wing, for a long time, has been promoting in the country. In practice, they almost had their big opportunity, according to their criteria, in 2006, when the news came out on TV that Fidel, for health reasons, was stepping down from his governmental responsibilities, and they have always said that the Cuban Revolution would die when Fidel died. Because the Revolution was Fidel, and on the day Fidel was no longer there, either by dying or leaving government, the next day the Revolution would fall. And they calculated that there would be internal confrontations, that there would be discontent with this or that. Calculations that I don’t know where they got them from, but they believed it. And in that moment, they believed that the time had come to act.

Q. We’re talking about 2006. What was the plan?

They called me automatically. We met, the CIA station chief and I, here in Havana. Diplomatic functionaries also showed up, and one of them said to me, we’re going to organize a provocation. We’re going to organize a popular uprising in a central neighborhood in Havana. There will be a person going there to rise up for democracy, and we’re going to execute a group of provocations, in different locations, in such a way that Cuban security forces will be forced to act against these people, and later we’ll start a big press campaign and start explaining how all of this will function. The interesting part of that, what really caught my attention, was this: How was it possible that a functionary of the US Interests Section could have the power to call upon the principal media, and that those people would obey with such servility? It was really attention-getting. The idea was — and I even told them this — what you’re telling me is just crazy. This man you mentioned to me, called Alci Ferrer — the guy they picked, a young agent, a doctor — they picked him to be the ringleader of the uprising. I told them, that guy won’t budge anyone. No one is going to rise up in the centre of Havana. The date they picked was none other than Fidel’s birthday, and they told me that day! And I said, Look, buddy, if that man, on that day, decides to go make proclamations, or to start some kind of uprising in the middle of Havana, the people are going to respond harshly. It’s even possible that they might kill him. Why, how could you put him in a humble working-class neighborhood to start those things, the locals…And he told me, flat out, the best thing that could happen for us is if they kill that man, it would be perfect, and they explained to me what would happen. All he had to do was provoke. They would go into the street, and there would be a clash there. If that happened, the press would do the rest, and they told me, we’re going to start a huge media campaign to demonstrate that there is chaos in Cuba, that Cuba is ungovernable; that in Cuba, Raúl is unable to hold the reins of government; that the civilian population is being killed; that students are being repressed in the street, and the people in the street, that the police are committing crimes. What a resemblance to Venezuela! It’s not a coincidence. It’s like that.

Q. So, what was supposed to happen in those circumstances?

Once all the opinion matrices were created, and all the media matrices had constructed that image, the whole world was supposed to have the image of Cuba as a great disaster, and that they’re killing the people, that they are killing them all. Then, my organization was to complete the final task.

Q. What was the final task?

Well, to gather the international press, in my capacity as a university professor, and as a writer, and as a leader of that organization, that I go out publicly to ask the government of the United States to intervene in Cuba, to guarantee the lives of the civilians and to bring peace and tranquility to the Cuban people. To speak to the country in the name of the Cuban people. Just imagine that!

That plan fell apart on them. It gave them no result, but as you could see, later, the way the war in Libya went, and the way it was set up. More than 80% of the information we saw, was fabricated. They’re doing the same in Syria, and they’ve done the same in Ukraine. I have had the opportunity to converse with a lot of Ukrainians, since they were in the bases. People in favor of uniting with Europe. I tried to talk with them these days. Trying to find out, what are those processes like? And they were surprised at the images which were transmitted around the world. What happened in Miami, and they themselves said so, but we’ve been protesting there, but those things that appear on TV, that was a group, or rather, there were sectors, there were places where there were right-wing groups, of the very far right, where there were incidents of that type, and where they burned things, but the greater part of the demonstrations didn’t have those characteristics. Or that this is, once more, the repetition of the scheme, using all the communication media.

Q. The relationship between the CIA and the embassies, in the respective lands, are they direct, then?

Yes, completely direct. In every embassy in Latin America, all the US embassies have CIA officials, working within them, using the façade of diplomatic functionaries.

Q. From what you know, is there a greater CIA presence in the region?

Well, at a certain moment, Ecuador was a major power in that, it had a strong concentration of them, and of course, Venezuela, because in 2012, when I attended the Book Fair in Caracas, all those people who had worked with me against Cuba, all the CIA officials, including Kelly Keiderling, were in Caracas at that time. And I was on a TV show, on VTV, where we talked about this subject, being very careful, because we were talking about two countries who have relations. That’s not the case with Cuba, or rather, Cuba has no relations with the United States. That’s a declared enemy. But we were talking about functionaries who had diplomatic relations, and it was very awkward to do it, without having concrete proofs you could present. However, the interview happened, and the denunciation was made of what was going on. Kelly Keiderling is an expert in this type of war. I have not the slightest doubt. When one follows the itinerary she has, in the countries where she’s been, and when I was in that type of conflict.

She has toured a series of countries in the world where very similar situations have occurred, like what she tried to do in Venezuela. And when you analyze Venezuela, and what has happened nowadays and the way in which she has acted, I think that in Venezuela, the characteristic that has been that they are tremendously aggressive in the manipulation of the information. Tremendously aggressive. To the point where you say it’s a blunder, because there are images which are so obviously not from Venezuela. I saw a very famous one, in which a soldier appears with a journalist, with a camera.They are Koreans. It’s an image from Korea. They’re Asian. They don’t look like Venezuelans at all. Also, the uniforms they wear. They’ve been very aggressive with that image which has projected what’s going on in Venezuela to the world. The greater part of the world’s people, this image is the one they’re seeing, of what they’re trying to say.

Q. They control the media. Do you know any case of any journalist which has been, as you have seen, known or unknown, which you have seen in the process of training?

No.

Q. CNN, for example?

No, there was a guy who had a lot of ties to me at the time here, who served as a link for meeting an official from the CIA., Antony Golden, of Reuters. But, all right, he was an element independent of Reuters. CNN has always been very closely linked to all these things. CNN, from its first moments of operation, above all this latest step, and above all, CNN en Español, has been an indispensable tool for these people, but the problem is that you have to understand one thing: to understand what’s going on, and to be able to mount a campaign, you have to understand that nowadays, there is no TV station that acts on its own. There are the conglomerates, and the communications conglomerates — who directs them? Because, for example, Time Warner and AOL, and all those big communications companies — cable TV, movie TV, TV in general — who is the boss, in the end? Here it’s Westinghouse, there it’s General Electric. The same who build warplanes, the same US arms industry, the same people who are the owners of TV networks, movie studios, publications, book publishers. So, the same guys who produce warplanes, the cookie you’ll eat at night, that presents an artist to you, are the same who rule the newspapers of the entire world. Who do these people answer to?

Q. When you see what’s happening in Venezuela, and you compare it with what you did here [in Cuba], what conclusion can you draw?

It’s a new strategy, which they’ve been developing based on the experience they’ve had all over the world, but I see, I’m convinced, that they’ve only gotten results when people in those places don’t support the revolution. They managed it with Milosevic, because Milosevic was a Yugoslavian leader whose image had fallen far, thanks to things that happened in Yugoslavia. The same happened in Ukraine, because Yanukovych was a man with very little popular support, and it has given results in other places where the governments had little support from the people. Wherever they have a legitimate government, a solid government, and people disposed to defend the revolution, the plan has failed on them.

Q. And what phase do they enter when the plan fails?

They’re going to keep on doing it, they’ll go on perfecting it. We are the enemy. That is, Venezuela, Cuba, everything going on in Latin America as an alternative. We are the dissidents of the world. We live in a world dominated by capitalism. Where that new capitalist way of being dominates, so that now one can’t even call it imperialist, it’s something new, something that goes way beyond what students of Marxism wrote in history years ago. It’s something new, novel. It’s a power, practically global, of the big transnationals, of those megalopolies they’ve created. Therefore, we are the enemy. We are presenting an alternative project. The solution that the world proposes to us, is not that. We know how to do it, and Cuba, Venezuela, the ALBA countries, have demonstrated that it can be done, that one or two days more are nothing. The Cuban revolution has been in existence for 55 years, and with political will, it has achieved things that the US government, with all the money in the world, has been unable to do. So that’s a bad example.

And I’ve told my students: Can you imagine that the Indignants in Spain, the thousands and millions of workers out of work in Spain, that the Greeks, that all those people in all the world, know what we’re doing? Can you imagine that these people get to know who Chávez is? Or who Fidel is? Or of the things we’re doing here? Or the things we’re doing with so few resources, only the will to make revolution and share the wealth? What will happen to capitalism? How much longer will capitalism last, which has to spend billions of dollars, every day, to build its image and fool the people? What would happen if the people knew who we really are? What is the Cuban Revolution, really, and what is the Venezuelan Revolution? Because, if you talked to a Spaniard and asked him about Chávez, and he gives you a terrible opinion of Chávez, because it’s what they’ve constructed in his mind/ And you meet an unemployed person who tells you that Chávez is a bad guy, because the media have convinced him of that, but if these people knew how things really were! So they can’t allow that such formidable enemies as ourselves should be there, at the door.

Q. From the viewpoint of the national sovereignty of our people, how can we stop the CIA? We’ve already talked about the consciousness of the people, which is fundamental in these types of actions, but, in the concrete, how does one foresee the CIA’s work? What can be done? What recommendations do you have?

I think of a thing that Chávez said, and that Fidel has always said, that is the key to defeating the empire, and that is unity. It’s not a slogan, it’s a reality. It’s the only way you have of defeating a project like that. A project that comes from the Special Services and from capitalism. One can only do it with the unity of the people.

Q. Are we talking about the civilian-military?

Yes, unity in all senses. Unity based in diversity, in the peoples, but unity as a nation, unity as a project. Wherever the people are divided, there is another reality.

Q. Where do they have to concentrate? In what area must they concentrate forces to defend us from this type of actions, this type of attacks?

The army to defeat that is the people. I believe that the Cuban experience has taught that very well. There are experiences in the world which mark you very clearly. What has happened in the world, when the people have not been protagonists in defence of the Revolution? And when the people have been protagonists, what happened? And there’s the case of Cuba. We have managed to defeat the CIA and the empire millions of times, because the people have been the protagonist.

Q. Does the CIA use the databases of the social networks, and that sort of thing, to define their plans?

They’re the masters. They’re the masters of that. Fine, there are the denunciations of Snowden and all that has come out of Wikileaks, and all those things that are no secret to anyone, because we suspected, but it’s been demonstrated. It’s been demonstrated that the servers, the Internet, are theirs. All the servers in the world, in the end, die in the North Americans’ servers. They are the mother of the Internet, and all the networks and services are controlled by them. They have access to all the information. And they don’t hesitate to record it. Facebook is an extraordinary database. People put everything on Facebook. Who are your friends? What are their tastes, what movies have they seen? What do they consume? And it’s a source of firsthand information.

Q. Have you been in contact with Kelly Keiderling, after what happened in Venezuela?

No, I haven’t had contact with her. I don’t know what was her final destination, after what happened (she was expelled from Venezuela for meeting with and financing terrorists).

Q. With the experience she has, how far was she able to penetrate into Venezuela, and Venezuelan universities?

I am certain that she got quite far. She’s a very intelligent agent, very well prepared, very capable, and very convinced of what she’s doing. Kelly is a person convinced of the job she is doing. She is convinced of the justness, from her point of view, of what she is doing. Because she is an unconditional representative of capitalism. Because she comes from capitalism’s elite. She is organic of the actions she is doing. There is no contradiction of any kind. And, based on the experience of her work, of her capability, I am sure that she managed to get very far, and gave continuity to a job which is not just for now, it’s a job she will go on doing for a long time, to reverse the process in Venezuelan universities. What’s going on is that up to whatever point they can reach, in the long term, that is what will show the Bolivarian process, in the measure of which the people are aware of what could happen. If that fascist right wing becomes uncontrollable, it could get into power again.

Q. What kind of person who has contacts, who could reach the people, such as by being an activist in a movement, could be captured by the CIA?

They will find them, they will try to do it. If it’s a young person and a leader, they will try to capture them for their interests. We have to train our leaders. We can’t leave that to spontaneity, we can’t leave that to the enemy. So, if we leave them to the enemy, those are spaces which the enemy will occupy. Any alternative project that we leave unattended, any alternative project that we don’t realize the necessity of getting close to, that is a project that the enemy will try, by all means, to take advantage of. Using the enormous amount of money they have for that, which has no limits, in terms of resources to be used, because they are playing with the future and, above all, the young are the key.

The good thing is that the young are the present of Latin America. The Latin American revolution which is there, which is everywhere, is of the young. If not, fine, it will never have results, and if you manage to make young people think differently, if you succeed in getting these youngsters to believe that savage capitalism is the solution to all their problems, then there will be no revolution for Latin America. It’s that simple.

Undermining Democracy Abroad

Public Good Project

May 23, 2014

by Jay Taber

propaganda

Mass consciousness regarding the abuse of power by the U.S. Government, now in the news thanks to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, has mostly focused on agencies that spy on innocent people using warrantless wiretaps and email intercepts. While these abuses by the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice are sometimes used against US citizens who challenge U.S. policy on such topics as imperial wars and corruption of governance by Wall Street, they are also used against elected U.S. officials, foreign diplomats, and United Nations personnel. As electronic data collection by commercial data brokers and identity theft criminals increasingly becomes a nuisance and menace, communications monitoring by the U.S. Government threatens free speech, peaceful assembly and the ability of civil society to hold government accountable.

Since the 1960s, the abuse of power by U.S. agencies like the FBI and CIA has become common knowledge. Their involvement in undermining the Civil Rights Movement at home and the human rights movement abroad is well-documented. Less well-known is the involvement of the U.S. State Department in the undermining of democracy abroad, through such programs like the National Endowment for Democracy, US Aid for International Development, and the United States Institute of Peace.

Personifying these fraudulent programs operating out of U.S. embassies in places like Bolivia, Libya and the Ukraine, is former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Armitage — who served at the State and Defense departments under George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush — is perhaps best known for leaking the identity of CIA secret agent Valerie Plame as retribution for her husband U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s contribution to the exposure of the fraudulent weapons of mass destruction rationale for the invasion of Iraq. While the yellowcake scandal was overshadowed by the Plame affair, it pointed to the systematic deception used by the State Department to justify overthrowing foreign governments.

The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

Postcards from the Revolution

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Eva Golinger

USAID NED

Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado- two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.

At the beginning of 2011, after being publically exposed for its grave violations of Venezuelan law and sovereignty, the OTI closed its doors inVenezuela and USAID operations were transferred to its offices in the US. The flow of money to anti-government groups didn’t stop, despite the enactment by Venezuela’s National Assembly of the Law of Political Sovereignty and NationalSelf-Determination at the end of 2010, which outright prohibits foreign funding of political groups in the country. US agencies and the Venezuelan groups that receive their money continue to violate the law with impunity. In the Obama Administration’s Foreign Operations Budgets, between $5-6 million have been included to fund opposition groups in Venezuela through USAID since 2012.

Philippines: The NED, the NGOs and the CIA

Manila Standard Today

April 12 (Part 1) , April 26 (Part 2)

By Rod Kapunan

 

ned

 

Part One

William Blum, the author of the book, “Rogue State,”  said that while the object of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in the post Cold War era has  been relegated to history, many  are not inclined to believe that subversion has lost its relevance.  Rather, it has only been redirected at overthrowing governments that refuse to tow the line gleaned from the  NED’s slogan of “Supporting Freedom Around the World.”

Here in the Philippines, the so-called restoration  of freedom saw the popping out like mushrooms of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the newly-created CIA front called “NED” leading in guiding the government it  installed to power.   The CIA too had to shed off some of its  covert activities by making itself “transparent.”   Through the NED, local NGOs openly collaborated with the government it held by the noose, with each having a specialized task to “motivate” people in the various sectors of civil society.

As Blum observed:  “In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, fax machines, copiers, automobiles and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED programs generally impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A free market economy is equated with democracy, reform and growth, and the merits of foreign investment are emphasized.”

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