American Military and black operations: Where is the red line?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | DECEMBER 11, 2012

Just as public and corporate partnerships have merged over the past two decades, so has the connection between the worlds most corrupt terrorist agency – the CIA – and the United States Department of Defense. Given the unsuccessful operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after declaring war on both nations to hunt those ghost organizations that the United States itself created and managed, the White House agreed to give the CIA even more power to carry out so-called anti-terrorist operations abroad, which are terrorist operations against non-aligned regimes.

Recent examples of these terror operations are the actions taken by the CIA previous and during the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya and now in Syria, where western forces including NATO and CIA operatives launched attacks from Turkey into the kingdom of Bashar al-Assad. The new powers given to the CIA include enhancing its operations with the latest surveillance technology, for example unmanned armed remotely controlled drones which are operated by the Pentagon under CIA direction.

It is not a surprise that the U.S. Government decided to switch the head of the CIA and the commander of military operations in the Middle East last year in an attempt to homogenize the operations of both government organizations. The White House has also increased the spy network that works directly with the Pentagon to exercise a greater control over terrorist plots in the Arab Peninsula, Africa and Asia.

The move to inadvertently combine the power of both the CIA and the Pentagon began more actively under the George W. Bush administration, but rapidly accelerated under the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. The CIA has grown its operations over territories supposedly taken over yihadists, but not to combat their operations.

The U.S. Government managed to buy off terrorists groups as it did in Afghanistan back in the 1970s with a group known today as al-Qaeda. The flow of drug money and other funds laundered by large banking corporations fuel the bribery system that allows the CIA to keep certain key terrorist groups working for them, as supposed to against U.S. Interest in some of the most volatile regions of the planet.

The merge of the CIA and the Pentagon was completed after the 2011 summer directive issued by Barack H. Obama to have the then CIA Director, Leon Panetta, take over the United States Department of Defense, while David Petraeus, the most influential ground operations commander in Iraq and Afghanistan was named the head of the Central Intelligence Agency.

General David Petraeus left the CIA last november after he allegedly admitted to have had an extramarital affair with his biographer. Of course, it is unlikely such an affair was the real reason Petraeus left the spy agency. Former intelligence insiders believe it was Petraeus opposition to America’s way of conducting military and intelligence operations what made him leave his post as the top spy chief.

Petraeus is not the first top General to exit U.S. military entities. Two or three other strong men inside the military were fired or asked to be relieved of their duties due to their disagreements with the way combat missions were being conducted.

There is an increased trend from the part of the CIA and the U.S. military to use remotely controlled drones to carry out attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions and a diminishing trend to use heavy military power. The new way to wage war includes the use of special operations commandos as well as special forces which carry out attacks from land and sea positions.

Both of these operational groups rely more often than not on CIA assets in the region along with a higher number of military analysts”, explains professor Paul Rogers, a specialist on international security from Bradford University. “I think we won’t see the U.S. Government sending large numbers of troops to war-torn regions as it happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. Long are the days when the Army needed to send 100,000 soldiers to the battlefield,” he adds.

The so-called presidential kill list has never been more relevant, as the CIA becomes more militarized with its own drone flotilla and presidential authorization to people who the president believes represent a threat to the United States. Who and why are on that list is known by just a few people. In September 2011, the U.S. government carried out a terrorist attack on a former CIA asset, Anwar al-Awlaki, who had dined at the Pentagon weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and Washington.

After al-Awlaki, the U.S. has carried out even more drone attacks against targets who are thought to be heads of terrorist organizations that intend to attack America or its interests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. However, neither the Pentagon nor the CIA have shown proof that such a threat exists. Anwar al-Awlaki’s involvement with al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organizations was never proven while the U.S. government always denied he had ever dined with members of the Pentagon’s leadership. Al-Awlaki was a United States citizen.

Besides the kill list in the hands of the CIA, the U.S. Army also has its own note pad full of names of people who need to be put down. This list is updated on a weekly basis in a meeting held by military analysts. Those analysts supposedly make recommendations to the president to add or remove names from the list during an intelligence briefing known as “terror Tuesday”.

Attacks such as the one that killed Awlaki are carried out by unmanned drones which are controlled by trained assassins in various military based around the world. Since 2002, the U.S. military and the CIA have launched almost 500 kill missions in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Many of those attacks raised tensions last year between the U.S. and Pakistan who in several occasions asked the U.S. to vacate bases on Pakistani soil and to stop killing its citizens.

The person directly responsible for the drone attacks is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, whomever this person may be. Barack H. Obama himself has authorized attacks on both Yemen and Somalia, but according to intelligence officials Obama is kept in the dark about most drone attacks launched in Pakistan. The U.S. military also employs drone attacks against supposed targets in Afghanistan, even after major murder operations concluded.

Those attacks which are not supposedly authorized by Obama, are jointly organized and managed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command. Although the White House denies the existence of an official military program where drones are used, it is well-known that both the CIA and the Department of Defense carry out continuous surveillance operations both inside and outside the United States.

Despite the secrecy, which the American government justifies with the classic “it is a matter of national security” many of the attacks are known to be based on false intelligence. “They don’t know what they’re doing,” says Professor Clive Stafford, the head of REPRIEVE, a Human Rights organization. “For example, in the case of the information provided by Pakistani sources, such intelligence information comes from people who are paid to seek and pass the information. But this same people are also paid by sources on the other side to provide false information to the Americans. That is why the CIA has now asked the U.S. government to support the recruitment of 1,600 new intelligence assets, which according to the spook agency will help improve the quality of the information received by the military and the CIA itself.

Another problem with the terrorist air attacks, says Stafford, is that the attacks always take the lives of people who have nothing to do with the supposed terrorists. But both for the military and the CIA, these casualties of war are worthwhile if it means that their operations will continue to have funding from the U.S. tax payers and drug money with which a terrorist organization such as the CIA finances most of its operations.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Wikileaks Releases DoD Procedure Manual for Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | OCTOBER 26, 2012

WikiLeaks published early this morning hundreds of documents from the Department of Defense that describe the procedures established by the US government to be used with suspects detained by the American government who were sent to the prison Guantanamo Bay.

The first document to be put out is the manual of military procedures at Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay which applied to both civilian and military personnel beginning in November 2002. This manual established administrative rules, regulations and code of confinement behavior for officials.

The organization founded by Julian Assange announced through a press release that, over the next month, the website will disseminate files about the detention policy in chronological order with the directions followed by military officials for more than a decade. Today, the founder of Wikileaks is under political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy and is seeking his extradition to South America in order to avoid persecution from the United States, Sweden and other nations that publicly seek revenge.

The documents released by Wikileaks include standard operating procedures of the detention camps Bucca and Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay and the manuals for interrogation and fragmentary orders (Fragos) on changes in detention policies.

These documents “show the anatomy of the monster created to conduct arrests after the attacks on September 11, which created a dark hole in which the law and the rights do not exist and where people can be detained without a trace and be treated at will by DoD and intelligence personnel,” said Assange in a statement.

“It shows the excesses of the early days of the war against an unknown ‘enemy’ and how these policies matured and evolved” resulting, he said, “in a permanent state of exception in which the United States is now a decade later “. That exception includes but is not limited to, the effective elimination of significant portions of the Constitution, through the partial or total suppression of the First, Second and Fourth Amendments, for example, which is now business as usual in North America.

Assange, who is in a complicated situation of asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for alleged sexual offenses, notes the historical importance of these documents, as “Guantanamo has become an example for the systematic abuse of human rights, “he added.

The organization issued several policy documents on interrogation of detainees in Iraq for the years 2004, 2005 and 2008, which revealed techniques to instill fear or emotional pressure to detainees. WikiLeaks said that “although physical violence is prohibited, in writing, a consistent policy of terrorizing prisoners, combined with a policy of destroying records, has caused abuse and impunity”.

Also due out is the “Fragmentary Order”, released after the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib (Iraq) that “eliminates the requirement to keep a record of the interrogation sessions” in certain areas of the prison.
Furthermore, while noting that interrogations carried out in the Division and Brigade Internment should be recorded, it also states that the files should “disappear within 30 days.” A policy that has been overturned by the Obama administration.

The administration of President George W. Bush (2001-2009) enabled the military base of Guantanamo (Cuba) to detain suspected terrorists — without trial — after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Real Agenda encourages the sharing of its original content ONLY through the tools provided at the bottom of every article. Please DON’T copy articles from The Real Agenda and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Rand Paul: Environmental Extremists Run Government

by Sam Rolley
Personal Liberty
November 14, 2011

Republican Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that President Barack Obama’s Administration has allowed environmental extremists to take over political decisions and kill jobs.

The Senator’s statements were made in regard to legislation he has proposed to roll back an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that penalizes States for allowing air pollution to drift into bordering States, according to The Hill.

Paul also questioned the American Lung Association’s suggestion that pollution is behind a rise in asthma and said the $5 million in funding it takes from the EPA each year might be influencing the results of its studies.

The Senator also said that the push for electric cars did not make much sense from an environmental standpoint because 50 percent of electricity in the U.S. is coal-produced.

“[I] am afraid what has happened is we have opened up the White House and this administration to environmental extremists, the kind of people who say, ‘Well the polar bears are drowning,’” he said.

Paul said that this is not the kind of extremism that he wants to see driving policy in the United States.

Washington’s Black Ops against Iran

Extensive range of covert operations envisaged by US Congress

by Ismail Salami
Global Research
October 31, 2011

The US secret agenda for tightening its vice-like grip on the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken on an apparently new form after the anti-Iran alleged assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, raised many eyebrows among experts and analysts around the world.

With a strong penchant for pushing for tougher action on Iran, the Obama administration has already imposed a series of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. However, a Republican-controlled congressional committee has recently heard testimony demanding an extensive range of covert operations against the country.

The operations, which range from cyber attacks to political assassinations, are speculated to be conducted under the feeble excuse that Iran was the alleged architect of an assassination plot against the Saudi envoy to the United States. By political assassination, the US congressmen unconsciously mean the liquidation of the Iranian nuclear scientists, an act they actually started long ago.

Retired Army Gen. John Keane told a hearing of two key subcommittees of the House Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday, “We’ve got to put our hand around their throat now. Why don’t we kill them? We kill other people who kill others.”

Also, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) poured some pearls of wisdom over others and called for “sober, reasoned discussion.”

“Iran’s leaders must be held accountable for their action,” she said, “but we cannot take any reckless actions which may lead to opening another front in the ‘War on Terror,’ which the American people do not want and cannot afford.”

Naturally, the US government, in essence, cannot afford to wage another war at least in view of the economic woes it has wrought upon the American citizens, regardless of other influencing factors.

The stone that started rolling fell into the hands of New York Congressman Peter King who made an extremely bizarre comment. He suggested that the US should kick out Iranian officials at the UN in New York and in Washington and accused them of being spies, ignorant of the fact that the UN is considered an independent international body and that the US has no authority to ‘kick out’ diplomats accredited there en masse.

Overwhelmed with a sense of false eagerness, he renewed the anti-Iran alleged assassination ploy and said excitedly, “So you have the assassination of a foreign ambassador, you have the willingness to kill hundreds of Americans — this is an act of war,” King said, “I don’t think we can just do business as usual or even carry out sanctions as usual.”

The volley of vitriolic words against Iran which issued from Mr. King reeks of blind enmity long egged on by other hawks in Washington.

In point of fact, the anti-Iran moves practically started in 2007 when US Congress agreed to George W. Bush, the then US president, to fund a major increase in covert operations against Iran. According to the intelligence officials who spoke to the Blotter on ABCNews.com, the CIA was then given a presidential approval to commence its covert ‘black’ operations inside Iran. To that effect, over four hundred million dollars were allocated in a Presidential Finding signed by George W. Bush. The ultimate goal of the finding was to cripple Iran’s religious government and the operations involved throwing support behind minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchis and other opposition groups as well as amassing intelligence about Iran’s nuclear sites.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, the intelligence officials confirmed that Bush had signed a “nonlethal presidential finding”, giving the CIA carte blanche to engage in any sabotaging activities including a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions in order to destabilize and eventually achieve regime change in Iran.

“I can’t confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime,” said Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA senior official, an expert on Iran and the Middle East (ABCNEWS.com May 22, 2007).

In June 2007, The New Yorker magazine also ran a similar story by Seymour Hersh, confirming that the finding had been signed by Bush and intended to destabilize the Islamic government.

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” the article cited a person familiar with its contents as saying, and involved “working with opposition groups and passing money.”

From an intelligence point of view, the fact that the US government is resorting to covert black operations against Iran rules out the possibility of a military strike against the country.

According to reports, US ambassadors in Islamabad have repeatedly asked for opening a consulate in the province of Baluchistan, a suspicious demand from the US. In 2011, the call was renewed by US ambassador Cameron Munter to Islamabad. Persistence in this demand is to be taken seriously. Baluchistan is strategically important as it is a harbor for the anti-Iran terrorist group, Jundullah, in the first place and a separatist Pakistani province in the second place.

In fact, Washington greatly favors the establishment of a ‘Greater Baluchistan’ which would integrate the Baluch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran. Military expert Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters suggests that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of a separate country: ‘Greater Baluchistan’ or ‘Free Baluchistan’ (June 2006, The Armed Forces Journal). As a result, this would incorporate the Baluch provinces of Pakistan and Iran into a single political entity which can be tailored to suit the interests of Washington.

So it seems that the US harbors two main ulterior motives if this demand is answered. First, it can fulfill its dream of establishing the Greater Baluchistan, consolidate firm presence in this separatist part of Pakistan and secondly, it will be in a position to avail itself of this influence to carry out its sabotaging activities within Iran.

Earlier in 2007, the Blotter on ABCNews.com revealed the role of the US government in backing the terrorist Iranian group , which is responsible for a number of gruesome assassinations of the Iranian civilians on the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The terrorist group spares no efforts in sowing the seed of terror in the southern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan and their lust for murder and cruelty knows no remission. The victims the group has so far claimed include many women and children who have become the direct target of their killing. In July 2010, the group mounted a pair of suicide attacks on a major Shi’ite mosque in the city of Zahedan, the capital of Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan Province, killing dozens of worshippers and wounding over 100 people.

Although US officials deny any ‘direct funding’ of the terrorist group, they acknowledge that they are in contact with the leader of the group on a regular basis. A similar terroristic attack was launched by the same group on a mosque in Zahedan in May 2009, which led to the martyrdom of many worshippers.

Sadly enough, Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) implicitly supports the group and reportedly shelters some of its high-profile members in coordination with the CIA.

Isn’t it paradoxical that Jundullah, a terrorist group and an offshoot of al-Qaeda, is directly funded by the US government which keeps bandying about its so-called ‘war on terror’ in the world?

This is enough to cause the US to hang its head low in shame and humility.

Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian author and political analyst. A prolific writer, he has written numerous books and articles on the Middle East. His articles have been translated into a number of languages.

The fast and furious plot to occupy Iran

by Pepe Escobar
Al Jazeera
October 20, 2011

No one ever lost money betting on the dull predictability of the US government. Just as Occupy Wall Street is firing imaginations all across the spectrum – piercing the noxious revolving door between government and casino capitalism – Washington brought us all down to earth, sensationally advertising an Iranian cum Mexican cartel terror plot straight out of The Fast and the Furious movie franchise. The potential victim: Adel al-Jubeir, the ambassador in the US of that lovely counter-revolutionary Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

FBI Director Robert Muller and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

FBI Director Robert Mueller insisted the Iran-masterminded terror plot “reads like the pages of a Hollywood script”. It does. And quite a sloppy script at that. Fast and Furious duo Paul Walker/Vin Diesel wouldn’t be caught dead near it.

The good guys in this Washington production are the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). In the words of Attorney General Eric Holder, they uncovered “a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on US soil with explosives.”

Holder added that the bombing of the Saudi embassy in Washington was also part of the plan. Subsequent spinning amplified that to planned bombings of the Israeli embassy in Washington, as well as the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires.

The Justice Department has peddled quite a murky story – Operation Red Coalition (no, you can’t make that stuff up) – centred on one Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old holding both Iranian and US passports and an Iran-based co-conspirator, Gholam Shakuri, an alleged member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s (IRGC) Quds Force.

Arbabsiar allegedly had a series of encounters in Mexico with a DEA mole posing as a Mexican drug cartel heavy weight. The Iranian-American seems to have been convinced that the mole was a member of the hardcore Zetas Mexican cartel, and reportedly bragged he was being “directed by high-ranking members of the Iranian government”, including a cousin who was “a member of the Iranian army but did not wear a uniform.”

Read Full Article…