La rimonta delle spese militari… nella crisi… per la crisi

Ho spesso denunciato la dipendenza dell’Africa nel quadro della gestione della sicurezza globale orchestrata dagli Stati Uniti, con l’ “operazione Africom“, ma, dopo l’affaire degli F-35, da più parti rivelatasi un’operazione economica fallimentare (Presadiretta al link), pure quanto segue ci è stato sottaciuto.

Della nostra dipendenza non si parla mai abbastanza.

lunedì 15 aprile 2013 23:17 (da Globalist.it)

L’Italia in crisi non rinuncia al drone killer

Dev’essere il fascino del mostro. Ne abbiamo scritto la scorsa settimana ricevendo richieste di altre informazioni. Aggiornamento sui Droni assassini. [Ennio Remondino] Continua a leggere
Annunci

Extraordinary renditions, again… assolti i pezzi grossi: ma Kassim?

Riporto una notizia come è apparsa su il Corriere della sera online e di seguito come è apparsa su Lettera 43 (accedendo direttamente alla pagina accedete anche ai link a notizie correlate che rendono possibile, a differenza della maggior parte delle testate nazionali finanziate dal Governo, di ricostruire il percorso storico della vicenda)

La decisione del Quirinale

Napolitano grazia Joseph Romano , il colonnello Usa che rapì  Abu Omar

Nel 2005 partecipò al sequestro dell’imam di Milano (questa la notizia ufficiale… ma non fu nel 2003? I soliti giornalai improvvisati, e poi date torto a Grillo!)
Un atto che premia la nuova linea di Obama sulla sicurezza

Il presidente della Repubblica, Giorgio Napolitano, ha concesso la grazia al colonnello dell’Air Force Usa Joseph Romano, in relazione alla condanna a cinque anni inflitta con sentenza della Corte d’Appello di Milano del 15 dicembre 2010, divenuta irrevocabile il 19 settembre 2012 , nell’ambito del rapimento dell’imam egiziano Abu Omar nel 2003; l’estremista islamico che era stato prelevato illegalmente e poi portato nel suo Paese, dove sarebbe stato sottoposto a torture e sevizie. Romano era stato condannato insieme ad altri 22 militari americani, ma nessuno di loro ha mai scontato effettivamente la pena, perché in contumacia. Continua a leggere

«Maledetta primavera» di Fulvio Grimaldi (data?)

Guardate il video  “MALEDETTA PRIMAVERA” di Fulvio Grimaldi!

Questa ottima sintesi è stata segnalata alla lista “Università in lotta” cui sono iscritta, da uno studente comunista. Nel piattume generale mi riempie di orgoglio che dall’istituzione cui appartengo siano gli studenti a proporre qualche buco della serratura da cui guardare in diversa prospettiva alle “verità” spacciate in questo Paese (e dall’informazione in generale). Mi sento di raccomandarne vivamente la visione e l’ascolto. Certo, è indubbio vi siano imprecisioni (quella senussita è una confraternita, ad esempio e non una tribù) e non so quanto sia voluta la trascuratezza circa le manovre “panafricaniste” di Gheddafi che sicuramente hanno offerto alternative ed escluso il dollaro, ma hanno addirittura innescato la nascita di organizzazioni regionali parallele (ce ne fosse bisogno… guardate l’efficace immagine che ho tratto da Wikipedia, per farvene un’idea) se non addirittura contrarie all’Unione Africana di cui, pure, il Colonnello è stato uno dei principali fautori.

Continua a leggere

La guerra finisce (ma finisce davvero) solo quando, almeno in parte, i conti tornano…

e i conti non tornano. Interessanti due articoli che Francesco Correale & Friends – rispettivamente da Voltaire.net e African arguments –  han fatto girare in una provvidenziale mailing list. Sia chiaro che in nulla deve cambiare l’atteggiamento nei confronti della popolazione libica, ma molto accorti dobbiamo essere nei confronti di quelli coi quali ci andiamo a relazionare.

Fonte : “Come al-Qaida è arrivata al potere a Tripoli”, di Thierry Meyssan, Rete Voltaire, 7 settembre 2011, www.voltairenet.org/a171330

Come al-Qaida è arrivata al potere a Tripoli

di    Thierry Meyssan

Rete Voltaire ha ricevuto molte lettere da lettori che chiedono di al-Qaida in Libia. Al fine di rispondere, Thierry Meyssan ha riunito i principali elementi noti di questo dossier. Questi fatti confermano la sua analisi, sviluppata dall’11 settembre 2001, che al-Qaida sia composta da mercenari utilizzati dagli Stati Uniti per combattere in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cecenia, Kosovo, Iraq e ora in Libia, Siria e Yemen.

Rete Voltaire | Beirut (Libano) | 7 settembre 2011

[Foto omissis] Il leader storico di al-Qaida in Libia, Abdelhakim Belhadj, è divenuto il governatore militare della Tripoli “liberata” ed è il responsabile dell’organizzazione dell’esercito della “nuova Libia”.

Negli anni ’80, la CIA ha incoraggiato Awatha al-Zuwawi a creare una fucina in Libia per reclutare mercenari e inviarli nella jihad contro i sovietici, in Afghanistan. Dal 1986 le reclute libiche vengono addestrate nel campo di Salman al-Farsi (in Pakistan), sotto l’autorità del miliardario anti-comunista Usama bin Ladin.

Quando bin Ladin si trasferì in Sudan, i jihadisti libici lo seguirono. Furono raggruppati in un loro compound. Dal 1994, Usama bin Ladin inviò dei jihadisti libici nel loro paese, a uccidere Muammar Gheddafi e a rovesciare la Jamahiriya popolare socialista.

Il 18 ottobre 1995, il gruppo si struttura sotto il nome di Gruppo Islamico Combattente in Libia (LIFG). Nei tre anni successivi, il LIFG ha cercato per quattro volte di assassinare Muammar Gheddafi e di stabilire la guerriglia nelle montagne del sud. A seguito di tali operazioni, l’esercito libico, sotto il comando del generale Abdel Fattah Younis, condusse una campagna per sradicare la guerriglia, e la giustizia libica lanciò un mandato di arresto contro Usama bin Ladin, diffuso dal 1998 dall’Interpol.

Secondo l’agente del controspionaggio del Regno Unito David Shayler, lo sviluppo del LIFG e il primo tentativo di assassinio di Gheddafi da parte di al-Qaida, furono finanziate con la somma di 100.000 sterline dall’MI6 britannico [1]. All’epoca, la Libia era l’unico stato al mondo a ricercare Usama bin Ladin, che ancora disponeva ufficialmente del sostegno politico degli Stati Uniti, anche se aveva contestato l’operazione “Desert Storm”.

Sotto la pressione di Tripoli, Hassan al-Turabi espulse i jihadisti libici dal Sudan. Spostarono le loro infrastrutture in Afghanistan, insediandosi nel campo di Shahid Shaykh Abu Yahya (appena a nord di Kabul). Tale installazione durerà fino all’estate del 2001, quando i negoziati a Berlino tra Stati Uniti ed i taliban, per il gasdotto transafgano, fallirono. A quel tempo, il mullah Omar, che si stava preparando all’invasione anglo-sassone, chiese che il campo venisse posto sotto il suo controllo diretto.

Il 6 ottobre 2001 il LIFG è nella lista stilata dal Comitato di applicazione della risoluzione 1267 del Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite. C’è tuttora. L’8 dicembre 2004, il LIFG era nella lista delle organizzazioni terroristiche del Dipartimento di Stato degli Stati Uniti. C’è ancora. Il 10 Ottobre 2005, il Dipartimento degli Interni britannico interdiva il LIFG dal suo territorio. Questa misura è ancora valida. Il 7 Febbraio 2006, le Nazioni Unite sanzionavano cinque membri del LIFG e quattro società ad essa collegate, che continuano ad operare impunemente nel territorio del Regno Unito, sotto la protezione dell’MI6.

Durante la “guerra contro il terrore”, il movimento jihadista si organizza. Il termine “al-Qaida”, che originariamente indicava il grande database in cui Usama bin Ladin sceglieva i mercenari di cui aveva bisogno per missioni specifiche, diventa gradualmente un piccolo gruppo. Le sue dimensioni diminuiscono, a mano a mano che viene strutturato.

Il 6 marzo 2004, il nuovo leader del LIFG, Abdelhakim Belhadj, che ha combattuto in Afghanistan al fianco di Usama bin Ladin [2] e in Iraq, vien arrestato in Malesia e poi trasferito in una prigione segreta della CIA, in Thailandia, dove è sottoposto al siero della verità e alla tortura. A seguito di un accordo tra gli Stati Uniti e la Libia, venne rispedito in Libia dove fu torturato da agenti inglesi, ma questa volta nella prigione di Abu Salim.

Il 26 giugno 2005, le agenzie di intelligence occidentali organizzano a Londra una riunione dei dissidenti libici. Formano la “Conferenza nazionale dell’opposizione libica” unendo tre fazioni islamiche: la Fratellanza mussulmana, la Confraternita dei Senoussi e il LIFG. Il loro manifesto fissa tre obiettivi:
- rovesciare Muammar Gheddafi;
- esercitare il potere per un anno (sotto la denominazione “Consiglio nazionale di transizione”);
- ripristinare la monarchia costituzionale nella sua forma del 1951 e rendere l’Islam la religione di Stato.

Nel luglio 2005, Abu al-Laith al-Liby riesce, contro ogni probabilità, a fuggire dal carcere di massima sicurezza di Bagram (Afghanistan) e a divenire uno dei leader di al-Qaida. Chiama i jihadisti del LIFG che non hanno ancora raggiunto al-Qaida in Iraq. I libici diventano la maggioranza dei kamikaze di al-Qaida in Iraq [3]. Nel febbraio 2007, al-Liby condusse un attacco spettacolare contro la base di Bagram, mentre il vicepresidente Dick Cheney si appresta a visitarla. Nel novembre 2007, Ayman al-Zawahiri e Abu al-Laith al-Liby annunciano la fusione del LIFG con al-Qaida.

Abu al-Laith al-Liby divenne il vice di Ayman al-Zawahiri, e a tal titolo il numero 2 di al-Qaida, in quanto non si avevano notizie di Usama bin Ladin. Fu ucciso da un drone della CIA in Waziristan, alla fine del gennaio 2008. Durante il periodo 2008-2010, Saif al-Islam Gheddafi negoziò una tregua tra i libici e il LIFG. Pubblicò un lungo documento, ’Gli studi riparatori’, in cui ammette di aver commesso un errore nel fare appello alla jihad contro i fratelli musulmani, in un paese musulmano. In tre ondate, tutti i membri di al-Qaida sono graziati e rilasciati alla sola condizione che rinuncino per iscritto alla violenza. Su 1800 jihadisti, oltre un centinaio rifiutano l’accordo e preferiscono rimanere in carcere.

Dopo il suo rilascio, Abdelhakim Belhadj lascia la Libia e si trasferisce in Qatar.

Nei primi mesi del 2011, il principe Bandar Bin Sultan intraprende una serie di viaggi per rilanciare al-Qaida espandendone il reclutamento, fino ad ora quasi esclusivamente tra gli arabi, ai musulmani dell’Asia centrale e del sud-est. Uffici di reclutamento vengono aperti in Malesia [4]. Il miglior risultato si ottiene a Mazar-i-Sharif, dove più di 1.500 afgani vengono impegnati nella jihad in Libia, Siria e Yemen [5]. In poche settimane, al-Qaida, che era solo un piccolo gruppo moribondo, può allineare più di 10.000 uomini. Questo reclutamento è ancora più facile, poiché i jihadisti sono i mercenari più economici sul mercato.

Il 17 Febbraio 2011, la “Conferenza Nazionale dell’opposizione libica” organizza il “giorno della collera” a Bengasi, che segna l’inizio della guerra.

Il 23 febbraio l’Imam Abdelkarim al-Hasadi annuncia la creazione di un emirato islamico a Derna, la città più fondamentalista della Libia, da cui proviene la maggior parte dei kamikaze jihadisti di al-Qaida in Iraq.  Al-Hasadi è un membro di lunga data del LIFG, ed è stato torturato dagli statunitensi a Guantanamo [6]. Il burqa è obbligatorio e le punizioni corporali vengono ripristinate. L’emiro al-Hasidi organizza un proprio esercito, che nasce con alcune decine di jihadisti e che presto ne raggruppa più di mille.

Il Generale Carter Ham, comandante di Africom, incaricato di coordinare le operazioni alleate in Libia, ha espresso le sue preoccupazioni per la presenza tra i ribelli, che gli viene chiesto di difendere, di jihadisti di al-Qaida che hanno ucciso soldati statunitensi in Afghanistan e in Iraq. Fu sollevato dalla sua missione, che venne affidata alla NATO.

In tutta la Cirenaica “liberata”, gli uomini di al-Qaida diffondono il terrore, massacrano e torturano. Sono specializzati nel tagliare la gola ai gheddafisti, a cavare occhi e tagliare i seni delle donne impudiche. L’avvocato della Jamahiriya, Marcel Ceccaldi, accusa la NATO di “complicità in crimini di guerra”.

Il 1° maggio 2011, Barack Obama annuncia che ad Abbottabad (Pakistan), sei commando dei Navy Seal hanno eliminato Usama bin Ladin, di cui si era senza notizie credibili da quasi 10 anni. Questo annuncio permette di chiudere il dossier al-Qaida e di rinnovare il look dei jihadisti quali nuovi alleati degli Stati Uniti, come ai bei vecchi tempi delle guerre in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cecenia e Kosovo [7]. Il 6 agosto, tutti i sei membri del commando dei Navy Seal muoiono nella caduta del loro elicottero.

Abdelhakim Belhadj torna nel suo paese su un aereo militare del Qatar, all’inizio dell’intervento della NATO. Ha preso il comando degli uomini di al-Qaida nelle montagne del Jebel Nefusa. Secondo il figlio del generale Abdel Fattah Younis, è lui che ha sponsorizzando l’omicidio, il 28 luglio 2011, del suo vecchio nemico, che era diventato il capo militare del Consiglio di Transizione Nazionale. Dopo la caduta di Tripoli, Abdelhakim Belhadj apre le porte del carcere di Abu Salim, rilasciando gli ultimi jihadisti di al-Qaida che vi erano detenuti. Viene nominato governatore militare di Tripoli. Pretende le scuse dalla CIA e dall’MI6 per il trattamento che gli hanno inflitto in passato [8]. Il Consiglio nazionale di transizione l’incarica di addestrare l’esercito della nuova Libia.

Traduzione di Alessandro Lattanzio

[2] «Libya’s Powerful Islamist Leader», Babak Dehghanpisheh, The Daily Beast, 2 settembre 2011.

[3] «Ennemis de l’OTAN en Irak et en Afghanistan, alliés en Libye», Webster G. Tarpley, Réseau Voltaire, 21 maggio 2011.

[4] “La Contro-rivoluzione in Medio Oriente“, di Thierry Meyssan, Rete Voltaire, 11 maggio 2011.

[5] «CIA recruits 1,500 from Mazar-e-Sharif to fight in Libya», Azhar Masood, The Nation (Pakistan), 31 agosto, 2011.

[6] «Noi ribelli, islamici e tolleranti», reportage di Roberto Bongiorni, Il Sole 24 Ore, 22 marzo 2011.

[7] “Riflessioni sull’annuncio ufficiale della morte di Osama bin Laden“, Thierry Meyssan, Rete Voltaire, 4 maggio 2011.

[8] «Libyan commander demands apology over MI6 and CIA plot», Martin Chulov, Nick Hopkins e Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, 4 settembre 2011.

______________________________________

Fonte: http://africanarguments.org/2011/09/08/%E2%80%98whether-you-liked-him-or-not-gadaffi-used-to-fix-a-lot-of-holes%E2%80%99-tuareg-insurgencies-in-mali-and-niger-and-the-war-in-libya-%E2%80%93-by-frederic-deycard-and-yvan-guichaoua/

‘Whether you liked him or not, Gadaffi used to fix a lot of holes’ – Tuareg insurgencies in Mali and Niger and the war in Libya –

By Frédéric Deycard and Yvan Guichaoua

September 8, 2011

In the early days following the rise of the insurgency in Libya, it was widely reported that Col. Gaddafi was making an extensive use of foreign mercenaries to defend his regime. Tuaregs from Mali and Niger, and, more specifically, ex-rebels, featured prominently among those suspected to enlist behind the Guide of the Libyan Revolution. Clearly, sensationalising Col. Gaddafi’s recourse to mercenaries was part of the insurgents’ propaganda aiming at denying him any support among nationals. No reliable estimates of the size of Gaddafi’s mercenary troops have been circulated yet their use is acknowledged. That Tuaregs from Mali and Niger were among them is also true. In early March this year, elected representatives from northern Mali alarmingly reported that youths from their community were joining Gaddafi’s forces. At the same time, Aïr-Info, the well-informed newspaper based in Agadez,  Niger, signalled that potential young recruits were offered €400, a gun and ammunitions to join the front. As researchers studying the region for several years, we also gathered anecdotal evidence through personal ties confirming the above statements. However, reports diverge on whether recruitment was primarily organised from the top or resulted from spontaneous initiatives from below among well-connected would-be combatants.

Evidence on the magnitude of pro-Gaddafi’s mobilisation in Mali and Niger is uncertain. Several sources indicate that roughly 1,500 Tuareg fighters from these two countries have taken an active part in the six-month conflict. But most of them were actually already in Libya for several years when the rebellion kicked-off, whether being immigrants attracted by the economic perspectives of the oil-rich country or former rebels of Niger and Mali who had chosen to reside permanently in Libya after the failure of the implementation of the peace agreements in their country of origin. Those combatants had obtained rights to live and work in Libya and other privileges in the recent years. Hence, one important view we disagree with is that of Malian and Nigerien Tuareg recruits conforming to the archetypical image of ruthless mercenaries, whose loyalty is solely dependent on the immediate material rewards they extract. The profiles and behavioural logics of those among the Malian and Nigerien Tuaregs who supported Gaddafi’s counterinsurgency effort illustrate more the centrality of Gaddafi’s well-entrenched role in the political economy of the region than the alleged greed of its armed supporters. As a Nigerien ex-rebel pragmatically put to us in a recent interview: ‘Whether you liked him or not, Gaddafi used to fix a lot of holes’. And Tuaregs were not the sole beneficiaries. Here are some of those holes Gaddafi’s fixed since his coup, in 1969.

As soon as the early 1970s, severe droughts coupled with political marginalisation have affected the already scarce resources available for the Tuaregs of Northern Mali and Niger, forcing them into exile. Algeria and Libya, in part due to the presence of Tuareg populations on their soil, have become a destination of preference for this generation of youths in quest of employment.  Taking the route to Libya has never since ceased to be a defining moment in the life of the so-called ishumar (derived from the French ‘chômeurs’, the unemployed). Some of them have developed activities on both sides of the border, whether for seasonal employment or for informal, and sometimes illegal, trafficking (cigarettes, gas, and material goods among others). Those economic opportunities have permitted Northern Mali and Niger to survive difficulties through the financial and material flux allowed by the Libyan leader.

This intense cross-border activity had a strategic dimension, too. In the 1980s, as Gaddafi’s pan-Arab then pan-African projects expanded, his Islamic Legion trained militarily and sent hundreds of ishumar to various theaters of ‘anti-imperial’ struggle (mainly in Lebanon, then Chad). The expectation at the time in the ishumar ranks was that their newly acquired military credentials and Libyan support would help them start their own war of independence in Mali and Niger. But Gaddafi did not deliver the expected assistance. Poorly-equipped Tuareg rebellions were launched nonetheless in Mali and Niger in the early 1990s. Their vanguard was composed of fighters exiled in Libya who deserted the camps where they were kept on check. Low-intensity violence lasted almost a decade until Algeria and Libya intervened as peace-brokers. As the implementation of peace accords were dragging, Libyan authorities took critical measures to prevent the conflict from resuming. In Niger, they became a major sponsor of the UNDP-operated Programme of Peace Consolidation in the Aïr and the Azawak (PCPAA), designed to accommodate economically the low-level combatants of the rebellion. In 2005, in a move typically illustrating the patronage system locally established by Gaddafi, those among the rebels who showed reluctance to participate in the PCPAA were offered Libyan nationality and integration in the Libyan Army.

This only postponed the resumption of rebellion in Niger though: an insurgent movement, called the Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la Justice (MNJ), was launched again in 2007. It only lasted two years, after Gaddafi summoned the rebel leaders in Tripoli and coopted the most opportunistic among them, hence blowing up the fragile cohesion of the rebellion. At the same time, a camp financed by Libya was hastily erected near Agadez that any youth loosely connected to the rebellion could visit to receive $400 in cash: the price of a temporary return to calm that Nigerien authorities were happy not to pay. Unsurprisingly, in the recent months, prominent leaders of the MNJ have been said to activate their rebel networks in Niger to recruit fighters in support of the Guide. The same names, such as Aghali Alambo, now circulate as notables of the overthrown regime seek refuge in Niger.

Throughout the years, the ties between the Tuaregs and Gaddafi have grown stronger in multiple dimensions. Gaddafi’s Libya did play a stabilising political role for Mali and Niger through a series of favours it granted to Tuareg communities as well as central regimes. Gaddafi has been the banker of most political and relief campaign in critical times for those countries. As many Tuaregs now seem exposed to victimisation by supporters of the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya, the enlistment of Tuaregs from Mali and Niger into Gaddafi’s army of mercenaries resonates like a tragic bet stemming from the inertia of historical necessities. The losses incurred by those who chose the wrong side of the battelfield might exceed by far the losses incurred by those, in the West or elsewhere in Africa, who, after years of close compromise with the autocrat, swiftly jumped on the anti-Gaddafi’s bandwagon.

Most of the Tuareg combatants have now returned to Mali and Niger. They have most probably helped themselves substantially in the Libyan Army’s arms stockpiles and even managed to divert part of the weapons parachuted by France to help the NTC. The political dynamics this situation will engender in the already complex Saharan political context may be nefarious. Al Qaeda in Maghreb (AQIM) has established durable bases in Northern Mali and may benefit from complicity among criminalised state actors interested in the lucrative business of hostage-taking, as well as the massive cross-border trafficking activities the region has become infamous for. In the same way Gaddafi imposed himself as a munificent patron in the area, AQIM is now buying loyalties among locals, including Tuaregs, which have little to do with fundamentalist activism. At the same time, some Tuareg political leaders have repeatedly called for means to fight terrorism and insecurity in the form of forces placed under decentralised command, which they were denied. While Gaddafi never was a benevolent Samaritan toward the Saharan countries, he occupied a strategic position in the region’s subtle political interactions, a position now left empty at a time of high vulnerability.

By Frédéric Deycard (LAM) and Yvan Guichaoua (University of East Anglia, School of International Development)

Imperialismo militare e Wikileaks

CHE UNA FORMA DI RICOLONIZZAZIONE MONDIALE SIA IN ATTO E’ INNEGABILE, l’Imperialismo militare è il veicolo per eccellenza di interessi economici. Se dal secondo conflitto mondiale gli States non vincono più una guerra è perchè la vittoria non è l’obiettivo: nulla è conveniente quanto una ricostruzione permanente, con accesso diretto a luoghi strategici e di rifornimento risorse. Wikileaks spaventa perchè mette definitivamente a nudo questa realtà: di seguito uno dei risultati più eclatanti e, in fondo, parte della documentazione che riguarda uno dei facilitatori di questa politica: il nostro presidente del consiglio. QUESTO NON DEVE SCARICARE LE NOSTRE COSCIENZE che ci sia o meno un impegno che leghi noi e la Germania fino a remissione del debito per la liberazione dalla II GM (una probabile bufala che giustificherebbe tuttavia il nostro tradizionale assetto a 90° verso l’aquila a stelle e strisce) e che ci sia o meno questa “fedeltà” attestata da fonti diplomatiche, noi Cittadini non ne siamo meno responsabili!

Si fa un gran parlare (26/07/2010) del rapporto del Pentagono da cui risulterebbe che l’operazione in Afghanistan è da considerarsi un fallimento e che i vertici di Al Quaeda risiederebbero tranquillamente in Pakistan, il cui governo, a sua volta, finanzierebbe i Talebani.  Questa fuga di notizie da un report riservato è quantomeno sospetta, pensando alla  rottura tra Obama e i quadri militari, dopo la sfida e successivo defenastramento di Stan McChrystal. 

Ma è saltato fuori dell’altro:

Friday, July 23, 2010  

Even a small nuclear conflict could seriously undermine U.S. military capabilities by harming communication systems on which the armed forces increasingly depend to carry out operations, a Defense Department panel warned in a June report (see GSN, June 22, 2009).[http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/NWE-National-Enterprise.pdf] “Actions — both by others and of our own doing — are combining to create potentially tragic consequences on military operations involving the effects of nuclear weapons on the survivability of critical (military) systems,” Wired magazine yesterday quoted the report as saying. Nuclear-related dangers have received less attention from U.S. military brass following the collapse of the Soviet Union, asserts the report, prepared by a Joint Defense Science Board/Threat Reduction Advisory Committee Task Force. “Many of the post-Cold War generation of decision-makers simply do not have this issue on their ‘radar scope,’ while others pay little or no attention to it because they fail to see is as a legitimate concern,” the document states. Expertise on nuclear threats in the U.S. armed forces has undergone an “alarming atrophy,” the report’s authors warned. Contributors to the military’s growing vulnerability in this sphere include the belief that a nuclear strike is relatively unlikely to occur, along with the expense and difficulty of shielding systems against radiation and preparing soldiers to operate in the aftermath of a nuclear incident. Although the United States might no longer face “massive arsenal-exchange scenarios like those of the Cold War,” even a lower-level nuclear exchange remains a serious threat to military communication capabilities, the report states. In the 1960s, the durability of electronics was of greater concern to manufacturers because government agencies participated in 92 percent of semiconductor deals, according to the document. Today, though, only 5 percent of semiconductor contracts involve government buyers, it states. “Thus, instead of leading semiconductor technology development as they did in the early days of semiconductor products, the U.S. military systems now adapt what they can from leading-edge chips that target mainstream commercial applications,” the report says. The panel urged the military to reincorporate nuclear survivability into exercises; undertake relevant preparation of military personnel and future specialists; assess vulnerability of current equipment; and bolster its ability to conduct simulations and tests. To date, though, the Pentagon has done little to follow up on similar recommendations in an internal report from 2005, according to Wired (Olivia Koski, Wired, July 22).

Dei danni collaterali della guerra

http://boingboing.net/2010/04/05/wikileaks-video-of-u.html

Attraverso questo link si assiste ad una pagina cui va applicata la massima attenzione. Coloro che possano anche larvatamente pensare che sia questo il modo di importare democrazia in Irak, cosiccome in qualsiasi altro luogo al mondo, dovrebbero considerare attentamente foto, sequenze e video di questi “omicidi intelligenti”… degni di <<Syriana>>, ascoltando attentamente le parole.

Iraq: Wikileaks video of US military killing journalists

Xeni Jardin at 1:15 PM Monday, Apr 5, 2010

Update: A senior U.S. official is confirming authenticity of this video. See this subsequent Boing Boing post for additional background materials related to the attack.

Wikileaks claims to have obtained and decrypted video that shows US occupying forces in an Apache helicopter intentionally firing on a dozen civilians in Baghdad, including journalists working for the Reuters news organization: 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40.
The video is accompanied by audio of the pilots’ radio dialogue. No Pentagon response yet. Reuters has been attempting to obtain the video under Freedom of Information Act requests since the incident occurred in July, 2007, but the Pentagon blocked all requests. Reuters news editor-in-chief David Schlesinger says the video is “graphic evidence of the dangers involved in war journalism and the tragedies that can result”. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said Wikileaks had to break military encryption on the file to view it, and will not reveal how or from whom the file was obtained. The transcript (and audio) seem to show the air crew lying about encountering a firefight. When they finish shooting, they laugh at the dead.

Transcript, and related information at Wikileaks site Collateralmurder.com.
Video, and an interview with Wikileaks director Julien Assange, embedded after the jump. A footnote: CNN’s homepage right now, vs. Al Jazeera’s.
Related coverage: Al Jazeera, BBC. UK Guardian, New York Times.

Sharing secrets hurts… Extraordinary renditions

http://www.alphabetics.info/international/?cat=135

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Britain’s government on Wednesday disclosed once-secret information on the treatment of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who says he was tortured in U.S. custody, losing a long court battle to keep the material classified.  Judges rejected the government’s claim that revealing the information would damage U.S.-British intelligence cooperation.

The information disclosed is a seven-paragraph summary of U.S. intelligence information given to British spies about former detainee Binyam Mohamed’s treatment during interrogations by the Americans in May 2002.  The paragraphs say Mohamed was subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities,” including sleep deprivation, shackling and threats resulting in mental stress and suffering.  They conclude that the paragraphs given to the MI5 intelligence service, “made clear to anyone reading them that BM (Mohamed) was being subjected to the treatment that we have described and the effect upon him of that intentional treatment.”

British authorities have repeatedly denied complicity in torture.  “The wider point here is that we stand firmly against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. We don’t condone, collude in or solicit it,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s spokesman Simon Lewis told reporters following the decision.  Ethiopia-born Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and says he was tortured there and in Morocco before being flown to Guantanamo Bay. He was released without charge last year.

The Wednesday decision upholds an earlier High Court ruling ordering officials to make public the secret seven-paragraph summary of U.S. intelligence files. The Foreign Office appealed that ruling, but said Wednesday it would abide by the ruling and posted the paragraphs on its Web site.  Foreign Secretary David Miliband restated the government’s backing for the principle that “if a country shares intelligence with another, that country must agree before its intelligence is released.” The government had argued that releasing the information would make the U.S. reluctant to share intelligence in the future.

Miliband said he had spoken to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the judgment on Tuesday and they had “reaffirmed the importance of the U.S./U.K. intelligence relationship.”   The seven paragraphs, which come from an earlier court ruling, are a judge’s summary of a U.S. account of Mohamed’s treatment given to British intelligence before he was interviewed by a British MI5 agent in May 2002.  Mohamed’s lawyers had long claimed the secret paragraphs prove he was mistreated and that the U.S. and British governments were complicit in his abuse. They have been fighting for access to the documents, along with The Associated Press and other news organizations.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the rights group Liberty, said a “full and broad” public inquiry into British complicity in torture is needed in light of the information contained in the newly released paragraphs.  “It shows the British authorities knew far more than they let on about Binyam Mohamed and how he was tortured in U.S. custody,” she said. “It is clear from these seven paragraphs that our authorities knew very well what was happening to Mr. Mohamed. Our hands are very dirty indeed.”She said it is now evident that British authorities were complicit in the use of torture and benefited from it.

The case began in 2008 when Mohamed was facing a military trial at Guantanamo. His lawyers sued the British government for intelligence documents they said could prove that evidence against him had been gathered under torture.

Mohamed, 31, moved to Britain as a teenager. He was arrested as a terrorist suspect in 2002 in Karachi by Pakistani forces and later transferred to Morocco, Afghanistan and in 2004 to Guantanamo Bay.  He says he was tortured in Pakistan, and that interrogators in Morocco beat him, deprived him of sleep and sliced his genitals with a scalpel.  It isn’t clear which country the interrogators were from, but Mohamed has alleged the questions put to him could only have come from British intelligence agents.MI5 has said it did not know Mohamed was being tortured, or held in Morocco.

Mohamed was charged by the U.S. with plotting with al-Qaida to bomb American apartment buildings, but the charges were later dropped and in February 2009 he was sent back to Britain. That chain of events led to the lawsuit becoming a larger battle for access to information involving the AP, Guardian News and Media, the BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media organizations.

Mohamed is among seven former Guantanamo detainees suing the British government, accusing the security services of “aiding and abetting” their extraordinary rendition, unlawful imprisonment and torture.

Government officials insist Britain does not condone or participate in torture, but officials have avoided answering specific allegations that Britain participated indirectly by obtaining intelligence from suspects who had been tortured overseas, or sending agents to visit suspects who suffered mistreatment in foreign facilities.

JILL LAWLESS, Britain discloses secret data on terror prisoner, Associated Press, Feb. 10, 2010

The seven paragraphs

The following is quoted from the first judgment of the Divisional Court in the Binyam Mohamed case on 21 August 2008. We have alerted the Court to a typographic error available online UK Foreign Office

“The following seven paragraphs have been redacted

[It was reported that a new series of interviews was conducted by the United States authorities prior to 17 May 2001 as part of a new strategy designed by an expert interviewer.

v)  It was reported that at some stage during that further interview process by the United States authorities, BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation.  The effects of the sleep deprivation were carefully observed. 

vi) It was reported that combined with the sleep deprivation, threats and inducements were made to him.  His fears of being removed from United States custody and “disappearing” were played upon.

vii) It was reported that the stress brought about by these deliberate tactics was increased by him being shackled in his interviews 

viii) It was clear not only from the reports of the content of the interviews but also from the report that he was being kept under self-harm observation, that the inter views were having a marked effect upon him and causing him significant mental stress and suffering.

ix) We regret to have to conclude that the reports provide to the SyS made clear to anyone reading them that BM was being subjected to the treatment that we have described and the effect upon him of that intentional treatment.

x) The treatment reported, if had been administered on behalf of the United Kingdom, would clearly have been in breach of the undertakings given by the United Kingdom in 1972.  Although it is not necessary for us to categorise the treatment reported, it could readily be contended to be at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the United States authorities]“

Viewing cable 09ROME649, SCENESETTER FOR ITALIAN PM BERLUSCONI JUNE 15 

US founding father James Madison famously said: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” così, ispirato da questa massima Wikileaks ha diffuso conoscenza… anche di questo

Il paese utile dal premier utile
da Wikileaks (Scaricato nella prima settimana del Dicembre 2010)

ROME 00000649 001.6 OF 004

Classified By: Elizabeth L. Dibble, Charge d’Affaires, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary

1 (C/NF) Mr. President, your meeting with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi comes at a time when his closest advisors fear Italy is losing the credibility and influence that it enjoyed in Washington under the previous U.S. administration. In fact, while Italy has been a stalwart partner and participant in nearly every U.S.-led security operation around the world since the end of the Cold War, domestic political foibles and economic malaise are diluting its international influence. Italy continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Balkans, but its diplomatic, economic and military institutions, which the Berlusconi government and its predecessors have starved for resources, are sorely stretched. Berlusconi and his government have tried to compensate for Italy’s failure to invest in its instruments of national power by presenting Italy as a mediator and interlocutor with difficult actors on major international issues. This self-appointed role has sometimes complicated international efforts. On Iran, for example, Italy’s role under the previous government gave Tehran the impression that the international community was divided. More recently, GOI actions have provided a European platform for Russia’s efforts to challenge NATO security interests in Europe. Berlusconi will certainly present himself as the best hope for moderating Russian behavior and will seek a signal from you that he has a mandate to speak on the West’s behalf. He will also seek to use Italy’s G8 presidency to address issues far beyond the scope and effectiveness of the organization. We should discourage both instincts. Italy has an important voice in the Euro-Atlantic community, but its efforts have proven constructive only when undertaken in coordination with the U.S. and other key allies.

Berlusconi the Politician

2. (C/NF) Our relationship with Berlusconi is complex. He is vocally pro-American and has helped address our interests on many levels in a manner and to a degree that the previous government was unwilling or unable to do, since his return to power last spring as well as in his previous turns in government. In his first 90 days in office, he approved a controversial U.S. base expansion that had been halted by bureaucratic inaction and anti-American political opposition; eliminated caveats on Italian troops in Afghanistan; and allowed us to base two of three AFRICOM component commands in Italy. At the same time, he has criticized Missile Defense, NATO enlargement and support for Kosovo’s independence as American provocations of Russia. He claimed Russian PM Putin’s military push into Georgia in August 2008 was necessary to end the bloodshed of innocents caused by Georgian President Saakashvili. He displays an overweening self-confidence born of stable and strong political popularity that has made him deaf to dissenting opinion. The strict control he exercises over his government and party inhibits his staff from giving him unpleasant messages. His unorthodox governing style, coupled with his frequent verbal gaffes and high-profile scandals (including public bickering with his wife about his alleged philandering), have caused many, including some inside the U.S. government, to dismiss him as feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader.

3. (C/NF) His shortcomings notwithstanding, marginalizing Berlusconi would limit important cooperation with a key ally.  Berlusconi is one of Europe’s most enduring politicians whose popularity in Italy will guarantee that he will influence Italian politics for many years still to come. He has arrested the trend of weak, short-lived Italian governments that has plagued this country since the end of the Second World War. When successfully engaged, he has shown the willingness to adopt policies, however unpopular, in line with ours — including support for an expanded NATO role in Afghanistan and Turkey’s membership in the EU. When ignored, he seeks to carve out a visible, international, and frequently unhelpful role for himself. Dealing with Berlusconi, therefore, requires a careful balance of close coordination with him and his key advisors while avoiding giving the impression that he can speak on our behalf with many of the world’s difficult actors. 

4. (C/NF) Italy held elections for the European Parliament on June 6 and 7, which reaffirmed Berlusconi’s People of Liberty (PDL) party as Italy’s largest party, reaching 35 percent, well ahead of the main opposition Democratic Party’s 26 percent. While Berlusconi does not have a competitive rival in the center left, his party missed the 40 percent mark that it was aiming for, and witnessed the growth of xenophobic coalition ally Northern League (LN). PDL is a personality-driven party, whose members tell us that the ideology is little more than €œBerlusconismo.€ The missed target of 40 percent can be attributed to an over-ambitious Berlusconi, as well as the turnout-depressing effects of weeks of personal attacks by the center left in the runup to the election that included allegations of fiscal and sexual impropriety. An enduring result of the election will be the heightened competition between PDL and LN, who now dominate Italian politics. LN’s tough stands on security and against immigration have won broad approval, even as Berlusconi has tried to stem the flow of PDL voters to LN by descending to the anti-immigrant rhetoric usually favored by the Northern League. Additionally, after this mild electoral setback, we can expect Berlusconi to use his White House meeting and his hosting of the G8 to underscore to Italians the important figure he cuts on the world stage.

5. (C) Prudent (some would say stodgy) banking practices allowed Italy to avoid the global financial sector meltdown. Italy’s banks simply did not engage in sub-prime lending, and they did not buy the toxic assets that caused so much trouble in the U.S. and elsewhere. But Italy has not been able to avoid the pain of the worldwide recession that has followed the financial crisis. Italy’s economic growth rate — which was relatively low even before the crisis — has dropped precipitously owing to sharp contractions in its export markets and falling domestic demand. Unemployment is expected to exceed eight percent this year and to rise further in 2010. Government tax revenues are, not unexpectedly, off sharply. Italy’s already high level of government debt and the debt ceilings that come with EU membership significantly limit the government’s ability to provide fiscal stimulus for the economy.

G8

6. (C/NF) Berlusconi’s stewardship of his G8 Presidency has been marked by a proliferation of Ministerial and sub-ministerial meetings coupled with a last-minute change of summit venue from Sardinia to the earthquake-stricken city of L’Aquila that took even his Sherpa by surprise. He and his cabinet tend to regard Italy’s G8 year more as an opportunity to curry favor with G8 outsiders such as Egypt, Spain, and Libya than as a tool to address the world’s problems. However, his desire to prevent the G8 from taking a back seat to the G20 on his watch has driven an ambitious agenda that may make useful contributions on climate change, Africa, development, and food security. He will be eager to work with you to build a legacy of G8 deliverables that will bear the Italian label. The Major Economies Forum meeting during the G8 summit, which will include the leaders of 17-plus countries that emit over 80 percent of global emissions, will be an important chance to mobilize high-level consensus in the run-up to the December UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.

Guantanamo Detainees

7. (C/NF) Berlusconi welcomed your decision to close Guantanamo, and has publicly and repeatedly underscored Italy’s desire to support the move by taking detainees. FM Frattini recently outlined for AG Holder the efforts Italian officials have been making within the EU to negotiate a common EU framework that will open the door to individual country agreements with the U.S. While the junior partner in Berlusconi’s coalition opposes taking any detainees, Berlusconi has made it clear that he views this as a moral commitment to support the U.S.

Russia

8. (C/NF) Dependence on Russian energy, lucrative and frequently nontransparent business dealings between Italy and Russia, and a close, personal relationship between Berlusconi and Putin have distorted the PM’s view to the point that he believes much of the friction between the West and Russia has been caused by the U.S. and NATO. Berlusconi believes he, acting as a mediator, can restore a spirit of dialogue and cooperation between Europe, the U.S. and Russia, but largely on Russia’s terms, through indefinitely postponing NATO’s outreach to Ukraine and Georgia, diluting the EU’s efforts to promote democracy in Belarus, and undermining OSCE’s important role in promoting human and democratic values across the whole of Europe. Berlusconi has publicly proposed to mediate your relationship with Russian President Medvedev and is hoping you will give him a signal, however small, that he has your blessing to do so. Instead, you can let him know that we believe that issues of security that affect the transatlantic community should be addressed by the Alliance at large, and that the U.S. is not prepared to sacrifice values in exchange for short-term stability predicated on Russian promises of good behavior. And we will react — and expect others who share these values to do so as well — when Russia crosses a red-line, for instance in threatening the sovereignty of neighboring states.

Energy

9. (C/NF) Berlusconi’s close personal ties with Putin and the very strong corporate ties between Italian energy parastatal ENI and Russia’s Gazprom often put Italy squarely at odds with USG efforts to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy. For example, the Italian government is deeply ambivalent about energy projects that would help Europe diversify its energy imports, while at the same time it is supportive of other projects that would increase Europe’s Russian energy dependency. ENI, 30-percent owned by the Italian Government, often dictates GOI energy policy and uses its influence, through the GOI, to block EU energy market liberalization plans. Italy is taking some steps, however, in the right direction, by supporting energy projects that will diversify its own energy sources. It would be helpful if you could raise with Berlusconi long-standing USG concerns about European energy security, emphasizing that increasing the flow of Russian gas around Ukraine is not the same as a policy seeking a true diversity of energy sources, routes and technologies.

 10. (C) The Berlusconi Government is pursuing plans to bring back nuclear power to Italy. U.S.-based companies Westinghouse and GE face stiff competition from foreign rivals, particularly France, whose governments are heavily lobbying the GOI. A word to Berlusconi that the U.S. expects this to be a fair and transparent competition is critical if U.S. firms are to have a fair chance to bid for Italian nuclear energy projects

Iran

11. (C/NF) With Italy frustrated by its exclusion from the P5-plus-1 negotiating circle, Berlusconi will highlight Italy’s would-be role as an interlocutor between the West, Israel and Iran, claiming excellent relations with all parties involved. He may also push for the U.S. to drop the P5 1 framework altogether. Italian officials were thrilled by your commitment to embark upon direct diplomatic engagement with Iran, but cannot resist the impulse to try to be €œpresent at the creation.€ FM Frattini has worked strenuously to lock in high-level Iranian attendance at the June 26-27 Afghanistan-Pakistan Outreach meeting, hoping thereby to play host to the first U.S.-Iranian ministerial encounter in decades. 

Libya

12. (C/NF) Berlusconi has continued Italy’s policy of developing an expanded relationship with Libya, largely in order to stem the tide of irregular migration from Libyan shores, but also to gain advantageous access to Libya’s oil reserves for Italian firms, mainly ENI. As follow-up to the 2008 Libya-Italy Friendship Treaty — which committed Libya to sterner measures to deter irregular migrants from entering Italy from its shores, but also offered 5 billion USD in development assistance — Libyan leader Qadhafi will pay an historic first official visit to Rome June 10-12, just before Berlusconi’s Washington visit. As the current African Union President, Qadhafi will be at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila and we anticipate Berlusconi may lobby you to meet with the Libyan leader during your visit.

A Partner in Security

13. (C/NF) Berlusconi has maintained a significant military commitment in Afghanistan (2,600 troops, mostly in Italy’s Regional-Command West), but has dropped from fourth- to sixth-largest ISAF contributor as other countries like France and Canada have augmented their troop levels. At Stasbourg-Kehl, his government pledged modest increases to cover election security which, if made permanent, would put Italy back in the top tier of ISAF contributors. He has also  supported the creation of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan, doubling the number of Carabinieri police trainers to over 100. Italy has been an anemic contributor to international aid efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has cut overall foreign assistance by more than 60 percent in this year’s budget. However, Berlusconi knows this is a priority area for the U.S. and will likely respond positively if you press him to do more in the region.

14. (C) Our shared security interests with Italy go beyond Afghanistan. U.S. facilities in Italy provide unmatched freedom of action and are critical to our ability to project stability into the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa. We have 15,000 U.S. military on six Italian bases and these installations host some of our most advanced capabilities deployed outside the U.S. Our bases and activities out of Italy are not uniformly popular, but PM Berlusconi, in this government as in his last, has made preserving this security relationship a priority, and the GOI has invariably come through on our top requests, despite domestic political risks. The GOI has approved the expansion of our base at Vicenza to consolidate the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the deployment of the USAF Global Hawk UAV in Sicily, and the establishment of AFRICOM Army and Navy Component Commands on Italian soil. Italy’s leadership in other overseas missions helps us concentrate our forces on our top priorities. In addition to its troops in Afghanistan, Italy currently has 2,300 in the Balkans, 2,400 in Lebanon, and is the leading contributor to the NATO Training Mission in Iraq.

Conclusion

15. (C/NF) The robust U.S.-Italian relationship provides us with major national security benefits in our military missions overseas, our own power projection, and on a broad law enforcement agenda, but the Prime Minister is an erratic steward. It might be tempting to dismiss Berlusconi as a frivolous interlocutor, with his personal foibles, public gaffes and sometimes unpredictable policy judgment, but we believe this would be a mistake. Despite his faults, Berlusconi has been the touchstone of Italian politics for the last 15 years, and every indication is that he will be around for years to come. When we are able to successfully engage him in pursuit of our common objectives, he has proved an ally and friend to the United States. He respects and admires the U.S., and is eager to build a strong and successful relationship with you. DIBBLE