Baghdad Embassy: The Secret Logistics of America’s Global Deep State

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 10, 2019

Eric Zuesse

Why is America’s Baghdad Embassy the world’s largest embassy — and the largest by far?


“It’s as if the US Embassy is there not only to protect American interests, but to manage the entire world from the heart of the capital, Baghdad.”

— Iraqi Sheikh Qassim Al Ta’ee, as quoted on 27 December 2011 in Al Iraq News and translated by Ibrahim Zaidan from the original Arabic by Nicholas Dagher

Zaidan’s article went on to say:

The world’s largest embassy is situated in the Green Zone and fortified by three walls, another barrier of concrete slabs, followed by barbed wire fences and a wall of sandbags. It covers an area of 104 acres, six times larger than UN headquarters in New York and ten times larger than the new embassy Washington is building in Beijing – which is just 10 acres.

[EDITOR’S’ NOTE: THE TEN-ACRE US EMBASSY IN BEIJING IS THE SECOND LARGEST OVERSEAS CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN THE HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE — AND THE 104-ACRE US EMBASSY IN IRAQ IS THE LARGEST.]

So, America’s largest diplomatic mission is surrounded by high concrete walls, is painted in black, brown and grey and is completely isolated from its environment. … The United States announced several months ago that between diplomats and employees, its embassy would include 16,000 people after the pullout of US forces.

On January 1st, Will Sillitoe headlined at the Helsinki Times, “What does the US embassy in Baghdad export to Finland and dozens of other countries?” and he reported that:

More than a million kilograms of cargo were shipped from Baghdad to different parts of the world, reveals US embassies procurement documents.

Mysterious cargo shipments from the US Embassy in Baghdad to other American embassies and consulates around the world have been revealed on a Wikileaks’ database. Procurement orders of US embassies are public documents, but Wikileaks put them in a searchable database making it easier to analyse.

The database displaying worldwide US embassy orders of goods and services reveals Baghdad as a postal and shipping centre for tonnes of freight.

Though military freight might be expected between the US and Iraq, records show that embassies across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa are all receiving deliveries from Baghdad too.

According to Wikileaks’ database, orders to ship more than 540 tonnes of cargo to the US were made in May 2018. The same document shows other main delivery destinations included 120 tonnes of freight to Europe, and 24 tonnes to South Africa, South America and Central Africa respectively. …

On December 29th, Sillitoe had headlined “Guarded warehouse near airport and mysterious cargos from Baghdad; what is the US embassy in Helsinki up to?” and he opened:

Why does the US Embassy in Helsinki need a big warehouse near Malmi Airport and what are the contents of thousands of kilograms of cargo sent to Helsinki from Baghdad?

A dilapidated warehouse in Malmi is being used by the US Embassy for unknown operations after a Wikileaks release revealed its location.

The anonymous looking building on Takoraudantie is notable only for the new 427 meter perimeter fence that according to the Wikileaks’ database was ordered by the US Embassy in April 2018.

Situated across the street from the main entrance of Malmi Airport, the warehouse with its 3 meter high security fence appears an unlikely location for official embassy business. Neighbouring companies include a car yard and a tyre warehouse.

Helsinki Times visited the perimeters this weekend. Security personnel, young Finns in uniforms with American flags on their arms, appeared nervous and suspicious when asked to comment on the warehouse. …

Strategically located US embassy complex in Helsinki and the newly built “Innovation Center”

Sillitoe closed that article by saying: “The searchable Wikileaks database and info about Finland related activities can be found HERE.”

That link leads to a “US Embassy Shopping List” of 24 separate documents, one of which is “RFP 191Z1018R0002 Mission Iraq Shipping Transportation Services”, dated “5/17/18.”

Item 2 there is “Packing of unaccompanied air baggage (UAB) – Throughout Iraq – US Embassy Baghdad, Baghdad International Zone, US Consulate General in Basrah, US Consulate General in Erbil, US Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, US Erbil Diplomatic Support Center (Note: under the specified unit of measure the US Government contemplates ‘per kilogram’ of gross weight in kilograms)”

The “Quantity Estimated” is “100,000” and the “Unit of Measure” is “kilogram.”

Item 7 is “Storage Services – Monthly Storage of containers – Throughout Iraq – US Embassy Baghdad, Baghdad International Zone, US Consulate General in Basrah, US Consulate General in Erbil, US Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, US Erbil Diplomatic Support Center.”

The “Quantity Estimated” is “100” and the “Unit of Measure” is “40’ Container.”

Item “Section B.5 Sub-CLIN:84E” is “From Republic of Iraq to Western European Countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City, Nicosia)”

The “Quantity Estimated” is “5,000” and the “Unit of Measure” is “kilogram.”

Item “Section B.5 Sub -CLIN:84 F” is “From Republic of Iraq to Eastern European Countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Kosovo)”

The “Quantity Estimated” is “5,000” and the “Unit of Measure” is “kilogram.”

By far the biggest categories for shipments are to the eastern US states: “From Republic of Iraq to the Unites [sp.] States Eastern Time-Zone – the following States: VT, ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, DC, NY, PA, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, WV, MI, OH, IN, KY, GA”

There are 11 such categories:

“Section B.5 Sub-CLIN:85A”

“Section B.5 Sub-CLIN:86A”

“Section B.6 Sub-CLIN:84A”

“Section B.6 Sub-CLIN:85A”

“Section B.6 Sub-CLIN:86A”

“Section B.7 Sub-CLIN:84A”

“Section B.7 Sub-CLIN:85A”

“Section B.7 Sub-CLIN:86A”

“Section B.8 Sub-CLIN:84A”

“Section B.8 Sub-CLIN:85A”

“Section B.8 Sub-CLIN:86A”

Each one of those eleven will receive 30,000 kilograms, under the contract.

In each of the eleven, the products will be going “From Republic of Iraq to the Unites [sp.] States Eastern Time-Zone – the following States: VT, ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NJ, DE, MD, DC, NY, PA, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, WV, MI, OH, IN, KY, GA”

That’s a total of 330,000 kilograms. That’s 727,525 pounds, or 364 tons, which are going from the world’s largest Embassy, America’s in Baghdad, to America’s eastern states.

In addition, around another 1,091,287 pounds are going from the Baghdad Embassy to other locations throughout the world.

The RFP, or Request For Proposal, informs its recipient that “The Contractor shall provide the services for the base period of the contract,” but “base period” isn’t defined in the RFP. However, the contract does specify that there shall be “a firm fixed unit price for any contract line item number in the Base Year,” and therefore the obligations under any contract will continue for at least one year, but possibly longer (if renewed). Furthermore, the “Type of Solicitation” here is not “Sealed Bid (IFB),” but instead “Negotiated (RFP),” which means that the US Government officials who are “Soliciting” these offers will choose whom to request to present an offer; and, if two or more recipients are being approached and make an offer, then the US official will select the winner that he or she prefers, and won’t be required to accept the lowest-priced one, but can instead take some sort of kickback, as long as there is no evidence of having done that. It can easily be arranged. Furthermore, private arrangements bond the two parties, even if the arrangement is just a one-time deal, because neither party will want the private arrangement to be made public, and if ever it does become public, then both parties will be revealed as guilty; it’ll hurt both parties. Moreover, since any contract may be renewed, the offeror of the contract, which is the Embassy employee, holds the power to affect that — the length of term, and everything that’s associated with it, will be controlled by the Embassy’s side, and not by the contractor’s side. And no matter how brief a contract-term might be, and no matter how many non-Americans might be signing any particular type of contract during any given period of years, none of the private parties will have any motive to make public any kickback. Consequently, there is every motive to keep these arrangements private; and the Embassy employee will always be the more powerful one in any private arrangement that is made with any contractor.

Prior RFPs are also online, for example this one from 16 November 2014. The annual amounts seem to be fairly stable.

On 10 October 2007, while the US Embassy in Iraq was still building, the Congressional Research Service issued to Congress their report, “US Embassy in Iraq”, and it said:

The US Ambassador to Iraq (currently Ambassador Ryan Crocker) has full authority for the American presence in Iraq with two exceptions: 1 — military and security matters which are under the authority of General Patraeus, the US Commander of the Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I), and 2 — staff working for international organizations. In areas where diplomacy, military, and/or security activities overlap, the Ambassador and the US Commander cooperate to provide co-equal authority regarding what is best for America and its interests in Iraq.

By “Patraeus” it meant David Petraeus. He was the person who designed the torture-system that was applied by his assistant James Steele and used in Iraq to extract from prisoners everything they knew about Saddam Hussein’s assistance to the 9/11 event. Petraeus subsequently became a regular participant in the annual meetings of the private and secretive Bilderberg group of representatives of the US and allied nations’ billionaires that constitute The West’s Deep State. Prior to that, Petraeus and Steele had organized and instituted in El Salvador that Government’s death-squads, to eradicate opponents of US control over that country.

The most corrupt parts of the US Government are usually in the military, because the entire Defense Department isn’t audited. It is instead financially an enormous dark hole, even to US Senators and Representatives, and even to the US President. Only members of the US Deep State might have an approximate idea of how much money is getting ‘lost’ in it. After all, the Deep State isn’t, at all, answerable to the public. Since it operates in secret, it can’t be. The consequences of the Deep State, however, can become public, and may contradict what is shown in publicly available documents and public statements, which have been circulated, to the public, by the press. In any nation where a Deep State rules, such contradictions, between public assertions and the actual outcomes, are so commonplace as hardly to be even news at all, if and when they appear, at all.

On 2 July 2017, the great investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva headlined “350 Flights Carry Weapons Diplomatic for Terrorists”, and provided documentation of the US CIA’s intricate global network, which secretly “sends $1 billion worth of weapons” through many countries to jihadists in Syria to take down Syria’s Government. Iraq was mentioned 6 times in the original publication of her article, and is mentioned 9 times in the 29 April 2018 updated version. That secret US supply of weapons to jihadist groups to overthrow Bashar al-Assad and his secular, non-sectarian, Baathist Party, is a secret operation, just like the US State Department’s Baghdad Embassy’s operations are, and that Embassy could even be this particular operation’s headquarters.

The 200-page, December 2017, study, “Weapons of the Islamic State: A three-year investigation”, by Conflict Armament Research Ltd., states in its Conclusion:

IS forces, like most non-state armed groups, acquire significant quantities of weapons and ammunition on the battlefield… Evidence presented in this report, however, confirms that many of the group’s weapons — and notably its ammunition — are newly manufactured, having been delivered to the region since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. These weapons originate in transfers made by external parties, including Saudi Arabia and the United States, to disparate Syrian opposition forces arrayed against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Here are just a few of the details that this passage in the summary was based upon and summarizing:

On pages 36-9:

CAR has documented and traced numerous weapon systems in service with IS forces. Many derive from shipments made to the US government, or to entities operating under US government contracts. The United States has acknowledged its support to Syrian opposition forces, orchestrated primarily through resupply from the territories of Jordan and Turkey.26 All of the shipments originated in EU Member States; in most cases, US retransfers (exports made after purchase by the United States) contravened clauses in end-user certificates (EUCs) issued by the United States to EU supplier governments. The United States signed these certificates prior to transfer, stated that it was the sole end user of the materiel, and committed not to retransfer the materiel without the supplier government’s prior consent. It did not notify the supplier states concerned before [violating that, and] retransferring the materiel. …

On 21 December 2016, Jaysh al-Nasr, a Syrian armed opposition faction active in the Hama Governorate of Syria, published a set of photographs of its fighters.29 In one of these, Jaysh al-Nasr fighters are operating a 9M111MB-1 ATGW30 bearing an identical lot number and a serial number (365) close in sequence to the one CAR documented (286) in Iraq, suggesting both were part of the same supply chain. …

In May 2015, Syrian YPG forces recovered a PG-7T 40 mm rocket from IS forces near Al Hasakah, Syria, where CAR documented it on 20 May 2015. The Government of Bulgaria confirmed that it exported the item to the US Department of the Army through the US company Kiesler Police Supply. The application for the export licence was accompanied by the original EUC issued by the US Department of the Army (with a non-re-export clause) as well as a delivery verification certificate. The item was exported on 23 June 2014.32 … CAR has yet to receive a reply to a trace request sent to the United States regarding these rockets.

Page 54 says:

Like the United States, Saudi Arabia has provided support to various factions in the Syrian conflict, including through the supply of weapons. Working with the Bulgarian authorities, CAR has traced numerous items deployed by IS forces to initial exports from Bulgaria to Saudi Arabia. These transfers were uniformly subject to non-retransfer clauses concluded between Saudi Arabia and the Government of Bulgaria prior to export. In this respect, onward retransfers by Saudi Arabia of these weapons contravene its commitments to the Government of Bulgaria not to re-export the materiel in question without Bulgaria’s prior consent.

Just like in the case of the Baghdad Embassy’s agreements with contractors, the powerful party in any contract will be the party whose side is paying (the buyer), and not the party whose side is supplying the service or goods (the seller). Money always rules.

The CAR report, which was issued just months after Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s report, was entirely consistent with, and largely overlapped, hers. The US and Saudi Governments were not only using Al Qaeda as their main proxy in southwestern Syria to lead the jihadist groups to overthrow Syria’s non-sectarian Government, but were also using ISIS in northeastern Syria as their main proxy forces there to overthrow Syria’s Government. After Russia’s entry into the war on 30 September 2015 on the side of Syria’s Government, America’s assistance to Al Qaeda in Syria (Al Nusra) continued in order to help replace that Government by one which would be controlled by the Sauds. And America’s assistance to ISIS was almost totally replaced then by its assistance to ethnocentric Syrian Kurds in the northeast as the Syrian Democratic Forces, which were fighting against both the Government and ISIS. Russia, of course, was against both Al Qaeda-led jihadists and against ISIS jihadists. (Turkey was against ethnocentric Kurds, because those people want to take a chunk out of four nations: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The CIA edited and written Wikipedia’s article on Kurdistan conveniently doesn’t even make note of that key fact.) So: America was using a complex combination in order to take over Syria for the Sauds ultimately to control. But Russia’s entry into Syria’s air-war on 30 September 2015 has overcome that U.S-led and Saudi financed combination against Syria.

Would any secret facility, anywhere in the world, be better situated to manage that operation, on America’s side, than America’s Baghdad Embassy?

So, the question then arises: who benefits from this enormous Embassy, and from the Deep State of which it is a part? The American public certainly do not.

Generally speaking, the people who get paid to promote endless wars, such as sellers of the constantly receding (propagandistic) “light at the end of the tunnel”, support continuing if not intensifying such wars. Typical is the neoconservative (in foreign affairs) and neoliberal (in domestic affairs) David Bradley, who controls and is the Chairman of Atlantic Media, which publishes the neocon-neolib The Atlantic, and many other public-affairs magazines and websites. His “Defense One” site posted, on 22 March 2018, from its Executive Editor, “The War in Iraq Isn’t Done. Commanders Explain Why and What’s Next”, and closed with “‘We need to be very careful about rushing to the exit, and secure this win,’ said the senior US military official. ‘This is a significant win.’” The “senior US military official” wasn’t identified, other than to say that he “spoke only on background.” But, of course, George W. Bush had already told the world all about this “win,” back in 2003. Salespeople just continue their pitches; it’s what they are paid to do, and so they never stop.

The annual military costs alone, for the US to keep being, as its propaganda euphemistically puts the matter, “policeman for the world” (such as, in the Syrian case, by means of those proxy boots-on-the-ground warriors, the jihadists, and the ethnocentrists among Syria’s Kurds) are actually sufficient, even on their own, to cause America’s soaring federal debt — and that’s not a benefit, but an extreme harm, to the public. Future generations of Americans will be paying the tab for this. And the costs for being “policeman for the world” are enormous. Even just militarily, they’re over a trillion dollars each and every year.

Though current US Defense Department budgets are around $700 billion annually, the United States is actually spending closer to $1.2 trillion annually on the military when all of the nation’s military spending (such as for military retirements, which are paid by the Treasury Department not by the Defense Department) are factored in. The only people who benefit from being “policeman for the world” are the billionaires of the US and (though to only a lesser extent) of its allied countries. And, of course, they pay their lobbyists and propagandists. It’s really being policeman for those billionaires, who own and control all of the international corporations that are headquartered in this alliance. The US public isn’t paying the tab by any cash-and-carry basis; instead, future generations of Americans will be paying the tab, for today’s US-and-allied billionaires. Those billionaires today are the chief beneficiaries. It’s all being done for them and their retinues. That’s why America’s Founders didn’t want there to be any “standing army” at all. They didn’t want there to be any permanent-war government. They wanted military only for national defense — not for any billionaires’ protection or ‘insurance policy’, or what might actually be publicly paid and armed thugs in service abroad as if they were the nation’s armed forces — when, in fact, they are the armed forces for only those billionaires and their servants. America’s Founders wanted no military at all that serves the aristocracy. They wanted no aristocracy, at all. They wanted no “standing army” whatsoever. They wanted only a military that protects the public, when a real military danger, from abroad, to the domestic public, exists. Of course, that’s possible only in a democracy, but the US is no democracy now, even if it might have been in the past.

On 11 December 2017, Montana State University headlined “MSU SCHOLARS FIND $21 TRILLION IN UNAUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT SPENDING; DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT FIRST-EVER AUDIT”, but the Pentagon’s promised audit has failed to materialize. A major accounting firm was hired for the task but soon quit, saying that the Defense Department’s books were too incomplete to proceed further. Three days before that article was published, a colleague of that MSU team headlined at Forbes”Has Our Government Spent $21 Trillion Of Our Money Without Telling Us?” and said that the answer was yes. All of this ‘lost’ money was spent merely by the Department of Defense. Just managing the more-than-a-thousand US military bases worldwide requires a lot of money. Any actual war-fighting adds to that US military-base cost — the war-fighting costs are extra. Those military bases etc. are the “standing army.” Protection of our billionaires’ investments abroad, and of their access to raw materials in underdeveloped countries (such as to manufacture cellphones), is an enormously expensive operation. Basically, the American public are hugely subsidizing America’s billionaires. But only future generations of Americans will be paying that debt — plus, of course, the accumulated interest on it.

The Department of Defense isn’t the only federal Department that has ever been unauditable. On 18 June 2013, Luke Johnson and Ryan Grim at Huffington Post bannered “GAO Cannot Audit Federal Government, Cites Department Of Defense Problems” and opened: “The Government Accountability Office said Thursday that it could not complete an audit of the federal government, pointing to serious problems with the Department of Defense. Along with the Pentagon, the GAO cited the Department of Homeland Security as having problems so significant that it was impossible for investigators to audit it. The DHS got a qualified audit for fiscal year 2012, and is seeking an unqualified audit for 2013.” However, on 17 November 2014, the Washington Post headlined “Homeland Security earns clean audit two years running”, and Jerry Markon reported that, “For the second straight year, the Department of Homeland Security has achieved a much sought-after clean audit of its financial statements by an independent auditor.” Furthermore: “for nearly all of its first decade of existence, DHS was unable to achieve a clean audit because it had been created by combining 22 federal agencies and components into one massive department. That led to inherent challenges.” That wasn’t the situation at the Defense Department, which was far different. On 8 December 2017, NPR headlined “Pentagon Announces First-Ever Audit Of The Department Of Defense”, and opened: “‘The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history,’ the Pentagon’s news service says.” However, almost as soon as the auditing team began their work, they quit it, because the Department’s books were garbage. Only the DOD is like that — almost entirely corrupt.

On 2 October 2018, Project Censored headlined “$21 Trillion in Unaccounted-for Government Spending from 1998 to 2015”. However, it falsified. It opened: “Two federal government agencies, the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), may have accumulated as much as $21 trillion in undocumented expenses between 1998 and 2015.” None of that was actually HUD, it was 100% DOD. And all of “the alleged irregularities in DoD and HUD spending” were not merely “alleged,” but they were, in fact, carefully checked and repeatedly verified, and were only at DOD, despite what Project Censored published. This inaccuracy is important. If people don’t know that DOD is the only unaudited federal Department, then they can’t possibly understand why that is the case. The reason it is the case, is that almost all of the “waste, fraud, and abuse” in the US federal government is at the Defense Department. It has never been auditable. How much do America’s ‘news’-media report this reality?

DOD is consistently, year after year, and decade after decade, the federal Department or federal or local governmental function, that Gallup’s polling has shown to be more respected by the US public than is any other. (It’s identified there as “The military”. It beats, for examples: “The Supreme Court,” “Congress,” “The public schools,” “The presidency,” “The police,” and “The criminal justice system.”) The most corrupt isn’t the most despised; it is the opposite — it is the most respected.

Secret government tends to be costly for taxpayers, and also tends to add a lot to the governmental debt. An unauditable governmental department, such as the Defense Department is, cannot function, at all, without an enormous amount of corruption. This is the reality about America’s military. However, there’s much propaganda contradicting it. The news-media also serve those same billionaires.

How likely, then, is it, that America’s Baghdad Embassy serves the US public? It certainly does not serve the Iraqi public. But it does serve the people — whomever they are — who control the US Government. And that’s the Deep State. That’s the reality, but what’s promoted is fantasyland. And this fantasyland, which is promoted, is called “American democracy”.

RELATED

Further Proof: U.S., UK, & France Committed War-Crime on 14 April 2018

December 29, 2019

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

U.S., UK, and French ‘news’-media hide the fact, but it is now incontestably a fact, that they committed an international war-crime on 14 April 2018. The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) does everything they can to hide this fact. Therefore, starting with the latest, and then proceeding in chronological order, with the earliest and then the subsequent ones that had been issued prior to that latest one, here are the real and verified news-reports which have been published (none in the mainstream press), proving both this international war-crime, and the OPCW’s hiding of it:

https://www.rt.com/news/476965-opcw-wikileaks-leak-douma/

“Senior OPCW official ordered deletion of ‘all traces’ of dissenting report on ‘Douma chemical attack’ – WikiLeaks’ new leak”

F. 27 December 2019

The leadership of the chemical weapons watchdog [OPCW] took efforts to remove the paper trail of a dissenting report from Douma, Syria which pointed to a possible false flag operation there, leaked documents indicate.

In an internal email published by the transparency website WikiLeaks on Friday [see it here], a senior official [Chief of Cabinet] from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) ordered that the document be removed from the organization’s Documents Registry Archive and to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever.”

WikiLeaks@wikileaks

Email from the Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW, demanding deletion of dissenting engineering assessment: “Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive]… And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA”https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/#OPCW-DOUMA%20-%20Release%20Part%204 …

9:30 AM – Dec 27, 2019

The document in question [here ordered deleted] is a technical assessment written by [the chief] inspector Ian Henderson after a fact-finding mission [by Henderson] to Douma, a suburb of Damascus, in the wake of an alleged chlorine gas attack. Western politicians and media said at the time that the government forces had dropped two gas cylinders [on Douma] as part of an offensive against jihadist forces, killing scores of civilians.

The OPCW inspector [Henderson] said evidence on the ground contradicted the airdropping scenario [which had falsely implicated Syria’s Government as having dropped both from a plane] and that the cylinders could [and this was actually the only alternative scenario proposed] have been placed [there] by hand. Considering that the area was under the control of anti-government forces, the memo lands [RT meant “lends”] credence to the theory that the jihadists had staged the scene [in order] to prompt Western nations to attack their [the jihadists’] opponents [Syria’s Government forces, which the U.S., UK, and France, missile-attacked on 14 April 2018, in alleged retaliation for the alleged Syrian Government gas-attack].

The final report of the watchdog [the OPCW] all but confirmed that Damascus was behind the incident, but in the past months an increasing amount of leaked documents and whistleblower testimonies have emerged, pointing to [the alleged chemical-weapon event’s having been] a possible fabrication. The OPCW leadership stands accused [now is actually proven in this leaked document from the OPCW’s Chief of Cabinet] of withholding opinions [by the OPCW’s on-the-ground expert investigators] contravening the West-favored [actually its only] narrative and using misleading language to report what the inspectors [had] found on the ground.

ALSO ON RT.COM

New leaks provide further evidence that OPCW suppressed & altered findings on Douma ‘chemical attack’

https://www.rt.com/news/475926-opcw-leaks-report-syria-chemical/

15 December 2019

“A new cache of internal documents [from Wikileaks] reveal that members of the OPCW team tasked with probing the Douma “chemical attack” protested the organization’s final report on the incident, which they said misrepresented their conclusions. In a memo addressed to OPCW Director General Fernando Arias, one scientist who participated in the OPCW’s fact finding mission (FFM) wrote that there are “about 20 inspectors who have expressed concern” over how the OPCW presented its findings on the alleged Syrian chemical attack. According to the memorandum, the organization’s final report does not reflect the FFM’s findings, presented in their interim report, which is also part of the new document dump.”

The alleged [here RT.com is insinuating that Wikileaks could be releasing here a faked] email was written by Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW. Its authenticity is yet to be confirmed, but the organization never said any of the previously leaked documents were not real. [RT.com is here alleging that Wikileaks’s publication of a document does not, in itself, constitute an official allegation by Wikileaks that the document is, in Wikileaks’s opinion, authentic — a bizarre and undocumented allegation by RT.com, asserting that Wikilweaks is untrustworthy. If RT considers Wikileaks untrustworthy, then isn’t RT obliged to provide some evidence of that?]

Another document published on Friday outlines a meeting with several toxicology experts and their opinions on whether symptoms shown and reported in alleged victims of the attack were consistent with a chlorine gas poisoning. “The experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure,” the document said, adding that the chief expert suggested that the event could have been “a propaganda exercise.” [The OPCW’s official published conclusion was that this event definitely wasn’t a sarin-gas attack but might possibly have been a chlorine gas attack. But now, Wikileaks has revealed that the OPCW’s technical experts, who had actually performed the investigation, said that it also wasn’t a chlorine gas attack, if there was, indeed, even any chemical-weapons attack there at all.]

The Douma incident in April 2018 spurred Western governments into action, with the US, the UK and France delivering a barrage of [105] missiles at what was dubbed chemical weapons sites in Syria days after [on April 14th]. This didn’t prevent the government from seizing control over the neighborhood, but put the reputations of the three governments [U.S., UK, and France] at stake. The OPCW report [now discredited by the OPCW’s own technical experts] gave credence to [i.e., alleged to have been possibly a reaction to an actual war-crime by Syria’s Government] the Western show of force. [In other words: RT here is trying to assert that the “credence to” those three Governments’ 14 April 2018 missile-attacks against Syria is in doubt — instead of having been disproven — because the OPCW’s management had trashed and rewritten their technical investigators’ reports about the on-site findings, which were that there was no evidence whatsoever that any gas-attack at all had occurred in Douma on 7 April 2018, and that if one had been done, then it hadn’t been done by Syria’s Government (i.e., by air-drop).]

ALSO ON RT.COM

‘Journalism is dying’: US govt ‘has its tentacles’ in every part of media, reporter who quit over ‘suppressed’ OPCW story warns

https://www.rt.com/news/475940-media-controlled-us-govt-newsweek/

15 December 2019

“Tareq Haddad announced his resignation from Newsweek last week, claiming that his editors had shot down his attempt to report on a leaked email which casts doubt on the OPCW’s findings regarding an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, in April 2018. … ‘The US government, in an ugly alliance with those [that] profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media — imposters, with ties to the US State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world. … Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.’”

“SUPPRESSED OPCW FINDING: War-Crime Likely Perpetrated by U.S. Against Syria on 14 April 2018”

Eric Zuesse, 19 May 2019

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UPDATE: On 4 June 2019, WashingtonsBlog headlined at Zero Hedge “Eminent American Scientist: Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Was STAGED” and Dr. Postol presented there a detailed analysis of who and how and why at the OPCW the report from their engineering team had been hidden from the public (prior to that team’s report having become leaked to the public on 13 May 2019 — and yet still suppressed by the press, just as Dr. Postol’s June 3rd report likely also will be).

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On May 13th, Tim Hayward of the Working Group on Syria made public on his website an utterly damning document that had been suspiciously excluded from the final investigative report by the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) regarding the U.S.-and-allied allegation that on 7 April 2018 the Syrian Government had sarin-attacked residents in its town of Douma and had killed a large number of non-combatants. Seven days after that alleged incident, the U.S. and two of its allies, UK and France, massively missile-invaded Syria on April 14th, in alleged international ‘response’ to that alleged national war-crime on the part of Syria’s Government. It now turns out that that alleged national war-crime was totally staged by America’s own proxy-soldiers, Islamic terrorists who were trying to overthrow Syria’s Government, and so the attack against Syria on 14 April 2018 by U.S., UK and France, constitutes an international war-crime, an unequivocal violation of the U.N.’s Charter.

This excluded finding by the OPCW is proof that “the US Government’s Interpretation of the Technical Intelligence It Gathered Prior to and After the August 21 Attack CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT”. That’s the way an independent detailed study by the two top U.S. experts had concluded their study of the U.N.’s evidence concerning the U.S.-and-allied allegations that there had been a 21 August 2013 sarin-attack by the Syrian Government against its town of East Ghouta. Their finding then was virtually identical regarding that U.S.-alleged sarin-use by Syria’s Government — identical to this recent OPCW finding. And that finding regarding the earlier ‘incident’ likewise was suppressed, instead of reported by the ‘news’-media. The two investigators in that earlier report, which was issued on 14 January 2014, were MIT’s Ted Postol and Richard Lloyd.

The clearest summary-report about the newer suppressed finding was “signed by Ian Henderson (an investigative team leader for the OPCW” and is best summarized by Kit Knightly’s May 14th “Leaked Report: Douma ‘Chemical Attack’ Likely Staged” at Off-Guardian.org (a terrific website of investigative journalism that exposes lies by mainstream ‘news’-media, such as Britain’s Guardian). As Knightly especially pointed out, that OPCW investigative team’s report to OPCW had concluded:

“In summary, observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest that there is a higher probability that both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being dropped.”

As we shall later show, that statement at the end of the OPCW team’s report, was a huge understatement: they had, in fact, proven that “both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations [by the anti-Government side, as a set-up to stage the event and blame it on the Government] rather than being dropped [by a plane, from the Government, as the U.S. alleged].”

So: that’s virtually a clone of the earlier Postol-Lloyd finding regarding the 13 August 2013 incident, except that, whereas the earlier incident was real and had been carried out by America’s Syrian proxy-forces (fanatic Islamists), this more recent ‘incident’ was (as now is clear not only from the latest revelation) entirely staged by the U.S.-and-allied side. It had not existed at all.

Obviously, if that finding is confirmed by an international tribunal not for internal war-crimes but for international war-crimes, then Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Emmanuel Macron, could be sentenced to prison, or worse, but is there any tribunal anywhere that could handle such cases? Almost certainly not. Leaders, such as those, stand above any law. And isn’t that the real problem here?

On 17 May 2019, Russia’s Tass news agency headlined “Militants preparing provocation with chemical weapons in Syria” and reported that, “Militants from Jebhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) are preparing a provocation to accuse Russian servicemen of using chemical weapons in Syria, the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides said on Friday [May 17th].” Jabhat al-Nusra is Syria’s branch of Al Qaeda, and U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts to overthrow the Syrian Government depended very heavily upon that organization to train the non-Kurdish proxy-forces that the U.S. regime and its press called ‘rebels’ instead of jihadists (which they actually were). The U.S. armed and protected al-Nusra.

Back on 13 February 2018, less than two months prior to the faked 7 April 2018 Douma chemical ‘attack’, Russia’s RT had headlined “Tip-off received on Al-Nusra, White Helmets plotting chemical weapons provocation in Syria – Moscow”, and reported that:

Russia’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria says it’s been warned that Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists brought in chlorine containers to a local village, where they aimed to work with the White Helmets to stage “a provocation.” … According to the source, on the afternoon of February 12, rebels from the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Nusra Front) terrorist organization brought three cars packed with more than 20 cylinders of chlorine along with personal protective equipment to Serakab. Additionally, according to the caller, representatives of the local branch of the White Helmets, wearing individual means of protection, conducted rehearsals of “giving first aid” to “local residents” who were supposedly suffering from poisoning.”

That appears to have been an accurate description of what the OPCW investigators found in Douma after the faked 7 April 2018 incident there. However U.S.-allied press didn’t report anything of the kind, neither before nor after that faked incident. The reality was suppressed instead of reported there. The latest suppressed finding by the OPCW is a repeat of that pattern.

Further indication of how clear the evidence actually is that the 7 April 2018 Douma incident was staged has been presented by the excruciatingly detailed May 12th document from the team of Paul McKeigue, David Miller, and Piers Robinson, headlined “Assessment by the engineering sub-team of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission investigating the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018”. It explains “that the cylinders were manually placed in position is ‘the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene’,” BECAUSE (and this is quoting now directly from paragraph 32 of the OPCW Engineer’s suppressed report of his team’s findings) “The dimensions, characteristics and appearance of the cylinders, and the surrounding scene of the incidents, were inconsistent with what would have been expected in the case of either cylinder being delivered from an aircraft. In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The full paragraph 32 opened by saying that “At this stage the FFM engineering sub-team cannot be certain that the cylinders at either location arrived there as a result of being dropped from an aircraft.” But when it went on to say “In each case the alternative hypothesis produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene,” that “alternative hypothesis” referred to the alternative to the cylinder’s “being dropped from a plane.” That “alternative hypothesis” refers to people on the ground having placed it there. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the event’s having been staged by people on the ground. That “alternative hypothesis” referred to the U.S. side’s proxy-forces — America’s ‘Syrian rebels’) having staged this event and filmed its alleged aftermath so that the U.S.-UK-led White Helmets could then feed it to the U.S.-and-allied ’news’-media so as to enrage their publics against Syria’s Government enough for those publics to think that the subsequent U.S.-and-allied bombing of Syria, On 14 April 2018, was a ‘humanitarian’ action.

The OPCW’s Engineering team stated there, very clearly, that the U.S.-and-allied allegations that those cylinders had been dropped from a plane or planes “CANNOT POSSIBLY BE CORRECT,” as Postol and Lloyd had previously said about the U.S.-and-allied alleged Syrian Government 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack against East Ghouta. This is a tactful way of saying that the U.S. and its allied regimes had lied about it.

Britain’s Daily Mail headlined on May 16th “Strange News from the OPCW”, and Peter Hitchens, at his blog there, reported that “I have received the following reply from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.” It said that, “the OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.” This had been an “unauthorized release”; no question was being raised as to the document’s authenticity.

Who will get the rope to hang Trump, May, and Macron? Of course, nobody. This is the type of world we are living in. Accountability and punishment are only downward, to the individuals below (and many of them are railroaded); credit and rewards are only upward, to the masters above; and so there is no ultimate downside for the people at the very top to perpetrate any crime. There really is no legal jeopardy for people in the positions of Trump, May, and Macron. Such people administer whatever laws actually apply to themselves. There is no accountability for such people, in our world. They are above the reach of any law. And their press say that they are a free press, and that their nation is a democracy. Has the term “democracy” now lost all significant meaning? Or is everything that’s important now, just propaganda, just lies? Is that what we should expect? How can democracy even function under such conditions? It obviously can’t.

The lengthy presentation and analysis of this Engineering report, that the group to which the document had been leaked issued, closed by saying “We thank the OPCW staff members who have communicated with us at considerable personal risk.” All of the decent people there must be terrified, much like a woman who has just been raped is. But this is on a much bigger scale.

“U.S., UK, & France, certainly committed an international war crime against Syria on 14 April 2018.”

Eric Zuesse, 6 November 2019

It is now clear that on 14 April 2018, the three Governments of U.S., UK, and France, fired over a hundred missiles against Syria, on no more ‘justification’ than staged videos that had been done by those regimes’ own proxy boots-on-the-ground fighters in Syria, who are trying to overthrow Syria’s existing, non-sectarian Government and replace it by a Sharia-law regime that would be selected by agents of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family. In other words: the fighters whom the U.S., UK, and France, had been arming and training, had themselves created this pretext of a faked ‘gas attack’ having been perpetrated against civilians, as an excuse in order for those three national regimes (which Governments are those jihadists’ own foreign supporters and backers — the real  international “Deep State” imposing the empire of which they themselves are already a part as the empire’s proxy boots-on-the-ground army) to, additionally and now directly, invade Syria, by means of over a hundred missiles against Syria, on that date: 14 April 2018. The U.S.-and-allied Deep State worked in conjunction with these jihadists in order to wage their war against Syria. This international war-crime, of “aggression” against a sovereign state — or, in common parlance, unprovoked aggression, for conquest — is now clear, and will be fully documented in the following news-report, providing the evidence for prosecution of those three Governments, in an appropriate forum:

On 27 October 2019, Caitlin Johnstone posted to Twitter a 2:18-long audio clip from the BBC World Service in which Jonathan Steele, who specializes in reporting on the Midddle East, reported that now a second whistleblower from within the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) (the U.N.-authorized agency to investigate possible chemical-weapons attacks) is alleging that the OPCW’s final report, regarding the alleged 7 April 2018 chemical attack against Douma Syria, had lied in some significant ways in order to avoid concluding that the ‘attack’ (which had been the excuse for the 14 April 2018 invasion) had been staged and never actually occurred. Johnstone then posted to the American Herald Tribune and other non-mainstream online news-media, an article “The USA’s History Of Controlling The OPCW To Promote Regime Change”, saying:

When the Courage Foundation and WikiLeaks published the findings of an interdisciplinary panel which received an extensive presentation from a whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation of an alleged 2018 chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria, it was left unclear (perhaps intentionally) whether this was the same whistleblower who leaked a dissenting Engineering Assessment to the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media this past May or a different one. Subsequent comments from British journalist Jonathan Steele assert that there are indeed two separate whistleblowers from within the OPCW’s Douma investigation, both of whom claim that their investigative findings differed widely from the final OPCW Douma report and were suppressed from the public by the organization.

The official final report aligned with the mainstream narrative promulgated by America’s political/media class that the Syrian government killed dozens of civilians in Douma using cylinders of chlorine gas dropped from the air, while the two whistleblowers found that this is unlikely to have been the case. The official report did not explicitly assign blame to Assad, but it said its findings were in alignment with a chlorine gas attack and included a ballistics report which strongly implied an air strike (opposition fighters in Syria have no air force). The whistleblowers dispute both of these conclusions.

CONCLUDING NOTE: If this sort of thing doesn’t make clear why the U.S. and UK regimes have, for over a decade, imprisoned Julian Assange without trial, and are now slowly murdering him, in solitary confinement, then what ever possibly could make these dictatorships clear?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Why Western Media Ignore OPCW Scandal

Image result for Why Western Media Ignore OPCW Scandal

December 20, 2019

The credibility of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is on the line after a series of devastating leaks from whistleblowers has shown that the UN body distorted an alleged CW incident in Syria in 2018. The distortion by the OPCW of the incident suggests that senior directors at the organization were pressured into doing so by Western governments.

This has grave implications because the United States, Britain and France launched over 100 air strikes against Syria following the CW incident near Damascus in April 2018. The Western powers rushed to blame the Syrian government forces, alleging the use of banned weapons against civilians. This was in spite of objections by Russia at the time and in spite of evidence from independent investigators that the CW incident was a provocation staged by anti-government militants.

Subsequent reports by the OPCW later in 2018 and 2019 distort the incident in such a way as to indict the Syrian government and retrospectively exculpate the Western powers over their “retaliatory” strikes.

However, the whistleblower site Wikileaks has released more internal communications provided by 20 OPCW experts who protest that senior officials at the organization’s headquarters in The Hague engaged in “doctoring” their field reports from Syria.

Copies of the doctored OPCW reports are seen to have suppressed important evidence casting doubt on the official Western narrative claiming that the Syrian government was to blame. That indicates the OPCW was engaged in a cover-up to retrospectively “justify” the air strikes by Western powers. This is a colossal scandal which implies the US, Britain and France wrongly attacked Syria and are therefore guilty of aggression. Yet, despite the gravity of the scandal, Western media have, by and large, ignored it. Indicating that these media are subordinated by their governments’ agenda on Syria, rather than exposing the truth as independent journalistic services.

An honorable exception is Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson who has given prominence to the scandal on US national TV. So too has veteran British journalist Peter Hitchens who has helped expose the debacle in the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Apart from those sources, the mainstream Western media have looked away. This is an astounding dereliction of journalistic duty to serve the public interest and to hold governments to account for abusing power.

Major American news outlets have been engrossed in the Trump impeachment case over his alleged abuse of power. But these same media have ignored an arguably far more serious abuse of power with regard to launching missiles on Syria over a falsehood. That says a lot about the warped priorities of such media.

However, their indifference to the OPCW scandal also reflects their culpability in fomenting the narrative blaming the Assad government, and thereby setting up the country for military strikes. In short, the corporate media are complicit in a deception and potentially a war crime against Syria. Therefore they ignore the OPCW scandal.

That illustrates how Western news media are not “independent” as they pompously claim but rather serve as propaganda channels to facilitate their governments’ agenda.

An enlightening case study was published by Tareq Haddad who quit from Newsweek recently because the editors censored his reports on the unfolding OPCW scandal. Haddad explained that he had important details to further expose the OPCW cover-up, but despite careful deliberation on the story he was inexplicably knocked back by senior editors at Newsweek who told him to drop it. There is more than a hint in Haddad’s insider-telling that senior staff at the publication are working as assets for Western intelligence agencies, and thus able to spike stories that make trouble for their governments.

Given the eerie silence among US, British and European media towards the OPCW scandal it is reasonable to posit that there is a systematic control over editorial policies about which stories to cover or not to. What else explains the blanket silence?

The scandal comes as Western powers are attempting to widen the powers of the OPCW for attributing blame in such incidents. Russia has objected to this move, saying it undermines the authority of the UN Security Council. Given the scandal over Syria, Russia is correct to challenge the credibility of the OPCW. The organization has become a tool for Western powers.

Russian envoy to the OPCW and ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin says that Moscow categorically objects to expanding the OPCW’s functions and its powers of attributing blame. The extension of powers is being recommended by the US, Britain and France – the three countries implicated in abusing the OPCW in Syria to justify air strikes against that country.

The Russian envoy added: “The OPCW’s attribution mechanism is a mandate imposed by the US and its allies, which has nothing to do with international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention’s provisions. Any steps in this direction are nothing more than meddling in the UN Security Council’s exclusive domain. We cannot accept this flagrant violation of international law.”

Thus, the OPCW – a UN body – is being turned into a rubber-stamp mechanism by Western powers to legalize their acts of aggression. And yet despite the mounting evidence of corruption and malfeasance, Western corporate media studiously ignore the matter. Is it any wonder these media are losing credibility? And, ironically, they have the gall to disdain other countries’ media as “controlled” or “influence operations”.The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Plea for the Liberation of Julian Assange. Response from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear Friends,

The plea which you kindly signed calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to use his moral influence to bring about liberation of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison was delivered to Lambeth Palace in London last November 29. On December 12, Lambeth Palace acknowledged reception of the letter in the attached message, which appears to be addressed to all the letter’s signatories.  

Elections held that same day leave scant hope for political intervention on behalf of Julian Assange.  This enforces our belief that this issue must be urgently addressed on purely moral and humanitarian grounds.  As Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has been entrusted by the Church of England with a moral authority which we invite him to exercise.  

On behalf of the Archbishop, the Lambeth Palace Correspondence Officer Dominic Goodall writes that: “For him not to speak out about an issue does not necessarily mean that it is not of concern to him, but the context and opportunity must be right if any intervention is to be effective.”

For our part, with due respect, we believe that the Christmas season provides an eminently appropriate “context” and “opportunity” for the Christian Church of England to demonstrate human kindness by speaking out on behalf of a political prisoner who is being treated more harshly than the worst of criminals. Julian Assange is fervently admired worldwide for his courageous commitment to speaking truth. His life is at stake, and also at stake is any remnant of the United Kingdom’s reputation as land of respect for individual rights and freedoms. The world watches and cares.

Dear signatories, 

If you care to follow up with your own message to Lambeth Palace, please note the addresses on the message below from Lambeth Palace.

Sincerely,

Diana Johnstone, Paris, France, diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

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Below is the message from Lambeth Palace

From: Lambeth Palace <contact@lambethpalace.org.uk>

Subject: 60053 Your letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Date: 12 December 2019 at 13:21:26 CET

To: “diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr”, “mnm@nachdenkseiten.de”

Dear Ms Johnstone and Mr Müller,

Thank you for your recent letter addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, for and on behalf of your other signatories. Much as he would like to, the Archbishop is unable to respond personally and in detail to all the emails and letters that he receives, so I have been asked to reply to you on his behalf.

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns in this matter, which have been noted. Archbishop Justin is often asked to make statements on a wide range of issues and many people write asking him to intervene in domestic and international matters.

Letters like your own just go to show that people are seeking to respond to the current uncertainties which is a constant encouragement to Archbishop Justin. He is grateful to you for writing and hopes that you will understand that it must be for him to decide when and about what subjects he raises in public. For him not to speak out about an issue does not necessarily mean that it is not of concern to him, but the context and opportunity must be right if any intervention is to be effective.

Nevertheless, thank you again for taking the time to write.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Goodall

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Reply to Lambeth Palace, 15 December 2019

Dear Mr Goodall,

Thank you for your reply to our recent letter[1] concerning Julian Assange. From your opening paragraph we assume that Archbishop Welby has read our letter, and we are passing your response on to the signatories of our letter.

Dear Archbishop Justin Welby,

The time to speak out about the treatment of Julian Assange by the British and the US Authorities seems quite urgently to be now. His health is deteriorating, as outlined in a recent open letter by 60 medical Doctors.[2]  On Friday 13 December, there was another technical hearing of the case, where it transpired that Julian Assange has not even been able to read key evidence against him in the case that has been prepared against him by the US for nearly ten years.  His court hearing is in just over two months. Such treatment goes contrary to the tradition of English rights initiated by the Magna Carta over 800 years ago.

Moreover, the result of the recent general election means that there will be a government with a huge majority including numerous Members who have publicly prejudiced Mr. Assange. There is no mercy to be expected from political authorities. This situation increases the urgency of calling on you to act as a higher moral authority. We ask you to share these thoughts with Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II.

It takes a high degree of courage to go against the mood of one’s own milieu.  But those who dare speak out in favour of the victim of a lynch mob gain a place of honour in history.  When the writer Emile Zola spoke out in defence of Captain Dreyfus, he was forced to seek asylum in London, but a century later his example is remembered as a shining beacon in the whole affair. You have shown that you are not shy to speak up on current affairs, when you spoke out on behalf of Britain’s Jews.

We are writing these lines from human beings to human beings on behalf of another human being in dire distress.

Whatever mistakes he may have made, like any human being, Julian Assange is fervently admired worldwide for his courageous commitment to speaking truth. His life is at stake, and also at stake is the United Kingdom’s reputation as land of respect for individual rights and freedoms. The world watches and cares.History will take note of what is done now.

Yours sincerely,

Moritz Müller, Skibbereen, Republic of Ireland. mnm@nachdenkseiten.de

Diana Johnstone, Paris, France. diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr

Notes

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Kzf9ivQSQ&feature=youtu.be

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/nov/25/julian-assanges-health-is-so-bad-he-could-die-in-prison-say-60-doctors

You can read the plea here.

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Featured image: Julian Assange court sketch, October 21, 2019, supplied by Julia Quenzler.

Who Spied on Julian Assange? – The Sheldon Adelson Connection

By Philip Giraldi

Source

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The Julian Assange drama drags on. Though he continues to sit in a top security British prison awaiting developments in his expected extradition to the United States, the Spanish High Court has been given permission to interview him. Assange is claiming that the Spanish company contracted with by the Ecuadorean government to do embassy security in London spied on him using both audio and video devices. The recordings apparently included conversations with Assange’s lawyers outlining his defense strategies, which is an illegal activity under Spanish law. The prosecution has also indicted the company director, former military officer David Morales, on associated criminal charges of bribing a government official and money laundering. Morales has said that he is innocent.

Aware that he might be monitored by the British government as well as by other interested parties, Assange would often meet his legal team using a white noise machine or in women’s bathrooms with the water running, but the firm, UC Global, anticipated that and planted devices capable of defeating the countermeasures. It planted microphones in the embassy fire extinguishing system as well as in numerous other places in the building. The recordings were reportedly streamed, undoubtedly encrypted, to another nearby location, referred to in the trade as a listening post. The streamed material was also reportedly transcribed and copied at the UC Global offices in Andalusia, but hard copies of the material were made as well on CDs and DVDs to be turned over directly to the client.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais, which has seen much of the evidence in the case, also mentioned how UC Global fixed the windows in the rooms actually being used by Assange so they would not vibrate, making it possible to use laser microphones from a nearby line of sight building to record what was being said. Presumably the listening post also served as the line-of-sight surveillance point.

The British government willingness to let the interview take place is apparently due in part to the Spanish judiciary’s claims that it has obtained an overwhelming amount of documentary and other evidence that demonstrates that Assange is basically telling the truth.

And there is inevitably more to the story. David Morales, who managed the project, reportedly returned from a trip to the United States and told colleagues that the UC Global would henceforth be doing some work “for the dark side” at “another league” level. According to the New York Times, which has examined the documents obtained by El Pais and accepted that they are authentic, “In the court filing, the prosecution asserts that Mr. Morales returned from a security fair in Las Vegas in 2015… He signed a contract with Las Vegas Sands, the casino and resort company of Sheldon Adelson, and the prosecution contends that Mr. Morales passed information about Mr. Assange to security officials at the company, saying it acted as a go-between with the C.I.A.”

Sheldon Adelson is, of course, the single largest source of funding for the Republican Party and is also widely regarded to be a confidant of the Israeli government and of Benjamin Netanyahu personally. UC Global subsequently worked for Adelson, including managing the security of his yacht whenever it was in the Mediterranean.

According to employees of UC Global, details of the Ecuadorean Embassy operation were tightly held inside the company. Morales would make secret trips to the United States once or twice every month and it was assumed that he was carrying material relating to the recordings, but UC Global staff were advised never to mention his travels to the Ecuadorean staff in the embassy.

The obvious candidate for spying on Assange would be, as both the Spanish government and the New York Times speculate, the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), as Washington intends to try Assange prior to locking him away for the rest of his life. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while director of C.I.A., once referred to Assange and WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service,” so one should have no illusions about what will be done to him if he ever arrives in the U.S.

In one instance cited by El Pais, the U.S. Embassy in London clearly knew what was discussed at a private meeting that had taken place in the Ecuadorean Embassy the day before. And if Washington truly wanted inside information it would have made sense from an espionage point of view to employ the very firm doing security for the embassy as one’s mechanism for doing the spying.

But the rest of the story as elaborated on by the New York Times doesn’t make sense. It is equally or possibly even more likely that the Ecuadorean government would want to know what Assange was up to since it was taking considerable heat from Washington and London to terminate his asylum so he could be arrested and extradited. The fact that Morales did not want the Ecuadoreans to know about his travels suggests that they already knew about the surveillance.What they did not know was that Morales was sharing the take with someone else.

And then there are the British themselves as possible initiators of the surveillance through some kind of arrangement with Morales. They would most definitely would like to know what was being planned in Assange’s defense and going through UC Global would be the easiest way to obtain the needed information.

One might point out that there is another obstacle to the C.I.A. “dunnit” speculation, which is that as a general rule Washington does not spy on London and London does not spy on Washington. As the two countries have been for decades major intelligence partners, it is a guideline that is, believe it or not, generally observed. The British would have noticed any attempt to set up an American listening post within line-of-sight of the Ecuadorean Embassy and it would have created a major rift between C.I.A. and MI6, which suggests that the British, Americans and Ecuadoreans might all have been spying on Assange and possibly even sharing the information.

And then there is the Adelson angle, which brings the Israelis into the mix. It appears to be true that Adelson’s casinos in China were venues used for targeting corrupt Chinese officials by the C.I.A. as far back as 2010, but it is not imaginable that today’s Agency would use the Las Vegas billionaire as a conduit for passing information and arranging payments to Morales. As one former Agency field officer commented, “This is not the way the C.I.A. constructs an operation, too many moving parts.”

If he were indeed a C.I.A. asset, Morales could have used a dead drop or passed his material directly to an Agency officer under cover in Spain before being paid directly for his services. The C.I.A. officer would also be able to monitor and direct the operation through the meetings as is usually the case, which would not be possible if the connection were through Las Vegas Sands security.

One might also add that using a trip to Las Vegas as a cut out to conceal espionage activity makes no sense at all, particularly as Morales would have to be crossing international borders carrying on him highly sensitive information that could come to the attention of security concerned about the frequency of his trips. Morales might indeed have believed that he was working for C.I.A. because that is what he was told by Adelson, but that could easily have been a lie.

It is also unimaginable that C.I.A. would use Adelson as he is recognized by the U.S. intelligence services as an Israeli government asset. His loyalty to the U.S. is questionable. He is famous for having said that he regretted serving in the U.S. Army in World War 2 and wishes he had served in the Israeli army instead. He wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the Israel Defense Force (IDF).”

That means that anything going through Adelson will wind up in Israel, which suggests that if Adelson is actually involved the whole exercise just might be an Israeli false flag operation pretending to be the C.I.A. Israel does not hate Assange with the fervor of the U.S. government but it certainly would consider him an enemy as he has had a tendency to expose sensitive material that governments would not like to make public. Israel would be particularly vulnerable to having its war crimes exposed, as was the case when WikiLeaks published the material revealing American crimes in Iraq provided by Chelsea Manning.

So, there is a choice when it comes to considering who might have commissioned the spying on Julian Assange, or it might even have been a combination of players. The sad part of the story is that even if David Morales is convicted in a Spanish court, sources in Britain believe the violation of Assange’s rights will have no impact on the move to extradite him to the United States. That will be decided narrowly based on the charge against him, which is exposing classified information, a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917. As the Espionage Act is infinitely elastic and as the preferred U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has a very high conviction rate, there is little doubt that Julian Assange will soon be on his way to the United States where he will undoubtedly be sentenced to life in prison.

National Interest: In 2006, Lebanese Leaders Aspired That «Israel» Would Defeat Hezbollah

By Staff, Agencies

In an article posted by the American magazine the National Interest, a number of classified documents leaked by Wikileaks revealed that during the 2006 “Israeli” war on Lebanon, the “Lebanese defense ministry and government cooperated and coordinated with the US government to curb the power of Hezbollah”.

Image result for ‫الياس المر حرب تموز‬‎

It further added that, “leaders from across the country’s confessions virtually aspired that ‘Israel’ would defeat Hezbollah”.

Based on the article, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt stated in a document dated July 17, 2006, that

Image result for Walid Jumblatt with feltman

“although March 14 must call for a cease-fire in public, it is hoping that ‘Israel’ continues its military operations until it destroys Hizballah’s [Hezbollah] military capabilities . . . Then the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces] can replace the ‘IDF’ [‘Israeli’ Occupation Forces] once a cease-fire is reached.”

It further added, a document dated August 7, 2006, revealed that Christian leaders meeting with then-Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman and Assistant Secretary Charles Welch argued that

“The Lebanese government will need to be in a position of strength to deal with Hizballah [Hezbollah] once the conflict is over . . . To this end, they would support a continuation of the ‘Israeli’ bombing campaign for a week or two if this were to diminish seriously Hizballah’s strength on the ground.”

Image result for ‫الياس المر حزب الله‬‎

الياس المر قدم النصح لاسرائيل لغزو لبنان وتدمير حزب الله

In the meantime, as revealed by a document dated August 8, 2006, then-Defense Minister Elias Murr, confident about a rapid LAF deployment, “stated clearly that the LAF was prepared to hit back at Hizballah if they attempted to fire at Israel or tried to draw Israeli fire by placing launchers near to LAF positions”, the National Interest article cited.

The article added that a document on the same day revealed that Murr

“claimed that LAF forces had stopped and seized a truck carrying Hezbollah missiles.”

These documents, according to the National Interest, show that the LAF did not cooperate with Hezbollah; rather it demonstrated the LAF’s indispensable and alternative force to stability and Hezbollah.

The article added,

“No sooner, the litmus test of the imperative need of the LAF took place in 2007 when a Salafi-jihadi organization Fath al-Islam took over the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared. Lacking equipment and ammunition, the LAF, despite its vigorous spirit, was virtually incapacitated”.

The National Interest gave credit to what it called “a swift American supply of weapons and ammunition” to the LAF which “prepared to storm the camp despite a warning from Hezbollah’s leader [His Eminence Sayyed] Hassan Nasrallah that the camp is a ‘red line’”. Following bloody pitched battles the LAF reclaimed the initiative against and defeated Fath al-Islam. The battle cost the LAF 166 soldiers and dozens wounded. This was the high price that the LAF had to pay.

The article concluded,

“Still, it was a price that elevated the LAF to a popular level beyond reproach or sectarian politicking. Since then, seeing the benefit of the LAF as a force against Al-Qaeda and its sister ‘jihadi’ organizations, Washington began to systematically equip the LAF with defensive weapons and train some of its officers”.

Image result for jeffrey feltman Elias Murr

Hundreds Attend London Meeting to Demand Freedom for Julian Assange

Global Research, December 02, 2019
World Socialist Web Site 30 November 2019

Hundreds packed the St Pancras New Church in Euston Thursday night for a meeting demanding freedom for imprisoned WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange.

The largest meeting held in London to date reflects growing opposition to plans by the US government to extradite and imprison Assange for exposing war crimes, illegal mass surveillance and state corruption.

Headlined “Free the Truth,” speakers included UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, former UK ambassador Craig Murray and veteran investigative journalist John Pilger.

An accompanying art exhibition featured paintings, drawings and sculpture, while the meeting opened with a piano recital of “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”—a favourite of Assange. The meeting was organised by academics Deepa Driver and Iain Munro, with the support of the Julian Assange Defence Committee.

Rap artist Lowkey began by quoting the words of jailed Chartist leader Ernest Jones:

“Because I tried to extend your liberties, mine were curtailed. Because I tried to rear the temple of freedom for you all, I was thrown into the cell of a felon’s jail… Because I tried to give voice to truth, I was condemned to silence.”

These words, Lowkey explained, were taken from an article by Karl Marx written in 1852 for the New York Herald Tribune. Marx was then a political refugee in London.

“Julian Assange is not being punished for anything he has done wrong. He is being punished for everything he has done right,” Lowkey said to applause. The brutal treatment of Assange was a “slow motion crucifixion… what they are trying to crucify is the truth.”

Condemning the mainstream media’s vilification of Assange, Lowkey said its journalists were just “stenographers.”

“Those who have joined in this demonization of Julian Assange are like turkeys voting for Christmas. How much profit did you generate off of Julian’s three million cables that WikiLeaks revealed?… Today Julian Assange, tomorrow you.”

Fidel Narvaez(image on the right), former Ecuadorian counsel at the Ecuadorian Embassy, said that Assange was “along with Chelsea Manning, the most important political prisoner in the world today.”

The allegations against Assange in Sweden had never been credible and the investigation had been “opened and shut more times than a fridge door.” Assange was being “denied the chance to adequately prepare his defence against the fiercest persecution of a journalist so far this century, which is a powerful reason to demand due process for Julian Assange.”

Narvaez said, “Julian’s case is also a precedent for the institution of political asylum, because he, along with Edward Snowden, was the most important political asylee in the world.” His treatment was an attack on a small country, Ecuador, by some of the most powerful nations in the world.

“Ecuador had every sovereign right to determine whether Julian Assange was being politically persecuted in 2012. In order to protect him from the odious persecution of a Grand Jury…that can open a secret investigation against you and indict you on secret charges that will only be revealed once you are arrested. That is what happened to Julian Assange this April.”

“This Grand Jury wants to sentence a journalist to 175 years in prison for publishing truthful information about war crimes,” he said. For years the world’s media had attacked the warnings made by Assange about the existence of a Grand Jury “as paranoia…an excuse to hide from Swedish justice.”

The United Nations had ruled that Assange was being subject to arbitrary detention and the UK should free him and provide compensation. Lenin Moreno’s government had “committed the crime of delivering a political refugee to those who persecuted him.” This had broken the “sacred principle of asylum.”

Lisa Longstaff (image on the left) from Women Against Rape addressed the meeting.

“The pursuit of Julian Assange is not about rape. It’s the US government weaponising and distorting rape in order to punish him for the WikiLeaks exposés of war crimes, rape and torture.”

“In 2010 and 2012, we pointed to the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange was being pursued. It’s unlike any other rape investigation we’ve seen anywhere… In his case the judicial process was corrupted from the beginning.”

“Evidence emerged that the UK ordered Sweden not to drop the case sooner,” Longstaff explained, “so it’s clearly politically motivated.”

Longstaff said,

“Rape and sexual allegations have been used to pursue a political agenda from the start, intent on actually hiding rape, hiding torture and hiding murder committed by the state. They are the rapists, they are the racists, they are the murderers.”

Professor Nils Melzer(image on the right) was given a prolonged standing ovation. He explained that his mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture was to report to states when their actions contravened international law. He had assumed that signatories to international law would “act in good faith.”

“In my investigation I found that this isn’t about the law…because if it was about the law, then Julian Assange would not be sitting in extradition detention, accused of espionage for having exposed serious misconduct on the part of states, including war crimes.”

Assange, he explained, would not have been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation for seeking and receiving political asylum, or had his asylum terminated and his citizenship withdrawn by Ecuador without explanation, or been portrayed as a suspected rapist by Sweden for more than nine years with no charges ever brought.

He would have been granted the right to prepare his defence and would not be detained in a high security prison, “under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance” and facing extradition for a political offence in contravention of UK law, “to a country where he will be exposed to a politicised trial, with secret evidence, behind closed doors, facing draconian punishments that is unlawful under US law and the First Amendment and sentencing to a supermax prison for the rest of his life.”

Assange’s persecution, he stressed, “is about setting an example, about scaring other journalists away, of instilling fear, preventing others from following the example of Julian Assange and of WikiLeaks, and to show to the world what happens when you expose the misconduct of the power of a state.”

During his May 9 visit with Assange at Belmarsh Prison, he had “found typical evidence of someone who has been exposed to a prolonged period of psychological torture,” Melzer explained. “Psychological torture is not ‘torture lite.’ Psychological torture aims to wreck and destroy the person’s personality and identity…to make them break.”

“We were able during our medical examination to confirm that this ill treatment had already had neurological consequences. If that is not stopped, it can end up having irreversible consequences on the cardiovascular system and the neurological system. This is extremely serious… Today I am extremely concerned for his life.”

Melzer had written to the UK, Sweden, the US and Ecuador to present his conclusions and ask them to take urgent measures to alleviate the pressure on Julian Assange and protect his human rights. All refused to do so:

“If they no longer engage with the institutions that they have created to report their compliance with human rights, then I only see a very dark future for us and our human rights and for the rights of our children.”

Clinical psychologist Lissa Johnson(image on the left) spoke on behalf of more than 60 medical doctors who have issued an open letter calling for Assange’s urgent transfer from Belmarsh Prison to a tertiary care hospital:

“If the UK government fails to heed their advice there will be very serious consequences, including that Julian Assange may die in prison.”

Johnson cited the findings of medical experts led by Nils Melzer who examined Assange inside Belmarsh on May 9:

“Julian does show signs typical for someone exposed for a prolonged time to psychological torture… the doctors know that is very serious physically for Julian’s life and survival.”

Pointing to the public’s response to worldwide media coverage of the doctors’ open letter, she observed,

“There’s a lot more public support for Julian than the media’s censorship and antagonism toward him suggests.”

“While institutions are failing us, while authorities are failing us, while the courts are failing us, here’s a group of people who took a matter of weeks to get this letter together. I think that’s where the pressure and the change is going to come.”

Former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray(image on the right), began his remarks by pointing to the meeting’s magnificent venue. At the rear of the church were monuments erected to honour those families—the Burnleys of Barbados, the Beale family of Canton, the Page family of Bombay—who gave funds to build the church and who were doubtless involved in the slavery and opium trade.

“This building is like the British Establishment itself—on the surface it is beautiful, solid and harmonious, but inside it is rotten and corrupt to the core,” he said.

“We are seeing illegality in the treatment of Julian Assange. The abuses of process by the British justice system throughout the last decade have been absolutely astonishing,” Murray recounted. “There is no legality, there is no justice.”

“It is not only that he is the victim of torture. It’s not only that his life is at stake. It is not only that we need to save him from this dreadful injustice. We also want to save him because the world needs Julian Assange as a symbol of resistance!”

Historian, author and journalistMark Curtis(image on the left) told the audience, “Julian has support all over the world.” He suggested actions that people could take to fight for Assange’s freedom, beginning with information available on the defend.wikileaks.org website. “Obviously there’s no point in relying on the establishment media, not unless you want to brainwash yourself.”

Curtis attacked the “propaganda tropes” employed by the media against Assange—that he is a “rapist,” a “Russian asset,” a “supporter of Trump”—singling out the Guardian’s November 2018 fabrication that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort had met Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy.

He called for mass pressure on human rights organisations to actively defend Assange, pointing to Amnesty International’s refusal to designate Assange a “prisoner of conscience.” He called on MPs to follow the lead of former Labour MP Chris Williamson who has campaigned publicly in Assange’s defence.

The audience gave a loud ovation for the twice-suspended Labour MP, who was present, and who quit the party this month after it refused to endorse him as candidate for Derby North. Curtis explained that just four MPs had signed an early day motion moved by Williamson in defence of Assange. (Neither Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn nor Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott signed that motion).

“These are the people who are meant to represent us and hold the executive to account. I know I’m confusing the UK with a democracy… In our system, which we clearly see in this case, the law has been stitched-up, the media is a platform for the elite and the political class is an appendage of the executive. That’s why we, as ordinary people, need to take action on these issues.”

He urged the audience to become involved in grassroots organisations such as the Julian Assange Defence Committee and to take part in events being organised in the weeks ahead, “culminating in a global day of protest in February when the extradition hearing will be held.”

The final speaker, Australian journalist John Pilger, told the audience he had visited Assange in Belmarsh Prison earlier that day. He described his visit with Julian and the draconian security regime inside the prison for visitors and inmates. A transcript of Pilger’s report is posted separately.

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