The Coming Two Coups: The Mysterious Zarrab Case, Mueller, Trump & Erdogan

Join Sibel Edmonds in this Newsbud exclusive for the most comprehensive analysis in the case of Reza Zarrab, the high-profile people closely involved- from President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Mukasey and Robert Mueller, to President Erdogan and major Turkish bankers, and the likely manipulation of the case with serious implications for two presidents. Anticipation is building from Turkey to the US about potential explosive revelations in this Zarrab case, which has been shrouded in mystery and filled with surprises.

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Show Notes

A Mysterious Case Involving Turkey, Iran, and Rudy Giuliani

Reza Zarrab: Erdogan’s Ticking Bomb

'Stealth' Turkish Businessman a No-Show for Trial This Month

Signs of Possible Guilty Plea in Turkish Gold Trader Case

Gold Trader Case Threatens Economic Fallout for Turkey

Erdogan Links Alleged in U.S. Documents Before Iran Trial

Turkey: Friend or Frenemy? A Tangled Relationship Keeps Getting Worse

Are US and Turkey Heading for a Divorce?

Turkey Issues Diplomatic Note to US Over Gold Trader Zarrab's Relocation without Notification

Messy Web of Ties, Some to Trump, in Turkish Mogul's Case

The Link Between a U.S. District Attorney Fired by Trump and the President of Turkey

Schumer, Bharara Being Probed for Alleged Ties to Failed Turkey Coup Cleric

Did the Feds Flip Turkish Businessman Reza Zarrab—and Could He Bring Down Michael

What Mueller's Org Chart Reveals About his Russia Probe

Turkey had to issue 2nd diplomatic note over jailed businessman Zarrab's whereabouts: minister

Newsbud Special Report- State Secrets: Sibel Edmonds Uncovers ‘The Untouchables’

Newsbud presents major new revelations by former FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds, known as the most classified and gagged person in US history, takes on the US Congress and the culprit media in one of the most significant and longest ongoing political/criminal cover-ups involving the FBI, a notorious political mob in Chicago, a well-known elected official and her convicted criminal spouse. Further, she renews her public call for joint testimony under oath before the US Congress. Do not miss this in-depth exposé shedding light on just how notoriously corrupt criminals are given immunity and untouchable status, not only by the US government, but also by the Deep-State collaborators- the US media.

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Show Notes

Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Gallery

Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?

Sibel Edmonds’ Under Oath Testimony

Sibel Edmonds’ Deposition: Transcript & Video

Chicago! Not the Musical, but the Action-Suspense Docudrama!

Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen Nabs George Bush PR Queen

Schakowsky is Most-Frequent Flier Among State's Congressional Delegation

Schakowsky: 23 Privately Funded Trips Since 2007

‘Kosher’ Schakowsky: Still AIPAC’s Number One Darling

Robert Creamer Visited Obama’s White House 340 Times

Why Did Vote-Rigging Robert Creamer Visit The White House Over 200 Times During The Obama Admin

Senior Democratic strategist resigns after video surfaces showing his staff planning to incite violence at Trump rallies and discussing paying mentally-ill people to disrupt GOP events 

FBI Raids, Concept Charter Schools, and Rahm

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s Husband Indicted

Rep. Schakowsky's Husband Charged

Bob Creamer: Truth, Justice ... and Fraud

An Inconvenient Patriot

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert accused of hiding sex abuse of former student

The People’s Campaign: The Real Hastert Case- All in One Place

Democracy Now: Sibel Edmonds & David Rose on Dennis Hastert

Why is FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Boiling over Former Speaker Hastert’s Plea Deal?

Did Foreign Governments Blackmail Denny Hastert?

Did You Know: The King of Madrasas Now Operates Over 100 Charter Schools in the US?

The Sanitized Gulen Coverage Continues…

Turkish Intel Chief Exposes CIA Operations via Islamic Group in Central Asia

BFP BREAKING NEWS: Boston Terror, CIA’s Graham Fuller & NATO-CIA Operation Gladio B-Caucasus & Central Asia

Graham E. Fuller: Where Were You on the Night of July 15?

Newsbud Report with Peter B. Collins- Episode #2

Did we just finish Mainstream Media Malpractice Week? We examine the media’s premature projection of Hillary Clinton as Democratic nominee. We report on the FBI’s expanding use of paid informants in “domestic terrorism” cases, like the recent convictions in Minneapolis; and the FBI’s push for expanded powers to monitor internet activity. We examine NY Gov. Cuomo’s order to punish supporters of boycotts of Israel, and journalist Max Blumenthal comments in our interview. In our Newsbud Exclusive, Prof. Filip Kovacevic reports on Russia’s plan to counter NATO expansion with its Alliance of Neutral States. We also cover Brazil’s deepening crisis, and the US role in the 2009 coup in Honduras.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Origins of UK-US Spy Collaboration

Peter B. Collins Presents Author Geoffrey Gilson

When his employer and friend Hugh Simmonds was found dead from "suicide” in 1988, Geoff Gilson was initially a suspect, as at least $7 million in trust funds had disappeared. To clear his name, and understand Simmonds’ suspicious death, Gilson began his own investigation into the murky world of British intelligence, the international arms trade, and kickbacks to the well-connected, including Margaret Thatcher’s do-nothing son, Mark. A rich cast of characters includes a spy named Reginald von Zugbach de Sugg, Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe, press baron and double agent Robert Maxwell, Mohammed and Dodi Fayed, Princess Diana, and the corrupt banks BCCI and BNL. Gilson ties his discoveries to the ongoing, robust collaboration between US and British intelligence agencies.

*Geoffrey Gilson is a former British lawyer who has spent 25 years trying to unravel the mysteries related to the death of Hugh Simmonds, recounted in his new book Maggie’s Hammer: How Investigating the Mysterious Death of My Friend Uncovered a Netherworld of Illegal Arms Deals, Political Slush Funds, High-level Corruption, and Britains’s 30-year Secret Role as America’s Hired Gun, published by Trine-Day. His website is MaggiesHammer.com by Dr. Paul.

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The Doctrine of ‘Superior People’: The Bond between Israel & World Zionism

The root problem is not genetic, it is collective political dementia

Introduction: The single greatest feat of Israel and its overseas missions has not been material success, or the military conquest of millions of unarmed Palestinians, it has been ideological – the widespread acceptance in the US of a doctrine that claims ‘Jews are a superior people’.

Apart from small extremist rightwing sects who exhibit visceral anti-Semitism and denigrate everything Jewish, there are very few academics and politicians willing to question this supremacist doctrine. On the contrary, there is an incurable tendency to advance oneself by accepting and embellishing on it.

For example, in August 2015, US Vice-President Joseph Biden attributed ‘special genius’ to Jews, slavish flattery that embarrassed even New York’s liberal Jewish intellectuals.

Israel’s dominant role in formulating US Middle East policy is largely a product of its success at recruiting, socializing and motivating overseas Jews to act as an organized force to intervene in US politics and push Israel’s agenda.

What motivates American Jews, who have been raised and educated in the US to serve Israel? After all, these are individuals who have prospered, achieved high status and occupy the highest positions of prestige and responsibility. Why would they parrot the policies of Israel and follow the dictates of Israeli leaders (a foreign regime), serving its violent colonial, racist agenda?

What binds a majority of highly educated and privileged Jews to the most rabidly rightwing Israeli regime in history – a relationship they actually celebrate?

What turns comfortable, prosperous American Jews into vindictive bullies, willing and able to blackmail, threaten and punish any dissident voices among their Gentile and Jewish compatriots who have dared to criticize Israel?

What prevents many intelligent, liberal and progressive Jews from openly questioning Israel’s agenda, and especially confronting the role of Zionist zealots who serve as Tel Aviv’s fifth column against the interest of the United States?

There are numerous historical and personal factors that can and should be taken into account to understand this phenomenon.

In this essay I am going to focus on one – the ideology that ‘Jews are a superior people’. The notion that Jews, either through some genetic, biologic, cultural, historical, familial and/or upbringing, have special qualities allowing them to achieve at a uniquely higher level than the ‘inferior’ non-Jews.

We will proceed by sketching the main outline of the Jewish supremacist ideology and then advance our critique.

We will conclude by evaluating the negative consequences of this ideology and propose a democratic alternative.

Jewish Supremacism

Exponents of Jewish Supremacism (JS) frequently cite the prestigious awards, worldly successes and high honors, which, they emphasize, have been disproportionately achieved by Jews.

The argument goes: While Jews represent less than 0.2% of the world population, they have produced 24% of the US Nobel prize winners; over 30% of Ivy League professors and students; and the majority of major US film, stage and TV producers.

They cite the ‘disproportionate number’ of scientists, leading doctors, lawyers and billionaires.

They cite past geniuses like, Einstein, Freud and Marx .

They point to the founders of the world’s great monotheistic religions – Moses and Abraham.

They lay claim to a unique learning tradition embedded in centuries of Talmudic scholarship.

Jewish supremacists never miss a chance to cite the ‘Jewish background’ of any highly accomplished contemporary public figures in the entertainment, publication, financial fields or any other sectors of life in the US.

Disproportionately great accomplishments by a disproportionate minority has become the mantra for heralding a self-styled ‘meritocratic elite’…. and for justifying its disproportionate wealth, power and privileges – and influence…

Challenging the Myths of Jewish Supremacists

There are serious problems regarding the claims of the Jewish Supremacists.

For centuries Jewish ‘wisdom’ was confined to textual exegesis of religious dogma - texts full of superstition and social control, as well as blind intolerance, and which produced neither reasoned arguments nor contributed to scientific and human advancement.

Jewish scholarship of note occurred among thinkers like Spinoza who revolted against the Jewish ghetto gatekeepers and rejected Jewish dogma.

Notable scientists emerged in the context of working and studying with non-Jews in non-Jewish institutions – the universities and centers of learning in the West. The majority of world-renowned Jewish scholars integrated and contributed to predominantly non-Jewish (Moslem and Christian) and secular institutions of higher learning.

Historically, highly talented individuals of Jewish origin succeeded by renouncing the constraints of everyday Jewish life, rabbinical overseers and Jewish institutions. Most contemporary prestigious scientists, including the frequently cited Nobel Prize winners, have little or nothing to do with Judaism! And their contributions have everything to do with the highly secular, integrated culture in which they prospered intellectually – despite expressions of crude anti-Semitism in the larger society.

Secondly , Jewish Supremacists persist in claiming ‘racial credit’ for the achievements of individuals who have publically renounced, denounced and distanced themselves from Judaism and have dismissed any notion of Israel as their spiritual homeland. Their universal prestige has prevented them from being labeled, apostate or ‘self-hating’. Albert Einstein, often cited by the Supremacists as the supreme example of ‘Jewish genius’, denounced Israel’s war crimes and showed disdain for any tribal identity. In their era, Marx and Trotsky, like the vast majority of emancipated European Jews, given the chance, became engaged in universalistic organizations, attacking the entire notion that Jews were a ‘special people’ chosen by divine authority (or by the latter-day Zionists).

Thirdly, Supremacists compile a very selective list of virtuous Jews, while omitting areas of life and activity where Jews have disproportionately played a negative and destructive role.

After all is it Jewish ‘genius’ that makes Israel a leading exporter of arms, high tech intrusive spy systems and sends military and paramilitary advisers and torturers to work with death squad regimes in Africa and Latin America?

Among the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are three Israeli Prime Ministers who waged wars of ethnic cleansing against millions of Palestinians and expanded racist ‘Jews only’ settlements throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. These include Menachem Begin (notorious career bomber and terrorist), Yitzhak Rabin (a militarist who was assassinated by an even more racist Jewish terrorist) and Shimon Peres. Among Jewish American Nobel ‘Peaceniks’ is Henry Kissinger who oversaw the brutal and illegal US war in Indo-China causing 4 million Vietnamese deaths;who wrote the ‘template for regime change’ by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Chilean President Allende and condemned Chile to decades of police state terror; and who supported Indonesia’s destruction of East Timor!

In other words, these Nobel recipients, who Supremacists cite as ‘examples of Jewish Supremacy’, have sown terror and injustice on countless captive peoples and nations – giving the Nobel Peace Prize a dubious distinction.

Among the greatest billion dollar swindlers in recent US history, we find a disproportionate percentage of American Jews – curiously not mentioned by the Supremacists in their usual litany: Bernard Madoff pillaged over $50 billion from his clients, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken and Marc Rich are well-known names adding the distinction of ‘Jewish genius’ to a list of financial mega-felons.

Among the less respectable notables whose material successes have been tarnished by personal weaknesses – we have the billionaire and pedophile pimp, Jeffry Epstein; IMF President, rapist and debaucher Dominic Strauss Kahn, entrepreneur and ‘nudist’ Dov Charney, New York Governor and ‘repeat customer’ Elliot Spitzer, Congressman and exhibitionist Anthony Weiner and the fun-loving sports impresario who brought down FIFA, the piratical Chuck Blazer. Curiously, none of these extraordinarily successful notables have been cited as examples of Jewish Supremacy.

As we contemplate the millions of war refugees driven from the Near East and North Africa, we should credit the role of US neo-liberal and neo-conservative ideologues and policymakers –a disproportionate percentage of whom are Jews. Millions of Chilean workers suffered as Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys ‘advised’ Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet on dismantling the welfare state (even if it required the murder of trade unionists!). Ayn Rand (Alyssa Rosenbaum) and her fanatical free market epigones have savaged all progressive social legislation and turned the most retrograde forms of selfishness into a religion of ‘superiority’!

The disastrous US war against Iraq was largely organized, promoted and justified by a disproportionate percentage of US Jews (Zionists), including leading policymakers in the Bush and Obama administration – Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, David Frum, Shulsky, Levey, Cohen, Rahm Emanuel etc… They continue to push for war against Iran and should be seen as the ‘godfathers’ of the tragedies of Iraq, Syria and Libya where millions have fled.

The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression was largely due to the financial policies of Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. The trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street by Ben Shalom Bernacke and Stanley Fischer, while Janet Yellen ignored the plight of millions of Americans who lost their homes because of mortgage foreclosures. In sum, Jewish Supremacists should proudly take credit for the American Jews who have been disproportionately responsible for the largest economic and foreign policy failures of the contemporary period – including the horrific suffering these have entailed!

Back in the more normal world of crime, Russian-Jewish mobsters dominate or share supremacy with the Italian Mafia in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and scores of cities in between. They display their unique genius at extortion and murder – knowing they can always find safe haven in the ‘Promised Land’!

On the cultural front, the finest Jewish writers, artists, musicians, scientists have emerged outside of Israel. A few may have immigrated to the Jewish state, but many other intellectuals and artists of note have chosen to leave Israel, repelled by the racist, intolerant and repressive apartheid state and society promoted by Jewish Supremacists.

Conclusion

The record provides no historical basis for the claims of Jewish Supremacists:

What has been cited as the disproportionate ‘Jewish genius’ turns out to be a two-edged sword - demonstrating the best and the worst.

Claiming a monopoly on high academic achievement must be expanded to owning up to the Jewish authors of the worst financial and foreign policy disasters – they too are ‘high achievers’.

Donations from financial billionaires, all ‘geniuses’, have financed the war crimes of the Israeli state and made possible the expansion of violent Jewish settlers throughout occupied Palestine – spreading misery and displacement for millions.

In fairness, the most notorious Jewish swindler in contemporary America was even-handed: ‘Bernie’ Madoff swindled Jews and Goys, Hollywood moguls and New York philanthropists – he wasn’t picky about who he fleeced.

The latest fashion among Jewish Supremacist ‘geneticists’ is to extoll the discovery of uniquely special ‘genes’ predisposing Jews to experience the ‘holocaust’ and even inherit the experience of suffering from long dead ancestors. Such ‘scientists’ should be careful. As Jazz artist and essayist, Gilad Altzmon wryly notes, ‘They will put the anti-Semites out of business’.

Ultimately, Jews, who have assimilated into the greater society or not, who inter-marry and who do not, are all products of the social system in which they live and (like everyone else) they are the makers of the roles they decide to play within it.

In the past, a uniquely disproportional percentage of Jews chose to fight for universal humanist values – rejecting the notion of a chosen people.

Today a disproportionate percentage of educated Jews have chosen to embrace an ‘ethno-religious’ Supremacist dogma, which binds them to an apartheid, militarist state and ideology ready to drag the world into a global war.

Never forget! Racialist supremacist doctrines led Germany down the blind ally of totalitarianism and world war, in which scores of millions perished.

Jews, especially young Jews, are increasingly repelled by Israel’s crimes against humanity. The next step for them (and for us) is to criticize, demystify and stand up to the toxic supremacist ideology linking the powerful domestic Zionist power configuration and its political clones with Israel.

The root problem is not genetic, it is collective political dementia: a demented ideology that claims a chosen elite can forever dominate and exploit the majority of American people. The time will come when the accumulated disasters will force the Americans people to push back, unmasking the elite and rejecting its supremacist doctrines. Let us hope that they will act with passion guided by reason.

# # # #

Professor James Petras, Boiling Frogs Post contributing analyst, is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. Dr. Petras received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. You can visit his website here.

Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: False Flags Over Turkey

Peter B. Collins Presents Sibel Edmonds

Sibel Edmonds provides details of the recent "terrorist event" in Suruc--which she suspects was staged. Edmonds is the FBI whistleblower who is editor/publisher of BoilingFrogsPost.com and this episode of Processing Distortion is being posted with no subscription required.

Edmonds was in the vicinity of Suruc at the time of the incident, and got advance tips that such an event was imminent. Since April, the Turkish military has been preparing for war, and after Suruc, President Erdogan made a deal with Obama to get more involved in the war in Syria. She gives us some critical information on the domestic problems in Turkey: weakening economy, the influx of refugees from Syria, etc. She also confirms that Israel has a number of installations along the Iran border in Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. Near the end of our chat, Edmonds talks about former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose recent indictment has disappeared from the news media, despite the media's failure to report the full story of Hastert's corruption.

*Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of Boiling Frogs Post, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed book Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a Political Spy Thriller. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist, fluent in four languages, and has an MA in public policy from George Mason University and a BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.

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Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins- Offshore Perspectives of Loony Tunes America

Peter B. Collins Presents Journalist Pepe Escobar

Inspired by the theme to Looney Toons, globetrotting reporter Pepe Escobar comments on the twin distractions from Donald Trump—America’s Berlusconi—and the Israeli-driven fight in Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement. Escobar was in Vienna for the talks, and reports that Russia is demanding that the US scuttle its plans for missile defense in Poland, since the imaginary threat from Iran has been deferred by the deal. And he notes that while those talks were winding up, Russia outflanked the US at a conference in Ufa, Bashkortostan where a new alliance was solidified between Russia, China and their BRICS allies.

*Pepe Escobar writes for Asia Times, Sputnik & RT.

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DisInfoWars with Tom Secker- How the Cold War became the War on Terror

This week I present a mini-documentary on the rise of the neocons in the 1970s and how they turned Cold War paranoia into War on Terror paranoia. I look at the people and organisations involved: Henry Jackson and the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Richard Pipes and Team B, the reformed Committee on the Present Danger and how this all ties in with the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism in 1979. After the conference, once the neocons had regained control of the White House, the CIA fully committed to the new 'threat from international terrorism' and began cooking the books on the numbers. The mini-documentary rounds off by show how the legacy of the 1970s neocon network still exists, and persists in propagating the politics of paranoia.

Source
Neoconservatism - The Biography of a Movement
Committee on the Present Danger - Wikispooks
CIA International Terrorism Reports
CIA Special National Intelligence Estimate 11/2-81

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DisInfoWars with Tom Secker- The Ideological Origins of the War on Terror

In the first of a three-part series I look into the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, where the ideology of the current War on Terror was conceived. I focus in on Benjamin Netanyahu, who hosted the conference and later wrote a book on all the major speeches and discussion. I round off by tracing the legacy of this conference via the example of the original Mohammed cartoons controversy in 2005.

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Who Spies for Israel in Washington’s Nuclear Negotiations?

Israel’s espionage, its dictates to the US Congress & its manipulation of Executive powers are harming America

Introduction: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (3/25/15) headlined: ‘Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Talks with the US”. The article goes on to detail the way in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the confidential information to sabotage the talks, including ‘playing them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy’.

The WSJ report of this incident tries to play down the serious implications of Israel’s espionage by claiming that Israeli spying of US diplomatic negotiations is ‘normal even among allies’; that ‘both sides do it’; that the US ‘tolerates’ Israeli spying; that the ‘Israelis have not directly spied on the US’ but use sympathetic US agents . . . and several other excuses for Israel’s behavior.

After having revealed Tel Aviv’s espionage - the WSJ dismisses the sabotage. Worse still, it makes no attempt to investigate who, among the highly-placed US government officials with direct access to the negotiations, has been spying for Israel. This essay attempts to address this question by identifying the most likely suspects.

We will proceed by describing the seriousness of the crime by noting the centrality of the US-Iran negotiations for US global politics and the enormous damage, which has resulted from Israel’s securing secret documents, reports and proceedings of the talks and having a highly placed agent among the US diplomats.

The Significance of the US-Iran Negotiations

The negotiations between the major powers (P5+1), composed of the five UN Security Council members plus Germany, led by the US, with Iran have proceeded for over two years. Israel is not part of the negotiating process-formally but indirectly its presence is substantial. For Washington the stakes are very high: securing a nuclear agreement with Iran in which Teheran submits to constant and pervasive ‘inspections’, and dismantles a substantial part of its nuclear program, certainly weakens Iran’s regional prestige and increases US influence in the region. Secondly, through the initial agreement, it is likely that Washington will move forward to deepen joint political activity with Iran in neighboring countries. Thirdly, Washington will use the agreement to isolate Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Yemen, from Iranian financial, military and diplomatic support. Fourthly, US multi-national oil corporations could gain access to the Iranian oil fields and exporters could access a huge consumer market of 70 million Iranian citizens. Fifthly, the agreement would lessen the danger that Israel would initiate a major war, which the Zionist power configuration in the US could quickly convert into a disastrous US regional war. Given the fact that the US-Afghan war has lasted 14 years, and counting, and cost over $1 trillion dollars, and that the Iraq invasion has far exceeded those costs and intensified over the past year, a US nuclear agreement with Iran would avoid a catastrophic, prolonged war designed to enhance Israeli dominance in the Middle East.

Israel’s Interest in Sabotaging the 5 + 1 Nuclear Negotiations

Israel knows that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program (as does Washington). The US government uses this as a pretext to secure political concessions from Iran, to degrade its regional influence, and to secure their support in policing the Middle East. In contrast, Israel seeks to destroy Iran’s capacity to support the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle.

Netanyahu and his Zionist supporters, in and out of the US government, seek to induce the US to increase economic sanctions in order to strangle the Iranian economy, to foment internal unrest and to set US-Iranian relations on a path toward a military confrontation.

Netanyahu launched a multi-prong attack on the negotiations. During the AIPAC meeting in March 2015 he ‘dictated the line’ to 10,000 fanatical Zionist followers. He made Iran and US negotiations the central focus of activity for the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, their billionaire donors and Washington operatives. Netanyahu told them that they must concentrate on degrading Iran, on turning Congress into a bastion for undermining any agreement reached via diplomatic negotiations.

Central to Netanyahu’s strategy is securing first hand, up to date, information (intelligence) on the negotiations, identifying the concessions which Iran is willing to make, the demands which they consider extreme and unlikely to accept, the points which might lead to a break-up of the negotiations and the position of the P5 + 1 participants which are closest to Israel. Netanyahu’s closest supporter is the Zionized-regime of French President Hollande and in particular Laurent Fabius, his Foreign Minister.

The sequence is as follows: American and Israeli spies, operating within the US government, pass intelligence to Netanyahu who sends directives to AIPAC which writes up resolutions for US Congress people which then transmit it through the mass media to the US public and to the White House which raises the issues, in part, to the negotiators the P 5 plus 1.

The question of timing is central, as the negotiations approach their deadline and the possibility of an agreement is advancing. The spies and sources, both among the US officials and among the European diplomats (mostly the French) involved in the negotiations, must intensify their undercover work for Israel.

Israeli Espionage Network in Washington: The Prime Suspects

The success or failure of Washington’s nuclear negotiations and the sustainable of any agreement depends on overcoming Netanyahu’s formidable army of supporters in the US Congress and his corporate allies in the mass media. The single most decisive aspect of the negotiations is maintaining the secrecy of the proceedings, especially with regard to the compromises that are inevitable in any historic agreement – especially Iran’s compromises. If Netanyahu has real-time intelligence, he can devise effective counter-moves to sabotage the agreement before it is announced.

While a score of Zionist-influenced think tanks and hundreds of full-time AIPAC functionaries have incredible ‘access’ to US officials, especially those involved in Middle East policy-making, the timeliness of information/ intelligence that Netanyahu needs can only be obtained from officials who are directly or closely involved in the current negotiations with Iran.

The likely criteria for identifying such agents among US diplomatic officials include (1) a long-standing history of strong pro-Israel activity and anti-Iranian animus; (2) extensive interactions and involvement with Israeli intelligence and foreign ministry officials; (3) deep involvement in devising and implementing sanctions policies against Iran; and (4) immediate access to or, better still, direct participation in the negotiating group.

Numerous officials fit one or two of the criteria. However if we consider all four, we can identify a narrow circle of five officials, who have the history, contacts and access to secret negotiations, which make them prime candidates for spying for Israel. They are:

Michael Froman, top US trade negotiator

Jack Lew, US Secretary of Treasury

Penny Pritzker, US Secretary of Commerce

David Cohen, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of Political Affairs and Chief US negotiator in the nuclear talks with Iran.

While all five have been ardent supporters of Israel before and during their time in the Obama administration, only two could have direct, real time access to the negotiations.

David Cohen, has been extremely active pushing for sanctions against Iran and has a lot to lose if sanctions are lifted or weakened. Like his predecessor, Stuart Levy, he has been closely associated with AIPAC, which was instrumental in creating his post in Treasury and in orienting its activities toward prosecuting banks and multi-nationals, which directly or indirectly trade with Iran. Cohen, although not directly involved in the negotiations, could easily access their deliberations since they affect his field of work. He also has a very ‘fluid’ relation with Israeli officials engaged in intelligence, finance and foreign affairs. He has excellent relations with Netanyahu and supports AIPAC’s agenda. While he could serve as an Israeli informant and certainly does exchange intelligence, he does not have the real time details of the proceedings, because he is not a member of the negotiating team.

Only Wendy Sherman fits all the criteria. Sherman, as head of the US negotiating group, has access to all the details of daily discussions, proposals and concessions by the US and Iranian negotiators. Moreover, Sherman is in a position to translate Netanyahu’s demands on Iran into key agenda items and proposals. Sherman is a lifelong zealous Zionist and according to one sympathetic writer, is ‘widely considered one of Israel’s most supportive high level friends’. Sherman’s reputation on the negotiating team has been that of a ‘hard negotiator’. Sherman was one of the key authors of the ‘Joint Plan of Action, which was designed to extract the maximum concessions from Iran while making the fewest changes in US policy.

In a speech on October 23, 2014, designed to reassure Israel-Firsters in Washington, Sherman boasted: ‘In return for limited sanctions relief, Iran has halted the expansion of its overall enrichment capacity, put a cap on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, stopped the production of uranium enriched to 20%, agreed not to make further advances at the Arak heavy water reactor, opened the door to unprecedented daily access for international inspectors to the facilities at Natanz and Fordow’. Sherman has secured US colonial oversight over the entire Iranian uranium program – which the CIA and the entire US intelligence consortium have repeatedly declared is not a ‘weapons program’!

Sherman shares Netanyahu’s visceral racist ideological contempt for the Iranians. She publicly told a US Senate Committee that, “we know deception is part of their (Iranians) DNA”. This was clearly a crude remark designed to provoke the Iranian government and undermine the negotiations before they began!

If the ideological affinities and hatred of Iran point to Wendy Sherman as the Israel’s ‘mole’ in the State Department, her strategic position as head of the negotiating committee immediately provides her with the secret details that Israel needs to sabotage Obama’s approach to Iran and to organize opposition in the US. The WSJ’s article underscores Sherman’s role as an agent of Tel Aviv: ‘Mr. Netanyahu and his top advisers received confidential update on the Geneva talks from Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and other US officials who knew at the time that Israeli intelligence was working to fill the gap.’ Washington eventually curtailed the ‘briefings.’ But there is no evidence that Sherman ceased her activities on Netanyahu’s behalf. It’s likely she continues to provide timely intelligence to her Israeli counterparts.

Israel is pursuing a complex strategy: 1. Opposing the negotiations outright; 2. Organizing political forces in Congress to impose new sanctions to undermine the negotiations; 3. Securing sympathetic US officials on the negotiating team to spy and report the proceedings to Israel and 4. Helping Israel by making the most extreme demands on Iran, offering the least concessions in order to force a breakdown of the negotiations.

In other words, Israel pursues a complex division of labor: Netanyahu sets the rejectionist hardline. US Zionists transmit that policy into Congressional opposition. Top officials in the State Department provide intelligence for the hard ‘outsider’ campaign and work within the negotiating framework to subvert the proceedings. As the chief negotiator, Sherman plays multiple roles on behalf of Israel, only one of which involves the immediate transfer of highly sensitive intelligence. Sherman has ensured that most of Netanyahu’s demands are incorporated into the US negotiating agenda in a win-win format. If Iran rejects them, the US will effectively break-off negotiations, blame Iran and impose even harsher sanctions; if Iran accepts the demands, its peaceful nuclear program will be destroyed and it will be even more vulnerable to an Israeli and/or US military attack with all its military installations infiltrated and monitored by the US controlled International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA).

While Netanyahu bellows against the idea of negotiations with Iran, and opposes any process lifting sanctions, the realistic agenda of the Israeli Foreign Office is to: 1. Prolong the sanctions, 2. Minimize any immediate relief, 3. Include clauses which would give the US any pretext for unilaterally revoking sanctions without any consultation; 4.

Minimize the amount and level of enriched uranium Iran could retain within the country; 5. Dismantle most of Iran’s centrifuges and impose severe limitations on scientific research and development; and 6. Stop operation of Iran’s multi-billion dollar new fortified nuclear power facility at Fordow.

While Sherman cannot outright terminate the negotiations she is doing everything in her power to either force a breakdown or thoroughly humiliate the Iranians.

Conclusion

The failure of the Obama regime to go after its own State Department officials acting as agents for Israel; its refusal to confront long-term aggressive espionage designed to undermine its relations in the Middle East; its tolerance of Israel’s direct interference via its ‘fraternal organizations’ of the US legislative process; and its refusal to identify, arrest, prosecute and sentence high-level spies within the Cabinet have severely compromised the sovereignty of the United States. It is Israel’s intervention in the US, not ISIS, Iran, Houthis, Venezuela, Syria, Russia or China, that poses an immediate and direct threat to US national security. Increasing Jewish colonialist expansion in Palestine; the flaunting of its vast stockpile of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; operating its powerful network of political agents and spies in high US offices are a direct, immediate threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and the United States.

The activities of US Zionists as spies and shock troops for Israel’s effort to destroy Iran and undermine US diplomacy, pose a long-term threat to all Jews in America. Sooner or later, Israel’s deep penetration of US power centers and its manipulation of elected American officials, will lead to a prolonged, bloody, destructive war. And it can be expected that the greater US public will seek out those responsible and demand they be held to account. Under the impact of the devastation of war, who can be sure that the American public will be able to distinguish between loyal Jewish-Americans and highly placed Zionists acting on Israel’s behalf ? For that reason it is incumbent that peace-loving American Jews get on their feet and clearly and forthrightly denounce the Zionist minority, which claims to speak for them.

All those Zionist ‘wise-guys’ of both genders, who think they have been so clever using their high office to serve Israel, are fooling themselves. More and more citizens are becoming aware that Israel’s espionage, its dictates to the US Congress and its manipulation of Executive powers are harming America. At the present, highly placed Zionist officials hold sway over the Obama Cabinet, but in the future they may find themselves facing charges of being agents of a foreign power, and a threat to US national security. They may find themselves sharing a cell block with Jonathan Pollard!

# # # #

Professor James Petras, Boiling Frogs Post contributing analyst, is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. Dr. Petras received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. You can visit his website here.

BFP Exclusive- PTSD, Community, and Character: Notes on the Trial of Rasmea Odeh

The Trial: Nothing about United States v. Odeh Seems to Add Up

It was as if all the air had been let out of the room. With a brief pause and puff of his cheeks this past November, Judge Gershwin Drain of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan—just hours after unconventionally lauding the jury for finding Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh guilty of unlawfully procuring her U.S. citizenship––sided once more with the government’s lead prosecuting attorney, Jonathan Tukel, in moving to revoke Odeh’s bond and have the 67-year-old immediately detained.

The possibility that prosecutors would seek to establish Odeh as a flight risk prior to her sentencing reportedly took her attorneys by surprise in a hearing that many assumed to be a mere formality, including the friends and supporters who filled the benches of the Detroit courtroom to capacity in their support, a large majority having made the 300-mile trek from Chicago the night before. Odeh, dressed in an emerald-green taqsireh––an embroidered, waist-length Palestinian jacket––maintained her usual poise as the arresting officers barreled toward her, appearing almost instantaneously, as if mere fixtures of the art moderne architecture. Hulking over her as they handcuffed her arms behind her back, she was quickly rushed forward.

“We love you, Rasmea!” a woman shouted out from the back row, cutting through the shock waves of nervous disbelief that had suddenly pervaded the room.

“I love you!” Odeh responded, her chin lifted up toward the ceiling, adding last-gasp before being whisked away entirely: “Don’t mind––be strong!”

And then she was gone.

Why the trial was assigned to Detroit in the first place is in itself a point of contention. Odeh originally immigrated to Michigan via Jordan in 1994 to join her brother and help care for their father who was suffering from cancer, but by 2004––the same year that she acquired her U.S. citizenship––she had begun her work with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to strengthening Chicagoland’s Arab American community through education and cultural outreach. Advancing from volunteer to her current position as associate director, she developed the Arab Women’s Committee within the organization, establishing an impressive base of a six hundred woman collective aimed at promoting leadership among Arab immigrant and Arab American women, along with challenging forms of oppression between the binds of patriarchy and racial discrimination.

Odeh’s strong commitment to her vocation, and the positive, significantly widespread impact that she has had not only upon her own community in Chicago, but all across the globe, is a direct testament to her character, and thereby strongly influenced by her personal life experiences and history. On February 28, 1969, Israeli soldiers and secret security police forcibly entered Odeh’s family home in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and violently arrested her without a warrant or explanation, along with her father and two sisters. Hundreds of other Palestinians were likewise arrested in a massive, slipshod round-up following a week of resistance operations in response to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank following their “Six-Day War” of June 1967. Odeh was accused of being involved in two separate bombings allegedly credited to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP): one involving a supermarket explosion in East Jerusalem and another at the British Consulate in Tel Aviv, the former killing two university students. She maintains that she was brutally tortured for 25 days while in custody, with a total of 45 days spent at Jerusalem’s infamous Moscobiyya Detention Center. Described as “more than hell” by a former detainee, it is primarily used as a place of interrogation before moving Palestinian prisoners to an Israeli prison. As Nahla Abdo writes in her book Captive Revolution: Palestinian Women’s Anti-Colonial Struggle Within the Israeli Prison System: “Transferring political prisoners from an occupied territory to the territory of the occupier represents a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention.”

From the moment that she was arrested and transported to the initial jail site, to the horrors of Moscobiyya, Odeh was beaten nonstop with fists and clubs, repeatedly raped, and subjected to further traumas in the form of threats, humiliation, deprivation, and electrical torture. Court documents filed by her defense team cite the torture she faced as being “consistent with reports from Israeli and Palestinian lawyers, the United Nations, Amnesty International and the American Vice-Counsel in Jerusalem.” Three months passed before she saw a Red Cross representative, during which time she was finally coerced into signing a false confession prepared for her in Hebrew (a language that she could not read or understand), taken before an Israeli military court, and given a life sentence. She was 21 years old.

In 1979, ten years into her sentence, Odeh was one of 76 Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured during the “Litani Operation” invasion of Lebanon. That same year, she testified before a U.N. special committee in Geneva, Switzerland regarding the heinous torture that was perpetrated against her while in Israeli custody. Living in Lebanon and then settling in Jordan, she worked to assist displaced Palestinians living in refugee camps to obtain U.N. humanitarian aid, in addition to achieving a law degree. On her time spent in prison, she would later relate, “It may have been ten years, but it felt like 100 years.”

Fast-forward to October 22, 2013: Odeh is arrested in Chicago by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, indicted on one charge of unlawful procurement of naturalization, and released on $15,000 bond. Her name and history had been dredged up in a 2010 COINTELPRO-type operation by the FBI that included targeted surveillance and house raids on various community and political activists. 26 people total were subpoenaed to a grand jury that never returned a single indictment from the investigation. As her defense writes: “Over two years later, with nothing to show for its raids in 2010, Ms. Odeh was indicted for falsely answering questions in 2004 in her naturalization application. Interestingly, the indictment was obtained by the office of the United States Attorney’s office from the Eastern District of Michigan through a grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Michigan. The United States Attorney in Illinois, which was the office that initiated the request for the Israeli documents and was carrying out the investigation, apparently passed the case to the office in Michigan, to divert attention from its failed efforts to criminalize the work of the AAAN in Chicago.”

Procuring several hundred documents provided to the Justice Department by the State of Israel––which later included thousands for the trial itself pursuant to the 1998 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty Between the United States and Israel––Odeh was convicted of knowingly failing to disclose the nightmare she had survived 45 years prior. In what is essentially a retroactive witch hunt against a law-abiding and prosperous U.S. citizen, the prosecution, aided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, cultivated an argument mainlined by the perceived notion that Odeh would not have been admitted into the country 20 years ago had she properly disclosed details of a personal history all but impossible to have ever kept hidden to begin with. Additionally, the government was allowed to dictate a trial in which her factual guilt or innocence for the crimes she was convicted of in Israel were considered “irrelevant to the question of whether or not she truthfully answered questions on her U.S. naturalization application about whether she ever had been arrested, charged, convicted or imprisoned,” and her claims of torture were barred from being entered into evidence.

After being held for over a month in St. Clair County Jail in Port Huron, Michigan, including two weeks spent in solitary confinement, Judge Drain granted Odeh’s Motion for Reconsideration of his decision to revoke her bond pending sentencing, despite the government’s Response in Opposition. In doing so, Judge Drain retracted and revised many of the reasons originally given for her detainment. In light of the Sentencing Memorandum of the United States filed on February 25 in which the government laid out its request for an unprecedented enhanced sentence of between five and seven years imprisonment––drastically higher than the usual 15-to-21 month guidelines––and with the upcoming sentencing hearing scheduled for March 12 in Detroit, it is increasingly imperative that the Court’s previous decision to detain Odeh be properly dissected.

POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

In disallowing any mention of the torture that Odeh alleges she experienced while in Israeli custody––causing her to be coerced into signing a fraudulent confession––the Court likewise precluded what her attorneys described as the “heart of her defense,” which consisted of the professional diagnosis and testimony of Dr. Mary R. Fabri, a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of expert experience specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of survivors of war trauma and torture. Dr. Fabri met with Odeh six times for approximately three hours each time over a period of four months. She testified before the Court as to her belief that the experiences that Odeh related to her over this significant length of time were “very credible” and diagnosed her with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Citing scientifically grounded facts and examples under both direct and cross-examination, Dr. Fabri stated that it was a “strong possibility” that Odeh’s PTSD would have caused her brain to cognitively interpret the question of whether or not she had ever been convicted of a crime to apply strictly to her time in the U.S., thereby unconsciously protecting her from activating the terrible memories of her past traumas. “We all try to find ways of coping with our stresses,” she explained, “whether they’re extreme or mild. For survivors of severe trauma, they work really hard to develop filters that help keep the reminders out, so that during acute phases where someone is symptomatic, those filters aren’t working very well, and, again, that cognitive processing part is diminished.”

Odeh’s own personal coping devices were developed over the course of over 45 years and without the aid of therapy, making what she has been able to accomplish as an active member of society all the more impressive. People with chronic PTSD are vulnerable at all times to the effects of different sensory reminders of stress or past trauma; a constant, unpredictable handicap of sorts.

As Dr. Fabri testified:

When there’s a trauma happening, it can be overwhelming and the cognitive part of our brain can become overwhelmed. So if we look at different brain centers, and I’ll keep this simple, there is the emotional center, which is the hippocampus. There — I mean, I’m sorry, the amygdala, which is mediated by work of the hippocampus and pre medial frontal cortex. They mediate information.

So all of us process emotional information through the amygdala and if the hippocampus and the pre medial, the pre frontal medial cortex are functioning well, they’ll sensor for us so we don’t say or do things that are emotionally reacted.

During the traumatic event or, like torture, war trauma, many other things that are intense stress, those mediating parts of the brain become overwhelmed, and so in an experience of torture the memory is encoded in an emotional way, in a very sensory way in the amygdala so that when there are reminders of that past trauma and the memory is recalled, it’s recalled in a very emotional intense way without that cognitive processing.

She additionally submitted a 15 page psychological affidavit consisting of typewritten notes from her sessions with Odeh, along with her psychological assessment consisting of her behavioral observations, diagnosis, testing data, and treatment recommendations. Included in the affidavit were extensive details of Odeh’s torture at Moscobiyya: endless beatings with hands, fists, wooden batons, and metal rods; sleep-deprivation; denial of medical attention and legal resources. Left naked for the majority of the time, she was beaten in front of male detainees, and was likewise witness to the sights and sounds of others being tortured, including her father and sisters. At one point she was forced to watch the death of a man from electrical torture. Using chains to restrain her arms and legs, she was raped, tortured with electrical wires, and experienced pain and trauma so severe that she would often fall in and out of consciousness.

Dr. Fabri additionally interviewed Odeh following her five week imprisonment in St. Clair County Jail and wrote a letter indicating that her PTSD symptoms had been reactivated as a result of her recent arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment.

PTSD is an enduring condition that has profound implications for emotional and physical health. Reactivation of symptoms result in severe stress reactions in the body and has been demonstrated in multiple studies that PTSD contributes to a higher prevalence of mental illness, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

It is this evaluator’s opinion, to a reasonable and psychological certainty, that someone with chronic PTSD has a higher risk to develop serious health conditions that impact psychological and physical health as they age. Ms. Odeh falls in this category as a 67-year-old woman with a history of multiple traumas and a diagnosis of chronic PTSD.

While the jury was never told a word about Odeh’s alleged torture or her PTSD diagnosis, Judge Drain had all of this information at his fingertips, and even surmised during the detainment hearing that it would be “very one-sided” and “unfair to the government” if he were to allow Odeh to properly testify about her real life experiences. One doesn’t have to be an expert in psychology to be able to accurately predict the serious mental and physical effects that incarceration can have on a woman of Odeh’s age and background, including the possibility that she could be placed in solitary confinement. Such punishment is known to cause PTSD symptoms in inmates, further evidenced by a 2011 report by a U.N. Special Rapporteur defining prolonged solitary confinement to be in excess of 15 days, during which time “certain changes in brain functions occur and the harmful psychological effects of isolation can become irreversible.”

Odeh was inexplicably placed in solitary confinement for the last two weeks of her incarceration in the St. Clair County Jail, completely segregated and confined to her cell for all but a half-hour of each day. The jail’s disciplinary records indicate that she was originally sentenced to six days over a dispute with a guard that seemingly consisted of a mere misunderstanding, perhaps heightened by a possible language gap. An excuse to then keep her in prolonged solitary confinement was possibly invented out of a previous incident in which another inmate discovered an article about Odeh’s trial in a local newspaper and shared it with her before the newspaper was “taken and disposed of.” From this arose a questionable narrative that Odeh was being kept in solitary for her own safety, an implication that was strongly rebuked by Hatem Abudayyeh, the executive director of the AAAN and lead spokesperson for the Rasmea Defense Committee. Speaking to Ali Harb of The Arab American News, Abudayyeh described the explanation that he received from a prison administrator for the punitive measures taken against Odeh as “utter nonsense.”

“She had no issues with other inmates. She was getting along with them and had actually formed relationships with some people there.”

Such accounts are consistent with the ways in which Odeh was able to survive her previous imprisonment in Israel: building strong bonds and relationships with other inmates by educating and organizing; protesting prison conditions, going on hunger strikes together, and, most importantly, keeping their sumud, their determination.

COMMUNITY

In granting Odeh’s request for bond pending sentencing, Judge Drain asserted that her “dedication to her community work and the people that such work assists, as well as the presence of relatives in Chicago, demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that she is not as significant a flight risk as originally believed.”

Such a statement is so vastly contradictory of the opinions that he previously expressed during the November 10 detainment hearing that the sincerity behind his “as originally believed” pivot seems, well, difficult to believe.

In very indelicate fashion, and before a courtroom full of the many women whose lives she had touched and deeply affected through her work at the AAAN, her family, Judge Drain contended that Odeh “doesn’t have any real ties to the Chicago community,” labeling her community ties via the AAAN as insignificant, while insisting that she could easily be committed to “doing the same work in another country.”

Such blunt disregard for Odeh’s assimilation into her adopted country is notable for two reasons. For one, it represents a manifestation of what Odeh and her supporters have suspected from the very beginning: that her indictment was a product of selective prosecution rooted in the discriminatory targeting of those doing political work in Arab and Muslim communities, particularly pro-Palestine activists. Furthermore, the government had made reference to the Rasmea Defense Committee’s “wide-ranging media campaign” as far back as July, culminating in their almost comical Motion to Empanel an Anonymous Jury and to Take Other Measures Necessary to Ensure an Untainted Jury. Claiming that Abudayyeh’s publicly stated goal of “filling the courtroom, rallying outside the courthouse, and chanting while holding posters” constituted a “concerted effort to sway the jury,” the prosecution even went so far as to cite the recent Detroit trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallah, the so-called “Underwear Bomber,” as an ideal example for how the Court should approach Odeh’s case. In what equated to a very translucent effort to paint both Odeh and her supporters in a terrorist light, the tenacity with which the government pursued the empaneling of an anonymous jury should have at least adversely alerted Judge Drain to the support she had from her community—branded as mobs and hoards by the government. Though he rejected their request, he did allow for a partial sequestration, meaning that the jurors arrived at an off-site location and were driven by federal marshals to the courthouse garage.

Just as absurd as the government’s plea for an anonymous jury was the flight risk narrative that it had concocted, surmising that Odeh might flee to the Palestinian Authority or Jordan ahead of her sentencing, which runs completely contrary to why she chose to exercise her constitutional right to a trial in the first place. The government had offered her a plea agreement that would have guaranteed no more than six months imprisonment and she would have been given 90 days to depart the country voluntarily, instead of being held in immigration custody awaiting deportation. “To speak of torture,” she told Dr. Fabri, “is to be tortured again.” That Odeh, a woman who suffers from chronic PTSD, chose to go through an entire federal trial undoubtedly guaranteed to activate her symptoms, gambling on the prospect of years of incarceration in the process, certainly speaks volumes of her will to remain in America.

At one point while she was under cross-examination, Dr. Fabri, being pestered over the fact that she had recommended to Odeh that she continue seeing a therapist, and that Odeh had declined, seemed to suddenly remember something.

“But, actually,” she began, “what Ms. Odeh told me is that her community supported her and she really didn’t feel the need.”

CHARACTER

According to the government’s expert witness Douglas C. Pierce, the section chief of U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) in Detroit, Michigan, submission of the Israeli police and trial records relating to Odeh’s conviction would have been a “more than sufficient basis for USCIS to conclude that the defendant lacked the requisite good moral character to become a USC.”

As for evidence relating to Odeh’s claims of innocence of her underlying convictions, the government writes:

“Evidence of defendant’s factual guilt or innocence for crimes of which she was convicted in a foreign country (Israel) is irrelevant to the question of whether or not she truthfully answered questions on her U.S. naturalization application about whether she ever had been arrested, charged, convicted or imprisoned… Rather, this case focuses on the truthfulness of her answers in the immigration process, not the level of due process afforded her in Israel.”

And once more, just for clarification:

“What is relevant here is not the truthfulness or accuracy of the Israeli charges themselves, but only whether defendant was untruthful when she denied them.”

“Truthfulness” and “candor” seemed to stick to the tongue of Judge Drain as he listed more of the reasons why he needed to incarcerate her.

“She does have a little bit of history of flight,” he noted, citing her alleged escape attempt from prison back in 1975. Exhibits as to the authenticity of her fingerprint taken at the scene following her arrest were even entered into evidence.

This idea that she lacked the proper amount of respect for the criminal justice system was floated in numerous ways, most recently documented in the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum, quoting a comment Odeh gave to reporters following her conviction in which she states: “I felt the verdict is not justice, it was a racist verdict.”

“Given the clarity of defendant’s violation of United States immigration law,” writes the government, “the criminal history from Israel which she concealed, and the bombings which she undertook, as discussed in detail above, anything less than a significant sentence would grossly fail to promote respect for the law.”

Within the same paragraph, the government begins to cite the current world affairs issue of “foreign fighters” who fight on behalf of “ISIS and other designated terrorist organizations,” and then return home.

A light sentence in this case would be a signal to anyone who has fought overseas for ISIS or a similar organization that there is not much risk in coming to the United States, hiding one’s past, and seeking citizenship. If not caught, such a person derives all the benefits of citizenship. After perhaps 15-20 years of living in the United States, as was defendant Odeh, a person who is simply given a slap on the wrist and then deported is much better off than that person would have been by not having come to the United States in the first place.

Lastly (and notice I have not spent a great deal of time expounding on any of these quotes and incidents as to Odeh’s character much, as the arguments themselves speak louder than the words do), there is the issue of her blurting out while under intensive cross-examination the inadmissible “claim” that she was tortured while under Israeli custody. Also included was the fact that she called herself a “political prisoner” and stated that she was innocent of the crimes that she was charged with in Israel.

And so the underlying theme here for Odeh seems to be that she simply cannot win. She is punished either way, whether she is honest or (allegedly) not. When you put all of the statistics of the case together; the intangible attributes therein, nothing about United States v. Odeh seems to add up.

* * * *

One last lasting memory of Rasmea Odeh: speaking to her supporters a few hours before her detainment hearing, megaphone in hand, some still wiping tears from their eyes––a tenacious, impromptu piece of oratory outside of the Detroit Federal Courthouse shortly following her conviction. “We can find the justice in some place,” she solemnly began, reaching out toward the towering 10-story limestone structure: “There’s a justice in this world. We will find it. Don’t worry. We will find it. We will find the justice!”

Staring down the immediate prospect of prison, she was altruistic and brave. “I don’t mind,” she avowed. “I don’t want you to feel weak! We are strong!” she yelled out to the impassioned crowd, her voice strained with fervor: “We will be stronger than that!”

It reminds me of a quote from a woman who was in prison with Odeh in Israel. Remarking on the incredible fury and passion of the speeches that she would sometimes give to the women there, she wrote: “Her words were so strong; they could melt iron.”

# # # #

Mark Mondalek – BFP contributing author, is a writer and editor based in Detroit.

BFP Exclusive- The citizenship policies of the US puppets: The case of Montenegro’s Milo Djukanovic

When Djukanovic gets thrown out, and that day is inexorably coming, where will he go?

The US political and economic oligarchy has had a long history of using the corrupt rulers of puppet states to do its bidding throughout the world. One of the ways that these rulers perform the services useful for the US clandestine, anti-democratic operations, typically conducted by the CIA or the Pentagon, is by granting citizenship to the persons who, due to their allegiance to the promotion of the US oligarchy's interests, have been forced to leave their native countries.

Typically, these cases have to do with persons who are the so-called "high security risks" (high-level criminals and/or terrorists) and hence can hardly fulfill the criteria for the US citizenship. Of course, there are exceptions to this and it often happens that precisely those who are at the top of the criminal pyramid get to enjoy the life of the American suburbia. Still, many more are left "outhere in the cold", in the care of the US puppets such as the long-time prime minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic.

Djukanovic's example is particularly glaring because he is the Europe's longest ruling authoritarian leader.[i] He has been in power since 1989 and has turned the entire country into his fiefdom, especially since the country's independence in 2006. The elections, be they parliamentary, presidential or local, are routinely stolen and the opposition leaders, media and ordinary citizens are discriminated against and harrassed. The attacks against and, even, the murder of jounalists and dedicated police investigators go unpunished, while the surveillance by the Agency for National Security (ANB) equals the intensity of the East German Stasi regime with the distinction that the real master in Montenegro is not the KGB, but the CIA.

No wonder, then, that the US political elites, so trigger-happy and quick to condemn the "human rights abuses" within the jurisdiction of its geopolitical antagonists, such as Russia and China, turn both the blind eye and the deaf ear and have only the praise for Djukanovic. Over more than two decades of his puppet-dictator's career, he has met with many high-level US officials, most recently with the US Vice President Joe Biden on April 8, 2014 in Washington DC.[ii] It is worth mentioning that Djukanovic was a special favorite of Bill Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the affections for him being equal to those she has felt for his political ally, the alleged war criminal, mafia head and terrorist guerilla leader, ex-prime minister (now deputy prime minister and foreign minister) of Kosovo, Hashim Taci.[iii]

Heavily indebted for his illegitimate grip on power to the CIA-NATO connection, Djukanovic has dutifully fulfilled orders to naturalize into "Montenegrins" a strange cast of characters, all with a heavy personal file of political abuse and crimes against lives and property in their respective homelands.

In this article, I will examine the two of the most egregious cases, because in these cases the workings of the CIA-based intelligence networks are as clearly visible as the moon on a summer night in the desert. These are the cases of a Palestinian national, Mohammed Dahlan and a Thai national, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mohammed Dahlan

Mohammed Dahlan is probably one of the most controversial figures in the Middle East today.[iv] Dahlan started out his political career as a militant for the Fatah movement, but, over the years, a lot of evidence has come to light that he has taken part in many shadowy deals with the US and Israeli intelligence agencies against the rival Hamas movement. However, despite the obvious CIA sponsorship, Dahlan lost the power struggle for the control of the Fatah to Mahmoud Abas and had to escape from Gaza, finding a refuge in the US ally United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi).

Abas later alleged that Dahlan was involved in the poisoning death of Yasser Arafat.[v] At this time, Dahlan is being prosecuted in Gaza on the charges of corruption and murder, already having been sentenced in absentia for two years for other abuses of power.

The person with such checkered past and a lot of enemies obviously needs a safe haven beyond the turbulent Middle East so that he and his family can securely enjoy the wealth he has acquired in a suspicious manner. It is at this junction that common friends in the US intelligence community brought Djukanovic and Dahlan together. It appears that Djukanovic was instructed to grant Dahlan the Montenegrin citizenship. In this way, Dahlan is not only able to travel visa free throughout the European Union, but is also protected from the eventual deportation to Gaza .

However, notwithstanding Djukanovic's campaign of repression, Montenegro has a very vibrant free press and the naturalization of Mohammed Dahlan is still very much in the public eye. The daily newspaper Dan as well as the independent political weekly Monitor have published extensive accounts of his corrupt dealings with Djukanovic.[vi] Some opposition parties have demanded that the government strips Dahlan of the citizenship. However, none of this is likely to happen while Djukanovic is still dutifully performing the role assigned to him by the CIA.

The Dahlan story has recently acquired a broader international dimension when the British Guardian on January 30, 2015 published a selected portion of the study by the Balkan Investigative Report Network (BIRN) reporting that Mohammed Dahlan, in addition to the Montenegrin citizenship, has also acquired the citizenship of Serbia.[vii] This means that the CIA links forged by Djukanovic also extend to the Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vučić. The article alleges that Dahlan is spending his time in Montenegro and Serbia preparing a coup against Abas. The CIA is obviously planning another campaign of destabilization in Palestine.

Thaksin Shinawatra

Another corrupt US-friendly political leader granted the citizenship of Montenegro by Djukanovic was the ex-prime minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra. Shinawatra was the prime minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006 and his rule was characterized by wide-spread political abuse, corruption, and media censorship. In order to prove his allegiance to the goals of the US foreign policy, he sent more than 400 Thai soldiers to Iraq, two of whom lost their lives.[viii] After he was overthrown in a military coup, he, just like Dahlan, found political refuge in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

Those same networks that enabled his UAE transfer made a connection between him and Djukanovic. He got the same deal as Dahlan: the citizenship of Montenegro, which makes possible visa free travel throughout the European Union and freedom from the deportation to Thailand to face the charges of extensive corruption and money-laundering. He was granted the citizenship, even though at the time there was an Interpol warrant for his arrest. The officials of Montenegrin government stated on record that they would not deport Shinawatra even if requested by the Interpol, since, according to the Montenegrin law, citizens can be deported only to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.[ix]

Shinawatra made use of the Montenegrin passport to travel to several EU countries. On his visits to Montenegro, he made promises to invest in the tourism industry.[x] However, the talk of investments, just like in the case of Dahlan, only served as the convenient excuse for Djukanovic to justify the naturalization. No money from Shinawatra ever entered the legal economic flows in Montenegro. And even if it did, the money would have to be returned because it justly belongs to the people of Thailand.

Conclusion

The puppet leaders like Djukanovic do an extensive damage to the well-being of the people living in the countries they rule. In contrast to what democratic practice would require, the legitimacy of their rule is purely external. They are allowed to do whatever they want internally so long as they dutifully fulfill all orders from the powerful intelligence structures belonging to the Great Powers.

However, as the case of Dahlan and Shinawatra clearly shows, these leaders sometimes make wrong moves and, as a result, lose power. They, then, have to be rescued and, more likely than not, end up in Djukanovic's Montenegro. The logical question that arises out of this situation is this: when Djukanovic gets thrown out, and that day is inexorably coming, where will he go? Or is Montenegro for him, just like Romania was for Ceausescu and Croatia for Sanader, the end of the line?

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Filip Kovacevic, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author and analyst, is a geopolitical author, university professor and the chairman of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro. He received his BA and PhD in political science in the US and was a visiting professor at St. Petersburg State University in Russia for two years. He is the author of seven books, dozens of academic articles. He has been invited to lecture throughout the EU, Balkans, ex-USSR and the US. He currently resides in San Francisco, and can be contacted at fk1917@yahoo.com

NOTES

[i]  http://www.academic-foresights.com/Montenegros_Political_System.html

[ii] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/08/readout-vice-president-s-meeting-prime-minister-milo-djukanovic-monteneg

[iii] http://www.opinion-maker.org/2013/04/madeleine-albright-balkan-telecom-tycoon/

[iv] http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/24/nyt.dahlan/

[v] http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Abbas-suggests-rival-Dahlan-behind-murder-of-Yasser-Arafat-345289

[vi] http://www.dan.co.me/?nivo=3&rubrika=Politika&clanak=474194&datum=2015-02-01&naslov=MUP neće da Dahlanu uzme državljanstvo; http://www.monitor.co.me/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4075:cia-djukanovic-a-arafats-murder-suspect&Itemid=2914

[vii] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/30/palestinian-president-rival-given-serbian-citizenship

[viii] http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/12/28/thailand-vows-to-keep-troops-in-iraq/

[ix]http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/11/Region/586221/%C4%8Cegovi%C4%87+si,+%C5%A0inavatra%3F

[x]http://www.monitor.co.me/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1540:obnova-kapitalom-sa-tajlanda&catid=1040:broj-1013&Itemid=2039

 

Shia Killing & Pakistan Demonic Dogma

By all standards, human rights abuse in Pakistan particularly against the Shia population is taking a horrendous momentum with the government keeping silent on the ongoing bloodbath.

On Friday, over 60 worshippers were martyred and 60 others injured in an explosion inside a central Imambargah Shia mosque in Shikarpur district of Sindh province in Pakistan.

The Takfiri group Jundallah, a splinter group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the carnage.

“Our target was the Shia mosque ... They are our enemies,” said Jundallah spokesman Fahad Marwat.

Intimately affiliated with the ISIL in carrying out their brutalities including beheading and blinding their victims, Jundallah forged an alliance with its sister group ISIL after meeting a three-man delegation representing the group led by al Zubair al Kuwaiti.

"They (Islamic State) are our brothers, whatever plan they have we will support them," Jundallah spokesperson Fahad Marwat said.

The same terrorist group is also affiliated with Mossad.

In January 2012, Mark Perry revealed the link between Jundallah and Mossad and how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two US intelligence officials, “the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a false flag operation.”

It is deplorable to see that the Shia population is getting weaker and weaker every day as the government is not making any concrete steps to put an end to this inhumane catastrophe. Is the government unreservedly defending the massacres? What is the role of ISI in fermenting this plight?

Owing to the government’s tacit agreement to otherize the Shia Muslims, the Shia leaders have acquired conviction that the government is not to be trusted and that they need to form a united front against the Takfiri terrorists in the country.

Hasan Zaffar, a prominent Shia cleric, has taken a blistering swipe at the Pakistani government, saying, “The government has proven to be utterly useless and the Shia community is very vulnerable. We need to raise a community of volunteers and scouts for security duties.”

Amin Shaheedi, another prominent Shia cleric who has organized public protests to demand greater protection for the community, said: “The questions are, where was the police at the time of the attack? We have no protection. We have to protect ourselves.”

The 92,000 classified US military documents released by the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks and subsequently splashed on many websites in 2010 reveal the role of Pakistani government in conducing to chaos and extremism in Afghanistan and naturally in Pakistan. According to the reports, “The Taliban are stronger than ever and a crucial component of their success is the support they receive from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The military spy agency nurtured the Taliban in the 1990s and has maintained ties to the group ever since.”

The root causes of extremism are traceable in the emergence of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) founded by Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, who spearheaded the anti-Shia campaign in the 1980s under the aegis of Pakistan's former military leader, General Zia ul-Haq. And they have been killing the Shia Muslims since then. And groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and ASWJ/Sipah-e-Sahaba are ideologically interrelated and follow the same perverse policies.

In June 2011, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) in alliance with Al-Qaeda released an open letter in which they declared that all Shias deserve to be killed: “All Shias are wajib-ul-qatl (worthy of killing). We will rid Pakistan of [this] unclean people. Pakistan means land of the pure, and the Shias have no right to be here. We have the fatwa and signatures of the revered ulema in which the Shias have been declared kaafir [infidel].”

In point of fact, Saudi Arabia was an ardent supporter of Zia ul-Haq’s government and his radicalization policy. Besides, the leaked US cables show that extremist groups operating on Pakistani soil, such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) "probably raise millions of dollars" each year in Saudi Arabia.

Under Mohammad Zia-ul-Ha, the ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were immeasurably expanded. A dictator who had usurped power through staging a coup and overthrowing Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977 with the support of CIA, Zia-ul-Haq, an affiliate of the Deobandi School, was financed by Riyadh to help spread Wahhabism in the country. During his long tenure, he visited Saudi Arabia 27 times. To promote Wahhabism, the Saudis funded new mosques and seminaries and employed Pakistani labor in Arab countries in the country.

The legacy of Zia ul-Haq is still clearly discernible in Pakistan. To crown it all, the anti-Shia campaign which Zia al-Haq started is still being financed by Saudi Arabia.

Further to that, there are tangible efforts by western media to depict the Shia killing in Pakistan as the consequence of an appalling rift deepening between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the country.

Wahhabism is exacting an inconceivable human toll in Pakistan and other parts of the world corrupted by this mindset. Wahhabism is a far cry from Islam and any attempts to ascribe this ideology to the faith which is lexically and essentially rooted in peace are doomed to fail.

The Shia Muslims in Pakistan are victims of a demonic dogma called Wahhabism and as long as the Pakistani government turns a deaf ear and eye to the plight of this persecuted population, there is little hope for them and this irresponsibility on the part of the government will categorically turn into a tragedy of epic proportions.

# # # #

Dr. Ismail Salami is an internationally published author, literary scholar, Quranologist, political commentator, and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his writings have been translated into a number of languages. Salami is a former editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times International Daily. He currently teaches English literature at the University of Tehran.

The New Great Game Round-Up: January 12, 2015

Washington's Regime Change Tools Struggle in the South Caucasus, Tajikistan Scrutinizes Gülen Schools-Prepares for Afghan Spillover & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Since the end of 2013, Turkey has been engulfed in a relentless power struggle between Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who left his post as Turkish Prime Minister last year just to become the country's 12th President, and the influential CIA-backed movement of self-described "imam, preacher, and civil society activist" Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in the United States ever since he was forced to flee Turkey in 1999. The conflict between the former allies has now reached a point where President Erdogan is preparing to add the Gülen movement to Turkey's "Red Book," meaning that the organization will be classified as a threat to Turkey's national security. Although the power struggle has largely been taking place in Turkey, other countries, such as Azerbaijan, have been affected as well and Erdogan is not the only one who is currently trying to contain the activities of the shadowy movement. The regimes in Central Asia are increasingly suspicious of Gülen's schools and with good reason. After Russia and Uzbekistan had already closed down the schools more than a decade ago, Turkmenistan followed suit in recent years and Gülen's schools in Tajikistan are now also under high scrutiny, as Erdogan's mouthpiece Daily Sabah triumphantly announced this week:

Tajikistan to discontinue Gülen schools, citing ‘shadowy mission’ Saidov Nuriddin Saidovich, Tajikistan's minister of education and science, announced that they will not extend the agreement they had made with the Gülen Movement over permission to operate schools in the country, since they consider the mission of the schools belonging to the group as "shadowy." 

According to the local press, an official from the ministry, Rohimjon Saidov, also said there will be an end to the agreement between the Gülen Movement and the Tajik government over the schools they run in the region. Saidov added that the deal made with the education institutions in question expires in 2015 and that the country will no longer extend it.

There are currently 10 schools in Tajikistan run by the movement. The first school affiliated with the group was opened in the country in 1992. For the last decade, the purposes of the schools have become a hot debate in the Turkish government. There have been numerous demands for their closure by Ankara.

Tajikistan Scrutinizes Gülen Schools, Prepares for Afghan Spillover

Interestingly, according to Tajik media, Saidov didn't mention the word "shadowy." Instead he said that the Tajik government is going to review the licenses of the Gülen schools because their mission is "unclear." Daily Sabah is known to overstate the case when it comes to the Gülen movement but given that Gülen's schools play a decisive part in the Islamization of Central Asia and the Caucasus region and that they have been used for various covert operations by the CIA, the Tajik authorities should consider referring to the schools' mission as "shadowy." Dushanbe has long lamented that young Tajiks, who are studying illegally at Islamic religious schools abroad, "can be easily radicalized and recruited into extremist or militant groups," while doing little to stop the indoctrination and terrorist recruitment at home. However, recent actions indicate that this could change in the near future:

Suspected Islamist Leader, Subordinates Detained In Tajikistan

The suspected leader of a cell of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and 10 alleged subordinates have been detained in Tajikistan. The Tajik Interior Ministry said in a televised statement late on January 7 that Ikrom Halilov, a former imam of a local mosque, and the others had been apprehended in Shahrinav district, 50 kilometers west of the capital, Dushanbe. According to the ministry, the group is suspected of planning to attack a police station in order to seize guns.

In recent months, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has been making headlines in northern Afghanistan, where Central Asian fighters belonging to the IMU or splinter groups, such as Jamaat Ansarullah, and allied Taliban forces have been massing close to the borders with Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. At the end of last year, Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative for Afghanistan, gave a long interview to Interfax warning of the threat to Central Asia and Russia but oddly enough, he said that the jihadists in northern Afghanistan are from the Islamic State (ISIS). Kabulov described in great detail how many fighters are concentrated on the Tajikistan and Turkmenistan beachheads and he stressed that "our allies in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan know about this, they confirm that they have the same information, and they are taking measures." Why Kabulov referred to the insurgents as ISIS fighters is not clear. A few Tajik ISIS jihadists have lately proclaimed their intention to "fight infidels" in Tajikistan but they haven't gotten permission yet:

IS Militants Asked Baghdadi For Permission To Fight 'Infidels' In Tajikistan Militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq have published a video saying that they have asked permission from the group's senior leadership to wage jihad in Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik service has reported. Abu Umariyon says that he and his fellow Tajik militants asked Baghadi and Islamic State leaders for permission to go back to Tajikistan and fight with the extremist group Jamaat Ansarullah. 

However, Baghdadi did not give his permission. "The emirs [militant leaders] who passed on their message to Baghdadi told them that right now they have to wait," the Tajik militant explains.

This video caused a stir in Tajikistan and the Islamic Center of Tajikistan slammed the jihadists, asking how it is possible "to wage jihad in a state whose population is 99 percent Muslim." But even without the return of Tajik ISIS fighters, the Tajik authorities have every reason to be concerned about the situation in northern Afghanistan. Kidnappings on the Tajik-Afghan border highlighted only recently how serious the threat is. This week, Tajik officials made public the identities of four Tajik border guards, who were abducted last month, and rejected earlier reports saying that the Taliban had made demands for their release. Due to the deteriorating security situation, Tajikistan's special services have reportedly taken "a number of measures to strengthen the most vulnerable stretches" of the Tajik-Afghan border and they are now keeping a very close eye on the activities of the insurgents in northern Afghanistan. On top of that, Tajikistan is also setting up a new military base close to the border:

Eyeing Taliban, Tajikistan Sets Up New Military Base On Afghan Border Tajikistan's armed forces are setting up a new base near the Afghanistan border in response to the apparent massing of fighters on the Afghan side of the border. The base, to be called "Khomiyon," will be in the Kulyab region. "Tanks, armored vehicles and other weaponry" will be deployed to the base, which "units of all security structures of the country will be able to use for conducting maneuvers," reported RFE/RL, citing a source in Tajikistan's Ministry of Defense. While there is no "immediate threat" from the Taliban fighters apparently massing near the Tajikistan border, Dushanbe still chose to take "preventative measures," the official said. An unnamed source in Tajikistan's State Committee on National Security (GKNB) told the Russian news agency TASS that "groups not controlled by Kabul" have massed on the Afghanistan side of the border.

Taliban Reject Government Posts As Ghani Urges U.S. to Stay Forever

On the same day, an unnamed official from Uzbekistan's National Security Service used similar language to warn of the "increased concentration of armed formations not controlled by the government of Afghanistan." Uzbekistan is also taking some measures to address the problem but the Uzbek authorities stop short of building new military bases because they are better prepared to deal with the threat than neighboring Tajikistan or Turkmenistan. After the Taliban became Turkmenistan's immediate neighbor about one month ago by taking over Khamyab District in Afghanistan's Jowzjan Province, the Afghan government is now trying to calm Ashgabat's nerves. Jowzjan's police chief General Fakir Mokhammed Dzhauzdzhani announced last week that Afghanistan's armed forces are preparing large-scale operations in Jowzjan and Faryab Province, where insurgents have repeatedly caused trouble in recent months. Although the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has ended the Afghanistan war in name only, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani lost no time in mourning after the coalition troops:

Afghan president says U.S. might want to 're-examine' pullout deadline Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the United States might want to "re-examine" the timetable for removing the remaining U.S.-led coalition troops in the country by the end of 2016. "Deadlines concentrate the mind. But deadlines should not be dogmas," Ghani told the CBS program "60 Minutes" when asked about the issue. Asked if he had told that to U.S. President Barack Obama, Ghani said: "President Obama knows me. We don't need to - to tell each other."

Given that Ghani is very much Washington's guy, his words come as no real surprise and this interview will probably earn him even more tributes in the American press. But while U.S. officials and media lose no opportunity to praise Afghanistan's new leader, the Afghan people are less impressed with Ghani's performance so far. According to the latest poll by Afghan news channel TOLOnews and the ART research institute, Ghani has lost popularity among the Afghan people by almost 50 percent since taking office in late September of last year. One of the reasons is most likely Ghani's failure to form a cabinet with the chief executive of his unity government, Abdullah Abdullah. Although the two men reached a power-sharing deal in September, there has been a deadlock over senior cabinet positions. Ghani had also hoped to draw three Taliban leaders into his government but the group rejected the offer:

Taliban 'reject offer of Afghan government posts' The Taliban have been offered posts in the new Afghan government but have turned them down, the BBC understands. The offer came from new President Ashraf Ghani in a bid to end the insurgency that threatens the recovery of the country. The three men whom President Ghani had hoped to draw into his government were Mullah Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who has lived relatively openly in Kabul for some years, Wakil Muttawakil, the former Taliban foreign minister, and Ghairat Baheer, a close relative of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose forces are allied to the Taliban.

If Ghani fails to reach some kind of deal with the Taliban, the situation in Afghanistan is only going to get worse and the Afghan President will have a hard time staying in power. In this light, Ghani's appeal to the United States "to re-examine" the pullout deadline makes perfect sense. However, as previously discussed, Ghani's concerns about NATO's so-called withdrawal are completely unfounded. The U.S. military responded to the "60 minutes" interview by saying that the U.S. "plan remains in effect and there have been no changes to the drawdown timeline" but even if the U.S. goes forward with its plan to draw down to a "normal" U.S. embassy presence in Kabul at the end of 2016, that means keeping thousands of contractors in the war-torn country. However, at the moment it doesn't look as if the U.S. is really serious about its drawdown plan:

Lejeune Marines prepare for deployment to Afghanistan Just months after marking the end of the Corps' combat operations in Afghanistan, officials revealed that Marines are headed back into the war-torn country, but details of the deployment remain scarce. The disclosure came in a Marine Corps news release outlining preparations being made by 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The company tested its Supporting Arms Liaison Team Alpha's readiness for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan by tackling various "real-life" scenarios between Dec. 8 and 11, according to the release. Outside of the news release, Marine Corps officials declined to discuss 2nd ANGLICO's upcoming deployment. Citing operational security, a spokesman for II Marine Expeditionary Force declined to specify when — and for how long — the unit will be deployed, where within Afghanistan it will operate and whether other Marine units will accompany it.

Washington's Regime Change Tools Struggle in the South Caucasus

In addition to the American troops, Operation Resolute Support, the follow-on mission to ISAF, will also rely on a number of troops from other NATO countries and close NATO allies, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan. A group of Azerbaijani soldiers just left for Afghanistan to support the NATO-led mission despite the current tensions between the regime of Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev and the West. In recent months, Azerbaijan has repeatedly made headlines with crackdowns on NGOs, human rights activists and journalists, most of whom are supported by the United States and the EU. After the Azerbaijani authorities had already arrested Khadija Ismailova, a leading investigative journalist working for the Azerbaijani service of CIA mouthpiece Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), at the beginning of last month, relations between Baku and Washington went from bad to worse when the Aliyev regime cracked down on RFE/RL's Baku bureau a few weeks later:

U.S. 'Alarmed' As Azerbaijan Targets RFE/RL's Baku Office The U.S. State Department says its concerns about the human rights situation in Azerbaijan are deepening after authorities there raided and closed RFE/RL's Baku bureau and interrogated its employees and contractors. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told a December 29 news briefing in Washington: “These actions, along with the denial of access to legal counsel during these interrogations, is further cause for concern." The offices of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, known as Radio Azadliq, were raided on December 26 by investigators from the state prosecutor's office who confiscated documents, files, and equipment before sealing off the premises.

Predictably, the ongoing war of words between the U.S. and Azerbaijan escalated after the crackdown on RFE/RL. Former RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin condemned Aliyev's campaign against "one of the few independent news outlets left in Azerbaijan" in the strongest possible terms and he warned the Obama administration that Washington's vision of a Europe "whole and free" is at risk. "Europe whole and free" is a code often used but rarely explained because it basically means the consolidation of a unified Europe controlled by Brussels on behalf of the United States. Azerbaijan supports Washington's vision but when push comes to shove, the Aliyev regime is more interested in its own survival than in a "Europe whole and free." Although tensions are running high at the moment, it remains to be seen whether or not Azerbaijan will really "snub the West," as some suggest:

Azerbaijan Snubs the West These events have been reported abroad largely as marking a further constriction in Azerbaijan’s already tiny space for alternative points of view. And they are that. But they also suggest a dramatic change in the geopolitics of the volatile Caspian Sea region: the Azerbaijani government’s growing hostility toward Washington.

The attack on RFE/RL followed months of extreme anti-Western rhetoric. Top Azerbaijani government officials have accused the United States ambassador to Baku of “gross interference” and former Foreign Minister Carl Bildt of Sweden of being an American spy. In early December, the president's chief of staff, Ramiz Mehdiyev, published a 13,000-word article claiming that the C.I.A. was contriving regime changes in the post-Soviet space (the so-called color revolutions). It also called Azerbaijan’s human rights activists a “fifth column” of the United States.

It is worth pointing out that the Israeli press has also been sounding the alarm regarding Azerbaijan's supposed foreign policy change but Israel's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Rafael Harpaz addressed these reports a few days ago, allaying any fears and stressing that nothing had changed in Azerbaijani-Israeli relations. Therefore, the alarmist reports in Western media warning of Baku's geopolitical shift away from the West should be taken with a grain of salt. The U.S. won't accept losing Azerbaijan considering that neighboring Armenia has now officially become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), cementing its ties with Moscow. After all attempts to impede Armenia's accession to Russia-led trade bloc have failed, Washington is apparently no longer interested in "advancing democratic values, practices and institutions" in Armenia and decided to shut down the local office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) citing "financial problems," which is obviously a lame excuse:

NDI suspends its activities in Armenia The Armenian office of US' National Democratic Institute (NDI), operating in Armenia since 1995, suspends its operations due to financial problems, Gegam Sargsyan, the head of the office, said on January 7. The NDI has ceased to receive funding from its main sponsor – the USAID (United States Agency for International Development), therefore, starting March 2015 the office will freeze its activities "for an indefinite time, until funds become available," said Sargsyan. "The USAID stopped funding NDI a year ago; then, we received funds from the American National Endowment for Democracy," said Gegam Sargsyan, adding that today the USAID prefers supporting local organizations rather than international ones; while "the NDI is not their current priority."

# # # #

Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst
Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

MKO-Mossad Mortifying Ignominy in Iran

“That the MKO and the ISIL cults are pursing the selfsame path of perversion is no coincidence at all”

In their abortive effort to assassinate another Iranian nuclear scientist, Israeli officials only sustained desperation and disgrace in their dastardly elimination campaign against Iran which was apparently in sync with ISIL inhumane brutalities inside Iraq and Syria.

More alert than ever, security forces are diligently tasked with protecting the lives of the Iranian scientists wherever they are.

A top Iranian military official said on Saturday that in the last two years, “the Zionist entity has been making clandestine efforts to assassinate an Iranian nuclear scientist, but the timely presence of the IRGC security forces thwarted the terrorist operation.”

It is now common knowledge that Tel Aviv has been carrying out covert ops inside the Iranian soil for a couple of years, assassinating Iranian nuclear officials and scientists although Israel has constantly declined to admit to its unjustified iniquity against the Iranian nation.

Translating suspicion into conviction, a report carried by CBS News in March 2014 revealed that Obama has pressured Israeli espionage apparatuses to put an end to their assassinations inside Iran against the country’s nuclear scientists.

The terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization AKA MKO or MEK seems to be a ubiquitous agent any time there is an assassination in Iran. A shadowy cult with myriad of financial, military and intelligence connections to Tel Aviv and Washington, the MKO works in league with Kidon, the assassination unit within the Mossad. There are solid reports which indicate that the MKO members have received military and intelligence training both from the US forces as well as from the Mossad.

In 2012, Seymour M. Hersh revealed that at a secret site in Nevada, the US Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, “a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K.” According to the report, the training ended sometime before President Obama took office. A retired four-star general says, “They got the standard training, in commo, crypto [cryptography], small-unit tactics, and weaponry—that went on for six months…. They were kept in little pods.”

Within the US government, the cult enjoys a rather immense support for their sabotage activities against the Islamic Republic. Among their shills are former top Bush officials and other Republicans (Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, Rudy Giuliani) as well as prominent Democrats (Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark).

A revealing report by NBC News report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem cites two anonymous senior US officials with two interesting claims: 1) that it was MEK which perpetrated the string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and 2) the terrorist group “is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.” So the report testifies to the veracity of what Iranian officials have asserted about the involvement of MEK and Israel in murdering nuclear scientists on the Iranian soil.

Interestingly, a few weeks ago, I received a threatening email from Ali Safavi, the notorious MKO spokesman (through a western publisher of mine) in which he had pontificated about the virtues of the MKO terrorists and the so-called ‘vices’ of the Islamic Republic, accusing me of serving as a mouthpiece for the Islamic Republic. I strongly believe that revealing the murky realities of a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of 17000 innocent Iranians is only my ethical obligation. Besides, Ali Safavi and the likes of him should come to their senses and realize that their efforts to whitewash their crimes will eventually prove pointless and that there is no way at all for them to lend a cloak of legitimacy to their unnamable crimes against the Iranian nation.

During the Iraq-Iran war, the MKO joined hands with Saddam Hussein, the tyrannical ruler of Iraq in attacking and killing Iranian combatants. However, a bloodier chapter in the history of the cult can be traced in their collusion with Saddam in crushing the popular uprisings in 1991. No doubt, their tanks took an inconceivable reprisal on thousands of innocent civilians. The callous command of Maryam Rajavi is still gnawing and tearing at the hearts and minds of the Iraqis: “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.”

Unfortunately, the MKO, long considered a terrorist organization, was delisted thanks to the unflagging endeavors of former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In 2011, Mohamed Ali Lobnani, a Lebanese national, who was arrested on charges of spying for Mossad confessed that he had spied for Israel under the cover of a Shiite cleric in Lebanon.

In a court hearing session, Lobnani said he had phone contacts with Mohammad Alizadeh, an MKO ringleader, claiming that had no idea that the number was a Mossad contact number.

Asked about the link between MKO and Mossad, he noted, “As far as I know, the group (MKO) has been collaborating with Israel for several years and has massive interactions with Mossad.”

The MKO is the artifact of a corrupt ideology which is in many respects comparable to that of the ISIL cult. No wonder they are fighting shoulder to shoulder with the ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The fact that these two curious cults are thriving rigorously, that the West caters – either publicly or secretly – to their cravings, that they are being bigheartedly financed by the puppet regional regimes and that they receive sophisticated military and intelligence training from Mossad and CIA evinces a believable bond between the two.

That the MKO and the ISIL cults are pursing the selfsame path of perversion is no coincidence at all. The reason is simple: they are cut from the same cloth. And that Mossad is dispatching assassins into Iran to liquidate Iranian scientists is only meant to strike fear and beyond that, to secretly make up for what the ISIL and MKO terrorists feel emasculated to do in Iran.

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Dr. Ismail Salami is an internationally published author, literary scholar, Quranologist, political commentator, and lexicographer. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his writings have been translated into a number of languages. Salami is a former editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times International Daily. He currently teaches English literature at the University of Tehran.