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-   -   Libya: The biggest domino to fall yet? (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f23/libya-biggest-domino-fall-yet-19457.html)

Claudius 02-23-2011 08:56 AM

Libya: The biggest domino to fall yet?
 
No article, just kind of wondering. Yes, there's been the over turning of governments in Tunisia and Egypt with more uprisings occurring in Bahrain, but it just seems that Libya is the bigger deal right now.

Considering how insane Ghadafi is and the impact on oil exports, it just seems to have grabbed my attention.

Anyone else feel the same?

Claudius 02-23-2011 09:12 AM


'trane 02-23-2011 09:17 AM

it is a very different kind of state than egypt or even tunisia. the oil wealth is astronomical, as you said, and the country has never really been unified. it's one of those states that was a cobbling together of tribal areas under a dictator, and that lack of unification has always required a heavy hand to bring under any banner. it will be a very volatile place if they manage to completely oust ghadafi.

also, i keep thinking that with each rebellion that occurs we are seeing the issue become bigger and bigger in general. if libya falls, i wonder what will come next? there are some really, really big ones that you have to start wondering about if this sweep of revolutions keeps building steam.

thought 02-23-2011 09:24 AM

the way the people of libya have come together in the face of such an insane dictator and opressive regime is incredible. not to discount the uprisings in other arab nations but i agree with you, the libyans have been the biggest underdogs in terms of they've had to deal with in the past, and now as the regime responds to the protests.

there will be some sort of ripple effect in the rest of the arab world, when they really catch wind of the progress the libyans have made. and really, i'm hopeful the rest of the arab world will see that if the libyans could do it, it's possible. as ghadafi's grip loosens on tripoli i think you'll start to see the uprisings strengthening their push

Claudius 02-23-2011 09:27 AM

There's already talk of uprising(s) in Algeria and Morocco. I'll be honest, I have very limited knowledge of the region (very confusing to ever study and truly comprehend) but I reading that the East of Libya is the oil rich portion while the West (Tripoli) is not and is completely different. And yep, it was put together during the 20th century, so a definite power vacuum would exist.

It's just a very interesting time and I wish for the safety of all involved. The only other time I can think of such wide-spread uprisings looking to overturn the governments in place would be the 1848 revolutions in Europe.

Claudius 02-23-2011 09:29 AM

Oh, and apparently Ghadafi is looking or has fled to Zimbabwe under protection of the Mugabe regime. Hugo Chavez has already condemned the protests in support of his friend.

'trane 02-23-2011 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claudius (Post 512409)
Oh, and apparently Ghadafi is looking or has fled to Zimbabwe under protection of the Mugabe regime. Hugo Chavez has already condemned the protests in support of his friend.

i've read that too. if chavez is really doing that, he's undermining everything he's ever stood for.

Shadowfax 02-23-2011 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claudius (Post 512407)
There's already talk of uprising(s) in Algeria and Morocco. I'll be honest, I have very limited knowledge of the region (very confusing to ever study and truly comprehend) but I reading that the East of Libya is the oil rich portion while the West

i'm somewhat naive when it comes to this region as well...just difficult to keep track of....but i'm pretty sure Libya has only a 2% market share of the world's oil (please don't quote me on that)
Saudi Arabia is the biggy...and interestingly enough, it seems it's beginning to feel the heat as well
the Saudi King just handed out 35 Billion in aid to it's citizens...i find the timing extremely suspect

here's the link

Link

griffthecat 02-23-2011 01:27 PM

If libya falls, will we be able to power our flux capacitors without issue, time travel or bulletproof vests?

surreyjack 02-23-2011 02:26 PM

The US must be going crazy now that they are losing all of their puppets... Unless they are in on this?

End of world = when muslims are running the whole middle east?

LX 02-23-2011 02:36 PM

It feels like history is turning in such a way that it will effect much more than what we see now. And at the same time, this feels like some of the last vestiges of all the effects of the cold war falling away. Ghadafi is a perfect stereotype of the kind of dictator of the past. It's almost as if he was created by image consultants, and in a sense the stereotype did get reinforced by expectations of various geopolitical forces. With whole new sets of expectations multiplying, and some real strain on the sense of our old, oil-dependent ways being sustainable, it's going to be interesting to see some of the effects.

bladeofBG 03-29-2011 12:43 AM

Yes, Libya is indeed the biggest domino yet.

It's that not juss b/c Muammar Gaddafi and his sons are all nuts, and hoping beyond hope that this whole ordeal will end better for them than it did for Hosni Mubarak, but mainly b/c whoever in the American gov't is able to manipulate the Gaddafi's into submitting assets (ie - oil, arms, monetary currency, information currency in terms of political espionage & stock market manipulation, international connections, etc.) by way of using a 3rd party to give them asylum (Hugo Chavez?), will have some serious bragging rights come the 2012 election (Obama, Palin, etc.). This provided they end up looking like a full hero in providing safety for Libyans citizens, scoring assets that benefit the American population (and also solidifying partnerships w/big business come 2012 election time, behind closed doors of course) and leaving some left over for Libyans, and keeping the fact that they helped the Gaddafi's get asylum under wraps.


Obama's only tangible skill is his ability to 'spin' the truth, so fuck the facade of Obama's speech tonight, as what he said is not consistent w/his reputation in international circles, especially w/NATO. If the U.S. was really the leader of the coalition, then why has the whole operation's leadership been transferred to Cdn. Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard, instead of an American, or a general of a country whose leader was in bed w/Obama in the 1st place (Cameron of the UK, Sarkozy of France; Harper in case you don't know, couldn't give a fuck about huckster Obama)? And if Obama was really willingly transferring leadership w/the reason being the economic toll that replacing the missiles would have on American taxpayers, then why did he send so many American sorties and missiles in the 1st place when the mission began (if not but to keep up the facade of America 'caring' for the rest of the world...w/oil of course - I'm inclined to believe its provision for the next regime to feel indebted to him and not NATO, for oil pricing's sake)? Why not spread the responsibility in the 1st place among all NATO countries participating, especially since America is behind the 8ball more than other countries since the '08 economic collapse? And why were missiles targeting Muammar Gaddafi's compound -endangering Libyan civilians while doing so- when NATO said before & after that attack that targeting Muammar isn't at all part of the program (and lets remember the US bombed the same compound in 1986 under Reagan)?

No. I don't believe any of the shit I juss heard, mixing in half-truths & lies to mask the fact that he's made a rescue mission into a political issue (as I'm sure Palin and others have; why else did reports come in of the Gaddafi's repeatedly calling so many different people w/White House connections, seeking asylum?). I'm much more inclined to believe that Obama is trying to straddle the fence as he did w/Hosni Mubarak (who didn't have oil, but had much more monetary wealth & international connections; both of which are good assets to solidify partnerships for coming elections) until he couldn't do it anymore, and now has been playing both sides of the fence w/the Gaddafi's, using airstrikes on the compounds to put pressure on the Gaddafi's to give him assets before its too late for him to get things from them like was the case w/Mubarak.

In short, I feel much better for Libyans, the rest of North Africa, and NATO (and even for them fuckin Gaddafi's too!), now that Obama isn't in charge of the operation, but Charles Bouchard is. Get to the business of saving lives w/o any pretense. No pretty speeches for pretexts of getting better oil prices.

LX 03-29-2011 06:57 AM

everything is a conspiracy huh?

A fence was straddled with Mubarak because of the big picture. Hosni did offer some sense of stability, as twisted as that is, through support for Israel. That was always his calling card, and it was not something that the US could just let go of easily without having some sense of what would follow. If the US rejected Mubarak out of hand and then he found the means to remain in power, it would not have helped anyone. The next alternative would have been to go in and invade.

Obama did not want to get sucked into an invasion and another Iraq. Not a bad move. The same instincts are in play in Libya. If the motive is oil then going in with ground forces and occupying the country would be a pretty good game plan. Obama is putting a very tight reign on militaristic means of change, and ensuring that the responsibility is spread out by all interested parties. If you think Britain hasn't been hit hard by financial crisis you're out of your mind. And it has been Britain and France that want to go after Khaddafi. It's a pretty complicated situation, but one thing is pretty clear - the aim is not to have those complications blow up in our faces in the form of another Iraq. And it is hard to see where that isn't just entirely reasonable and sensible.

bladeofBG 03-30-2011 01:08 AM

No. Yes Mubarak has offered stability regarding Israel (which kicked Egypt's ass in the 6-day war in '67, 11yrs before Mubarak took office; that's something to think about, much like 9/11/01 is still fresh in most adult minds as I remember it like it happend last year), and that was what made the US turn a blind eye to his autocratic rule for 32 fuckin years. Implying that the rebels against Mubarak would in turn eventually have hostility towards Israel is painting them in a similar light as the Pakistanis etc. who can't read (opposed to the many who can) that take whatever negativity their cleric has to say about Israelis as fact. Yes Egypt of centuries and decades ago had hostility towards Israel, but ever since the 1952 revolution there, Egypt slowly built up its education system and is now today in 2011 the most academically forward country in the region: That is to say, most Egyptians -regardless of how they feel about Israel in 2011- know that WAR is BAD for BUSINESS, and thus WAR is bad for the economy, which they are trying to make right after Mubarak has made off w/millions of dollars that belong to Egyptian citizenry. And when you combine the fact that most Egyptians are educated w/the fact that about 85% of Egyptians have relatives in the army (and that's the main reason why they were able to overthrow Mubarak, while Libya & Bahrain still languish, w/thier armies killing harmless demonstrators), it makes for a nationwide business & military infrastructure that doesn't want hostility w/Israel. The messianic madness that swallowed them for centuries & decades (and has still swallowed many pockets of the under-educated Arab world) won't do so again, especially w/the Arab world now having the understanding that autocratic rule from their dictators is much more a poison than anything regarding Israel (a country which seems more of a scapegoat than anything else, to divert attention from Arab dictator's own atrocities).

You saying what you did in your first paragraph has as little documented proof as I'm able to give for all what I claim. However, you've failed to address how folk in all levels of American gov't, even in Obama's own party & cabinet, and all levels of political debate were condemning Obama for not showing any leadership for Egypt's plight against Mubarak for most of the time that the revolution there was happening.

For so many reasons, no one of any motive, be it evil, good, or ambivalent, wants to see another Iraq happen. Hence going in w/ground forces would've made the whole world accuse America of seeking another Iraq on Libyan soil. Not to mention that the international community was calling for a No-Fly zone, and thus if Obama called for ground troops for any reason, it'd be an impeachable offense seeing Gaddafi's forces aren't a threat to America's security (and bombing Gaddafi's compound is straddling the fence regarding impeachment right there; showing 'audacity' like that even one more time, and Congress has full right to throw him out).

Wrong. If he was really putting a tight reign on the military as you claim, he wouldn't have initiated w/so many American sorties when the operation began, in contrast w/the significantly fewer number of sorties from other countries (who are in better economic shape regarding thier GDP's than the US, and are just as committed to helping Libyan citizens as those w/true American values). That he's acting on "spread the responsibility" now instead of when the operation began shows one of two things: ONE being that he had something to gain by putting his foot more forward than the other NATO countries when the operation began; or TWO being NATO is that sick of him (re: bombing the compound when it wasn't part of the operation in the 1st place) enough that they've stripped him of decision making responsibility regarding the mission, and he is now obviously saving face by now executing the strategy of "spreading the responsibility."

Excuse me? I have relatives on both sides of my family and acquaintances on my own in Britain. I know how far reaching the '08 economic collapse is. I don't recall saying it was localized in one area; it simply hit America's midwest the hardest of any place on Earth, and thus America was in no position to launch so many sorties and missiles to begin the operation in Libya. Jet fuel and missiles cost a goddamn fortune. And Britain on a whole has recovered much more quickly and efficiently than America has from the economic collapse.

Of course Britain & France want a go at Gaddafi, that's why they signed up for the coalition. I didn't deny that. And it was never planned to be another Iraq, as Iraq was an invasion based on the false pretense of WMD's there *AND* the United Nations never agreed w/that reasoning and thus never agreed w/that war, only Dubya and Tony Blair did. Here today in Libya, the goal has been clearly stated w/no ambiguity, Al Queda doesn't have heavy operations in Libya, the citizens began the revolution, and the U.N./NATO agree w/creating a No-Fly Zone, and are the ones leading that effort, not the USA or Britain. Thus, all the fundamental factors make this a completely different situation than Iraq. The only thing this has in common w/Iraq is America has a presence in both, Libyans and Iraqis generally have a similar skintone and similar religious beliefs, and both had a psychotic autocratic dictator w/psychotic sons.


And as for you seperate from the issue, you begin your post by subtly disrespecting my demeanor even though I've never had a history of disrespecting you, then you counter my points with things you can't prove in the same way I don't have documentation to prove my points, then you talk about the U.S. putting in ground troups even though the whole issue began w/a "No-Fly Zone," then you imply that I'm out of my mind for something about Britain which I never even said or even implied, and then you close by acknowledging that its a complicated situation, yet finish your statement w/a platitude.

So you are either rude, disrespectful & look down on those who think differently from you, or you simply woke up too early to post effectively in response to me. Either way, is it safe to conclude that you watch the news w/o thinking critically about what they're telling you and not telling you? I mean its socially okay if you don't, as most people don't. (Hey at least I'm asking you this, instead of responding to some imaginary statement which denotes you impyling something, like the 'respect' you displayed to me here)

LX 03-30-2011 07:19 AM

Sorry dude. You sounded pretty conspiratorial. Lies lies lies all in order to secure some kind of top-secret assets? My point was simply to try to see the obvious as being quite likely the primary motivation. There is more of a concern for avoiding certain outcomes than there is of gaining some kind of advantage outside of geopolitical stability - both in Egypt and in Libya. In the big picture the turn of events looks like a win-win for all of us. Is there some kind of bullshit going on as well? There always is. But there stands to be much less manipulation than in the past if the dictators fall.

Sorry to have upset you. I have no problem with you thinking differently. But I honestly have a hard time seeing clarity in your argument outside of seeing all kinds of conspiratorial machinations. Again - the complications are immense. Where this all ends up going is pretty hard to discern. But it does seem clear that the reach of the US as a superpower is far more limited than in the past, and the difficult task is going to be to come up with some means of international cooperation. I see that taking shape to some extent, and that leaves me hopeful, but cautiously so.

bladeofBG 03-30-2011 01:57 PM

Gotcha, and apology is fully accepted.

We have every reason to 'see the obvious as being quite likely the primary motivation,' simply b/c common sense and human ethics point to that. What's more, I believe many in the coalition (amongst the army generals & UN folk) have the right heart going into the program (to ensure safety of Libyan citizens).

But there are also enough questions that should be raised regarding everything about this, wherein I feel that people ought to have no choice but to begin suspecting foul play. W/o such questions and conviction, criminal investigations can never come about; or if they do, they'd be fundamentally half-assed right from the jump.

And for the record, I'm actually extremely hopeful. I juss hope for a minimum of casualties in the meanwhile, till goals are reached.

And after the 9/11 Omission, I don't think anyone can be blamed for being conspiratorial, friend.


Barracuda 03-30-2011 02:13 PM

Ministry! Very nice, blade... very nice. :yeah:

LX 03-30-2011 02:43 PM

I'm more worried about how Obama is giving asylum to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest, than I am about him finding asylum for the Libyan war criminal. I think there is a lot more honesty in this current approach than we've seen for decades of glorified speech of patriotism and a love of freedom everywhere. The veil has not been entirely removed, but the need for a veil is lessening.

LX 03-30-2011 04:44 PM

Here's a very interesting piece by a lawyer and journalist named Scott Horton. I think it provides a bridge between both our views BG. There is a conspiracy, but it is one operating rather incompetently, and doing more to further revolution in the Arab world while damaging the interests of the US. It's lengthy, but well worth the time.

Quote:

The current revolution appears to have been profoundly influenced by another
quite specific relic of the Bush years. Shadi Mokhtari, a professor at
American University, dealt with this closely in a smart recent piece in Open
Democracy. She notes that the American patterns of torture so vividly established
at Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantánamo dramatically altered the dialogue
throughout the region. Before the Bush years, human rights was viewed
as a Western conceptualization with little relevance to the Middle East.
Moreover, the largely closed societies of the region, while permitting some
nominal dialogue on human rights issues, were closed to any meaningful investigation
or public discussion of their own human rights abuses.

The photographs from Abu Ghraib changed this dramatically. Suddenly newspapers
and broadcast media across the region began to focus intensely on the
torture issue. Mokhtari writes:

“Denials of fair trials in Guantánamo, CIA black sites, renditions of terrorist
suspects to third countries known to torture, and legal formulations paving the
way for ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ all brought discussion of human
rights further to the fore of Arab consciousness. Instead of viewing human
rights as a Western imposition, increasingly it became a language that Arab
populations embraced to challenge America’s post-9/11 policies.”
On the example of the Bush administration’s policies, people learned about the
Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions and the international enforcement
process. In many nations they also learned that their government
had ratified the CAT and passed criminal legislation outlawing torture. America
was excoriated for preaching civil liberties and civil rights and then giving
the Middle East torture practices which sometimes seemed indistinguishable
from those of the dictators they had deposed.

But throughout the region, this criticism of America had a powerful subtext.
It was a proxy criticism of their own regimes. Readers knew and fully appreciated,
for instance, that the stress positions, sensory deprivation tactics and
waterboarding used by the Americans were also tactics developed by Mubarak’s
hated Mabahith Amn al-Dawla (State Security Investigative Service,
SSI), by the Tunisian interior ministry or Morocco’s Direction de la Securité du
Territoire (DST). Moreover, they fixated on the covert relationship between the
American CIA and the intelligence agencies of their own regimes, a partnership
forged in torture as much as intelligence gathering.

The demand for “dignity” that went up in Tunis, Cairo and Alexandria was
most frequently exemplified by a negative--by photographs of prisoners,
stripped naked and held by a leash, smeared with feces, or in body pyramids--
photographs from Abu Ghraib, all images reflecting practices approved by
George Bush, with the formal blessing of his Department of Justice, and implemented
by America’s Defense Department and CIA--but also practices
common to the shadowy police and intelligence agencies of the Arab world.

At the core of the dark relationship between the CIA and the state-security
services of the Arab world is a complex network of secret prisons, black sites
and torture. When things got too hot for the CIA in Europe in 2004 because of
the opening of formal inquiries by the Council of Europe and European Parliament,
the focus of its extraordinary renditions program, and specifically the
“torture by proxy” aspect of that program (as a study by the New York City
Bar termed it), shifted across the Mediterranean to the Middle East, and not
coincidentally, to the three nations where the bonfire of revolution is now raging:
Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. In these countries, the CIA developed special
arrangements with local security organs--they would import prisoners they
wanted tortured, and their local collaborators would do the torturing, often in
the presence or even under the direction of CIA officers. The CIA, using taxpayer
dollars, would fund the construction of special prisons, and often would
control special sections of prisons run by the local security services.

In Egypt, the CIA’s then-station chief, M.D., who now heads the agency’s powerful
Counter-Terrorist Center, cultivated a special relationship with Mubarak’s
head of international intelligence, Omar Suleiman. M.D. and Suleiman
were effectively the operators of the torture-by-proxy regime that American
and Egyptian intelligence co-ventured. A flavor of the CIA’s relationship with
Suleiman is furnished by this anecdote from author Ron Suskind’s book The
One Percent Doctrine:

“The CIA thought it had killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a bombing
strike in 2002 and believed it had possession of his head. In order to get
confirmation the agency needed genetic material from Zawahiri's brother, who
was then in the custody of Egyptian police.

“Suleiman said, 'It's no problem. We'll just cut the brother's arm off and send
it to you.' The CIA replied that a vial of blood would do just fine, thank you.”
These are the words of a monster. Yet as the unrest spread in Egypt, the CIA
moved aggressively to promote their man, Suleiman, as Mubarak’s successor--
a move that promised to strengthen their already powerful connections to the
Egyptian state, and to subvert the dreams of millions of Egyptians for a new
state that promised human dignity and democracy.

Repeatedly in the course of the revolutions, foreign and particularly American
journalists got to experience first hand what it meant to be the prisoner of one
of these regimes. Americans had read only extremely fleeting and often rather
clinical descriptions of the fate of prisoners of the Tunisian secret police, of
Mubarak’s SSI, of Qaddafi’s thugs. When prominent American anchor personalities
were roughed up, arrested and beaten, suddenly the accounts became far
more colorful--and more authentic. Among the best of the accounts came from
four New York Times reporters captured by Qaddafi’s forces while covering a
clash outside of the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya.

“Over the years, all of us had seen men detained, blindfolded and handcuffed at
places like Abu Ghraib, or corralled after some operation in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Now we were the faceless we had covered perhaps too dispassionately.
For the first time, we felt what it was like to be disoriented by a blindfold, to
have plastic cuffs dig into your wrists, for hands to go numb.”

They went on to describe in detail the psychological pressures, acts of physical
degradation and beatings to which they were subjected over a four-day period.
And they noted that their fate was not particularly harsh, in part because they
were foreign journalists, so their lives had distinct value.
On July 14, 1789, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille, a symbol of the oppression
and brutality of the ancien régime. On January 15, 1990, citizens of
East Berlin stormed the headquarters of the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit,
or Stasi, perhaps the most intrusive instrument of state surveillance in modern
times. On March 6, 2011, citizens of Cairo and Alexandria stormed the headquarters
of Mubarak’s SSI. They did so with the support of the military after
judges got information confirming that SSI officers, fearing their imminent arrest
and prosecution, were busy destroying records of the torture and abuse of
ordinary Egyptians, and of their collaboration with the CIA in the torture-byproxy
regime. Files were seized, and the infamous torture chambers and their
apparatus were taped and immediately put up on YouTube. Now lawyers are
meticulously culling these documents.

As one of Egypt’s leading prosecutors told me, “our nation ratified the Convention
Against Torture. We also passed legislation implementing it. The torture
practices of SSI were criminal acts. And so were the CIA torture-by-proxy arrangements.

All of this could be prosecuted now. All of it should be prosecuted.”
The nightmare of state-sponsored torture in Egypt will not stop unless
it is prosecuted. Much of the success of the revolution in Egypt hinges on this
resolve.

It’s difficult to forecast the way forward in Egypt. Throughout human history
revolutions launched for idealistic purposes have been hijacked by singleminded
men who proceeded to create simply a new kind of tyranny. Successful
revolutions, like the one that Americans launched in 1776, have been rare.

Moreover, the forces opposing this revolution are formidable. The key institutions
of the Mubarak state are still there. The armed forces, with their own
vast commercial interests and deeply entrenched corruption, have now moved
to the nation’s power apex. American diplomats speak of their support for democratic
reform and a realization of the electoral franchise. Yet other Americans
lurk in the shadows, working with the military and the remnants of the
old torture state, plotting against these very reforms--a fact which undermines
the confidence of ordinary Egyptians in the words and sincerity of Barack
Obama. And on the other hand Egypt was the birthing grounds of modern radical
Islamists, groups which killed Anwar el-Sadat and have long formed the
determined and suppressed opposition to Mubarak. It’s unclear whether the aspirations
of Tahrir Square will be realized, and a long waltz remains to be
danced between the forces of the old Egypt, the “brothers” and the core constituencies
of the revolution--the aspiring middle class, professionals and students.
So far, however, the revolutionaries have demonstrated pluck and ingenuity.
It would be a serious error, yet one the American intelligence community
is prone to make, to write off the reformers and work to uphold the vestiges of
the old Egypt.

Egyptians not only demonstrated great courage in standing up to Mubarak’s
thugs and maintaining peace and composure in their struggle for a new and
more worthy society, they are also furnishing a positive example to America
about how to deal with intelligence services whose arrogant lawlessness threatens
the integrity of the state. They have forced the dissolution of SSI and have
organized a new intelligence service. Answering to the demands of the people,
the interim government states that the era of impunity for misconduct by intelligence
agents is over. They promise accountability for past abuses. They
also promise a special structure of continuous judicial oversight and review covering
the new agencies activities to protect prisoners against abuse. Conversely,
in America the CIA’s operations remain enshrouded in secrecy and beyond any
meaningful form of accountability under law.

Between ten and twenty thousand Americans serve in the CIA. Many of them
serve selflessly and with a strong sense of American values and ethics. Many
sacrifice and subject themselves to great danger in the service of their country
and fellow citizens. Their service is essential to the nation’s security. But
America’s intelligence services have hit a historical low-water mark in terms
of both ethics and competence. Increasingly it is difficult for an ethical citizen
to serve at the CIA and in other intelligence services. And that fact threatens
our nation’s security.

The recent decline starts with the Bush-era torture practices which have historically
involved only a miniscule part of the agency’s staff. Throughout the
agency, employees were told that if they had a problem with torture, they
could leave. Hundreds of the agency’s best and most dedicated agents did exactly
that. I’ve interviewed some of them. And the flip side is that the small
coterie who embraced torture with zeal and formed the core of its torture programs
quickly formed a secret elite; they found themselves on an express track
to the top. Consider a recent Associated Press study looking at fourteen CIA
agents who were involved in abusive conduct connected with the torture-byproxy
system. Most of these cases involved serious crimes, including homicides,
kidnapping, assault and torture. In no case was the agent subjected to serious
disciplinary action. Just the opposite in fact: Involvement in torture programs
marked them for advancement. Engaging in abuses showed that they
were willing to take risks, that they “had chalk on their cleats.” This is how a
tiny clique of torture promoters within the agency, probably no more than 60
persons in total, protected and advanced themselves with a helping hand from
the top of the agency. Let’s look at just one striking case from the AP study.
In December 2003, Macedonian intelligence (for all practical purposes a CIA
satellite agency) informed the CIA that a man with a German passport named
Khaled el-Masri had appeared at a border crossing. The report went to a young
analyst named A.B. to assess. After examining the matter, A.B. was convinced
that el-Masri was not, as his passport showed, a German greengrocer from
Neu-Ulm, but instead a dangerous Al Qaeda terrorist whose name was the
same but for two letters. Even when told that the suspect’s claims about his
innocence checked out, A.B. persisted because her “gut told her” that a
swarthy-skinned bearded man like this just had to be a dangerous terrorist.
He was kidnapped, beaten, drugged, and flown to Afghanistan’s notorious Salt
Pit, where he was beaten, drugged and abused again. A.B.’s gut was 100 percent
wrong and an innocent German citizen was tortured and separated from
his distraught wife and children for half a year because of her incompetent
bigotry. He was released, but those who knew him said they could hardly recognize
the Khaled el-Masri they knew in this man. Now he was a broken shell
of his former self. German psychologists have concluded that as a direct result
of the torture and abuse to which he was subjected--on A.B.’s directions--el-
Masri had become a broken and deranged man, marked with acute delusions of
persecution, dangerous to himself and to others. He may well spend the rest of
his life imprisoned under psychiatric oversight. The U.S. offered a quick
“sorry” to German prime minister Angela Merkel; but to the victim himself it
offered nothing. What consequence did this have for A.B.? She was applauded
for being willing to take risks. She was offered a plum position in London and
then was placed in charge of the Al Qaeda unit, one of the most prestigious
postings in the agency. On the other hand, I’m not permitted to tell you A.B.’s
full name, even though it is known to many who have studied the el-Masri
case, and indeed it is known to law enforcement officers around the world-—her
arrest is being sought by German police, in fact. They believe she is responsible
for the kidnapping, assault, drugging and torture of an innocent German citizen,
offenses which ordinarily would carry a hefty jail term. And they also believe
that the CIA has given her a covert position (which she did not have at the
time of her involvement with el-Masri) as part of a scheme to obstruct the
criminal justice process. And they’re almost certainly right about all of that.

But what does it say about the CIA that a proven incompetent is placed in
charge of an extremely sensitive mission and given cover to help her cope with
a pending criminal inquiry? It shows that competence and excellence take a
back seat to covering up crimes. Because of the torture programs, 23 U.S. intelligence
operatives have been tried and convicted in Italy. Others have become
the targets of criminal investigations now pending in Spain, Britain, Germany,
Poland, Lithuania and Australia. And the process has barely begun. Indeed, in
Egypt it’s only now getting under way.

How has torture affected the CIA? It has caused the agency to rot from within.
Many of the agency’s best have left, while those who behaved thuggishly were
promoted and advanced to the agency’s top echelons. The agency’s deep fear of
exposure of its torture programs--which constitute crimes against humanity
under international law, subject to no statute of limitations--has led it to destroy
evidence and lie about its past programs systematically, to foreign governments,
congressional oversight and U.S. and foreign law enforcement officers.
It also deepened its ties with its torture-partners throughout the Arab
world. If America today is viewed as being on the wrong side of the Arab Revolution,
as an ally of the oppressors who run the torture cells where prisoners
are systematically humiliated and degraded--and not with the crowds calling
for freedom, democracy and a better life--then the CIA and its torture-byproxy
scheme is the principal reason why.

The bonds to torture and torturers also caused the CIA to misjudge the situation
across the Middle East and to produce bad analysis and advice. The agency
failed to see the Arab Revolution coming, and when it started, it consistently
failed to appreciate the developments. The ill-considered effort to install Omar
Suleiman is a good demonstration of the CIA’s amateurish meddling in these
events in progress. It’s easy to understand how this served the short-term (and
short-sighted) institutional needs of the CIA; after all, Suleiman was their best
friend in Egypt. It’s impossible to see how it served the long-term strategic interests
of the United States. Consider Leon Panetta’s confident--and erroneous--
predictions about Mubarak’s resignation. Delivered with the bravado of a
man determined to rebut criticisms of the agency and anxious to make the case
that he should be the next secretary of defense, these comments greatly complicated
the removal of Mubarak and enabled General Mohammed Tantawi to
outflank Omar Suleiman in the competition for interim authority. CIA analysis
routinely reflects institutional interests, striving to protect and advance its key
relationships and assets, foremost its torture partners; only rarely does it reflect
the actual situation on the ground. The CIA continues to operate from a
fundamental misunderstanding of the revolution and the complex new dynamics
that launched it. If the CIA today is a dangerously degraded institution--and
I am convinced that is so--then the reason is simple. Torture always comes
home.

Today the CIA and its sister agencies are so absorbed with covering the tracks
of their torture handiwork--and insisting that they made no mistakes in the
past--that they seem to have forgotten that their mission is actually to provide
current intelligence and analysis that serves the nation. There is no clearer
demonstration of that fact than in the current crisis in the Middle East. With
a total intelligence community annual budget in the vicinity of $80 billion, the
expenditure of funds has mushroomed and vast resources have been lavished
on the Middle East. But for all of that, American intelligence has been lobotomized.
A Washington decision-maker would do better investing a few hours a
day watching the news on Al Jazeera than getting a stream of highly classified
intelligence community briefings. Al Jazeera has to account for mistakes and
slanted reporting in a public forum, whereas the myriad imbecilities of U.S. intelligence
reports are allowed to hide unchallenged behind poorly justified security
classifications. The results for the United States are ominous. In a time of
tectonic shifts in the region, American leaders are essentially blind to new opportunities
and uninformed about challenges--and particularly the challenges
that can be traced directly back to the agency’s own crimes and blunders. The
legacy of torture is an intelligence community wedded to the dark side. This is
producing an America which is less smart, less safe and less faithful to its own
principles.

bladeofBG 03-31-2011 02:17 AM

You know it Barracuda. Here's N.W.O., filmed right in the middle of the '92 L.A. riots, when the courts acquitted the cops that beat down Rodney King:


For real LX. The thing is that the entire FBI, CIA, US Supreme Court, and many folk in Congress all have too much to lose w/the truth of 9/11 coming out. But that doesn't excuse the president for not persuing the truth, as with more mainstream coverage, the entire country (and world community) would demand a real hearing (like how half of NYC did after the 9/11 Co-mission came out; they still haven't gotten it). Now I'll go read the article you've provided (and thanks).


-Yeah no doubt that the torture & other power abuses @ Abu-Graib & Gauntanamo hindered dialogue between USA & the Arab world! That's why its so important to get the truth of 9/11 out there, that Dubya and co. fuckin did it; so willing to kill their own people, of course they're willing to torture Arabs thereafter; they even killed the Constitution w/the Patriot Act, wherein they could seek to get away w/the torture.

-Re: "America was excoriated for preaching civil liberties and civil rights and then givingthe Middle East torture practices which sometimes seemed indistinguishable from those of the dictators they had deposed."....

Me!:....It'd be great if the Middle East knew that not only was 9/11/01 an inside job, but that George Bush Sr. was once head of the CIA, Osama Bin Laden was a CIA agent in his service, and the Bin Laden's helped initiate the Bush's oil business. And Bin Laden was being treated at an American hospital in the Middle East on the morning of 9/11/01 (I forgot which country; I think one of Qatar, Kuwait or UAE). I believe all this info helps connect the dots better; Bin Laden was his willing patsy. It's not out of the question that Bin Laden is being hid w/help of Dubya's camp, and thus prolong the wars in Afganistan & Iraq (and thus continue to drive up oil prices - let's not forget then-VP Dick Cheney has very strong ties to Halliburton as well).

-Re: "Moreover, they fixated on the covert relationship between the American CIA and the intelligence agencies of their own regimes, a partnership forged in torture as much as intelligence gathering." .....

Me!:...A-ha! So they did begin to know! Good! However, not good enough, as this knowledge is only shared by those who've done heavy homework, both in North America and the Arab world. But its an excellent start, w/a number of citizens of both lands understanding that the primary leaders of both lands are nothing short of str8 up fucking evil.

-Re: "In these countries, the CIA developed special arrangements with local security organs--they would import prisoners they wanted tortured, and their local collaborators would do the torturing, often in the presence or even under the direction of CIA officers.".....

Me!:....Consider this along w/considering the fact that when the missile (not plane) hit the Pentagon, a whole bunch of suits lined up on the lawn in fully organized fashion, and picked up all the debris: This completely goes against proper procedure of leaving the evidence exactly where it is, so the local police & military police investigators (as opposed CIA & FBI) can fully do their forensic work. In its most fundamental form, the CIA @ the Pentagon performed a cover-up in the same fucking hour that it happend (I wonder if they knew they were being caught on camera?).

W/all this to consider, who in their right mind would trust the CIA, or even the FBI? The only difference is one unit's jurisdiction is fucking over America, and the other is fucking over the rest of the world. Of course, on special events like 9/11/01, they celebrate their work together.

-Re: " “Suleiman said, 'It's no problem. We'll just cut the brother's arm off and send it to you.' The CIA replied that a vial of blood would do just fine, thank you.” These are the words of a monster. Yet as the unrest spread in Egypt, the CIA moved aggressively to promote their man, Suleiman, as Mubarak’s successor--a move that promised to strengthen their already powerful connections to theEgyptian state, and to subvert the dreams of millions of Egyptians for a new state that promised human dignity and democracy." ......

Me!:....Wow. Just...wow. I feel a little persuaded to say now that Egypt is slightly ahead of America in terms of getting legitimate leadership, as at least they know the Mubarak regime had to go. What'll it take for Americans to understand that both the CIA & FBI have no place in a true democracy/free country, and that all too often, both presidential candidates are ever so willingly tied to the same 7-headed dragon?


-Re: "It’s difficult to forecast the way forward in Egypt. Throughout human history revolutions launched for idealistic purposes have been hijacked by singleminded men who proceeded to create simply a new kind of tyranny. Successful revolutions, like the one that Americans launched in 1776, have been rare.".....

Me!:......As long as the revolutionaries in Egypt hold fast to ALL the FULL reasons & principles why they wanted the revolution, have no cracks (as in, they'd be ready to protest all over again if threads of tyranny show themselves in any shape or form), and concede absolutely nothing to 'special interest groups' within and without the country, then they'll have their revolution's full fruition. If they hold to these things fiercely, their 2011 revolution will be even stronger than America's in 1776.

-Re: "Moreover, the forces opposing this revolution are formidable. The key institutions of the Mubarak state are still there. The armed forces, with their own vast commercial interests and deeply entrenched corruption, have now moved to the nation’s power apex. American diplomats speak of their support for democratic reform and a realization of the electoral franchise. Yet other Americans lurk in the shadows, working with the military and the remnants of the old torture state, plotting against these very reforms--a fact which undermines the confidence of ordinary Egyptians in the words and sincerity of Barack Obama. And on the other hand Egypt was the birthing grounds of modern radical Islamists, groups which killed Anwar el-Sadat and have long formed the determined and suppressed opposition to Mubarak. It’s unclear whether the aspirations of Tahrir Square will be realized, and a long waltz remains to be danced between the forces of the old Egypt, the “brothers” and the core constituencies of the revolution--the aspiring middle class, professionals and students. So far, however, the revolutionaries have demonstrated pluck and ingenuity. It would be a serious error, yet one the American intelligence community is prone to make, to write off the reformers and work to uphold the vestiges of the old Egypt.".....

Me!:....I humbly disagree w/many of the assessment made in this paragraph, except towards the end where he compliments the revolutionaries.

1) The key institutions of the Mubarak state are only still there b/c they're under evaluation from the revolutionaries. Nothing more. They're seeing what needs to be killed, what manner its to be killed in, and study how the future quisling infiltrators will try to weasel their way in via beauracratic bullshit to destroy what they're working for. Make no mistake: these revolutionaries are something fierce, using their youth and nerdy tech-savvyness as cover to how freakin clever they really are. I believe they're 5 steps ahead of the game, and those who seek to make threads of dictatorship be woven in the revolution are none the wiser (unless of course they're reading our wonderful thread, here on raptorsforum.com!).

Why do I feel this extreme confidence, you might ask? Well for starters, the 30yr old who lead the revolution is one hell of a smart guy. What's more, he's a Google employee. If anything happens to that guy, you got the biggest corporation in the world breathing down your neck. What's more, they surely were giving him useful information to cover for where he lacked. Even more, whatever 'dictatorship' type things the quislings (or American CIA, etc) seek to infiltrate the revolution with, will undoubtedly not only be reviewed by trustworthy revoltionaries, trustworthy military personnel, but also be reviewed by good people at Google. This effectively renders American politics moot in the revolution, juss as they had no part in it from January 25th 2011 to when Mubarak stepped down. They told America's politicians "We don't need you" (I specifically remember Wael Ghonim saying that), and they still don't.

2) Most of Egypt's armed forces entered due to mandatory service, and are fully loyal to the cause (if they weren't, the revolution wouldn't have gone as it has). Yes, I acknowledge that taking down one dictator opens up potential for more greedy little shits to spring up, but again, these people are being closely evaluated by all good internal and external forces - especially the power hungry ones who use their military status as a cover to hide their true intentions, which they'll inevitably show when asked the tough questions about the new Egyptian constitution being drafted up.

3) The confidence of ordinary Egyptians may be shaken, but I sincerely doubt the revolutionaries are fazed. If anything, they're letting the quislings and American CIA and 'special interest groups' have their little fun right now (ie- building cases).

4) Egypt is also the most advanced Arab country there is. Thus, while they have their share of radical Islamists, they're in the minority, and they're being fished out right now as well. They'll only be able to mask their true intentions for so long. Especially if the revolutionaries know which questions to ask.

Lets also not forget that in the past 30yrs, Egypt's education system has grown bigtime, thus while they were the birthing ground for radical Islamists in the 70s & 80s (back when Russia invaded Afganistan; we're living in different world now), thanks to education, their power & influence now isn't nearly what it was back decades ago. Double that, given the citizens are all looking to Wael to continue to be the centerpeice, as he has the moral heart, democratic heart, education, charisma, and connections to right the ship.

Re: "Increasingly it is difficult for an ethical citizen to serve at the CIA and in other intelligence services. And that fact threatens our nation’s security."....

Me!:...Then its doubly good to know that Wael Ghonim & his crew have American billionaire citizen's help. W/all that's going on in North Africa, preparation for 2012 campaigning for the White House, Egypt's work into transitioning the country to a true democratic power, and the CIA's innate greed, chances are slim that the CIA's dealings w/Egypt don't include much outright masking of their true intentions, and most likely at their very best, their behaviour is nothing short of predictable political gamesmanship. Thus stating, perhaps Wael & crew, w/Google's help (and thus police help too, as the police have no loyalty to the peice of shit CIA & FBI) are killing two birds w/one stone, getting info on the vile CIA tactics en route to Egypt becoming awsome.

Re: "Most of these cases involved serious crimes, including homicides, kidnapping, assault and torture. In no case was the agent subjected to serious disciplinary action. Just the opposite in fact: Involvement in torture programs marked them for advancement.".....

Me!:...This is a big issue, one that no one in the White House can hide from. The fact that now more than 2 full years into his presidency Obama hasn't done anything significant to bring about justice, juss goes to show what kind of person is currently in office. 2yrs in, there are no pretty words to mask why there have been no significant steps taken to rectify the CIA's crimes, especially that of the CIA cunt who fucking ripped up Khaled el-Masri's life (but really, w/all else about this clown Obama, what else could we expect, eh?). Really, don't fuckin trust Obama, his cronies, the FBI, CIA, or even their fucking Supreme Court. No one is getting justice w/them, unless its minor, inconsequential to the scheme of things regarding thier power, or in some ways make them look good & heroic. "Competence and excellence take a back seat to covering up crimes," not juss in the CIA, but all levels of the American political & judiciary system. This has been going back to Rodney King days, and absolutely certainly even before.


Re: "If America today is viewed as being on the wrong side of the Arab Revolution, as an ally of the oppressors who run the torture cells where prisonersare systematically humiliated and degraded--and not with the crowds calling for freedom, democracy and a better life--then the CIA and its torture-byproxyscheme is the principal reason why.".....

Me!:....And that's why its imperative to not trust anyone that I mentioned before. Hopefully our friends in the Arab world understand that not everyone in North America is a stupid sheep.


Re: "With a total intelligence community annual budget in the vicinity of $80 billion, the expenditure of funds has mushroomed and vast resources have been lavished on the Middle East. But for all of that, American intelligence has been lobotomized."........


Me!:...Now that is motherfucking funny! Holy fuck! Wowsers! $80 billion....for what? Hot damn that's like giving Reggie Evans a maximum contract, a signing bonus, 1st captain, centering our defensive schemes around him, and making him the 1st option on offense! (Hint: he isn't even worth the minimum; don't let his rebounding numbers fool you, as he does next to nothing to achieve stops, and our offensive efficiency is significantly hindered when he plays - hence, a perfect analogy to the budget for ALL of America's intel agencies!)

Oh boy I'm tired! I juss spent 4 total hrs workin on this, makin sure I got my facts straight n all them goods! No video games for me this night. I'm in the mood for some more Ministry though!



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