TBR News March 20, 2016

Mar 20 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., March 20, 2016: “There are a number of factors contributing to the growing civil unrest in the United States. The first one are the large and expanding numbers of the unemployed. This situation began when clever American businessmen decided to offshore their manufacturing. Their excuse was the high wages the unions were compelling them to pay their workers. By moving to Asia, and once to Mexico, they could at least halve their costs. And then they laid off all of their American workers who were unable to find other jobs. This did not bother the businessmen but they did not realize that an unemployed person could not buy their latest car, computer or refrigerator. The obedient American media does not discuss this growing problem because it is told not to. The second irritant in the body politic is the increasing spying by government agencies on any and all citizens of virtually any age. Social Security, insurance and medical information, school and library records, telephone calls and any and all computer emails are all watched daily or the state surveillance machinery can store all of this material for future reference. The appearance of Donald Trump on the political scene is driving the professional politicians livid with rage and in their fury, they have turned the media and various groups loose on Trump, trying to denigrate him in the eyes of the voting public. If what Trump has been saying were not true and did not resonate with a growing number of voters, the establishment would ignore him and like others in the race, he would shrink and vanish. That the establishment would react if Trump won the nomination is beyond a doubt. Already, groups of paid trouble-makers are harassing Trump speeches and trying to block access to his meetings. Trump is not the sort to ignore this and there will be counter-measures. Public unrest has existed but has been unfocussed but this is changing, rapidly, and soon we will see a reprise of the civil uproar caused by the Vietnam war.”


Microdrones and What to Expect Next From the ‘Smart Warriors’

March 18, 2016

by Laurie Calhoun


The US Army recently announced that they are accepting contract bids for the production of microdrones to be carried along by deployed soldiers in their kits. Needless to say, the idea was painted as undeniably good: to help protect “our troops”. Characterized in such a way, the idea could not possibly be met with resistance by any legislator. Companies will be contracted, and funds lavished upon the developers and builders of the new microdrones, having been made to seem as essential to a brave soldier as a Kevlar vest or an armored Humvee – and a bargain to boot! The fact that microdrones will be just as good – if not better – for asymmetrical, factional fighters is best left unsaid, at least from the perspective of all of the many parties likely to profit from the initiative, including the experts who assess the costs and benefits of the plan.

Microdrones, which weigh only 150 grams or so, are already being produced, and DARPA solicited bids earlier for its Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The idea pitched at that time was to produce a drone which could enter buildings – such as homes – and snoop around to see what’s going on. On a not unrelated note, a recently released report revealed that “a handful of” US military drones have spent some time hovering in homeland skies, “in support of civilian authorities”. The military drones operating above US soil have been used for surveillance purposes only – so far. Connecting a few dots, and extrapolating from the slippery slope which the US government continues to slide down, I predict that in the not-too-distant future, microdrones will be used in the homeland to snoop on US citizen suspects, after which larger drones will be used to kill them. Does that sound too far-fetched?

Who would have guessed, ten years ago, that the US government would dispatch citizens without indictment, much less trial? Yet in the fall of 2011, they did just that, hunting down and killing Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Who would have guessed, one year ago, that the British government would do the same? Yet in August 2015, they did just that, hunting down and killing two British nationals, despite the fact that capital punishment is prohibited by both the EU Charter and British Law.

The Drone Age has been underway for fifteen years, and still there has been no strategic analysis of the efficacy of the targeted killing program abroad. Thousands of suspects have been eliminated using Hellfire missiles fired from Predator drones, yet the quagmire in the Middle East has only grown worse. Unfortunately, the very analysts who might be enlisted to assess the US drone program, employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), are too busy finding people to hunt down and kill, and locating “appropriately vetted moderate rebels” to arm. No one seems to want to bother with figuring out whether all of this state-inflicted homicide is making Westerners less, rather than more, secure.

Given the ever-augmenting chaos and carnage throughout the Middle East, we have sound grounds for concluding that, in fact, the US government’s many lethal efforts are self-sabotaging, undermining US security by sowing anti-American sentiment, which is likely to manifest itself in further blowback terrorist attacks, just as occurred in Paris and San Bernardino in 2015. Remarkably, US administrators continue to parrot vague pronouncements to the effect that the drone program has saved lives. No substantiation of such claims is ever provided. Instead, we must content ourselves with the praise by “experts” with both psychological and financial reasons (often board members of the many companies which profit from targeted killing) of the drone warriors. For “reasons of national security”, the details are always withheld, and we are expected to trust the people who assure us that all is well. The same “experts” brush aside (or ignore) all of the annoying questions raised by critics, the ranks of which are now on the rise – and not without good reason.

Unfortunately, federal taxpaying Americans are not primarily renowned for their critical thinking skills. The dead terrorist [suspect] tallies reported in newspaper headlines each week continue to be regarded by much of the populace and political elites as evidence that Westerners are being kept safe by all of the counterterrorism initiatives. When massacres such as those in San Bernardino or Paris are carried out by angry extremists, this is taken by nearly everyone as evidence that the drone warriors need to do even more. By all means, find more suspects to hunt down and kill!

A more circumspect consideration of the reigning insecurity all across the Middle East, by persons not primarily concerned with retaining their current position in the government, would lead one to the opposite conclusion: that the firing-squad approach to quelling radical Islamist groups such as ISIS has failed. But rather than face up to their mistakes, the self-styled “smart warriors” continue on unimpeded. Why? Because they can.

There you have it, the reason why I have arrived at my depressing prognostication. The myopia of the persons penning US policy all but ensures that, with the inexorable expansion of executive power, nihilistic lethal centrism will prevail, leading eventually to the same treatment of suspects at home as abroad. Can anyone reasonably deny that Anwar Al-Awlaki would have been more dangerous to the people of the United States in Manhattan than he was in Yemen? Or that Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin would have been more dangerous to the people of Britain in London than they were in Syria?



Conversations with the Crow

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.           After Corson’s death, Trento and his Washington lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

Douglas had been in close contact with Crowley and had long phone conversations with him. He found this so interesting and informative that he taped and later transcribed them.

These conversations have been published in a book: ‘Conversations with the Crow” and this is an excerpt.

Conversation No. 66

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 1997

Commenced: 11:15 AM CST

Concluded: 11:45 AM CST


RTC: That has to be you, Gregory. Such timing. Corson was speaking with me a few minutes ago about you. Are your ears still ringing?

GD: No.

RTC: Ah, you are so popular. Bill was warning me that we had both best cut you loose because the wrath of God might descend. Bill has a paper asshole.

GD: Who is it this time? The Pope?

RTC: No, the Kimmel people. He regularly turns his Justice people loose on both of us. I think they need a new record. The current one gets stuck. Is it true you killed Abraham Lincoln, Gregory? I mean it’s pretty well set that you are the illegitimate son of Adolf Hitler, or is it Josef Stalin? I can’t seem to remember, it’s all so mixed up. Anyway, you are pure evil and have to be kept away from. And do let’s keep the Pope out of this. I had enough trouble with that one.

GD: Which Pope?

RTC: John Paul I. We also went after John Paul II but that one didn’t work, and we didn’t want to try it again.

GD: Why, in God’s name, did you want to kill the Pope? And out of curiosity, how did you pull it off?

RFC: The first one was going to put a terrible crimp in our drug business out of Italy and we tried to do the second one to blame the Russians. It was a sort of a game with us. Always try to do a bad bit and make it look like the Russians did it.

GD: The drug business? What did the Pope have to do with drugs?

RTC: He didn’t. It was the bank there that did. He had nothing to do with it but it was the Vatican bank.

GD: The Vatican bank was involved with drugs?

RTC: No, we used it to launder money. Who, I ask you, who would ever question the Vatican bank? It was the Mafia who had the inside bank contacts and, believe me, there was a lot of money moving around. Let’s see, the Pope was elected in, I think, August of ’79. He replaced Montini. Former Vatican Secretary of State….he was Paul VI. Anyway, we had a fine working arrangement with the Italian Mafia about the movement of money as I said.

GD: I met Montini once, I think in ’51.

RTC: The new one had been in Venice….Luciani….

GD: There was another one from Venice….

RTC: I know but not the same one. That was back in the ‘60s. But the new Pope posed quite a problem. He had been told that there were certain irregularities in the IOR…that’s the Vatican bank. And the new Pope was inclined to be honest and was demanding a full review of the books and so on. If this had happened, a good deal would have been uncovered, so the Pope had to go. It was that simple, Gregory. Politics had nothing to do with it, nothing at all.

GD: Couldn’t someone have cooked the books? Was murder necessary?

RTC: You don’t understand the whole picture, Gregory. The Mafia was involved in this up to their eyebrows and if any of it had come out, someone would have talked and pointed to us. We couldn’t have that. We had to get rid of Dag Hammarskjold because he was interfering with the uranium people in the Congo. It was nothing personal at all.

GD: How did you do it?

RTC: Our Station Chief in Rome ran the show. Contacts in the Vatican and especially with Buzonetti, the Pope’s doctor. My God, old Renata cost us plenty. On our payroll since God knows when. And our Political Psychological Division worked on this to put the blame on the KGB. And the P-2 Lodge was also involved and they were ours.

GD: The what?

RTC: The P-2 Lodge was an Italian Masonic group and early in 1970, we got our hands on it. It was designed to attract right wing Italian bankers and businessmen to combat the very active Italian Communist party. No, if the Pope had started something, it would have wrecked years of hard work on our part and ruined some of our more important assets. In the end, it was money, not Renaissance-style politics, that did Luciani in.

GD: Does the Vatican know now?

RTC: Suspects, but would rather not know anything. After the Pope assumed room temperature, we consolidated and revamped the system. There was quite a bit of mopping-up to do. We had to kill off a number of Italian players who had been pushed out of the picture and were longing to get back into the money. One hanged himself from a bridge in England. Obviously killed himself out of remorse.

GD: Stalin said once that it was not difficult to execute a murder, but much more difficult to arrange a suicide.

RTC: Josef was a clever man.

GD: And, he said, “No man, no problem.”

RTC: That one I know. A friend and co-worker had that up over his desk. I am not joking.

GD: Oh, I believe it, Robert. It is lawful to be taught by your enemies.

RTC: I detect a critical attitude here, Gregory. You have to realize that the amount of money we were, and are, making from our drug partnerships is nothing to walk away from. Vast sums of money, Gregory, and enormous political power therefrom.

GD: I can see that, but one day they will go too far.

RTC: The Kennedy business is a classic example why nothing will ever come of this sort of thing. If you publish the ZIPPER material you already have and what I am going to give you, you will only excite the conspiracy buffs, all of whom will gather together and hiss at you and heap coals of fire on your head. Let us say that you write a newspaper article on what I just told you. It would never get published and within minutes of your submitting it to an editor, we would be notified.

GD: And then you’d shoot me?

RTC: No, trash you. Laugh at you. Get our little broken down academics to piss on you. The press would ignore you completely and eventually, you would find something else to do. Now, on the other hand, if you had been one of us and had inside knowledge and worse, proof, you would perish very quickly. The faulty brakes while driving on dangerous mountain roads, an overdose of some kind of popular drug and dead in an overheated apartment. Things like that. But as an outsider, just laughter and silence. Of course, there are those who would believe you and if you wrote about this business with the Pope and mentioned some Italian names, you might get different treatment. The bomb under the front seat of your car or something crude like that. But we wouldn’t have done it and I would recommend against stirring those people up. We would look into your tax records and turn the IRS loose on you or let your wife know you were boffing a nice waitress at a cheap local motel. Or one of your nice children would be introduced to dangerous drugs. That’s more effective than a bomb in the car or someone shooting you dead in a parking garage. The Italians tend to be very emotional, and we do not.

GD: The Italians once said that he who went softly went safely and he who went safely went far.

RTC: It would be less messy if they actually practiced that sentiment.

GD: By the way, Robert, why did you go after the other Pope? I assume that’s the one that got shot by the Arab in front of the Vatican.

RTC: Yes, but not an Arab, a Turk. They do not like to be equated with Arabs. That one? Actually, we thought that if we had him done in right in front of everybody, it would draw a lot of attention and we could really blame it on the KGB. It was a perfect set up. He was a Polack who was agitating the Solidarity people against Russia, so who would be the most logical suspect? And we had been financing the Turkish Grey Wolves for some time. They got the hit man for us. Of course, he didn’t know anything so no one shot him in the courtroom.

GD: Que bono! But for no other reason?

RTC: Isn’t that enough? Turn all the world’s Catholics against the Russians in a hurry.

GD: Let’s see here. One Pope for sure, another shot at, a dead UN chief, a dead American president, assorted deceased South American leaders, a Pakistani or two, at least one high level Indian, and so on. I would hope not all for such trivial motives.

RTC: Turning huge number of people against Russia is not a trivial motive at all.

GD: The wheel does turn, Robert, it does. And what is now at the bottom comes to the top. Out of curiosity, have you killed any Israelis?

RTC: No, they know just how far to go, and we work very closely with them. They do a lot of our dirty work for us. They blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon and, of course, we blamed it on the Arabs. It goes on, Gregory, and if you had sat in my chair and walked in my shoes, you would be a bit more understanding.

GD: This is not aimed at you, of course.

RTC: If it were, I wouldn’t be defending you to the monkeys when they jabber about you. They aren’t worth much. I think your problem is that you never were in a position of command and at a high level. If you had been, you would be less judgmental.

GD: I am just an amateur, Robert, just a dilettante. Thank God.


(Concluded at 11:45 CST)


Another view of 911

by Harry von Johnston, PhD


Translation of BND Report on September 11, 2001


T O P   S E C R E T


B a c k g r o u n d   R e p o r t o n   9 / 1 1 / 2 0 0 1






[Page 2]


On Monday August 6, 2001, at 17:50, [German] Ambassador Ischinger personally notified the President of the United States that information developed by the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz [German domestic secret service] as well as the BND [Bundesnachrichtendienst, German foreign secret service] indicated clearly that an attack by a radical Arab group partially based in Germany was to occur on September 10-11, 2001. The President was at that time in residence at his farm in Texas. Our [German] Ambassador was acting in direct response to instructions from Foreign Minister Fischer.

This information was developed from official surveillance of Arab extremist groups operating in the Federal Republic as well as from intercepted communications between the Embassy of Israel and the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Tel Aviv concerning this matter.

The information was “gratefully received” by the U.S. President who stated at the time that he was also aware of the same pending assaults.

Subsequent to these attacks, the office of the U.S. President, through the U.S. Department of State, made an urgent request to the Federal Government [of Germany] that no reference whatsoever should be made to the official warnings given by Ambassador Ischinger.

In order to clarify the background of this matter, this Gesamtübersicht [overall survey] of the events leading to the assault was prepared, basing on extracts of reports from our [BND’s] stations abroad.

[Page 3]

Overall, it is evident that the American authorities were aware of the pending attacks. Why they did nothing, is explained in the following.

Background: General Overview

Because of the Bush family’s involvement in oil (Zapata Oil Company), many important and wealthy individuals and corporations with oil interests financially supported the Bush political career. Today, the Bush administration is therefore strongly influenced by major American business groups.

The candidate for American Vice President, Richard “Dick” Cheney, had been the Chief Director of the Halliburton Company. This company, based in Dallas, Texas, where Bush was Governor, is the largest oil service company in the world.

Between 1991 through 1997, such important American oil companies as Texaco, Unocal, Shell, BP Amoco, Chevron and Exxon-Mobil became involved with the former Soviet state of Kazakhstan who holds enormous oil reserves. The government of Kazakhstan was eventually paid over $3 billions of corporate money to allow these companies to secure oil rights. At the same time, these companies agreed further to give the sums of 35 billion U.S. Dollar in investments in plant and equipment to the Kazakhstan projects. A confidential project report of said U.S. firms announced that the gas and oil reserves in Kazakhstan would amount to 4 trillion U.S. Dollar.

[Page 4]

The United States is not self-sufficient in oil and 50% of their supply is imported from various foreign sources. Some 80% of oil imported to the U.S. comes from OPEC-countries, the Arabian oil cartel. Because of the unconditional support by American political leaders of the state of Israel, these Arab governments have a very strained relationship with the U.S.A.A further smaller percentage of oil imported to the U.S. comes from Venezuela. Just recently, the U.S. government has been attempting to overthrow the government of Chavez with the help of the CIA and replace it with a government “more sympathetic to American oil needs.”

A position paper prepared by the office of the later-Vice President Cheney states that the Kazakhstan oil reserves would be “more than sufficient to supply U.S. needs for at least a decade” and would further “reduce American dependence on OPEC.”

Unocal Oil Company signed an agreement with the reigning Taliban forces as well as their opponents, the Northern Alliance, in order to permit an oil pipeline to be built through Afghanistan direct through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. By this, the exorbitant rates charged by the Russians to use their pipelines would be avoided. Unocal then opened official offices in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to facilitate the construction of this oil pipeline.

In December of 1997, official Taliban representatives were in the United States to attend a conference at Unocal headquarters in Texas to discuss the

[Page 5]

Afghanistan pipeline. These talks failed because the Taliban made what Unocal felt were excessive financial demands.

In 1998, internal strife in Afghanistan and inherent instability in Pakistan reached such levels as to render the pipeline project impossible to execute. In the same year, the Houston, Texas based firm of Enron suggested instead to build a $3 billion oil pipeline parallel to the Russian pipelines, running westwards rather than taking the shorter but more problematic route south.

In a secret memorandum by Cheney, it is stated that the Unocal company was prepared to finance the southern route. According to this, this project would take five years to complete and its annual revenues from the successful completion of this pipeline would approximate $2 billions. However, and this has been the subject of a number of secret American reports, the only thing standing in the way of the construction of this pipeline was the basic opposition of the Afghanistan government and its political supporters.

On May 8, 2001, the U.S. Department of State, in the name of the Secretary of State Powell, gave 43 million U.S. Dollars to the Taliban in order to facilitate their cooperation in the pipeline project.

On June 10, 2001, the BND warned the CIA office in the U.S. Embassy to the Federal Republic [of Germany] that certain Arab terrorists were planning to seize American commercial aircraft for use as weapons of destruction against

[Page 6]

significant American symbols. This was considered a general warning only. The Federal Republic’s warning of August 6, however, was specific as to date, time and places of the attacks.

On July 11, 2001, in Berlin, U.S. officials: Thomas Simmons, a former American Ambassador to Pakistan, Lee Coldren, State Department expert on Asian matters and Karl Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary of State for Asian matters met with Russian and Pakistani intelligence officers. At this meeting, which was under surveillance, it was stated by the Americans that the United States planned to launch military strikes against Afghanistan in October of that year. The purpose of these strikes was to topple the Afghanistan government and the Taliban in order to replace it with a government “more sensitive to the needs of American oil interests.”

In mid-August, 2001, President of the Russian Federation Putin ordered that the American authorities be warned of pending attacks on government buildings inside the United States. This warning was conveyed to the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow and via the Russian Ambassador’s office directly to the U.S. President.

On August 20, the Government of France, through the American Embassy in Paris and their Embassy in Washington, issued a more specific warning. This warning specified the exact date, time and places of the attacks.

On September 11, President Bush and top aides flew to the state of Florida so that the President could speak with children in

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a kindergarten. Also at that time, Vice President Cheney absented himself from Washington and went to the safety of the Presidential compound in the mountains of Maryland.

It was noted in Washington that Cheney remained sequestered in Maryland for some time and only appeared in public surrounded by heavy security.

The Role of the Israeli Mossad in the Terrorist Attacks

Note: The following two sections are considered to be extremely sensitive due to the special relationship between the Federal Republic [of Germany] and its Jewish citizens as well as the State of Israel. This material is compiled from German and American sources.

During the term of President George H.W. Bush, the government of Israel made an official, but very secret, request of the American President. This request was to permit agents of the Mossad, Israeli Foreign Intelligence, to enter the United States and conduct surveillance operations against various Arab groups residing in that country.

The stated purpose of this surveillance was to permit Israeli early warning of terrorist plots against their country. Permission for this surveillance was granted with the caveat that the Mossad would have a liaison with the FBI and report any and all findings to that agency.

[Page 8]

However, these conditions were not observed. The Mossad not only did not inform the FBI of any of its findings, it is known to have engaged in commerce with several groups of Israeli criminals of Russian backgrounds. These groups were engaged in extensive criminal activities inside the United States, to include the smuggling of the Ecstasy drug. Mossad agents were able to subvert American criminal investigations through their knowledge of American telephone surveillance of such groups.

It is very evident from surveillance conducted against Mossad agents in the Federal Republic as well as interceptions of Israeli diplomatic communication from the Federal Republic to Tel Aviv, that the Mossad had successfully penetrated various extremist Arab groups in both the Federal Republic and the United States.

These investigations disclosed in late May of 2001 that an attack was to be made against certain specified targets in the American cities of Washington and New York. But it was apparent that the Mossad was not only fully aware of these attacks well in advance but actually, through their own agents inside the Arab groups, assisted in the planning and the eventual execution of the attacks.

That the Israeli government was fully aware of these attacks is absolutely certain and proven. Diplomatic traffic between the Israeli Embassy in the Federal Republic and the Israeli Foreign Office made it very clear that Minister President Sharon was fully aware

[Page 9]

of this pending attack and urgently wished that no attempt was made to prevent the attacks.

Although the Israeli officials were instructed to warn the American intelligence community that some kind of an attack might be possible, at no time were the specific dates and targets (known at that time to Israeli officials) to be given to the Americans.

The rationale for this attitude was expressed in a conversation on August 1, 2001, between the Israeli Military Attaché in the Federal Republic to a member of the Israeli General Staff. There it was stated that Israel believed an attack on the continental United States would so inflame American public opinion that they would permit Israel to “cleanse” their state of “Arab terrorists and those who support such terrorists.” This “cleansing” was explained as the expulsion of all Arabs, and even Christian groups, from the Palestine area.American intelligence officials have repeatedly expressed great concern in meetings with our people that the Israeli government, through a company called Amdocs, was able to conduct surveillance of all telephone communications within the United States. It was categorically stated that this Israeli-based firm was given an American contract with 25 of the largest American telephone companies. This contract was granted over the objections and concerns of the American intelligence community.

[Page 10]

The official reason given for this extraordinary arrangement that permitted Israeli agencies to observe all highly confidential investigative telephone calls was that the United States had a “special relationship” with the State of Israel and they had requested this.

The Israeli Political Influence in the United States

It should be noted here that the professional Israeli lobby in America is huge in size and is considered even by our American colleagues to be a very powerful and entirely dominant factor in American politics.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the largest foreign lobby in Washington and the fourth most powerful lobby in the country. Other Israeli groups also include the Anti-Defamation League (from whose national offices, along with the Israel Trade Mission and the many Israeli Consulates, many Mossad agents were working,) the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

These groups, in conjunction with Jewish dominated media giants like the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Time-Warner-AOL and their CNN news network, basically control the dissemination of news in the United States.

[Page 11]

It is therefore almost impossible for any news that would be considered in opposition to Israeli interests to appear before the American public, although such stories are readily available in most European media.

The Role of the Christian Fundamentalists in American Politics

The so-called “Christian Right” consists of Protestant fundamentalists, where the so-called Pentecostals play a dominant role. This is a very fanatical and aggressively missionary denomination that believes in a return of a living Christ to earth and the subsequent elevation of its members to heavenly paradise.

In order for this appearance of Christ to occur, several factors must be in place according to the views of this denomination. In the first place, a number of Jews must convert to Christianity, and in the second, there must be a rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. As the site of this temple is now occupied by a major Islamic mosque, it will be necessary to destroy this building.

Starting as an Episcopalian, Bush tried other Protestant denominations before joining the Pentecostals. Apart from U.S. President Bush and his Attorney General Ashcroft, other members of his administration are members of this denomination, too, which is the second largest Christian denomination after the Catholic Church. As a considerable

[Page 12]

part of the American public sentiment is strongly opposed to religious fanatics, these facts have been kept very quiet.

Bush and his entourage are very strong supporters of the State of Israel because of their belief, that the founding of this nation is viewed as another requirement for the return of Christ. For this reason, Bush unconditionally supports any program put forward by the Israeli government and is a devoted follower and supporter of Sharon, the Israeli right wing extremist Minister President.

Attorney General Ashcroft has stated in a public sermon (he is a lay preacher of the Pentecostal church) that the Muslims are “agents of the Anti-Christ” and must be destroyed in the so-called “Battle of Armageddon.” According to the beliefs of fundamentalist Christians, this battle will be fought over Israel’s existence and will lead to the end of the world and the return of Christ.

It is generally known in Washington that Bush is entirely guided by his religious beliefs and that he has been attempting repeatedly to force his views onto the American public by means of various disguised programs, such as religious control of charities, unconditional support of Israel, and so forth.

Summary and Outlook

The terrorist attacks on American targets were fully known to many entities well in advance. The U.S. President was fully informed as to the

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nature and exact time of these attacks.

The U.S. government in general and the U.S. President in specific have become subservient to the wishes and plans of the Israeli government. As these plans encompass the removal of the Arab population of Israel and adjoining territories, it is evident that the population of the United States is being pushed into a situation that could easily result in more, and terrible, attacks on their home country.

In view of this possibility, the U.S. authorities are determined to limit any discussion of the 11 September attacks to the official version as it appears regularly in the U.S. media.

It also appears from confidential sources that Bush’s plans to attack Iraq are based mainly on a desire on the part of Israel to remove Saddam Hussein. Tel Aviv views Hussein as a real threat and has already attacked that country before.

There is also evidence that if Hussein is toppled by American military force, the oil resources of Iraq would be put under the control of a consortium of the American oil interests that so avidly support the Bush Administration.

Pullach, April 5, 2002




S T R E N G   G E H E I M


H i n t e r g r u n d b e r i c h t z u m   1 1 . 9 . 2 0 0 1








Am Montag, den 6. August 2001, unterrichtete Botschafter Ischinger in Washington den US-Präsidenten um 17:50 Uhr persönlich über vom Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz und vom BND gewonnene Erkenntnisse, die eindeutig darauf hindeuteten, dass am 10.-11. September 2001 ein Terroranschlag gegen die USA durch teilweise von Deutschland aus operierende radikale arabische Gruppen zu erwarten ist. Der US-Präsident hielt sich zu jener Zeit in seiner Residenz auf seiner Farm in Texas auf. Unser Botschafter handelte auf direkte Anweisung von Außenminister Fischer.

Diese Erkenntnisse wurden einerseits durch die nachrichtendienstliche Überwachung extremistischer arabischer Gruppierungen gewonnen, die in der Bundesrepublik operieren, und andererseits durch abgehörte Kommunikation, die in dieser Angelegenheit zwischen der israelischen Botschaft in Deutschland und dem israelischen Außenministerium in Tel Aviv geführt wurde.

Der US-Präsident nahm diese Informationen “dankbar entgegen” und gab an, über die bevorstehenden Terroranschläge bereits informiert worden zu sein.

Nach den Anschlägen ersuchte das Amt des US-Präsidenten auf dem Umweg über das US-Außenministerium die Bundesregierung dringend darum, die durch Botschafter Ischinger vorgebrachten Warnungen unter keinen Umständen zu erwähnen.

Um den Hintergrund dieser Ereignisse auszuleuchten, wurde diese Gesamtübersicht der Ereignisse erstellt, die zu den Terroranschlägen führten, basierend auf Auszügen aus Berichten von verschiedenen unserer Residenturen.

Zusammenfassend ist festzuhalten, dass die US-Behörden über die bevorstehenden Anschläge Bescheid wussten. Warum sie nichts dagegen unternahmen, wird nachfolgend verdeutlicht.

Hintergrund: Allgemeiner Überblick

Da die Bush-Familie in der Erdölindustrie tätig ist (ZAPATA Oil Company), wurde die politische Laufbahn Bushs von vielen wichtigen und wohlhabenden Persönlichkeiten und Unternehmen der Erdölindustrie finanziell unterstützt. Die Regierung Bush wird daher heute von verschiedenen großen US-Firmengruppen stark beeinflusst.

US-Vizepräsident Richard “Dick” Cheney war einst stellvertretender Direktor der Halliburton Company. Dies ist das weltweit größte Ölfelddienstleistungsunternehmen mit Sitz in Dallas, Texas, also in jenem US-Bundesstaat, in dem Bush Gouverneur war.

In den Jahren 1991-1997 waren viele bedeutende amerikanische Erdölgesellschaften wie Texaco, Unocal, Shell, BP Amoco, Chevron und Exxon-Mobil in der ehemaligen sowjetischen Teilrepublik Kasachstan tätig, wo enorme Erdölreserven lagern. Die Regierung Kasachstans erhielt schließlich 3 Mrd. Dollar aus Mitteln dieser Unternehmen, mit denen diese sich die Erdölförderungsrechte sicherten. Zugleich verpflichteten sie sich, weitere 35 Mrd. Dollar zur Errichtung von Anlagen und Ausrüstungen für diese Kasachstan-Projekte zu investieren. In einer vertraulichen Projektstudie besagter US-Firmen heisst es, der Wert der in Kasachstan lagernden Erdölreserven belaufe sich auf etwa 4 Billionen US-Dollar.

Die Vereinigten Staaten sind in Sachen Erdöl nicht autark, sondern decken 50% ihres Bedarf durch verschiedene ausländische Importe. Etwas 80% der US-Ölimporte kommen von den OPEC-Ländern, also dem arabischen Erdölkartell. Wegen der bedingungslosen Unterstützung Israels durch die amerikanische politische Führung haben diese arabischen Regierungen allerdings ein sehr gespanntes Verhältnis zu den USA.

Ein weiterer kleiner Prozentsatz der US-Ölimporte stammt aus Venezuela. Die US-Regierung versuchte erst neulich mit Hilfe der CIA, die dortige Regierung Chavez zu stürzen und durch eine Regierung zu ersetzen, “die Amerikas Erdölbedarf wohlwollender gegenüber steht”.

Ein vom Büro des späteren US-Vizepräsidenten Cheney verfasstes Positionspapier führt aus, die in Kasachstan lagernden Erdölreserven seien “mehr als ausreichend, um den Erdölbedarf der USA für mindestens ein Jahrzehnt zu decken” und zudem “die amerikanische Abhängigkeit vom OPEC-Öl zu verringern”.

Die Erdölgesellschaft UNOCAL unterzeichnete eine Vereinbarung mit den in Afghanistan herrschenden Taliban-Kräften wie auch mit deren Gegnern, der Nördlichen Allianz, um den Bau einer Erdölpipeline durch Afghanistan und Pakistan zum Indischen Ozean zu ermöglichen. Dadurch würde man die exorbitanten Summen vermeiden können, die die Russen für die Nutzung ihrer Pipelines fordern. Anschließend eröffnete UNOCAL offizielle Zweigstellen in Usbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan und Kasachstan, um den Bau dieser anvisierten Pipeline zu ermöglichen.

Im Dezember 1997 hielten sich offizielle Repräsentanten des Taliban-Regimes in den USA auf, um an einer Konferenz über die Afghanistan-Pipeline am Firmensitz von UNOCAL in Texas teilzunehmen. Diese Verhandlungen scheiterten allerdings, da die Taliban in den Augen von UNOCAL maßlose finanzielle Forderungen stellten.

1998 schließlich nahmen die inneren Unruhen in Afghanistan sowie die anhaltende politische Instabilität Pakistans derartige Ausmaße an, dass die Umsetzung des Pipeline-Projekts unmöglich erschien. Im selben Jahr schlug die in Houston (Texas) ansässige Firma Enron vor, statt dessen für etwa 3 Mrd. US-Dollar eine Erdölleitung parallel zu den russischen Pipelines zu bauen, also gen Westen anstatt der zwar kürzeren, aber problematischeren Route gen Süden.

In einem geheimen Memorandum Cheneys wird ausgeführt, UNOCAL sei bereit, die südliche Pipeline zu finanzieren. Demnach würde die Fertigstellung dieses Projekts etwa fünf Jahre in Anspruch nehmen und nach Fertigstellung der Pipeline zu einem jährlichem Ertrag von 2 Mrd. Dollar führen. Das einzige, was dem Bau dieser Pipeline entgegen stehe, sei die rigorose Ablehnung seitens der afghanischen Regierung und ihrer politischen Unterstützer, was Thema einer Anzahl geheimer amerikanischer Berichte ist.

Am 8. Mai 2001 überreichte das US-Außenministerium im Namen des US-Außenministers Powell dem Taliban-Regime $43 Mio. Dollar, um dessen Kooperationbereitschaft beim Pipeline-Projekt zu fördern.

Am 10. Juni 2001 warnte der BND die CIA-Zweigstelle in der US-Botschaft in der Bundesrepublik, dass bestimmte arabische Terroristen planten, ein kommerzielles amerikanisches Flugzeug zu entführen, um es als Massenvernichtungswaffe gegen bedeutende amerikanische Symbole einzusetzen. Dies wurde lediglich als eine allgemeine Warnung angesehen. Die bundesdeutsche Warnung vom 6. August hingegen war sehr konkret hinsichtlich Datum, Zeit und Ort der Anschläge.

Am 11. Juli 2001 trafen die folgenden US-Regierungsvertreter mit russischen und pakistanischen Geheimdienstlern in Berlin zusammen: Thomas Simmons, früherer US-Botschafter in Pakistan, Lee Coldren, Asien-Experte des US-Außenministeriums, und Karl Inderfurth, Abteilungsleiter für südasiatische Angelegenheiten des US-Außenministerium. Bei diesem überwachten Treffen wurde von den Amerikanern ausgeführt, die Vereinigten Staaten planten militärische Angriffe auf Afghanistan im Oktober des gleichen Jahres. Zweck dieses Angriffs sei der Sturz der afghanischen Regierung und der Taliban, um sie durch einer Regierung zu ersetzen, “die Amerikas Erdölbedarf wohlwollender gegenüber steht”.

Mitte August 2001 ordnete der Präsident der Russischen Föderation Putin an, die amerikanischen Behörden seien vor bevorstehenden Anschlägen auf Regierungsgebäude innerhalb der Vereinigten Staaten zu warnen. Diese Warnung wurde sowohl dem US-Botschafter in Moskau überbracht wie auch direkt dem US-Präsidenten über den Amtssitz des russischen Botschafters.

Am 20. August gab die Regierung Frankreichs eine genauere Warnung heraus, und zwar sowohl über die amerikanische Botschaft in Paris als auch über deren Botschaft in Washington. Diese Warnung gab das genaue Datum, die genaue Zeit und die Orte der Anschläge bekannt.

Am 11. September flogen US-Präsident Bush und seine Gefolgschaft nach Florida, wo der Präsident mit den Kindern eines Kindergartens sprach. Zur gleichen Zeit verabschiedete sich Vizepräsident Cheney Washington und begab sich in die Sicherheit der Präsidenten-Anlage in den Bergen Marylands.

In Washington registrierte man aufmerksam, dass sich Cheney einige Zeit lang nach Maryland zurückgezogen hatte und anschließend nur mit schwerer Bewachung in der Öffentlichkeit erschien.

Die Rolle des Mossad bei den Terroranschlägen

Hinweis: Aufgrund der besonderen Beziehungen der Bundesrepublik zu seinen jüdischen Bürgern und zu Israel sind die folgenden zwei Abschnitte als extrem sensibel anzusehen. Das Material stammt aus deutschen und amerikanischen Quellen.

Während der Präsidentschaft George H.W. Bushs machte die israelische Regierung ein offizielles, aber streng geheimes Gesuch beim US-Präsidenten. Es wurde darin um Erlaubnis gebeten, dass sich Mossad-Agenten in den Vereinigten Staaten offiziell aufhalten und nachrichtendienstliche Ermittlungen gegen verschiedene, sich in den Staaten aufhaltende arabische Gruppen durchführen dürfen.

Der von Israel angegebene Zweck dieser Überwachung war, den Israelis ein frühzeitige Warnung vor Terroranschlägen gegen ihr Land zu ermöglichen. Die Erlaubnis für diese Überwachung wurde unter der Bedingung erteilt, dass der Mossad mit dem FBI zusammenarbeitet und ihm alle seine Erkenntnisse mitteilt.

Diese Bedingung wurde allerdings nicht eingehalten. Der Mossad hat nicht nur versäumt, das FBI von seinen Erkenntnissen zu unterrichten, sondern er trieb bekanntermaßen Handel mit verschiedenen Gruppen israelischer Krimineller vorwiegend russischer Abstammung. Diese Gruppen sind innerhalb der USA in ausgedehnte kriminelle Aktivitäten verwickelt, einschließlich des Schmuggels von Ecstasy-Drogen. Dank ihrer Kenntnisse über das US-Telefonüberwachungssystem gelang es den Mossad-Agenten, die polizeilichen Ermittlungen der US-Behörden zu untergraben.

Aus der Überwachung von Mossad-Agenten in der Bundesrepublik sowie aus der diplomatischen Kommunikation der israelischen Botschaft in der Bundesrepublik mit Tel Aviv geht eindeutig hervor, dass der Mossad diverse extremistische arabische Gruppen sowohl in der Bundesrepublik als auch in den Vereinigten Staaten erfolgreich infiltriert hat.

Die Ermittlungen des Mossad ergaben gegen Ende Mai 2001, dass Anschläge gegen bestimmte festgesetzte Ziele in den amerikanischen Städten Washington und New York geplant waren. Aus unseren nachrichtendienstlichen Erkenntnissen wird aber nicht nur deutlich, dass der Mossad über diese Anschläge vollständig und weit im voraus informiert war, sondern auch, dass die in die arabischen Gruppen eingeschleusten Agenten des Mossads bei der Planung und Durchführung der Anschläge selbst mithalfen.

Dass die israelische Regierung über die bevorstehenden Anschläge voll informiert war, ist hieb- und stichfest erwiesen. Aus dem diplomatischen Verkehr zwischen der israelischen Botschaft in der Bundesrepublik und dem israelischen Außenministerium geht deutlich hervor, dass Ministerpräsident Sharon selbst über die bevorstehenden Anschläge informiert war und seinen dringenden Wunsch äußerte, dass kein Versuch unternommen werden solle, die Anschläge zu verhindern.

Die israelischen Beamten wurden zwar angewiesen, die amerikanischen Ermittlungsbehörden darüber zu informieren, dass irgendein Anschlag bevorstehen könnte, allerdings sollten den Amerikanern zu keiner Zeit genaue Angaben über Ort und Zeit gemacht werden, die den Israelis damals bereits bekannt waren.

Die hinter diese Haltung stehenden Überlegungen wurden in einem Gespräche zwischen dem israelischen Militärattaché in der Bundesrepublik und einem Mitglied des israelischen Generalstabs am 1. August 2001 ausgesprochen. Demnach sei die israelische Regierung der Ansicht, ein Anschlag auf das Festland der Vereinigten Staaten würde die amerikanische öffentliche Meinung dermaßen erregen, dass man Israel anschließend erlauben würde, sein Territorium von “arabischen Terroristen zu säubern sowie von jenen, die solche Terroristen unterstützen”. Diese Säuberung wurde als Vertreibung aller Araber aus dem Territorium Palästinas beschrieben, einschließlich der christlichen Bevölkerungsteile.

Wiederholt haben amerikanische Ermittlungsbeamte bei Treffen mit unseren Leuten ihre große Sorge darüber ausgedrückt, dass die israelische Regierung durch eine Firma namens Amdocs in der Lage sei, fast die gesamte Telefonkommunikation innerhalb der USA zu überwachen. Es wurde mit Bestimmtheit angeführt, dass diese in Israel ansässige Firma einen Vertrag mit den 25 größten US-Telefongesellschaften erhalten hat. Dieser Vertrag kam trotz der Einwände und Bedenken der US-Ermittlungsbehörden zustande.

Dieses außerordentliche Vereinbarung, die es den israelischen Behörden sogar ermöglicht, sämtliche streng vertraulichen Gespräche der US-Ermittlungsbehörden zu verfolgen, wird offiziell damit begründet, dass die Vereinigten Staaten ein “besonderes Verhältnis” zum Staat Israel hätten und dass die Israelis dies so gewünscht hätten.

Der israelische politische Einfluss in den Vereinigten Staaten

Es sei hier darauf hingewiesen, dass die professionelle israelische Lobby in den USA sehr umfangreich ist und von unseren amerikanischen Kollegen selbst als sehr mächtig und die amerikanische Politik vollständig dominierend angesehen wird.

Das “American Israel Public Affairs Committee” ist die größte ausländische Lobby-Gruppe in Washington und die viertstärkste Lobby-Gruppe im ganzen Land. Andere israelische Gruppen umfassen die “Anti-Defamation League” (aus deren landesweiten Büros heraus viele Mossad-Agenten operieren, wie auch aus den israelischen Handelsvertretungen und den vielen israelischen Konsulaten), das “Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs” und das “Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America”.

Zusammen mit den jüdisch dominierten Mediengiganten wie der New York Times, der Washington Post, dem Newsweek Magazine, der Los Angeles Times, dem Konzern Time-Warner-AOL und ihrem CNN Nachrichtensender haben diese Gruppen die Nachrichtenverbreitung innerhalb der USA im wesentlichen unter ihrer Kontrolle.

Es ist daher annähernd unmöglich, eine Nachricht, die als den israelischen Interessen zuwiderlaufend angesehen wird, der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit zu präsentieren, obwohl derartige Nachrichten in den meisten europäischen Medien ohne weiteres aufzufinden sind.

Die Rolle der christlichen Fundamentalisten in der US-Politik

Die sogenannte “Christliche Rechte” besteht aus protestantischen Fundamentalisten, wobei die sogenannte Pfingstgemeinde eine dominante Rolle spielt (im Englischen Pentecostal genannt). Es handelt sich dabei um eine äußerst fanatisch und aggressiv missionarische Glaubensrichtung, die an die leibhaftige Wiederkehr Christi auf Erden und die anschließende Erhebung ihrer Mitglieder ins himmlische Paradies glaubt.

Nach Ansicht dieser Konfession müssen verschiedene Randbedingungen erfüllt sein, damit die Wiederkehr Christi erfolgen kann. Erstens müssen eine Reihe von Juden zum Christentum konvertieren, zweitens muß der jüdische Tempel in Jerusalem wieder errichtet werden. Zumal sich an der Stelle dieses Tempels heute eine wichtige islamische Moschee befindet, muss diese daher notwendigerweise zerstört werden.

Der ursprünglich episkopalische Bush trat zwischenzeitlich verschiedenen anderen Konfessionen bei, bevor er sich der Pfingstbewegung anschloss. Neben US-Präsident Bush und seinem US-Generalbundesanwalt Ashcroft gehören auch andere Mitglieder des Bush-Kabinetts dieser nach der katholischen Kirche zweitgrößten christlichen Konfession an. Zumal ein erheblicher Teil der amerikanischen öffentlichen Meinung massiv gegen religiöse Fanatiker eingestellt ist, wurden diese Tatsachen verschwiegen.

Aufgrund ihres Glaubens sind Bush und seine Entourage vehemente Unterstützer des Staates Israel, denn die Gründung dieses Staates wird als ein weiterer Schritt zur Wiederkehr Christi angesehen. Aus dem gleichen Grunde unterstützt Bush jedes israelische Regierungsprogramm bedingungslos und ist zugleich ein hingebungsvoller Anhänger und Unterstützer des rechtsextremen israelischen Ministerpräsidenten Sharon.

US-Generalbundesanwalt Ashcroft erklärte in einer öffentlichen Rede (er ist Laienprediger der Pfingstgemeinde), die Moslems seien “Agenten des Antichristen” und müssten daher in der sogenannten “Schlacht von Armageddon” vernichtet werden. Im Glauben fundamentalistischer Christen wird diese Schlacht um die Existenz Israels geführt werden und das Ende der Welt sowie die Wiederkehr Christi einleiten.

Es ist in Washington allgemein bekannt, dass sich Bush völlig von derartigen religiösen Ansichten leiten lässt und dass er wiederholt versucht hat, diese Ansichten der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit mittels verschiedener verkappter Programme aufzunötigen, wie etwa der religiösen Kontrolle wohltätiger Organisationen, der bedingungslosen Unterstützung Israels usw.

Zusammenfassung und Perspektive

Die Terroranschläge auf amerikanische Ziele waren vielen Stellen weit im voraus bekannt. Der US-Präsident war über die Art und den genauen Zeitpunkt dieser Anschläge vollständig informiert.

Die US-Regierung im allgemeinen und der US-Präsident im besonderen haben sich völlig den Wünschen und Plänen der israelischen Regierung unterworfen. Zumal diese Pläne die Entfernung der arabischen Bevölkerung aus Israel und den angrenzenden Gebieten umfassen, ist offenbar, dass die Bevölkerung der USA in eine Lage gedrängt wird, die durchaus zu weiteren schrecklichen Anschläge auf ihr Land führen könnte.

Angesichts dieser Möglichkeit sind die US-Behörden entschlossen, die Diskussion über die Anschläge vom 11. September auf die offizielle Sichtweise zu beschränken, wie sie regelmäßig über die US-Medien verbreitet wird.

Aus vertraulichen Quellen ergibt sich auch, dass Bushs Pläne eines Krieges gegen den Irak ihren Grund hauptsächlich im Wunsch Israels haben, Saddam Hussein zu entfernen. Tel Aviv sieht Hussein als reale Bedrohung an und hat diese Land schon früher angegriffen.

Es gibt zudem Indizien dafür, dass Iraks Erdölressourcen im Falle eines Sturzes der Regierung Hussein durch US-Truppen unter die Kontrolle eines Konsortiums amerikanischer Erdölgesellschaften kommen, die die Bush-Regierung so begeistert unterstützen.

Pullach, 5. April 2002


Istanbul bomber identified as Turkish member of Islamic State

March 20, 2016

by Ece Toksabay and Ayla Jean Yackley


ISTANBUL-A Turkish member of the Islamic State militant group was responsible for Saturday’s suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed three Israelis and an Iranian and wounded dozens of others, Turkey’s interior minister said.

Efkan Ala identified the bomber as a man born in the southern province of Gaziantep, adding that five people had been detained so far in connection with the bombing.

“We have determined that Mehmet Ozturk, born in 1992 in Gaziantep, has carried out the heinous attack on Saturday in Istanbul. It has been established that he is a member of Daesh,” Ala told a news conference broadcast live on television, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Israel has confirmed that three of its citizens died in the blast. Two of them held dual citizenship with the United States. An Iranian was also killed, Turkish officials have said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel is trying to determine whether its citizens were deliberately targeted. Eleven of the 36 wounded were Israelis.

Saturday’s attack on Istiklal Street, Istanbul’s most popular shopping district, appeared similar to a January suicide bombing blamed on Islamic State that killed at least 12 German tourists in the city’s historic center.

More than 80 people have now been killed in four suicide attacks so far this year in Turkey, a NATO member that faces multiple security threats.

As part of a U.S.-led coalition, it is fighting Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq. It is also battling Kurdish militants in its southeast, where a 2-1/2-year ceasefire collapsed last July, triggering the worst violence since the 1990s.

The spate of bombings has raised questions about Turkey’s ability to protect itself from a spillover of both the Syria and Kurdish conflicts.

An offshoot of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for two recent car bomb attacks in the capital Ankara that killed a total of 66 people. Turkey sees the Kurdish insurgency as fueled by the territorial gains of Kurdish militia fighters in northern Syria.


Police were questioning the father and brother of the alleged bomber Ozturk and had determined his identity by checking a DNA sample from the blast scene against one taken from his father, security sources said.

Ozturk’s family reported him missing after he went to Istanbul in 2013, the security sources said.

Police were on high alert on Sunday after the previous day’s attack and due to concerns about potential clashes between security forces and Kurdish militants during a spring festival this weekend that is widely celebrated by Kurds.

The United States and some European embassies had warned their citizens to be vigilant before the Newroz celebrations.

Interior Minister Ala said authorities had put 200,000 members of the police and gendarmerie on duty, some of whom would set up checkpoints. Hundreds of bomb control devices had also been dispatched.

But he acknowledged the difficulty of catching lone suicide bombers.

“We have to take all measures to prevent any terrorist acts,” he said. “But sometimes there are suicide bombings that are hard to prevent.”


Streets across the city, usually bustling with traffic and pedestrians on Sundays, were eerily quiet apart from the sound of police helicopters buzzing overhead.

Istiklal, quiet earlier in the day, was no longer deserted by afternoon. Crowds gathered at a makeshift memorial at the site of the bombing, where mourners hung the red and white Turkish flag from buildings and laid carnations next to handwritten signs that read: “We are here. We are not afraid.”

A small group of lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the Kurdish-rooted opposition party, were scheduled to walk to Istanbul’s Bakirkoy district for Newroz celebrations. Roads in that area were being closed by police for security reasons, Anadolu Agency reported.

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook were not readily accessible, local users reported. Authorities have blocked access to such sites after bombings in the past, usually because graphic images have been shared online.

It was not immediately clear whether Germany, which closed its diplomatic missions and German schools last week citing a security threat, would open them on Monday. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the decision would be made at short notice.

(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Murad Sezer, Osman Orsal and Can Sezer in Turkey; Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem and Hans-Edzard Busemann in Berlin; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Raissa Kasolowsky)


Kurdish crackdown: Is Turkey at war with its minority?

March 20, 2016


The Kurdish people have become a key element in the Middle-Eastern turmoil, viewed as allies by the US and Iraq and enemies by key US regional ally Turkey. One of the world’s largest ethnic groups without a state, they have a long and turbulent history.

Who are the Kurds?

Kurds originate from a diverse collection of nomadic tribes that lived in western Iran. They crystalized as an ethnic group sometime in the 11th or 12th centuries, but did not put substantial effort into creating a sovereign nation until the late 19th century, instead living as more or less in autonomous principalities.

The Ottoman Empire had the biggest influence on the Kurdish lands and controlled them for a greater part of the time period since 16th century and right until its collapse. Persians had a significant impact of Kurds as well. In modern era the historically Kurdish lands are divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, where Kurds comprise 10 to 20 percent of the respective countries’ populations. Large Kurdish diaspora live in Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Lebanon, Israel, Germany, France, the UK, Canada and the US. The number of Kurds worldwide is estimated at over 30 million.

The Kurds are a group noticeably diverse in terms of religion. The majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims. A minority are Shiites, mostly living in Iran. Up to one million of Kurds living in Iran and Iraq are Yarsan, adherents of a syncretic religion stemming from a mystic branch of Shiite Islam.

Up to 500 thousand, mostly living in Iraq belong to another Islam-influenced syncretic religion, Yazidism, which also incorporates some beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia. They were targeted by the radical Islamist militants operating in Iraq, who consider Yazidis devil worshipers. Some 200,000 Kurds living in Israel are Jewish.

Kurdish nationalism and violence

All four Middle-Eastern countries hosting large Kurdish population have a history of violence connected with Kurdish nationalism, but the extent varies greatly. Iran has the least trouble and was most successful in peacefully integrating its Kurds. They served as cabinet ministers and other senior officials, were represented in the parliament, granted cultural freedoms and otherwise respected both before and after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

There were hostile episodes too. There were Kurdish tribal insurgencies in monarchial Iran in 1926, during World War II and again in 1967. In the first post-revolution years there was a bloody Kurdish uprising in the Islamic Republic, as Kurds felt suppressed by the new government.

In modern Iran, Shiite Kurds are treated better than Sunni Kurds and political activism may result in repercussions. Since 2004 a Kurdish militant group called Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, which splintered from Turkish militants, has been fighting a guerrilla war against Iran.

Iraq is the opposite example, where Kurds suffered harsh persecution and staged rebellions practically every decade since their territories left Ottoman sovereignty. In the late 1970s Baghdad launched a policy of Arabization of traditionally Kurdish lands, particularly those rich in oil around Kirkuk, seeing it as a way to pacify the unruly people.

The policy went from forceful deportations to mass slaughter during the Iraqi-Iranian war of the 1980s that triggered a new uprising in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Iraqi government used tanks, warplanes and chemical weapons to kill some 180,000 Kurds and sent an estimated 1.5 million fleeing from across the border to Iran and Turkey.

After the US invasion in 2003, Iraqi Kurds grew in power and are now independent from Baghdad in most issues. Their peshmerga militia proved to be an effective fighting force after the terrorist group Islamic State sent the Iraqi army fleeing and sought to expand into Kurd-controlled territories. With the central government distant and struggling with insurgency, Kurds seized the opportunity to get a payback for the injustices of the past by illegally expelling Sunni Arabs.

The conditions for Kurds in Syria went somewhat along the same lines as they did in Iraq, but with much less violence: Damascus used discrimination against Kurds, suppressing their culture and forcing them to take Arab names. It used deportations and the Arabization of Kurdish territories. Since the 1960s hundreds of thousands of Kurds were denied Syrian citizenship.

The start of the war in 2011 weakened the Syrian government’s grip on Kurds, and Damascus and Kurds struck a non-intervention deal. Just like Baghdad left Iraqi Kurds to defend themselves from militants, Damascus did with Syrian Kurds. Unlike Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian Kurdistan has become a major target for the oldest foe of Kurds – Turkey.

Turkey’s long war with Kurds

Kurds living in Turkey have grudges against their government stretching back to the 19th century, when the Ottoman Empire started centralizing its power. Unsettled by the encroachment on their traditional freedoms by Istanbul, Kurdish landowners started resisting. The first Kurdish uprising that declared independence from the Ottomans and the Persians as its goal came in 1880.

Kurdish nationalism was fueled further by the rise of secularism and nationalism in the Ottoman Empire and its participation in World War I. In 1916 and 1917 the Turks targeted the Kurds, whom they suspected of collaborating with Russia. After the Ottoman Empire was defeated and partitioned by the winning European powers, Kurds had a chance for self-determination under the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920, but Turkey’s independence war closed that door.

Several uprisings were staged by Kurds in the following decades, to which Ankara responded with martial law, deportations and the resettlement of Kosovar Albanians and Assyrians to Kurdish lands. A short period of thaw and integration in the 1950s was halted by the 1960 military coup in Turkey. The latest Kurdish insurgency associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, started in 1978 and continued on and off since then. Over three decades the conflict has claimed at least 45,000 lives on both sides.

Syria war spillover

The latest and ongoing hostilities between the Turkish military and Kurdish militants are yet another result of the war in Syria and Iraq. In September 2014 Islamic State fighters besieged the Kurdish town of Kobani close to the Turkish border, sending hundreds of thousands of refugees across the border. The town was defended by Syrian Kurdish militia called YPG supported by US airstrikes and US-backed Arab units from the Free Syrian Army.

While Turkey allowed Kurds, including wounded YPG fighters, cross the border, it would not allow any armed people to go back into Syria to fight against IS militants. The policy – enforced with tear gas and water cannons – prevented fellow Kurdish fighters from Iraq and Turkey help their Syrian fellows or YPG members go back and fight for their homes after recovering in Turkish hospitals. Ankara also wouldn’t allow military supplies sent across the border and tried to pressure the US to stop airdrops of weapons and ammo to Kobani.

The obstruction alienated Kurds and caused worldwide protests. In Turkey, a pro-Kobani protest deteriorated into violence and resulted in dozens of deaths, which arguably triggered an escalation of enmity.

The tension sparked into violence after the bombing of a pro-Kurdish gathering in Suruc in June 2015, a town located just 10 km from Kobani across the border. While IS claimed responsibility for the attack, many Kurds accused the Turkish government of failing to prevent it or even facilitating it.

Some Kurdish radicals conducted retaliative attacks against Turkish police officers and Ankara responded with a massive police and military crackdown. This ended two-year peace talks between Turkey and PKK and launched the third PKK insurgency in Turkey.

Collective punishment

The Turkish military acted en force in Iraq and Syria delivering airstrikes at what are called training camps from Kurdish militants. Kurds rather than IS militants were the preferable targets for Turkish warplanes, judging by the estimated casualties. In Syria, Turkey is also regularly reported as using cross-border artillery fire to attack Kurdish militias.

Meanwhile at home Ankara launched a massive crackdown on predominantly Kurdish areas in the south-east, imposing indefinite curfews in many Kurdish districts and waging gun, mortar and tank battles against PKK fighters.

The areas are under a government lockdown, with the Turkish government preventing foreign journalists or inspectors from assessing the situation on the ground. Pro-Kurdish activists accuse Turkish forces of numerous violations of human rights, including extrajudicial killings of civilians, torture and other crimes. The Turkish government insists that it only does what it has to do stop Kurdish terrorism, but some activists call it collective punishment of the entire Kurdish people.

The accusations may be consistent with the spree of attacks on pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the offices and rallies of which were bombed or attacked in other manner ahead of last year’s election.

The escalation of violence in Turkey is also fueled by the growing power of Kurds in Iraq and Syria. This week Syrian Kurds announced the formation of an autonomous federation, a move that brings them closer to a full-fledged independence. In both countries Kurds secured greater autonomy over the past few years by being relentless fighters, and their example cannot but encourage Kurds in Turkey to go the same path rather than seek compromise with an uncompromising Ankara. The mutual antagonism is exactly what makes countries plunge into civil wars, as Syria may attest.


Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won’t Even Say Who It’s Lobbying For

March 20, 2016

by David Dayen

The Intercept

The Commercial Energy Working Group (CEWG) is one of the many lobbying organizations in Washington. They make recommendations to federal agencies and try to sway lawmakers on policies. They engage in the basic political work of making the government friendlier to business.

There’s only one problem: who the Commercial Energy Working Group actually represents is a secret.

This violates federal lobbying and ethics laws, according to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, who has urged the House and Senate to investigate the matter. “The Commercial Energy Working Group is one of the most active – and secret – organizations seeking to undermine energy market regulations,” Slocum told The Intercept. “The purpose of my complaint is to force the group to start identifying its membership.”

Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, all lobbying organizations registered with the federal government must list the names of any business that has contributed more than $5,000 to them in any one quarter. But the CEWG “does not disclose the individual companies or entities that constitute its active membership,” according to Slocum’s letter.

The group has no web site, does not file annual reports with the IRS, and hasn’t sought incorporation in any state. It operates out of a D.C. law firm – Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan – and used the Sutherland offices as their formal business address in their initial 2013 lobbyist disclosure form. CEWG’s official lobbyists, Alexander Holtan and Blair Scott, are employees of Sutherland.

Sutherland has listed lobbying income between $10,000 to $60,000 for its “client,” CEWG, every quarter since mid-2013, with a total of $130,000 in lobbying income in 2015.

That money is coming from someplace, but CEWG and Sutherland refuse to say where.

Sutherland did not respond to The Intercept’s request for clarification.

CEWG routinely files comments with federal agencies and lawmakers about various regulations. They wrote House Agriculture Committee members last June, calling on them to support the “Commodity End-User Relief Act,” which would have exempted certain companies from complying with derivatives rules.

They submitted comments in 2013 to international banking regulators over margin requirements for derivatives, and did the same in 2014 to five U.S. regulators. They frequently file comments with other agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve.

In all of these comment letters, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan submits “on behalf of the Commercial Energy Working Group.” The CEWG is variously described as “a diverse group of commercial firms in the energy industry,” or “energy producers, marketers, and utilities,” or “some of the largest users of energy derivatives in the United States and globally.” But they never specifically name their members.

A member of the CEWG even sits on the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which maintains federal oversight of derivatives. Ron Oppenheimer, an associate member of the advisory committee, is listed as a “Representative” of CEWG. But he actually works as a senior vice president and general counsel for Vitol, a Swiss-based derivatives trading company.

When Slocum asked Oppenheimer to disclose the membership of CEWG at a public meeting of the CFTC advisory committee last month, he refused. Oppenheimer said the working group had no plans to make that information public.

“If you feel entitled to formally provide advice to the government about how your members need relief from regulations, you’ve got to tell us who your members are,” Slocum told The Intercept.

Holtan, the CEWG lobbyist, represented a similar-sounding group, the Working Group of Commercial Energy Firms, while working at a different law firm, Hunton & Williams. When Holtan, previously a law clerk for the Senate Banking Committee, switched jobs in 2012, he apparently took the energy lobbying group with him and slightly tweaked the name.

In his letter, Slocum identified four other potential members of the CEWG, based on Freedom of Information Act disclosures. A CFTC “external meeting” with the CEWG on April 15, 2015, identifies participants from Vitol, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell. External meetings on June 10 and July 28 similarly had Vitol’s Ron Oppenheimer and ConocoPhillips executive James Allison present. A 2013 CFTC meeting with the CEWG featured representatives of Hess Corporation and NextEra Energy Resources, in addition to Vitol and Royal Dutch Shell.

While one can surmise that those five companies are part of the Commercial Energy Working Group, nobody has verified that. Three of the companies also show up in a 2011 meeting between the CFTC and its apparent precursor, the Working Group of Commercial Energy Firms, which included Vitol, ConocoPhillips, NextEra, Cargill, and Constellation Energy. A 2011 meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission had representatives from the same companies listed above, plus Hess, BP, Shell, Luminant, and DTE Energy.

If all of those companies contributed less than $5,000 per quarter to the lobbying organization, there would be no violation. But since the CEWG never discloses the names, Slocum is seeking a formal investigation.






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