TBR News October 25, 2016

Oct 25 2016

A Compendium of Various Official Lies, Business Scandals, Small Murders, Frauds, and Other Gross Defects of Our Current Political, Business and Religious Moral Lepers.

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815


“Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen”. – Huey Long


“I fired [General MacArthur] because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. That’s the answer to that. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail “- Harry S Truman


“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson.


“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage”

– H.L. Mencken


 “For a quarter of a century the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about every major political and economic question entrusted to its analysis.” 

-Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The New York Times, 1991.


Don’t tell a lie! Some men I’ve known
Commit the most appalling acts,
Because they happen to be prone
To an economy of facts;
And if to lie is bad, no doubt
’Tis even worse to get found out!


My children, never, never steal!
To know their offspring is a thief
Will often make a father feel
Annoyed and cause a mother grief;
So never steal, but, when you do,
Be sure there’s no one watching you.


The Wicked flourish like the bay,
At Cards or Love they always win,
Good Fortune dogs their steps all day,
They fatten while the Good grow thin.
The Righteous Man has much to bear;

                              The Bad becomes a Bullionaire!

 The Voice of the White House  

Washington, D.C.  October 25, 2016:”Some kind soul has tapped into the secret files of the German BND and we are publishing one of the article, in German, about Israel’s atomic bomb program.Since we have a large readership in that country, perhaps their readers will find this of interest. There is also a long list of German civil servants who work closely with the American CIA and it is to be supposed that that list, too, will find publication in a number of entites in the near future. Though many think so, there are no secrets any more. In penetrating supposedly protected email sites, the Russians are the best, the Israelis second and, surprisingly, the Vatican third. If she becomes president and psychomotor epilepsy does not overcome here, no doubt Hillary will seek to shut off what will be a growing wave of computer attacks on her person and activities.”

Dump Duterte – for Starters

October 25, 2016

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Alliances are transmission belts of war.

So our Founding Fathers taught and the 20th century proved.

When Britain, allied to France, declared war on Germany in 1914, America sat out, until our own ships were being sunk in 1917.

When Britain, allied to France, declared war on Germany, Sept. 3, 1939, we stayed out until Hitler declared war on us, Dec. 11, 1941.

As the other Western powers bled and bankrupted themselves, we emerged relatively unscathed as the world’s No. 1 power. The Brits and French lost their empires, and much else, and ceased to be great powers.

Stalin’s annexation of Central Europe and acquisition of an atom bomb, and Mao’s triumph in China in 1949, caused us to form alliances from Europe to Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia.

Yet, with the end of the Cold War, we did not dissolve a single alliance. NATO was expanded to embrace all the nations of the former Warsaw Pact and three former republics of the USSR.

This hubristic folly is at the heart of present tensions with Russia.

Now, Beltway hawks have begun to push the envelope to bring former Soviet republics Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, with some urging us to bring in the Cold War neutrals Sweden and Finland.

Given the resentment of the Russian people toward America, for exploiting their time of weakness after the breakup of the Soviet Union, to drive our alliance onto their front porch, such moves could trigger a conflict that could escalate to nuclear weapons.

Moscow has warned us pointedly and repeatedly about this.

Yet now that the election is almost over, neocons burrowed in their think tanks are emerging to talk up U.S. confrontations with Syria, Russia, Iran and China. Restraining America’s War Party may be the first order of business of the next president.

Fortunately, after the Libyan debacle, President Obama has lost any enthusiasm for new wars.

Indeed, he has a narrow window of opportunity to begin to bring our alliances into conformity with our interests – by serving notice that the United States is terminating its 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with Manila.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is proving himself to be an unstable anti-American autocrat, who should not be entrusted with the power to drag us into war over some rocks or reefs in the South China Sea.

Earlier this year, we got an idea of what a commitment to go to war for a NATO ally might mean when President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, another mercurial autocrat, shot down a Russian plane that strayed over Turkish territory for 17 seconds.

Had Vladimir Putin retaliated in kind, Erdogan could have invoked Article 5 of NATO, requiring us come to Turkey’s defense against Russia.

Given how Erdogan has acted since this summer’s attempted coup, purging Turkish democratic institutions and imprisoning tens of thousands, do the benefits of our NATO alliance with Ankara still outweigh the risks?

Duterte harbors a lifelong grudge against America for our war of 1899-1902 to crush the Philippine independence movement, after Admiral Dewey sank the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. We liberated the Philippines, only to annex them.

A longtime mayor on Mindanao before being elected president, Duterte is reputedly the godfather of death squads that executed drug dealers and users. Now, the practice has apparently been introduced nationwide.

While campaigning, Duterte said he would Jet Ski 120 miles to Scarborough Shoal, which is occupied by China though it is in Manila’s territorial waters. Since then, he has flipped and become outspokenly pro-China.

Before attending a summit in Laos, Duterte called President Obama “the son of a whore.” He has insulted America and canceled joint military exercises. In Beijing he announced a “separation from the United States. … No more American influence. No more American [military] exercises. It’s time to say goodbye.”

“I would rather go to Russia and to China,” he added.

President Obama should email President Duterte: “Message received. Accept your decision. Good luck with the Russians and Chinese.”

Would termination of our Mutual Defense Treaty mean severing ties with the Filipino people? By no means.

What it would do, though, is this: restore America’s absolute freedom to act or not act militarily in the South China Sea, according to our interests, and not Duterte’s whims.

Whether we intervene on Manila’s behalf or not, the decision would be ours alone. Terminating the treaty would absolve us of any legal or moral obligation to fight for Scarborough Shoal, Mischief Reef or any of the other rocks in a South China Sea that are now in dispute between Beijing and half a dozen nations.

A U.S. decision to terminate the treaty would also send a wake-up call to every ally:

America’s Cold War commitments are not forever. Your security is not more important to us than it is to you. As Donald Trump has been saying, we are starting to put America first again.

On this, maybe even President Obama could find common ground.


From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2016, Issue No. 85

October 25, 2016


Enemy use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is a growing threat to U.S. forces because of their low cost, versatility, and ease of use, according to a recent U.S. Army doctrinal publication.

“The UAS is the most challenging and prevalent threat platform to combined arms forces and therefore, a logical choice for enemy use.”

See Techniques for Combined Arms for Air Defense, Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 3-01.8, July 29, 2016.

As is the case with U.S.-operated drones, enemy UAS can be used to perform a range of functions from battlefield surveillance and targeting to precision strike, the Army document said. “The enemy will use UAS to fulfill multiple attack roles.”

The drone may deliver a weapon or be used as a weapon itself. “As an indirect attack platform, the UAS has the ability to carry the improvised explosive device or become the improvised explosive device.”

“Perhaps the most dangerous COA [course of action]… is the Swarm” in which “clusters of UAS” are used by an adversary simultaneously for surveillance, indirect attack and direct attack.

What to do about this? The answer is not fully articulated in the Army manual.

“Proper planning by leaders will ensure that units employ adequate force protection measures to counter the UAS threat. Units must develop tactics, techniques and procedures to counter this threat in their respective areas of operation.”

Simply destroying the enemy drone is not necessarily the right move, the manual said.

“Defeat does not equate [to] kinetic means; however, it is an option. Other defeat solutions could be limiting a surveillance threat from gaining information or following the air path of the UAS to the operator.”

Islamic State forces have used drones bearing explosive devices, the New York Times reported this month. See “Pentagon Confronts a New Threat From ISIS: Exploding Drones” by Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, October 11.

Just last week, the U.S. Air Force detected and destroyed a drone “in the vicinity” of U.S. forces, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said yesterday. See “Air Force: Small, weaponized drones a growing combat problem” by Jacqueline Klimas, Washington Examiner, October 24.


The feasibility of challenging the outcome of a presidential election is examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

“If legitimate and verifiable allegations of voting fraud, or indications of misconduct by election officials on election day are presented, what legal recourses are available to complainants to litigate and potentially to remedy such wrongs and to contest the result of a presidential election?” the report inquires.

Although the presidential election is a national event, it is actually comprised of fifty separate state elections, plus the one in the District of Columbia.

Therefore, “it is an individual state that has the initial responsibility for resolving a challenge, recount, or contest to the results of a presidential election within that jurisdiction,” wrote CRS Legislative Attorney Jack Maskell. See Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election, October 24, 2016.

Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Partisan Political Activities and Federal Workers: Questions in the 2016 Election, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 20, 2016

State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations, updated October 21, 2016

Yemen: Recent Attacks Against U.S. Naval Vessels in the Red Sea, CRS Insight, October 21, 2016

U.S.-South Korea Relations, updated October 20, 2016

DHS Appropriations FY2017: Research and Development, Training, and Services, October 20, 2016

Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress, updated October 21, 2016

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress, October 20, 2016

Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies, updated October 21, 2016

Tilting, sinking San Francisco high-rise raises alarm

October 24, 2016

by Jocelyn Decker

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pamela Buttery noticed something peculiar six years ago while practicing golf putting in her 57th-floor apartment at the luxurious Millennium Tower. The ball kept veering to the same corner of her living room.

Those were the first signs for residents of the sleek, mirrored high-rise that something was wrong.

The 58-story building has gained notoriety in recent weeks as the “leaning tower of San Francisco.” But it’s not just leaning. It’s sinking, too. And engineers hired to assess the problem say it shows no immediate sign of stopping.

“What concerns me most is the tilting,” says Buttery, 76, a retired real estate developer. “Is it safe to stay here? For how long?”

Completed seven years ago, the tower so far has sunk 16 inches into the soft soil and landfill of San Francisco’s crowded financial district. But it’s not sinking evenly, which has created a 2-inch tilt at the base – and a roughly 6-inch lean at the top.

By comparison, Italy’s famed Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning more than 16 feet. But in a major earthquake fault zone, the Millennium Tower’s structural problems have raised alarm and become the focus of a public scandal.

Several documents involving the downtown building were leaked in recent weeks, including exchanges between the city’s Department of Building Inspection and Millennium Partners, the developer. They show both sides knew the building was sinking more than anticipated before it opened in late 2009, but neither made that information public.

In a February 2009 letter, a chief buildings inspector, Raymond Lui, wrote to the tower’s engineering firm to express concerns about “larger than expected settlements.” He asked what was being done to stop the sinking and if the building’s structural safety could be affected.

DeSimone Consulting Engineers replied that the building had already unexpectedly settled 8.3 inches. But the engineering firm concluded, “It is our professional opinion that the structures are safe.”

City Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who has convened hearings on the matter at City Hall, asked Lui why the building was then certified safe for occupancy.

“We felt they had it under control,” replied Lui, now employed in San Francisco’s public works department. He did not elaborate.

City officials, owners of the building’s high-end apartments, its developers and politicians are arguing over who is to blame. Meanwhile, key questions remain.

“When is this building going to stop sinking?” asks Jerry Dodson, an attorney and engineer who paid $2.1 million in 2009 for his two-bedroom apartment on the 42nd floor. “That’s something that no one has been able to answer.”

On the sidewalks outside the Millennium Tower, engineers last month started working to figure out why the building keeps sinking and if there’s a way to fix it. But the process, which involves drilling deep holes and testing soil samples, is expected to take several months.

The geotechnical engineer leading the operation, Pat Shires, said existing data indicates the tower “might” sink between 24 to 31 inches in total, but nobody knows for sure.

When the Millennium Tower opened, it became a haven for the city’s well-heeled, and all 419 apartments quickly sold out. Tenants have included former San Francisco 49er Joe Montana, late venture capitalist Tom Perkins and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence.

The building has a 75-foot indoor lap-pool, a health club and spa, an in-house cinema, and a restaurant and wine bar run by celebrity chef Michael Mina. Penthouses have sold for more than $10 million.

The tower’s troubles are apparent in its five-floor underground garage, where Porsches and Lamborghinis sit near walls bearing floor-to-ceiling cracks, many bracketed by stress gauges to measure growth.

Meanwhile, accusations and lawsuits are piling up.

Dodson and other residents blame developers for what they say is a flawed design. The tower’s foundation, for instance, uses piles driven 60 to 90 feet into landfill, rather than the pricier option of going down at least 240 feet to bedrock.

Millennium Partners maintains its design is safe and says many San Francisco high-rises have similar foundations.

“We did this building the right way,” Chris Jeffries, a founding partner at Millennium Partners, told a news conference. “The building is 100 percent safe.”

Jeffries blames the building’s problems on an adjacent construction site where a city rail terminal is being built. He says the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the public agency building the $4.5 billion transit hub, dug a 60-foot hole to create a dry construction site and pumped out millions of gallons of groundwater that wound up compressing and weakening the soil under the Millennium Tower.

Transbay says the tower’s “inadequate foundation is the sole cause of the excessive settlement and tilt.” It released a statement saying the building had sunk 10 inches and started to lean before the agency broke ground in 2010.

It has continued to sink at a rate of about 1 inch per year.

“We are all living there and wondering about our safety,” another resident, Nina Agabian, said at a recent City Hall hearing. “We’ve been told it’s going to take years to solve this, and I don’t think we have years.”

U.S. takes aim at cyber attacks from connected devices as recalls mount

October 25, 2016

by Joseph Menn


San Francisco-Obama administration officials sought on Monday to reassure the public that it was taking steps to counter new types of cyber attacks such as the one Friday that rendered Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and dozens of other major websites unavailable.

The Department of Homeland Security said it had held a conference call with 18 major communication service providers shortly after the attack began and was working to develop a new set of “strategic principles” for securing internet-connected devices.

DHS said its National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center was working with companies, law enforcement and researchers to cope with attacks made possible by the rapidly expanding number of smart gadgets that make up the “internet of Things.”

Such devices, including web-connected cameras, appliances and toys, have little in the way of security. More than a million of them have been commandeered by hackers, who can direct them to take down a target site by flooding it with junk traffic.

Several networks of compromised machines were directed to attack big customers of web infrastructure company Dyn last week, Dyn officials and security researchers said.

The disruption had subsided by late Friday night in America, and two of the manufacturers whose devices had been hijacked for the attack pledged Monday to try to fix them.

But security experts said that many of the devices would never be fixed and that the broader security threat posed by the internet of Things would get worse before it gets better.

“If you expect to fix all the internet devices that are out there, force better passwords, install some mechanism for doing updates and add some native security for the operating system, you are going to be working a long time,” said Ed Amoroso, founder of TAG Cyber and former chief security officer at AT&T.

Instead, Amoroso said he hoped that government officials would focus on recommending better software architecture and that business partners would insist on better standards.

In the meantime, fresh responses by two of the companies involved in the attacks illustrated the extent of the problem.

Chinese firm Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co Ltd, which makes components for surveillance cameras, said it would recall some products from the United States.

Another Chinese company, Dahua Technology, acknowledged that some of its older cameras and video recorders were vulnerable to attacks when users had not changed the default passwords. Like Xiongmai, it said it would offer firmware updates on its website to fix the problem and would give discounts to customers who wanted to exchange their gear.

But neither company has anything like a comprehensive list of their customers, many of whom will never learn of the problems, said Dale Drew, chief security officer with communications provider Level 3.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the only way they are going to reach their consumers is through media reports, Drew said.

(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco. Additonal reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington.; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Leslie Adler)

‘Outraged’ Congress may intervene as National Guardsmen ordered to pay back bonuses

October 25, 2016


Almost 10,000 California National Guard troops have been ordered to repay their recruitment bonuses after an investigation discovered that many of them were ineligible, despite being told otherwise. Lawmakers are trying to block the “disgraceful and insulting” move.

Thousands of guardsmen will have to return at least $15,000 per person, or more, after California National Guard officials were found guilty of mismanaging the program and submitting false claims. Last month, 42 auditors completed reviewing bonus and incentive payments and found that 9,700 members had been improperly awarded the money, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Chief of federal policy for the California Guard, Andreas Mueller, emailed California’s members of Congress on Monday, reminding them that the issue of erroneous reenlistment bonuses paid to thousands of soldiers had been originally brought to the attention of federal lawmakers in 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mueller also said that California was just “the only state that audited” the payments, leaving open the likelihood that service members in all 49 other states could become impacted by these payback requests as well.

While many state officials have pleaded guilty to making fraudulent claims, it’s the service members who were unknowingly enlisted that are being required to pay back the bonuses, Military.com reported.

The former soldiers have to repay the money to the Pentagon or face interest charges or tax liens. Members of Congress hope to convince the Pentagon to waive the debts, however.

“I am outraged that our servicemembers and veterans are being asked to repay bonuses and benefits promised to them when they answered the call to serve our nation,” Representative Julia Brownley, a Democrat representing the 26th District, said in a statement on Monday, adding, “I intend to introduce legislation as soon as Congress returns to waive repayment, and will work with my colleagues to ensure a full accounting of how this mismanagement occurred.”

Brownley is not the only California congressperson with hopes to bring this issue to officials’ attention. Duncan Hunter, a Republican who represents the 50th District, wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, saying, “It remains my firm belief that even the simple request of asking soldiers to repay money contingent on reenlistment is disgraceful and insulting.”

“In fact, I find it difficult to believe that either you or your leadership team was aware that such a boneheaded decision was made to demand repayment — and I ask that you utilize your authority to influence a solution, including a possible legislative fix if determined necessary, that’s in the best interest of the individuals and families impacted,” Hunter added.

Democratic California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein also wrote to Defense Secretary Carter to appeal to waive the debts, saying that service members were unaware that their bonuses were fraudulent and had “paid a heavy price for their service — including severe injuries sustained after reenlisting.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joined in, saying in a statement, “We simply cannot allow this type of mistreatment of veterans, for any reason,” NBC reported.

Even officials within the military have supported forgiving the debt. Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard, told the Times, “We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts. We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law.”

Many of the soldiers had no idea that they were not entitled to the payments. Christopher Van Meter, a veteran with a Purple Heart, was prepared to leave the Army after 15 years of service, but changed his mind after learning that reenlisting would net him a $15,000 bonus, he explained to CNN.

“We were in the Iraq and Afghanistan war at the time. And they wanted to keep soldiers in the military,” Van Meter said. However, he was later told that he was not eligible for the bonus that had been used to lure him back into the service.

An anonymous service member told Military.com that he had been given a $10,000 bonus to leave the Reserves and join the California National Guard in 2009.

“I served two years in Iraq and then came home in 2011 to find out the [California Army National Guard] did not have the correct paperwork and I was required to pay back the bonus,” he said. Adding insult to injury, the government is demanding repayment of the money it never paid out in the first place.

“They took $3,000 out for taxes but I had to pay back the full $10,000. How do I get that $3,000 back? The CA ARNG says it is not their problem. I have to work with the IRS. This does not sit well with me as they took out that money!” the service member said.

The problem appears to stem from a combination of mismanagement and fraud. Eight current or former California National Guard members, recruiters or recruiting assistants, were charged with fraudulently obtaining recruitment bonuses in 2014, Military.com reported. But even before that, there were signs that something was amiss with the California Guard’s incentives.

In 2011, retired Master Sergeant Toni Jaffe pleaded guilty to filing false claims of up to $15.2 million, according to CNN. Jaffe admitted to submitting claims for members of the California National Guard while knowing that they were ineligible for the bonuses.

Investigators have found that many of the California Guard officials participated in the fraud in order to meet enlistment targets – not unlike the recent Wells Fargo scandal – the Los Angeles Times reported.

Susan Haley, 47, spent 26 years of her life in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan, where her oldest son lost a leg as a military medic. Since the Guard found that she was improperly awarded $20,500 in bonuses, she now has to pay a quarter of her family’s monthly income to the Pentagon.

“They’ll get their money, but I want those years back,” she told the Times.

Five Stupendous Lies Told By Buglers for Military Intervention in Syria

October 23, 2016

by Bruce Fein

Huffington Post

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her fellow buglers for greater United States military intervention in Syria build their case on five stupendous lies.

  1. Lie Number 1: The world will not forgive us for inaction in the face of mass atrocities in Syria. Nothing dries faster than a politician’s tear. International relations are unsentimental. The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. The world has “forgiven” us for inaction while Stalin and Mao collectively murdered over 100 million, genocides unfolded in Rwanda and Cambodia, and Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews. At present, the world is not rebuking us for inaction during the killings of more than 5 million Congolese in an ongoing civil war and during the mass atrocities and starvation that are besetting the South Sudanese people. Today, we enjoy a semi-alliance with Vietnam despite dropping 388,000 tons of napalm and killing more than 2 million civilians during the Vietnam War.
  2. Lie Number 2: The carnage in Syria would be diminished if the United States provided military assistance and intervened on behalf of moderate Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, the Russians, and Hezbollah. There are no moderates in Syria dedicated to the rule of law and democratic norms. All Syrian fighters are driven by ulterior motives to make their tribe dominate others. Internecine warfare rages amongst the rebels. A $500 million Pentagon plan to vet and train 15,000 moderate fighters collapsed because no qualified enrollees could be discovered.

The United States consistently and wrongly believes that common opponents of our enemies are moderates. The mujahideen in Afghanistan that we supported against the Soviet Union didn’t miss a beat in turning to perpetrate the 9/11 abominations under the Al -Qaeda banner. We entered the Vietnam War and lost 58,000 soldiers to support supposititious moderate South Vietnamese leaders against Communist North Vietnam. The perceived moderates like Ngo Dinh Diem, Big Minh, and Nguyen Van Thieu were autocratic and commanded no popular legitimacy. When the United States withdrew from the war, South Vietnam collapsed and all of our sacrifices went for naught.

  1. Lie Number 3: Russia will gain at our expense. The opposite is the truth. Conquest or occupation of a hostile population weakens the conqueror or occupier. The annexation of Crimea has proven an economic albatross to Russia. The Soviet Empire disintegrated in 1991 because the costs of occupying and subsidizing Eastern and Central Europe were prohibitive. President Vladimir Putin is losing money and men to support Syrian President al-Assad in exchange for the fleeting and juvenile thrill of projecting power for its own sake. The United States loses nothing by inaction. Thus, after we refused to rescue South Vietnamese President Thieu from defeat by North Vietnam in 1975, sixteen years later the USSR—our arch-enemy—fell without our firing a single shot. We were left as the sole superpower in the world in large measure through masterly inactivity.
  2. Lie Number 4: If Aleppo succumbs to President Al-Assad and President Putin, international terrorism against the United States will spiral. This is nonsense on stilts. Assad and Putin are enemies, not allies, of ISIS and Al Qaeda. Their takeover of Aleppo would be a setback for international terrorism. President Reagan withdrew our troops from Lebanon in 1984 after the Hezbollah terrorist attack on our Marine barracks in Beirut, but no spike in international terrorism against us ensued.
  3. Lie Number 5: The credibility of the United States as the leader and defender of the free world will be devastated. This argument if the last refuge of a scoundrel eager to risk the lives and fortunes of others to gratify a craving for power or domination. Our withdrawal from Vietnam made us stronger, not weaker. Ditto for Lebanon. The argument’s premise is also flawed. As the United States Constitution and patriotism require, we pursue self-interest abroad like all other nations. Freedom is made subservient to Realpolitik. We have sold a staggering $90 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia in recent years despite its oppressive monarchy, military intervention in Bahrain to suppress freedom, and war crimes in Yemen. We recognize the dictatorial People’s Republic of China at the expense of the democratic Republic of China on Taiwan. We are snug with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi despite his totalitarian methods. Other examples are endless.

In sum, Syria is as irrelevant to the national security of the United States as is the ongoing and equally tragic civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We should offer humanitarian aid and a welcome mat for vetted refugees from both nations, express sympathy for the war victims, but refrain from any direct or indirect military involvement. If private American citizens wish that more be done, they can contribute their money and risk their lives and limbs hoping to give birth to freedom in Damascus or Kinshasa.


Israeli Atomwaffen

BND Nr. 83701/ar/04

Für den Herrn Minister!


In Jerusalem gilt das Thema immer noch als Staatsgeheimnis, aber Experten weltweit sind sich einig: Israel besitzt als einziger Staat im Nahen Osten Atombomben. Die “Operation Samson” war ein Triumph ehrgeiziger Politiker, Wissenschaftler und Spione – mit dramatischen Folgen.

Wer eine Geschichte über Israels geheimes Atompotenzial und seine abenteuerlichen Geburtswehen recherchiert, wird an drei Figuren nicht vorbeikommen: an Schimon dem Friedensbewegten (Politiker), an Rafi dem Skrupellosen (Spion) und an Mordechai dem Zweifler (Wissenschaftler).

Der Erste hat 1994 den Friedensnobelpreis bekommen und bewegt sich seit über 50 Jahren in den Spitzenkreisen des israelischen Establishments. Der Zweite brachte es innerhalb der Geheimdienste zu hohen Ehren, fiel aber Mitte der achtziger Jahre wegen zweifelhafter Aktionen aus der Gunst der Regierenden. Der Dritte sitzt seit über 17 Jahren in einem Hochsicherheitstrakt des Gefängnisses von Aschkelon – als israelischer Landesverräter.

Die Karrieren von Schimon Peres, 80, von Rafi Eitan, 77, und Mordechai Vanunu, 49, spiegeln zentrale Etappen in der Geschichte des Judenstaats wider – seiner Erfolge, seiner Niederlagen, seiner Zerrissenheit. Und rühren immer wieder an ein Tabu, das offiziell bis heute gilt und erst nach und nach von unabhängigen Historikern und Journalisten aufgebrochen wird.

Schimon Peres aus dem Schtetl von Wiszniewo, im heutigen Weißrussland gelegen, kommt als Elfjähriger mit seiner Familie nach Palästina. Er schließt sich als junger Mann in britischen Mandatszeiten der jüdischen Untergrundarmee Haganah an, setzt aber immer eher auf Verhandlungen als auf Terror gegen die Besatzer. Gemäßigt und ehrgeizig, dabei aber ein glühender Patriot, macht er schnell Karriere und wird schon 1953 Generaldirektor des Verteidigungsministeriums – die Nummer zwei in Israels Sicherheitsfragen, unterstellt nur David Ben-Gurion.

Der legendäre Regierungschef und Staatsgründer ist besessen von der Angst, der Holocaust könnte sich wiederholen, geprägt von dem Alptraum, die Juden würden diesmal von fanatischen Arabern an den Rand der Ausrottung getrieben. Ben-Gurion sucht eine Waffe gegen die Hilflosigkeit, die auch wirkt, wenn der Feind übermächtig scheint: “Nie wieder lassen wir uns wie Lämmer zur Schlachtbank führen.” Er begeistert sich für moderne Technologien und liest alles über die Möglichkeiten der Kernspaltung; er will die Atombombe. “Was die drei Juden Einstein, Oppenheimer und Teller für die Amerikaner getan haben, könnten jüdische Wissenschaftler doch auch für ihr eigenes Volk tun”, schreibt er 1956 in einem Brief an einen Freund.

Ben-Gurion beauftragt nun Schimon Peres, alles zu tun, um diesen Traum zu verwirklichen, das ultimative zionistische Projekt. Für mögliche Ängste der Palästinenser, die ja schon Jahrhunderte in dem “Land ohne Volk” leben und massenweise aus der Heimat vertrieben werden, fehlen Ben-Gurion die Antennen.

So streng geheim ist das Unternehmen, dass der Name Peres nirgendwo in einem der staatlichen Atomkomitees oder deren Veröffentlichungen auftaucht; nicht einmal andere Kabinettsmitglieder wissen von der klandestinen “Operation Samson”, benannt nach dem sagenumwobenen israelitischen Supermann und Philister-Schreck aus biblischen Zeiten.

Peres macht sich keine Illusionen, dass eine der damals drei Atommächte die Technologie an den Judenstaat weitergeben wird. Die Sowjetunion und auch Großbritannien kommen kaum in Frage. Aber auch die USA erklären sich nur zur Lieferung eines winzigen Reaktors zur Energiegewinnung bereit – und warnen die Israelis vor nuklearen Ambitionen.

Peres erkennt anderswo die Gunst der Stunde. Er wendet sich an Paris; Frankreich beginnt in jenen Tagen sein Atomwaffenprogramm zu entwickeln und hat im Herbst 1956 aus strategischen Überlegungen nichts dagegen, den Israelis im Tauschgeschäft gegen Geheimdienstinformationen und wissenschaftliche Hilfe unter die Arme zu greifen. Beim Kampf gegen arabische Großmachtträume haben Paris und Tel Aviv die gleichen Interessen. In einer abgestimmten Kampagne stürmen britische, französische und israelische Streitkräfte den Suez-Kanal und die Sinai-Halbinsel. Ein dankbarer Premier Guy Mollet verspricht Peres Anfang 1957 in einem Geheimabkommen das Know-how für einen großen Reaktor in der Negev-Wüste bei Dimona. Er taugt zur Produktion von Plutonium – dem Stoff, aus dem die Bomben sind.

Als die offizielle israelische Atomenergiekommission dann zum ersten Mal die Baupläne für Dimona sieht, kommt es zu erregten Diskussionen. Sechs von sieben Wissenschaftlern treten von ihren Ämtern zurück. Ihnen ist klar, dass damit Israels Weg zur Atommacht vorgezeichnet ist; von “wahnsinnig” bis “abenteuerlich riskant” reichen ihre Kommentare. Doch auch die Ausgeschiedenen werden unter Strafandrohung zum Schweigen verpflichtet. Die Welt soll nicht wissen, was in dem abgelegenen Wüstenkaff, 30 Kilometer südöstlich von Beerscheba, vor sich geht. Nach offizieller Lesart entsteht dort eine “Textilfabrik”.


Peres wird von Ben-Gurion mit Lob überschüttet. Aber man darf vermuten, dass der von Eitelkeit gezeichnete Politiker dennoch leidet – er kann seine diplomatische Meisterleistung als “Vater der Bombe” nicht publik machen. Und der Zwang, über Jahre im Verborgenen mit einer kleinen Gruppe von Wissenschaftlern, Polit-Strategen und Geheimdienstlern zu dealen, entfremdet ihn dem militärischen Establishment. Peres, der “ungediente” Zivilist, erfährt als Verteidigungsminister nie den Respekt der Generäle, die Anerkennung der Truppe. Auch die israelischen Wähler, die ihm an der Urne eine Abfuhr nach der anderen erteilen, scheinen irgendwie zu spüren, dass dieser Mann ihnen – aus welch guten Gründen und mit welch Bauchschmerzen auch immer – öfter die Unwahrheit erzählt.

Da ist Rafi Eitan anders: Er hat keine Mühe mit dem Lügen, Tarnen und Täuschen, es ist sozusagen sein Lebenselixier. Schon im Kampf gegen die Briten fälscht er Papiere und kämpft mit brutaler Entschlossenheit an der Spitze der “Palmach”-Stoßtruppen im Untergrund, dann in Israels Unabhängigkeitskrieg gegen die Araber. Anfang der fünfziger Jahre heuert der in einem Kibbuz Aufgewachsene beim Geheimdienst des neuen Staates an.

Äußerlich ist er alles andere als ein James Bond: klein, kurzsichtig, mit einem absurd großen Brustkorb und Bizeps; seit einem Bombenunfall hört er auf dem linken Ohr nichts mehr. Er gilt als hart gegenüber Freunden, als skrupellos gegenüber Feinden. Bei tollkühnen Einsätzen hinter den Linien hat er arabische Kämpfer nach eigenen Worten öfter “mit bloßen Händen erwürgt und dabei Genugtuung empfunden”. Rafi Hamasriach nennen ihn die Agentenkollegen, Rafi das Ekel. Sehr respektvoll, ein wenig wohl auch von seiner Eiseskälte abgestoßen.

Eitan wird zum Helden berühmter Kommandounternehmen des Mossad. 1960 etwa ist er entscheidend beteiligt an der Entführung des Nazi-Verbrechers Adolf Eichmann aus Argentinien. Der Meisterspion lässt es sich nicht nehmen, den Delinquenten nach dessen Verurteilung durch ein israelisches Gericht zum Henker zu begleiten. “Ich hoffe, du folgst mir bald nach”, sind Eichmanns letzte Worte, zu seinem Häscher gewandt.

Drei Jahre später ist Rafi Eitan wieder an einer “Verschleppung” beteiligt – doch dieses Mal geht es nicht um Personen, sondern um spaltbares Material für die Atombombe. Anders als Frankreich, das 1962 die nukleare Zusammenarbeit mit Israel endgültig aufkündigt, verfügt Israel weder über Uran-Minen in befreundeten afrikanischen Staaten und vor allem nicht über genügend hochangereicherten Stoff. Solch “heißes” Material ist nicht auf legalem Weg zu bekommen. Ein Mossad-Team streckt die Fühler aus nach geheimen Beschaffungskanälen. Sie suchen Schwachpunkte im System der internationalen Überwachung – und mögliche Sympathisanten

Zweimal werden Rafi & Co. unter dramatischen Umständen fündig. Einmal bei einer kleinen amerikanischen Firma, die ihren Sitz in Apollo (Pennsylvania) hat und einem brillanten jungen Wissenschaftler gehört. Zalman Shapiro ist der Sohn eines orthodoxen Rabbi, der einen Teil seiner Familie im Holocaust verloren hat, ein glühender Zionist, der Israel bewundert. Seine Firma “Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (Numec)” beliefert die damals schnell steigende Zahl kommerzieller Atomreaktoren. Außerdem werden in dem Werk größere Mengen hochangereicherten Urans aus Regierungsaufträgen zwischengelagert.

Dem Mossad-Team gelingt es, das kostbare Material abzuzweigen und nach Israel zu transportieren. Numec-Direktor Shapiro meldet den Verlust nicht. Es dauert Monate, bis die US-Atomenergiekommission bei Routinekontrollen feststellt, dass über 100 Kilogramm Uran verschwunden sind. Shapiro kann sich das nicht erklären, die Beweislage reicht nicht für eine Anklage.

Die Numec macht er bald darauf zu. In einem Untersuchungsbericht des amerikanischen Kongresses heißt es später kryptisch: “Möglicherweise sind durch die aktive Mithilfe eines Mannes in der Fabrik oder durch eine Gruppe, die sich eines solchen Mannes bediente, bedeutende Mengen hochangereichertes Uran beiseite geschafft worden.”

Der zweite Coup des Mossad ist noch abenteuerlicher. Mit gefälschten Papieren lässt Eitan 200 Tonnen Uranoxid bei der Brüsseler “Société Générale des Mineraux” kaufen. Als Mittelsmann dient den Israelis – möglicherweise unwissentlich – der deutsche Geschäftsmann und Firmenteilhaber Herbert Schulzen mit seiner Wiesbadener “Asmara Chemie GmbH”, die für den Deal 8,5 Millionen Mark als Garantiesumme auf eine Schweizer Bank einzahlt.

Als Endverbraucher wird ein Unternehmen in Italien eingetragen – das Geschäft läuft innerhalb der EWG und ist darum relativ unverdächtig. Niemand ahnt in Brüssel, dass die italienische Färbemittelfirma noch nie etwas mit Uran zu tun hatte und die Papiere nur unterzeichnet, weil sie sich lediglich als Zwischenhändler sieht, geködert mit einer Vermittlungsgebühr. Die Überwachungsbehörde Euratom genehmigt den Kauf.

Doch am Zielhafen Genua kommt die heiße Ware nie an. Top-Agent Eitan hat vorgesorgt und von einer Hamburger Reederei einen abgetakelten 1000-Tonnen-Frachter gekauft. Die “Scheersberg A” übernimmt in Antwerpen die Ladung – und verschwindet damit im Mittelmeer. Später rekonstruieren peinlich berührte Euratom-Funktionäre und Reporter die Fahrt. Irgendwo bei Zypern auf hoher See sollen die Uran-Fässer auf ein “legales” israelisches Schiff umgeladen worden sein, das die Ware nach Haifa brachte. Und von dort wurde sie nach Dimona verfrachtet, zur Fertigstellung mehrerer Atombomben. Rafi das Ekel wird zum Vizechef des Geheimdienstes befördert.

Die “Scheersberg” taucht Ende 1968 in der Südtürkei wieder auf, von der Besatzung fehlt jede Spur. Im Logbuch gibt es für die Reise ab Antwerpen keine Aufzeichnungen. Uran-Käufer Schulzen erklärt, er habe das Geschäft nur im Auftrag ausgeführt, für einen ihm unbekannten Kunden. Er fühle sich “von Geheimdiensten benutzt”. War dabei der Mossad allein am Werk? Oder haben CIA und BND womöglich an der Seite Israels aktiv daran mitgewirkt, den Weg des Judenstaats zur Atommacht zu erleichtern?


Eitan hat solche Hilfe in den wenigen Fällen, als er – nach seinem Rückzug aus dem aktiven Spionagegeschäft – mit Journalisten sprach, vehement verneint. Tatsächlich hat die CIA Jahre gebraucht, um das israelische Atomprogramm zu enttarnen. Als John F. Kennedy Ende 1960 von dem wahren Zweck der “Textilfabrik” von Dimona erfuhr, zeigte er sich äußerst besorgt. Zu Beginn seiner Regierungszeit war JFK Israel zugeneigt wie kaum ein US-Präsident zuvor – “schließlich wurde ich von New Yorker Juden ins Amt gewählt, ich muss was für sie tun”, sagte er Freunden -, doch noch stärker war seine Angst vor der Verbreitung von Nuklearwaffen.

Kennedy verlangte von Ben-Gurion ultimativ, Dimona von Spezialisten kontrollieren zu lassen. Der sperrte sich, erkannte jedoch, dass sich Inspektionen nicht mehr vermeiden ließen. Dem israelischen Geheimdienst gelang es, die US-Wissenschaftler bei ihren – angemeldeten – Besuchen an der Nase herumzuführen.

1967 hat Israel seine erste, primitive Atombombe zusammengebaut, was nicht einmal den Amerikanern verborgen bleibt. Bei Nachfragen speisen die Israelis das Weiße Haus mit einer bewusst schwammig gehaltenen Standardformel ab, die der diplomatische Schimon Peres öfter anwendet und die bis heute Ausdruck der offiziellen Politik ist: “Wir werden nicht die Ersten sein, die im Nahen Osten Atomwaffen einführen.”

Die militärische Lage nach dem Überraschungsangriff der Ägypter und Syrer während des Jom-Kippur-Feiertags 1973 ist so verzweifelt, dass Ministerpräsidentin Golda Meïr – wie man heute aus Geheimdienstberichten weiß – ihrem Verteidigungsminister Mosche Dajan den Befehl erteilt, 13 Bomben gefechtsbereit zu machen. Die Nuklearwaffen werden zu Luftwaffeneinheiten transportiert. Für einige Tage um den 9. Oktober herum steht die Welt am Rande eines Atomkriegs.

Aber noch bevor die Waffen scharf gemacht werden, wendet sich das Blatt, Israels konventionelle Streitkräfte gewinnen die Oberhand. Die 13 Bomben wandern zurück in ihre unterirdischen Wüstenbunker.

Nichts befürchten Israels Politiker mehr, als dass ein feindliches arabisches Land nukleares Vernichtungspotenzial in die Hände bekommen könnte. Mit größter Besorgnis beobachtet Jerusalem seit den siebziger Jahren vor allem die rapiden atomaren Fortschritte des Irak. Saddam Hussein hat in Tuweitha südlich von Bagdad mit Hilfe Frankreichs einen höchst verdächtigen Kernreaktor erbaut. Israels Premier Menachem Begin sieht nur eine Chance, Saddam zu stoppen: Er befiehlt die Ausschaltung der “Osirak”-Anlage.

In den frühen Morgenstunden des 7. Juni 1981 schickt Begin acht F-16-Kampfbomber mit Tausend-Kilo-Bomben los, begleitet von sechs F-15-Abfangjägern. Sie legen den Reaktor, 900 Kilometer von der israelischen Grenze entfernt, in Schutt und Asche. Bevor die Iraker realisiert haben, was da passiert ist, sind die Flugzeuge unbehelligt in ihre Basis nahe Eilat zurückgekehrt.

Es ist ein Triumph des Mossad, der die Pläne für die tollkühne Aktion ausgeheckt hat – und eine Niederlage für Peres. Der vorsichtige Politiker, damals in der Opposition, war als einer der wenigen Politiker in den Plan eingeweiht worden und hatte wegen zu großer Risiken für Leib und Leben der Piloten wie für die künftigen Beziehungen zu den arabischen Staaten vehement abgeraten. Aber nach einem kurzen Sturm der Entrüstung, in den auch die USA (“Verletzung des Völkerrechts”) einstimmen, legt sich die Empörung.

Israel gewöhnt sich an seine im Nahen Osten einmalige “Bombe im Keller”, spielt immer selbstbewusster seine Rolle als David mit einer atomar bestückten Schleuder – allen voran der scharfmacherische Verteidigungsminister (und heutige Premier) Ariel Scharon. Er schlägt nach Erkenntnissen des Politikwissenschaftlers Yoel Cohen zu Beginn des Libanon-Feldzugs 1982 im Kabinett allen Ernstes einen Atomschlag gegen Syrien vor, weil die Syrer angeblich drauf und dran seien, die Golanhöhen anzugreifen.

Und doch glauben manche in Jerusalem, dass die Fähigkeit zum nuklearen Erstschlag von den Feinden Israels nicht ernst genug genommen würde. Wie lässt sich die Erkenntnis über Israels Arsenal verbreiten, ohne die eigene Politik der Verheimlichung aufzugeben?

Es beginnt die mysteriöseste Affäre in der Geschichte des mysteriösen israelischen Atomwaffenprogramms. Sie verbindet sich mit einem marokkanisch-jüdischen Namen: Mordechai Vanunu.

Seine Eltern, er Lebensmittelhändler, sie Schneiderin, führen in Marrakesch das Leben einer Mittelklassefamilie. Mordechai ist eines von sechs Kindern; er wächst wie die anderen dreisprachig auf, wobei er Arabisch und Französisch besser beherrscht als Hebräisch. Von Kreditzusagen der “Jewish Agency” lassen sich die sephardischen Juden 1963 ins Heilige Land locken – und finden, nach der Zuteilung eines bescheidenen Hauses in der Wüstenstadt Beerscheba, das Leben eher härter als in der alten Heimat. Der neunjährige Mordechai besucht bis zum Abitur nur streng orthodoxe Schulen.

Er bewährt sich beim Militärdienst als “sehr guter Unteroffizier” (Armeezeugnis), schafft aber weder die Piloten-Examina noch die Eingangsprüfung für den Inlandsgeheimdienst Schin Bet. Er schreibt sich in Tel Aviv im Studienfach Physik ein, bricht nach einem Jahr ab. Wie viele der orientalischen Juden tendiert er politisch stark nach rechts.

Mordechai Vanunu will schnell Geld verdienen und bewirbt sich im “Nuklearforschungszentrum” Dimona. Dort besteht er 1977 einen Intensivkurs in Physik, Chemie, Mathematik und Englisch – und die Sicherheitsprüfung. Er bekommt den Dienstausweis mit der Nummer 320, der ihn zum Betreten von “Machon 2” berechtigt. Dieser achtstöckige, weitgehend unterirdische Gebäudekomplex, so erfahren die Neueingestellten jetzt, dient als Anlage zur Plutoniumgewinnung. Alle müssen eine Geheimhaltungserklärung unterschreiben.

Vanunu wird Kontrolleur der Nachtschicht, eine Aufgabe, bei der er sämtliche Abteilungen von Machon 2 durchläuft. Über neun Jahre macht er, ebenso zuverlässig wie unauffällig, den stumpfsinnigen Routinejob. Zwischenzeitlich schreibt er sich an der Universität von Beerscheba für Philosophiekurse ein, Spezialität Nietzsche. Und wechselt dabei die politischen Lager. Scharons Libanon-Krieg 1982 und Israels harte Besatzungspolitik im Westjordanland treiben ihn zu den extremen Linken. Vanunu gibt der Studentenzeitung aufrührerische Interviews, nimmt an Kursen der israelischen Kommunisten teil – schwer vorstellbar, dass dem allgegenwärtigen Inlandsgeheimdienst dies alles entgangen sein soll.

Im Dezember 1985 werden in Dimona “aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen”, wie es heißt, 180 Arbeiter entlassen. Vanunu gehört zu ihnen – und tritt, noch bevor er seine Papiere abholt, in die KP ein (“Beruf: Student”). Doch der Einzelgänger findet in der Partei keine Freunde, eine Liebesbeziehung zu einer Hebamme scheitert. Vanunu beschließt, eine Weltreise zu machen, Richtung Fernost. Er nimmt auch seine Kamera mit. Ferner im Gepäck: belichtete Filme mit brisanten Bildern, die der Atomwächter – angeblich unbemerkt – in der hoch geheimen Anlage gemacht hat.

Über Athen, Moskau, Bangkok und Katmandu kommt er nach Sydney. Dort schlägt er sich als Taxifahrer durch, freundet sich in der Anglikanischen Kirche St. John mit dem Pfarrer an. Er tritt zum Christentum über. Die pazifistischen Bibelstunden bestärken Vanunu in seiner Ablehnung des israelischen Atomprogramms. “Es ist unmoralisch”, sagt er – und zeigt einigen seiner neuen Brüder Bilder von Dimona. Schnell taucht ein Journalist auf, der ihn zum Enthüllungscoup überredet und den Kontakt zur Londoner “Sunday Times” herstellt. Vanunu wird von dem Blatt in die britische Hauptstadt geflogen.

Die Geschichte, die am 5. Oktober 1986 erscheint, wird zur Weltsensation. Die Politiker mögen sich um eine Bestätigung drücken, die offensichtlich authentischen Bilder und Berichte belegen: Israel besitzt etwa 100 bis 200 Atombomben.

Die israelische Regierung (nun unter Führung von Premier Peres) beschließt bereits vor dem Erscheinen seiner Enthüllungen, Vanunu aus dem Verkehr zu ziehen – mit einer Honigfalle. Eine hübsche blonde Dame macht sich im Auftrag des Mossad in London an ihn heran, lockt ihn zu einem gemeinsamen Urlaub auf eine British-Airways-Maschine nach Rom. Dort verschwindet Vanunu. 40 Tage später bekennt sich die israelische Regierung dazu, den “Verräter” in Gewahrsam zu haben. Gerüchteweise heißt es, er sei in Rom unter Drogen gesetzt und in einem Schiff verschleppt worden. Ein Gericht in Jerusalem verurteilt Vanunu in nichtöffentlicher Verhandlung zu 18 Jahren Gefängnis. Die meiste Zeit muss er in Isolationshaft verbringen.

Bis heute gibt das totale Versagen der Dimona-Überwachungsbehörden Rätsel auf. Oder hat Israels Geheimdienst den Atomwächter Vanunu selbst an der langen Leine geführt? “Die glaubwürdigste Erklärung lautet, dass der Mossad dem Wissenschaftler Vanunu auf die Schliche kam und beschloss, ihm Gelegenheit zu geben, seine brisanten Entdeckungen weiterzuerzählen”, meint der britische Nuklearexperte Frank Barnaby.

Die drei von der atomaren Tankstelle – Schimon der Friedensbewegte, Rafi der Skrupellose und Mordechai der Zweifler – blicken in diesen Tagen in eine zutiefst unterschiedliche Zukunft.

Schimon Peres spricht inzwischen erstaunlich offen über die nukleare Option Israels: “Wir haben uns besondere waffentechnische Möglichkeiten nicht angeeignet, um Hiroschima zu wiederholen, sondern um so etwas wie (den Friedensprozess von) Oslo durchzusetzen.” Auch mit jetzt 80 Jahren hat der allseits Einsetzbare die Hoffnung auf ein hohes Staatsamt nicht aufgegeben – doch Konjunktur haben in Israel auf absehbare Zeit eher die Hardliner.

Rafi Eitan hat sich längst verbittert ins Privatleben zurückgezogen, sich als Geschäftsmann versucht. Mal arbeitete er als Makler im Westjordanland, mal als Zierfischhändler mit Büro in Kuba (wobei er mehrfach Fidel Castro traf). Eitan hat es nicht zum Mossad-Chef gebracht und gilt seit seiner eigenmächtigen Rekrutierung des Wissenschaftlers Jonathan Pollard, der für Israel die USA ausspionierte, in Amerika als Persona non grata.

Man solle PLO-Chef Arafat wie einst Eichmann in Israel den Prozess als Kriegsverbrecher machen, schlug Scharon-Freund Eitan kürzlich im israelischen Radio vor. Auf den Websites durchgeknallter Verschwörungstheoretiker wird Eitan neuerdings als der Mann gehandelt, der hinter dem Terror vom 11. September 2001 in New York stand – und im Auftrag des Mossad eine ähnlich monströse, neue Tat plant.

Mordechai Vanunu soll am 21. April aus dem Gefängnis von Aschkelon entlassen werden. Ein amerikanisches Ehepaar, das ihn adoptiert hat, und ein befreundeter Anglikaner-Priester planen in den USA, wohin der Häftling auswandern will, eine große Party. Fans nominierten ihn für den Friedensnobelpreis.

Noch ist völlig unsicher, ob es zur Freilassung kommt. Das Verteidigungsministerium will Vanunu nach einem sonst nur bei palästinensischen Terrorverdächtigen angewendeten Gesetz weiterhin hinter Gittern halten. Oder ihn allenfalls gegen die Zusicherung laufen lassen, dass er über seine Erfahrungen in Dimona und seine Entführung schweigt.

“Ich glaube an die Redefreiheit, sie ist das höchste demokratische Gut”, hat der “Verräter” seinen Adoptiveltern gesagt.

The Potocki Reports

October 25, 2016

by Harry von Johnston PhD

After the collapse of the Polish government and the occupation of the capital of Warsaw in September and October of 1939, the Germans located the secret archives of the Polish Foreign Ministery hidden in a bunker. A number of the documents were hastily translated and published by the German government as a “White Book” in 1940. A larger selection of these documents are now in the German Bundesarchiv

The Polish Ambassador to the United States, Count Jerzy Potocki, scion of a famous Polish family, wrote a number of important reports to the Polish Foreign Minister that gave a very clear picture of an educated European’s view of American politics and the forces that shaped US foreign policy.

Count Jerzy Potocki, Poland’s Ambassador to the United States, was a man of strong opinions, but was also very observant and very well connected in the Washington diplomatic circles. He wrote many reports to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw and four of them are reproduced here because they show a European diplomat’s view of Roosevelt’s foreign policy, or rather his lack of a rational and coherent one. These reports are not in chronological order, but are set forth in a more narrative sense. The first report here is under date of January 12, 1939 and is a discussion of Potocki’s view of Jewish influence on Roosevelt and its impact on his policies.

To The Foreign Minister in Warsaw:

Public opinion in America nowadays expresses itself in an increasing hatred of Fascism, Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Above all, propaganda here is entirely in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent of the radio, the films and the daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and is designed to present Germany as blackly as possible, when bearing American public ignorance in mind, their propaganda is so effective that people here have no real knowledge of the true state of affairs in Europe.

At the present time, most Americans are taught to believe that Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism are the greatest evil and the greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent program for public speakers of all kinds, among whom are many refugees from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with much effort and many patently false accounts, incite the American public. These speakers praise American liberty which they repeatedly contrast with totalitarian states.

It is interesting to observe that in this carefully thought-out campaign, which is primarily conducted against National Socialism, no reference at all is made to Soviet Russia. If that country is mentioned, it is referred to in a friendly manner and people are given the impression that Soviet Russia is part of the democratic group of nations. Thanks to astute propaganda, public sympathy in the United States is entirely on the side of Communist Spain. Side by side with this pro-Communist propaganda, an artificial war panic is created, The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a slim thread and that war is inevitable. No effort is spared to impress upon the American mind that in the event of a world war, the United States must take an active part in a struggle for “freedom and democracy.” President Roosevelt was the first in the field to give expression to this hatred of Fascism. He had a two-fold purpose in mind: firstly, he wanted to divert American public opinion from difficult and complicated domestic problems, especially the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Secondly, by creating a war-panic and inventing rumors about threats to Europe, he wanted to induce Americans to endorse his huge program of armaments, a program which far exceeds the United States defense requirements.

Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation here on the labor front is growing steadily worse. The unemployed today already number twelve million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only these huge sums, running into billions, which the US treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far only the usual strikes and local unrest have taken place. As to how long this artificial governmental aid can be kept up is difficult to predict at present. The unhappiness and growing indignation of public opinion coupled with the serious conflict between private enterprise and the enormous trusts on one hand and with a radicalized labor movement on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are no doubt causing him many sleepless nights.

As to the second point, I can only say that President Roosevelt is a skillful expert in domestic politics and a connoisseur of the American mentality and he has effectively turned public attention away from internal domestic problems and focused it on foreign policy. His means of achieving this effective distraction was simple. He needed, on the one hand, to highlight a fictional war menace threatening the world because of Chancellor Hitler, and on the other hand, to create a specter of war and invasion by speaking ominously about an attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to growing and aggressive German militarism. As was said here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol point. Hence, France and England had no choice, but to back down and were compelled to conclude a shameful peace.

Furthermore, the brutal treatment meted out to the Jews in Germany, as well as the problem of the large number of Jewish and anti-German refugees flooding this country are both factors which intensify the existing hatred of everything connected with German National Socialism. In this campaign of hatred, individual Jewish intellectuals such as Bernard Baruch, Lehman, the Governor of New York State, Felix Frankfurter, the newly appointed Supreme Court Judge, Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury and other well-known personal friends have taken a prominent part in this campaign of hatred. All of them want the President to become the protagonist of human liberty, religious freedom and the right of free speech and be the man who, in the future, will punish trouble-mongers, especially those who are not liked by Jews. This particular group of people, who are all in highly placed official American positions and who are desirous of being representatives of “true Americanism” and seen as “Champions of Democracy” are, in point of fact, linked with international Jewry by ties incapable of being torn asunder. For this Jewish international, so intimately concerned with the interests of its own race, President Roosevelt’s “ideal” role as a champion of human rights was indeed a godsend, In this way they are not only able to establish a dangerous center of hatred and enmity in this hemisphere, but name also succeeded in dividing the world into two warlike camps. The whole problem is being worked out in a most mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been given the power to enable him to energize American foreign policy and at the same time create huge reserves in armaments for a future war which the Jews are deliberately heading for. With regards to domestic policy, it is extremely convenient to divert public attention from anti-Semitism which is on the increase in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending religious faith and individual liberty against the assault of Fascism.

/s/ Jerzy Potocki,

Ambassador of the Republic of Poland

(to be continuied)

A Brief History of U.S. Civilian Internment Camps

October 25, 2016

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

The concept of mass internment camps was implemented during the decade of the 1930’s when the idea was either integrated into national security planning or put to actual use in the world’s three socialistic experiments – the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and the United States under Roosevelt.

On March 9, 1933, Adolf Hitler put his Dachau detention center into operation where thousands of his own countrymen were sent. Stalin exterminated 7 to 10 million in his rural collectivization program from 1931-1933 and another 10 million in the purges of 1934-1939. It was this decade that the Soviet Gulag proved its worth. On August 24, 1939, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover met with FDR to develop a detention plan for the United States. Five months after this meeting, Hitler opened the Auschwitz detention center in Poland.

On August 3, 1948, J. Edgar Hoover met with Attorney General J. Howard McGrath to form a plan whereby President Truman could suspend constitutional liberties during a national emergency. The plan was code-named “Security Portfolio” and, when activated, it would authorize the FBI to summarily arrest up to 20,000 persons and place them in national security detention camps. Prisoners would not have the right to a court hearing or habeas corpus appeal. Meanwhile, “Security Portfolio” allowed the FBI to develop a watch list of those who would be detained, as well as detailed information on their physical appearance, family, place of work, etc

Two years later Congress approved the Internal Security Act of 1950 which contained a provision authorizing an emergency detention plan. Hoover was unhappy with this law because it did not suspend the constitution and it guaranteed the right to a court hearing (habeas corpus). “For two years, while the FBI continued to secretly establish the detention camps and work out detailed seizure plans for thousands of individuals, Hoover kept badgering…[Attorney General McGrath for] official permission to ignore the 1950 law and carry on with the more ferocious 1948 program. On November 25, 1952, the attorney general…caved in to Hoover.”

Congress repealed the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 more than twenty years later in 1971. Seemingly the threat of civilian internment in the United States was over, but not in reality. The Senate held hearings in December, 1975, revealing the ongoing internment plan which had never been terminated. The report, entitled, “Intelligence Activities, Senate Resolution 21”, disclosed the covert agenda. In a series of documents, memos and testimony by government informants, the picture emerged of the designs by the federal government to monitor, infiltrate, arrest and incarcerate a potentially large segment of American society.

The Senate report also revealed the existence of the Master Search Warrant (MSW) and the Master Arrest Warrant (MAW) which are currently in force. The MAW document, authorized by the United States Attorney General, directs the head of the FBI to: “Arrest persons whom I deem dangerous to the public peace and safety. These persons are to be detained and confined until further order.” The MSW also instructs the FBI Director to “search certain premises where it is believed that there may be found contraband, prohibited articles, or other materials in violation of the Proclamation of the President of the United States.” It includes such items as firearms, short-wave radio receiving sets, cameras, propaganda materials, printing presses, mimeograph machines, membership and financial records of organizations or groups that have been declared subversive, or may be hereafter declared subversive by the Attorney General.”

Since the Senate hearings in 1975, the steady development of highly specialized surveillance capabilities, combined with the exploding computerized information technologies, have enabled a massive data base of personal information to be developed on millions of unsuspecting American citizens. It is all in place awaiting only a presidential declaration to be enforced by both military and civilian police.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan issued National Security Directive 58 which empowered Robert McFarlane and Oliver North to use the National Security Council to secretly retrofit FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to manage the country during a national crisis. The 1984 “REX exercises” simulated civil unrest culminating in a national emergency with a contingency plan for the imprisonment of 400,000 people. REX 84 was so secretive that special metal security doors were installed on the FEMA building’s fifth floor, and even long-term officials of the Civil Defense Office were prohibited entry. The ostensible purpose of this exercise was to handle an influx of refugees created by a war in Central America, but a more realistic scenario was the detention of American citizens.

Under “REX” the President could declare a state of emergency, empowering the head of FEMA to take control of the internal infrastructure of the United States and suspend the constitution. The President could invoke executive orders 11000 thru 11004 which would:

1-Draft all citizens into work forces under government supervision.

2-Empower the postmaster to register all men, women and children.

3-Seize all airports and private and commercial aircraft.

4-Seize all housing and establish forced relocation of citizens.

Will Central Asia fight over water?

October 25, 2016

by Rustam Qobil

BBC Uzbek

In Central Asia, a crisis is brewing over water and electricity. The Soviet-era system in which the five countries of the region shared their resources has broken down, leaving some facing water shortages and others chronic power cuts. Instances of small-scale unrest have already occurred, but some warn this could be just the beginning.

On a freezing night in January 2009 a catastrophic power cut plunged swathes of the Tajik capital Dushanbe into darkness.

At one of the city’s maternity hospitals back-up generators failed and vital breathing equipment shut down, leaving doctors battling to keep two newborn baby girls alive.

Saymuddin Dustov, father of one of the girls, Pariso, frantically rang around friends to find an alternative power source.

For two hours, as his friends struggled to drag a 200kg (31-stone) generator up five flights of stairs in pitch darkness, Dustov sat in a cold, candlelit ward watching his daughter struggling to breathe.

“I could see that she just didn’t have enough strength to keep going,” he says.

At two in the morning, after a life lasting four hours, baby Pariso died.

She was not the only child to die in Tajikistan that winter as temperatures plunged close to the lowest levels in living memory and the country’s faltering power supply network collapsed.

The crisis was a stark demonstration that the complex network of shared power and water supplies that had served all five Central Asian republics in Soviet times was no longer working.

This system was based around a simple principle.

Three republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were rich in energy resources, while the other two – Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan – had plentiful water supplies held in huge high-altitude reservoirs. They all had to work together to ensure there was water for the crops in the spring and summer, and electricity for everyone in the winter.

Without water in the region’s two great rivers – the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya – vital crops in the downstream agricultural powerhouses would die.

Without power, life in the upstream countries would be unbearable in the freezing winters.

“The potential for disagreements always existed,” says Kazakh political scientist Rasul Jumali. “But disputes were always resolved by Moscow.”

Then in 1991 the USSR fell apart and each country was left to face its problems on its own.

“It was food security for the downstream countries versus energy security for the upstream ones,” says Moscow-based political scientist Andrei Kazantsev.

“Either one side was going to freeze in the winter, or the other side was going to be left with nothing to eat all year.”

Though they could have continued to share and co-operate – and for a few years they did – for the energy-rich downstream countries it was more profitable to sell gas and electricity to foreign buyers than to supply it to their penniless upstream neighbours.

So Uzbekistan started selling electricity to Afghanistan in 2009, and pulled out of the Central Asian supply system altogether.

Baby Pariso’s death was one of the consequences.

Another was that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan had to start using more water to generate electricity in the winter, so less reached agricultural lands in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan during the growing season.

Now all across Central Asia more and more people are finding themselves short of either power or water.

Asima Dalanbay is one. She’s been living in southern Kazakhstan for 40 years and used to make a good living growing sugar beet. However, seven years ago – in the fateful year 2009 – the water supply from across the border in Kyrgyzstan dried up.

Now she grows what she can with water laboriously pumped from a borehole, but parched, barren fields surround her home, stretching as far as the eye can see.

Like her children and many of her neighbours, Asima is thinking of leaving.

“If this continues there is no other choice,” she says. “We can’t live here without water.”

But some parts of Kyrgyzstan also rely on water from across an international border.

Retired school teacher Kapar Toktoshev doesn’t look like the kind of person to get involved in a mass brawl, but in 2014 that’s exactly what happened.

“This is where we confronted Tajiks when they turned off the irrigation water in the summer,” he explains as we walk up a dusty road on the edge of his village high up in the mountains on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.

“We just ran out of patience,” he says. “We threw stones at each other. The army had to intervene to keep us apart.”

Although Kyrgyzstan has plentiful water reserves, in the Soviet era the village was supplied with water from the nearest reservoir, which just happened to be in Tajikistan.

After independence in 1991 this minor fact of geography became much more important – and it didn’t help that populations on both sides of the border were growing.

“The Tajiks diverted the river to their own fields and our crops started dying,” says Toktoshev.

He shows me his own garden. It’s a bleak plot covered in dry grass and some spindly apricot trees.

“I can’t get anything to grow,” he says, echoing Asima Dalanbay in Kazakhstan. “There’s just not enough water.”

There is a clear risk of more incidents like this, but there is also the potential for political instability within any of the five countries.

Some argue that the unrest which led to the violent overthrow of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010 was partly triggered by public fury at power cuts and rising energy prices.

When Uzbekistan withdrew from the central power supply system in 2009, Kyrgyzstan had to install expensive new power lines, and the cost of electricity roughly doubled at the start of 2010 in order to pay the bill. Domestic heating costs rose even more steeply.

There have been shortages in Uzbekistan too, in the wake of the decision to sell gas and electricity to foreign buyers.

In many small towns and villages people now live with just a few hours of power a day, while gas in large areas of the country has become a distant memory.

A school teacher in the Fergana Valley recently told the BBC – despite the risk of being punished for dissent – that hardly any trees were now left in his home town, Rishtan, because of the demand for firewood.

“Even our schools don’t have fuel,” he said.

“Every day the pupils take turns to bring in firewood from home to heat the classroom. This is how our children study in winter.

“The government is selling gas to foreign countries while we – the people of Uzbekistan – have no fuel or power in winter, and are freezing.”

Bad government, corruption and human rights abuses are coupled with soaring prices and mass migration in search of work across the region.

Add into the mix the growing numbers of disaffected young men joining extremist groups, and the fact that war in Afghanistan is edging ever closer to the Uzbek and Tajik borders, and nightmare scenarios are not hard to imagine.

“No-one really knows what kind of explosion this could lead to – and when,” says Kazakh analyst Rasul Jumali.

“The most optimistic scenario is that things stay as they are,” agrees Russian analyst Andrei Kazantsev. “The most pessimistic one is complete catastrophe and the emergence of a string of failed states.”

Tajikistan’s largest hydro-electric power station, Nurek, provides two-thirds of the country’s power

For Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan the obvious solution to their chronic power problems would be to build more power stations, and both have hatched ambitious plans.

The biggest project currently on the horizon is the massive Rogun hydroelectric plant in the mountains of southern Tajikistan, which could become the highest dam in the world (335m) if investors can be found to finance it.

Its reservoir would take 16 years to fill to capacity, with obvious knock-on effects for the Amu Darya in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

But the plant would transform Tajikistan into a major regional energy supplier, and make the power cuts that cost baby Pariso her life a thing of the past.

Uzbekistan’s strong-man president, Islam Karimov, who died in September, made no secret of his objections to Rogun – and to a smaller project at Kambarata in Kyrgyzstan.

“What will happen to those who live in the downstream countries?” he asked in an angry speech in 2012.

“How much water will we have tomorrow if they build these barriers on the rivers? This could lead to regional confrontation and even war.”

Meanwhile ordinary people do what they always do and try to get by.

In the village of Tajmahal, in the mountains of eastern Tajikistan, father of four Shodmon Kholov is getting ready for the winter.

Once upon a time Shodmon and his family had 24-hour electricity to heat their home. Now they rely on more basic methods.

As I visit, the whole family is busy making briquettes out of cow dung, which they will use to keep the stove burning through the cold winter months.

“We only have two-to-three hours of electricity [per day] in winter,” says Shodmon. “We use the cow dung to keep the stove burning and the house warm. We usually need around eight briquettes in the morning and another eight in the afternoon.”

Ironically, Kholov’s home is just 20 minutes’ drive from Tajikistan’s main hydroelectric power station, Nurek.

It was built in 1961 and produces two-thirds of the electricity currently consumed in the country, but this is nowhere near enough to meet demand.

Kholov is philosophical.

“With time they sort it out and we’ll have power round the clock,” he says.

But he could be in for a very long wait.







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