April 2, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“The US Ambassador is lying.” –KTRN
According to Ryan Crocker, the American ambassador to Kabul, if the United States does not continue to occupy Afghanistan, al Qaeda would be able to plan and carry out another September 11, 2001-style attack.
Of course, this is hindered by the fact that in reality, neither al Qaeda nor Afghanistan can be held responsible for the tragic events of that day, based on the fact that there is clear evidence of a long-term cover-up and the official story is nothing short of farcical.
Setting aside the fact that the official story we have been sold by our government is full of more holes than Swiss cheese, it is still clear that Crocker is putting forth the same ludicrous fear mongering and disinformation as so many other current and former government officials have.
I have attempted to make it clear to my readers that the supposed date when coalition troops will leave Afghanistan is completely fictitious.
This was first made clear to me last year during the Afghan Loya Jirga and reinforced by decisions to deploy a cutting edge new drone and spend $35 million to expand a prison complex they were supposed to close.
Now Crocker is simply attempting to justify the inevitable sustained presence in Afghanistan by claiming that if we leave it will become a base for terrorists to operate from and strike Western targets.
March 19, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“It appears there may have been more than one solider involved with the senseless murder rampage in Afghanistan. America’s finest at work.” –KTRN
Rumors and eyewitness accounts have been circulating since the news first broke of the massacre of Afghan civilians, including women and children, which left 16 dead.
Most of these focus on casting doubt on the American account of a lone wolf gunman acting completely on his own without the involvement of any other soldiers.
However, it is not pure rumor; indeed a probe conducted by the Afghan parliament determined that up to 20 American troops were involved in the killing.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News, the nine-member parliamentary probe spent two days in the southern Kandahar province conducting interviews with the families of the victims, tribal elders, as well as survivors while collecting evidence at the site of the brutal slayings in the Panjwai district.
Hamidzai Lali, a lawmaker representing the Kandahar province at the Wolesi Jirga, told Pajhwok Afghan News, that their probe concluded that there were anywhere between 15 to 20 American soldiers involved in the murders.
“We closely examined the site of the incident, talked to the families who lost their beloved ones, the injured people and tribal elders,” he said.
Lali stated that the attack lasted an entire hour and involved two different groups of American soldiers.
“The villages are one and a half kilometer[s] from the American military base. We are convinced that one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time, and the 16 civilians, most of them children and women, have been killed by the two groups,” he said.
Lali has called for the Afghan government along with the United Nations and the rest of the international community to make sure that those who were responsible for the killings are brought to justice in Afghanistan.
November 30, 2011
By Omar Waraich
“If Ron Paul was president, we wouldn’t be fighting in this bogus war to being with. They want us to leave and we should listen. Why are we there if we are not wanted?” –KTRN
Pakistan has angrily rejected claims that its troops opened fire on Afghan and Nato forces before Nato airstrikes left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead on Saturday. In an escalation of tensions, the Pakistan army has said that the attack was deliberate and unprovoked.
“There was no fire from this direction,” said Major General Athar Abbas, the Pakistan military’s chief spokesman. “If there was any fire, where are the casualties on their side? Where’s the effect of our firing?”
Afghan officials had claimed that the Pakistanis started the firing, forcing them to call for close Nato air support that led to a retaliatory strike.
Gen Abbas also said that Pakistan had already given Nato the coordinates of two border posts that were attacked, 300 metres inside Pakistani territory, dismissing suggestions of a mistake.
The border posts were established in the Mohmand tribal agency after the Pakistan army pushed militants across the border into Afghanistan. Some 24 Pakistani soldiers and officers manned each of the posts.
November 30th, 2010
By: Theunis Bates
American ambassadors could be in for some awkward embassy parties this holiday season. Because hidden in WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic files are some exceptionally unflattering portrayals of world leaders. Here’s a roundup of the most insulted:
Col. Moammar Gadhafi. An adviser to the sultan of Oman describes the Libyan leader as “just strange.” A report by Gene Cretz, the U.S. ambassador in Tripoli, meanwhile, says Gadhafi cannot travel anywhere without his “voluptuous blonde” Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, 38, as she alone “knows his routine.” The Libyan tyrant is also afraid of flying over water and “appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors.” His vertigo is so extreme that he can’t climb any more than 35 steps.
Silvio Berlusconi. The gaffe-prone Italian prime minister is “feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader,” according to Elizabeth Dibble, U.S. charge d’affaires in Rome, reports The Guardian. Another cable from the Italian embassy described Berlusconi as a “physically and politically weak” leader whose “frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard mean he does not get sufficient rest.”
Berlusconi’s relationship with Russia also comes under suspicion. Cables mention lavish gifts, energy contracts and a “shadowy,” Russian-speaking Italian fixer. Berlusconi “appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin.”
Nicolas Sarkozy. France’s president is dubbed “an emperor with no clothes” who has a “thin-skinned and authoritarian personal style.”
Hamid Karzai. The Afghan leader is portrayed as a paranoid wreck. A dispatch from Kabul calls him “an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts but was instead easily swayed by anyone who came to report even the most bizarre stories or plots against him.” His brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, a powerful and untouchable figure in the southern province of Kandahar, also comes in for criticism. “While we must deal with AWK as the head of the provincial council,” records a September 2009 cable, “he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker.”
Angela Merkel. U.S. diplomats struggled to warm to the German chancellor, whose political survival skills led them to dub her “Angela ‘Teflon’ Merkel.” In a 2009 dispatch from Berlin, officials declared, “She is risk averse and rarely creative.”
Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. Prime Minister Putin may have handed Medvedev the Russian president’s office in 2008, but a cable from the Moscow embassy that same year states that Putin is still “alpha-dog.” It adds that Medvedev is “pale and apprehensive” and “plays Robin to Putin’s Batman.”
Kim Jong Il. A diplomat’s source referred to North Korea’s ailing despot as a “flabby old chap” who had suffered “physical and psychological trauma” as a result of a stroke.
Robert Mugabe In an unduly optimistic 2007 cable titled “The End Is Nigh,” Christopher Dell — then America’s ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe — predicted the dictator’s imminent downfall. “To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactitian [sic],” says Dell. “However, he is fundamentally hampered by several factors: his ego and belief in his own infallibility; his obsessive focus on the past as a justification for everything in the present and future; his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics, including supply and demand).”
Today, Kevin reveals the top four things happening right now that have been designed to keep you fearful and alter your perception of what you consider ‘normal.’
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August 27th, 2010
The Washington Post
By: Greg Miller and Joshua Partlow
The CIA is making secret payments to multiple members of President Hamid Karzai’s administration, in part to maintain sources of information in a government in which the Afghan leader is often seen as having a limited grasp of developments, according to current and former U.S. officials.
The payments are long-standing in many cases and designed to help the agency maintain a deep roster of allies within the presidential palace. Some aides function as CIA informants, but others collect stipends under more informal arrangements meant to ensure their accessibility, a U.S. official said.
The CIA has continued the payments despite concerns that it is backing corrupt officials and undermining efforts to wean Afghans’ dependence on secret sources of income and graft.
The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a significant number of officials in Karzai’s administration are on the payroll. Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, disputed that characterization, saying, “This anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both.”
A former agency official said the payments were necessary because “the head of state is not going to tell you everything” and because Karzai often seems unaware of moves that members of his own government make.
The disclosure comes as a corruption investigation into one of Karzai’s senior national security advisers – and an alleged agency informant – puts new strain on the already fraying relationship between Washington and Kabul.
Top American officials including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) have expressed concern about Karzai’s efforts to rein in anti-corruption teams, as well as intervention in the case against the security adviser. The aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi, is accused of accepting a $10,000 car as a bribe in exchange for his assistance in quashing a wide-ranging corruption probe.
The issue carries enormous stakes for the Obama administration. Concerns that the Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt have prompted a congressional panel to withhold billions of dollars in aid, and threaten to erode American support for the war.
But Karzai supporters accuse their U.S. counterparts of exploiting the issue, and the Salehi arrest in particular, to humiliate the Afghan leader while ignoring more pressing priorities.
In the latest sign of his vexation, Karzai said Thursday that President Obama’s timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops “has given courage to the enemies of Afghanistan,” and complained that the United States wasn’t doing enough to force Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban.
“We haven’t progressed in the war against terrorism,” Karzai said in a statement.
The CIA has maintained relationships with Afghan government officials for years. But the disclosure that multiple members of Karzai’s government are on the CIA’s payroll underscores the complex nature of the American role in Afghanistan. Even as agency dollars flow in, U.S.-backed investigative units are targeting prominent Afghans in the government and trying to stem an exodus of more than $1 billion in cash annually from the country.
Gimigliano, the CIA spokesman, declined to comment on the agency’s financial ties to Afghan officials. “This agency plays an essential role in promoting American goals in Afghanistan, including security and stability,” he said. “Speculation about who may help us achieve that is both dangerous and counterproductive.”
The agency’s approach has drawn criticism from others in the U.S. government, who accuse the CIA of contributing to an atmosphere in which Afghans are conditioned to extend their hands for secret payments in almost every transaction.
“They’ll pay whoever they think can help them,” the U.S. official said. “That has been the CIA attitude since 2001.”
A second U.S. official defended the agency’s activities and alluded to a simmering conflict within the U.S. government over the scope of American objectives in Afghanistan, and the means required to achieve those goals.
“No one is going to create Plato’s Republic over there in one year, two years, or 10,” the official said. “If the United States decides to deal only with the saints in Afghanistan, it’s in for both loneliness and failure. That’s the risk, and not everyone in our government sees it.”
U.S. and Afghan officials said the CIA is not the only foreign entity using secret payments to Afghan officials to influence events in the country.
A prominent Afghan with knowledge of the inner workings of the palace said it operates a fund that rewards political allies with money that flows in from the Iranian government and foreign intelligence services as well as prominent Afghan companies eager to curry favor with Karzai. The source said the fund distributes $10 million to $50 million a year.
A U.S. official said Turkey and Saudi Arabia are among the other countries funneling money into Afghanistan.
Salehi, the target of the corruption probe, is accused of taking a bribe in return for his help in blocking an investigation of New Ansari, a money transfer business that has helped elite Afghans ship large sums of cash to overseas accounts. U.S. officials worry that the stream includes diverted foreign aid.
But authorities said the Salehi investigation is also focused on his involvement in administering the palace fund – doling out cash and vehicles to Karzai supporters – as well as his role in negotiations with the Taliban.
Salehi’s job put him at the center of some of the most sensitive assignments for the Afghan government. Another national security official, Ibrahim Spinzada, has orchestrated the government’s talks with the Taliban and traveled with Salehi to Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The payments from the palace are “part of the politics here,” said a second senior Afghan official. Some people receive “a special salary. It is part of intelligence activities.”
Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Afghanistan’s national security adviser and Salehi’s boss, said in an interview that he had spoken with Salehi on Thursday and that Salehi denied working with the CIA. “I don’t think that Salehi is a spy,” Spanta said, adding that Salehi was “shocked and he absolutely rejected it.”
U.S. officials did not dispute that Salehi was on the CIA payroll, which was first reported by The New York Times. But officials sought to draw a distinction between agency payments and corruption probes.
“The United States government had nothing to do with the activities for which this individual is being investigated,” the second U.S. official said. “It’s not news that we sometimes pay people overseas who help the United States do what it needs to get done. . . . Nor should it be surprising, in a place like Afghanistan, that some influential figures can be both helpful and – on their own, separate and apart – corrupt to some degree.”
The flow of CIA money into the region dates to the agency’s support for mujaheddin fighters who ousted Soviet forces three decades ago.
The spigot was tightened during the 1990s but reopened after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Much of the money went to support warlords whose militias helped to overthrow the Taliban regime, which had provided sanctuary for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda training camps. Salehi had served as an interpreter for one of the most prominent of those warlords, Abdurrashid Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek whose forces played a critical role in the campaign against the Taliban.
The CIA bankrolled Afghanistan’s intelligence service, and its financial ties to government officials has proliferated in recent years.
“There are probably not too many officials we haven’t met and contacted and paid,” a former CIA official said.
The CIA has a long-standing relationship – though not a financial one – with Karzai himself. The agency’s station chief in Kabul traveled with Karzai during the war against the Taliban, at one point shielding him from the blast of a misdirected bomb. The station chief has since served two tours in the Afghan capital at Karzai’s behest.
August 16, 2010
Asked at a press conference in Stockholm when the final batch of 15,000 classified files on the Afghan war would be published, Assange said that “We’re about half way through, so a couple of weeks.”
The announcement at a seminar on the control of information came after the Pentagon on Friday renewed pressure on the whistleblower website not to release the documents, saying they posed greater risks than previously released files.
“We are concerned that the additional documents that they have may cause even greater risks than the ones they released previously,” he said, calling them “potentially more damaging”.
However, the Australian former computer hacker said that “We proceed cautiously and safely with this material as it was always intended… line by line.”
Assange vowed that all the documents would be published but that there would be some redactions including “the names of innocent parties that are under reasonable threat”.
WikiLeaks has already released 76,000 classified documents about the war, including of allegations that Pakistani spies met with the Taliban and that deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of international forces were covered up.
But the documents also included the names of some Afghan informants, prompting claims that the leaks have endangered lives.
The website said last month that it had delayed the release of the final 15,000 documents “as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source”.
Daniel Schmitt, a WikiLeaks spokesman in Germany, has previously said that the site wanted to open a line of communication with the Pentagon to review the final documents, in order to “make redactions so they can be safely published.”
The Pentagon however has insisted it never received any such request from WikiLeaks, while Assange said on Thursday that the site had received “no assistance, despite repeated requests, from the White House or the Pentagon“.
The site, which styles itself as “the first intelligence agency of the people,” was founded in December 2006 and invited would-be whistleblowers from around the world to make anonymous contributions.
WikiLeaks has never identified the source of the Afghan files but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst under arrest for allegedly leaking video of a 2007 US Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad in which civilians died.
In an open letter to Assange, media rights group Reporters with Borders said it “regrets the incredible irresponsibility you showed when posting your article ‘Afghan War Diary 2004 – 2010′ on the WikiLeaks website on 25 July.”
The group said WikiLeaks had in the past played a useful role by making public information that exposed violations of human rights committed in the name of the US “war against terror”.
“But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous.
“It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks,” it said.
July 26, 2010
By Jonathon Burch and Sayed Salahuddin
The remarks by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, on a visit to the country, came as the Taliban said they were holding captive one of two U.S. servicemen who strayed into insurgent territory, and that the other had been killed.
It also comes less than a week since a major international conference in Kabul agreed that the Afghan government should aim to take responsibility for security in all parts of the country by 2014.
Mullen, who called the troops’ disappearance an “unusual circumstance,” said there would be more violent incidents to come, but the U.S. military was doing everything possible to find the missing men, who were both from the Navy.
A spokesman for the NATO-led force declined to comment on the Taliban’s announcement it was holding one of the men.
The Navy described both men as still missing.
“Forces on the ground in Afghanistan are doing everything they can to locate and safely return our missing shipmates,” Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, said in a statement.
The Afghan government said on Sunday it was checking reports from villagers that civilians had been killed in a raid by foreign forces in Sangin, in southern Helmand province, on Friday.
The NATO-led force said it was aware of reports of the incident and was investigating, but would not comment further until further details were available. Such incidents have triggered outrage in the past among the population against the international troops whose mission is to protect them.
Elsewhere, Taliban guerrillas captured a remote district from the Afghan government after days of clashes in eastern Nuristan province, officials said on Sunday.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said police were working to recapture Barg-i-Matal, a district that has changed hands several times in recent months. U.S. troops pulled out of the remote and mountainous region in line with Washington’s strategy of giving priority to protecting population centers.
Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest of the 9-year war as thousands of extra U.S. troops, dispatched by President Barack Obama in December, step up their campaign to drive insurgents out of their traditional heartland in the south.
Last month was the deadliest for foreign troops since 2001, with more than 100 killed, and civilian deaths have also risen as ordinary Afghans are increasingly caught in the crossfire.
“As we continue our force levels and our operations over the summer … we will likely see further tough casualties and levels of violence,” Mullen told a news conference in Kabul.
Despite the rise in casualties, Mullen said “slow but steady” progress was being made and that Washington’s strategy of reversing the insurgency’s momentum was still obtainable by the end of the year. The next months would be crucial, he added.
“No one is declaring victory but there is progress,” said Mullen. “I believe that goal is still achievable and certainly the proof of that will be what happens over these next many months in what is a very challenging period.”
TALIBAN SAY HOLDING AMERICAN
The two U.S. servicemen were reported missing on Friday after failing to return in a vehicle they had taken from their compound in Kabul, the NATO-led force said.
Rumors circulated in local and international media about the fate of the missing men and how they had managed to stray into an insurgent-controlled area in Logar province, a short but dangerous 100 km (60 miles) drive south of the capital. One provincial official said alcohol was found in their vehicle.
A spokesman for the Taliban said the militant group’s leadership would decide the fate of the surviving captive.
“We have the body of the dead soldier and the other one who is alive. We have taken them to a safe place,” said Zabihullah Mujahid by telephone from an undisclosed location.
The Taliban frequently play down their losses and hype their successes, and independent verification of their reports is usually impossible.
Apart from confirming two servicemen had gone missing, the military has provided very little information to media. Leaflets depicting photos of the pair were distributed in Logar on Sunday and announcements on local radio stations offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to a rescue.
The only other foreign soldier believed held by the Taliban is Idaho National Guardsman Bowe Bergdahl, whose capture in June last year triggered a massive manhunt. His captors have issued videos of him denouncing the war, in what the U.S. military has called illegal propaganda.
July 19, 2010
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Monday to convince skeptical Pakistanis that American interest in their country extends beyond the fight against Islamist militants by announcing a raft of new aid projects worth $500 million.
The projects, which included new dams for badly needed electricity and hospitals, are part of a $7.5 billion aid effort to win over Pakistanis suspicious about Washington’s goals here and in neighboring Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are being killed in ever greater numbers in an insurgency with links to Pakistan.
Mistrust over U.S. intentions in Pakistan is in part due to Washington’s decision to turn away from the nuclear-armed country after enlisting its support to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
“Of course there is a legacy of suspicion that we inherited. It is not going to be eliminated overnight,” said Clinton following talks in Islamabad.
“It is however our goal to slowly but surely demonstrate that the United States is concerned about Pakistan for the long term and that our partnership goes far beyond security against our common enemies,” she said. “We have moved beyond a standoff of our misunderstandings that were allowed to fester and not addressed … to a position where we’re engaged in the most open dialogue that I think our two countries have ever had.”
Clinton said the U.S. will complete two hydroelectric dam projects to supply electricity to more than 300,000 people in areas near the Afghan border, will renovate or build three medical facilities in central and southern Pakistan and will embark on a new initiative to improve access to clean drinking water in the country.
These projects and several others focused on promoting economic growth will cost some $500 million and will be funded by legislation approved by Congress to triple nonmilitary aid to $1.5 billion a year over five years. The initiatives mark the second phase of projects begun under a new and enhanced strategic partnership.
June 15, 2010
By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe
A series of political and military setbacks in Afghanistan has fed anxiety over the war effort in the past few weeks, shaking supporters of President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy and confirming the pessimism of those who had doubts about it from the start. The concerns, fed largely by unease over military operations in southern Afghanistan that are progressing slower than anticipated, spurred lawmakers to schedule last-minute hearings this week to assess progress on the battlefield and within the Afghan government.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the Central Command, and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Mich?le A. Flournoy are to appear Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House to answer questions about the offensives in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, and about what many see as the continuing erratic behavior of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
“I think we are all concerned,” said Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who visited Afghanistan last month.