Politics

Decision 2012: Truthy or Filthy?

Global Unemployment??

Are European heads of state to blame for the current employment crisis in Europe? Should they all be replaced, en masse, or is there a deeper truth? To what extent do CENTRAL BANKS, which operate beyond the powers of elected executive officers, bear responsibility for unemployment? Does an electable candidate have to have a platform that seeks to reform that relationship?

Washington Post Slide Show
European Unemployment

http://www.aim.org/newswire/think-the-u-s-is-in-bad-shape-try-the-eurozones-11-4-unemployment-rate/

“While austerity measures were introduced to ease the financial crisis by lowering public debt, they are also slowing down economies as government spending drops off. This is also pushing unemployment higher and threatening the continent with recession. Some experts urge leaders to instead loosen spending to encourage growth. This is a battle between Keynesian economics and the free market, whether increased government spending would save the economy or ultimately destroy it by replacing the free market with dependency on government.

But many European countries have completely mismanaged their budgets for continued government stimulus, which lends to the argument of free market supports that Keynesian economics is unsustainable. Greece is relying on the most recent bailout to pay its bills and creditors want to see further cuts. Spain is also cutting spending, while dealing with a revived separatist movement of the Catalan province that does not want to pay the country’s bills. Both of these countries have the eurozone’s highest unemployment rates of 25 percent apiece.”

 

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$5 Million for Gingrich Can’t Buy Love

From the New York Times:

“As candidates spent the weekend trying to catch up to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, with the primary just two days away, a longtime supporter of Newt Gingrich donated $5 million to a “super PAC” backing his presidential bid, providing a major boost to Mr. Gingrich’s ailing campaign.

The donation by Sheldon Adelson was reported Saturday night by The Washington Post. He has long been a generous patron of Mr. Gingrich’s political career. The super PAC, Winning Our Future, was formed last month by Becky Burkett, who served until earlier last year as chief development officer for American Solutions, a political action committee that Mr. Gingrich founded. The cash infusion from Mr. Adelson instantly catapults Winning Our Future into the top ranks of candidate super PACs, groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money from donors and spend it all on advertisements and other efforts to back a specific candidate, so long as they do not coordinate with the campaign.”

Is Shelly throwing good money after bad? Casino money goes the “Family Values” guy. What’s next, Mobsters for Mitt? Pimps for Palin?

Maybe it’s not that deep. Maybe it’s no deeper than Newt’s asserted that the Palestinians are “an invented people.” I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be disparaging because I suspect that moniker could be applied to European Jews with Russian ethnic roots, “Americans,” white South Africans, or other transplanted European colonials throughout South America who’ve embraced a new world nationalism, while retaining vice-like cultural affinities with their larger “white” collectives. What’s Newt talkin’ about?

It’s just more of the same…fabrication, falsification, justification.

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Up In Flames: Tiger Woods vs. Joe Paterno

In your book, which one of these leading lights crashed and burned the hardest?

Tiger Woods: Crazy Cablinasian…Top of the world golfer…marries blond baby-sitter…goes porn star crazy (Winning, Duh!)…loses sponsors…pays dick & a ball in settlement…gets injured…loses tournaments…gets smack-talked on the golf course by guys he could fold in half…then turns apologist for racist caddy.

Joe Paterno: Crazy Coachin’-casian…Top of the coaching world…lifetime achievement awards out-the-wazoo…Happiest Man in Happy Valley…coached with broken leg…grand legacy of achievement…9 years (minimum) of silence…failure to report most egregious crime known to society…Mussolini-esque failure to notice own failings…disgraced retiree.

Your vote for most precipitous fall from grace?

 

More on Sandusky to follow. Check out TSF on the Moral Imperative in Happy Valley.

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The Case for Tom Flores to Enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Perhaps the most widely known coach in the history of the NFL is John Madden. The former leader of the Oakland Raiders established a virtually unsurpassed record of regular season success during his brief ten-year tenure. Madden won more than 76% of his games. His closest active pursuer, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, has managed only a .672 winning percentage. John Madden also coached the Raiders to an impressive, physical victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, 32-14. After leaving the sidelines, Madden carved out the most unique, imposing and meaningful niche in the history of sports broadcasting. And, if that was not sufficient, he also established the premiere video gaming series that has redefined how our society views, plays, and understands football. Simply, John Madden’s football legacy is incomparable. In 2006, John Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2nd in Playoff Win Percentage Behind Vince Lombardi (10 games, min.)

Madden’s successor in Oakland and Los Angeles was the man pictured above, Tom Flores. Back in 1960, Flores shared passing duties with George Blanda and Babe Parilli, but he did most of the heavy lifting in the Raiders first season and over the next 6 seasons. The Raiders laid the foundation for one of the greatest offensive machines in league history. In the popular mind, the preeminent offensive teams were Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Dolphins of Dan Marino. However, Al Davis’ Raiders ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense every year but 1 from their inception in 1960 until 1984. No team in the league has enjoyed a similar run of offensive prowess…not even the San Francisco 49ers during the era of Walsh and Seifert.

During this run, Tom Flores was the leading passer on the team for five of their first 7 seasons. And, he won two Super Bowls as head coach – one in Oakland and one in Los Angeles.

Time doesn’t permit a full exploration of all that Tom Flores achieved on the sidelines, but the recent nominations of Bill Cowher and Bill Parcells for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, suggest a few bullets may be in order.

Flores and Plunkett Defeat the Eagles in Super Bowl XV

 Consider these facts:

  • Tom Flores coached the Raiders for 9 seasons and won 2 Super Bowls. John Madden coached the Raiders for 10 seasons and won 1 Super Bowl.
  • Tom Flores amassed an 83-53 record with the Raiders, and a winning percentage of .610. Bill Walsh’s career winning percentage is .609. Marty Schottenheimer, another nominee for induction to Canton, has a .613 winning percentage.
  • Tom Flores ranks 2nd all-time in playoff win percentage (10 games minimum) behind Vince Lombardi. Bill Parcells has an 11-8 career playoff record. Bill Cowher has a 12-9 career playoff record. Marty Schottenheimer has a 5-13 playoff record. Tom Flores is 8-3.
  • After the 4th Super Bowl title of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979-80, Tom Flores’ Raiders were the only AFC teams to win the Super Bowl until 1997. The NFC dominated the Super Bowl for two decades with powerhouse teams in larger markets like New York, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, and northern California.
  • Tom Flores won 2 Super Bowls in 4 years, and in 1983 he handed Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs his only loss in a Super Bowl.

Perhaps the thing that has kept Tom Flores out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame these many years, aside from a bias against Latino excellence and a league-wide contempt for the Raiders, is the fact that he coached in Seattle. The Great Northwest has been the equivalent of a Black Hole for talented football players. It’s where careers go to die. Flores coached the Seahawks for 3 years. His teams had a combined record of 14-34.

Flores went from being a coach with a sterling 83-53 record to a rather pedestrian 97-87 (At .527, he’s tied with the recently fired Brad Childress…but he’s still ranked higher than Dick Vermeil). However, this should not undo the greatness that he achieved in Oakland and Los Angeles for the Silver & Black. Did a stint in Seattle keep Franco Harris from induction? Of course not. Did two 8-8 seasons in Seattle keep Warren Moon out of Canton? Of course not. The remoteness of Seattle and the irrelevance of many of their games may have shattered our collective memory of players like Cortez Kennedy, Kenny Easley and Curt Warner (with a C), but Flores should be teflon in this regard.

Mike Holmgren is still regarded highly even though he’s only managed to win one Super Bowl and lost two. Holmgren has a 13-11 playoff record and, unlike Flores, he had prized QB’s at the helm in each of his playoff games. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells are still revered though neither has been able to ameliorate the morass or mend the mess that is the Miami Dolphins.

And, Tom Flores’ quarterbacks in Seattle were Stan Gelbaugh and Rick Mirer!! That he managed to win as many as 14 games in 3 years with these passers qualifies as a minor miracle.

Some other thoughts to consider on Tom Flores:

  •  In 1980, the Raiders won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card. Statistically, the Eagles were “better” than the Raiders on both sides of the ball, but Flores and his staff and team figured out a way to win that game.
  • Since 1980, Eagles QB Ron Jaworski has become nationally known as a broadcaster and analyst for ESPN. Perhaps he could take up the mantle on behalf of Tom Flores. It’s long overdue.
  • In 1983, the Raiders beat a team with one of the largest statistical advantages in league history entering a Super Bowl. The Redskins were defending champions and were perceived to be a juggernaut. Jack Squirek did to Joe Theismann what Rod Martin did to Ron Jaworksi. And Marcus Allen did to the Redskins defense what Kenny King had done to the Eagles only three years prior.
  • Since 1983, Redskins QB Joe Theismann has become nationally known as a broadcaster and analyst for ESPN and the NFL Network. Perhaps he could take up the mantle on behalf of Tom Flores. It’s long overdue.
  • Tom Flores won two Super Bowls with an over-the-hill, washed up, washed out quarterback named Jim Plunkett. He beat long odds twice and still stands in the record book — right next to Vince Lombardi as the second-winningest coach in the post-season with an astounding .727 winning percentage.

It’s time for Flores to make his speech and be heard…for perhaps the first time.

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NFL: Limits and Stupidity with Colin Cowherd

I know, I know. He’s not a smart man. He acts like one. He postures like one. He speaks with the force and tone of a man who thinks before he speaks, but it’s all a front. I had the misfortune of overhearing ESPN’s bombastic Colin Cowherd’s assessment of Cam Newton after a week 2 loss vs. the defending champion Green Bay Packers. Newton threw for a rookie record 432 yards.  The finer points of the assessment were as follows:

  • He’s thrown for a ton of yards. So what! Everyone has. Look at the record book.
  • There is really nothing to see here. Keep it moving. 854 yards in 2 games by a rookie is not a big deal.
  • Andy Dalton has won a game. He’s deserving of as much attention as Newton. Wins matter most.
  • Newton is one of only 4 mediocre QB’s with more interceptions than touchdowns.
  • It’s early.

Well, it’s certainly early. With Week 3 not quite complete, the list of quarterbacks who have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns has some new names:

  • Philip Rivers
  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Josh Freeman

These are not mediocre quarterbacks…but this is what happens when miked morons like Cowherd go on uninformed rants. For what it’s worth, Newton is off that short list and now has 4 touchdown passes to match his 4 interceptions. He also has rushed for 2 touchdowns and become the first rookie to pass for 1,000 yards in his first 3 games.

As for winning games, Newton took care of that as well by leading the Panthers over the visiting Jaguars on Sunday. Dalton, for his part, remains winless in the real world. His Bengals could manage only 8 points against the San Francisco 49ers. His lone statistical win comes via an weird and absurd NFL rule that grants wins to the starting QB of the team that wins a game. If that QB plays for one down and throws a Pick 6, but his team recovers to win the game with the backup, the starter gets the win. For Dalton, it’s not much better. He was granted one of these statistical wins even though Bruce Gradkowski did the heavy lifting in Cincy’s Week 1 win over Cleveland. Dalton was knocked out with the Browns leading 14-13. He has yet to beat a real live, flesh and blood football team that plays with cleats and pads and stuff.

Andy Dalton: A Real QB in Search of A Real Win

So, what do we do with miked misinformation machines like Col(o)n Cowherd who talk crap about things they don’t understand? I suppose we just let the record speak for itself. It’s not as if his editors could actually make him WATCH the games.

The Village Idiot

Erick Stakelbeck: Expert on Terrorism?

It just may be that this young man is excellent at what he does, but I have been unable to determine his CREDENTIALS.  His bio tells me nothing at all about what experience or academic training suit him for his position.  Is he merely just another voice within an insular circle of people who get told what they want to hear?  Is he an innovative voice bringing cutting edge perspectives to complicated issues?  Is he an independent thinking man who is self-trained?  Is he a journalist by formal training, by faith, by practice?  Former intelligence officer?  Special Ops?

Whatever the answer, I do find it peculiar that his own biography does not speak to his credentials.  That’s an unusual approach in an arena in which credentials are such an important aspect of the work.  “Terrorism” is a complicated business.  The analysis of it requires more than the ability to recap headlines and read teleprompters.  What do you think?

Here is the link: http://www.cbn.com/Authors/cbnnews/Erick-Stakelbeck/

Here is the bio:

Erick Stakelbeck has been a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News since 2005. He covers the global war on terror, U.S. national security, the Middle East, and the growth of radical Islam at home and abroad for the CBN News Bureau in Washington, D.C. He is also host of the Stakelbeck on Terror show on CBNNews.com.

Erick is a sought-after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, print and web media.

He produces and reports feature stories for CBN’s nationally televised news programs on issues such as Al-Qaeda’s worldwide operations; Iran’s nuclear program; the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; Hamas, Hezbollah and existential threats to Israel’s security; and Islamic radicalism in the United States and Europe. He has interviewed numerous lawmakers and international diplomats, as well as Islamic terrorists.

Erick has made hundreds of appearances as a commentator on leading national television and radio programs. His appearances include: The O’Reilly Factor, The Sean Hannity Show, Your World with Neil Cavuto, Fox Weekend Live, Fox and Friends, America’s Newsroom with Bill Hemmer and Martha McCallum, America Live with Megyn Kelly, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and a weekly segment on the Savage Nation radio show with host Michael Savage, among others.

Erick has worked as a senior writer and analyst at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a counterterrorism think tank founded by terrorism expert Steven Emerson. His articles on Islamic extremism, global terrorism and national security have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Weekly Standard, Washington Times, New York Post, New York Sun, Jerusalem Post, and National Review Online, among other publications.

He has delivered addresses at several public forums, including speeches before members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, the Dallas Council on Foreign Relations, ACT for America and Christians United for Israel (CUFI), among others, on terrorism and Middle East-related issues.

Erick previously served as a regular contributor to both David Horowitz’s Frontpage Magazine.com website and Michelle Malkin’s HotAir.com.

Erick is a graduate of Holy Family University in Philadelphia. His blog, “Stakelbeck on Terror,” can be found at CBNNews.com.

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Koussa: Libyan Double Agent Gets to Keep Loot

Michigan State alum and probable CIA double agent Moussa Koussa has been permitted to keep his money obtained in service to the Libyan government.  Koussa may have loved East Lansing in the ’70′s, but nothing tops running Libyan intelligence while on the CIA payroll AND keeping your money while escaping prosecution.  Koussa did not announce plans to hit the French Riviera or retire to Milan, but these are safe bets.

Moussa Koussa: CIA Payroll Performer?

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration dropped financial sanctions on Monday against the top Libyan official who fled to Britain last week, saying it hoped the move would encourage other senior aides to abandon Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the country’s embattled leader.

But the decision to unfreeze bank accounts and permit business dealings with the official, Moussa Koussa, underscored the predicament his defection poses for American and British authorities, who said on Tuesday that Scottish police and prosecutors planned to interview Mr. Koussa about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and other issues “in the next few days.”

Mr. Koussa’s close knowledge of the ruling circle, which he is believed to be sharing inside a British safe house, could be invaluable in trying to strip Colonel Qaddafi of support.

But as the longtime Libyan intelligence chief and foreign minister, Mr. Koussa is widely believed to be implicated in acts of terrorism and murder over the last three decades, including the assassination of dissidents, the training of international terrorists and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

“He was both the left arm and the right arm of the regime, its bloodhound,” said Dirk Vandewalle, a Dartmouth professor who has studied Libya for many years.

Mr. Vandewalle recalled a dinner with friends in Libya a few years ago when one man mentioned Mr. Koussa’s name, a dangerous faux pas. “The conversation just stopped,” he said. “People switched to a different topic. Koussa was considered beyond the pale.”

Koussa, you may recall, was about the only leading Libyan government official who was not barred from international travel and subject to arrest. Qaddafi’s sons and daughter were placed under international travel restrictions and subject to arrest.

The CIA might as well take out advertising space in Times Square to broadcast their decades long affiliation with Mr. Koussa.  Of course, they will not.  They will, however, permit Western audiences to be deluded into the notion that Koussa was a “true defector,” a true believer who came around to the opinion that the game was over.  Koussa is the one, under CIA instruction, who was able to reinsert Libya into the family of nations.  He negotiated terms with European powers and Washington.  He authored the abandonment of Libya’s nuclear enterprise (which was done based on a US pledge for support which was rescinded subsequent to Tripoli’s scrapping its nuke programme).

More from the New York Times:

Brian P. Flynn, a New Yorker whose brother, J. P. Flynn, died in the Lockerbie bombing, said the lifting of sanctions on Mr. Koussa distressed him and other family members of the 270 victims. They have long believed that Mr. Koussa had a role in ordering the bombing, and Scottish prosecutors have requested access to him.

“It’s all logical in the diplomatic game they need to play,” said Mr. Flynn, vice president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. “But at what cost to our system of justice? He’s a mass-murder suspect.”

Administration officials hastened to say that dropping the sanctions, which were imposed on March 15, had no bearing on the investigation of any crimes that Mr. Koussa might have committed in office. The American Lockerbie investigation has never been closed, and law enforcement officials said the F.B.I. would like to talk with Mr. Koussa.

Why does the F.B.I. wish to speak with Mr. Koussa?  Could it be because the Scottish police implicated the F.B.I. in the planting of “evidence” at Lockerbie?

From the Scotsman:

A FORMER Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.  The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people…

The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses “wrote the script” to incriminate Libya…

The vital evidence that linked the bombing of Pan Am 103 to Megrahi was a tiny fragment of circuit board which investigators found in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity.

The fragment was later identified by the FBI’s Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device used to detonate explosives, and manufactured by the Swiss firm Mebo, which supplied it only to Libya and the East German Stasi.

At one time, Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was such a regular visitor to Mebo that he had his own office in the firm’s headquarters.

The fragment of circuit board therefore enabled Libya – and Megrahi – to be placed at the heart of the investigation. However, Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials, and it emerged that he had little in the way of scientific qualifications.

Then, in 2003, a retired CIA officer gave a statement to Megrahi’s lawyers in which he alleged evidence had been planted.

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Here Is Something You Can’t Understand

DRAFT

Cypress Hill:

Targeted Bombing Spares Civilians and Parked Cars

From the New American:

The man who just singlehandedly committed the United States to war against Libya, President Barack Obama, told the Boston Globe in 2007:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

Time for Some Action

The contest of wills between the United States of America and the sovereign nation of Libya go back to a time before Libya was a sovereign nation.  Of course, prior to 1951, it had been hundreds of years since Libya was sovereign.  Before the various Back when Libya was a colony of the Italians in the 1930′s and 1940′s, Americans had a cozy relationship with these new Romans in North Africa.

When the new Romans were deposed by the new Arabs in North Africa, the United States established a cozy relationship with the al-Senussi family.  The cozy relationship included a military base which served various purposes from training to facilitating regional operations.  The cozy relationship also included an economic side when Esso (aka Exxon) found oil in the deserts of Western Libya.

The monarch leading Libya in the 1950′s and 1960′s did not believe in “spreading the wealth.”  Like his European benefactors and protectors, he concentrated the wealth in the hands of the few and sowed the seeds of discontent at home.  The monarch eventually became ill and sought medical attention in Greece.  While he was away in 1969, the man who has come to be known as the world’s bloodiest, meanest, cruelest, evilest-est dictator since Donald Rumsfeld’s drinking buddy Saddam Hussein, led a bloodless coup replacing the monarch.

Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein

According to another former senior State Department official, Saddam, while only in his early 20s, became a part of a U.S. plot to get rid of Qasim. According to this source, Saddam was installed in an apartment in Baghdad on al-Rashid Street directly opposite Qasim’s office in Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, to observe Qasim’s movements.

Adel Darwish, Middle East expert and author of “Unholy Babylon,” said the move was done “with full knowledge of the CIA,” and that Saddam’s CIA handler was an Iraqi dentist working for CIA and Egyptian intelligence. U.S. officials separately confirmed Darwish’s account.

Darwish said that Saddam’s paymaster was Capt. Abdel Maquid Farid, the assistant military attaché at the Egyptian Embassy who paid for the apartment from his own personal account. Three former senior U.S. officials have confirmed that this is accurate.

The assassination was set for Oct. 7, 1959, but it was completely botched. Accounts differ. One former CIA official said that the 22-year-old Saddam lost his nerve and began firing too soon, killing Qasim’s driver and only wounding Qasim in the shoulder and arm. Darwish told UPI that one of the assassins had bullets that did not fit his gun and that another had a hand grenade that got stuck in the lining of his coat.

Just a Fraction of Friction

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi did two things that made him an enemy of the West — and neither of those things involved violence or murder.  First, he demanded that the United States surrender the military base it held.  He didn’t demand an immediate surrender.  A negotiated time table was set, and unlike Guantanamo Bay, the United States ceded this sovereign territory to the nation to whom it rightfully belonged.  (They would come back later to bomb the base, but that’s another story.)  Second, he nationalized businesses industries in which Western firms sought to extract enormous profits at the expense of the indigenous population.  Oil was nationalized in 1973.  And, he threatened to do so again in 2009.

For these actions, the United States and the UK commissioned a small group of soldiers under the leadership of a 6’6″ Scottish soldier to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi.  Stirling’s legacy, apart from the unsuccessful assassination attempt, was creating small tactical groups that conducted covert, quick and decisive raids on targets (personnel, installations, military units, etc.) that resulted in devastating impacts.   Stirling’s attempt on Gaddafi was more than a decade before the bombing of the Berlin disco.  It was almost two decades before the bombing of Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland – the ancestral home of David Stirling, the man who plotted to kill the colonel in 1970.

Colonel Archibald David Stirling - Master Mercenary

As oil revenues accrued to Libya, much of that revenue was funneled into national development projects and the establishment of a stronger military apparatus.  With the US giving $% billion per year to Israel and a comparable sum to the authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Libya sought to ensure the stability and security of its interests within its borders.

In the mid-1980s, Miles Copeland, a veteran CIA operative, told UPI the CIA had enjoyed “close ties” with Qasim’s ruling Baath Party, just as it had close connections with the intelligence service of Egyptian leader Gamel Abd Nassar. In a recent public statement, Roger Morris, a former National Security Council staffer in the 1970s, confirmed this claim, saying that the CIA had chosen the authoritarian and anti-communist Baath Party “as its instrument.”

Moreover, Libya sought the assistance of the former Soviet Union in achieving these aims.  Gaddafi is no Communist.  Never has been.  The Soviets had technology that met the needs of the Libyans; and the United States government (working at the behest of firms like Exxon and others) sought only to subvert the regime and restore the appropriations relationship over Libyan resources which obtained since 1911.

Libya, like the United States, UK, and Israel, engaged in proxy fights in Europe and elsewhere intended to influence the land crisis in Palestine.  Western and Israeli forces typically relied on mercenary forces trained in covert operations.  Libyan and pro-Palestinian supporters typically relied on urban and infrastructure attacks in Western cities.  Neither “side” was able to significantly impact the resolution of the land question in Palestine.  It remains as intractable as ever, however, Gaddafi’s engagement on the question permitted him to be branded by Western media as an enemy.

Conquerors with Long Memories and Short Sticks

In order to grant some moral cover to the unified actions of the United States, the UK and France, some external non-European support was required.  The African Union was of no use.  That group voted against approving a no-fly zone over Libya.  Only the so-called Arab League (or more properly, the League of Arab States) endorsed such an action.  It is somewhat paradoxical that this entity, of whom its four largest member states are all in Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco) would vote against other independent African nations and with the West.  The 22-member League is a curious collection of states that have only once selected a non-Egyptian to serve as Secretary General.  The Egyptians, of course, have had a long-standing relationship with the West, particularly the US and the UK.

(More to follow)

Lebensraum: A Tale of Two Gulfs

“I didn’t have to blast him, but I did anyway!

Ha! Ha!  Punk had to pay.

So I just killed a man.”

- Cypress Hill, “How I Could Just Kill a Man” (1991)

In 1973, before the Libyan leader had been labeled as a sponsor of international terrorism, he sought to extend the international recognition of the territorial waters to the 300-mile expanse of the  Gulf of Sidra.  Libya’s claim did not meet the established international standard of the time and was rejected by the US.  It is worth noting, however, given the US’ use of international power, if the situations and contexts were reversed, the US would have disregarded this provision as well.  The unique boundaries of Western European states (not to mention their proximity) and the historical maturation of the United States suggest the international accord around territorial limits is indeed subjective.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan put the Sixth Fleet on maneuvers in the Gulf of Sidra to close the question of territorial access within the Gulf of Sidra.  The question was closed, at least until 1989, when Libyan fighter jets were downed over the Gulf (with no reported loss of life).  The waters remained open for international shipping and the Colonel’s “line of death” became nothing more than an artifact of history.

From the Wikipedia entry on territorial waters:

From the eighteenth century until the mid twentieth century, the territorial waters of the British Empire, the United States, France and many other nations were three nautical miles (5.6 km) wide. Originally, this was the length of a cannon shot, hence the portion of an ocean that a sovereign state could defend from shore. However, Iceland claimed two nautical miles (3.7 km), Norway and Sweden claimed four nautical miles (7.4 km), and Spain claimed 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) during this period. During incidents such as nuclear weapons testing and fisheries disputes some nations arbitrarily extended their maritime claims to as much as fifty or even two hundred nautical miles. Since the late 20th century the “12 mile limit” has become almost universally accepted. The United Kingdom extended its territorial waters from three to twelve nautical miles (22 km) in 1987.

In 1999, under President Bill Clinton, the United States claimed an additional 12 mile contiguous zone.  Vice-President Al Gore issued the following statement, excerpted here:

Under international law, a nation can claim a territorial sea up to 12 nautical miles from its coast, and a contiguous zone extending an additional 12 miles. Within the contiguous zone, a nation can act to prevent violations of its environmental, customs, fiscal, or immigration laws, or to apprehend vessels suspected of violating them.

Within the extended contiguous zone, the Coast Guard may now board and search a foreign vessel suspected of smuggling drugs, carrying illegal immigrants, polluting the ocean, or tampering with sunken ships or other underwater artifacts, without first obtaining permission from the country where the vessel is registered. Previously, such action could be taken only within 12 miles of the coast.

“With this new enforcement tool, we can better protect America’s working families against drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and threats to our ocean environment,” the Vice President said. “We are putting would-be smugglers and polluters on notice that we will do everything in our power to protect our waters and our shores.”

Clinton sought to protect American interests in and around the Gulf of Mexico.  Libra, presently, claims no contiguous zones extending beyond its territorial waters.

Berlin Smoke Screen

On 5 April 1986, a woman delivered an explosive device to a night club in Berlin.  The bomb killed three US soldiers.  Immediately, the US charged the Libyan government with the bombing.  Ten days later, the US bombed the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi.  The two-year old adopted daughter of Colonel Gaddafi was killed during this American attack.  Back in Berlin, an arrest from far from imminent.  Swift and certain retribution came in 10 days.  Justice would wait for 10 years; no one was arrested until 1996.  Among those arrested were two Libyan nationals, a Palestinian man, and a Lebanese man and his German wife.  The United States did not seek sanctions from Germany or extract concessions from Germany based on the complicity of their nationals.

In an odd twist, only the German woman, Verena Chanaa, was convicted of murder.  You’ll have to pardon the BBC for making it look as if the Arabs did it. And, perhaps you could even forgive the US secret service and the German secret service for failing to support the investigation…after all, soldiers are expendable and their deaths were not in vain.  The judge did not see it that way:

The judge said prosecutors had failed to prove that the attack was planned on the personal orders of Colonel Gaddafi, partly because of the lack of co-operation from Western secret services.

But he said the bombing had been planned by members of the Libyan secret service and workers at the Libyan embassy in East Berlin.

The judge criticised the “limited willingness” of German and US secret services to provide evidence.

It was one of the “disappointments” of the trial, he said.

The United States government has been accused by its own citizens of orchestrating the demolition of the World Trade Center facility and attacking the Pentagon.  These allegations will persist until such time as there is full disclosure.  So it is in Berlin.  The American corporate media closed the case, as did much of the public.  However, the court record remains, as do these questions.

  • Why were the governments of the United States and Germany uncooperative?
  • Why were neither of these governments, with all of their police and investigative resources, unable to return a verdict of murder against four Arabs?
  • Why did the national and international media hide the photograph of Verena Chanaa?  Why is she not the face of international terrorism?
  • What was the role of the US’ Central Intelligence Agency in the bombing?
  • What was the role of Mossad, the Israeli espionage agency?
  • Were the Libyans on the payroll of the CIA?
  • Was their charge to obtain evidence of authorization from Colonel Gaddafi?
  • Were they authorized by the CIA to proceed with the hopes of obtaining corroboration after the fact?

Answers to these fundamental questions should be a prerequisite for a war declaration or a unilateral attack by a hawkish president with a nice jump shot.  What are the facts on the ground and what is the evidence.  When the United States bombed Benghazi and Tripoli in 1986, killing the Colonel’s daughter, they had yet to build a compelling case for their naked aggression.  They did, however, establish a pretext.

Lockerbie Illusion

From The Scotsman in 2005:

A FORMER Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.
The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.

The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses “wrote the script” to incriminate Libya…

Last night, George Esson, who was Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway when Megrahi was indicted for mass murder, confirmed he was aware of the development.

But Esson, who retired in 1994, questioned the officer’s motives. He said: “Any police officer who believed they had knowledge of any element of fabrication in any criminal case would have a duty to act on that. Failure to do so would call into question their integrity, and I can’t help but question their motive for raising the matter now.”

Other important questions remain unanswered, such as how the officer learned of the alleged conspiracy and whether he was directly involved in the inquiry. But sources close to Megrahi’s legal team believe they may have finally discovered the evidence that could demolish the case against him.

An insider told Scotland on Sunday that the retired officer approached them after Megrahi’s appeal – before a bench of five Scottish judges – was dismissed in 2002.

The insider said: “He said he believed he had crucial information. A meeting was set up and he gave a statement that supported the long-standing rumours that the key piece of evidence, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that implicated Libya, had been planted by US agents…

The vital evidence that linked the bombing of Pan Am 103 to Megrahi was a tiny fragment of circuit board which investigators found in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity.

The fragment was later identified by the FBI’s Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device used to detonate explosives, and manufactured by the Swiss firm Mebo, which supplied it only to Libya and the East German Stasi.

At one time, Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was such a regular visitor to Mebo that he had his own office in the firm’s headquarters.

The fragment of circuit board therefore enabled Libya – and Megrahi – to be placed at the heart of the investigation. However, Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials, and it emerged that he had little in the way of scientific qualifications.

Then, in 2003, a retired CIA officer gave a statement to Megrahi’s lawyers in which he alleged evidence had been planted.

Friends, Enemies, and Money

Time, Newsweek and the New York Times may have railed against the Colonel, but not everyone was mad at him.  Halliburton engaged the Libyan government in 1984 on a construction contract to build aquifers delivering water from the Libyan desert to the coast.  The contract was valued at $25 billion and was fulfilled through a foreign subsidiary due to sanctions imposed by the US government on Libya.

Keeping Score

If you’re keeping score, it’s US 5, Libya 2.  The actions of the United States and its paid operatives include Stirling’s assassination attempt in 1970; the 1986 disco bombing in Berlin by a non-Arab German woman; the explosion of the flight over Scotland and the planting of evidence by an agent of the FBI; and, the “retaliatory” bombing in 1986 in Libya, which killed 15 people including the adopted two-year daughter of Colonel Gaddafi.  In addition to these actions, the United States twice

Libya’s actions, as recorded by Western

Libya initiated, prior to the demise of the former Soviet Union, a program to obtain nuclear energy and weapons.  twice initiated conflicts in the Gulf of Sidra (1981 and 1989),