Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Maoists Banned Throughout India

The Centre on Monday banned the Communist Party of India-Maoist as a terror organisation to avoid any ambiguity after the merger of the Communist Party of India-(Marxist Leninist) Liberation and Maoist Communist Centre in 2004.

However, West Bengal's Left Front government feels the Centre's move would make the outfit more aggressive.

A large section of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) feels banning the Maoists will hardly make any difference on the ground and it is better to counter them politically.

On Monday, Gour Chakraborty, the CPI (Maoist) spokesman, told rediff.com over the telephone that the Centre's stand would have no effect whatsoever on his party.

This is what he had to say:

The Centre's stand is not a new move. It had made a similar announcement in 2004. This time it just repeated itself in the context of the Lalgarh crisis.

We, the Maoists, believe in class struggle. We make no mistake in identifying our class enemies. The government that we have at the Centre now is a capitalist government run on the maxim: The poor should get poorer and rich the richer.

It is quite, natural, therefore, that the government won't like the existence of a people-friendly outfit like ours in an area like Jangalmahal, rich in foreset reserve, minerals and other natural resources.

Ever since we started our operations, we posed obstructions to the government's ambition of minting money by exploiting the resources of this area. Also, it saw in us a barricade that prevented them from taking undue advantage of the residents of Jangalmahal.

The government knows that unlike the Jangalmahal people, we are armed and that we know how to deal with violence, hence a ban seems to be the best option to put a check on our activities.

However, let me tell you, the central government is thoroughly mistaken. Since inception, the CPI (Maoist) has been an underground party. It has always carried out its operations clandestinely.

Therefore, a prohibition is not going to have any influence on our party's activities. In fact, it will only infuse into us a new sense of grit to counter the government opposition.

Interestingly, the central ban on us has put the Left Front government of West Bengal in a spot. One of the main constituents of the front happens to be the CPI-M . It is common knowledge that one Communist party can never ban another Communist party.

Therefore, the CPI-M as also a few other members of the Front, are against the ban as they have been in the past.

However, the ruling government of West Bengal, I am sure, will continue to arrest our men on the pretext of 'fighting violence', bring fictitious charges against them and will carry on their anti-Maoist activities across the state.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee too would not oppose the Left Front's anti-Maoist moves as she wants most of us to be either arrested or killed prior to the 2011 assembly election.

As the spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), all I want to say is that these ever-changing political equations amuse us greatly; crafty politicians and their shifting loyalties entertain us.

As we stand united to put up a brave fight against our class enemies, we express our deepest hatred for the 'rotten' political system of our country.

Sources: Rediff.com

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Israeli Pilots Knew US Spy Ship Was American Before 1967 War Attack

Israeli air control twice told pilots during the 1967 Six Day War that a U.S. spy ship they were attacking was American, according to a new book on the USS Liberty affair.

Israel has always claimed that the June 8, 1967 attack on the spy ship Liberty, which killed 34 U.S. Navy sailors and wounded another 170, many seriously, was a case of mistaken identity, a "tragic accident."

But according to "The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel's Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship," by James Scott, Israeli pilots who radioed the Liberty's hull number to their air controller were told two times that the spy ship was "probably American."

Nevertheless, Israeli fighters jets and torpedo boats continued to attack the spy ship, which was flying an American flag and plying international waters as it monitored Israeli and Egyptian radio traffic during the June 1967 war.

Israel's goal in the brutal air and sea assault on the Liberty was twofold, says Scott, whose father served on the Liberty: to prevent the spy ship from learning about Israeli troop movements, and to kill anyone aboard who could later identify the attacking aircraft as Israeli.

Despite Israel's eventual annihilation of Arab forces in less than a week, in its opening hours and days the outcome of the war was far from certain.

And Israel could not be certain of American support in those days.

Only 11 years earlier, in the Suez Crisis of 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had forced Israel to call off a planned attack on Egypt with French and British collusion.

Some published accounts have suggested that Israeli wanted to prevent the U.S. from intercepting its radio traffic about an ongoing massacre of Egyptian troops in the Sinai, or from eavesdropping on the Israeli command's instructions to ready its nuclear weapons in case the war went badly.

But Scott says he never found any corroboration for either theory.

Israel never wavered from its stance that the attack on the Liberty was anything but a mistake, although angry U.S. officials had quickly concluded it was deliberate.

Besides repeatedly raking the defenseless ship with cannon fire and bombs, Israeli jets also dropped napalm on American sailors running about the deck trying to save the ship, reports Scott, an award winning former reporter for the Charleston Post and Courier.

"There clearly were individuals inside Israel's chain of command who knew this was an American ship in time to prevent the fatal torpedo boat attack that left more than two dozen of the Liberty's sailors dead," Scott says.

Yet the Israelis informed Johnson administration officials that they were innocent -- and outraged by such suggestions.

That prompted the State Department's number two official, Nicholas B. Katzenbach, to summon Israel's ambassador Abraham Harman, Scott writes.

"The secret memo of the meeting," Scott writes, "declassified 33 years later, records Katzenbach telling the Israeli ambassador" that Tel Aviv's initial protest "contains some statements they might find hard to live with if the text some day became public."

Nevertheless, the American protest remained muted. President Lyndon B. Johnson didn't want to alienate Jewish Americans who were prominent supporters of his civil rights agenda, especially when many were already deserting him over the Vietnam war.

"The beleaguered president, anxious to retain Jewish support and refocus on Vietnam, couldn't afford the domestic political controversy," Scott writes.

Katzenbach told him in an interview, "It was no helping getting a lot of people angry at the Israelis.

"If the Israelis screw up the relations, then the Jewish groups are going to bail out the Israelis. It ends up with a more difficult situation than you would have otherwise," Katzenbach said.

Years later, an Israeli pilot who participated in the Liberty attack, Yifta Spector, told Scott he'd like to apologize personally to his father.

Scott told his father to come to Israel, where he was conducting research for the book. They met the pilot outside of his house on a dusty street corner in a Tel Aviv suburb, Scott said.

"He stuck out his hand and said, 'We came within 300 meters of each other.'"

"I'm sorry," the old pilot told his father.

"That's all my father wanted to hear for all those years," Scott said.

"Just somebody who would say they were sorry."

Sources: Spy Talk Blog

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Iran Secretly Helped U.S. Bomb Taliban Units, Find Al Qaeda

Iran supplied U.S. diplomats with the location of Taliban military units in Afghanistan after the initial bombing campaign in the fall of 2001 failed to rout them, according to former officials in the George W. Bush administration.

The Islamic regime also gave the Bush administration "really substantive cooperation" on al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, at one point providing Washington with a list of 220 suspects and their whereabouts, said one official, former White House National Security Council Iran expert Hillary Mann Leverett.

Leverett said that in December 2002, after the U.S. gave Tehran the names of five al Qaeda suspects it believed were in Iran, the regime found two, which they delivered to the U.S. air base at Baghram, in Afghanistan.

But the budding relationship died on the vine.

Hardliners in the Bush administration prohibited Mann and Ryan Crocker, two of the principal diplomats dealing with the Iranians, from building on the contacts to pursue al Qaeda.

And then a month later, President Bush labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil," lumping it with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

But even then, Leverett said, Tehran continued to provide Washington with intelligence on al Qaeda and expel them from Iran.

"They deported hundreds of [al Qaeda] people," she said.

At the same time, Bush officials were accusing Iran of harboring al Qaeda terrorists - a claim they and their allies continued to make until the end of the administration.

But Leverett, backed up by other officials, tells an entirely different story.

"The foreign ministry took the evidence - passports, vital information - and gave us pages and even a chart showing the disposition or what they'd done with each person," broken down by "those who had been turned away at the border, or been detained or deported," she said.

At one point the Iranian foreign ministry asked the Americans to help it set up "a mechanism" to help it deport Egyptian suspects to Cairo, with which it had no diplomatic relations, Leverett said Thursday by telephone.

But White House hardliners rejected the idea of helping Iran in any way, she said.

"We said, 'Too bad, you're evil. You'll be a target yourself if you don't just get rid of them.'"

Richard N. Haass, the State Department's chief of planning at the time, was also frustrated that Bush officials were scuttling Iranian attempts at rapprochement, which he and others believed might have led to a "grand bargain" on other thorny issues.

"We couldn't get support from the NSC, the Pentagon, from the Vice president's office. And in every case we ran up against this belief in regime change," Haass said in a BBC documentary that aired in the U.K. in February.

"Iran and the West" has yet to be televised here, and a spokesperson for PBS, the usual venue for such fare, said the public broadcasting network has no plans to pick it up.

In the third segment of the three-part documentary, Leverett described the Iranians' secret offer to help the American bombers destroy Taliban units in the fall of 2001.

"The Iranians were willing to do whatever was necessary to help ensure that the U.S. military campaign [against the Taliban] could succeed," Leverett told the BBC.

She had previously described some of the back channel meetings with Iran in an October 2007 story by John H. Richardson in Esquire magazine.

But neither that nor the BBC's "Iran and the West" documentary has elicited detectable news media interest here, despite its incessant descriptions of Iran as an uncompromising, implacable foe.

Iran's hardliners, led by "Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating, America-bashing" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appear to hold the upper hand now, but things could change in elections two weeks from now.

Iran's president in 2001, Mohammad Khatami, sought to get around the hardliners and establish better relations with Washington.

"He had sought reconciliation with America (before), but his political opponents stopped him," the BBC reported. "With America poised to attack the Taliban, he had a chance to win the argument in the parliament."

"The Taliban was our enemy," Khatami explains on the program. "America thought the Taliban was their enemy too. If they toppled the Taliban, it would serve the interests of Iran."

Iran had discreetly offered help to Washington right after the 9/11 attacks, Leverett and other officials say.

But nothing happened until November.

American heavy bombers had been pounding Taliban units for weeks, but the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance rebels were still bottled up.

One of the Iranians Leverett was meeting with lost his temper over the stalemate, she says. He began pounding the table.

"And then he took out a map, and he unfurled the map on the table, and started to point at targets that the U.S. needed to focus on, particularly in the north," Mann said. "We took the map to CENTCOM, the US Central Command, and certainly that became the US military strategy."

Said Colin Powell, Secretary of State at the time: "We took a fourth-world force, the Northern Alliance, riding horses, walking, living off the land, and married them up with a first world air force. And it worked."

Leverett told Esquire that Khatami's representatives believed that helping the U.S. defeat the Taliban - and al Qaeda - would help bridge a quarter-century long estrangement marked by hostage taking, terrorism, name calling and outrage over Iran's clandestine nuclear program.

"They specifically told me time and again that they were doing this because they understood the impact of this attack on the U.S., and they thought that if they helped us unconditionally, that would be the way to change the dynamic for the first time in twenty-five years," Leverett said.

Obviously, any chance was lost.

Bush officials have refused to discuss the issue. When Leverett submitted a piece she had written for the New York Times about her U.S.-Iran contacts to administration censors, swaths were blacked out.

"They said it was classified," she said by telephone Thursday. "But nothing had ever been written down."

Sources: Spy Talk Blog

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

US Allowed Pakistan To Go Nuclear

The United States allowed Pakistan to manufacture and acquire nuclear weapons without informing the Congress, a non-profit corruption watchdog has said, quoting a whistle blower who was fired for objecting to the policy.

Here is a very resourceful link:

Government Oversight - Richard Barlow Resource Page.

Richard Barlow at Wikipedia.

They Sold out the World for an F-16 Sale

A Central Intelligence Agency and Pentagon official, who tried to object to this policy of the then US administration of keeping the Congress in dark on this issue, was fired.

"As a CIA intelligence officer and later in the Pentagon, Rich Barlow learned that top US officials were allowing Pakistan to manufacture and possess nuclear weapons," Danielle Brian, executive director, Project on Government Oversight (POGO), told a Congressional hearing last week.

Washington-based, POGO is a non-profit non-partisan watchdog that works with whistleblowers and government insiders to expose corruption, fraud, and abuse of power.

"Barlow also discovered that US officials were hiding these activities from Congress," Brian told US lawmakers in her testimony during a hearing.

"Barlow objected and suggested to his supervisors that Congress should be made aware of the situation... he was fired," said Brian in her testimony.

"Barlow is now destitute and living in a trailer," she said as she went on to give other examples of the fate of the whistleblowers in the US government.

An investigative story published by UK's The Guardian newspaper in 2007 had said: 'In the late 80s, in the course of tracking down smugglers of WMD components, Barlow uncovered reams of material that related to Pakistan.'

According to the newspaper, Barley soon discovered that senior officials in government 'were breaking US and international non-proliferation protocols to shelter Pakistan's ambitions and even sell it banned WMD technology'.

This was done because in the closing years of the cold war, Pakistan was considered to have great strategic importance, it said.

'We had to buddy-up to regimes we didn't see eye-to-eye with, but I could not believe we would actually give Pakistan the bomb,' Barlow was quoted as saying.

He next discovered that Pentagon was preparing to sell Pakistan jet fighters that could be used to drop a nuclear bomb and came to the conclusion that a small group of senior officials was physically aiding Pakistan's programme, it said.

'They were issuing scores of approvals for the Pakistan embassy in Washington to export hi-tech equipment that was critical for their nuclear bomb programme and that the US Commerce Department had refused to license,' he said.

'He (Barlow) prepared briefs for Dick Cheney, when Cheney was at Pentagon, for the upper echelons of the CIA and even for the Oval Office. But when he uncovered a political scandal -- a conspiracy to enable a rogue nation to get the nuclear bomb -- he found himself a marked man,' the paper said.

Sources: Rediff, POGO.org

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Monday, June 15, 2009

US drops 'India, AQ Khan' riders from Pak aid bill

Guys, India needs to fight it's own battle against Pakistan and NO ONE is going to help us in this. We have been trying to put pressure on Pakistan through the US and looks like it is not working out. We need to find our "own ways" of taking action if not Pakistanis will feel that we are incapable of defending our country.

Following Article illustrates that:

In what may be seen as a major concession to Pakistan, the US House of Representatives has dropped demands of access to the disgraced nuclear scientist Dr A.Q. Khan and preventing terrorist attacks against India as conditions from the aid bill offering Islamabad 1.5 billion dollars for the next five years.

When the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act' (PEACE) was first tabled in the Congress in April, it required Pakistan to fulfil some major requirements in order to qualify for the aid.

The act asked Pakistan to improve relations with India, and stop supporting the cross border terrorism.

It also asked Islamabad to provide 'access to Pakistani nationals' and especially to Dr. A.Q. Khan who is connected to proliferation networks.

However, the House Foreign Affairs Committee has now omitted the part that named Dr Khan, The Dawn reports.

Even though, the language of the US aid bill has been reworked, it still has certain benchmarks in place for Pakistan.

According to the restrictions included in the PEACE act, an evaluation of efforts would be undertaken by the Pakistan government to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other extremist and terrorist groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and other regions.

The act also asks for a crackdown on all terrorist camps operating inside Pakistan, including those of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

One of the major conditions put forth in the PEACE act is to cease all support for extremist and terrorist groups, and increase oversight over curriculum in madrasas.

It also asks for the closing down of all the madrasas which are directly linked to the Taliban and other militant organizations.

The assistance could also stop if the US president fails to certify that Pakistan is cooperating with nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

Sources: ANI & Yahoo

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