Friday, August 27, 2010

CIA Paper Says U.S. Has Long Been Exporter Of Terrorism

The people at WikiLeaks released a CIA analysis paper yesterday that reveals the US has long been an exporter of terrorism and the world yawns. Here's the WikiLeaks summary of the document:

This CIA "Red Cell" report from February 2, 2010, looks at what will happen if it is internationally understood that the United States is an exporter of terrorism; 'Contrary to common belief, the American export of terrorism or terrorists is not a recent phenomenon, nor has it been associated only with Islamic radicals or people of Middle Eastern, African or South Asian ethnic origin. This dynamic belies the American belief that our free, open and integrated multicultural society lessens the allure of radicalism and terrorism for US citizens.' The report looks at a number cases of US exported terrorism, including attacks by US based or ļ¬nanced Jewish, Muslim and Irish-nationalism terrorists. It concludes that foreign perceptions of the US as an "Exporter of Terrorism" together with US double standards in international law, may lead to noncooperation in renditions (including the arrest of CIA officers) and the decision to not share terrorism related intelligence with the United States.

Okay, I know you're shocked, shocked by this revelation but absolutely no response anywhere in the MSM to this? Have we become that cynical?

While we're on the subject. it's being reported that the lawyer for the  two women who claim to have been sexually assaulted by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Sweden said on Friday he has appealed the prosecutor's decision not to open a rape probe. On Wednesday the judge said there was no reason to believe a crime had been committed but there was enough evidence to continue probing a separate molestation allegation against the 39-year-old Australian founder of the controversial WikiLeaks organization. Julian Assange insists he is the victim of a "smear campaign" aimed at discrediting his whistleblowing website, which is locked in a row with the Pentagon.

Signaling that there may well be further troubles ahead for Assange, newly appointed Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to answer a student's question about the recent document leaks and the national security and free-speech imperatives at stake. She said she had to decline to answer because "that question is very likely to come before me."

And in the latest controversy to engulf the whistle blowing website, WikiLeaks has published uncensored police files from the case of Marc Dutroux, a paedophile who was jailed for life in 2004 for killing four girls and a former associate. A senior prosecutor vowed to try to block the publication of the 1235 page dossier that pertains to a prominent Belgian politician who was cleared of suspicion of paedophilia and any connection with Dutroux in 1996 after being named during the investigation. The dossier published by WikiLeaks revives those allegations and has caused some outrage in Belgium.

Good Manners

The one place in Canada where no one argues about climate change is the North. This is because the effects are so obvious and dramatic (PDF) you'd have to blind not to notice them. This is not to be confused with the willful blindness of the many deniers of anthropogenic climate change that can be found in the more southerly regions of Canada. It's one of the reasons for the current geopolitical gold rush that is taking place between the four polar nations. The signs are so apparent that even Stephen Harper is forced to mention while visiting in the region.
You've got to give it him, only our Prime Minister could spend a week in an area so obviously affected by climate change and, as Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail says, rather than using the occasion to speak to his fellow citizens about what’s happening and what we should do about it, he mentions “climate change” in passing, then moves on to another subject or military announcements. It was probably hard not to notice giant tracts of Arctic ice have been calving off ancient glaciers and ice shelves recently, including just last week when a twelve story thick piece of ice, estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old fell off of Ellesmere Island -- part of Canada's largest remaining ice sheet.

Sea ice, as Harper has probably been informed (that's what the PMO staff is for right?) is a very important part of the climate system, ...affects surface reflectivity, ocean currents, cloudiness, humidity, and the exchange of heat and moisture at the ocean’s surface. Open ocean water is darker in color than sea ice, which causes it to absorb more of the Sun’s heat, which increases the warming of the water even more. But that doesn't mean he has to talk about it, much. It's like mentioning religion or politics at a dinner party, and who would do a thing like that? Not our Stephen!

Where Omar Khadr Stands

The tribulations of Omar Khadr get lost in the shuffle all the time -- in fact the shuffle has been going on for almost eight years now and still he's in Guantanamo. As an issue this won't crop up again until his trial resumes in three weeks and maybe that's symptomatic of what's wrong with our media and our politics. If an issue isn't directly in our faces as a result of a recent media report or focus there's a tendency for that issue to be ignored or forgotten until the MSM deems it time to report on it again.

That said, I wanted to bring my readers the best new media report I've seen to this point on where the military commissions trial kangaroo court of Omar Khadr currently stands. You'll note that it's an American news organization, McClatchy, that gets this right and that they also believe that, the Canadian government, to their discredit, has done nothing it should have to fight for Omar Khadr's rights in this case.

You can also watch a CBC documentary on the the U.S. vs Omar Khadr here.

(Note: The links to both videos kick in as soon as the site loads)

Free Ride

The amazing thing about Stephen's photo-op in the Arctic is that not one of the reporters there was willing to ask him a tough question. Nothing but softballs so he can forward his preferred narrative about "all" that he's done and is willing to do to help transform Canada's North. It'd be brilliant if it were true. The bulk of his promises were delayed , and still won't be completed until 2015, or 2017, which is long past the time to establish an unmistakable and definable presence in the North so as to support Canada's claims to our sovereignty over that region (the UN is expected to rule on all claims by 2013). Not a single question about why he cheaped out and went for the 6-8 slush breakers instead of 3 real ice-breakers when he's perfectly willing to spend $10-$13 billion for prisons to house those who've committed unreported crimes.

There are many examples of Harper being penny-wise and pound foolish -- especially where Canada's Arctic sovereignty is concerned.

This is a lot more important than just securing Canada's share of Arctic riches, it's about our national heritage. Yet Canada's press can't be bothered to get beyond the images they themselves produce -- witness this nausea inducing puff piece from John Ibbitson. He does manage to get one thing right about the opportunistic PM's annual visit in this graph however: Harper appears to genuinely love the North. It’s a tourist’s love – exotic glimpses of its beautiful, barren lands; carefully prepared conversations with local dignitaries.

A tourist's love is right -- as opposed to a native of the region who would be more likely to be concerned with climate change and other environmental issues as far as development was concerned. Harper's just there to exploit it for votes and nice looking pictures for his photo-album.

One of the major concerns should be making sure that off-shore drilling in the region is done in the safest way possible. Maybe someone could ask him a question about that while he's up there. After all just a few short days ago the Senate gave a hearty thumbs up to offshore drilling -- this while the consequences of the Gulf oil spill are still unknown and most likely disastrous. Go take a look at the Truthout report and photo essay on what the region looks like at a time when officials from both the government and BP are saying everything's fine.