Saturday, June 20, 2009

DISCUSS US Means and Ends: A Most Lively Conversation!

Hello! I just couldn't pass up this engaging and crucial conversation - bringing in folk from all around the world more and more so I wanted to make sure you the readers of One Heart For Peace didn't miss out...

INTRO: Put simply - here is a MODEL DISCUSSION we in the US need to be having on every hand and we do need HELP from others worldwide: regarding the assumed likelihood we will see the ending of terrorism through Extraordinary Renditions ("Torture Flights"), "Black Sites", The American Gulag Archipelago, Secrecy, Lying, Not seeking to prosecute the Torture Lawyers. Will we really win hearts and minds by using Bounty for capture of alleged "Terrorists" (sometimes merely the excuse that the person imprisoned "may know something valuable").

Add to this the disregard for US and US-Signed International Accords. And of course related: the ongoing use of drones - forever permanently scarring the view of the young (including in Gaza) toward the US - what with in that case at least - the use of white phosphorus - cluster bombs rendered survivors "unheal-able". Add to that the disregard for rampant, sudden displacement without reasonable preparation for the care of so many - in areas where US involvement - ie, many of the same US lawless practices we've seen for almost a decade or so and earlier during Vietmam are still are going on...(End of intro)

Let's start with this recent WORLD EXCLUSIVE article which I posted recently in full here on oneheart...On Andy Worthington's site, this is getting plenty of attention and many comments. I haven't checked but sounds like it is as well on Huff Post?

Yet we need to encourage this story OUT THERE further...please get out the word on the many levels of concerns this article brings out in a much clearer way than (perhaps?) ever before.

See Andy Worthington's
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
and the 27 or so Comments - some which have started discussions about this article on their own sites: here and see the blogpost on oneheart a few posts below....

Ibn al-Shaykh al-LibiIn a world exclusive, Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, reveals new information, from a source in Libya, about Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the former US “ghost prisoner” who died in a Libyan jail last month, focusing, in particular, on the prisons in which he was held, and the ways in which torture was used by his interrogators.

Since the story first emerged last month that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (whose real name was Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) had died in a Libyan prison, speculation has been rife that the Libyan newspaper Oea, which claimed that he had died by committing suicide, was covering up the fact that he had actually been murdered.

Once the Bush administration’s most famous “ghost prisoner,” al-Libi had been the emir of the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, but his notoriety stemmed not from his own activities, but from the fact that, after his capture in December 2001, he was rendered by the CIA to Egypt, where, under torture, he made a false confession that two al-Qaeda operatives had been receiving information from Saddam Hussein about the use of chemical and biological weapons, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The death of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi

There were several signs to indicate that the story of al-Libi’s death was suspicious...

Read the Whole Article first and/or NOTE the following comments which are also on Andy's site:here

Andy Worthington says...Saddam Hussein hated and feared the jihadists of al-Qaeda who wanted to topple his regime, and who probably couldn’t believe their luck when the US did it for them.


It’s quite amazing to see that there are still people running around that believe the Hussein - bin Laden link. Their proof? You can’t disprove their allegation. Uh, OK.

Andy Worthington says about another Comment: Marcy started a discussion about this article over on Empty Wheel (thanks, Marcy!):
She writes, I’m particularly interested in which IDs al-Libi may have made. As Andy reviews, like Abu Zubaydah, al-Libi was associated with the mujahideen training camp Khaldan — not with al-Qaeda directly. I’m interested in that, given my recent focus on Hassan Ghul, because the only reference to Ghul in the 9/11 Report is a description of Ghul assisting one of the men who would be slotted for the 9/11 plot (but who ultimately backed out) in getting training.

[After mid-March 2000, Mushabib al-Hamlan] and two travel companions obtained Pakistani visas in Sharjah, UAE, and traveled to Islamabad, where al-Qaeda facilitator Hassan Ghul took them to a guesthouse managed by Abu Zubaydah. Days later, two men helped Hamlan cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. At the Khaldan camp, Hamlan received military training courses.

Now, that report is sourced to a detainee interrogation dated March 16, 2003. The report can’t be from either AZ or KSM (because they are among the 10 detainees whom the government would allow the Commission to name). But it might be attributable to al-Libi — I don’t know whether he would have known all that information or not. And while the link to the original reporting appears to be dead, Wiki reports that Ghul’s ID was confirmed after authorities faxed a picture of Ghul to the CIA. So someone appears to have been IDing Ghul in January 2004, when he was captured.

Now, I raise all this in relation to Ghul because as of mid-2004 (which is, remember, close to the time CIA asked for permission to torture him), the one reference to Ghul in the 9/11 Report — which considered the issue of Iraqi-al-Qaeda ties quite closely — is a reference to 2000, and a reference that would implicate AZ and al-Libi rather than al-Qaeda.

Andy Worthington says...And this is a fascinating reply from Mary: I know your focus here is on trying to track what did happen with Ghul, but I’m going to toss [Omar] al-Faruq [aka al-Farouq] back in again too on the issue of the “identifications” and cross identifications and misidentifications etc. Also Maher Arar.

Re: Zubaydah and al-Libi, the information that has come out from CSRTs more and more indicates that the Khaldan training camp was, as you mention, not an al-Qaeda camp, although at one point there had been some cooperation between those running the camp and pre-camp guest house (Zubaydah) and al-Qaeda. Some of the info now is that because of disputes, al-Qaeda was getting or had gotten the Taliban to close the camp in 2001.

So you had Zubaydah picked up early on. One thing he does is name al-Faruq and this begins a round of circular, torture/abuse based cross-IDs that all crumble later.

Al-Faruq is disappeared in June of 2002, supposedly on Zubaydah’s information. Z also supposedly tells them that al-Faruq is al-Qaeda’s top gun for Southeast Asia. Stories indicate that al-Faruq, also, was abused/tortured starting in June/July — in advance of the August memos. And that he “broke” on Sept 9. He IDs al-Libi as being a part of the al-Qaeda governing council and Zubaydah as being al-Qaeda (both of which were false). Also, he “confesses” that al-Libi and Zubaydah have given him orders to plan large-scale attacks against U.S. interests in Indonesia, Malaysia, (the) Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia. “In particular,” the document continues, “(al-)Faruq prepared a plan to conduct simultaneous car/truck bomb attacks against U.S. embassies in the region to take place on or near” the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Al-Faruq said that, despite his arrest, backup operatives were in place to “assume responsibilities to carry out operations as planned.”

So the torture of one ratchets up the “need” to torture the others. If Zubaydah under abuse IDs al-Faruq as a top al-Qaeda operative, and then al-Faruq under abuse tells you that al-Libi is on the al-Qaeda governing council and al-Libi and Zubaydah ordered al-Faruq to plan bomb attacks in most of the southeast Asian countries he can successfully name, then you pretty much have to go back and torture Zubaydah and al-Libi more, right? After all, now you “know” that they ordered and know about bomb attacks, right? Except, none of it seemed to pan out.

And as it became clear that Z was not a member of al-Qaeda, the young man taken with Zubaydah, who told the CIA just that, is handed off to Syria to disappear and the man who made the ID is supposedly killed, under some odd circumstances and ones where the Brits involved are staying pretty mum, so no one is ever going to be able to ask him about how it was that he came to make those false IDs.

It would sure be nice if the intel reports Time says it had back in 2002 were made public, especially since al-Faruq was also a prime source for the info that the al-Haramain charity laundered money for and was a front for al-Qaeda and some of his info, provided under whatever circumstances, may have been used to initiate things such as illegal surveillance here at home.

Faruq told his interrogators “money was laundered through the foundation by donors from the Middle East. Government sources tell TIME that U.S. investigators believe the charity is a ’significant’ source of funding for terrorist groups associated with al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia. Counterterrorism officials are also investigating possible links between al-Qaeda and top al-Haramain officials in Saudi Arabia.”

In a pretty ironic twist, the man who provided the al-Qaeda ID for Z and al-Libi was also wanted later as a witness in connection with the investigation of a sergeant accused of abuse at Bagram. It was when no one could produce him for that investigation, in November of 2005, that it was “admitted” that he had “escaped” from Bagram that July. And then later there is his supposed death in Sept 2006, in a massive op by the Brits in Basra, although they refuse to confirm the ID of the guy they killed as being al-Faruq. And there is also the whiffy overlay of allegations by Indonesian intel that al-Faruq was a CIA guy all along.

Jumping ship on the ID front, you also have in September of 2002, right after the lawyers’ torture field trip to GITMO, the use of Khadr, who was desperate to be released, trying to chummy up to the FBI by identifying a picture of Arar as someone he had seen at an Afghan training camp. No checking to see if he could be wrong (as Canadians confirmed later), instead just Thompson signing off on shipping Arar to torture. Probably while sipping a Pepsi.

All of which makes you wonder a bit about [Khaled] el-Masri too. There was so little to support what was done to him, it makes you wonder if this wonderful resource of getting tortured people to ID “other al-Qaeda” from pictures was used there too (”do you know him, is he al-Qaeda”) if not in connection with the original decision to go overboard, then later in trying to paper up a file to justify why they had him.

Thomas says...Thank You Andy for all the important information that you have provided to those of us to whom the “official” legend stinks, and we wish to understand how these events ACTUALLY occurred….And I am NOT referring to the WEAKLY STANDARD..!!! I played the Peter Lance ‘talk’ at the booksellers “book passages”04/17/2007 [1 hour & 43 Min] and while I do not agree with all of what he says, it is a treasure trove of 911/ war on terror/ false flag.. info, with copious amounts of interrogation information… With Patric Fitzgerald threatening to sue Lance & his publisher…the book could well get “legs” when it comes out SOON..!! “Triple Cross” ** 607 pages!! Thank You Andy for your outstanding and valuable work.

Andy Worthington says...Hi Thomas, Thanks for the supportive words. For anyone intrigued by this talk of Peter Lance, check out his site: here

Oh, and right now there’s a lively discussion going on at Empty Wheel, as mentioned above: here

Another Reader, Salpha (a new one): I wonder if anybody really believe that the Obama administration is really concern or really want to know what really happened to Al Libi? Would it not be more convenient for this admistration and the last one that he died from suicide? Is it only an attempt to show that President Obama is concerned so it will stop his critics that he made a u-turn on his promise to restore the rule of law?

HERE'S A PERSONAL INTERACTION which makes reading Andy's items AS WELL AS COMMENTS all the more interesting! And these comment about and by
Salpha really do warm the heart for peace and truth here too! (Connie's parenthetical comment here on this oneheartpost)

Andy Worthington says...Salpha has brightened a few of my days with comments on my cross-postings at the Huffington Post, and has also encouraged the editors to promote my work! I think you’re right, and that it was pure political bravado, a show of concern. I’d be very surprised if we hear about any follow-up expressing further concerns by US officials....So to explain more about Salpha, I saw that she’d registered on my site, and emailed to ask if she was the “Salpha” from the Huffington Post. And this was her reply, which did that “brightening up my day” thing (along with this)Yes I am the humble Salpha. I am totally french from Gatineau, Qc, Ca. and have such a hard time to write in english. It takes me several hours to write little post. I wish I could comment more because your work is historical. I recognise and honour that you are on a quest or a journey for the truth and I share this value with you.

Merci Infiniment pour votre passion pour la vérité (Thank you for your passion for the truth)

the talking dog says... Bienvenue a Salpha; mon ami Monsieur Worthington est la premiere journaliste du monde sur les questions de la guerre contre le terrorisme, maintenant. Well, another brilliant piece of journalism here. In the end, what is most amazing about this story is not the particulars of the incredible barbarity and illegality of BUSH, Cheney, et al. (and the guy in charge gets to be “all-caps” and the lead name on the eventual indictment, even if my college classmate our current President seems hellbent on making himself an accessory to their crimes through enabling them after the fact, if nothing else)…

..."We knew that any Administration that was going to rely on the Addington-Yoo Spanish Inquisition “enhanced interrogation” rationales was barbaric and had nothing but contempt for the rule of law... But some of us were almost willing to give the Bushmen a pass on the “evil or stupidly incompetent?” question by pointing out their utter incompetence: only an idiot would actually believe that the purpose of torture was for any purpose other than to secure false confessions, not to get usable “actionable intel.”...Ah, but it turns out they were onto us: they knew the utter folly of trying to get anything but false confessions from torture… they were trying to get false confessions after all, in this case, of anything useful to justify the inevitable war with Saddam’s Iraq... The puzzle pieces continue to be connected; the ugly mosaic comes more clearly into focus. The 20th Century was filled with ugly regimes, from the Fascists of Europe to the Communists of Eurasia to Cold War sideshows in the Third World… but right now, it seems, the United States of America has now established itself as “the ugly regime” of the early part of the 21st Century, using the same ugly tactics as its ugly predecessors... Pas bon.

Andy Worthington says... Hi TD. Merci beaucoup, et c’est tout vrai. Quel cauchemar!
I have to say though that I’m not convinced that it was all about false confessions. What really gave me the chills, as I joined the dots between the testimony of former Jordanian prisoners collected by Human Rights Watch and al-Libi’s ID-based “torture tour” of African torture prisons was that they were after actionable intellligence. I don’t believe they were after lies to justify the invasion of Iraq, but were seeking the “truth” that existed only in Cheney’s mind. So of course when they were told about lies — or about the fact that the majority of the prisoners in Guantanamo had no actionable intelligence, for example, because they were the wrong men — they didn’t believe it, and may not to this day.

And with al-Libi, and the Khaldan story — a decade or more of training mujiahideen — what I think appealed to them the most was the part he could play in their belated attempt to make up for their pre-9/11 intelligence failures by identifying every single “terrorist” in the world. Never mind that most of Khaldan’s trainees were not terrorists — or al-Farouq’s, for that matter — and never mind that torture doesn’t produce the truth, and, once embarked upon, only begets more torture, and never mind that, once they embarked on their lawless path, they had no way of feeding any of these hundreds — or thousands — of prisoners into any court system: they didn’t care. They were taking on evil as bold Americans do.

And if we were to look closely into the mind of any tyrant, I’m sure we’d see the same thing: belief, apparently unclouded by the paranoia, viciousness and vengeful impulses that are in fact apparent to any objective and reasonably intelligent observer.

Pas bon, indeed.

Salpha says...I agree with you Mr. Worthington as defining Cheney as a tyrant and he is still convinced to this day he did the right thing. Furthermore, I think if Cheney would have been given more power some kind of an attack on Iran was on his priority list. It is these kinds of guys who in some way find it to the top and make sure the human species espouse their worse instincts. They set the tone for even greater crimes to be committed by their workforce below them. So the circle of violence and horrors never end...TD Thanks for your welcome. What is worrisome for me in this new millennium is the confirmation that the Homo Sapiens (wise or intelligent - believe or not that is what Sapiens mean) is becoming more of a Homo Horribilis. It seems we have not learn yet. Pas bon du tout

Saed Kheesha says...I am writing from libya ……regarding the death of Ibn-Alshaykh, the situation still not clear. High level guys (who called the Tent Guys) in libyan regime are involved.

Andy Worthington says...Thanks! Anyone out there know more?
Readers of OneHeart....

Also check out the following recent posts on this site (leaving as http urls here on this post for easy copying and distributing):

(Just out today)
U.S. Govt. Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding (read as sardonic - links have videos, a suggested Action from home, references and the Rally Action URL for Wash DC speak of the Nation-Wide Effort):


(From Wed or Thurs?)Andy Worthington’s article (also follow on
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Info from Libya about US “Ghost Prisoner”

Thanx for tuning in!


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