Saturday, February 18, 2006


"All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." ~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Let us examine the evidence of the murder of Kani Yilmaz, evidence which has been so cleanly and neatly provided to all of us, and which appears to have come from one source.

On 11 February, 2006, Reuters reported that "Kani Yilmaz and his bodyguard burned to death in a blaze which a preliminary investigation suggested was ignited by an electrical fault in the engine." The report added that the investigation was still underway and this report quoted a Silêmanî security chief, Sarkwat Hassan. This Reuters report also quoted CNN Turk, which said that the car blew up as it left a "petrol station."

The Kurdistani reported that Kani's car exploded in Silêmanî's main bus garage. This report included this reference: "[A] pro-PWD news agency claimed that PKK members stopped Yilmaz's car and raked him and his associate Sabri Tori." "Raked?" Raked with what? The Kurdistani report does not say, however, in the English language it is customary to use the phrase, "rake with gunfire." Customary usage of this phrase includes the transitive verb, to rake, and it means that one aims heavy gunfire along the length of something. . . or someone.

The Reuters and The Kurdistani reports were unique in these details. What appears to have happened with the details is that their emphasis shifted and crystallized in a different direction, beginning with Kurdish Media's report, also on 11 February, 2006. In this report, we can see the beginning of what has become the "official" version of events. It should be noted that the information as presented in the report apparently comes from a friend of Kani Yilmaz with whom Kurdish Media spoke. Remind yourself where the event takes place; it is in Silêmanî, which is PUK territory. Indeed, it is PUK's capital, so all the "security chiefs" and other officials are PUK men without any doubt. Except for one, a CIA "expert", who is conveniently at hand to determine that the bombing was a result of a remote control detonation. I wonder if CIA "experts" are conveniently on hand to investigate all the remote control bombings in "Iraq," or is the CIA only at the service of the PUK?

This first Kurdish Media report mentions that two or three people were in the car with Kani Yilmaz and Sabri Tori, that these people somehow "left" the car. It doesn't say that these two or three people jumped out of the car while it was moving, or if the car pulled over to the side of the road and let them out, or if the car actually stopped somewhere and these two or three people "left." It merely says "they left." It was sometime after this that the bombing occurred. Again, we don't know if the car was in motion, whether it was still pulled over to the side of the road or if it was parked somewhere when the bomb went off.

A more detailed report was published the following day, 12 February, by Kurdish Media, which was a translation of a Turkish-language statement published on PWD's website on the day of the murder. The statement consists, for the most part, in unsubstantiated accusations against PKK for having carried out the bombing. Much extraneous and irrelevant material is contained which serves as PWD's "evidence" against PKK. However, this "evidence" is barely circumstantial. For example, somehow the self-immolation of Viyan Soran is mentioned as being an "inspiration" to all the rest of PKK to initiate the murder of Kani Yilmaz, but if it is true that Kani was already on an alleged "PKK hit list," why would PKK need Viyan Soran's death as an inspiration to kill Yilmaz? What is the proof of PWD's claim of an alleged meeting of PKK "to try to mark a new phase for the guerrillas?"

Emphasis is also placed on the anniversary of Ocalan's capture in Kenya, to include the fantastic statement that "a victim was needed to mark the 7th year of Ocalan's capture on 15 February." But according to PWD, there was already a victim, Viyan Soran. Everyone knows that there are protests to mark the anniversary of the capture, including PWD and Turkish intelligence. PWD mentions that Kemale Sor was killed last year on 17 February but PWD fails to mention the murder of five PYD members near Mûsil in November, 2004, or the murder of five Turkish "police" near Mûsil a few weeks later. PWD fails to mention Kemale Sor's hand in these killings.

PWD's statement includes the remarks of Kani Yilmaz, published the day before his murder on PWD's website. A telephone number from UAE-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company is published in the statement, alleging that this number is used by Murat Karayilan and Rustem Cudi. However, it would be more interesting to obtain Thuraya's own documentation on this number to learn exactly whose it is.

The only interesting "evidence" regarding the bombing of Kani Yilmaz in this, the first PWD statement on the matter, is the information about a remote-controlled device having been used for the bombing. According to the statement, Silêmanî security services (PUK Asayîş) and "bomb experts" (CIA?) "established that a remote controlled explosive device had previously been planted in the vehicle and then detonated." The statement appears to clear up the question of where the car was actually located. It was parked on 60th Avenue.

The next PWD statement, dated 13 February, and carried on Kurdish Media is the one that has been referred to as "the bird perspective story" because it contains even more detail obtained from alleged telephone taps, and gives the impression that someone was following the assassins and recording their every move. It is the most flawed of all PWD's statements.

Veli Çat who planted the bomb in the car had just before the incident made contact with a Kurd originally from Bitlis code-named Serdar, an HPG military intelligence member responsible to Murat Karayilan to provide the explosive. Their preparations to carry out the murder were confirmed by telephone tap recordings of their conversation just before the incident.

Does PUK maintain telephone taps on everyone with a cell phone in PUK's area? Or did PUK randomly and conveniently begin taps of Veli Çat's cell phone conversations "just before the incident"? Or does PUK monitor all of PWD's cell phone calls? Can anyone imagine the resources it would take to monitor all these calls? Not even the NSA is that good, so if the act of imagining the all-seeing, all-knowing PUK Asayîş seems a bit out on the edge of conspiracy theories, we can imagine something much simpler: PUK was monitoring Veli Çat's telephone calls. The question is, why?

On the day the act was to be carried out the killer had travelled in Kani Yilmaz's car from Seyit Sadiq camp to Sulaimania with him and Sabri Torin. A minute after he got out of the car at 60th avenue coming into Rizgari quarter at the entrance to Sulaimania on reaching a distance of 700 metres from the car Numan (Veli Çat) detonated the remote controlled device and then met up with PKK military intelligence member Serdar and they disappeared from the scene together.

Was this information obtained from the telephone taps? What is funny about this statement is the amount of telephone conversation that is going on between Veli Çat and the mysterious Serdar during the operation. For one thing, if we believe the claim that the explosion was detonated remotely, we have to keep in mind the fact that cell phones can be used as detonators. It would be a bit risky to continue a running conversation by cell phone while you are sitting in a car that has a remote-controlled detonator. Given the proper frequency, any random cell phone call would be able to detonate the explosive device.

Then we have the description of Veli Çat exiting the car, and " a minute after he got out of the car . . . on reaching a distance of 700 metres from the car Numan (Veli Çat) detonated the remote controlled device . . ." How fast would Veli Çat have to be running to go a distance of 700 meters from a parked car in the span of one minute? 700 meters is almost one kilometer. Remember, PWD's 12 February statement clearly says, "At around 10:00 am the parked car suddenly exploded on 60th Avenue. . ." The car was not in motion. Veli Çat was. He made it 700 meters away from the car a minute after exiting the car. That's an amazing feat, given that the world's record for the 600 meter sprint is 1 minute and 12 seconds.

It is also amazing that Veli Çat was able to detonate the explosive remotely at a distance of 700 meters if one considers the amount of radio frequency interference that would be encountered at that distance. The farther one is from one's remotely-detonated explosive device, the more interference is likely to be encountered with the frequency, making the detonation less effective. But the proof of the success of the 700-meter detonation must be on the phone taps, with Veli Çat chatting away to the mysterious Serdar, even as he is catching his breath from his amazing world-record 700 meter sprint from the target.

Perhaps someone will get around to publishing the transcripts of the phone taps any day now.

From the "evidence" one gets the impression that Veli Çat and Serdar have absolutely no knowledge of basic communications security. Why does Veli Çat maintain such close communication with Serdar while he is in the process of carrying out an assassination? Basic military operations require radio control so that the location of military units cannot be pinpointed by the enemy. The maintenance of radio silence, or transmission of extremely brief radio communications, is standard operating procedure in military organizations. Such procedures tend to keep one immune from incoming fire. The same theory should apply to cell phones. If someone can be pinpointed by their cell phone activity, it would make sense to not use a cell phone, especially while engaged in an operation. Bin Laden learned that pretty quickly, but here we have Veli Çat and Serdar in what appears to be constant cell phone communication. . . with someone else listening in and taping their conversations.

This PWD statement tries to cloak itself in the mantle of an "official" investigation by PUK Asayîş. Yet if Asayîş had pinpointed Veli Çat and Serdar by cell phone taps, knew that they were behind the bombing, met and escaped together after the bombing, why didn't Asayîş intercept and detain them? If Asayîş has better communications monitoring than the NSA, how difficult would it have been to catch Veli Çat and Serdar at their rally point before they escaped? How difficult would it be for them to locate the assassins now? Either Asayîş permitted their escape, or this claim of having telephone taps lacks all credibility. Or perhaps Asayîş is as amateurish as Veli Çat and Serdar.

Speaking of security, what of PWD's own internal security? PWD's statement opens with this:

In a press release dated 12 February 2006, the PWD-K Party Assembly released the names of the bombers responsible for the assassination of PWD Assistant Coordinator, Kani Yilmaz and fellow member Sabri Torin (Serdar Kaya) on Saturday 11 February 2006 stating that the murders were carried out by Numan (Veli Çat) originally from Hilvan, Urfa assigned by the PKK's Special Forces last spring to leave and establish a place for himself in the Sayid Sadiq camp of the PWD where he remained for the past year.

PWD's leaders are on an alleged PKK hit list, the existence of which has never been proven, in spite of all the rumor-mongering, but let's imagine that PWD really does believe in the existence of the alleged hit list. One would reasonably believe that they would take security seriously, including internal security. But according to PWD's own statement, Veli Çat, whom PWD somehow knows to be a member of PKK's Special Forces, was permitted by PWD to "establish a place for himself in the Sayid Sadiq camp of the PWD where he remained for the past year." We are thus led to believe that every night is amateur night at Sayid Sadiq, in spite of PWD being the target of a vast, PKK conspiracy. Not only does an alleged member of PKK Special Forces quickly ingratiate himself into being accepted into PWD's camp, but he is also permitted to ride in the same car with one of PWD's most prominent founders, Kani Yilmaz, a man who presumably would be a prize kill for PKK.

To permit this "stranger" into one's own camp so easily is a very stupid thing to do for a group of people who have death threats hanging over them.

Given the lax internal security of PWD, as illustrated by PWD's own statement, they must not give too much credibility to the rumors of the PKK hit list. On the other hand, perhaps PWD was relying on Asayîş security. If so, it appears that they bet on the wrong horse because Asayîş allowed the assassins of Kani Yilmaz to escape free and clear, after having them pinpointed well enough through their cell phones to follow all their activities on the morning of the murder.

More commentary on the "evidence" can be found in the comments section of this post.

There is no proof that PKK committed this murder, no matter what the hysterics of a few people may be. The question that needs to be asked is: Who stands to gain from the assassination of Kani Yilmaz?


Philip said...

Mizgin, thanks so much for a MAGISTERIAL analysis of this still-murky incident. You made many excellent points about the logical and tactical inconsistencies in the "official" version offered so far.

One note on anonymous CIA sources speaking for publication: WHY? They are supposed to be spies, not press flacks [can there be anything more unprofessional than a "spy" blabbing his "inside info" to the newspapers?]; and anyway, the US govt has plenty of experienced press people in Iraq, both military and civilian, who cd easily issue forth "the US view" authoritatively, on the record.

To answer my own question, they are most likely either fakes, or self-promoters within the CIA, with some little agenda of their own. Maybe they are the same quality CIA geniuses who told us in 1987 that East Germany was 85% as wealthy as West Germany. And told Bush I in Feb. 1991 that Saddam's regime would last 6 months, at most.

I don't pretend to have a strong, let alone "informed" opinion as to the truth behind this death, but my experience has led me to distrust those who seek to "get out strong" in front of a story, to use the dezinformatsiya dynamic to make the facts irrelevant.

Mizgin, there is a great section of the Gulag Archipelago where Solzhenitsyn looks back in detail at the original show trials in Soviet Russia, in the early 1920's...Reading your analysis of the reporting of this incident reminds me of that section.

Keep it up, man!

Mizgîn said...

The problem is, is the report of a CIA "bomb expert" even credible, given all the rest of the nonsense associated with these reports and statements?

On the other hand, it is well-known that Kani Yilmaz was in contact with German intelligence. The Germans are very close to the Turks and do their bidding. They have been especially active within Germany since the summer to close down Kurdish newspapers.

We know that the CIA has also been heavily involved with Turkish intelligence for many decades. Reference the recent KNK statement which spoke of renewed "Gladio" operations. Gladio was the CIA's filthy baby.

Maybe the CIA was the bomber, who knows? The point is that the veracity of these reports and statements is highly questionable and when one starts to enter the dirty world of intelligence whores, things become even murkier.

Sheri Laizer said...

The CIA had nothing to do with it - there was no CIA expert. The expertise was carried out at my request by an English laboratory that also carried out chemical weapons analysis after Halabja. I gathered the samples from Kani's car where his shoe had been left on the acceleerator.

I was there a week after the explosion and photographed the car and spoke with all material witnesses and the Head of the Asayish in Sulaimanyia.

Kani had phoned me the night before saying he had threats from the PKK. The next morning he was dead. He always carried a gun fearing the PKK would shoot him: he wasn't expecting a saboteur on the inside posing as a breakaway when still working with the PKK.