Tuesday, January 22, 2008


"What's a Kurd, anyway?"
~ Norman Podhoretz.

Okay. Here's an example of just how stupid the "counter"-terrorists are:

The U.S. National Counter-Terrorism Center says it was a mistake to include the symbol of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan -- the political party headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani -- on a list of "terrorist logos" that police should be on the lookout for during traffic stops and other contacts with members of the public.

The PUK, one of the two Kurdish political parties that makes up the regional government in Iraq's Kurdish area, is not on the lists of designated foreign terror groups maintained by the U.S. departments of State or Treasury, and indeed is considered by many in the U.S. government as one of the closest U.S. allies in its war on terrorism.

"After a review, we determined that the PUK logo should not have been included, and we have updated the online version," National Counter-Terrorism Center spokesman Carl Kropf told United Press International Saturday.

In other words, after the morons at the U.S. National Counter-Terrorism Center pulled their heads out of their asses . . .

That level of stupidity ranks right up there with the stupidity of neoconservative freak Norman Podhoretz, as related by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic:

Just before the “Mission Accomplished” phase of the war, I spoke about Kurdistan to an audience that included Norman Podhoretz, the vicariously martial neoconservative who is now a Middle East adviser to Rudolph Giuliani. After the event, Podhoretz seemed authentically bewildered. “What’s a Kurd, anyway?” he asked me.

And these are the idiots who are running the War on Terror, Inc. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Speaking of the so-called War on Terror, Edward Herman, along with David Peterson, has an excellent article at ZNet in which they call out the emperor for wearing no clothes. Some Rastî readers may remember that Edward Herman co-authored Manufacturing Consent with Noam Chomsky. Like Chomsky, Herman has also spoken out against the Ankara regime's brutal repression of Kurds, and American backing of Turkish repression.

Now, Herman confirms what we already knew, that there is no "War on Terror," and he does it very, very well. From ZNet:

The United States and Israel actually engage in big-time terror, like strategic bombing, helicopter attacks, torture on a continuing basis, and large-scale invasions and invasion threats, not lower-casualty-inflicting actions like occasional plane hijackings and suicide bombings. This has long been characterized as the difference between wholesale and retail terror, the former carried out by states and on a large scale, the latter implemented by individuals and small groups, much smaller in scale, and causing fewer civilian victims than its wholesale counterpart.[20] Retail terrorists don’t maintain multiple detention centers in which they employ torture (at the height of its state terror activities in the 1970s the Argentinian military maintained an estimated 60 such centers, according to Amnesty International;[21] the United States today, on land bases and naval vessels and in client state operated facilities, uses dozens of such centers).

Furthermore, retail terror is often sponsored by the wholesale terrorists—notoriously, the Cuban refugee network operating out of the United States for decades, the U.S.-supported Nicaraguan contras, Savimbi’s UNITA in Angola in the 1980s, backed by both South Africa and the United States, the South Lebanon Army supported by Israel for years, and the Colombian rightwing death squads still in operation, with U.S. support. Thus, a meaningful war on terror would surely involve attacks on the United States and Israel as premier wholesale terrorists and sponsors, a notion we have yet to find expounded by a single one of the current war-on-terror proponents.

In short, one secret of the widespread belief that the United States and Israel are fighting—not carrying out—terror is the remarkable capacity of the Western media and intellectual class to ignore the standard definitions of terror and the reality of who does the most terrorizing, and thus to allow the Western political establishments to use the invidious word to apply to their targets. We only retaliate and engage in “counter-terror”—our targets started it and their lesser violence is terrorism.

We can add Turkey to complete the US-Israel-Turkey troika of wholesale terror. Of course, that brings up another item: Sibel Edmonds. There's another interesting article on her case and the recent revelations in London's Sunday Times, from Philip Giraldi and American Conservative magazine. An interesting point made by Giraldi is that Sibel was not hit with court-ordered gags from the FBI, but by the Pentagon and the State Department, whose personnel were the ones identified as big time criminals on the FBI wiretaps:

Curiously, the states-secrets gag order binding Edmonds, while put in place by DOJ in 2002, was not requested by the FBI but by the State Department and Pentagon—which employed individuals she identified as being involved in criminal activities. If her allegations are frivolous, that order would scarcely seem necessary. It would have been much simpler for the government to marginalize her by demonstrating that she was poorly informed or speculating about matters outside her competency. Under the Bush administration, the security gag order has been invoked to cover up incompetence or illegality, not to protect national security. It has recently been used to conceal the illegal wiretaps of the warrantless surveillance program, the allegations of torture and the CIA’s rendition program, and to shield the telecom industry for its collaboration in illegal eavesdropping.

There's a lot there, too, on Grossman, the Turks, and Grossman's bribe-taking from the Turks. Go read, because this particular article explains a lot about Sibel's case in plain English.

Once again, while there remains a deafening silence about American officials and their rat's nest of Turkish and Israeli moles, and the sale of nuclear information to Pakistan, another British paper has taken up Sibel's story, this time in the form of an op/ed from The Guardian, which slams the US media for its refusal to touch Sibel's story:

An American human rights group attempted to obtain further proof of this amazing tale by making a freedom of information request for a specific numbered document relating to the case. The FBI responded by claiming that it did not exist. But the Sunday Times countered that it had obtained another document, signed by an FBI official, showing the existence of the file.

That's why the Sunday Times's latest story, under its old Insight logo, began by accusing the FBI of a cover-up. This looks to me like a very hot story indeed that should surely have been taken up by mainstream newspapers in the United States.

As always, Luke Ryland has his own commentary on The Guardian's piece, so make sure to take a look at it, and check the rest of Luke's posts for the most complete information.

Luke also puts us on notice that Grossman will be present at a congressional committee hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23, at 10am, at Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Sibel is urging supporters to show up and give Grossman hell and take video of the event.

So if you're in the DC area tomorrow and can dish some hell, go to it.

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