Wednesday, July 30, 2008


"It was a PKK-style blast. One million people rallied in Spain to speak out about a similar attack."
~ Deniz Baykal, CHP Chairman.

"See, another treacherous PKK attack!"

Baykal's analogy is more appropriate than he thinks, but not in the way he thinks. The demonstrations he mentions resulted in the fall of the Partido Popular government, which initially blamed ETA for the Madrid train bombings:

Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar called for nationwide protests against the Basque separatist group ETA. "The government asks Spaniards to demonstrate tomorrow [Friday] in the streets of all of Spain... under the slogan 'with the victims, with constitution and for the defeat of terrorism'," Aznar said.

Words that Aznar has lived to regret. May the same happen to Baykal and Erdoğan.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


"Is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin?"
~ Joseph Addison.

Guess who's arranging an oil deal between Turkey, Kazakhstan, and "Northern Iraq"? The Prince of Darkness himself. Yes, that would be prominent neocon and Turkish agent, Richard Perle. A little bird dropped this into my email today:

Iraq War Advocate Denies Taking Part In a Consortium

Influential former Pentagon official Richard Perle has been exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan, according to people with knowledge of the matter and documents outlining possible deals.

Mr. Perle, one of a group of security experts who began pushing the case for toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein about a decade ago, has been discussing a possible deal with officials of northern Iraq's Kurdistan regional government, including its Washington envoy, according to these people and the documents.

It would involve a tract called K18, near the Kurdish city of Erbil, according to documents describing the plan. A consortium founded by Turkish company AK Group International is seeking rights to drill there, the documents say. Potential backers include two Turkish companies as well as Kazakhstan, according to individuals involved.

AK's chief executive is Aydan Kodaloglu, who, like Mr. Perle, has been involved with the American Turkish Council, an advocacy group in Washington. She didn't respond to requests for comment. Phyllis Kaminsky, who identified herself as the U.S. contact for Ms. Kodaloglu, said she herself was aware of the drilling plan but referred questions about it to Mr. Perle.

"Richard would know the most," Ms. Kaminsky said. "He is involved, I know that."

This comes from the WSJ, but you'll need a subscription to read it there.

Now the KRG sees fit to do business with this bunch of devils? This is treason against the Kurdish people.

Aydan Kodaloğlu, the founder of the AK Group International in question, is a former board member of the ATC (American Turkish Council--not so much an "advocacy group" as an MİT asset), and "is a recognized expert on Turkish-American and Turkish-Israeli relations. Ms. Kodaloglu was a member of official delegations of former President Turgut Ozal and Prime Ministers Suleyman Demirel, and Tansu Ciller and was involved in the planning for the official visit to Turkey of former U.S. President George Bush." So this woman is clearly no friend of the Kurdish people and there should be extreme public censure of those Kurds who choose to do business with her.

That the Prince of Darkness himself has a pedigree that's also hostile to the Kurdish people, as well as to any theoretical description of democracy. Perle holds a position of prominence in Sibel Edmonds' gallery of rogues but, as Sibel's information shows, scumbags like Perle have long profited from Turkey and for Turkey:

Someone has to be in the middle (of the Turkish, Israeli, American military/economic machine) to keep the happy affair going, so enter the neocons, intent on securing Israel against all comers and also keen to turn a dollar. In fact the neocons seem to have a deep and abiding interest in Turkey, which, under other circumstances, might be difficult to explain. Doug Feith's International Advisors Inc, a registered agent for Turkey in 1989 - 1994, netted $600,000 per year from Turkey, with Richard Perle taking $48,000 annually as a consultant.

[ . . . ]

Contracts in the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars provide considerable fat for those well placed to benefit. Investigators are also looking at Israel's particular expertise in the illegal sale of US military technology to countries like China and India. Fraudulent end-user certificates produced by Defense Ministries in Israel and Turkey are all that is needed to divert military technology to other, less benign, consumers. The military-industrial-complex/neocon network is also well attested. Doug Feith has been associated with Northrup Grumman for years, while defense contractors fund many neocon-linked think tanks and "information" services. Feith, Perle and a number of other neocons have long had beneficial relationships with various Israeli defense contractors.

There's more on that at Deep Journal. Let's not forget that Perle was one of the co-authors of the "Clean Break" that created the alliance between the members of the Iron Triangle--the US, Israel, and Turkey.

Kiss democracy in South Kurdistan goodbye; Show's over, folks.

The Ankara regime is using the excuse of the Güngören bombing to bomb civilians in South Kurdistan. Fırat News reports that the villagers have emptied Bokriskan village in the Qendil region. The Turkish military conducted aerial bombing over the Balekan valley, Lewce, Inzo, and Bokriskan villages, and Geliye Bedran. In the villages where civilians were targeted, a lot of animals have been killed and the irrigation project under construction in Bokriskan has been totally destroyed. The people themselves have fled to Çoman and Ranya.

The PUK confirmed the attacks. HPG confirmed that Turkish aircraft had bombed civilian areas and also confirmed that it suffered no casualties--in stark contrast to the BS being served up in Turkish media. The attacks started forest fires in the Zap and Haftanin regions. Not too surprising as the entire region has been suffering a severe drought for months now.

On 27 July, the Turkish military conducted a comprehensive attack against PJAK positions, reinforcing the fact that Turkey and Iran are cooperating in their war against the Kurdish people.

On 24 July, Turkish aircraft attacked Çemço, Saca, and Şamke villages in the Zap region. On 19 July at 1920 hours, TSK artillery shelled the villages of Maye, Ormana, and Ura, in Kanimasi, Amediye region. At 0200 hours on the same day, Turkish bombing began and did not end until 0720 hours. On 18 July at 1230 hours, Turkish aircraft bombed the Deraluk district, Nerwe and Rekane villages, also in the Amediye region.

Yesterday, I mentioned that the grenades found in the Ergenekon house in Istanbul Ümraniye had been traced to Şemdinli. Today, Radikal has a fairly long article on the subject. To make a long story short, the Ergenekon chief prosecutor Zekeriya Öz ordered an investigation into the grenades. That investigation shows that the grenades were seized in a police operation against Turkish Hezbollah in Şırnak, in 1999. There, the grenades were further linked to a TSK major, Mehmet Zekeriya Öztürk, an Ergenekon member who had been stationed in Şırnak from August 1997 to August 1999.

Yaşar Büyükanıt, now the chief of the Turkish general staff, served in The Southeast from 1997 to 2000. Like the Ergenekon grenades, Büyükanıt was also linked to the Şemdinli bombing when he admitted that he knew the bombers, TSK non-commissioned officers Ali Kaya and Özcan İldeniz. Büyükanıt said that he knew them and that they were "good boys". In fact, Büyükanıt knew them so well that when Van prosecutor Ferhat Sarıkaya tried to indict Büyükanıt for his involvement in the Şemdinli bombing, Sarıkaya was told to shut up, go away, and don't bother practicing law ever again.

Büyükanıt is also a party to the Dolmabahçe Deal with the AKP. And so the Deep State comes full circle.

Monday, July 28, 2008


"To open the Susurluk file means challenging the system. Neither Erdogan nor Baykal have such a concern."
~ Fikri Sağlar, former Parliament Susurluk Investigation Commission member.

HPG issued a statement today on the Güngören bombing:

HPG: We have nothing to do with the attack in Güngören

A statement came from HPG regarding the explosion in Istanbul Güngören against civilians which resulted in 18 casualties.

In the statement, from HPG Headquarters Command, titled "To our people and public", HPG stated that it does not have anything to do with the attack in Güngören."

KCK also issued a denial and condemnation:

KCK: Baykal is trying to conceal the attackers

KCK condemned the attack against civilians in Istanbul Güngören, gave their condolences to the relatives of the dead, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. KCK mentioned that the attacks were the work of hidden forces. Quoting from CHP chairman Deniz Baykal, "more than likely PKK did it," KCK said: "Baykal is trying to conceal the real perpetrators by this quote."

[ . . . ]

"One of the strategic goals of the Kurdish Freedom Movement is not being only Kurdistan's social movement but at the same time, it aims to gain the Turkish people and create living conditions based on the peoples' brotherhood and equality. In this respect, it is impossible for us to implement such an attack in Güngören given the fact that our goal is to gain the hearts of the Turkish people. Our movement never targeted civilians directly. In addition, our movement refused all kinds of violence that exceeds our right to self-defense and see such violence as counter-productive and terrorism."

Of course, there's a very good reason why Baykal is so hot to blame PKK for the Güngören bombings. Today, Baykal is calling for protests from all people as a reaction to the bombings. But why is Baykal calling for protest against this incident but never called for protests against the Şemdinli bombing?

One week ago, on 19 July, the Turkish general staff released a statement in the finest tradition of e-coups. In their statement, they said: "It is a natural expectation for the Turkish people to show their legal and democratic reaction to the unlawful attacks against the TSK". The Ergenekon investigation revealed that active duty TSK lieutenants were involved in forming a terrorist organization within the state. The paşas didn't like this exposure of the truth, so they urged the people to demonstrate in favor of them. Unfortunately for the paşas, the people did no such thing.

In order to conjure an excuse to make people take to the streets in defense of the very helpless TSK, they needed an incident: Güngören. This is why Baykal now takes the opportunity to whip the people into a frenzy and, in addition to drumming up support for TSK, he would also like to see a street mob out against AKP.

The icing on the cake can be found in a video at Fethullah Gülen's Zaman. The home video was filmed from a balcony by a resident of Güngören.

In the video, the first bomb has already gone off and a crowd continues to gather. According to reports, there was about a 10 minute delay between the first bomb and the detonation of the second bomb. However, as you watch the video you will see something very unusual for Turkey. There has been an explosion some ten minutes earlier, and there are no police present. There are no police vehicles, no flashing lights, no one securing the crime scene. The police station is a five minute walk from the scene of the bombings; less by police vehicle. So why are no police there?

You see the second bomb explode in the video and still there are no police on the scene. Why? Where were your police, Celalettin Cerrah? They were all over Istanbul on May Day, yet they couldn't manage to show up to secure a crime scene that is within easy walking distance of their own station?

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. After all, it was a former Istanbul deputy police chief who was found dead in a Mercedes in Susurluk with a state's assassin and police collaborator dead at his side.

By the way, now that all the "experts" are pontificating, RDX is a component of common military explosives. That would most likely include the plastic explosive used in the Güngören bombing as well as in the grenades found in the Ergenekon cache in Ümraniye, which came from Şemdinli.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


"Iran holds the deplorable distinction of leading the world in juvenile executions, and the authorities should end this practice at once."
~ Clarisa Bencomo, Human Rights Watch.

Here's something I've been holding for a few days until I could get to it: excerpts from Yeni Özgür Politika's report on the execution of five Kurds by the Islamic Republic of Iran:

Iran executed five more Kurds

Being helpless against PJAK guerrillas, Iran began executions in order to suppress the Kurdish freedom struggle and the people's support.

Iran, which executed Hasan Hikmet Demir while he was wounded, this time executed five Kurds, one of whom was a fifteen-year-old child, for helping PJAK. The spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran judiciary forces, Ali Rıza Cemşidi, just one month ago had a statement in front of cameras that they were not executing people under the age of 18. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which thinks the Kurds deserve the dirtiest methods, convicted five East Kurdistanis under the charge of helping PJAK. Five people, one of whom was a fifteen-year-old boy, were executed in an open field in Tebriz. Iran disregarded the condition in Islam which bans the execution of people before reaching adulthood when it came to the fifteen-year-old Kurdish boy.

Wounded Demir executed

PJAK member Hasan Hikmet Demir was also executed on 20 February 2007, where he was held in the city of Xoy, Elendi region. Code-named Agıt, Hasan Hikmet Demir was arrested last year while he was implementing political activities for the people. Demir escaped from prison and was caught in the Kelareş area, where his feet were frostbitten from snow. For a long time he was kept in a cell and was subjected to torture. Amnesty International began an emergency action campaign on Demir's behalf. Iranian state forces wounded Demir and forcefully executed him while he was bleeding.

Children are being executed

Regarding Iran's human rights, Amnesty International campaigns mentioned that they do not know whether Iran executes children because of its closed system. [?] One of the campaign's spokesmen, Hadi Ghaemi, "Iran is the only country where children are punished with the death penalty." He continued: "This barbaric method is being justified by Islamic law; however, these laws are being debated by several religious scholars." The campaigners mentioned that in the last ten years, 177 children were sentenced to the death penalty; At least 34 of these children were executed and 114 are awaiting execution. Ghaemi said, "It is a shame for Iran to increase the number of children that it executes while the whole world is abolishing the death penalty."

Iran is the first

According to a report from Human Rights Watch, children were executed only in Iran, Sudan, China, and Pakistan since 2004. When compared to the population, Iran is number one [in child executions].

In spite of its international commitment

There are two main international agreements that ban the execution of children: Children's Rights Agreement [of the UN General Assembly] and the [International Covenant on] Civil and Political Rights. Iran had approved both. Iran's executions of children is expected to be brought up in a report in the UN General Assembly in September.

Meanwhile last week in Teheran, it seems that the pasdars got what was coming to them:

Details are only now starting to reach the outside world, and it looks increasingly like sabotage was responsible for devastating a military convoy as it travelled through Khavarshahar. The company responsible for moving the equipment, LTK, is owned by the Revolutionary Guards and is suspected of being involved in shipping arms to Lebanon’s Hizbollah Shia Muslim militia, which is trained and funded by Tehran.

The Revolutionary Guards’ arms shipments to Lebanon and its allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia are usually shrouded in such secrecy that only a few senior members of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government are briefed in advance. As the international crisis over Iran’s nuclear programme deepens, the Revolutionary Guards have intensified their efforts to supply regional allies with military hardware so that, in the event of Tehran becoming involved in an armed confrontation with the West, Iran can respond by opening a number of fronts in the Middle East and beyond.

The need to keep the arms build-up secret would explain the Revolutionary Guards’ decision to ban the Iranian media from reporting the explosion, even though it was heard throughout the capital. But what really concerns Iran’s leadership is that the incident is the latest in a long line of unexplained explosions.

Shipping weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon? But PKK knew that last May when Iran was shipping weapons to Hezbollah via Turkey.

Someone also set off a double bombing in Istanbul today. Reports say that at least 16 are dead and some 150 wounded. I'm surprised anyone can still find trash cans in Istanbul.

Contrary to what the NYTimes claims, I didn't see any mention of a PKK connection to this bombing in Turkish media so far. It's only been the international press that's mentioned PKK.

It may or may not be connected, but AKP's closure case enters deliberations tomorrow

And it looks like someone is promising that the summer Olympics will go off with a bang:

A MILITANT Islamic group has threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics with suicide bombers and biological weapons and has claimed responsibility for a string of fatal bombings and explosions in China over recent weeks.

In a video released by IntelCenter, a terrorism monitoring group, a bearded man identified as “Commander Seyfullah” is seen reading a declaration of jihad against the Olympics and warns athletes and spectators, “especially Muslims”, to stay away.

It was issued by a group calling itself the Turkestan Islamic party. The group may be allied with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – designated a terrorist organisation by the US, China and several other countries – which seeks independence for the Muslim Uighur people of China’s far west province of Xinjiang, which Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.

“Commander Seyfullah” said the group was responsible for three bombs last week on buses in the city of Kunming, which killed two people, and for two bus bombings on May 21 in Shanghai, which killed three.

Now, East Turkistan is recognized by only one other country in the world, the US. The prime minister of East Turkistan can be found in Sibel Edmonds' gallery of rogues, as noted by Luke Ryland in a recent article. Luke writes:

Another player from Sibel's Gallery is Enver Yusuf Turani - Prime Minister of East Turkistan, a 'country' recognized by only one country, the United States. East Turkistan, aka Xinjiang, is officially a part of China, and home to the Uyghur people and the "Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement," a UN-nominated terrorist organization "funded mainly by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network and received training, support and personnel from both the al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan." In fact, the Uyghurs constitute a significant percentage of detainees - at least 22 - at Guantanamo Bay since 2001. Five of those have been set free, and were eventually sent to Albania, amid much controversy.

Now that the Tibet thing seems to have fizzled out, who do you think is really behind the bombings in China?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


"I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting."
~ Che Guevara.

The following are news items on the war in North Kurdistan from the last week:

HPG: 20 soldiers killed:

HPG declared that 20 soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in clashes that occured in the operation in Karakoçan Garrison, Yüksekova, and Çukurca.

HPG stated that two HPG guerrillas martyred themselves by exploding their grenades in order not to be taken as captives. HPG-BİM [Basın İrtibat Merkezi--Press Communication Center] stated that during the operation against the Kartune Garrison in Karakoçan area that the guerrillas initiated; two soldiers were killed, 3 were wounded, one of whom was a non-commissioned officer. In addition, they said that the operation begun after this clash is still ongoing.

A heavy strike in Yüksekova

On 19 July, a Turkish army unit was ambushed by the guerrillas in the Mergezere area of Yüksekova. BİM said: "Here eight soldiers were killed and ten also wounded. The operation began after the clash, which spread to the entire Şehit Rojhat area. During the intense clashes here, five enemy troops were killed, six of them were wounded." In the operation mentioned, BİM said that Veysi Kaplan (Bahtiyar Amed) and Şehram Hadizade (Fırat Rojhılat), guerrillas, martyred themselves by exploding their hand grenades. On 21 July, a military convoy that was going to Cukurca from Hakkari was ambushed between Çemkan and Şine villages, said BİM. One REO-type military vehicle was destroyed and five troops were killed. BİM said seven soldiers were also wounded and the Hakkari-Çukurca road was closed to traffic after this operation.

Name: Veysi Kaplan
Code Name: Bahtiyar Başarı
Date and Place of Birth: 1982/Amed
(26 years old)

Name: Şehran Hadizade
Code Name: Fırat Adar
Date and Place of Birth: 1987/Kotol
(21 years old)

A guerrilla ambush against Special Team: Three killed, three wounded

Three Special Team members were killed and three wounded while preparing to infiltrate South Kurdistan for point target operations at Çukurca, Hakkari.

According to the information received, on 16 July a team of 20 special operations forces, brought by airplane to Amed from Ankara Gölbaiı Special Operations Center; from Amed, they were sent by helicopter to Köprülü Jandarma Battalion Command in Çukurca. The 20-member special forces team crossed the South Kurdistan border on 19 July and raided a pre-determined point where guerrillas were positioned. Meanwhile, in the clash that took place between the guerrillas, who set an ambush, and the Special Forces team, Hasan Çemşir and two other Special Forces team members, whose names could not be identified, were killed and three wounded. The helicopters that had been sent after the operation bombed the area. After the bombardment,they took the dead and wounded Special Forces team members away.

Congratulations from HPG to the guerrilla forces in Kato:

HPG congratulated the guerrilla forces who showed a strong resistance to Turkish army operations on Kato Mountain.

HPG Headquarters Command, in its statement, pointed out the attacks that had been increased in 2008, and said, "The main reason for these attacks is HPG guerrillas that are the guardians and the developing force of our basic values."

The Botan region, which is identified as the heart of Kurdistan, is the base of the Turkish army's attacks; "However every attempt here results in failure." HPG continued: "We congratulate our guerrilla forces' struggle in the unreachable heights of Kato, with their iron will despite all the Turkish army's techniques and violent attempts. With this struggle, one more time, we are proving to friends and enemies that there is no single force that the belief and spirit of the Apocu guerrillas cannot overcome. This struggle that took place on Botan's Kato peaks will be written in history with golden letters; Comrades Bedran, Şervan, and Çiya, who reached martyrdom courageously, will not be forgotten."

The paşas are vampires. They only live by blood.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


"Man torturing man is a fiend beyond description. You turn a corner in the dark and there he is. You congeal into a bundle of inanimate fear. You become the very soul of anesthesia. But there is no escaping him. It is your turn now..."
~ Henry Miller.

From the Pot-Calls-the-Kettle-Black Department:

Britain can no longer believe what Americans tell us about torture, an MPs' report to be published today claims. They also call for an immediate investigation into allegations that the UK government has itself 'outsourced' the torture of its own nationals to Pakistan.

In a damning criticism of US integrity, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said ministers should no longer take at face value statements from senior politicians, including George Bush, that America does not resort to torture in the light of the CIA admitting it used 'waterboarding'. The interrogation technique was unreservedly condemned by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who said it amounted to torture.

The rest is at the Guardian. From the report itself:

52. There appears to be a striking inconsistency in the Government’s approach to this matter. As noted above, it has relied on assurances by the US Government that it does not use torture. However, it is evident that, in the case of water-boarding and perhaps other techniques, what the UK considers to be torture is viewed as a legal interrogation technique by the US administration. With the divergence in definitions, it is difficult to see how the UK can rely on US assurances that it does not torture. As Amnesty International argues, “what the USA considers torture does not match international law”. 86 Human Rights Watch adds that “President Bush’s statements on torture need to be considered in the light of the memoranda from his legal advisers that re-defined torture so narrowly as to make the prohibition virtually meaningless.”87

More on all of this is available on Glenn Greenwald's blog at Salon.

Gordon Taylor has a new item up about the German mountaineers who were released by PKK . . . from the German perspective:

Helmut Hainzlmeier, a 65-year-old Bavarian mountain-climber . . . , was one of three German tourists kidnapped from Mt. Ararat by a PKK platoon on July 8. He was released along with his companions on Monday July 21. They have now returned to Germany.

When the story first broke, Reuters Television did a report from Bavaria. Here is a partial transcription, which gives some background on Mr. Hainzlmeier, who evidently volunteered to be a hostage. Following that I have reprinted an interview with Helmut Hainzlmeier from the German magazine Stern, which I translated via Google and then cleaned up using a German dictionary. Thus I am responsible for any errors. The details are sparse but vivid: lava caves, a bear's den, and guerrillas who "knew very well where they wanted to go."

You can check the rest at Gordon's place. No doubt the Germans were relieved they had been guests of PKK and not of the American government.

There's a very good critique by Azadixwaz on a couple of articles by a Fethullahçı on his "solution" to the Kurdish situation. As far as I'm concerned, the analysis hits the mark:

So the Kurds have secured all of the economic resources in the shoe-shining, begging, car-parking sectors. That is what he talking about, I think, because I cannot think of any other sector that has Kurds, and by Kurds I mean real Kurds not the fake ones who have become Turks. If it was not for the Kurds, there would not be one person who would work in construction business without any benefits or whatsoever. So it is true that there are countless partnerships between Kurds and Turks, otherwise the Turks would not be able to find any servants for them. It is true that the Kurds enjoy equal status with Turks, as long as they deny their roots and say that they are Turks. True, a lot of Kurds in Syria do not have citizenship, but they live with their honor, living and passing down their culture to the younger generations proudly. And the Kurds in Syria can always proudly say they are Kurdish, and almost never hide their identity. You compare it!


Monday, July 21, 2008


"Psychological Operations (PSYOP, PSYOPS) are techniques used by military and police forces to influence a target audience’s emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and behavior."
~ From The Kassandra Project.

Here are some photos from DTP's congress held over the weekend in Ankara. For those of you not in Turkey who can access Özgür Gündem, you can view all their photos at their website.

The news on the congress from Turkish media plays the same themes about DTP across the board. Ahmet Türk, elected as the chairman of DTP is characterized as a "moderate". Emine Ayna, that bad girl, is characterized as a hawk and the leader of the hawks inside DTP. This is typical, especially from Gülen's media organs, such as Zaman, which has also led the way in manufacturing internal warfare within KCK's leadership. That fairy tale always claims that there is a battle between "Syrians" and "Turks" in KCK's leadership, usually pitting Bahoz Erdal (alleged "Syrian") against Cemil Bayık (alleged "Turk") or Murat Karayılan (another alleged "Turk"). Turkish media's fatal flaw in this particular case is that it fails to understand that there are no "Syrians", "Turks", or even "Swiss" in KCK. There are only Kurds.

DTP bad girl Ayna is criticized because she views the bullshit Ergenekon investigation as an internal Turkish hegemonic clash. But Ayna is not the only one who's characterized the bullshit Ergenekon investigation in that way. I have done so. Apo has done so. Ahmet Altan has done so. Ufuk Uras, by condemning the TBMM's refusal to extend the bullshit Ergenekon investigation to include everyone who has been responsible for Deep State crimes, has also characterized the investigation as a matter of internal hegemony. You can get a general idea of the mood of the Turkish media in English, here.

So Ayna is criticized in Turkish media for being right. I suspect that both the AKP closure case and the bullshit Ergenekon investigation are both part of the Dolmabahçe Deal that was struck between AKP and TSK in May 2007. A similar meeting at the Dolmabahçe Palace took place in last month between Erdoğan and the next chief of the Turkish general staff, İlker Başbuğ. The bullshit Ergenekon investigation attempts to make AKP appear as a positive champion of democracy, even while the poor little guys appear as victims, suffering from the very undemocratic process of closure. The result of both is to boost AKP's support among the grassroots, even while AKP together with the Turkish general staff remove dead wood from the Deep State.

The bullshit Ergenekon investigation and the AKP closure case may, in fact, be part of the Turkish general staff's own plan to manipulate public opinion.

After all, you don't hear the Americans or the Europeans get all worked up about DTP's closure case, do you?

Lots of women participate in the cause because DTP is one of two organizations that push for gender equality for Kurdish women. DTP's own leadership has a good number of capable Kurdish women to set the example for the population.

Don't forget your constituents.

Looks bad for AKP here.

Lots of younger women are involved, too. Let's hope that some of these will follow in the footsteps of the female trailblazers in DTP.

There's no mistaking where her loyalties lie.

"We condemn the things that have been done to Roj TV and the [Kurdish] press." Note the copy of Azadîya Welat.

More women, showing their support. I bet they remember the Ankara regime's treatment of their sisters in Wan during Newroz.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


"After this the soldiers stopped distinguishing between the male and the female fighters. I think they are now more afraid of the women because the women are more disciplined and they will never surrender. We will either kill or be killed. For me it is freedom, success or death. It is simple."
~ Heval Surbuz, YJA-STAR.

On 10 July there was a significant news item on Özgür Gündem which described a recent joint operation between YJA-STAR women guerrillas and the women guerrillas of the TKPML-TİKKO (Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist-Türk İşci ve Köylü Kurtuluş Ordusu; Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist-Turkish Workers' and Peasants' Liberation Army). I call it significant because I cannot recall a time in the past where PKK has conducted joint military operations with other groups inside Turkey, particularly with TKPML-TİKKO. Here's the link and a translation:

Joint operation with YJA-STAR and TİKKO women guerrillas

HPG announced that an operation that was implemented with heavy weapons against Çemişgezek (Dersim) police station was a joint operation of YJA-STAR and TKPML-TİKKO women guerrillas. In this joint operation, three police and eight Turkish soldiers were killed.

Mentioning the women guerrillas implemented three different operations, HPG said that on 8 - 9 July, three police and eight soldiers were killed around Çemişgezek's downtown. In the operations in Malazgirt and Savur, five Turkish soldiers were killed.

HPG-BİM revealed the details of the operation: "On 8 July YJA-STAR and TKPML-TİKKO women guerrillas carried out an operation from three directions toward Çemişgezek's downtown police guard shack, police station, and the hill where the military garrison is located," BİM also said that the guard shack was fired at by rockets at 22:40 hours; thus two police were killed and several soldiers suffered injuries.

In the operation, which lasted 45 minutes, the police station, police housing areas, and military garrison came under heavy weapons fire. One police was killed and an unknown number of police were wounded.

A military convoy that wanted to intervene in the operation was ambushed by the guerrillas. One panzer suffered major destruction; two troops in the panzer were killed and three wounded. BİM stated that after this operation the entrance and exit to Çemişgezek was blocked and a counter-operation began.

On 9 July an operation was executed by guerrillas against the hill where the Turkish forces were located. The operation lasted 20 intense minutes. BİM said, "After the clash, four soldiers were killed; our guerrillas suffered no casualties."

Special unit under surveillance

On the same day near Dersim downtown, a mobile TSK special unit was put under surveillance by YJA-STAR forces, said HPG BİM. HPG-BİM continued,"In the operation carried out against the special unit, which wanted to position itself at night, two troops were killed and three were wounded."

4 soldiers killed in Malazgirt

BİM stated that YJA-STAR forces also implemented an operation against Malazgirt's Muğidi regional garrison, located on a hill. The hill came under heavy weapons fire. One military emplacement was hit, which resulted in four soldiers killed. The counter-operation begun after this clash is still ongoing.

Clash in Savur

BİM stated that there was a clash with TSK, during an operation implemented by TSK in an area that included the villages of Günde Belizan, Avina, Darman, and Kunive. After an operation that was carried out by guerrillas in Tepe Şere, where TSK troops were positioned, one soldier was killed and three were wounded in this clash.

German detainees have also been released and more information is due out tomorrow. In the meantime, here's the HPG statement:

In its statement, HPG Serhat State Command said that the German hostages were released completely within HPG's will.

The Serhat State Command said, "As a result of the calls and attempts primarily from KCK, and international and democratic institutions and associations, the three German citizens that were detained were released today at noon after insuring their security. A detailed information will be shared with the public tomorrow about the release which occured with the cooperation of institutions and associations, and with our complete initiative."

In other news, maybe this is why the US is suddenly making nice with the mullahs, from RIA Novosti:

Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will decide on whether to lift a moratorium on bringing in new states at a meeting in Tajikistan on July 25, a Russian diplomat said on Friday.

"The moratorium has lasted for two years. We have now decided to consider the possibility of the SCO's enlargement," a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Iran and Pakistan, observer states at the SCO since 2005, have sought full membership in the regional bloc comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan and widely seen as a counterweight to NATO's influence in Eurasia.

The group primarily addresses security issues, but has recently moved to embrace various economic and energy projects.

That also may be why there have been reports in Iraqi media describing the possible construction of a US military base near Helebçe. If the SCO accepts Iran's request to be admitted to the organization as a full member, a US military airport near Helebçe could be a continuation of the American plan to expand NATO to the east, right alongside the border of the largest country in the SCO--Russia. And so the Cold War v.2 grinds on.

Ufuk Uras, leader of the Turkish ÖDP and member of DTP's parliamentary group, shows us why the Ergenekon investigation is bullshit:

"Turkey's recent history is full of coup plotters, politicians and public servants who were responsible for illegal operations and who have not been tried but walk around as 'gallants,'" he said in Parliament yesterday. Uras said failed coup plots named "Sarıkız" (Blonde Girl) and "Ayışığı" (Moonlight) against the government came to the agenda of Parliament's Human Rights Commission in April of last year but that most of the deputies were against investigating the alleged plots.

Uras, who started a signature campaign in May in Parliament, presented a motion to Parliament yesterday with the aim of opening an investigation into Sarıkız and Ayışığı. His initiative received the support of 20 deputies from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) and Hakkari independent deputy Hamit Geylani. Deputies from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) refused to sign the motion in the 550-seat Parliament.

DTP parliamentarian Emine Ayna has been blazing the trail on the same subject for DTP. Her position, and that of the party has been quite clear and consistent:

[Ayna] underlined that the success of the Ergenekon investigation depends on its enlargement east of the Euphrates River.

Ayna criticized the government and claimed that when dark forces attacked Kurds, Christians and Alevis, the AK Party did nothing -- but when these same forces turned against the AK Party, it was spurred into action.

"Our stand is very clear: We think that the investigations should go to the very end. Actions against the government and all murders by unknown assailants should be investigated. The government is dictating the idea of 'either you are with me or you are Ergenekon.' We are saying that we are not pro AK Party, we are not pro coups and we are not pro Ergenekon," she said.

There is no serious investigation into Ergenekon and no one should expect that there will be. If the Turkish ruling elites were serious about dismantling the Deep State that Ergenekon represents, they would have reopened the Susurluk investigation and people like Mehmet Ağar would not be walking free. Mehmet Eymür would be extradited from the US. Tansu Çiller would be detained, and all that just for a start.

As Fikri Sağlar, the chairman for the parliamentary committee that investigated the Susurluk Affair, noted after the Council of State attack in May 2006:

"To open the Susurluk file means challenging the system. Neither Erdogan nor Baykal have such a concern."

At the time, Sağlar further noted that CHP head Deniz Baykal dismissed the Susurluk Affair as "nonsense", which is exactly Baykal's characterization of the Ergenekon investigation.

Some things never change, do they?

For more on the insanity that is Turkish politics, make sure you stop by The Pasha and the Gypsy for Gordon Taylor's latest summation of the situation.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


"Flaubert, who visited Istanbul 102 years before my birth, was struck by the variety of life in its teeming streets; in one of his letters he predicted that in a century's time it would be the capital of the world. The reverse came true: after the Ottoman empire collapsed, the world almost forgot that Istanbul existed."
~ Orhan Pamuk.

Istanbul is a nice place to visit on your way out of the country. It's nothing like Kurdistan, of course, but it's a transition place to get you ready to face the West again. For those who haven't been there, it may seem exotic, but for those coming from Kurdistan, when you arrive in Istanbul you know you are just one step away from the West.

In Istanbul you can see old familiar sights and gorge yourself with your favorite foods one last time. You can hang out in open air cafes and parks, spend some time drinking tea and smoking hookah, and watch people on İstiklal Caddesi.

Speaking of İstiklal, if you go, make sure to stop at the Mesopotamia Cultural Center (Mezopotamya Kültür Merkezi). It's a place to browse books and music, drink tea, and talk. You'll know the MKM by the police van parked outside the building on the other side of the street.

On the way to Beyoğlu, the Aksaray DTP office.

İstiklal Caddesi and here comes the tram from Taksim to the Galata Tunnel. Less than a mile from here is a huge contrast--Tarlabaşı.

Leftist students prepare their demonstration against working conditions at the Tuzla Shipyard.

I love sweet shops, not only because they sell sweets but because these places are always so colorful, too. Lokum (Turkish Delight) is in the window to tempt you, along with the "sucuk" made of nuts and fruit syrup. My favorite, however, is helva made of sesame seeds--Antep fıstıklı helva, to be exact.

Entering the Egyptian Spice Market (Mısır Çarşısı), which is a great place to sightsee because there's all kinds of cool stuff here.

More lokum and other treats.

Here is a sampling of spices, which is what this bazaar is famous for.

These colorful dishes could be found in many places. They were delightful to look at.

Here's some tea, not the conventional tea that you find in Kurdistan, but herbal tea. Actually, these teas had a lot of chunks of everything but Camellia sinensis in them. Notice the one on the right front: Love Tea. I just didn't want to know.

Gülhane Park, with some guy showing his ass to Mustafa Kemal. Call the police!! Hehehe . . .

The best thing about Gülhane Park was its exquisite coolness. It was quite warm on this particular day--anything over 24C (about 75F) being a heatwave for me--and the park, with its many trees, was the perfect place to cool off.

The trees form a canopy over the walkways at Gülhane Park.

Entering the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı). This place is a bit more high-brow than the Mısır Çarşısı, but it also has lots of cool stuff to look at. I had to spend some time and negotiate the price of some pashminas.

Colorful lights. Pretty, pretty.

Shopping for gold.

Süleymaniye Camii, also known as the Mosque of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, gets a facelift, as we see from the campus of Istanbul University.

The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn, with the Galata Tower in the background.

Here are the boats that grill the fish for your balık ekmek (fish sandwich). This was early in the morning when we passed by and no one is grilling yet. But we'll definitely come back.

There's the grill, there's the fish, and there's the guys who cook and serve. It's really very simple, which is probably the magic of really good food. The fish is grilled and then put in a piece of bread along with some lettuce and onion. You sprinkle on the salt, splash on the lemon juice, and you're in business.

There it is--the balık ekmek! It may not look impressive and it certainly won't be mistaken for haute cuisine but, man, is it ever good!

Friday, July 18, 2008


"I handed my passport to the immigration officer, and he looked at it and looked at me and said, 'What are you?'"
~ Grace Murray Hopper.

Here are the pertinent parts of Gülen's victory in the courtroom, from Hürriyet:

The Door for the US citizenship is opened for Gülen

Gülen's green card application was rejected first by the USCIS then by the AAO (Administrative Appeals Office); however, the Pennsylvania Eastern Region Court's decision ruled in favor of Gülen.

After new evidence provided by the two parties (plaintiff and stateis lawyers), the Pennsylvania Eastern Region District Federal Court Judge Stewart Dalzell wanted the immigration office to approve plaintiff Gülen's I-140 application by 1 August. In addition, the judge wanted the parties to resolve their disputes by 4 August.

Earlier the USCIS and AAO had rejected Gülen's I-140 application--extraordinary skilled foreign labor visa--however, Dalzell's recent decision requires the USCIS to approve Gülen's application. In addition, Gülen had paid $1000 to the USCIS to hasten the visa process. Since the USCIS failed to process [the application] within the specific time period, Judge Dalzell awarded a full refund payable to Gülen.

He doesn't have to be extraordinary educator

The most important reason for Dalzell to overrule the previous decisions was the idea that the qualifications for extraordinary skilled foreign worker were sufficient conditions to be eligible for I-140 and thus, being an extraordinary educator, as state prosecutors claimed Gulen was not, was not a necessary condition.

If Gulen becomes a citizen, Dalzell claimed, the US would benefit remarkably from Gulen's studies in theology, political science, and Islam.

From the judge's Memorandum, filed 16 July 2008:

F. Conclusion

We find that Gülen has met all the requirements of 8 U.S.C.§ 1153 (b) (1) (A) and the associated regulations. For that reason, we find the AAO's denial of his petition to be contrary to law and unsupported by the evidence in the record. We will, therefore, grant Gülen's motion for partial summary judgement and order the Secretary of Homeland Security to approve Gülen's I-140 petition.

The judge's Order:






NO. 07-2148


AND NOW, this 16th day of July, 2008, upon consideration of the joint stipulation of facts (docket entry # 28), the Government's motion for a partial summary judgement (docket entry # 29), Gülen's motion for partial summary judgement (docket entry * 30), and the parties' responses and replies (docket entries 31 - 35), and for the reasons set forth in the accompanying Memorandum, it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The Government's motion for partial summary judgement is DENIED;

2. Gülen's motion for partial summary is GRANTED;

3. The determination of the AAO is VACATED;

4. USCIS shall APPROVE Gülen's petition for alien worker as an alien of extraordinary ability, document number SRC 07-035-53075 by August 1, 2008;

5. USCIS shall REFUND the $1000 premium processing fee Gülen paid for his I-140 petition by August 1, 2008;

6. A status conference shall CONVENE in Chambers (Room 10613) at 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 4, 2008 to determine what issues remain to be resolved and how this case should proceed.


Stewart Dalzell, J.

Having read the court documents pertaining to this case, including those mentioned in the judge's order, I can see how he ruled the way he did. It all boils down to an interpretation of the requirements of the I-140. What I don't understand is why the government (Chertoff et al.) dragged their feet so hard and for so long and with seemingly no response to the petition. Why did they put up such a fight against Gülen's change of status?

Neither do I understand why the results of the FBI background investigation were not released. Maybe only the CIA and MİT know for sure. Maybe MOSSAD, too.

Now it remains to be seen if Gülen walks through the door.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


"PJAK is until now continuing their struggle just with the support of the Kurdish people and the PKK. . . The PKK is the one who formed PJAK, who established PJAK and supports PJAK."
~ Cuma.

Ah, ah, ah, ah . . . what has KCK been saying for months? KCK has been saying that the US, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq are all cooperating against Kurdish freedom. Specifically, KCK said:

KCK draws attention to the possible US-Iranian cooperation in these attacks and calls such cooperation ironic. KCK stated: "Iranian president Ahmadinejad called Turkey and Iraq to cooperate with Iran against the Kurdish freedom movement, during his visit to Iraq some time ago. Later on, as a result of the Turkish-Iranian alliance and their delegates' meetings, the intelligence and reconnaissance forces of both countries became active on the border and over Qendil. All these activities pointed to a new, joint attack. Three days before the attacks, information was received that Turkey, Iran and Iraq had joined reconnaissance activities in PJAK's region. In addition to this, the attacks began after US surveillance aircraft collected intelligence by flying over the region the previous day. One can understand that the result of the intelligence collected through land reconnaissance (by Turkey, Iran, and Iraq),and the intelligence collected from US surveillance aircraft, were combined. In this respect, the cooperation of the countries that implemented the bombardment becomes obvious. Turkey implements its attack through US surveillance intelligence. The Turkish attack against PJAK's headquarters, which is fighting against Iran (an American "enemy"), raises several questions. When one puts Iran's cooperation with Turkey against the same target (PJAK), one can easily see an ironic cooperation between the US and Iran. This irony is very complex and needs a clear explanation.

Cooperation between the US and Iran? Bet the ranch on it. From the Guardian:

The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

The news of the shift by Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his tenure comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks that have seen tensions rise with Israel conducting war games and Tehran carrying out long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.

And, just now from the Guardian, an update:

The Bush administration said yesterday that it welcomed the prospect of increased "people-to-people" contact between Americans and Iranians, as it pushed ahead at speed with plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran.

The White House and the State Department refused to deny a Guardian report that a decision has been taken to set up a US-interests section in Tehran, marking the first return of its diplomats to the city since the 1979-81 Iranian revolution.

A source familiar with the decision-making said the Bush administration has either already, or would over the next few days, lodge a formal request with the Iranian government to set up an interests section, a halfway-house to an embassy.

Sean McCormack, the US state department spokesman, responded to questions from reporters by saying: "We are not going to discuss the internal workings of the US government."

But he went on to pave the way for an announcement by saying that the US is keen to encourage "people-to-people exchanges" and listed a series of contacts between Americans and Iranians, including visits by artists and a planned trip by Iran's Olympic team to the US.

And, once more, from the Guardian:

For nearly 30 years, it has loomed like a ghost over the carcass of US-Iranian relations - a reminder of how Islamic revolutionaries rendered Washington impotent by holding 52 of its diplomats hostage.

To the US, its former embassy in Tehran conjures humiliating images of classified documents being desperately shredded and captured staff being paraded blindfold before angry jeering crowds after a takeover organised by pro-Khomeini militants.

For Iran's Islamic government, it is the "den of spies" from where the US supposedly tried to sabotage the 1979 revolution that toppled Washington's staunch ally, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran's last shah.

But yesterday the former embassy - now a museum run by revolutionary guards - was an unlikely focal point of hope after news that the Bush administration plans to establish the first US diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979-81 siege of the embassy, which lasted 444 days.

Most Iranians passing the property in Talaghani Street were unaware of the Guardian's disclosure of the plans to open a US-staffed diplomatic interest section, a halfway step to full ties.

Conditioned by decades of Iranian government hostility and sabre-rattling over the country's nuclear programme, many shied away from commenting on an issue still seen as sensitive in a society where anti-Americanism is paramount. But others were prepared to cautiously welcome back the nation officially reviled since the revolution as "the Great Satan".

All of this fits together perfectly with news from a week and a half ago that described the tenfold increase in exports to Iran by the US since the Imperial Bush Administration took office. From the AP via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Nuclear weapons? No way. But there are plenty of items on Iran's shopping list that the United States has been more than happy to supply: cigarettes, brassieres, bull semen and more.

U.S. exports to Iran grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused it of nuclear ambitions and sponsoring terrorists. Among the states, Georgia led the way, sending Iran $201 million in goods, including $154 million worth of cigarettes.

Other surprising shipments to Iran during the Bush administration include fur clothing, sculptures, perfume, musical instruments and maybe even rifles, according to seven years of U.S. government trade data.

The United States sent Iran $546 million in goods from 2001 through last year, government figures show. It exported roughly $146 million worth last year, compared with $8.3 million in 2001, Bush's first year in office.

The Guardian followed up on this one, too:

One of the Bush's administration's main instruments for putting pressure on Iran has been sanctions. Yesterday the White House announced fresh financial sanctions against Iranian officials and companies allegedly involved in its nuclear programme. But Tehran is awash with US goods mainly imported indirectly, usually through the United Arab Emirates.

Karim Sadjadpour, an Iranian specialist at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said: "You can get everything from an iPod to a Chevrolet in Tehran. I think this is a good thing. The more the Iranian population is exposed to American culture, which includes American products, the better for Iranian progress."

The US treasury received at least 4,523 licence applications for Iran exports in the past seven years, of which it approved at least 2,821 and denied only about 178. US export records show $148,000 worth of weapons and other military gear were exported, including $106,635 in rifles and $8,760 in rifle parts and accessories shipped in 2004. At least $13,000 in equipment needed to launch jets from aircraft carriers were also exported.

Is anyone still so deluded as to believe that the US is interested in helping the cause of Kurdish freedom under Iranian occupation? If so, it's time for the seriously deluded to wake up and join forces with the only freedom movement that has the mullahs in its gun sights.

NEWSFLASH--As of this moment, it looks like Gülen has been cleared by the court to receive an I-140 visa by 1 August. News is at Hürriyet and I will try to work up a translation and post it as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"NOUN: A secret agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose."
~ col·lu·sion.

Oh, good article by Bill Moyers on how the American media is acting together with Corporate America to hasten the end of democracy. And people wonder why I'm such a skeptic when it comes to democracy:

Our media institutions, deeply embedded in the power structures of society, are not providing the information that we need to make our democracy work. To put it another way, corporate media consolidation is a corrosive social force. It robs people of their voice in public affairs and pollutes the political culture. And it turns the debates about profound issues into a shouting match of polarized views promulgated by partisan apologists who trivialize democracy while refusing to speak the truth about how our country is being plundered.

Our dominant media are ultimately accountable only to corporate boards whose mission is not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the whole body of our republic, but the aggrandizement of corporate executives and shareholders.

These organizations’ self-styled mandate is not to hold public and private power accountable, but to aggregate their interlocking interests. Their reward is not to help fulfill the social compact embodied in the notion of “We, the people,” but to manufacture news and information as profitable consumer commodities.

Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent at the same time that it enhances the power of the state and the privileged interests that the state protects. And nothing characterizes corporate media today more than its disdain toward the fragile nature of modern life and its indifference toward the complex social debate required of a free and self-governing people.

[ . . . ]

The new owner of the Tribune Company, real estate mogul Sam Zell, recently toured his new property Los Angeles Times, telling employees in the newsroom that the challenge is this: How do we get somebody 126 years old to get it up? “Well,” said Zell, “I’m your Viagra.”

He told his journalists that he didn’t have an editorial agenda or a perspective about newspapers’ roles as civic institutions. “I’m a businessman,” he said. “All what matters in the end is the bottom line.”

The viagra analogy is so appropriate because obviously Zell is a dick.

The dominant media remains in denial about their role in passing on the government’s unverified claims as facts. That’s the great danger. It’s not simply that they dominate the story we tell ourselves publicly every day. It’s that they don’t allow other alternative competing narratives to emerge, against which the people could measure the veracity of all the claims.

[ . . . ]

Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.

To be fair, it's not only the worthless American media that colludes with "the powers that be"; the same happens in other countries, too, although I don't think it's reached the same level as it has in the good, old corporatist USA. I can think of any number of stories that should have been allowed "alternative competing naratives" in public, such as the Ralston conflict of interest, or Sibel Edmonds' story. But as Sibel Edmonds proved, when she offered to spill her guts to the media last October, there is serious collusion between the media, the corporate world, and that "official" source of information, the State.

In other news, Colombia screwed the International Red Cross (IRC) big time by authorizing one of their military intelligence teams to use the logo of the IRC in a military operation to rescue war criminals from the FARC. From CNN:

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe admitted Wednesday that the symbol of the neutral Red Cross organization was used in a hostage rescue mission that freed 15 people from leftist rebels two weeks ago.

Uribe made the admission after CNN reported on unpublished photographs and videos that clearly showed a man wearing a Red Cross bib. Wrongly using the Red Cross logo is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

The man was a member of the Colombian military intelligence team involved in the daring rescue, Uribe said in an address carried on national TV and radio.

[ . . . ]

Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.

Nice work, jackasses. Kiss your credibility goodbye, IRC. On the other hand, maybe the IRC deserves it in a karmic sort of way because it hasn't released the information it collected on the CIA's " highly coercive interrogation regime". Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, writing in Harper's, interviews Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side, on the matter:

In a series of gripping articles, Jane Mayer has chronicled the Bush Administration’s grim and furtive dealings with torture and has exposed both the individuals within the administration who “made it happen” (a group that starts with Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, David Addington), the team of psychologists who put together the palette of techniques, and the Fox television program “24,” which was developed to help sell it to the American public. In a new book, The Dark Side, Mayer puts together the major conclusions from her articles and fills in a number of important gaps. Most significantly, we learn the details on the torture techniques and the drama behind the fierce and lingering struggle within the administration over torture, and we learn that many within the administration recognized the potential criminal accountability they faced over these torture tactics and moved frantically to protect themselves from possible future prosecution. I put six questions to Jane Mayer on the subject of her book, The Dark Side.

The Torture Administration couldn't exist without the collusion of the criminal Democrats. Glenn Greenwald, constitutional lawyer and civil rights litigator, rips the Democrats, specifically Congress Creatures Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman, and Jay Rockefeller for their complicity in torture.

As for the icing on the cake, let's note that the Imperial President now has the power to put anyone in the US into military detention. Do not pass "Go"; do not collect $200, from the NYTimes:

President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.

[ . . . ]

The decision was a victory for the Bush administration, which had maintained that a 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept. 11 attacks granted the president the power to detain people living in the United States.

[ . . . ]

Jonathan L. Hafetz, a lawyer for Mr. Marri with the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, called the Fourth Circuit’s decision deeply disturbing.

This decision means the president can pick up any person in the country — citizen or legal resident — and lock them up for years without the most basic safeguard in the Constitution, the right to a criminal trial,” Mr. Hafetz said.

Is anyone out there still deluded enough to think their vote in November will make any little bit of difference? Go on, take the blue pill. There's nothing to see here. Move along, move along.