Archive for the UAE – United Arab Emirates Category

UN report condemns US government’s “international criminal program of torture” [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Canada, CIA, Egypt, George W. Bush, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Poland, Romania, Syria, Thailand, Torture, U.K., UAE - United Arab Emirates, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Yemen on November 1, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Thomas Gaist
1 November 2014

A recent report to the UN Committee Against Torture concludes that the US presidential administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama are responsible for far-reaching violations of international law for directing and covering up a global torture program developed by the US Central Intelligence Agency in the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The report, prepared by the “Advocates for US Torture Prosecutions,” Dr. Trudy Bond, Prof. Benjamin Davis, Dr. Curtis F. J. Doebbler, and The International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, states unequivocally that entire sections of the state apparatus are responsible for “breathtaking” crimes against international law.

“Civilian and military officials at the highest level created, designed, authorized and implemented a sophisticated, international criminal program of torture,” the report states.

The report details the vast scale of the torture system, noting that detainees were tortured not just at the US Guantanamo Bay Military Base in Cuba, but in numerous secret black sites worldwide, including in “Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Lithuania, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Syria, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom (Diego Garcia), and Yemen.”

Having been “conceived and authorized at the highest levels” of the US government, responsibility for the crimes committed is shared by numerous top officials, the report concludes, including “President George W. Bush, then Vice President Dick Cheney, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) George Tenet, then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, and then Attorney General John Ashcroft.”

The torture techniques were devised by the CIA in collaboration with intelligence officers from the Egyptian and Saudi regimes, according to the report.

“The techniques in question, sometimes styled as interrogation techniques and sometimes as detention procedures, included near-drowning (‘waterboarding’), sleep deprivation for days, and forced nudity,” the report notes.

“They have caused many people intense suffering, including severe mental harm and, in some cases, death,” the report notes.

“Retroactive legal approval” was then contrived by US government lawyers at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

In order to justify the new methods of “enhanced interrogation,” the torture lawyers of the Bush administration drew up an “absurdly narrow” definition of torture to justify the administration’s policies.

As a CIA lawyer commented to personnel at Guantanamo Bay when summarizing the content of the Bush administration torture memos, “…it is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies you’re doing it wrong.”

“The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees,” notes a report by the US Senate Armed Services Committee, cited in the new report to the UN…

…Far from being limited to the Bush administration, the report makes clear that the Obama administration, the Justice Department and multiple federal courts have upheld the conception that those involved in “waterboarding, dietary manipulation, walling, long-time standing, sleep deprivation and water dousing” should receive immunity, and that these techniques do not constitute torture.

The Obama administration has sought to safeguard all the senior Bush administration officials most directly responsible for torture from prosecution or any form of legal or punitive action for their involvement in torture.

As the report notes, all senior US government officials have received blanket immunity for their involvement in orchestrating a worldwide torture network, and “courts-martial and administrative proceedings for acts of torture have been almost exclusively limited to low-level private contractors or soldiers.”

The authors conclude that the “enhanced interrogation” methods violated the UN Convention Against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, which builds on the ban on torture contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The report maintains that “the prohibition against torture is absolute,” rejecting the legal concepts of the Bush administration and calling for the prosecution of top Bush administration lawyers, including the drafter of the three main “Torture Memos,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo,

The failure of the US government to hold accountable any of the leadership elements that organized the torture is undermining the “preemptory norm against torture,” according to the report. Torture is becoming more widespread and viewed as more acceptable by states everywhere in response to the unabashed repudiation of international law by the US.

In its concluding recommendation to the UN Committee Against Torture, the legal scholars demand that the US government adopt a legal and policy course that is 180 degrees opposed to that followed by the Obama administration since taking office.

“The United States should promptly and impartially prosecute senior military civilian officials responsible for authorizing, acquiescing or consenting in any way to acts of torture committed by their subordinates,” the rapporteurs write.

Were the demands of the report to be implemented, the result would be legal-political prosecutions directed against command elements and numerous individuals within the upper layers of the most powerful agencies of the American government, including the CIA, the military and the Department of Justice, together with numerous high-ranking members of the Bush and Obama administrations.

Countless figures, many now ensconced in lavish sinecures in academia and the corporate establishment, would have to face long jail sentences.

No such accountability will be forthcoming from any section of the political establishment, however, given that the torturers and their defenders are the preeminent political servants and military-intelligence specialists of the capitalist class.

The torture program was developed and implemented as part of an explosion of American militarism, as the ruling class has sought to maintain its global position through war and violence in every corner of the globe. At the same time, it is part of a wholesale assault on democratic rights, directed fundamentally at any opposition to the policies of the corporate and financial elite.

Far from prosecuting those responsible, the Obama administration is currently engaged in a coordinated campaign to prevent the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee summary on CIA torture, working closely with the spy agency itself to cover up the crimes for which it is guilty.

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/01/tort-n01.html

Also see: “Report to U.N. Calls Bullshit on Obama’s ‘Look Forward, Not Backwards’ Approach to Torture” – https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/30/un-report-slams-obama-protecting-u-s-officials-torture-charges/

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After Feigning Love for Egyptian Democracy, U.S. Back To Openly Supporting Tyranny [The Intercept]

Posted in Bahrain, Bill Clinton, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, Hillary Clinton, Media cover-up, Obama, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, State Department, UAE - United Arab Emirates, US imperialism, USA, Wikileaks on October 9, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Glenn Greenwald

2 October 2014

It is, of course, very difficult to choose the single most extreme episode of misleading American media propaganda, but if forced to do so, coverage of the February, 2011 Tahrir Square demonstrations in Egypt would be an excellent candidate…

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/02/feigned-american-support-egyptian-democracy-lasted-roughly-six-weeks/

’Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate‘ by Glenn Greenwald [The Intercept]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE - United Arab Emirates, US imperialism, USA on September 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

23 Sept 2014

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama — after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq…

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/23/nobel-peace-prize-fact-day-syria-7th-country-bombed-obama/

“Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?” by Glenn Greenwald [Guardian]

Posted in FBI, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Saudi Arabia, UAE - United Arab Emirates, USA on May 12, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

– A former FBI counterterrorism agent claims on CNN that this is the case –

4 May 2013

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy…

Full article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-recorded-fbi-boston?INTCMP=SRCH

(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd

“Attack on Libya: Why Odyssey Dawn Is Doomed” by Yoichi Shimatsu [NewAmericanMedia]

Posted in Afghanistan, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Hillary Clinton, India, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, NATO, Obama, Tunisia, U.K., UAE - United Arab Emirates, USA on April 2, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I held off on posting this before because I was skeptical of some assertions, which have since been confirmed – Zuo Shou 左手

March 20, 2011

If there’s ever been a fateful name for a military operation, it’s Odyssey Dawn, the cipher for the ongoing attack on Libya.

The name comes from Homer’s epic The Odyssey.  In it, a band of Greek warriors led by war hero Odysseus, better known as Ulysses, is on their way home from a hollow victory after the 10-year siege of Troy.  The exhausted men seek port on a peninsula poking out of the North African coast.  In need of food and water, they send out scouts who don’t return.  For this is the Land of the Lotus Eaters, where all who enter become forgetful of their responsibilities to family and homeland.

Now, a handful of Western allies – the US, some European nations, the UAE and Qatar – are lost in a similar lotus dream. These brave few are determined to fight for peace, harmony and bliss in a hostile desert where such ideals have never existed.  Meanwhile, they are forgetting their own deepening domestic troubles.
 
Any war that begins as a comedy is sure to end tragically. The first engagement in a "limited action", as described by President Barack Obama, is not being fully revealed in its embarrassing details – the rebel jet that went down in flames was a victim of friendly fire from French Air Force interceptors.

This bullet-in-the-foot was then followed by the launch of 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the USS missile ships Stout and Barry as well as from the submarines Florida and Providence.  The pro-war politicians justify the foreign intervention as an effort to save lives, though it’s obvious that an opening act of a hundred-rocket barrage portends that many more people, including civilians, will die than if the local combatants were left to themselves.

Ulterior Purpose

In Homer’s tale, the clear-headed Greek hero orders his delirious scouts against their own wishes to return to their ship for the journey home.  Showing a stern attitude similar to the sober Ulysses, many national leaders want nothing to do with the present North Africa escapade, including Angela Merkel of Germany, Manmohan Singh of India, and even former Brazilian leader Lula da Silva.

Tempted by some ulterior purpose – perhaps the desire to seize Libya’s oil asserts for themselves – Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical element in the Al Qaeda network.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi.  A decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks. Continue reading

“UN vote clears way for US-NATO attack on Libya” – Abstentions of Russia, India, Germany, China elaborated [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brazil, France, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Italy, Karzai puppet regime corruption, Lebanon, Libya, NATO, Pakistan, Sanctions as weapon of war, Saudi Arabia, State Department, U.K., UAE - United Arab Emirates, UNSC, US "War on Terror", Yemen on March 18, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Bill Van Auken
18 March 2011

=Excerpt=

The United Nations Security Council Thursday night approved a resolution that paves the way for the United States and other major imperialist powers to conduct a direct military intervention in Libya under the pretense of a “humanitarian” mission to protect civilian lives.

The resolution, sponsored by the US, France, Britain and Lebanon, goes far beyond earlier proposals for a no-fly zone, authorizing the use of military force including “all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack.”…The sole limitation placed by the resolution is its exclusion of “a foreign occupation force on any part of Libyan territory.”

The vote sets the stage for a bombardment of Libya by US, French and British warplanes….

American military officials have already warned that even the imposition of a no-fly zone entails the prior destruction of Libya’s air defense capabilities, meaning a major bombing campaign against Libya that will undoubtedly entail “collateral damage” measured in the killing and maiming of Libyan civilians.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Pentagon officials as saying, “Options included using cruise missiles to take out fixed Libyan military sites and air-defense systems … Manned and unmanned aircraft could also be used against Col. Gaddafi’s tanks, personnel carriers and infantry positions, with sorties being flown out of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization bases in the southern Mediterranean.”

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, Gen. Norton Schwartz, the chief of the US Air Force, said that a no-fly zone would take “upwards of a week” to prepare, signaling a sustained bombing campaign. He also warned that in addition to US warplanes based in the US and Europe, aircraft would also have to be diverted from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Like others military officials, Schwartz said that the imposition of the no-fly zone would “not be sufficient” to halt the advance of forces loyal to…Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, which have swept steadily eastward toward Benghazi over the past 10 days. Clearly, what is being prepared are air strikes against Gaddafi’s ground forces. The prospect of carrying out a bombing raid aimed at assassinating Gaddafi has also been broached.

These plans for war are motivated not by any desire to protect the Libyan people or further the cause of democracy, as its proponents within the UN Security Council proclaimed. The impending intervention in the oil-rich North African country is driven by profit interests and geopolitical imperatives that have nothing to do with the “humanitarian” pretenses of the major powers. The aim is to exploit the civil war in Libya to impose a regime that is even more subordinate to these powers and to the major Western oil conglomerates intent on exploiting the country’s resources.

The gross hypocrisy and cynicism of the imperialist powers backing the intervention was underscored by the choice of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé to motivate the UN resolution. Juppé, who invoked the “Arab spring” as one of the “great revolutions that change the course of history,” recently assumed his post after his predecessor, Michèle Alliot-Marie, was forced to resign over a scandal involving her close political and private relations with the ousted Tunisian dictator Ben Ali. Juppé’s government was in the process of shipping anti-riot gear to its former colony when the mass protest forced the dictator to flee.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who had worked to insert the “all necessary measures” language allowing for an open-ended military assault on Libya, praised the passage of the resolution…

…The Security Council vote was 10 in favor and five abstentions.  The countries abstaining included Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and India.  While, as permanent members of the council, both Russia and China had the power to defeat the resolution by casting “no” votes, they chose not to do so, ensuring that the UN continued to fulfill its function as a rubber stamp for the demands of the major imperialist powers.

In their statements explaining their abstentions, however, the ambassadors of the five countries made clear that the impending attack on Libya has nothing to do with any consensus by the “world community” to protect the Libyan people, but rather is the outcome of a conspiracy worked out in secret between Washington, London and Paris.

Continue reading

S.Korea found to loan $10B for UAE power plant [The Hankyoreh]

Posted in Nukes, south Korea, UAE - United Arab Emirates on February 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ The deal has been criticized for including a UAE troop dispatch and for its lower valuation at under half the announced $40 billion ~

Lee Soon-hyuk

February 1, 2011

=Excerpt=

A news program has belatedly exposed the fact that the South Korean government agreed to provide a loan covering approximately half the construction costs for the exportation of a nuclear power plant to the United Arab Emirates.  While the government explained that this was part of ordinary power plant export financing, controversy has been flaring up as this revelation couples with previous controversies over inflation of the order amount and the deployment of troops to the UAE as a condition for receiving the order.

A Jan. 30 episode of the MBC program “News Magazine 2580” revealed that in the process of signing a contract with the UAE for the power plant export in December 2009, the South Korean government agreed to provide a loan for approximately $10 billion (around 12 trillion Won) of the total order amount of $18.6 billion through Korea Eximbank.  In addition, the program reported that the repayment period was set at 28 years, and that the transaction generates a loss due to the fact that South Korea, which has a lower credit rating than the UAE, has to borrow the money at high interest rates and lend it at low interest rates.

The program also reported that the construction has encountered setbacks, including a delay in the groundbreaking ceremony from its originally scheduled date in late 2010, as the government has encountered difficulties coming up with the promised $10 billion loan…

Full article link here