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Gates Admits Blackwater Operating in Pakistan

Gates Admits Blackwater Operating in Pakistan

Raw Story
January 22, 2010

The Pentagon has gone into damage control mode after Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared to confirm that security contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan.

The admission, quickly denied by Defense Department officials, has set fire to long-simmering rumors inside Pakistan about the involvement of for-profit contractors in the war against the Taliban.

Defense Department officials say Gates did not mean to suggest that Blackwater is now operating on Pakistani soil when a journalist from Pakistan’s Express TV asked him about military contractors’ activities.

In the interview, which took place Thursday, Gates was asked “about another issue that has come up and again … about the phone security companies [sic] that have been operating in Iraq, in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. Xe International, formerly known as Blackwater or Data Corp. Under what rules are they operating here in Pakistan?”

“Well, they’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” Gates replied. “If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”

Pentagon backtracks after Gates admits Blackwater operating in PakistanThe Pentagon has gone into damage control mode after Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared to confirm that security contractor Blackwater is operating in Pakistan.

The admission, quickly denied by Defense Department officials, has set fire to long-simmering rumors inside Pakistan about the involvement of for-profit contractors in the war against the Taliban.

Defense Department officials say Gates did not mean to suggest that Blackwater is now operating on Pakistani soil when a journalist from Pakistan’s Express TV asked him about military contractors’ activities.

In the interview, which took place Thursday, Gates was asked “about another issue that has come up and again … about the phone security companies [sic] that have been operating in Iraq, in Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. Xe International, formerly known as Blackwater or Data Corp. Under what rules are they operating here in Pakistan?”

“Well, they’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Iraq,” Gates replied. “If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”
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“This appears to be a contradiction of previous statements made by the Defense Department, by Blackwater, by the Pakistani government and by the US embassy in Islamabad, all of whom claimed Blackwater was not in the country,” investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill wrote.

In November, Scahill reported that Blackwater is operating out of a covert US operating base in Karachi, where it “plan[s] targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, ‘snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan.”

In December, the UK’s Guardian reported that Blackwater guards are patrolling a CIA airbase in Baluchistan province.

Gates’ comments have sent Pakistan’s legislature into an uproar, with at least one government official denying knowledge of Gates’ remarks.

Pakistan has been rife with rumors in recent years about private security contractors operating on the country’s soil, and “about purported US plots to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and build permanent American military bases,” as the Wall Street Journal puts it.

“Mr. Gates himself may have inadvertently helped fuel a new rumor,” the Journal stated.

Defense officials tried to clarify the comment Thursday night, telling reporters that Mr. Gates had been speaking about contractor oversight more generally and that the Pentagon didn’t employ Xe [a.k.a. Blackwater] in Pakistan.

It was too late, however. By Friday morning, an array of Pakistani newspapers, television stations and radio programs reported that “Blackwater” had begun operating in Pakistan as well, citing Mr. Gates’s comments.

Whether it was a mistake or an unintentional admission, Gates’ comments are certain to complicate efforts by the US to prod Pakistan into refocusing away from its long-time rival, India, to the Taliban presence on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

To that end, the US has announced it will provide Pakistan with a dozen Shadow drones, smaller cousins of the Predator drones the US uses in air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the New York Times reports.

The US has also announced a new strategy for the war effort that focuses on the “re-integration” of Taliban fighters into mainstream society. The effort will be led by Afghan President Karzai. In discussing the plans Friday, Karzai “spoke about offering money and jobs to tempt Taliban fighters to lay down their arms and return to civilian life,” according to Pakistan’s Dawn Media Group.

 



CIA reportedly ordered Blackwater to murder 9/11 suspect

CIA reportedly ordered Blackwater to murder 9/11 suspect

Raw Story
January 5th, 2010

In 2004, the CIA sent a team from the private security firm Blackwater, now Xe, to Hamburg to kill an alleged al Qaeda financier who was investigated for years by German authorities on suspicion of links to al Qaeda, according to a little-highlighted element in a Vanity Fair article to be published this month.

The report cited a source familiar with the program as saying the mission had been kept secret from the German government.

“Among the team’s targets, according to a source familiar with the program, was Mamoun Darkazanli, an al Qaeda financier living in Hamburg who had been on the agency’s radar for years because of his ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers and to operatives convicted of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa,” writes Vanity Fair’s Adam Ciralsky.

“The CIA team supposedly went in ‘dark,” meaning they did not notify their own station — much less the German government — of their presence; they then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down,” reports the magazine.

Washington authorities, however, “chose not to pull the trigger,” it said.

Vanity Fair has reemerged as a powerful journalistic force in recent years, outing the long-secret “Deep Throat” source of The Washington Post’s Watergate reporting.

Earlier reports revealed that the Bush Administration was considering a “targeted assassination” program — in apparent breach of international treaties — which would have put lethal targets on the backs of terror suspects beyond the reach of US law. The article adds that the CIA also considering taking out Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan (at left), believed to be the mastermind behind Pakistan’s development of a nuclear bomb.

“Khan’s inclusion on the target list, however, would suggest that the assassination effort was broader than has previously been acknowledged,” Ciralsky writes.

A source purportedly said: “They say the program didn’t move forward because [they] didn’t have the right skill set or because of inadequate cover. That’s untrue. [The operation continued] for a very long time in some places without ever being discovered. This program died because of a lack of political will.”

Berlin today denies any knowledge of the CIA operation, according to a German media outlet.

Green party parliamentarian Hans-Christian Stroebele told a local paper that it was the government’s job to monitor foreign intelligence agencies operating in Germany.

“It can’t be true that they knew nothing,” Stroebele told the daily Hamburger Abendblatt.

Deutsche Welle, the German news source, further reports today that Federal prosecutors in Hamburg are conducting an investigation into the magazine’s CIA assassination plot claims.

German authorities have previously investigated Darkazanli but never charged him; he was arrested in 2004 on a Spanish extradition request but released nine months later.

The CIA’s “Heart-Attack Gun”

 



The War is in Pakistan Right Now

Scahill: ‘The war is in Pakistan right now’
Military drones show no remorse on Pakistan civilians, creating U.S. hatred

Raw Story
December 4, 2009

In the wake of President Obama’s plan to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan, questions are being raised about the use of private contractors in US operations there. The acknowledgement by Eric Prince, founder of military contractor Blackwater, that he has been serving for years as a CIA asset only intensifies these concerns.

For Jeremy Scahill, author of the bestselling book Blackwater, however, the real concern is not Afghanistan but Pakistan, where according to an article in the New York Times, “the White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.’s drone program.”

“We need to view this sober reality,” Scahill told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Thursday. “The war is in Pakistan right now. There’s no question about it. The question, though, is how much it’s going to expand. … These are actions that are going to destabilize Pakistan and are going to create new enemies for the United States because of the high civilian casualties. … Here you have military operations inside a country that we don’t have a declaration of war against.”

Scahill emphasized that the most destabilizing actions come not from the CIA but from Blackwater mercenaries, whom he recently described in The Nation as working for US special forces to “plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, ‘snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan.”

The drone attacks outsourced to Blackwater are the source of the highest numbers of civilian casualties. Scahill told Maddow that one of his sources is a “very well-placed military intelligence source [who] is offended at the idea that you have these operations happening outside of the military chain of command and with no oversight from the Congress.”

“Blackwater has been operating under the cover of a training program,” Scahill explained. “Blackwater is training the Pakistani Frontier Corps, which is a federal paramilitary force that is hunting down high-value targets in the frontier province. A former Blackwater executive told me that the line is being crossed — that Blackwater guys are actually going out on these raids.”

Scahill also revealed a few interesting tidbits about Eric Prince’s decision to out himself as a CIA asset, saying, “I see this sort of as Eric Prince taking out an insurance policy for himself. … Eric Prince is in the cross-hairs now of the Congress, the federal investigators, and others … and it’s a way of trying to insulate himself from future attacks.”

This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Dec. 3, 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COSFrTB1Uk
Rachel Maddow: Obama is Continuing The Bush Doctrine

 



U.S. Special Forces Training to Attack Iran Nuclear Facilities

U.S. Special Forces Training to Attack Iran Nuclear Facilities

 



Tarpley: Alqaeda is the ‘CIA Arab Legion’

Tarpley: Alqaeda is the ‘CIA Arab Legion’

 



US-Backed Terrorist Group Kills Iran Military Officers

US-Backed Terrorist Group Kills Iran Military Officers
Bankrolling and arming Al-Qaeda offshoot part of 2007 White House directive to destabilize Iranian government

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
October 19, 2009

The U.S. government effectively attacked Iran yesterday after its proxy terror group Jundullah launched a suicide bomb attack against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at their headquarters in Pishin, near the border with Pakistan.

Leaders of the Al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni terrorist group Jundullah have claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Iran that killed over 40 people yesterday. The group is funded and trained by the CIA and is being used to destabilize the government of Iran, according to reports out of the London Telegraph and ABC News.

In the aftermath of the attack, which killed at least five commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard along with scores of others, media reports have swung between Iranian accusations of US and British involvement and blanket denials on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

However, the fact that Jundullah, who have since claimed responsibility for the attack and named the bomber as Abdol Vahed Mohammadi Saravani, are openly financed and run by the CIA and Mossad is not up for debate, it has been widely reported for years.

“President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert “black” operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs,” reported the London Telegraph in May 2007.

Part of that destabilization campaign involved the the CIA “Giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan,” stated the report.

Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The fact that it is being directly supported by the U.S. government under both Bush and now Obama destroys the whole legitimacy of the “war on terror” in an instant.

The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad’s government and is also active in Pakistan, having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.

The group also produces propaganda tapes and literature for al-Qaeda’s media wing, As-Sahab, which is in turn closely affiliated with the military-industrial complex front IntelCenter, the group that makes available Al-Qaeda videos to the western media.

In May 2008, ABC News reported on how Pakistan was threatening to turn over six members of Jundullah to Iran after they were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities.

“U.S. officials tell ABC News U.S. intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran,” reported ABC news, highlighting again the close relationship between the terror group and the CIA.

In July 2009, a Jundullah member admitted before a court in Zahedan Iran that the group was a proxy for the U.S. and Israel.

Abdolhamid Rigi, a senior member of the group and the brother of the group’s leader Abdolmalek Rigi, who was one of the six members of the organization extradited by Pakistan, told the court that Jundullah was being trained and financed by “the US and Zionists”. He also said that the group had been ordered by America and Israel to step up their attacks in Iran.

Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.

Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the U.S. is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.

It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran.

After a bombing inside Iran in March 2007, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.

A story entitled, US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran, reveals how funding for the attacks carried out by the terrorist groups “comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget,” a fact that is now “no great secret”, according to a former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

Former US state department counter-terrorism agent Fred Burton backed the claim, telling the newspaper, “The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran’s ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime.”

John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: “The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity.”

The timing of the bombing that targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guard members yesterday was clearly orchestrated to coincide with talks between representatives from Iran, Russia, France, the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna today concerning Iran’s nuclear intentions.

 



U.S. History They Won’t Teach In Schools

U.S. History They Won’t Teach In Schools