Liberty Has Been
By Paul Craig Roberts
January 06, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- I had just finished reading the
uncensored edition of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns book,
In The First Circle (Harper Perennial, 2009), when I came
across Chris Hedges article, One Day Well All Be Terrorists. In Hedges description of the US
governments treatment of American citizen Syed
Fahad Hashmi, I recognized the Stalinist legal system as
portrayed by Solzhenitsyn.
Hashmi has been held in solitary confinement going on
three years. Guantanamos practices have migrated to
the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan where
Hashmi is held in the Special Housing Unit. His access to
attorneys, family, and other prisoners is prevented or
severely curtailed. He must clean himself and use toilet
facilities on camera. He is let out of solitary for one
hour every 24 hours to exercise in a cage.
Hashmi is a US citizen but his government has violated
every right guaranteed to him by the Constitution. The US
government, in violation of US law, is also subjecting
Hashmi to psychological torture known as extreme sensory
deprivation. The bogus evidence against him
is classified and denied to him. Like Joseph K. in
Kafkas The Trial, Hashmi is under arrest on secret
evidence. As the case against him is unknown or non-existent,
defense is impossible.
Hashmis rights have been abrogated by his
government with the allegation that he is a potential
terrorist or perhaps just a terrorist sympathizer.
Another American citizen, Junaid Babar stayed with Hashmi
for two weeks and allegedly delivered ponchos and socks
to al Qaeda in Pakistan. Allegedly Babar used
Hashmis cell phone to reach others aiding
terrorists. The US government says that this suffices to
implicate Hashmi in Babars activities.
Babar made a plea bargain to five counts of
material support for terrorism, but is
working off his prison sentence by testifying as a
government witness in other terror trials, including in
Canada and the UK, and as the US governments only
evidence against Hashmi.
Hashmis real offense is that he is a Muslim
activist defending Muslim civil liberties and making
provocative statements about the US. As Michael Ratner,
president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, has
pointed out, federal courts have given the US government
wide latitude to use Hashmis exercise of his
constitutionally protected rights to free speech and
association as evidence of a terrorist frame of mind and,
thereby, of intent to commit terrorism.
Brooklyn College professor Jeanne Theoharis warns us that
an American citizen can now be tried on secret evidence.
You can spend years in solitary confinement before
you are convicted of anything. There has been attention
paid to extraordinary rendition, Guantanamo and Abu
Ghraib with this false idea that if people are tried in
the United States things will be fair. But what allowed
Guantanamo to happen was the devolution of the rule of
law here at home, and this is not only happening to
Indeed, Hedges reports that radical activists in
the environmental, [anti]-globalization, anti-nuclear,
sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements are
already being placed by the state in special detention
facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism.
Hedges warns: This corruption of our legal system
will not be reserved by the state for suspected
terrorists or even Muslim Americans. In the coming
turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence
all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi
endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure
The silence of bar associations and law schools indicates
an astounding insouciance to Thomas Paines warning:
He that would make his own liberty secure must
guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates
this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to
himself. Some of my Republican and conservative
acquaintances are even gleeful that, finally, we are
going to get tough and deal forcibly with these
people. They naively believe that they themselves
will remain safe when law ceases to be a shield of the
people and becomes a weapon in the hands of government.
In A Man For All Seasons, Sir Thomas More
cautions against cutting the law down in order to chase
after devils, for with the law cut down, where do we
stand when the devil turns on us?
Clearly, these fundamental questions are of no concern to
the US Department of Justice (sic), to Congress or the
White House, to the mainstream media, to the
American people, or even to very much of the federal
Glenn Greenwald pointed out in Salon (Dec. 4, 2009) that
the Convention Against Torture, championed and signed by
President Ronald Reagan and ratified by the US Senate,
states: Each State Party is required either to
prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to
extradite them to other countries for prosecution. No
exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of
war or threat of war, internal political instability or
any other public emergency may be invoked as a
justification of torture. Each State Party shall ensure
that all acts of torture are offenses under its criminal
Two decades later the US government tortures at will.
Justice (sic) Department officials write memos
authorizing torture despite the ratified Convention
Against Torture, US law, and the Geneva Conventions. The
Pew Poll reports that 67 percent of Republicans and 47
percent of Democrats support the use of torture.
And Americans think they have freedom and democracy and
live under the protection of the rule of law.
The law is lost, and with it American liberty.
Dr. Roberts is co-author with Lawrence Stratton of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions, a book that documents
Americans loss of the protection of law.
The Liberty was ordered sunk by Lyndon Johnson.
This simple error reveals the prejudices and total lack
of scholarliness of this "report" on the
Detroit plane bombing. BC
GIVE US THE USS LIBERTY
by Barry Chamish
In my recent review of Jeff Gates very
anti-McCain book, I cited his claim that:
- John McCain's father, led the
government commission of inquiry which exonerated Israel
for deliberately and with deadly purpose, almost sinking
the USS Liberty in 1967.
The issue of the Liberty has
deeply poisoned the American relationship with Israel. It
is a far greater thorn than Israelis understand because,
in fact, Israel did try to kill every sailor on board The
Liberty. If I needed persuasion of that, I got it with
the correspondence I began with two officers of the
Liberty, as well as my personal meetings with British
documentary maker, Peter Hounam, who made a highly
damning of Israel film of the incident, shown on the BBC.
My conclusion, and it gibed well with
Hounam's, was that Israel was creating another Lavon
Affair, trying to lure the US into the war against Egypt,
as it had done by bombing American targets in Cairo
during the mid-50s. But one problem gnawed at me; The
Liberty was hit on June 8, when Israel had already as
good as won the Six Day War. In short, why bother?
The standard pro-Israel line was
taken by the Loftus and Arons book, The Secret War
Against The Jews. Within, the authors assert that the
Liberty was intercepting Israeli military messages and
funneling them to the Syrians. The two Liberty officers I
had a dialog with vehemently denied the claim, and
frankly, I believed them way more than Loftus and Arons.
After all, they were there, while Loftus and Arons
collected known public sources into a book filled with no
shortage of errors.
That's how things stood until
information arrived on the wave of my last article.
Admiral McCain was not covering for Israel, he was
protecting Pres. Lyndon Johnson, who ordered Israel to
attack the Liberty. It all began when my reader, Maria,
sent the following internet data:
June 8, 1967 during the 6
day war between Israel and the Arab Nations President
Lyndon B. Johnson sends the U.S.S liberty to collect
electronic intelligence in the eastern Mediterranean. The
clearly marked U.S. ship was 14 miles off the coast of
Israel in international waters. Israel's aircraft
identified the ship as an American vessel and an ally. At
2:00 PM that afternoon the U.S.S. Liberty was attacked by
two unmarked Mirage 3 fighter bombers The U.S.S. Liberty
was then attacked by three Israeli torpedo boats bearing
Israeli flags. The torpedo boats opened fire with high
caliber machine guns and launched torpedos. The torpedo
boats then began strafing life-rafts in the water, an
international war crime. During the attack the U.S.S.
Liberty continually called the 6th fleet which was nearby
begging for air support. Two groups of fighter aircraft
were sent to defend the Liberty but unbelievably they
were recalled by the White House. The Admiral in Command
of the sixth fleet called Washington to confirm the
recall order. Secretary of Defence MacNamara came on the
line followed by the president himself who told the
Admiral, "I want that G D Ship going to the bottom"
Finally after 3 hours into the attack a Russian spy ship
appeared so the Israelis withdrew because there were
witnesses allowing the Liberty to limp home to safety.
Here is what really took place. President Johnson had
personal control over the ship, made a backroom deal with
Israel to attack it with an order to kill everyone on
board. Then the attack was to be blamed on Egypt and U.S.
would enter the war and take over the entire Middle East.
If Johnson made Israel
do the sinking, Israel is much of the way home to
redemption. Cutting to the chase, it wasn't Israel's idea.
Israel still did the killing, and muffed the attack with
an amateurish show of its military prowess, but it
wasn't the leader of the hit squad. That's far better
than being left in the lurch as the mafia's don.
So I spoke with the author and
broadcaster Dr. Stan Monteith, ( www.radioliberty.com)
who has long researched the Liberty attack and boasts a 4
CD set of interviews, including with the seamen and
officers of the ship. He was direct: "Of course
Johnson gave the order. But he received his orders from
"So the attack on The
Liberty wasn't an Israeli decision?" I asked.
"It was an American action
forced on Israel," he answered.
More research was
necessary and this led to such an obvious scenario! The
Americans sink ships to start wars. The Maine was sunk to
get the Spanish American War rolling. The Lusitania and
the attacks on the shipyard at Pearl Harbor were caused
by provocation and deliberate military neglect, but they
got the Americans to stumble awkwardly and reluctantly
into two world wars. But Johnson himself was an active
proponent of the sink a ship and go to war philosophy:
1964 The Gulf of Tonkin In the summer of 1964
President Lyndon B. Johnson needed a pretext to commit
the American people to the expanding covert war in south
East Asia. So the Gulf of Tonkin incident was staged
claiming that Vietnamese patrol boats had attacked a U.S.
destroyer off the coast of Vietnam. This staged incident
paved the way for 58,000 American deaths and over 1.500.000
The reason to
sacrifice over 200 American sailors was the American, and
actually accurate perception, that Egyptian President,
Gamal Abdul Nasser had drifted into the Soviet camp and
threatened to make much of the Middle East, Russian
clients. As Johnson saw it, Nasser had to go and fast. A
pretext for war was all that was necessary. But Israel
just couldn't sink The Liberty and screwed up the best
laid plans of the whole operation.
Nasser was not
ideologically a communist. And America wanted him as an
ally so much that the Eisenhower administration abandoned
its allies Britain, France and Israel, who won the Sinai
War of 1956, but excluded the US from the action and the
spoils. It was over a dam that Nasser brought the Soviets
to the most powerful country in the Middle East, with
much communist mischief to follow. Following the Sinai
Campaign, Nasser's grandiosity was so out of touch with
reality, that he demanded the Americans build him a huge
dam at Aswan and pay for it to boot.
went to work and foresaw a project that would hold back
the Nile's silt, little by little collecting behind the
dam, making the dam less efficient until it would serve
no purpose at all; meanwhile killing off the small fish
of the Nile delta which feed off the silt, ultimately
destroying most of the fishlife of the Eastern
Mediterranean. Back on land, farmers would be forced to
turn to chemical fertilizers to replace the silt, much of
the world's greatest storehouse of antiquities would be
drowned, all the while Egypt had enough oil to provide
electricity of the non-hydro variety just as cheaply.
The Americans said,
no. And all the dire predictions came true. So, Nasser
threw the Americans out of Egypt and brought Russian
communism in, with promises to spread the ideology. All
this happened because the Americans had betrayed their
natural allies of the Suez Campaign, and they now felt
humiliated and really ticked off. Especially when Israel
used French planes to destroy the Air Forces of
Egypt, Syria and Jordan.
Sinking The Liberty
would get rid of Nasser for good, and quickly create an
American-led Egypt, with an obedient quisling like Anwar
Sadat, though he would rise a few years later after
Nasser was given a killing stroke at age 51. This point
is not proven but when I told Peter Hounam my suspicions,
he answered, "You know, a lot of Arabs think that."
And finally we have
the reason Moshe Dayan turned into Israel's top traitor
of his day. As Chief-0f-Staff of the IDF, Dayan HAD to
have given the order for his Air Force to sink the
Liberty. Johnson may have given the actual command, the
American navy did nothing to rescue the stricken ship,
but Dayan had the blood of 37 American sailors on his
hands and if he didn't play major league ball, he and
Israel would be turned into friendless lepers.
Dayan began quickly,
by handing over control of the Temple Mount, won by
Israel with buckets of blood, to the Jordanian Wakf, the
consequences of which are felt deeply to this day. Then
in October 1973, as Defence Minister, under the duress of
Henry Kissinger, Dayan agreed to give Egypt and Syria a
full day to regain lost territory. The consequence of not
pre-empting the Yom Kippur War was over 2000 dead Jewish
soldiers in two days. After Pres. Carter forced PM Begin
to take Dayan into his cabinet as foreign minister in
1977, Dayan abused his position to sway Begin to accept
an accord with Egypt, that gave up every square inch of
the Sinai to Sadat. This decision led directly to
Egypt today allowing the Sinai to be a rocket funnel for
There were endless
debts to be paid, and America offered Israel $3.2 billion
in annual aid to keep its mouth shut. But Israel bore the
existential brunt of Dayan sinking close to the entire
Egyptian navy, but accidentally keeping afloat one
American ship too many.
ICTS Connection To Pollard
& Schiphol Airport
By Wayne Madsen
NOTE : ICTS International N.V. was founded in 1982 by
a select group of security experts, former military
commanding officers and veterans of government
intelligence and security agencies. The company's goal
was to develop and implement pioneering aviation security
concepts and systems, with particular emphasis on high-risk
In the ensuing years, ICTS International N.V. spearheaded
the development of innovative aviation security concepts
and solutions, which were adopted by regulators in the US,
Europe and other countries as the industry standard. To
complement its solutions the company also developed over
45 modular aviation security training programs, which are
continuously being updated to ensure that they cover all
relevant material in view of new regulations, current
threats and anticipated risks. ICTS International N.V.
quickly established its position as a world leader in the
provision of security consulting and personnel services
to the aviation industry, expanding its global presence
to over 90 locations worldwide and its client base to
over 120 clients, including all major US and numerous
"ICTS is also linked with Israeli espionage
against the United States. An ICTS board member, retired
Major General Amos Lapidot, served as commander of the
Israeli Air Force and authorized Israeli Air Force
Colonel Aviem Sella, operating under official cover at
the Israeli Consulate General in New York, and Rafael
Eitan, head of LAKAM, an Israeli military technical
intelligence gatherer, to accept U.S. Navy intelligence
official Jonathan Pollard's offer to spy for Israel."
December 26-29, 2009 -- Who let security fail at
Schiphol Airport and why?
Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the University College
London student from Nigeria accused of trying to detonate
a mixed liquid-powder device on a Northwest Airlines/Delta
Airbus 330, flight 253, as it approached Detroit from
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on Christmas Day appears to
have received some special treatment from security at the
Amsterdam airport. The Mutallab case also resembles that
of another attempted plane bombing, that of the hapless
"shoe bomber" Richard Reid.
It has also been revealed that Mutallab is the son
of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, the former chairman of First
Bank of Nigeria. According to This Day of Lagos, the
elder Mutallab claims he reported the extremist views of
his son to Nigerian security agencies, as well as to the
U.S. embassy in Abuja, yet no attempt was made to prevent
the radically-inclined Nigerian student to board the
plane in Schiphol. The attempted plane bomber was
schooled at the British International School in Lome,
Togo and attended college in London and moved to Egypt
and Dubai. The elder Mutallab is a frequent visitor to
the United States and he is married to a Yemeni woman.
For a number of years, passengers at Schiphol
flying to the United States have been subjected to
intense grilling by security personnel linked to an
Israeli firm. In fact, these procedures were in
effect even prior to the 9/11 attacks and many were put
into place after the Pan Am 103 bombing in December 1998.
U.S.-bound passengers at Schiphol are asked a number of
personal questions, including where they have stayed
either in the Netherlands or in their country of origin.
Hotel receipts are routinely requested by security
personnel and the addresses of private temporary
residences are recorded. Mutallab boarded a KLM flight in
Lagos for Schiphol where he transited for his onward
flight to Detroit on Northwest/Delta.
Six months prior to Reid's near shoe bombing of
American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami in
December 2001, while memories of 9/11 were still fresh in
everyone's mind, Reid attempted to board an El Al flight
from Schiphol to Tel Aviv. Reid was taken aside by El Al
security and identified as a terrorist suspect. Reid paid
for a one-way ticket with cash and would not reveal what
he planned to do in Israel. However, rather than turning
Reid into Dutch security for further action, he was
allowed to board the El Al flight by Israel's Shin Bet
security so his movements during his five days in Israel
could be monitored. Six months later, Reid attempted to
ignite his shoe on the flight from Paris to Miami. Israel
had not informed British, American, or any other security
agency of the concerns about Reid. Reid's aunt, Claudette
Lewis who raised Reid in south London, was quoted as
saying she believed her nephew had been "brainwashed."
Reid later said El Al failed to detect that he had
explosives in his shoes on the flight to Tel Aviv, an
amazing revelation considering the Israeli airline's
tight security. .. The links between El Al security and
Mossad are extremely close with abundant cross-pollination
of senior personnel back and forth.
The security company that allowed Reid to board
American Airlines 63 at Charles de Gaulle airport in
Paris was ICTS (International Consultants on Targeted
Security) International. ICTS's senior management are all
ex-Israeli security officials, many of whom worked for El
In 2003, ICTS's chairman, Ezra Harel, and director
Menachem Atzmon were detained and questioned by police in
a criminal investigation of Harel's business dealings.
Harel was accused of paying bribes to Israel Electric
Corporation (IEC) director Dan Cohen, an Israeli attorney
who subsequently fled to Peru, for a lucrative contract
involving Harel's company Rogosin Industries and IEC. The
illegal deals involved off-shore entities created by
Cohen in the Channel Islands, Velsheda, CN, Cusley
International Ltd. and APK Ltd. and Cobalt, an entity
created by Harel to launder money through Bank Leumi in
New York. Harel and Atzmon were also involved in a
questionable deal in acquiring the port of Rostock,
Germany through an entity called Kent Investment Holding
Ltd. Atzmon operated through a number of entities,
including Harmony Ventures, BV, Albermale Investment, Ltd.,
and Seehafen Rostock, the company that was managing the
operations of thr port of Rostock.
ICTS's president was Lior Zouker. Zouker stepped
down in 2004. Harel, who started ICTS in 1982, retired in
2003 and was replaced by Elie Housman. Harel, a U.S.-Israeli
dual citizen, died shortly after retiring. Harel for
years had used Delawar-based corporations to conduct his
worldwide business activities while his Israeli banking
partner, Atzmon, was based in Zurich.
It was ICTS that largely developed the passenger
"profiling" procedures used at Schiphol and
other airports around the world through its subsidiary,
ICTS Holland Products BV.
A significant shareholder in ICTS is an entity
called "Everest Special Situations Fund LP" of
Platinum House, 21 Ha'arba'a St.. Tel Aviv. According to
Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the Everest
entity is also financially linked to Metro One
Telecommunications of Beaverton, Oregon; Simon Worldwide,
an advertising firm in Los Angeles; Gyrodyne of New York
City, a non-residential building operator; and Concord
Camera Corporation, which, significantly, was
headquartered at 4000 Hollywood Boulevard, Presidential
Circle, 6th Floor, North Tower, Hollywood, Florida.
ICTS is also linked with Israeli espionage against
the United States. An ICTS board member, retired Major
General Amos Lapidot, served as commander of the Israeli
Air Force and authorized Israeli Air Force Colonel Aviem
Sella, operating under official cover at the Israeli
Consulate General in New York, and Rafael Eitan, head of
LAKAM, an Israeli military technical intelligence
gatherer, to accept U.S. Navy intelligence official
Jonathan Pollard's offer to spy for Israel.
ICTS International, headquartered in Amstelveen,
Netherlands, is also involved in providing various
security controls at Schiphol airport. ICTS has a major
presence around the world in airport security with
contracts at Hong Kong, Bangkok, Suva, Auckland,
Singapore, Macau, Chicago O'Hare, London Gatwick, Newark,
Los Angeles, and Belfast. In 1999, Detroit airport
abruptly canceled its security contract with Argenbright
Security Inc. and replaced it with Huntleigh of St. Louis.
Huntleigh had recently been purchased by ICTS. In
December 2001, Huntleigh/ICTS screeners at San Diego
Interntional Airport placed a dummy "test"
grenade in the carry-on baggage of an unwitting Chicago-bound
passenger. Huntleigh/ICTS also provided "security"
at Boston's Logan Airport on September 11, 2001.
In June 2009, ICTS was reportedly
teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and was attracting
a number of potential buyers. ????