Monday, 24 May 2010
A Hidden History of Evil
Why doesn't anyone care about the unread Soviet archives?
MARC RIBOUD/MAGNUM PHOTOS
Though Mikhail Gorbachev is lionized in the West, the untranslated archives suggest a much darker figure.
In the world's collective consciousness, the word "Nazi" is synonymous with evil. It is widely understood that the Nazis' ideology-nationalism, anti-Semitism, the autarkic ethnic state, the Führer principle-led directly to the furnaces of Auschwitz. It is not nearly as well understood that Communism led just as inexorably, everywhere on the globe where it was applied, to starvation, torture, and slave-labor camps. Nor is it widely acknowledged that Communism was responsible for the deaths of some 150 million human beings during the twentieth century. The world remains inexplicably indifferent and uncurious about the deadliest ideology in history.
For evidence of this indifference, consider the unread Soviet archives. Pavel Stroilov, a Russian exile in London, has on his computer 50,000 unpublished, untranslated, top-secret Kremlin documents, mostly dating from the close of the Cold War. He stole them in 2003 and fled Russia. Within living memory, they would have been worth millions to the CIA; they surely tell a story about Communism and its collapse that the world needs to know. Yet he can't get anyone to house them in a reputable library, publish them, or fund their translation. In fact, he can't get anyone to take much interest in them at all.
Then there's Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who once spent 12 years in the USSR's prisons, labor camps, and psikhushkas-political psychiatric hospitals-after being convicted of copying anti-Soviet literature. He, too, possesses a massive collection of stolen and smuggled papers from the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, which, as he writes, "contain the beginnings and the ends of all the tragedies of our bloodstained century." These documents are available online at bukovsky-archives.net, but most are not translated. They are unorganized; there are no summaries; there is no search or index function. "I offer them free of charge to the most influential newspapers and journals in the world, but nobody wants to print them," Bukovsky writes. "Editors shrug indifferently: So what? Who cares?"
The originals of most of Stroilov's documents remain in the Kremlin archives, where, like most of the Soviet Union's top-secret documents from the post-Stalin era, they remain classified. They include, Stroilov says, transcripts of nearly every conversation between Gorbachev and his foreign counterparts-hundreds of them, a near-complete diplomatic record of the era, available nowhere else. There are notes from the Politburo taken by Georgy Shakhnazarov, an aide of Gorbachev's, and by Politburo member Vadim Medvedev. There is the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev-Gorbachev's principal aide and deputy chief of the body formerly known as the Comintern-which dates from 1972 to the collapse of the regime. There are reports, dating from the 1960s, by Vadim Zagladin, deputy chief of the Central Committee's International Department until 1987 and then Gorbachev's advisor until 1991. Zagladin was both envoy and spy, charged with gathering secrets, spreading disinformation, and advancing Soviet influence.
When Gorbachev and his aides were ousted from the Kremlin, they took unauthorized copies of these documents with them. The documents were scanned and stored in the archives of the Gorbachev Foundation, one of the first independent think tanks in modern Russia, where a handful of friendly and vetted researchers were given limited access to them. Then, in 1999, the foundation opened a small part of the archive to independent researchers, including Stroilov. The key parts of the collection remained restricted; documents could be copied only with the written permission of the author, and Gorbachev refused to authorize any copies whatsoever. But there was a flaw in the foundation's security, Stroilov explained to me. When things went wrong with the computers, as often they did, he was able to watch the network administrator typing the password that gave access to the foundation's network. Slowly and secretly, Stroilov copied the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.
When I first heard about Stroilov's documents, I wondered if they were forgeries. But in 2006, having assessed the documents with the cooperation of prominent Soviet dissidents and Cold War spies, British judges concluded that Stroilov was credible and granted his asylum request. The Gorbachev Foundation itself has since acknowledged the documents' authenticity.
Bukovsky's story is similar. In 1992, President Boris Yeltsin's government invited him to testify at the Constitutional Court of Russia in a case concerning the constitutionality of the Communist Party. The Russian State Archives granted Bukovsky access to its documents to prepare his testimony. Using a handheld scanner, he copied thousands of documents and smuggled them to the West.
The Russian state cannot sue Stroilov or Bukovsky for breach of copyright, since the material was created by the Communist Party and the Soviet Union, neither of which now exists. Had he remained in Russia, however, Stroilov believes that he could have been prosecuted for disclosure of state secrets or treason. The military historian Igor Sutyagin is now serving 15 years in a hard-labor camp for the crime of collecting newspaper clippings and other open-source materials and sending them to a British consulting firm. The danger that Stroilov and Bukovsky faced was real and grave; they both assumed, one imagines, that the world would take notice of what they had risked so much to acquire.
Stroilov claims that his documents "tell a completely new story about the end of the Cold War. The Ωcommonly accepted≈ version of history of that period consists of myths almost entirely. These documents are capable of ruining each of those myths." Is this so? I couldn't say. I don't read Russian. Of Stroilov's documents, I have seen only the few that have been translated into English. Certainly, they shouldn't be taken at face value; they were, after all, written by Communists. But the possibility that Stroilov is right should surely compel keen curiosity.
For instance, the documents cast Gorbachev in a far darker light than the one in which he is generally regarded. In one document, he laughs with the Politburo about the USSR's downing of Korean Airlines flight 007 in 1983-a crime that was not only monstrous but brought the world very near to nuclear Armageddon. These minutes from a Politburo meeting on October 4, 1989, are similarly disturbing:
Lukyanov reports that the real number of casualties on Tiananmen Square was 3,000.
Gorbachev: We must be realists. They, like us, have to defend themselves. Three thousands . . . So what?
And a transcript of Gorbachev's conversation with Hans-Jochen Vogel, the leader of West Germany's Social Democratic Party, shows Gorbachev defending Soviet troops' April 9, 1989, massacre of peaceful protesters in Tbilisi.
Stroilov's documents also contain transcripts of Gorbachev's discussions with many Middle Eastern leaders. These suggest interesting connections between Soviet policy and contemporary trends in Russian foreign policy. Here is a fragment from a conversation reported to have taken place with Syrian president Hafez al-Assad on April 28, 1990:
H. ASSAD. To put pressure on Israel, Baghdad would need to get closer to Damascus, because Iraq has no common borders with Israel. . . .
M. S. GORBACHEV. I think so, too. . . .
H. ASSAD. Israel's approach is different, because the Judaic religion itself states: the land of Israel spreads from Nile to Euphrates and its return is a divine predestination.
M. S. GORBACHEV. But this is racism, combined with Messianism!
H. ASSAD. This is the most dangerous form of racism.
One doesn't need to be a fantasist to wonder whether these discussions might be relevant to our understanding of contemporary Russian policy in a region of some enduring strategic significance.
There are other ways in which the story that Stroilov's and Bukovsky's papers tell isn't over. They suggest, for example, that the architects of the European integration project, as well as many of today's senior leaders in the European Union, were far too close to the USSR for comfort. This raises important questions about the nature of contemporary Europe-questions that might be asked when Americans consider Europe as a model for social policy, or when they seek European diplomatic cooperation on key issues of national security.
According to Zagladin's reports, for example, Kenneth Coates, who from 1989 to 1998 was a British member of the European Parliament, approached Zagladin on January 9, 1990, to discuss what amounted to a gradual merger of the European Parliament and the Supreme Soviet. Coates, says Zagladin, explained that "creating an infrastructure of cooperation between the two parliament[s] would help . . . to isolate the rightists in the European Parliament (and in Europe), those who are interested in the USSR's collapse." Coates served as chair of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights from 1992 to 1994. How did it come to pass that Europe was taking advice about human rights from a man who had apparently wished to "isolate" those interested in the USSR's collapse and sought to extend Soviet influence in Europe?
Or consider a report on Francisco Fernández Ordóñez, who led Spain's integration into the European Community as its foreign minister. On March 3, 1989, according to these documents, he explained to Gorbachev that "the success of perestroika means only one thing-the success of the socialist revolution in contemporary conditions. And that is exactly what the reactionaries don't accept." Eighteen months later, Ordóñez told Gorbachev: "I feel intellectual disgust when I have to read, for example, passages in the documents of ΩG7≈ where the problems of democracy, freedom of human personality and ideology of market economy are set on the same level. As a socialist, I cannot accept such an equation." Perhaps most shockingly, the Eastern European press has reported that Stroilov's documents suggest that François Mitterrand was maneuvering with Gorbachev to ensure that Germany would unite as a neutral, socialist entity under a Franco-Soviet condominium.
Zagladin's records also note that the former leader of the British Labour Party, Neil Kinnock, approached Gorbachev-unauthorized, while Kinnock was leader of the opposition-through a secret envoy to discuss the possibility of halting the United Kingdom's Trident nuclear-missile program. The minutes of the meeting between Gorbachev and the envoy, MP Stuart Holland, read as follows:
In [Holland's] opinion, Soviet Union should be very interested in liquidation of "Tridents" because, apart from other things, the West-meaning the US, Britain and France-would have a serious advantage over the Soviet Union after the completion of START treaty. That advantage will need to be eliminated. . . . At the same time Holland noted that, of course, we can seriously think about realisation of that idea only if the Labour comes to power. He said Thatcher . . . would never agree to any reduction of nuclear armaments.
Kinnock was vice president of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, and his wife, Glenys, is now Britain's minister for Europe. Gerard Batten, a member of the UK Independence Party, has noted the significance of the episode. "If the report given to Mr. Gorbachev is true, it means that Lord Kinnock approached one of Britain's enemies in order to seek approval regarding his party's defense policy and, had he been elected, Britain's defense policy," Batten said to the European Parliament in 2009. "If this report is true, then Lord Kinnock would be guilty of treason."
Similarly, Baroness Catherine Ashton, who is now the European Union's foreign minister, was treasurer of Britain's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 1980 to 1982. The papers offer evidence that this organization received "unidentified income" from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Stroilov's papers suggest as well that the government of the current Spanish EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Joaquín Almunia, enthusiastically supported the Soviet project of gradually unifying Germany and Europe into a socialist "common European home" and strongly opposed the independence of the Baltic states and then of Ukraine.
Perhaps it doesn't surprise you to read that prominent European politicians held these views. But why doesn't it? It is impossible to imagine that figures who had enjoyed such close ties to the Nazi Party-or, for that matter, to the Ku Klux Klan or to South Africa's apartheid regime-would enjoy top positions in Europe today. The rules are different, apparently, for Communist fellow travelers. "We now have the EU unelected socialist party running Europe," Stroilov said to me. "Bet the KGB can't believe it."
And what of Zagladin's description of his dealings with our own current vice president in 1979?
Unofficially, [Senator Joseph] Biden and [Senator Richard] Lugar said that, in the end of the day, they were not so much concerned with having a problem of this or that citizen solved as with showing to the American public that they do care for "human rights." . . . In other words, the collocutors directly admitted that what is happening is a kind of a show, that they absolutely do not care for the fate of most so-called dissidents.
Remarkably, the world has shown little interest in the unread Soviet archives. That paragraph about Biden is a good example. Stroilov and Bukovsky coauthored a piece about it for the online magazine FrontPage on October 10, 2008; it passed without remark. Americans considered the episode so uninteresting that even Biden's political opponents didn't try to turn it into political capital. Imagine, if you can, what it must feel like to have spent the prime of your life in a Soviet psychiatric hospital, to know that Joe Biden is now vice president of the United States, and to know that no one gives a damn.
Bukovsky's book about the story that these documents tell, Jugement à Moscou, has been published in French, Russian, and a few other Slavic languages, but not in English. Random House bought the manuscript and, in Bukovsky's words, tried "to force me to rewrite the whole book from the liberal left political perspective." Bukovsky replied that "due to certain peculiarities of my biography I am allergic to political censorship." The contract was canceled, the book was never published in English, and no other publisher has shown interest in it. Neither has anyone wanted to publish EUSSR, a pamphlet by Stroilov and Bukovsky about the Soviet roots of European integration. In 2004, a very small British publisher did print an abbreviated version of the pamphlet; it, too, passed unnoticed.
Stroilov has a long list of complaints about journalists who have initially shown interest in the documents, only to tell him later that their editors have declared the story insignificant. In advance of Gorbachev's visit to Germany for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Stroilov says, he offered the German press the documents depicting Gorbachev unflatteringly. There were no takers. In France, news about the documents showing Mitterrand's and Gorbachev's plans to turn Germany into a dependent socialist state prompted a few murmurs of curiosity, nothing more. Bukovsky's vast collection about Soviet sponsorship of terrorism, Palestinian and otherwise, remains largely unpublished.
Stroilov says that he and Bukovsky approached Jonathan Brent of Yale University Press, which is leading a publishing project on the history of the Cold War. He claims that initially Brent was enthusiastic and asked him to write a book, based on the documents, about the first Gulf War. Stroilov says that he wrote the first six chapters, sent them off, and never heard from Brent again, despite sending him e-mail after e-mail. "I can only speculate what so much frightened him in that book," Stroilov wrote to me.
I've also asked Brent and received no reply. This doesn't mean anything; people are busy. I am less inclined to believe in complex attempts to suppress the truth than I am in indifference and preoccupation with other things. Stroilov sees in these events "a kind of a taboo, the vague common understanding in the Establishment that it is better to let sleeping dogs lie, not to throw stones in a house of glass, and not to mention a rope in the house of a hanged man." I suspect it is something even more disturbing: no one much cares.
"I know the time will come," Stroilov says, "when the world has to look at those documents very carefully. We just cannot escape this. We have no way forward until we face the truth about what happened to us in the twentieth century. Even now, no matter how hard we try to ignore history, all these questions come back to us time and again."
The questions come back time and again, it is true, but few remember that they have been asked before, and few remember what the answer looked like. No one talks much about the victims of Communism. No one erects memorials to the throngs of people murdered by the Soviet state. (In his widely ignored book, A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia, Alexander Yakovlev, the architect of perestroika under Gorbachev, puts the number at 30 to 35 million.)
Indeed, many still subscribe to the essential tenets of Communist ideology. Politicians, academics, students, even the occasional autodidact taxi driver still stand opposed to private property. Many remain enthralled by schemes for central economic planning. Stalin, according to polls, is one of Russia's most popular historical figures. No small number of young people in Istanbul, where I live, proudly describe themselves as Communists; I have met such people around the world, from Seattle to Calcutta.
We rightly insisted upon total denazification; we rightly excoriate those who now attempt to revive the Nazis' ideology. But the world exhibits a perilous failure to acknowledge the monstrous history of Communism. These documents should be translated. They should be housed in a reputable library, properly cataloged, and carefully assessed by scholars. Above all, they should be well-known to a public that seems to have forgotten what the Soviet Union was really about. If they contain what Stroilov and Bukovsky say-and all the evidence I've seen suggests that they do-this is the obligation of anyone who gives a damn about history, foreign policy, and the scores of millions dead.
Claire Berlinski, a contributing editor of City Journal, is an American journalist who lives in Istanbul. She is the author of There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.
SOMETHING TO CHAT ABOUT...
In 2007, according to India 's National Crime Records Bureau, 32,318
people were murdered in India .
Another 3644 were victims of manslaughter.
In a category of its own, 8093 brides or their relatives were killed
in "dowry deaths'' - murdered by greedy grooms
and in-laws angry over the amount of dowry paid by the bride's family.
And there were a further 27,401attempted murders and the annual road
toll in India is now tipped to reach 155,000.
By contrast, in 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports,
255 people were murdered in Australia.
Another 28 were victims of manslaughter, and 246 survived attempted murders.
No dowry deaths were recorded .India, of course, is a very big country.
But the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that relative
to population, its homicide rate is more than twice that of Australia.
It is a country in which violent crime is commonplace -
so commonplace that every day more than 100 Indians are murdered by other Indians.
Yet when an Indian is murdered overseas, the news channels whip
themselves and their viewers into a froth of indignation at the country concerned.
How can this happen?
How can any civilized nation fail to protect its residents?
What kind of racist country is this? Why aren't India 's TV networks
campaigning against the epidemic of death all around them?
Why does it take a murder of an Indian overseas to stir their moral outrage?
(To put it into perspective, the murder reduced their population by
0.0000001% for about 10 seconds)
Were they equally outraged 10 years ago when Australian missionary
Graham Staines and his two sons were burnt alive in their car by Hindu extremists in Orissa?
Or in 2004 when Australian tourist Dawn Griggs was robbed, raped and
murdered by two taxi drivers after arriving late at night at Delhi airport?
If Indian students don't feel safe in Australia they should go back to
India where the odds (of getting killed) are better!!
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Christopher King examines the death of UK weapons inspector Dr David Kelly in 2003 and argues that, in the light of fresh analyses of the circumstances of his death, it is vital that the new British government make public Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and other documentation relating to his death.
”We need public access to Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and the documentation relating to his death. The Blair-Brown government’s delaying tactics will not do. Since we have a new government, a new attorney-general and a new home secretary, this is a test of the Cameron-Clegg government’s integrity.”
British Member of Parliament Norman Baker says that Dr David Kelly was murdered. All the indications are that he is right and if so, this is a murder of enormous ethical and political significance.
Mr Baker has investigated Dr Kelly’s death and has written a book about it. Some links below will take you to extracts from the book and newspaper stories giving more background.
Until about a year ago I was perfectly happy to believe the official story that Dr Kelly committed suicide as found by Lord Hutton. At that point I noticed that a group of medical doctors considered that he could not have died from the cause given in the Hutton report. They support what Norman Baker says in his book:
Crucially, in his report, Hutton declared that the principal cause of death was bleeding from a self-inflicted knife wound on Dr Kelly's left wrist.
Yet Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Dr Kelly, stated that he had cut only one blood vessel – the ulnar artery.
Since the arteries in the wrist are of matchstick thickness, severing just one of them does not lead to life-threatening blood loss, especially if it is cut crossways, the method apparently adopted by DrKelly, rather than along its length.
The artery simply retracts and stops bleeding.
There are other anomalies such as very little blood found at the scene, evidence that the crime scene was interfered with, the possibility of planted evidence, an informant who was called to a meeting where he was beaten up, a telephone warning to cease investigations and strange police behaviour. Government actions have been obstructive to further investigation. You can read of these in the links below.
Crucially, however, in his inquiry Lord Hutton took oral evidence only on Dr Kelly’s death and sealed the documents relating to his death, which would normally be part of a public inquiry, including the post mortem report, for 70 years. The dissenting doctors discovered this when they applied to the Oxfordshire coroner’s office to have the inquest reopened. In January this year Lord Hutton agreed to allow the doctors to see the post mortem report on David Kelly but they have not had it yet, four months later. It was Anthony Blair’s old friend and flatmate, Charles Falconer – made Lord Falconer by Blair – who suspended the coroner’s inquest in favour of Lord Hutton’s inquiry, thus taking the matter into government hands and out of the public domain.
The position to date appears to be that the attorney-general has not considered the doctors to be “interested parties” and are not eligible to be given access to the post mortem report. I would have thought that murder is a matter in the public interest in which any citizen might make enquiries. The attorney-general has asked for the doctors to give evidence on their opinions. This is the usual tactics of government, where the Freedom of Information Act does not suit them – interminable delays and excuses.
It looks like a cover-up.
Dr David Kelly emerged at a critical point in the run-up to the Iraq war. We will recall that he was a very competent and well experienced biological weapons expert who had worked in Iraq with the United Nations weapons inspection programme and had good knowledge of Saddam Hussein’s weapons.
In February 2003 Alastair Campbell, Anthony Blair’s director of communications and strategy, issued a report, dubbed the “dodgy dossier”, alleging manifold wrongdoing on the part of the Iraqi government, including claims that Saddam had chemical weapons that could be used within 45 minutes. This was part of Blair’s campaign to sell the Iraq war to the British public. Dr Kelly had commented in confidence to the BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan that the Prime Minister’s Office had “sexed up” the dossier. Gilligan went public with this and it might have been quickly forgotten except that Alastair Campbell initiated a vicious, long running attack on the BBC in defence of the dossier and in order to find out Gilligan’s “official” source. The Ministry of Defence combed its staff to find the source and Dr Kelly came forward. He was summoned to a parliamentary enquiry and faced disciplinary proceedings. On 18 July 2003 Dr Kelly was found dead in the woods near his home.
This dossier, part of a conspiracy for war issued by Alastair Campbell, was subsequently found to be a hotch-potch of cherry-picked fragments of unattributed internet research, exaggerated claims and false claims, notwithstanding praise having been heaped upon it by the then US secretary of state, Colin Powell, and Blair himself. The politicized head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, John Scarlett, its principal author, was subsequently knighted and promoted to head of the UK’s intelligence services by Blair.
Despite the falsities of the Scarlett-Campbell document and the duplicity of everyone involved with it, subsequent official inquiries have focused narrowly on the definition of Dr Kelly’s term “sexed up” and whether the draft prepared by John Scarlett had been “sexed up” by the Prime Minister’s Office. This has always been a false basis for any inquiry about Dr Kelly’s and Andrew Gilligan’s claims but it enabled Campbell and Blair’s office to demand and get an apology from the BBC. Better men than them lost their jobs through their manipulations, to say nothing of their plot for a devastating war.
Dr Kelly’s significance
We should bear in mind that Dr Kelly knew from personal investigation in Iraq what the truth of Saddam’s weapons were. It was thought at that time by Dr Hans Blix, head of the UN inspection team, and the inspectors generally that Saddam might have small quantities of weaponized chemical or biological materials but nothing significant. None had been found, nor had any trace of nuclear weapons construction. Dr Blix’s view was that although chemical and biological materials could not be accounted for, that did not mean that they existed. This was therefore Dr Kelly’s belief and view.
Dr Kelly had seen and had been asked to comment on the drafts of several of Anthony Blair’s dossiers for the Iraq war. He and others with expert knowledge were said, at the Hutton inquiry, to be in disagreement with certain aspects of them. In reality, his disagreement appears to have been profound.
Alastair Campbell’s campaign against the BBC was as high profile as anything was possible to be. When Dr Kelly was identified as Gilligan’s source the Blair cabal found that it had put in the public spotlight someone who was not a bureaucrat as they probably suspected but a weapons inspector of unimpeachable competence and integrity who had sufficient knowledge and authority to destroy their entire case for war at a time when public feeling against the war was high. At that point in time, over three months into the invasion, no chemical and biological weapons had been found. The government was desperate to vindicate its claim that these actually existed.
If Dr Kelly were to have talked freely of his knowledge on television it would have done immense damage to the government. He had testified to a parliamentary committee when he had been under intense pressure to keep to the government line and not to make known his own views. It might well have seemed likely that he would give his views to the media because he would probably lose his job, possibly his pension and he might consider he had nothing to lose. With the authority of his expertise and personal integrity, threats under the Official Secrets Act might not have been sufficient to silence him.
At this point, we have Dr Kelly’s alleged suicide. It is very convenient. The post mortem report and related documents are secret. I do not believe it.
If in fact Dr Kelly was murdered and it appears that he was, who might do it?
Those who were pressing for a war were firstly, the Israelis for whom Saddam was their worst enemy. Among other issues, he had launched missiles at Israel during the war following his invasion of Kuwait, while the US had prevailed on Israel to do nothing. Israel wanted revenge.
Secondly, there are George Bush and the opportunists around him – Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell etc, who were influenced by the grandiose schemes of the mainly Jewish neo-cons, their hangers-on and the money and political power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Israel’s political agent in the United States. Occupation of the Middle Eastern oilfields was also consistent with US strategic objectives which are being pursued at the present time. This was the area of coincidence with Israeli security concerns.
Thirdly, Anthony Blair himself. The Iraq war was Anthony Blair’s opportunity to ingratiate himself with men of immense wealth and influence. He was supported by hangers-on such as Campbell, various third-rate politicians whose names are half forgotten and the Jewish supporters of Israel, Peter Mandelson and his fundraiser, Michael Levy, a regular visitor to Tel Aviv. There would have been considerable background support also from the Friends of Israel who comprise about half of all British members of parliament.
Let us attempt to assess the probabilities. It has been suggested that the British security services detected a plot to assassinate Dr Kelly but were too late to prevent it. They therefore covered it up in order to preserve unity with their allies. This might be the case; it is also possible that knowing of a plot they stood aside and allowed the murder to happen. It is not likely that the British would murder a British subject on their own territory for a number of reasons relating to self-protection as well as probable inhibitions about killing a man such as Dr Kelly whom they could neither perceive nor present publicly as an enemy of the state. One would, however, expect the British security services to have knowledge of who had carried out such a murder.
From what we have seen of their indiscriminate killing in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, neither the Americans nor the Israelis would have any inhibitions about killing an innocent man who might stand in their way. All the evidence is that the life of one man would be nothing against their grandiose ambitions. The United States openly seeks to dominate the world militarily and, as an obvious corollary, economically. Israel has its well known plans for Greater Israel.
On the other hand, Dr Kelly could do Israel and the US no obvious harm. Israel had achieved the war it wanted and no-one would care what Dr Kelly might say about it. Most of the American public believed that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack, had a nuclear programme and had biological and chemical weapons. That was what their president had told them. They were incurious, disinterested in anything but their own welfare and were easy to manipulate by their government. There is the possibility that the CIA would see unpredictable possibilities in revelations that Dr Kelly might make, particularly if they knew that Dr Kelly had knowledge of their operations or other matters unrelated to the dossier that would be damaging if they were to be made public. If Dr Kelly were to say publicly that what their president had told his country was untrue, that would damage both him and the credibility of the US but perhaps not seriously.
Not only the UK and US governments might have been damaged by Dr Kelly if he had become an independent, aggrieved critic of the war. George Tenet was director of the US Central Intelligence Agency at this time. Colin Powell said subsequently that Tenet had personally vouched for the accuracy of the material in his infamous presentation to the United Nations and had presumably given George Bush the information that Saddam had an Al-Qaeda connection, had tried to purchase uranium ore from Niger, had a nuclear programme and that it was a “slam dunk case” to prove his chemical and biological weapons. Tenet therefore had a personal interest in Dr Kelly. So had the UK political appointee John Scarlett who was responsible for the misleading drafts of the Iraq war dossiers and was still head of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
An investigation might reasonably examine the possibility of communication between Scarlett and Tenet about Dr Kelly. What might be the nature of such communication? Surely it would be about the unhappy implications of his going public and means of keeping him quiet.
If Dr Kelly was in fact murdered, it is therefore plausible that the CIA did it and John Scarlett has knowledge of it in deniable form. I mean that Mr Scarlett might well have discussed the desirability of keeping Dr Kelly from going public but did not mention anything about killing him. It is an old trick used by Anthony Blair in denying responsibility for the Iraq dossiers that were prepared by people who knew what he wanted in them. The classic example is Henry II’s exclamation, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest!” which resulted in the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket who would not comply with the king’s wishes.
If the incompetent Blair-Brown government had been keeping records of people leaving the country it would be possible to see what Americans left in the 48 hours subsequent to Dr Kelly’s death, particularly those with a known US government connections. But this is unnecessary. From Norman Baker’s information the most likely situation would be that the Americans killed him and the British secret services are covering up in the interests of the “special relationship”, the alliance and NATO. If that is the case, then at the price of Dr Kelly’s death, none of these is worth having. The information would exist within the UK secret services, which we know have been complicit, if not actively involved with the CIA’s kidnapping and torture programme.
Much of the above is speculation, but it is justified. A man has died in circumstances of political controversy and with serious questions outstanding. The British government has taken extraordinary steps to keep the circumstances and details of his death secret.
We need public access to Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and the documentation relating to his death. The Blair-Brown government’s delaying tactics will not do. Since we have a new government, a new attorney-general and a new home secretary, this is a test of the Cameron-Clegg government’s integrity. The concerned doctors have applied for Dr Kelly’s post mortem report in the public interest and it should be given to them without delay. No legitimate reason for refusing or delaying can possibly exist.
Christopher King is a retired consultant and lecturer in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
The John Demjanjuk story begins in October 1975, when a list of names of alleged Nazi war criminals was circulated amongst members of the US senate. The list originated with the Soviet Union’s KGB, allegedly out of material captured by the Soviet Army at the end of World War II.
One of the names appearing on the list was that of John Ivan Demjanjuk – an Ukrainian who had immigrated to the USA in 1951 and who had been living in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1958.
The KGB document alleged that Demjanjuk had been a soldier in the Red Army who, after falling into German captivity, had volunteered for service in the S.S.
Demjanjuk, had, said the Soviet document, undergone training at the SS camp in the town of Trawniki, Poland. He had, continued the document, served from March 1943 as an SS guard at the Sobibor camp, and later at the Floenbuerg concentration camp.
US GOVERNMENT STARTS DENATURALISATION AND CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION PROCEEDINGS
Acting on this information, the US government started proceedings to strip Demjanjuk of his citizenship, based on his alleged concealment of his Nazi past from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
In addition, the US Government instructed its Department of Justice to start a full investigation into the allegations contained in the Soviet document, in preparation for a deportation hearing to send Demjanjuk to Israel for trial.
ISRAELIS FIND “EYEWITNESSES” WHO PLACE DEMJANJUK AT TREBLINKA
In February 1976, the American government requested the Israeli government’s co-operation in finding Israeli citizens who were survivors from the Sobibor camp who might be able to identify Demjanjuk.
The source of identification was passport photographs submitted by Demjanjuk to the INS during his application for citizenship in 1950 -- the logic being that Demjanjuk would still appear relatively similar to how he had looked in 1943.
During 1976, the Israeli police identified a number of Jews who were on record as having been rescued or escaped from the Treblinka or Sobibor camps.
These “survivors”, when shown the photographs of Demjanjuk, identified him as a guard called “Ivan the Terrible” who had allegedly operated the gas chamber at Treblinka.
Despite the American government actually having identified Demjanjuk as having been a guard at the geographically separate Sobibor camp, the “eyewitness survivors” placed Demjanjuk at the Treblinka camp, and of being the gas chamber operator there.
DEMJANJUK STRIPPED OF US CITIZENSHIP, DEPORTED TO ISRAEL
The next year, 1977, the INS instituted denaturalisation proceedings against Demjanjuk. While these proceedings were underway, the US Department of Justice then created an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) who sole job it was to track down alleged Nazi war criminals in the USA.
Partly as a result of the delay caused by the creation of the OSS, Demjanjuk’s denaturalization hearing only began in February 1981. In June 1985, he was finally stripped of his US citizenship, and became the subject of a deportation hearing served by the state of Israel.
It took another five years of legal wrangling before Demjanjuk was finally deported to Israel in 1986 to stand trial.
ISRAELI CASE BASED ON EYEWITNESSES AND SS ID CARD
The State of Israel's application for extradition was based on the testimony of “eyewitnesses” and a SS identification card, allegedly issued to Demjanjuk upon completion of his training at the Trawniki SS camp.
Above: The "Trawniki Certificate" - a SS identification card bearing Demjanjuk's name and photograph. Supplied by the KGB, it was a critical piece of evidence - until the collapse of the Soviet Union allowed it to be revealed as a KGB forgery.
This card, which became known as the ‘Trawniki certificate” was a pivotal piece of evidence, as it contained Demjanjuk’s photograph.
The card itself had been provided to the prosecution directly out of Soviet records.
Along with the identification card, the prosecution produced five “eyewitnesses” who all testified that Demjanjuk was “Ivan the Terrible” who operated gas chambers in Treblinka.
DEMJANJUK DENIES ALL CHARGES
Demjanjuk’s defence was that he had been captured by the Germans and had remained in their captivity throughout the war, never serving with the SS.
The prosecution dismissed his defence, producing eye witness identifying him personally, and an SS-identification card with his photograph – the case against Demjanjuk seemed overwhelming, and unsurprisingly, no-one believed him.
EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS FINGER DEMJANJUK
The first ‘survivor’ to testify, Pinhas Epstein, took the stand on 23 February 1987, and told the court that “I am convinced that opposite me sits Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka” (Reuters, 23 February 1987).
Epstein said he saw a photograph of Demjanjuk in an album shown to him in 1978 by Israeli investigators. "I was shown an album and my attention was drawn to one picture, and I identified it as that of Ivan.” (Reuters, 23 February 1987).
“I said the photo was not particularly sharp. It was older than the Ivan I knew, but it was still him. The frame, the round face, the short neck, the wide shoulders and the protruding ears. I told them this is the Ivan I remember,” Epstein said. (Reuters, 23 February 1987.)
The next ‘survivor eyewitness’, Eliyhau Rosenberg, then told the court on 25 February 1987: “This man is Ivan, without a shadow of a doubt – Ivan from Treblinka, from the gas chambers, - the man I am looking at now,” (Reuters, 25 February 1987).
Rosenberg testified that he got to know Demjanjuk really well, and that once Demjanjuk had given him 30 lashes for stealing bread, and had then forced him to say “thank you.” (Reuters, 25 February 1987).
Rosenberg went to tell the court that at the age of 12, he was forced to remove bodies from the gas chambers and bury or burn them. “We soon discovered that women and children burned quicker than men. The Germans would tell us: ‘Throw the children first because they burn faster,’ ” Rosenberg said. (Reuters, 25 February 1987).
DEMJANJUK CONVICTED, SENTENCED TO DEATH
To no-one’s surprise, the Israeli Court found Demjanjuk guilty on 18 April 18, 1988, and a week later, sentenced him to death for the only crime in Israel which carries the death penalty – being a Nazi.
The conviction had been obtained based primarily on the SS identification card and the eyewitness accounts which identified Demjanjuk as the gas chamber operator at Treblinka.
The defence immediately appealed, citing numerous irregularities in court procedure, rules of evidence and other issues.
SOVIET UNION’S COLLAPSE REVEALS TRAWNIKI FORGERY
At a critical juncture in the appeal process -- when Demjanjuk’s life hung in the balance -- fate intervened. One of the appeal judges had a heart attack, and the case was postponed.
During the postponement, in 1990, the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed.
As a result, the KGB archives on the case were opened (the reader will recall that the original list and Trawniki certificate had originated with the KGB).
In the KGB file dealing with Demjanjuk, the shocking truth was revealed: the Trawniki certificate had been forged to frame the Ukrainian as part of a campaign against Ukrainian nationalists.
Above: Holocaust "survivor" and eyewitness: Eliyhau Rosenberg breaks down in the Israeli courtroom after identifying John Demjanjuk as 'Ivan the Terrible'. Rosenberg's testimony, like ALL the "survivors" who testified against Demjanjuk, was shown to be false.
CASE COLLAPSES - DEMJANJUK ACQUITTED ON APPEAL
Faced with the exposure of the Trawniki certificate as an outrageous forgery, the Israeli Supreme Court, to its credit, acknowledged that the entire case against Demjanjuk had been fabricated from start to finish, and acquitted him in July 1993, stating that there was no evidence to show that Demjanjuk was indeed ‘Ivan the Terrible.’
On 22 September 1993, John Demjanjuk was finally released and allowed to return home to Cleveland, Ohio – an innocent man who spent seven years in an Israeli jail, because of a KGB forgery and a pack of fabricated evidence from “holocaust survivors.”
Above: John Demjanjuk, still in his Israeli prison clothes, laughs with delight after his acquittal - and the Israeli Supreme Court's dismissal of the "eyewitness" accounts which claimed to have seen him operating a gas chamber at Treblinka camp.
ISRAELI SUPREME COURT DISMISSES “EYEWITNESS” EVIDENCE
Implicit in its dismal of the case against Demjanjuk, the Israeli Supreme Court tacitly acknowledged that ALL of the eye witness accounts which placed Demjanjuk at Treblinka, were false – as, of course, they were.
For this reason, the John Demjanjuk case serves as an outstanding example of just how unreliable "holocaust survivor eyewitnesses” are. For if the Israeli Supreme Court could not bring itself to believe them – and that institution, of all, would be the most likely to take their word – then this serves as an indication of just how false these accounts are.
If the ‘survivors’ could lie so blatantly in identifying Demjanjuk, then it is fair to ask what else in their testimony was fabricated?
NEW TRIAL IS A FARCE
Despite being acquitted by the Israeli Supreme Court, the Holocaust Lobby did not give up their campaign against Mr Demjanjuk.
Incredibly, their main piece of evidence, the “Trawniki” card has been produced once again in the new trial in Germany. Only time will tell if the German courts are as honest as the Israeli Supreme Court -- but don’t hold your breath.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
CFTC whistleblower believes crash was attempted murder
Submitted by cpowell on 08:30AM ET Monday, May 17, 2010. Section: Daily Dispatches
11:30a ET Monday, May 17, 2010
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold (and Silver):
World Net Daily reports that silver market manipulation whistleblower Andrew Maguire has "reluctantly come to believe" that the hit-and-run traffic crash in which he was involved shortly after his communications with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission were disclosed was an attempt on his life.
"The police told us the assailant was known to them and even that they arrested him," World Net Daily reporter Jerome R. Corsi quotes Maguire as saying. "But recently the police won't say anything, and I haven't been able to learn anything about the assailant."
The World Net Daily report is headlined "'Serious Manipulation' of Gold, Silver Markets" and you can find it a World Net Daily here: