Monday, October 29, 2012

Story that Iranian government websites say kill all Jews and annihilate Israel with nuclear weapons based on word of one Iranian defector to US first published on birther websites

One of the latest rumours on Iran going round the internet and published by the Jerusalem Post and the Daily Mail, is that Iran’s supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini said it was time to kill all Jews, starting with Israel’s – and that Iran should use nuclear weapons to do this (1) – (2). Even the International Institute for Strategic Studies are reporting what may well be just a rumour spread by one Iranian exile, possibly for ulterior motives, as fact (3).

When challenged to provide evidence of this those spreading the rumour then claim that it wasn’t Khameini himself who said all this, but his “adviser” or “strategist”, Alireza Forghani, in an article published on several Iranian government websites.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports, by contrast, that Alireza Forghani is 'an independent blogger and computer engineer'(4).

It seems the original story about Forghani being an adviser to Khameini and making these statements on Iranian government websites comes from World Net Daily and The Daily Caller (5) – (6).

The Daily Caller and World Net Daily are purveyors of conspiracy theories including the birther one that Obama was born in Kenya(even when their supposed evidence is proven not to be evidence) and their sources on this include former advisers to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (7) – (9).

The source for all three sites on the Forghani articles is Reza Khalili, which is the alias used by an Iranian defector to the US and former CIA agent. He has also called for a US war of regime change in Iran. He could well have the same motives as Iraqi defectors had to make things up to encourage a war of regime change that could get them in control of the new government (10) – (12).

Many WMD stories on Iraq using Iraqi exiles as their sources – including the mobile weapons labs one, turned out to be entirely false.

So what we have is not Khameini, nor someone proven to be a close adviser to Khameini saying something, but that an Iranian blogger said something and the Iranian government didn't censor it. We have no idea even what exactly the original actually said, as despite it supposedly being all over the FARS and every other Iranian government website, there are no links to the original provided by anyone claiming any of this, despite Iranian government websites having english versions where anyone could read exactly what it said if links were provided)

The actual statements by Iranian military and political leaders talk about destroying the Israeli regime (i.e government), which is not a threat to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons (13).

One blogger claims to have got a translation of the Forghani article on the Alef website (which is not an Iranian government website, but is a website which backs and is not banned by Khameini’s government the way sites critical of the Iranian government usually are - with some bloggers even jailed). He says he asked for a translation from a Farsi speaking Iranian professor at the University of California, Muhammad Sahimi, who has lived in the US since 1978.  Sahimi says the article advocates “pre-emptive strikes” on Israel with longest ranged Shahab 3 missiles, but says nothing about killing all Jews, only referring to a duty of defensive Jihad to protect other Muslims. Sahimi does not mention any talk of Forghani proposing these attacks being nuclear – and says the Alef website says the views expressed in the article are the author’s, not the website’s


(1) = Washington Times 17 Jul 2012 ‘Ariz. sheriff says Obama birth certificate is fake’,

(2) = 'Kill all Jews and annihilate Israel!' Iran's Ayatollah lays out legal and religious justification for attack’,

(3) = International Institute for Strategic Studies 02 Aug 2012 ‘Potential Change in Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa?’,

(4) = Haaretz 20 Mar 2012 ‘Wiesenthal Center raises funds 'against the Iranian threat'’,

(5) = WND 05 Feb 2012 ‘Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel’,

(6) = The Daily Caller 10 Jun 2012 ‘Islamic world must have nuclear weapons, says Iran’,

(7) = The Daily Caller 28 April 2004 ‘Reminder: Before Obama ran for president, he falsely claimed to have been born in Kenya’,

(8) = WND 10 Sep 2012 ‘Israeli science website: Obama birth certificate forged : Award-winning, former Netanyahu adviser behind assessment’,

(9) = ; 1991 booklet claiming Obama born in Hawaii an error by the person writing his biography for it

(10) = See (5) above

(11) =

(12) = Washington Times 26 Oct 2011 ‘KAHLILI: Iran already has nuclear weapons’,

(13) = FARS news agency (of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) 20 May 2012 ‘Top Commander Reiterates Iran's Commitment to Full Annihilation of Israel’, ; ‘TEHRAN (FNA)- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi said threats and pressures cannot deter Iran from its revolutionary causes and ideals, and stressed that the Iranian nation will remain committed to the full annihilation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.’

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Salmond and Grampian police should be ashamed for aiding Trump’s illegal campaign against the people of the Menie Estate ; but it doesn’t show Scotland is too small to be independent – the same happens in the US and UK regularly

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, The Telegraph and Grampian police should be ashamed for allowing and aiding Trump’s use of illegal methods to try to force people out of their homes and farms on the Menie Estate in Scotland but the main cause of the problem isn’t Scotland being too small to stand up to big money, similar things happen in the UK and US all the time. The cause of the problem is allowing big banks, firms and billionaires to make political donations and allowing revolving doors between jobs with them and with government departments giving contracts to them and regulating them. (If you just want to know what you can do rather than read the rest, scroll down to the ‘what you can do’ bolded sub-heading)

I'd thought Donald Trump was the obvious contender for balloon self-inflated by his own arrogance. Maybe Neil Midgely, deputy editor of the Telegraph newspaper is a contender too. He has a review of the documentary ‘You’ve been Trumped,’ which is Anthony Baxter’s film showing Trump’s SNP government and Grampian police backed campaign to try to force out people out of homes and farms they’ve lived on all their lives, by illegal methods including letting Trump’s employees cut off their water and electricity supplies, build earth berms round their houses and many other intrusions on to and damages to their property (1).

Midgely writes " But the …documentary…was so biased in favour of the protesters that it was hard not to end up rooting for Trump and his monolithic capitalist plans. There were endless sympathetic chats with the locals who wouldn’t sell their eyesore properties to Trump….When Trump’s men infuriated the locals – by apparently cutting off their water supply, or building mounds of earth outside their windows – the film’s implicit suggestion was that it was all done out of spite. And if spite was the motive, it was spite so bracing as to be a rare and precious thing. It was also cheering to see the busybody film-maker, Anthony Baxter, at one point carted off by the local constabulary. " (2).

First off Neil, they’re not “protesters”. The word you’re looking for is “residents” – people who’ve lived (and in some cases farmed) there for all their lives. They had considerable sympathy and support from many people and there were a few protests in favour of them, which get brief coverage in the documentary – but most of it is interviews with the residents, with police, with Trumps’ spokespeople (who unsurprisingly didn’t have much to say other than threats of getting the documentary makers arrested and charged), clips of Trump making his own case and film of what Trump’s employees and the police were doing, along with interviews with legal experts and experts on the likely impact on jobs from the development (which found, in opposition to Trump’s claims that local people would get a lot of jobs on it, most of the jobs would be likely to go to Polish and other EU migrant workers).

I thought that Conservatives were all for property rights, Neil ;  Seems not in your case. Seems you're quite happy for billionaires who've bought political influence to come in and take peoples' property and try to force them out of their homes to make way for another frigging golf course (because of course there's a massive shortage of them in Scotland - e.g St Andrews for instance has none, obviously), so long as they're oiks and not your golfing buddies.

I thought Conservatives were for upholding the law. Seems not in Neil’s case. He’s fine with money trumping the law; fine with Trump's money, or the promise of some jobs, getting police to let him illegally cut off peoples’ water and electricity supplies and steal parts of their land from them and even build earth berms round their houses.

I thought Conservatives were meant to be for civil liberties. In Mr Midgely’s case, seems not. He enjoys seeing people arrested on trumped up charges of 'breach of the peace' and handcuffed for merely interviewing the people involved.

I very much hope that you are a victim of similar injustices in future Neil – that your property is stolen by developers, that your electricity and water are cut off to try to force you out of your home – and that the police and government similarly either aid the developers or look the other way as your property  and rights and civil liberties are ridden roughshod over by big money. Then you might understand what you got wrong here.

On top of that Trump was determined he should get to build not just on 90% of the site he wanted, but that it had to include destroying an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) containing rare species too. We don’t exactly have a shortage of golf courses in Scotland. St Andrews alone has more than you could count and there are huge numbers of others all over the country. If we lost a golf course we could replace it. If we lose rare species to extinction there is no getting them back though. They are gone forever.

The smartest political calculations can go wrong when they leave out right and wrong

SNP First Minister Alec Salmond decided to over-rule the elected local council’s planning committee – and it’s SNP chairman in 2009 – to give Trump exactly the planning permission he wanted. His government must have either looked the other way or else seen to it that the then SNP headed Aberdeenshire local council got the police to do a mixture of looking the other way as Trump’s employees broke the law on other peoples’ property, guarding the law breakers as they did so; and harassing and arresting the documentary makers (including by arresting them and putting them in a cell for four hours by mis-using the catch-all ‘breach of the peace’ charge).

Salmond calculated that he would gain more votes by the jobs created and sports coverage of the new golf course than he would lose by allowing an arrogant billionaire to over-rule the local council, destroy habitat for rare species and force people out of their homes. Even the most charismatic and intelligent politician can get his sums wrong where he doesn't factor in right and wrong though. In a case of poetic justice he’s suffered negative media coverage (largely due to Anthony Baxter’s work) combined with a feud with Trump over plans for offshore wind turbines off the coast of his golf course development. The recession created by the financial crisis has also reduced investment and demand for Trump’s development, which might fail yet.

Next time Salmond is engaging his brain purely as a vote calculating machine he should remember this and take right and wrong into account too.

Why it’s not caused by Scotland being a small country – and not an argument against independence

However those arguing that this shameful episode is due to Scotland being too small to resist big money’s influence and using it as an argument against independence have it wrong too.

The British and US governments cave in to big firms, banks and billionaires constantly. Just look at the NHS contracts going to Circle Healthcare whose shareholders lobbied for privatisation and donate to the Conservative party ; or US military aid of over $1bn a year to Egypt, openly given to subsidise US arms firms that make political donations to Presidential and congressional campaigns, particularly Lockheed Martin (3) – (9).

That’s not to mention all the white-washing of the pollution of water and air by fracking and on land oil drilling in the US due to the big oil and gas companies buying up political influence and even funding biased scientific studies (thankfully countered by neutral ones).

So the problem isn’t the size of the country, but big money buying influence through private donations to election campaigns and political parties; revolving door syndrome allowing people to go between jobs in those firms and the government departments giving contracts to and regulating them ; and governments’  choosing jobs from multinationals, which may go overseas as quickly as they arrived, over backing smaller businesses based in their own country. (the last problem being the relevant one with Trump and the SNP – though it’s possible Salmond also hoped to get donations for his party, though I’ve found no evidence he got any) (10) – (11).

The solution is to make it a criminal offence to give or receive private political donations,   or to go from a job in a government department to a company given contracts or regulated by it, or vice-versa, for 5 or 10 years; and provide limited, equal, public funding to all candidates in elections.

What you can do

Sign the petition against Trump’s illegal campaign to drive people out of their homes .

Join and/or donate to the Tripping Up Trump campaign group against forced compulsory purchase orders being issued purely for the benefit of big developers.




(1) = Independent blogs 18 Oct 2012 ‘You’ve Been Trumped! Director Anthony Baxter speaks about his new documentary’,

(2) = Telegraph 21 Oct 2012 ‘You've Been Trumped, BBC Two, review’,

(3) = Herald letters 23 Oct 2012 ‘Trump documentary highlights the vulnerability of smaller economies’

(4) = Conservative Home website ‘Big cash donors to the Conservative party, by ‘donor group’ January 2001 to June 2010’,

(5) = Observer 05 Jun 2011 ‘Questions grow over private care firm Circle Health ahead of flotation’,

(6) = 05 Nov 2011 ‘Private firm to run NHS hospital’,

(7) = NYT 23 Mar 2012 ‘Once Imperiled, U.S. Aid to Egypt Is Restored’, ; ‘An intense debate within the Obama administration over resuming military assistance to Egypt, which in the end was approved Friday by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, turned in part on a question that had nothing to do with democratic progress in Egypt but rather with American jobs at home…. The companies involved include Lockheed Martin, which is scheduled to ship the first of a batch of 20 new F-16 fighter jets next month’

(8) = Center for Responsive Politics – Organisation Profiles – Lockheed Martin, (shows Lockheed Martin executives and PAC committees donated over $2 million to candidates in the 2012 election cycle including Obama and Romney and members of congressional committees on defense spending)

(9) Center for Responsive Politics - Lockheed Martin: All Recipients ; Among Federal Candidates, 2008 Cycle, (shows similar donations including to Obama and McCain’s campaigns in 2008)

(10) = Guardian 15 Oct 2012 ‘MoD staff and thousands of military officers join arms firms’,

(11) = Guardian 22 Oct 2012 ‘Blurred boundaries between public service and private interest’, ; ‘the resignation from the NHS Commissioning Board of Jim Easton to become managing director of the private provider Care UK…Previous senior officials in the Department of Health transferring their wallets to the private sector include Matthew Swindells, chief information officer at the DH who joined KPMG, along with Mark Britnell and Gary Belfield, who had run the DH commissioning programme; Simon Stevens, Tony Blair's senior health advisor from 1997-2004 became a vice-president for United Health; and Penny Dash, formerly DH director of strategy, left for McKinsey.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The price of NATO membership for an independent Scotland would be being involved in unwinnable wars like Afghanistan ; and continuing to pay for Trident nuclear weapons and upgrades which we wouldn't need any more than Norway does ‏‏

First Minister Alex Salmond, writing in the Sunday Herald (‘Why we can ban nuclear weapons and stay in Nato’ Sunday Herald 14th October) gives welcome assurances that an independent Scotland in NATO wouldn’t take military action without UN authorisation and a Scottish parliament vote, mentioning Iraq (1). He doesn’t mention NATO’s UN backed war in Afghanistan though. NATO membership could draw an independent Scotland into similar unwinnable wars, fought for dubious motives and with dubious methods, in future.

Nor does he explain how we could persuade the UK government, let alone the US, the most influential member of NATO, to allow us full membership while costing the UK a fortune to move it’s submarine bases, especially when Trident contracts are going to English and US based firms with (excessively) close links to the British and American governments.

Even UK Ministry of Defence base maintenance and submarine refit contract work on Trident submarines has gone to a British subsidiary of the US Defence firm Lockheed Martin, the English based company Babcock and AWE plc (based in Reading, England and two-thirds owned by US based Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering, with the rest owned by the UK government and English based firm Serco (2) – (3).  The first £350 million of Trident upgrade contracts went to Lockheed Martin, English based Rolls-Royce and English based firm BAE, which also has a large arm in the US (4).  BAE is expected to get most of the rest of the upgrade contracts too (5).

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade in the UK has also shown dozens of instances of the revolving door between these arms manufacturers and the MoD, the British government and senior positions in the British military (6).

According to the MoD building another base suitable for the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet in England, Wales or Northern Ireland could take up to a decade (7).

So why would the remaining UK government support NATO membership for an Independent Scotland except on the condition that we allowed it to keep its nuclear submarine fleet and it’s only base capable of repairing, maintaining and refitting that fleet in Scotland?

A nuclear free independent Scotland might even result in the UK dropping it’s Trident upgrade altogether and going for a joint nuclear deterrent, or at the least temporary base sharing, with France, preliminary negotiations on which took place both under the last Labour government and under the current Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition (though the French government seems keener than the British) (8) – (9).

That would mean the UK’s military co-operation with France would become closer, reducing US influence with the UK. US firms would be likely to lose out even if this didn’t happen. Either way the US government would not be happy.

So a nuclear free Independent Scotland and NATO membership are simply not compatible with each other. We need to choose one or the other ; and if we want to avoid paying for maintenance , running costs and upgrades of the UK nuclear deterrent, we need to choose being nuclear weapons free.

Why NATO or Partnership for Peace membership could draw an Independent Scotland into more wars like Afghanistan
– and why the war is as ineffective in achieving it’s stated aims as it is morally dubious and unwinnable

Nor does the First Minister offer any guarantee of a referendum on any decision to go to war that would give the Scottish people the final decision on an issue of many lives and deaths ; nor any guarantee that backbenchers or the opposition in an independent Scottish parliament could  initiate a vote (or a vote to have a referendum) on withdrawing our troops from a war they had previously voted to approve sending troops to.

The Afghanistan war has pulled in the UK as a NATO member; and even those members of NATO (e.g Canada and Poland and even Norway which sent special forces to the initial US led invasion and then over 500 troops to the ISAF force which are only now leaving) and its joint-training associated arm Partnership for Peace (e.g Ukraine), ended up sending significant numbers of troops either to the initial invasion or as part of the UN approved but NATO (and effectively US) led ISAF force, or both.

Hundreds of British troops, including Scots, have been killed in the war, which has lasted over 11 years and counting, twice as long as World War One, coming up twice as long as World War Two; and over half way to being as long as the Vietnam war (10).

It has also involved not only the notorious killings and suicide bombing attacks on civilians by the Taliban, but also torture of Afghans by US, NATO and Afghan government forces, including civilians with no involvement in terrorism, sometimes to death; and many thousands of civilians killed by air strikes under Bush, as well as by air strikes and night raids (often targeting teenagers who turn out to be innocent) under Obama. Civilian deaths from US air strikes actually increased under Obama compared to under Bush and torture has continued at secret ‘black sites’ in Afghanistan under Obama (11) – (19).  

US intelligence estimate 90% of Afghan insurgents are neither Taliban nor motivated by religion, but by opposing foreign military presence, or revenge for the injury or deaths of members of their family, village or tribe by NATO forces (20). So this is not primarily a war against the Taliban at all, but one which turns the majority of Afghans against NATO countries and the Afghan government.

NATO says Pakistan’s military intelligence continue aiding the Afghan Taliban , despite now being at war with the Pakistani Taliban (21). Yet the US continues to provide financial aid to Pakistan, some of which will be passed on to the Taliban, because the shortest supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan is through Pakistan (22) – (24). So NATO has to indirectly fund the Taliban in order to supply it’s troops in Afghanistan – a hopeless situation.

Wars are not effective against Al Qa’ida, a global terrorist organisation which can operate in any country in the world, the 9-11 hijackers having trained in the US and Germany (25) – (27). Intelligence, policing and Special Forces can be.

There are also ulterior motives for the war. The main ulterior motive was to try and get a Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline to export oil and gas from former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan (which has vast oil and gas reserves and where BP, Exxon, Halliburton have had contracts since the 1990s) , Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (both have significant proven gas reserves). The advantage of this pipeline route would be that it would avoid passing through countries where Russia has significant influence and might be able to cut off exports at will (e.g Georgia – which is on the route of the western oil company AIOC group’s Baku-Ceyhan pipeline route – especially after the Russian-Georgian War in which Russia allowed a secessionist movement to succeed) and Iran. The pipeline route was the reason the US gave political backing to the Taliban at first and quietly approved the Saudis and Pakistanis funding, training and arming them. They couldn't get a deal between UNOCAL and the Taliban at a transit price per barrel that oil firms were willing to pay. (28) – (32)

After the invasionin 2002 the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed a deal on the pipeline route and in 2010 a deal was made planning to extend it to India (33) – (34)

Salmond’s smooth moves to convince Scottish voters that Independence wouldn’t be a big change ignore the  high costs and risk of much of the Status Quo, including NATO membership

Would backbenchers in the Scottish parliament have the power to initiate a vote on withdrawing troops from wars parliament had previously approved by majority vote? Shouldn’t a referendum also be required before going to war to give everyone a say in a matter of life or death for thousands.

Alec Salmond is certainly making smooth moves by trying to make voters see independence as less of a big risk, by reassuring them that lots of things will remain unchanged – NATO membership, EU membership, our currency, the Queen as head of state, an open border with England etc.

However the status quo carries its own risks. In the case of continued NATO membership the risks are not only that we might be required to keep nuclear weapons on Scottish territory and continue to pay a proportion of the costs of running, maintaining, refitting and upgrading them as a condition of continued membership (despite the fact an independent Scotland would have no more need for a nuclear deterrent than Norway does), but also that we could be drawn by the alliance into more long, bloody, unwinnable wars fought mostly for the benefit of US and British oil and arms companies.

Sign the No to NATO Scotland statement and follow the campaign

You can sign an online statement opposing NATO membership for an independent Scotland on the No to NATO Scotland Coalition website on this link (scroll down the page till you see an orange button with 'Sign the Statement' on it on the right - click it, fill in details and enter them). There's also news and information, including on protests by the campaign that you can take part in, on the website.


 (1) = Sunday Herald 14th October 2012 ‘Why we can ban nuclear weapons and stay in Nato’,

(2) = Ministry of Defence 27 Jul 2012 ‘MOD signs Trident support contract’,

(3) = Trident 30 Jul 2012 ‘bases to be run by private companies’,

(4) = BBC News 22 May 2012 ‘Trident contracts worth £350m unveiled by MoD’,

(5) = CAAT Revolving Door Log,

(6) = Independent 22 May 2012 ‘Government awards contracts worth £350m for new Trident submarines’,

(7) = Telegraph 26 Jan 2012 ‘Nuclear subs will stay in Scotland, Royal Navy chiefs decide’,

(8) = 19 Mar 2010 ‘France offers to join forces with UK's nuclear submarine fleet’ ,

(9) = Independent 30 Sep 2010 ‘Britain and France may share nuclear deterrent’,

(10) = BBC News 24 Sep 2012 ‘UK military deaths in Afghanistan’, , (433 as of 24th September, around 24 Scottish)

(11) Human Rights Watch World Report 2006 ‘Torture and Inhumane Treatment: A Deliberate U.S. Policy’, ; ‘the abuse at Abu Ghraib paralleled similar if not worse abuse in Afghanistan, Guantánamo, elsewhere in Iraq, and in the chain of secret detention facilities where the U.S. government holds its “high value” detainees’

(12) = Human Rights Watch 20 May 2005 - ‘Afghanistan: Killing and Torture by U.S. Predate Abu Ghraib ' -

(13) = NYT 20 May 2005 ‘In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths’,

(14) =  Wikipedia Civilian casualties in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) (This provides estimates of civilian casualties caused by the various forces involved by various sources including Professor Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire , the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan  (UNAMA) , Human Rights Watch and The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission – whichever estimates you take, thousands have been killed by NATO forces before counting the thousands also killed by Taliban and other insurgents. The reports by the sources are also listed and linked to)

(15) = according to The Afghanistan Conflict Monitor of Simon Fraser University in Australia in 2011: “Estimates of the number of civilians killed vary widely and must be treated with caution. Systematic collection of civilian fatality data only began in 2007. The United Nations is creating a civilian casualty database, but is not publicly accessible. Periodic updates can be found in Reports of the Secretary-General on peace and security in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is also collecting data, but the efforts of both agencies are hampered by insecurity and a lack of resources. As a result, figures released by these agencies likely represent a substantial undercount.

(16) = See this blog post , scrolling down to sub-headings ‘‘Civilian and military deaths caused by both sides in the war – is it necessary or worth it?’ and ‘Night Raids and the El Salvador Option moving from Iraq to Afghanistan’ – as well as the sources listed for each section under the same headings further down the post (they include Human Rights Watch and Afghan Independent Human Rights Watch reports as well as BBC and Times newspaper reports among others )

(17) = See this blog post ‘Have NATO airstrikes killed fewer civilians in Afghanistan under Obama? And have they fallen under McChrystal?’ which is fully sourced with mainstream sources ;

(18) = For more details and sources on torture by US forces in Afghanistan under Bush see the page on this link  ; for torture under both Bush and Obama in Afghanistan see the blog post on this link, scrolling down to the bolded sub-heading ‘Guantanamo to Bagram : extra-ordinary rendition  (kidnapping) and torture’

(19) = Jennifer K Harbury (2005) ‘Truth, Torture and the American Way’, Beacon Press, Boston, 2005 ; Harbury, whose Guatemalan husband Everardo was tortured and then disappeared during CIA led operations by the Guatemalan military, provides masses of evidence that torture by US intelligence and military forces has always happened, even when it was illegal under US law, casting doubt on whether Obama’s formal ban on most forms of torture (except psychological torture and sleep deprivation) will be enough to end it

(20) = Boston Globe 09 Oct 2009 ‘Taliban not main Afghan enemy’,

(21) = BBC News 01 Feb 2012 ‘Pakistan helping Afghan Taliban - Nato’, , ‘The Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services, according to a secret Nato report seen by the BBC… the report… exposes…the relationship between the ISI and the Taliban…. based on material from 27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban, al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters and civilians.’

(22) = Reuters 22 May 2012 ‘U.S. senators vote to tie Pakistan aid to supply routes’,

(23) = CNN 04 Jul 2012 ‘Pakistan reopens NATO supply routes to Afghanistan’, ,
Meanwhile, the U.S. military will now pay Pakistan $1.1 billion it owes as part of the deal struck to reopen the NATO supply lines …The money is part of a U.S. military program …which reimburses the Pakistani military for counterterrorism efforts.

(24) = BBC 03 Jul 2012 ‘Pakistan to reopen supply lines to Nato Afghan forces’, , ‘US officials say the existing charge of $250 (£160) per truck will not change - Washington had baulked at a Pakistani demand for $5,000 per container to let supplies flow again.’

(25) = Minneapolis Star Tribune 20 Dec 2001 ‘Eagan Flight Trainer Wouldn't Let Unease About Moussaoui Rest’,

(26) = USA Today 28 May 2002 ‘Letter shifts heat to FBI’,

(27) = NYT 24 Feb 2004 ‘C.I.A. Was Given Data on Hijacker Long Before 9/11’,

(28) =  Also see this page on my website and sources in it

(29) = Rashid , Ahmed(2001) Taliban Tauris, London , paperback, 2001 – p167, 173

(30) = Guardian 24 Oct 2001, ‘Route to riches’,,1361,579401,00.html (Afghanistan has huge strategic importance for the west as a corridor to the untapped fuel reserves in central Asia, reports Andy Rowell)


(32) = Coll, Steve (2004) 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin paperback, London, 2004, pages 308, 313

(33) = BBC News 27 Dec 2002 , ‘Central Asia pipeline deal signed’,

(34) = BBC News 11 Dec 2010 ‘Turkmen natural gas pipeline Tapi to cross Afghanistan’