Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bill Moyers bought?

Subsequent to Bill Moyer's interview with Judge Goldstone, his blog erupted with criticism of perceived pro-Israel bias.

Personally I was inclined to allow Bill the benefit of the doubt and assume he was acting devil's advocate, an acceptable journalistic technique. This despite my unease that he had neglected to mention the truce that Hamas had observed (despite the Israeli blockade and continued hostility):

The debate on Bill's blog soon became a troll-fest with the usual memes being trotted out. In response to one particularly offensive poster, I wrote a rebuttal of an entry maligning the activities of the Mufti - an evergreen and (in my view unsupported) theme of the hasbara. The site did not post it. I tried again a few days later and found the post blocked again.
Here is what I wrote:

Despite the fact that I do not condone the slanging match that this conversation has become, I cannot let phil's smear of Husseini go unchallenged. It is, at the least, a contested issue and probably historically inaccurate. The accusations against the Mufti stem from the evidence of one Dieter Wisliceny:

"Hannah Arendt, who attended the complete Eichmann trial, concluded in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil that, "The trial revealed only that all rumours about Eichmann's connection with Haj Amin el Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, were unfounded."[124] Rafael Medoff concludes that "actually there is no evidence that the Mufti's presence was a factor at all; the Wisliceny hearsay is not merely uncorroborated, but conflicts with everything else that is known about the origins of the Final Solution."[125] Bernard Lewis also called Wisliceny's testimony into doubt: "There is no independent documentary confirmation of Wisliceny's statements, and it seems unlikely that the Nazis needed any such additional encouragement from the outside."[126]"

The simple fact is that Husseini, facing arrest by the British, took sanctuary with Britain's enemy and continued resistance to Zionism from there. Lenni Brenner has this to say:

"The Mufti gained nothing, then or later, from his collaboration with either Rome or Berlin, nor could the Palestinian interest ever have been served by the two dictators.... The Mufti was an incompetent reactionary who was driven into his anti-Semitism by the Zionists. It was Zionism itself, in its blatant attempt to turn Palestine from an Arab land into a Jewish state, and then use it for the yet further exploitation of the Arab nation, that generated Palestinian Jew-hatred."
(Chapter 8, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators.)

The Germans had a dollar each way. On one hand, they accomodated Husseini but they also encouraged Zionism - even setting up training farms for Jews to fit them for emigration to Israel.

Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem, pp. 59-61.) says this:
"Of greater importance for Eichmann were the emissaries from Palestine, who would approach the Gestapo and the S.S. on their own initiative, without taking orders from either the German Zionists or the Jewish Agency for Palestine. They came in order to enlist help for the illegal immigration of Jews into British-ruled Palestine, and both the Gestapo and the S.S were helpful.
They negotiated with Eichmann in Vienna, and they reported that he was ‘polite’, ‘not the shouting type’, and that he even provided them with farms and facilities for setting up vocational training camps for prospective immigrants. (‘On one occasion, he expelled a group of nuns from a convent to provide a training farm for young Jews’, and on another ‘a special train was made available and Nazi officials accompanied’ a group of emigrants, ostensibly headed for Zionist training farms in Yugoslavia, to see them safely across the border.) "

Here is an extract from the offer made to Germany by, among others, Yitzak Shamir:

"The solving in this manner of the Jewish problem, thus bringing with it once and for all the liberation of the Jewish people, is the objective of the political activity and the years-long struggle of the Israeli freedom movement, the National Military Organization (Irgun Zvai Leumi) in Palestine.

The NMO, which is well-acquainted with the goodwill of the German Reich government and its authorities towards Zionist activity inside Germany and towards Zionist emigration plans, is of the opinion that:

1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.
2. Cooperation between the new Germany and a renewed folkish-national Hebraium would be possible and,
3. The establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich, would be in the interest of a maintained and strengthened future German position of power in the Near East.

Proceeding from these considerations, the NMO in Palestine, under the condition the above-mentioned national aspirations of the Israeli freedom movement are recognized on the side of the German Reich, offers to actively lake part in the war on Germany’s side."
Lenni Brenner: The Iron Wall. Appendix II.

I invite Bill or his gatekeeper to explain what is objectionable about this post.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

AIMA Bombing.

The 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires provides an example of how disinformation can become fixed in the public's mind despite subsequent evidence that contradicts every aspect of it. The incident is repeatedly referenced in articles designed to discredit the Iranian Government.

The established narrative holds that a Hezbollah suicide bomber, with the support and collusion of Iranian officials drove a white Renault Trafic van containing a bomb up to the premises and exploded it, killing 85 and injuring hundreds. It suggests that Iran, angered by the breakdown of negotiations with Argentina over Nuclear Technology, conspired with Hezbollah to carry out the attack.
The investigation responsible for this version of events was conducted by judge Juan José Galeano and based its findings on the evidence of one Carlos Telleldín, alleged to have provided the van used in the bombing and that of Abolghasem Mesbahi, an alleged former Iranian intelligence officer. Judge Galeano issued warrants for the arrests of 12 Iranians, including Hade Soleimpour, Iran's ambassador to Argentina in 1994. Britain's Home Office refused to deport Soleimpour due to lack of evidence.

The investigation has been described by former President Nestor Kirchner as a "national disgrace". Here is why:

The explosion.
Charles Hunter, explosives expert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms team sent to investigate, found that the blast pattern evidence proved that the explosion occurred inside the building, not in the street.
A witness on the street survived despite being fully exposed to the blast had it originated in the street. The person standing close to him and to whom he had just been speaking was killed. This person was standing in front of the main doors, in the path of an internal explosion.

The Car.
Of some 200 witnesses on the scene, only one claimed to have seen a white Renault Trafic in the street that day.
Parts of the vehicle were alleged to have been found in the rubble. The engine block was complete with serial number - a piece of evidence rarely, if ever, left by serious perpetrators. Gabriel Levinas, a researcher for AMIA's own legal team, discovered that fragments of the car found at the site had been tested by the manufacturer and found never to have been subject to high temperatures, either in the explosion or in the fire which the car matching the engine number was known to have suffered before being repaired.

The Judge.

In August 2005, Judge Galeano was impeached and he was formally removed from his post as a federal judge for "serious" irregularities and his mishandling of the investigation. This is hardly surprising as a video broadcast on Argentine TV showed him offering his main witness, Telleldín, $400,000, in return for evidence.

The Iranians.

Galleano's witnesses to the Iranian connection, Abolghasem Mesbahi and two others, were revealed to be members of the Peoples Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), which is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and is dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian Republic.

Nuclear Negotiations.

Argentina was continuing to provide Iran with low-grade enriched uranium and the two countries were in serious negotiations on broader nuclear cooperation at the time the bombing occurred. The U.S. was putting huge pressure on Argentina to cease all cooperation with Iran. It is unthinkable that Iran would sanction an attack on Argentine soil at that time.


It would make little sense for Hezbollah to plan and execute this complex operation then deny responsibility. The rationale of terrorism demands recognition or the act is rendered practically valueless.
The alleged suicide bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, was killed in Lebanon two months after the AIMA bombing according to his family and Lebanese Radio. No DNA was taken from his head which was allegedly retrieved after the blast and soon discarded.
The Ambassador.
In an interview last May James Cheek, Clinton's Ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, told me (Gareth Porter), "To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence [of Iranian responsibility]. They never came up with anything." The hottest lead in the case, he recalled, was an Iranian defector named Manoucher Moatamer, who "supposedly had all this information." But Moatamer turned out to be only a dissatisfied low-ranking official without the knowledge of government decision-making that he had claimed. "We finally decided that he wasn't credible," Cheek recalled. Ron Goddard, then deputy chief of the US Mission in Buenos Aires, confirmed Cheek's account. He recalled that investigators found nothing linking Iran to the bombing. "The whole Iran thing seemed kind of flimsy," Goddard said.

Latest News:

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — The Jewish ex-interior minister of Argentina will be investigated for his ties to the AMIA Jewish center bombing.
The Buenos Aires Federal Appeals Court last week ordered the probe of Carlos Vladimir Corach in connection with an illegal payment of $400,000 to Carlos Telleldin, an auto mechanic who was among those charged in the 1994 attack that left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.
Telleldin, who allegedly provided the car bomb that blew up the Jewish center, has not been indicted.

Alberto Nisman found dead:

Officials in Argentina believe a controversial prosecutor who accused the country’s president of derailing an investigation into bomb attack was shot dead by rogue agents.
The body of Alberto Nisman was found last Sunday with a single gunshot wound to his head, just hours before he was due to give testimony to politicians about his accusation levelled at President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
Officials initially said it appeared the 51-year-old prosecutor had taken his own life. But amid widespread dismay, and a flurry of protests held in several Argentine cities, Ms Kirchner said she did not believe Mr Nisman had taken his own life.
Now the government says Mr Nisman’s allegations and his death were linked to a power struggle at Argentina's intelligence agency and agents who had recently been fired. It said they deliberately misled Mr Nisman and may have had a hand in writing parts of his 350-page complaint.

New links:

Indictment of Iran for ’94 Terror Bombing Relied on MEK 

 No Evidence for Charge Iran Linked to JFK Terror Plot

 Nothing new: Nisman's report fails to fan flames of conspiracy

A Rush to Judgment in Argentine Bomb Case?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Naughty naughty

Two examples of main-stream journalism gone bad. The picture with the Fars News Agency label was published before the Iranian election. The other is being promoted as a post-election protest rally.

The BBC has also been at it: