Thursday, June 25, 2009

UPDATE 1x. Message from Cynthia McKinney in Cyprus

The Israelis are hopping mad. And they're flexing their muscles in all the ugly places. They can't ram us again without sparking an international uproar, so they're trying to stop us from leaving the port at all. The Limasol, Cyprus Port Authority which controls the port of Larnaca also, sent their inspector to Larnaca with a letter saying that the boat failed inspection, only thing, the letter was written BEFORE he even arrived in Larnaca to do the inspection! Reuters is doing the story at this very moment saying that we were prevented from leaving due to Cypriot authorities. We just learned from a Cyprus government source that pressure is being applied by Israel to deny us departure credentials. It appears, then, that Israel is putting us into contortions because they don't want us to take cement into Gaza. After white phosphorus, depleted uranium, DIME, cluster bombs, F16s, death, destruction, and mayhem. All of *this* over a few bags of cement. Can you believe???

1. Read the Haaretz article here, showing Israeli concern about us taking cement to Gaza
2. Hear the interview with Don Debar on the contortions we're being put through by Cyprus Port Authority
3. Read the Reuters article here (interesting that the story broke in Israel and not Cyprus!!)
4. Individuals have already started to contact the Cyprus UN Mission and their DC Embassy to inquire why they are arbitrarily not allowing the Spirit of Humanity and the Free Gaza to set sail.

1. Here is the Ha'aretz article:

2. Hear Greta Berlin and I explain what is happening with the purposeful delay of our departure

3. Read the Reuters article:

 12:54 25Jun09 -Cyprus halts aid boats bound for Gaza Strip

LARNACA, Cyprus, June 25 (Reuters) - Cyprus stopped two

boats planning to carry aid to the Gaza Strip in defiance of an

Israeli blockade from leaving port on Thursday, officials said.

The U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement had been planning to take

33 activists to Gaza with medical supplies and cement, a

material that Israel does not allow into the Palestinian

territory devastated by a short war that ended early this year.

The Free Gaza Movement started sending regular aid voyages

from Cyprus to Gaza in August 2008, but one of its boats was

involved in a collision with an Israeli vessel in December, and

was turned back on another mission in January.

Cypriot shipping officials cited inspection requirements for

stopping the two vessels, a small ferry and a sailing boat, from

leaving port two hours before their scheduled departure.

Both vessels had travelled to Gaza before.

"One of the ships was only recently registered in Cyprus and

under Cyprus law it has to undergo inspection before being given

permission to sail," said Serghios Serghiou, head of Cyprus's

Department of Merchant Shipping. "(The second) ... did not apply

for any inspections before sailing."

Israel tightened a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after the

Islamist group Hamas took control of the enclave, a tiny sliver

of territory home to some 1.5 million people.

Israel bans imports of cement, steel or other building

supplies to Gaza, saying militants could use them for military

purposes. One of the vessels was to carry 15 tonnes of cement.

Israeli forces bombed then invaded Gaza in late December

2008 with a declared aim of ending cross-border rocket attacks

from the Hamas-ruled territory.

The war damaged infrastructure and hurt an economy already

hobbled by years of isolation.

(Writing by Michele Kambas, editing by Lin Noueihed)


Subject: Public Advisory - We did not leave Cyprus today


(25 June 2009, LARNACA) - This is not the statement we in the Free Gaza Movement intended to release today. We had hoped to announce that our two ships, the Free Gaza and the Spirit of Humanity, departed from Larnaca Port on a 30-hour voyage to besieged Gaza, carrying human rights activists who have travelled to Cyprus from all across the world for this journey, 3 tons of medical supplies, and 15 tons of badly needed concrete and reconstruction supplies.

Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire, returning for her second trip to Gaza aboard one of our ships, said “[The people of Gaza] must know that we have not and will not forget them.”

That was our hope, but that is not what happened.

Instead, our ships were not given permission to leave today due to concerns about our welfare and safety. Our friends in Cyprus tell us that the voyage to Gaza is too dangerous, and they are worried we will be harmed at sea.

Cyprus has been a wonderful home for the Free Gaza Movement over these last 10 months. Cypriots know first hand the terrible consequences of occupation. They too know what it is to suffer from violence, injustice, and exile. Since our first voyage to break through the siege of Gaza, the Cypriot authorities have been extremely helpful and understanding of our goals and intentions.

The journey to Gaza is dangerous. The Israeli navy rammed our flagship, the Dignity, when we attempted to deliver medical supplies to Gaza during their vicious assault in December/January. Israel has previously threatened to open fire on our unarmed ships, rather than allow us to deliver humanitarian and reconstruction supplies to the people of Gaza.

The risks we take on these trips are tiny compared to the risks imposed every day upon the people of Gaza.

The purpose of nonviolent direct action and civil resistance is to take risks - to put ourselves “in the way” of injustice. We take these risks well aware of what the possible consequences may be. We do so because the consequences of doing nothing are so much worse. Anytime we allow ourselves to be bullied, every time we pass by an evil and ignore it - we lower our standards and allow our world to be made that much harsher and unjust for us all.

In addition to the concerns expressed by our Cypriot friends today, the American consulate in Nicosia warned us not to go to Gaza, stating that:

“…[T]he Israeli Foreign Ministry informed U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv that Israel still considers Gaza an area of conflict and that any Free Gaza boats attempting to sail to the Gaza Strip will “not be permitted” to reach its destination.”

Former U.S. Congresswoman & presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney responded to this warning by pointing out that, “The White House says that cement and medical supplies should get into Gaza and that's exactly what we are attempting to take to Gaza.”

“Instead of quoting Israel policy to us,” McKinney continued, “…the U.S. should send a message to Israel reiterating the reported White House position that the blockade of Gaza should be eased, that medical supplies and building materials, including cement, should be allowed in. The Free Gaza boats should be allowed to reach their destination, traveling from Cyprus territorial waters, through international waters, and straight into Gaza territorial waters.”

“The State Department has chosen to advise us to take the Israeli notification seriously. Our question is, ‘Can we take President Obama seriously?’ Will he stand by his own words and allow us to provide relief for Gaza or will he back down?”

Tomorrow we will deliver a waiver, signed by all going to Gaza, that we absolve Cyprus of all responsibility for our safety. We would like to tell our friends here in Cyprus that though we understand and appreciate their concerns, we will not back down to Israel’s threats and intimidation.

New Cyber-Command at NSA, Fort Meade, Maryland

Special to WMR:

[Ed. Note: On June 23, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered that the new U.S. CyberCommand will be a part of the U.S. Stategic Command (Stratcom) and will come under the command of the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). The CyberCommand will be at NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.]

"Subject: New Cyber Command and NSA

If this is indeed correct, the assertion that StratCom will be in control of this new CyberCom is complete and utter hogwash. As StratCom has neither the expertise nor technical resources to conduct this mission, the default control of CyberCom will fall, by design, into the lap of NSA. This was similarly true of StratCom being given responsibility for military space after the demise of US Space Command, which effectively ceded control of space to the Air Force. Are we to believe that CyberCom being headquartered not at Omaha, NE, but rather at Fort Meade, MD, right next to NSA; and with NSA’s current director, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, promoted to a four star general, as its head, is a coincidence? NSA has coveted control of cyber operations for some time and already exerts considerable influence in the mission field. Illegally, NSA has tapped into all domestic e-mail traffic within the United States. To allow them the ability to subject all U.S. domestic computer communications to offensive cyber attacks and the many other aspects of digital 'information warfare' should make all of America shudder in fear. Of course this supposedly will be subject to congressional oversight, federal statutes, executive orders, and agency regulations, and we all now know how steadfastly NSA is committed to these safeguards and to our constitutional liberties. With NSA now pulling the wool over our new president’s eyes, in conjunction with their contempt for congressional oversight, I am truly horrified of the prospect that NSA will usher us into a new dystopia where we will soon learn the mandatory newspeak language that will alter the concluding line of our national anthem from '… the land of the free and home of the brave” to, '… the land of the fear and the home of the depraved.'

This development indicates that SecDef Robert Gates is truly a creature of his former master.

Be afraid America, be very afraid, as NSA will soon be the number one 'clear a present danger' to your freedom and liberty.

Lord help us!"

Russ Tice

Former Intelligence Officer,

National Security Agency

& specialist in Offensive Information Warfare

RT: Hybrid flu genetically-engineered in U.S. and Canada

U.S. supplied Afghan insurgents for "Al Qaeda" in Iraq

WMR has learned from an intelligence source who served in 2007 at the Tallil Air Base in Iraq, also known as Camp Adder by the U.S. Army and Ali Air Base by the U.S. Air Force, that United States intelligence services imported Afghan mercenaries into Iraq in order to attack Iraqi civilians and military personnel, as well as coalition forces, including U.S. service personnel. The Afghans were recruited from Taliban ranks and were paid for their services in Iraq.

WMR has learned that during 2007, Iraqi police stopped a truck hauling a 40-foot trailer on the Kerrada Bridge in Baghdad. When the Iraqi police officers checked the truck's trailer they were amazed to discover between 30 and 40 Afghan Taliban. They said they were brought into Iraq by the United States and were tasked with stirring up trouble in Iraq., much of it ascribed by U.S. military commanders as the work of the dubiously-named Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (Organization of Jihad's Base in the Country of the Two Rivers) or, more commonly known as "Al Qaeda of Mesopotamia."

The Iraqi police were told by senior U.S. military commanders on the scene to allow the Afghani insurgents to depart the Kerrada Bridge without any further hindrance.

The Taliban cell in Iraq apparently operated in conjunction with a covert U.S. plan to look the other way as Mahdi Army cells planted bombs in Iraq. On April 9, 2009, WMR reported: "WMR has been informed by a former private military contractor in Iraq that the United States was aware of the identities and even the cell phone numbers of several bomb making operatives within Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army. The bomb cells were responsible for detonating a number of bombs in Iraq that targeted Sunnis and coalition personnel, including Americans." The failure of Generals David Petraeus and George Casey to act against the bomb-making cell was to not put in jeopardy a six-month extension of a cease-fire agreement agreed to by the MNF-I [Multi-national Force-Iraq] and [Muqtada] al Sadr's Shi'a militia in 2006.

One of the Shi'a bomb-making cells was located in the Kerrada district of Baghdad, the same area where the Taliban truck was stopped in Iraqi police. WMR has obtained a list [Part 1 and Part 2] provided to U.S. authorities by the coordinator of the Kerrada bomb cell. No action was taken by U.S. intelligence or military personnel to curtail the Shi'a militia bomb-making operation.

An English translation of the bomb-making cell list follows:

My name is Fadil Salim Naji of Jaderiya 923/43 Baghdad,Mobile 07901289687.
Before 2003 I was a Bathist party member and co-ordinator with the Iraqi government to the Iranian goverment. Since this time I have been working with the Iranian government in co-ordination with the Jeshil Mehdi army. My role has been to take money for arms purchases for the Mehdi army from the Iranian Intelligence and to place orders for weaponry. My meeting point with the Iranians was at the border point near to Maraghen City Iran....My orders were always from Athora City in Kerrada where I had contact to the Medhi army leaders.
Akiel Salam Hamid nicknamed (Al Iranie) of Jaderiya Baghdad works with his father Hussein Salim Hamid who and are responsible for bomb making and arranging the planting of devices. Mobile 07702 668 185.,Land line govt issued - 7786495.
Hussein Salim Hamid is responsible for counting military vehicles in the area of Jaderiya and is the main planning officer for appointing targets and building roadside bombs including the use of mainly semtex. He made the recent bomb which exploded outside the ice cream shop on Jaderiya street. Mobile - 0780 341 1480.
Fathil Dabus, Basin Hyder/Salim No23 ? was told by Hussein Hamid he had three days to leave his job or he and his family would be killed. Fathil Mobile-079067 61723 of Athora City received two calls from Hussein Hamid 23/10/07 and 11/10/07.
Fathil Dabus wife also threatened by Hussein Hamid infront of the Azur Girls school Jaderiya.
Mr Rand Badri a supervisor teacher was killed a week ago by Hussein Salim Hamid and also Rand's father the headmaster at the school was killed by Hussein Salim Hamid.
Fadil - Mobile 078016 575 66 Another leader of the Mehdi army.
Ziuna City - 079022 72814 - Mobile of an assassin working for Hussein Hamid.
The reg on the car No.26888 BMW white test Baghdad. A car used to transport arms from the border meet point.
Saed Ahmed 07902272814 Enforcer for Hussein Hamid and responsible for many killings and bombs in the area

The use by U.S. special operations forces and covert U.S. intelligence agents of Taliban fighters from Afghanistan and Mahdi Army insurgents to foment violence and terrorism in Iraq represents yet another serious violation of international and domestic anti-terrorism treaties and laws by the Bush-Cheney administration. In the case of using Taliban fighters to stage attacks on U.S., coalition, and Iraqi targets and blaming them on "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia," the Bush-Cheney administration once again has demonstrated that "Al Qaeda" is as much an invention of the last administration as the billing of "9/11" as a foreign terrorist attack.

Pearl Harbor, Part II? No Way!!!

The war in Afghanistan is ugly. The conflict in Iraq is still seething. The prospect of Pakistan's collapse is terrifying.

But the real nightmare scenario, or so the media headlines suggest, involves North Korea. Its leader is wacko. It's adding to its nuclear arsenal. It's making preparations for a missile launch aimed at Hawaii.

The Japanese attacked us 68 years ago. The Pentagon is bracing for Pearl Harbor, part II. This is serious stuff. The Taliban might be crazy, but they don't have nukes and we don't expect them to bomb Waikiki any time soon.

Never fear: the Obama administration has crafted a robust response to North Korea. We pushed through a UN resolution, with Chinese and Russian support, that ups the sanctions against Pyongyang and authorizes the naval interdiction of North Korean vessels suspected of delivering weapons or other suspicious materials. We sat down with South Korean leader Lee Myung-bak and reaffirmed our willingness to retaliate with nuclear weapons if the South is attacked. We've beefed up our defenses in Hawaii. We're currently tailing a North Korean ship as it heads toward Burma.
In his eagerness to show that he has the strength of will to confront a nuclear bully, President Barack Obama hopes to dispel any illusions - among conservatives here, among the leadership in North Korea - that he's a "cut-and-run" kind of guy. He can multitask. He can talk and prepare for war at the same time. This guy can take care of pesky flies like North Korea.

I'm not sure who's giving the president his advice on North Korea. But it's all wrong. His show of "resolve" has only made matters worse.

Myth 1: North Korea is about to attack Hawaii: North Korea has two long-range missiles, the Taepodong-1 and the Taepodong-2. The first, likely used only for satellite launches, can maybe go 2,500 miles. But it's never been successfully tested. The Taepondong-2 maybe could go about 3,700 miles. But it too has failed in its two tests: a quick fizzle in 2006 and a failure in the third stage this last April. Even if Pyongyang gets everything right for a possible July 4 test, it's 4,500 miles between Pyongyang and Honolulu. As for putting a nuclear warhead on the top of it, North Korea has shown no evidence that it has the necessary miniaturization technology.

Myth #2: North Korea is a military threat: North Korea has a lot of people in uniform, and its artillery can cause horrific damage to Seoul. But North Korea spends about half a billion dollars a year on its military. South Korea alone spends 40 times that amount. And the United States spends 1,000 times more. Neither China nor Russia would support any North Korean military action. Militarily speaking, North Korea is a kamikaze country. It can inflict damage, but only in a suicide attack and only close to home.

Myth 3: We really showed them at the UN: The Security Council statement in April and the resolution in June certainly communicated international anger at North Korea's rocket and nuclear tests. But we overreacted to the April launch. We should have treated it as a satellite launch and pressed forward with negotiations. Instead, North Korea responded to our fierce words by upping the ante and conducting a second nuclear test. The UN statement was as satisfying as hitting a problem with a baseball bat - except that the problem in this case was a hornet's nest. The more recent resolution, meanwhile, represents a dangerous escalation: a confrontation at sea might trigger a much larger conflict.

Myth 4: Kim Jong Il is crazy and North Korea is an unpredictable rogue state: Actually, North Korean reactions have been quite predictable and, at least within the North Korean context, rational. Pyongyang was unhappy with the course of negotiations and its relative lack of priority on Obama's to-do list. Rocket launches and nuclear tests have yielded both attention and concessions in the past, so they went with what works. And they telegraphed their moves well in advance. The leader of North Korea runs a brutal state and a mind-numbing personality cult. And North Korea's official statements often sound like the scripts from bad horror movies. But Kim Jong Il worked out shrewd deals in the past - with the Clinton and Bush administrations, with the Kim Dae-Jung and Roh-Moo Hyun governments in South Korea, and even with Junichiro Koizumi in Japan back in 2002. If he's mad, there's a method in his madness.

We are retracing the same steps as 1993-1994, a path of escalation that nearly led to war. As I write in The Obama-Lee Summit: Dangerous Consensus?, "North Korea, with so little to lose, is the master of brinksmanship. It is not wise to enter into a tit-for-tat match with such a country. At this point, more important than finding common ground between the United States and South Korea is establishing common ground between North Korea and the rest of the world. By all means, Washington and Seoul should coordinate policy. But they should also keep their eyes on the prize: resolving the current crisis with North Korea without resorting to force."

The United States should focus on nuclear nonproliferation, urges Foreign Policy In Focus contributor Wade Huntley, and make sure North Korea doesn't cross that red line. In the meantime, Washington should continue taking steps toward nuclear abolition. "Complete nuclear abolition need not be fully achieved in order to realize the constitution of a global security order that eliminates all threats of nuclear conflict," he writes in Dealing with North Korea's Tests. "And as the rest of this community becomes warmer, it will become increasingly tempting for North Korea to come in out of the cold."

It's definitely frustrating to negotiate with North Korea. And many respected analysts have serious doubts as to whether Pyongyang will ever give up its nuclear weapons. But when we were talking seriously with North Korea, it kept its plutonium program frozen (Clinton) or began dismantling it (Bush), and its long-range missile program was still rudimentary. That beats war every time. In 1994, former President Jimmy Carter helped avert confrontation by visiting Pyongyang and working out a compromise. Maybe the Man from Plains can get on the plane again. The escalation must stop: It's time to talk.


Federation of American Scientists, "North Korea's Taepodong and Unha Missiles,"
Craig Covault, "North Korean Rocket Flew Further than Earlier Thought," Spaceflight Now, April 10, 2009;
John Feffer, "The Obama-Lee Summit: Dangerous Consensus?" Foreign Policy In Focus (; Washington and Seoul should coordinate policy. But they should also keep their eyes on the prize: resolving the current crisis with North Korea without resorting to force.
Wade Huntley, "Dealing with North Korea's Tests," Foreign Policy In Focus (; Coming up with the proper response to North Korea's recent actions requires a careful assessment of Pyongyang motivations and regional geopolitics.