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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 21, 2000

Click. Getting away with murder.

Click. Hopes dim for settlement of Indian trust lawsuit.

Click. Explorer program aids Border Patrol. Agent says posts teach responsibility, aren't used to fill recruiting quotas.

Click. Portland Free Press Special Event -- December 1, 2000.


LOCKERBIE WITNESS SILENCED
I know who Pan Am bombers really are.
Daily Record © London 11/21/00

http://www.record-mail.co.uk/shtml/NEWS/P2S5.shtml

THE final prosecution witness in the Lockerbie trial told the stunned court yesterday: "I know who did it."

American journalist Pierre Salinger insisted that the two Libyans accused of bombing PamAm flight 103 were innocent.

But as he tried to name the "guilty" men, the judges told him to shut up and leave the dock of the Scottish court at Camp Zeist, in Holland.

When he was the chief foreign correspondent of ABC News, he interviewed the two accused after they were indicted.

He believes alleged Libyan secret agents Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah did not blow up the US-bound jet in the skies above Lockerbie in December 1988.

He blames Palestinian terrorists, working a contract for the Iranians in revenge for the US navy shooting down an Iranian airliner in the Gulf months earlier.

Today, the defence will argue for the case to be thrown out.

Yesterday, Mr Salinger was censored from giving his opinion on the bombers' identity.

After answering questions about the interview with the men charged, Mr Salinger was told he was free to leave court.

He exclaimed: "That's all? You're not letting me tell the truth. I know that these two Libyans had nothing to do with it.

"Wait a minute, I know exactly who did it. I know how it was done."

Lord Sutherland said: "If you wish to make a point you may do so elsewhere, but I'm afraid you may not do so in this court."

Mr Salinger says that during his interview with the two men - who deny murdering 270 people in the explosion - Al Megrahi denied ever being in the Libyan intelligence agency, and said his family and countrymen would be "ashamed" of such a crime.

Salinger was furious that he was barred yesterday from giving the judges his opinion after a five-year investigation. He said later that Palestinian terrorist organisation the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command were the agents of the atrocity.

The same organisation and a linked Palestinian terror group are named in a special defence put forward by the two accused.

Mr Salinger: "It was the PFLP-GC ... who did it and they carried it out for the Iranians.

"I interrogated the two Libyans and they did not do it."

"I said to the lawyers today, let me go forward with the truth because I want to tell you who did it and it was not the two Libyans, but they wouldn't let me."

The prosecution case ended yesterday, bringing to a close 72 days of prosecution evidence, in which 230 witnesses were flown in from all over the world.

A convicted terrorist, a Libyan spy turned supergrass and secret agents from the CIA and Stasi have featured in the trial so far, as well as ordinary people whose lives were affected by the tragedy.

Defence barrister Richard Keen QC said he would apply to have the case thrown out today when the trial resumes.

The two Libyans also deny three charges, of conspiracy, murder and contravening the Aviation Security Act 1982.


Getting away with murder

The US has admitted its involvement in Latin America, but those responsible are immune


Isabel Hilton © Tuesday November 21, 2000

It has been a curious few days for followers of US foreign policy. President Clinton, now safely at the end of his presidency, has afforded himself a trip to Vietnam in a long-delayed postwar reconciliation. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the latest release of US declassified documents has added more detail to the suspicion that has been officially denied for decades - that US interference in the internal politics of Latin America over fifty years from the end of the second world war was widespread, relentless and, for the most part, disastrous in its consequences.

Last week, the US released 17,000 previously classified documents relating to CIA interference in Chile. The documents - many of them heavily censored - were released by the US state department, the defence intelligence agency, the CIA, the FBI and the justice department. They are the fourth and last round of disclosures ordered by President Clinton.

The "revelation" that the US helped to bring Augusto Pinochet to power by destabilising the government of President Salvador Allende can have come as a surprise only to those who have spent the last 27 years in a state of acute denial. (This includes, notoriously, substantial sections of the British Conservative party as well as many Chilean supporters of the right.)

But still, the documents confirm that, in addition to the well-known dirty tricks against Allende, between 1971 and 1973 the US government gave $4m to opposition political parties, mostly to the Christian Democrats; that the CIA spent $2.6m supporting the Christian Democrats in the 1964 election in Chile; and that the US went on paying political parties into the 1980s. The newspaper El Mercurio received about $1.6m in covert support from US agents. El Mercurio was a leading critic of the government of Allende. None of this has raised public confidence in Chile's political parties, or in their version of history.

A CIA memo prepared three years before the 1973 coup states: "If civil disorders were to follow from a military action, the USG [US government] would promptly deliver necessary support and material, (but not personnel)." In a state department memo written weeks after the coup that put Pinochet in power, Jack Kubisch wrote: "The junta does not appear to represent a threat to our major national interest. No overriding national objective seems to me to be served by supporting opposition to it."

Chile, of course, is not the only case. The truth is that US policy in Latin America was for several decades in thrall to a security doctrine that argued that considerations of human rights or democracy were secondary to the fight against what the US perceived as Soviet and Cuban influence, however broadly defined. It came to include almost all attempts to achieve political change or social justice. Its executives were the Latin American military officers trained by the US in the School of the Americas in Panama. There they learned to conduct dirty warfare against their own civilian populations and went on to practise their lessons with enthusiasm.

So while US diplomats publicly promoted democratic ideals, US government was sponsoring armies and intelligence services that waged savage internal war against political opponents - many of the left, others simply reforming democrats, trade unionists or campaigners for land rights. When this provoked civil war or military dictatorship, successive US administrations colluded in the concealment of massive human rights violations, misinforming not only US public opinion but, on occasions, Congress itself.

The price was paid in Latin America in the deaths and disappearance of, at a conservative estimate, around 100,000 people throughout the subcontinent. Their ghosts continue to haunt the countries in which they occurred.

Anything up to 30 years later, the truth is partially leaked, long after the guilty men are dead, retired or, in the case of President Reagan, senile. The Gipper himself, of course, was pardoned by George Bush, without the crimes for which he was pardoned ever being officially acknowledged. Is there such a great moral difference between Bush's granting a pardon to Reagan for his pursuit of a war that was in violation of US law and his government's publicly stated policy, and Pinochet's amnesty for himself and his cohorts for the crimes they committed in Chile? As an operation, the concealment of US operations in Latin America for long enough for the guilty men to escape punishment rivals the worst practices of the countries that were victims of these policies.

It has been, though, an effective strategy. By the time the documents are allowed to filter out, the events they reveal are over; domestic public opinion in the US, in that depressingly anti- historical phrase, has "moved on"; the details have grown fuzzy. On the ground, the orphans have grown up and the widows are dead or discouraged.

Just for the record, then, what were the consequences of that era when, in the words of one US analyst, "the gang that blew Vietnam went Latin"? Chile was the most notorious case, Central America an even more tragic one. It covered the civil war in El Salvador, the Contra war in Nicaragua and the genocide perpetrated against the Indian population of Guatemala by a series of military regimes that held power after a US-sponsored coup in the 1950s. A legion of US officials spent their careers pretending that the deaths and disappearances, the torture and terror, were the responsibility of a few isolated extremists who were out of the control of the fine democrats whom the US supported. Limited US admissions, produced decades after the event, come too late for the victims.

In Argentina, Chile and Central America, the consequences of US policy persist in over-powerful militaries and in the conflicts provoked by the continuing efforts of the victims' families to locate the remains of their relatives and bring the perpetrators to justice. But in the country that proclaims itself the world's best democracy there is impunity for the men who conceived and executed these policies. In the case of the Iran-Contra affair, for instance, in the words of the Walsh report, "the underlying facts ... are that ... President Reagan, the secretary of state, the secretary of defence and the director of central intelligence and their necessary assistants committed themselves ... to two programmes contrary to congressional policy and contrary to national policy. They skirted the law, some of them broke the law, and almost all of them tried to cover up the president's wilful activities."

George Bush pardoned Reagan, but what of Bush's own role? After heading the CIA, he was vice-president throughout the Reagan presidency then succeeded Reagan as president. On December 24 1992, 12 days before former secretary of defence Caspar W Weinberger was to go on trial, a trial in which Bush himself might have been called as a witness, Bush pardoned him and five other defendants. The criminal investigation of Bush himself was never completed.

Bush continues to enjoy his position as ex-president and respected father of the man who may well get the current presidential job. Justice and accountability, it seems, are strictly for export.


Hopes dim for settlement of Indian trust lawsuit

By <>Bill McAllister
Denver Post Staff Writer

Nov. 19, 2000 - Barely a month after Congress directed the Interior Department to settle the massive lawsuit over its 300,000 mismanaged Indian trust accounts, the chances of an out-of-court resolution of the billion-dollar dispute have faded dramatically.

Treasury officials admitted last week that they had destroyed another four boxes of documents related to the claims, a statement that infuriated lawyers for the Indians. The lawyers quickly threatened to reopen the first phase of the case.

"We're back at all-out war," said Dennis Gingold, the Washington lawyer who has taken a lead role in pressing the case. Efforts to resolve the case out of court have collapsed, said Gingold, who used to practice law in Denver.

Gingold disclosed that lawyers representing American Indians had reached an agreement with the Interior Department on Aug. 14 that would have resolved all the issues from the first phase of the case. In return, the government would drop its appeal of the dispute to a federal court here in Washington and begin to wrestle with the issue of how much damages the Indians are due.

But Gingold said Assistant Attorney General Lois J. Schiffer intervened and insisted on rewriting the settlement. Justice has claimed a right to oversee the case because of "procedural issues," Gingold said.

Gingold said Schiffer's actions have proved fatal to the settlement efforts.

As a result, Gingold, who is pressing the class action lawsuit along with the Boulder-based Native American Rights Fund, plans to go back into federal district court here and seek to reopen part of the first phase of the case. He will allege that the government has continued to destroy documents needed in the case in violation of the orders of District Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

The issues in the 4-year-old lawsuit are huge. At stake are billions of dollars that the government has had in trust for about 300,000 American Indians, monies that were largely from oil, gas and mineral leases of lands owned by Indians but managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

For decades, it has been wellknown that the the accounts were a mess. But despite repeated warnings from the General Accounting Office and members of Congress, the government had been unable to straighten out the accounts and tell the account holders how much money they have.

Lamberth has ruled that the government breached its trust responsibility to the Indians and he has ordered a second phase of the case on the amount of damages that the government must pay. That amount is in the billions, according to all sides in the case.

Interior officials from Secretary Bruce Babbitt on down have said that the Clinton administration would like to resolve the issue before leaving office. In October, Congress added its directive in the department's appropriations bill, telling Interior officials to resolve the issue quickly and without another trial.

But Gingold's comments and the latest disclosure about more lost records make it unlikely that any resolution will be reached before Jan. 20 when Clinton and Babbitt leave office. That means a new cast of negotiators will have to take over any efforts to resolve the case and the appointees who have to handle such issues probably won't be in place until sometime in the middle of next year.

That puts the issue back in the courts. As Gingold pointed out, the issues there have once again become heated.

Lawyers for the Indians are demanding that the Treasury Department identify what sanctions the agency took against several lawyers who were aware of the first major document destruction in the case. They have the support of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, in that request.

Gingold and his colleagues also are pressing the government about destruction of e-mail messages that may involve the case and the four boxes that were destroyed recently at the Fort Worth, Texas, federal records center. Government lawyers have maintained that the destruction of the records was accidental.


Explorer program aids Border Patrol. Agent says posts teach responsibility, aren't used to fill recruiting quotas

11/20/2000 Associated Press © 2000

HOUSTON ­ A program affiliated with the Boy Scouts that teaches teenagers how to handle weapons and hostage situations is proving to be a boon for the Border Patrol, which is struggling to recruit 1,000 new agents a year.

There are nine Explorer Scout posts along the Texas-Mexico border sponsored by the Border Patrol. In all, the Boy Scouts have established 20 law enforcement Explorer posts in the five southernmost Texas counties.

Agents like Cruz J. Rodriguez, chief patrol agent at the 180-officer Border Patrol station in Port Isabel, volunteer to help run the posts.

He said the posts are intended to teach teens responsibility and decision-making skills and are not meant to bolster the agency's recruiting quotas.

"It was intended as a way for the Border Patrol to get involved with the youth of the community, and as it evolved through the years, a lot of the kids show an interest in applying for the Border Patrol, so it's a win-win situation," Agent Rodriguez said in Sunday's editions of the Houston Chronicle.

Scouting officials said as many as 400 high school students have joined Explorer posts in the region.

The teens receive basic training on how to make traffic stops and arrests, execute search warrants, lift fingerprints and investigate crime scenes.

Many Explorers also receive supervised firearm instruction with weapons provided by their sponsors.

"It's something that intrigues a lot of kids who may, or may not, see college as part of their future," said Steve Gerber, director of the Rio Grande Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

"There is so much law enforcement in the Valley, both state and federal, that it's very visible and for the most part presents a positive image in the community."

Agent Eddie Buyo said the program offers youths a possible career path.

"There's not a lot of industry down here as far as big corporations," he said. "So law enforcement, to them, is one of the biggest employers, one of the better paying jobs, one of the most respected jobs."

To qualify for work at the Border Patrol, candidates must be at least 18 with one year of experience, or be a college graduate. Recruits earn a base salary of $28,400 during a 20-week training academy, and the pay is raised once they are assigned to a station.

Marcos Carreon, 17, said it was the lawman image that attracted him to the program.

"I'm interested in enforcement because, like, you look tough with your gun and everything, like your uniform," the 11th-grader said. "Right now I'm learning the basics. So, that way, when I go to college, I will already have learned what it takes to be in the Border Patrol."


Sent: Monday, November 20, 2000 1:35 PM

Portland Free Press Special Event -- December 1 2000

7:30 pm Phantom Gallery 3125 S.E. Belmont St., Portland Oregon

****Release of the Portland Free Press (Hard copy edition)****

        featuring

        Dan Flanagan on The Death of JFK

        Husayn Al-Kurdi on Good Kurds, Bad Kurds and Unsafe Sects

        Bush Genealogy by Bud Breithaupt

              Special Interviews with Michael Parenti and Judi Bari

And 4 regular features:

        The Steinberg Report by Michael Steinberg

        Reality Bites by Per Fagereng

        Parting Shots, Commentaries of Ace Hayes

        The Last Word -- Husayn Al-Kurdi's "I Can Tell You Who Lost" commentary on U.S. elections

        Plus Much More . . .

Friends and acquaintances will share their memories of late PFP Editor Ace Hayes, as part of the on-going Hayes Chronicles, a project of PFP's TV/video division (see below).

Post-election discussion -- meet the editor and some of the writers.

Socialize, network and exchange information

Bring your own food and refreshments

All law-enforcement and/or government agents, accessories or assets are forbidden entry unless they are prepared to make a full confession and denounce the criminal sponsors of their outrages

All those who are burdened and oppressed by class/government forces and agencies, who have been hurt by the 100,000 US gun thugs roaming America, and who are actively outraged into determined resistance and seek radical and revolutionary redress of their grievances are more than welcome.

All friends of PFP and Ace Hayes are urged to attend. Bring your Ace- and PFP-related thoughts, pictures, videotapes and other memorabilia.

Some of the proceedings will be videotaped by PFP, which has activated a TV/video production section, active in producing programming on Portland area public access channels for over 2 years.