CONTENTS: AUGUST 28, 2000
Click. INSLAW PROBE NOW LINKED TO US AND BRITAIN. FATHER AND SON MURDERED IN HERCULES, CALIFORNIA ARE TIED TO PROBE.
Click. Mounties debugged spy software in '94: Ex-agent. But U.S., Israel drained secrets for a decade before discovery.
Click. CHINA AND CANADA, GREEDY FOR OIL, FUEL WAR IN SUDAN. (500,000 US troops landed in Saudi Arabia--one of the biggest tactical land invasions in history, yet Red China has just landed 700,000 troops in Sudan! Canada--such a hostage to China's troops.)
Click. FARC IS SUPPORTED BY THE BIGGEST NETWORK OF ARMS TRAFFIC IN THE WORLD. (How did that happen without the US blinking?)
Click. THE HIGH-FINANCE CONNECTIONS TO THE US WAR WITH FARC. (How did that happen without the US blinking?)
CIA RELEASES INFO TO A FOREIGN COURT FOR THE FIRST TIME (Desperate to aid Lockerbie prosecutors?) Click.
MONTREAL - The RCMP discovered that foreign spies were using rigged software to hack into secret files and eventually fixed the problem by 1994, an intelligence source here says.
The claim that the RCMP managed to debug their computer system - albeit after information was allegedly sucked out for a decade by American and Israeli spies - is the latest twist in the bizarre spy story now making headlines.
The Star revealed last week that the RCMP's national security section is probing allegations that bootleg copies of software used by the Mounties and later the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), were fitted with the trap door.
The spy service denies ever possessing the software and the RCMP refuses comment on the matter, except to confirm it is investigating an alleged breach of national security.
But a former Israeli spy with links to the affair, who agreed to a rendezvous with a Star reporter yesterday, claimed the RCMP rectified the software snafu in 1993-94.
``I know, because they came to me to help them to do it,'' said the source, who arranged to meet in the lobby of Montreal's posh Ritz-Carleton hotel, then insisted on driving across town to a quiet bistro.
``They solved this problem by 1994. The software is now obsolete, even though it was revolutionary when it first came along,'' said the source, who refused to be named.
He insisted he wanted the ``real story,'' to be told.
His uncorroborated version of events includes a cast of characters befitting a spy thriller: Israeli operatives, an American computer whiz later locked up on drug charges, the newspaper tycoon and alleged Mossad agent Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991, and others.
``This is a very big story, but the story is not the RCMP investigation,'' said the intelligence source, who has met the two RCMP officers currently investigating the matter.
``I think the RCMP are going through the motions, this is a low-level investigation that will go nowhere,'' he said. ``The Canadian government has known everything there is to know about this since 1994.''
The software in question, called Promis and first produced by a small Washington-based company called Inslaw Inc., was at the centre of a political scandal in the U.S. more than a decade ago.
Inslaw first charged that the U.S. government had stolen its specialized tracking and case-management software and was pirating copies of it to intelligence agencies around the world.
Later, Inslaw and a former Israeli intelligence agent named Ari Ben-Menashe, claimed that Israel and the U.S. had modified the software to fit it with a ``trap door'' to eavesdrop on the end users of the program.
That version of events was confirmed last year by Rafi Eitan, the former deputy head of Mossad, who told Welsh author Gordon Thomas that he was the one behind Israel's plan to rig the Promis software with a trap door.
While bankruptcy courts and a judiciary committee initially upheld some of Inslaw's claims that the software had been stolen, another court overturned the ruling on procedural grounds, and a special prosecutor said there was no credible evidence to support the company's claims.
The source said he had first-hand knowledge that newspaper magnate Maxwell, who was identified by some after his death as a Mossad operative, was instrumental in selling the Promis software to the RCMP in 1983, using a front company.
For the next ten years, Israeli and American agents were able to pull information out of secret Canadian intelligence files, he said. The Star has confirmed that RCMP officers have interviewed Michael Riconoscuito, the computer whiz who claimed publicly that he was involved in modifying the Promis software for its sale to the RCMP and CSIS.
The Mounties have also interviewed the co-owner of Inslaw, Bill Hamilton.
OTTAWA - RCMP investigators probing allegations spies hacked into top-secret Canadian intelligence files are working with at least two foreign police agencies, The Star has learned.
Sources say the Mounties have joined officers from Britain and a tiny police department in California in interviews connected to their spy probe.
Those revelations add to the intrigue surrounding the investigation into claims a secret ``trap door'' in doctored computer software allowed foreign spies to hack into Canadian files and download sensitive intelligence information.
Oddly, the interest of the other police agencies connects the Mountie spy probe to a double homicide and - coincidentally - to the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Two Scotland Yard detectives travelled to Canada in late February to interview a former Israeli intelligence agent.
A father and son who were murdered apparently knew one of the key players in the alleged plot to alter the software program.
The British were interested in talking to Ben-Menashe, now a Canadian citizen, about what police have described as ``an allegation of attempted deception.''
Sources say Ben-Menashe once met with Mohamed al-Fayed - father of Princess Diana's lover, Dodi, and billionaire owner of the Harrods in London - and that Scotland Yard detectives wanted to talk to him about that exchange.
Two Mounties investigating the possible breach of national security in Canada, Sean McDade and Randy Buffam, sat in on that interview.
A Scotland Yard officer insisted the computer spying allegations ``wasn't anything to do with our case whatsoever.''
Neither Scotland Yard nor the RCMP would explain why members of the RCMP's National Security Investigations Section were present.
The Mounties have also co-operated with the police department in Hercules, Calif.
Hercules police are investigating the 1997 deaths of a father and his 12-year-old son.
Neal and young Brendan Abernathy were each tied up with electrical cable and shot execution-style in the back of the head. They were found dead on their living room floor.
The Abernathys apparently knew one of the key players in the alleged plot to alter Promis, a computer software program first developed to help the U.S. justice department track cases.
Hercules police Detective Sue Todd, who is investigating the slayings, didn't return The Star's messages.
But a source who requested anonymity said Todd has interviewed him and told him she was investigating an allegation the murders were ``somehow connected to the scandal involving Promis.''
Todd joined the RCMP's McDade at an interview earlier this year with Michael Riconoscuito, an American computer whiz who claims he helped prepare the Promis software for sale to Canada.
Both Todd and McDade visited Riconoscuito in prison, where he's serving a drug-related sentence, confirmed Louis Buffardi, Riconoscuito's lawyer.
Buffardi declined further comment about what was discussed during the interview, saying he'd need his client's permission to do so.
The RCMP confirmed last week they are investigating a possible breach of national security after a story about it was published in The Star.
CANADA AND CHINA, GREEDY FOR OIL, FUEL WAR IN SUDAN.
SUDAN - NOT ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL!
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 28 August 2000:
The Muslim government in Khartoum has been brutally supressing the southern
Sudanese for many years now. Estimates are that more than 2 million Sudanese,
mostly Christians and non-Muslims who live in the south of the country, have
been killed in the past 20 years!
Recently Canada and China, for reasons of oil supply and financial greed,
have begun to help the government in Khartoum. The Canadians are mostly interested
in making money, copying the Americans. The Chinese have oil as well as geopolitical
considerations in mind -- they are making an end-run entry into the region with
aspirations for neo-superpower status down the road. The Russians are involved
Amazingly, Sudan has been nominated by the African group of states for "the
African seat" on the U.N. Security Council -- just one more sign how unprincipled
and shameful today's U.N. has become. After so many years of cynical manipulation
by the U.S. everyone else it seems is becoming super cynical as well.
These two stories from the Telegraph in England tell part of the story of
what is going on in African's largest country where an orgy of bloodletting is
being fueled by foreigners, this time the U.S. not in the lead -- for reasons
of its own of course, certainly not because of concern for a decent respect for
CHINA PUTS 700,000 TROOPS ON SUDAN ALERT
By Christina Lamb, Diplomatic Correspondent
[Telegraph, UK, 28 August]
TENS of thousands of Chinese troops and prisoners forced to work as security guards have been moved into Sudan.
Col Johnny Garang: the SPLA has recently advanced to within 10 miles of the oilfields in the Upper Nile region.
They have been sent in preparation for a big offensive against southern rebels to try to bring to an end one of Africa's longest-running conflicts, according to Western counter-terrorism officials.The Chinese have been brought in by aircraft and ship, ostensibly to guard Sudan's increasingly productive oilfields in which the China National Petroleum Corporation is a leading partner.
Col Johnny Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has managed in recent weeks to advance within 10 miles of the oilfields in the Upper Nile region, causing the country's Islamic regime to activate emergency plans drawn up with allies whose interests in the oil project are directly under threat.
These plans aim to crush the rebels from the mainly Christian and animist south and bring to an end the 17-year civil war that has cost an estimated two million lives. Since oil production began last year arms have been arriving from Libya, Qatar and China. The ruling National Islamic Front (NIF) is spending £300 million a year of its oil revenues on weapons, according to western intelligence sources.
The NIF denies this charge but last month Gen Mohamed Osman Yassin, the Sudanese army spokesman, told student conscripts that "thanks to our growing oil industry" Sudan is now "manufacturing ammunition, mortars, tanks and armoured personnel carriers". The SPLA captured a group of Chinese in an attack last week.
An internal document from the Sudanese military said that as many as 700,000 Chinese security personnel were available for action. Three flights a week have been taking the Chinese into Sudan since work on the oilfields started three years ago. Diplomats in Khartoum, however, cast doubt on the numbers.
Baroness Caroline Cox, the leading human rights campaigner who has just returned from Sudan where she helped to free 353 slaves captured by NIF soldiers, yesterday accused western governments of turning a blind eye to what is going on because of their own economic interests in the oil.
She warned: "If with foreign help the NIF regime crushes all opposition we will have entrenched in the heart of Africa a militant Islamist regime aimed at spreading terrorism throughout the continent. It's unbelievably serious for the future of democracy in Africa and could happen in the next few weeks.."
She was particularly critical of the British Government. Last month it welcomed the Sudanese foreign minister on a visit even although Sudan is still technically under United Nations sanctions that ban such visits, and officially is still regarded as a pariah state. She said: "The British Government has developed a complete cosy relationship to a regime which is raping, bombing and taking its people into slavery. It doesn't fit at all with our so-called ethical foreign policy, and there is no question the shift has come because of the oil."
Two British companies have won contracts to build pumping stations on the 1,000-mile pipeline from the Heglig oilfield, in the war-torn south, to the Red Sea. British oil companies have also discussed investing in the Sudanese oil industry, described in a Department of Trade and Industry pamphlet this year as "a tremendous opportunity".
The Canadian multi-national Talisman Energy, the main backer of the pipeline with the Chinese and Malaysians national oil companies, has faced public outcry over its involvement. Reports that thousands of civilians have been killed and driven from their homes in order to secure the oilfields have led North American consumers to boycott petrol stations, and pension funds to sell shares.
There has been so much criticism that America imposed economic sanctions on Sudan's oil enterprise. The mission was told that Talisman's contractual obligation more or less provides that the oilfield facilities can be used for military purposes. A UN rapporteur told the mission: "If oil companies don't know what's going on they're not looking over the fences of their compounds."
As fighting has escalated in recent months, the NIF has stepped up attacks on civilian targets. Yesterday Washington condemned the raids on civilian and relief targets including schools, hospitals and feeding stations. According to the SPLA, five such attacks took place last week, making it impossible for agencies to deliver aid.
A Western aid worker in southern Sudan said: "Everyone knows what is going on. We've all seen the Chinese being brought in and can only pray about what's going to happen next."
SUDAN OILFIELDS REIGNITE CIVIL WAR
By W F Deedes in Western Upper Nile, Sudan
[Telegraph, 28 March 2000]
SUDAN'S forgotten war, in which two million have died and four million have been internally displaced, has been cruelly reignited by conflict around the oilfields of Upper Nile.
With grim satisfaction, the local commander of "rebel" forces showed me the instrument panel of a Russian helicopter gunship recently shot down by his men. It symbolised, he claimed, the terror campaign being waged by Sudanese forces against the local population in defence of Sudan's burgeoning oilfields. After travelling around the Western Upper Nile region for a few days, I can report that the claim has substance.
In these oilfields, Talisman Energy Inc, Canada's largest independent oil and gas company, owns 25 per cent of five oil blocks in the Heglig-Pariang area of South Kordofan and western Upper Nile. It has been in the business since August 1998. The other principal participants are Malaysia and China. To secure the increasingly productive oilfields from attack countless civilians have been killed and thousands more have been driven from their homes.
Disturbed by criticism of Canada's place in all this, Lloyd Axworthy, its Foreign Minister, recently sent a mission to Sudan to assess the situation. Its report, completed last month, seems to confirm assertions by United Nations rapporteurs that oil is prolonging Sudan's agony.
The war in the Sudan is Africa's longest-running conflict, pitting the Islamic government in Khartoum against the south's mainly Christian rebel movement. After some 40 years of intermittent fighting a truce has failed to bring a lasting peace.
Concern about oilfield security "has brought displacement, pacification and insecurity to the eastern part of Unity State/Western Upper Nile", the Canadian report concludes. It has intensified fighting not just between the government and "rebels", but also among the Southerners themselves, "which has magnified human suffering".
The mission was told that Talisman's contractual obligation more or less provides that the oilfield facilities can be used for military purposes. Talisman's version is that these are "defensive purposes". It is an embarrassing situation for Canada as the atmosphere in the region is poisonous. Not only has there been killing and massive displacement around here, there have also been many abductions of women and children.
"Abduction" is the word preferred by the UN, required by the government of Sudan, and used in the Canadian mission's report, for slavery. The UN Children's Fund told me that Christian Solidarity International freed 2,035 slaves in July, bringing to 11,000 the total number freed since 1995. CSI pay £35 to Arab middlemen who buy the slaves back from their masters in the north.
Many, including Unicef, are critical of CSI's transactions, reckoning that they fuel the slave trade. There are believed to be a further 15,000 women and children in this form of captivity. I felt intense pity for the displaced people I met, homeless, hungry, in wretched condition, many of their small children in poor health. I felt also astonishment that a country of Canada's standing should be entangled in such a denial of human rights.
As a local official from Nhialdiu, the first village I visited, had observed to Canada's mission: "Civilians, cattle, children have been killed, homes burned. We don't think we are included in the human rights of the world." Even relief flights run by Operation Lifeline Sudan have been banned in the area since last summer.
What, one then wondered, has been the attitude of Talisman to all this? Dr James Buckee, the British-born president and chief executive of Talisman, wrote to reassure Mr Axworthy: "Corporate ethics has always been a strong internal priority at Talisman." The mind reels.
But the Canadian mission reports a UN rapporteur as saying: "If oil companies don't know what's going on, they're not looking over the fences of their compounds." At first, Talisman's line was that the oilfield area has never known permanent habitation due to flooding. Later the line changed. The mission reports: "For Talisman, so very much seems to be explained as 'merely an inter-tribal problem'.
"But displacement has gone on and is still going on, and in Ruweng County (where the population is half what it was) it is hard to deny that displacement is now, and has been for some time, because of oil." Mr Axworthy has promised financial assistance for a local body dealing with slavery, better monitoring of the human rights situation, and a new office in Khartoum to assist the peace process. He also urges Talisman to put its house in order. It seems unlikely that matters will end there. For very big stakes are attached to these oilfields. Since the oil began to flow to Port Sudan last August, the economic outlook for Khartoum has been transformed.
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Columbia: A Narco-Vietnam
by William F. Jasper © http://www.newamerica.com
Like the war in Vietnam, the current quagmire in Colombia offers up a dangerous mix of Communist revolution and narco-terrorism — in essence, a meat grinder chewing up innocent lives.
Question: Which country is the source of most of the cocaine and much of the heroin flooding our communities and poisoning American children and youth? Answer: Colombia. Which country has officially handed over a huge chunk of its territory to the largest narco-terrorist operation in the Western Hemisphere? Colombia. Which country has given its blessing to a new joint "business venture" between Iran’s terror regime and its own "home grown" Communist narco-terrorists? Again, Colombia. Which country is serving as the launch-pad for narco-terrorist attacks on the U.S. Canal in Panama? You guessed it: Colombia. Final question: Which country is the Clinton administration and its collaborators in Congress (on both sides of the aisle) intending to reward with a gift of $1.7 billion from the American taxpayers? You know the answer: Colombia, of course.
The U.S. aid package, we are told, is necessary for helicopters and other equipment to enable Colombia’s military and police to effectively fight the immensely powerful and wealthy drug cartels. The Colombian military and police could indeed put such assets to good use. But the sad truth is that any aid given will, ultimately, be used by the U.S. policy elite to control the Colombian narcotics war and subvert any real efforts at eradicating the drug lords and their evil empires. We know this from what has already transpired in Colombia vis-à-vis the Clinton administration, and from the long, sorry history of betrayal and planned failure by the U.S. foreign policy establishment. We know also, from President Clinton’s own pronouncements, that his proposed "anti-narcotics" program is really intended to advance the much larger globalist objectives of "dollarization" and expanding NAFTA into a full-scale hemispheric version of the European Union.
At an October 28, 1998 White House press conference with newly elected Colombian President Andres Pastrana, Clinton spilled the beans. He and Pastrana, he announced, "have agreed to seek new ways to expand trade and to improve our financial stability. We will start consultations on a bilateral investment treaty and a trade and investment commission for the Andean region. We will work together toward the creation of the Free Trade Area of the Americas."
In addition, Mr. Clinton said he was "struck with admiration" of Mr. Pastrana’s peace plan and endorsed the path the Colombian president was pursuing with the Communist FARC guerrillas. That path, Pastrana explained, involved creating a temporary "demilitarized area" from which the government would withdraw all troops, to encourage the terrorists to cease the deadly war that has claimed more than 35,000 lives over the past 36 years. Pastrana told reporters that the area would be established for only three months. "What we seek are 90 days after next November 7th," he stated. "During that time we want the FARC to sit down at the negotiating table."
But FARC (the Spanish acronym for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) wasn’t — and isn’t — interested in sitting at a negotiation table, because they have realized all along that the whole country is in the process of being delivered to them. They knew that Pastrana’s 90-day commitment was about as credible as Bill Clinton’s promise to have U.S. troops out of Bosnia within one year — five years ago.
Under Pastrana’s "demilitarization" plan, there was no requirement that the FARC terrorists disarm as the Colombian military withdrew from five large rural areas. The plan amounted to a de facto ceding of about 15,000 square miles of Colombia — an area larger than New Jersey and Connecticut combined — to the FARC Communists, whose 15,000-18,000 guerrillas constitute the largest terrorist operation in the Western Hemisphere (outside of Cuba, that is).
Did this goodwill gesture by the Colombian government cause FARC to mellow? To the contrary; after taking over the country-sized state within a state, FARC began fastening a Cuban-style Communist regime on the area’s 90,000 hapless residents. "Farclandia" is the name that some of the unfortunate inhabitants of this region have begun applying to their new totalitarian "People’s Republic." To others, the new narco-terrorist regime is "Narclandia," since FARC and its fellow terrorist allies of the Army of National Liberation (ELN) continue to derive hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue in "protection" fees from Colombia’s notorious cocaine cartels.
The FARC comrades wasted no time in establishing all the standard totalitarian features of Communism in the new territory: religious persecution; disarmament of all non-Communists; forced "reeducation" sessions; and "Citizen Vigilance" committees patterned after Castro’s neighborhood spy system known as Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. FARC established its new capital in the cattle town of San Vicente del Caguan, where a portrait of Lenin was immediately hung alongside the portrait of Simon Bolivar in the City Hall.
Did having its own secure area lead FARC to adopt more conciliatory behavior and cease nasty activities such as murder, bombing, and kidnapping? Of course not! Hard-core terrorist cabal that it is, FARC sensed weakness and stepped up all its attacks since the start of the Pastrana "peace process." The ELN, meanwhile, has increased its attacks also, especially on the nation’s power lines and oil pipelines, in the hopes of forcing the Pastrana government to grant it a similar dominion in the northern part of the country.
On March 4, 1999, FARC terrorists kidnapped and brutally executed three U.S. citizens and dumped their bodies across the border in Venezuela. Terence Freitas, Ingrid Washinawtok, and Leheenae Gay were Indian-rights activists who were in Colombia working with the indigenous U’wa, an 8,000-member tribe that has campaigned internationally to keep U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum from developing oil fields in the region.
FARC immediately denied responsibility for the atrocity and FARC allies charged that this must be the handiwork of the "right-wing paramilitaries," the so-called "death squads." But there were problems with that story line: 1) The U’wa witnesses said the trio was abducted by FARC members; and 2) the Colombian police had intercepted and recorded cellular phone traffic between top FARC commanders discussing disposal of the kidnap victims.
According to Colombian police sources, German Briceno, the leader of FARC’s 45th Front, and his brother, Jorge "Mono Jojoy" Briceno, FARC’s second in command overall, are heard discussing what to do with the Americans. German Briceno is then heard giving orders to his troops to "take them over to the other side of the river [to Venezuela] and burn them."
Faced with the evidence, FARC later admitted that one of its units carried out the killings, forcing the U.S. government to cut its contacts with the terrorists — temporarily. FARC asked for forgiveness and blamed the act on a "rogue’’ local squad leader it identified as Commander Gildardo. But this was an obvious attempt to have a low-ranking terrorist take the fall for a more senior commander. Colombian prosecutors issued arrest orders against German Briceno, and the U.S. government said relations could only resume with FARC if the group turned over its guilty fighters to authorities. This, FARC vowed, it would never do, pledging instead to conduct a "revolutionary trial’’ and mete out its own brand of justice. President Pastrana, our "partner" in the so-called peace process, was barely more cooperative than the murderers, insisting that his government would not extradite anyone arrested in the killings to the United States.
In a May 20, 1999 press statement, the Clinton White House declared:
As we support these peace efforts, we remain determined that American citizens who have been abducted in Colombia be released, and that those responsible for killing Americans be brought to justice, including those FARC members responsible for the March 4 murders of Terence Freitas, Ingrid Washinawtok, and Leheenae Gay. We also renew our call on the FARC to come forward with a complete account of the missing New Tribes Missionaries, Dave Mankins, Mark Rich, and Rick Tenenoff [all U.S. citizens], whom it kidnapped over six years ago.
However, as subsequent actions and events have shown, those Clinton calls for justice were merely throwaway lines aimed at placating the families of the victims and critics in Congress. On May 26, 1999, Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Lloreda and top army generals Victor Alvarez, Freddy Padilla, and Mario Roa, the army’s inspector general, all resigned charging that Pastrana’s "peace process" was endangering the nation and making it impossible for them to do their jobs of protecting and serving the Colombian people. Defense Minister Lloreda’s presence was seen by many in Colombia as essential to guarantee that Pastrana’s conciliation gambit with the terrorists did not concede too much and get out of control. In his resignation press conference, Lloreda charged that Pastrana’s conciliatory gestures had been met with almost daily attacks by FARC on police, military, and civilian targets, and a continuation of kidnapping for ransom by the terrorists.
The Colombian military and police, in the meantime, have been largely hamstrung, prevented from pursuing the terrorists into their sanctuaries. Promised U.S. aid was held up for over a year because of charges by left-wing "human rights" groups that the Colombian police, military, and "right-wing" paramilitaries were involved in large-scale violations of human rights. Pastrana’s Peace Commissioner, Victor G. Ricardo, has repeatedly sided with the terrorists’ demands and ignored the pleas of the country’s military and police officials. And Pastrana has repeatedly backed Ricardo, which was a major reason for the resignation of Lloreda and the generals.
Growing cocky, and apparently believing their own propaganda which was being echoed by the liberal-left media organs, FARC launched a major military campaign in early July 1999, which proved disastrous. The Latin American News Service reported:
When the terrorist attack was launched the Army and the Air Force successfully positioned troops so as to close the route back to the DZ [demilitarized zone], cutting off more than a thousand terrorists who fled with heavy casualties. The survivors fled, leaving their launches, so important to transport in this area, to the inhabitants of the region. The fiasco was over. The terrorists had left some 300 of their dead, an indeterminate number of wounded and at least 13 vehicles. As the [Colombian] Military Intelligence report stated with irrefutable accuracy, the terrorists demonstrated "on the field of battle why the guerrilla attacks the civilian population and does not confront the Military Forces."
Despite the shackles that had been imposed by the politicians, the Colombian military proved that it could still defeat the terrorists in battle. If they were ever to triumph, FARC would need more help from Washington, Bogota, Havana — and Tehran.
With the apparent blessing of the Pastrana government, the FARC high command began talks in the Spring of 1999 with the terrorist regime of Iran, and a delegation of Iranian officials and "businessmen" visited the FARC capital of San Vicente del Caguan. As reported last year, in a study by STRATFOR, a Texas-based global intelligence consulting firm:
Colombian and Iranian officials have signed an unusual agreement: Iranians will invest $3 million in a meat-packing plant in the heart of Colombia’s rebel-held jungle. Exactly why Bogota would encourage investment that benefits guerrillas who have fought for more than three decades is unclear. But the implications are extraordinary.... The region will risk increased international terrorism and invigorated trade in drugs for arms.
The STRATFOR report went on to note:
On November 11, a delegation of Iranian government and business representatives arrived in San Vicente del Caguan, a town deep in the jungles of southern Colombia that is held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The delegation visited to assess a site on which the Iranians will build a meat-packing plant and slaughterhouse that would process beef bound for Iran. The visit was the latest step in a process that began Oct. 21, when Colombian and Iranian officials signed an agreement committing $3 million in Iranian investment. There is, however, one major oddity: Colombia’s major cattle production takes place on the other side of the Andes Mountains, more than 300 miles to the northwest. Near San Vicente del Caguan there is little but jungle. There are no major roads and precious little infrastructure. The town is, however, in the heart of drug- producing territory held by the FARC, the country’s largest and most successful guerrilla movement after more than three decades of civil war. Sizable implications will grow from this comparatively small investment in a little town.
Indeed. Clearly the meat packing deal is a cover for an expanded narco-terrorism operation, which Clinton, Pastrana, and the media prefer to ignore. As the STRATFOR report notes, the Pastrana government is "cracking open the door to increased influence by both Tehran and the terrorist movements it has supported. South America is an important proxy battlefield for the Middle East’s struggles. There appears to be a longstanding relationship between the FARC and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. Hezbollah has training camps in southern Brazil. Hezbollah has also been implicated in attacks on the Israeli embassy and a Jewish cultural center in Argentina."
Together with FARC’s already long-established Soviet-Cuban ties, and Red China’s strategic penetration of Panama and the Panama Canal through its corporate front operation, Hutchison Whampoa, the Tehran-FARC connection adds another destabilizing factor to the whole region. On November 2, 1999, as it was moving toward concluding its "business" deal with Iran, FARC struck into the heart of Panama, hijacking two helicopters from the U.S.-built, U.S.-owned Allbrook Airbase and flying them to Colombia. On December 12, 1999, over 600 FARC terrorists attacked the Colombian naval base at Jurado, near the border of Panama, killing 30 marines and a police officer. President Clinton, however, did not allow these ominous portents to derail plans to turn over the U.S.-built, U.S.-owned Canal and all of its important fortifications to the unarmed, drug cartel-corrupted, and Red Chinese-bribed government of Panama.
Marxist Government in Venezuela
Next door in Venezuela, our major foreign oil supplier, the new Marxist government of Hugo Chavez is rapidly establishing a full-blown Communist dictatorship tied to Cuba and Red China. On October 12, 1999, during a visit to Beijing, President Chavez announced: "I have been very Maoist all my life." After attacking capitalismo savaje (savage capitalism), Comrade Chavez told the press of his admiration for the "Great Helmsman," mass-murderer Mao Zedong. In his rhapsodic eulogy to Chairman Mao, Chavez declared: "China, since its foundation 50 years ago by Mao Zedong, has been rising up. China has given an example to the world, to countries like ours, that we are emerging from an era failed in politics and economics. We are with China in what must be done to defend the sovereignty of peoples."
A few weeks later, Chavez was in Communist Cuba offering similar bouquets to his "dear brother" Fidel. On November 18, 1999, at the Great Hall of the University of Havana, Chavez announced: "Venezuela is going in the same direction, toward the same sea toward which the Cuban people are bound, the sea of happiness, of true social justice, of peace." In March of this year, Chavez welcomed a contingent of the Cuban-backed ELN terrorist leaders to Caracas, providing them with the protection of his presidential bodyguards and extending to them all of the dignity of foreign heads of state. This despite the fact that in the previous weeks and months the ELN had stepped up bombings of electrical energy towers — knocking out electricity for millions of Colombians — staged disruptive highway blockades, hijacked an Avianca airliner, and kidnapped hundreds of Catholic worshippers attending Mass.
In light of these developments, the new Bogota-Tehran-FARC arrangement presents an especially alarming dynamic to the whole region. Iran, with the help of Russia and China, has been engaged in a very ambitious program to develop weapons of mass destruction — biological and nuclear — and the missile systems to deliver these weapons. Acting as a surrogate for both Moscow and Beijing, it has been operating as Terror Central, assisting and directing the most dangerous terrorist organizations on the planet.
Significantly, as noted by STRATFOR, when Iran’s ambassador to Colombia, Hossein Sheikh Zeineddin, and the office of San Vicente’s mayor signed the meat-packing plant deal, "the [Pastrana] government’s top peace negotiator with the guerrillas — peace commissioner Victor G. Ricardo — signed the agreement, acting as guarantor."
Plainly, the Pastrana government, backed by Washington, is pursuing not a peace process, but a surrender process. Why then is the Clinton administration pushing for more aid to Colombia? Surely not to aid the military and police in the fight against the drug cartels, as it claims. FARC is the terrorist/protection arm of the drug cartels, which are being given protective treatment. Whatever U.S. military aid that Clinton provides will be used to control the Colombian military and police and render them ineffective in the war against drugs and terrorism.
Pattern for Betrayal
The people of Colombia are in much the same predicament under Pastrana as the people of El Salvador were in the 1980s under the socialist Presidency of Napoleon Duarte. With the backing of the U.S. State Department, Duarte coddled the Communist terrorists of the FMLN, allowing them safe havens from which to operate. Meanwhile, the El Salvadoran military, beholden to U.S. advisers and policymakers, and under constant attack by the U.S. media and leftist human rights groups, was hobbled and rendered largely ineffective. It was a sickening pattern of betrayal that had been repeated many times before by the new world order intrigues of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
For the past half century, our CFR-run State Department — operating within CFR-dominated administrations, both Democratic and Republican — has been undermining and toppling non-Communist and anti-Communist governments and putting Communist dictatorships run by terrorist thugs in their places. China, Cuba, Rhodesia, Iran, Nicaragua, and South Africa are but a few of the examples in this pattern of treachery. In each of these cases, our ally faced relentless, exaggerated (and often completely fabricated) charges of human rights abuse by the CFR-dominated U.S. media. The CFR-run State Department then used these unsubstantiated charges to cut off critical military support upon which the ally had become dependent, and paralyzed the ally government with diplomatic and economic threats. In the end, the ally was delivered over to the Communist thugs who never could have won on the field of battle, had the ally been allowed to fight.
The CFR imprint is all over the Clinton/Pastrana surrender plan. Aside from the official role of CFR members such as President Clinton, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the CFR has orchestrated critical support for this dangerous plan from corporate members, military men, journalists, human rights activists, and "elder statesmen."
On March 23rd, as Congress heatedly debated the Clinton request for Colombian aid, the CFR sponsored a panel of experts to urge quick approval for the package, saying that such support "would signal a strong U.S. commitment to help a troubled country at a critical moment.’’ This recommendation was contained in an interim report by an "independent task force" sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue. The co-chairmen for the task force are Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) and former National Security adviser Brent Scowcroft (CFR). Entitled First Steps Toward a Constructive U.S. Policy in Colombia, the CFR report endorsed the Clinton aid proposal but said that over the longer term Congress "should focus more broadly, going beyond drug fighting" to support Colombian efforts to remedy its social, economic, and institutional problems. This interim report is to be followed up by a final report in June, which will almost certainly propose "dollarization" for Colombia (adoption of the U.S. dollar as Colombia’s official currency) and push establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
As the task force report was released, General Henry Shelton (CFR), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Colombia for a series of media events timed to place additional pressure on Congress to approve the aid package.
Two weeks before the release of the CFR task force report, two of the Council’s fabulously wealthy entrepreneurs captured world headlines by flying to a FARC redoubt in the Colombian jungles to palaver with the terrorists’ "legendary" founder, 70-year-old Manuel Marulanda. After meeting with the Communist septuagenarian, James Kimsey, co-founder and chairman emeritus of America Online Inc., and Joseph Robert, head of J.E. Robert Company, a global real estate empire, flew to Bogota to consult with Pastrana. On returning to Washington, the CFR moguls said they were convinced that Marulanda and FARC are sincere in their claims of wanting peace and economic reform.
Several months previously, Marulanda had scored a similar propaganda victory when Richard Grasso, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (a corporate member of the CFR), beat a path to his jungle door, and also returned to the U.S. to proclaim his support for the "peace process."
Throughout March, FARC leaders, accompanied by Pastrana "peace delegates," conducted a triumphal, month-long European tour meeting with politicians, union leaders, businessmen, and journalists. Their meetings with the Eurosocialists are particularly significant in that it is quite obvious that the CFR Insiders are looking to their FARC comrades to help implement a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) patterned on the socialist European Union model.
The developing FTAA has been a longtime pet project of the Rockefeller family. The Summit of the Americas, held in Miami in December 1994, was the launch pad for the 34-nation organization. The event was completely a Rockefeller show from start to finish. The Summit and the FTAA were conceived, nurtured, and brought to fruition by the Council of the Americas (David Rockefeller, founder and honorary chairman), the Americas Society (David Rockefeller, chairman), the Forum of the Americas (David Rockefeller, founder), the U.S. Council of the Mexico-U.S. Business Committee (Rodman C. Rockefeller, chairman), the Council on Foreign Relations (David Rockefeller, former chairman), the Trilateral Commission (David Rockefeller, founder and honorary chairman), and the Chase Manhattan Bank (David Rockefeller, former chairman). Advocates of this internationalist scheme to destroy national sovereignty and merge the nations of the Western Hemisphere into a regional suprastate have repeatedly called for full implementation of the FTAA by 2005.
The Clinton foreign aid program to Colombia and his support for the Pastrana surrender process are manifestly injurious to the cause of true peace and will only succeed in further destabilizing Colombia and the surrounding area, strengthening the terrorists and drug lords, endangering the Panama Canal, and promoting the internationalist schemes for the sovereignty-destroying and misnamed Free Trade Area of the Americas.