The Chechens' American friends Chechens & 9/11

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The Chechens' American friends Chechens & 9/11

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:29 am

The Chechens' American friends
The Washington neocons' commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own
John Laughland
The Guardian, Wednesday 8 September 2004 18.59 EDT
An enormous head of steam has built up behind the view that President Putin is somehow the main culprit in the grisly events in North Ossetia. Soundbites and headlines such as "Grief turns to anger", "Harsh words for government", and "Criticism mounting against Putin" have abounded, while TV and radio correspondents in Beslan have been pressed on air to say that the people there blame Moscow as much as the terrorists. There have been numerous editorials encouraging us to understand - to quote the Sunday Times - the "underlying causes" of Chechen terrorism (usually Russian authoritarianism), while the widespread use of the word "rebels" to describe people who shoot children shows a surprising indulgence in the face of extreme brutality.
On closer inspection, it turns out that this so-called "mounting criticism" is in fact being driven by a specific group in the Russian political spectrum - and by its American supporters. The leading Russian critics of Putin's handling of the Beslan crisis are the pro-US politicians Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov - men associated with the extreme neoliberal market reforms which so devastated the Russian economy under the west's beloved Boris Yeltsin - and the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Centre. Funded by its New York head office, this influential thinktank - which operates in tandem with the military-political Rand Corporation, for instance in producing policy papers on Russia's role in helping the US restructure the "Greater Middle East" - has been quoted repeatedly in recent days blaming Putin for the Chechen atrocities. The centre has also been assiduous over recent months in arguing against Moscow's claims that there is a link between the Chechens and al-Qaida.

These people peddle essentially the same line as that expressed by Chechen leaders themselves, such as Ahmed Zakaev, the London exile who wrote in these pages yesterday. Other prominent figures who use the Chechen rebellion as a stick with which to beat Putin include Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who, like Zakaev, was granted political asylum in this country, although the Russian authorities want him on numerous charges. Moscow has often accused Berezovsky of funding Chechen rebels in the past.

By the same token, the BBC and other media sources are putting it about that Russian TV played down the Beslan crisis, while only western channels reported live, the implication being that Putin's Russia remains a highly controlled police state. But this view of the Russian media is precisely the opposite of the impression I gained while watching both CNN and Russian TV over the past week: the Russian channels had far better information and images from Beslan than their western competitors. This harshness towards Putin is perhaps explained by the fact that, in the US, the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled "distinguished Americans" who are its members is a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the "war on terror".

They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be "a cakewalk"; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush's plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.

The ACPC heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin's Russia, and cultivates support for the Chechen cause by emphasising the seriousness of human rights violations in the tiny Caucasian republic. It compares the Chechen crisis to those other fashionable "Muslim" causes, Bosnia and Kosovo - implying that only international intervention in the Caucasus can stabilise the situation there. In August, the ACPC welcomed the award of political asylum in the US, and a US-government funded grant, to Ilyas Akhmadov, foreign minister in the opposition Chechen government, and a man Moscow describes as a terrorist. Coming from both political parties, the ACPC members represent the backbone of the US foreign policy establishment, and their views are indeed those of the US administration.

Although the White House issued a condemnation of the Beslan hostage-takers, its official view remains that the Chechen conflict must be solved politically. According to ACPC member Charles Fairbanks of Johns Hopkins University, US pressure will now increase on Moscow to achieve a political, rather than military, solution - in other words to negotiate with terrorists, a policy the US resolutely rejects elsewhere.

Allegations are even being made in Russia that the west itself is somehow behind the Chechen rebellion, and that the purpose of such support is to weaken Russia, and to drive her out of the Caucasus. The fact that the Chechens are believed to use as a base the Pankisi gorge in neighbouring Georgia - a country which aspires to join Nato, has an extremely pro-American government, and where the US already has a significant military presence - only encourages such speculation. Putin himself even seemed to lend credence to the idea in his interview with foreign journalists on Monday.

Proof of any such western involvement would be difficult to obtain, but is it any wonder Russians are asking themselves such questions when the same people in Washington who demand the deployment of overwhelming military force against the US's so-called terrorist enemies also insist that Russia capitulate to hers?

· John Laughland is a trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group http://www.oscewatch.org


Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons
April 19, 2013
The revelation that the family of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings was from Chechnya prompted new speculation about the attack as Islamic terrorism. Less discussed was the history of U.S. neocons supporting Chechen terrorists as a strategy to weaken Russia, as ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley recalls.


By Coleen Rowley

I almost choked on my coffee listening to neoconservative Rudy Giuliani pompously claim on national TV that he was surprised about any Chechens being responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings because he’s never seen any indication that Chechen extremists harbored animosity toward the U.S.; Guiliani thought they were only focused on Russia.

Giuliani knows full well how the Chechen “terrorists” proved useful to the U.S. in keeping pressure on the Russians, much as the Afghan mujahedeen were used in the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1989. In fact, many neocons signed up as Chechnya’s “friends,” including former CIA Director James Woolsey.


Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
For instance, see this 2004 article in the UK Guardian, entitled, “The Chechens’ American friends: The Washington neocons’ commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own.”

Author John Laughland wrote: “the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled ‘distinguished Americans’ who are its members is a roll call of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusiastically support the ‘war on terror.’

“They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be ‘a cakewalk’; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R. James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush’s plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.”

The ACPC later sanitized “Chechnya” to “Caucasus” so it’s rebranded itself as the “American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus.”

Of course, Giuliani also just happens to be one of several neocons and corrupt politicians who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from MEK sources when that Iranian group was listed by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The money paid for these American politicians to lobby (illegally under the Patriot Act) U.S. officials to get MEK off the FTO list.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Alice in Wonderland is an understatement if you understand the full reality of what’s going on. But if you can handle going down the rabbit hole even further, check out prominent former New York Times journalist (and author of The Commission book) Phil Shenon’s discovery of the incredible “Terrible Missed Chance” a couple of years ago.

Shenon’s discovery involved key information that the FBI and the entire “intelligence” community mishandled and covered up, not only before 9/11 but for a decade afterward. And it also related to the exact point of my 2002 “whistleblower memo” that led to the post 9/11 DOJ-Inspector General investigation about FBI failures and also partially helped launch the 9/11 Commission investigation.

But still the full truth did not come out, even after Shenon’s blockbuster discovery in 2011 of the April 2001 memo linking the main Chechen leader Ibn al Khattab to Osama bin Laden. The buried April 2001 memo had been addressed to FBI Director Louis Freeh (another illegal recipient of MEK money, by the way!) and also to eight of the FBI’s top counter-terrorism officials.

Similar memos must have been widely shared with all U.S. intelligence in April 2001. Within days of terrorist suspect Zaccarias Moussaoui’s arrest in Minnesota on Aug. 16, 2001, French intelligence confirmed that Moussaoui had been fighting under and recruiting for Ibn al-Khattab, raising concerns about Moussaoui’s flight training.

Yet FBI Headquarters officials balked at allowing a search of his laptop and other property, still refusing to recognize that: 1) the Chechen separatists were themselves a “terrorist group” for purposes of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) legal requirement of acting “on behalf of a foreign power” and 2) that Moussaoui’s link to Ibn al Khattab inherently then linked him to bin Laden’s well-recognized Al Qaeda group for purposes of FISA (the point in my memo).

This all occurred during the same time that CIA Director George Tenet and other counter-terrorism officials — and don’t forget that Tenet was apprised of the information about Moussaoui’s arrest around Aug. 24, 2001 — told us their “hair was on fire” over the prospect of a major terrorist attack and “the system was blinking red.”

The post 9/11 investigations launched as a result of my 2002 “whistleblower memo” did conclude that a major mistake, which could have prevented or reduced 9/11, was the lack of recognition of al Khattab’s Chechen fighters as a “terrorist group” for purposes of FISA.

As far as I know, the several top FBI officials, who were the named recipients of the April 2001 intelligence memo entitled “Bin Laden/Ibn Khattab Threat Reporting” establishing how the two leaders were “heavily entwined,” brushed it off by mostly denying they had read the April 2001 memo (which explains why the memo had to be covered up as they attempted to cover up other embarrassing info).

There are other theories, of course, as to why U.S. officials could not understand or grasp this “terrorist link.” These involve the U.S.’s constant operating of “friendly terrorists,” perhaps even al Khattab himself (and/or those around him), on and off, opportunistically, for periods of time to go against “enemy” nations, i.e., the Soviet Union, and regimes we don’t’ like.

Shifting Lines

But officials can get confused when their former covert “assets” turn into enemies themselves. That’s what has happened with al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Libya and Syria, fighters who the U.S. government favored in their efforts to topple the Qaddafi and Assad regimes, respectively. These extremists are prone to turn against their American arms suppliers and handlers once the common enemy is defeated.

The same MO exists with the U.S. and Israel currently collaborating with the Iranian MEK terrorists who have committed assassinations inside Iran. The U.S. government has recently shifted the MEK terrorists from the ranks of “bad” to “good” terrorists as part of a broader campaign to undermine the Iranian government. For details, see “Our (New) Terrorists, the MEK: Have We Seen This Movie Before?”

Giuliani and his ilk engage, behind the scenes, in all these insidious operations but then blithely turn to the cameras to spew their hypocritical propaganda fueling the counterproductive “war on terror” for public consumption, when that serves their interests. Maybe this explains Giuliani’s amazement (or feigned ignorance) on Friday morning after the discovery that the family of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers was from Chechnya.

My observations are not meant to be a direct comment about the motivations of the two Boston bombing suspects whose thinking remains unclear. It’s still very premature and counterproductive to speculate on their motives.

But the lies and disinformation that go into the confusing and ever-morphing notion of “terrorism” result from the U.S. Military Industrial Complex (and its little brother, the “National Security Surveillance Complex”) and their need to control the mainstream media’s framing of the story.

So, a simplistic narrative/myth is put forth to sustain U.S. wars. From time to time, those details need to be reworked and some of the facts “forgotten” to maintain the storyline about bad terrorists “who hate the U.S.” when, in reality, the U.S. Government may have nurtured the same forces as “freedom fighters” against various “enemies.”

The bottom line is to never forget that “a poor man’s war is terrorism while a rich man’s terrorism is war” – and sometimes those lines cross for the purposes of big-power politics. War and terrorism seem to work in sync that way.


Terror in the Caucasus (Eyeopener Preview)
Posted by Corbett

Terror in the Caucasus: US sponsored, EU hosted, Turkey channeled

by James Corbett
BoilingFrogsPost.com
6 December, 2011

Turkish claims earlier this year that three Chechen militants who were gunned down in Istanbul were in fact killed by Russian agents hardly made a ripple in mainstream western media. Seen as a minor footnote to the ongoing Russian edition of the so-called Global War on Terrorism, it seemed like an interesting but isolated incident.

Far from being unusual, however, what this incident points to is only the latest data point on a graph that demonstrates protection of Chechen terrorists from the capital of Turkey right into the heart of Europe.



That the public might not have known that an accused Chechen separatist leader had been living openly in Britain for years before his arrest in Poland is hardly surprising; the Zakayev case was given some coverage in the European press at the time, but after having been seized while attending a Chechen rebel congress in Copenhagen, Danish authorities decided against extraditing him because of “insufficient evidence” that he was involved in murder and kidnapping. He ended up in London, where again Britain refused to extradite him to Russia.

What this case, and the many other instances of Chechen militants living openly in the heart of Europe points to is the fundamental hypocrisy underlying the US-led, NATO-enforced, Western-backed “war on terror” paradigm; just as the self-same Afghan mujahedeen could be called “freedom fighters” by one American president and “evildoers” by another, so, too, authorities can use the “freedom fighter” excuse to justify looking the other way when Islamic extremists from the Northern Caucasus set up base in Europe.

Upon closer examination, however, the West has not been involved in merely tacit support of the terrorists in the Caucasus, but in active funding, training and protection of these terrorists. The charge has been made openly by the Chechen president for years now.

Indeed, as revealed by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in a landmark interview with The Corbett Report last week, the information in the public record only reaffirm what she discovered while translating intercepts and communications for the FBI: that the west has been actively and openly supporting, funding and financing terrorists in the caucasus region for years, and are continuing to do so.

In 2008, Russia’s Channel One televisions station aired a documentary alleging that the financing for the Chechen militants was coming from a Turkish construction company, ENKA.

The documentary, entitled “The Caucasus Plan,” alleged intimate Western involvement in support of the Chechen separatists: that Germany printed the country’s new currency; that France produced new passports; and that the entire operation was being coordinated by the US.

A particular object of suspicion in the documentary were Turkish companies like ENKA, Alarka and Gama, which were accused of financing the Chechen rebels. The documentary was immediately denounced by anonymous Turkish officials, and prompted an official denial from ENKA.

As Sibel Edmonds noted in our interview, this is in fact a favored avenue of investment for the CIA and the US State Department’s black operations: to substantially overpay legitimate companies for no-bid contract work for the US government on the understanding that a percentage of the funds will be diverted to US operations in the area. According to Edmonds, this is exactly what happened in the case of ENKA.

The notion that the US is interested in the Caucasus region in general or would be interested specifically in helping to wrest control of the area from Kremlin-friendly groups is neither new nor controversial.

Perhaps the only puzzling factor in the whole situation is the relative silence from the Kremlin about these accusations. Given Moscow’s evident conviction that the Chechen terror organizations are being protected and supported by the West, why have they remained such relative silence? Are they afraid of starting a broader confrontation with NATO, one that could conceivably lead to the next world war? Are they waiting for the rock-solid documentation of the intervention that they can use in the court of public opinion? Or are they merely consolidating their own power, waiting for a strategic moment to act against those countries they suspect of attempting to destabilize and circumvent their regional dominance?

From the outside, it is impossible to tell. But until the reality behind the terror in the Caucasus is addressed more openly in western political discourse, we will never be able even to broach the question.


Image

True story of U.S sponsored Chechen terrorist ties to 9/11
Dick Cheney, Halliburton & Targeting Iran

This documentary tells you what you need to know about Cheney and how far he was willing to go and was able to do together with his neoconservative henchmen.

Unauthorised Documentary of Former Vice President Dick Cheney produced by The Fifth Estate

Click on picture to view documentary

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=5989DD4E003129AB[/youtube]

My letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee 2007 about the possible abuse of my report was based on the concern with Cheney and neoconservatives Abrams, Ledeen and Richard Perle's attempts to blend Chechens and Iran indicated by Richard Perle's associate and Sunday Telegraph's Middle East editor Con Coughlin's article "Tehran 'secretly trains' Chechens to fight in Russia" published 2005, Al Qaida and Iran, Cheney's effort to target Iran and aforementioned neoconservatives profound history of intelligence abuse. This concern was combined with ties the aforementioned neoconservatives to a local clique and 'group' (of opportunists) in Norway from the town (I call Trollville) I resided in and their role in retaliations againts the author and involvement in processing an assembly of unsuspecting ethnic muslims that the media could easily have labeled a "Norwegian homegrown terrorist cell". They included two North African brothers and a son (Suicide Bomber Candidate), a small group of Chechens dissidents (residing in nearby town), a lebanese family, a Pakistani businessman. Members of the local group (of opportunists) was in contact with associates and business partners of GRU Col Anton Surikov and GRU/ Chechen intelligence Ruslan Saidov from Adygea and Chechnya. Surikov and Saidov's strong ties to Chechen terrorists and Hizb ut Tahrir provided the recruitment abilities of the SBC.
See Hawk of Pandora volume II preview
Surikov and Saidov are business partners of FarWest, a subsidiary company of Halliburton. A Trollville local and friend of the clique and 'group' is a halliburton employee and played a role in reprisals towards the author.

Cheney was former CEO of Halliburton and still receives payment from Halliburton. Cheney as vice president had strong influences with Halliburton.

Members of group (of opportunists) were tied to and were in contact with American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC) members who had an interest in manipulating or abusing the Chechen memo/report delivered to the FBI Dec. 30, 2000.

Members of American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC) or American Turkish Council (ATC), American Enterprise Institute (AEI), American Israel Partnership Agreement Committee (AIPAC) involved:

Richard Perle (In Gol, Norway 2004 same weekend members of the local 'Group' were in Gol)
Michael Ledeen
Elliot Abrams (DAPNSA USEMB, Rabat, North Africa)
Marc Grossman (In Oslo, Norway 2002)
John Ashcroft (Oslo and Bergen 2003)
David Frum- Richard Perle's protege (In Oslo, Norway Oct. 2007 for CIVITA seminar)
Eric Edelman (Involved in CIA agent Valerie Plame outing) & Stephen Solarz (chairman ACPC) (both present local town in Sogn & Fjordane, Norway September, 2008) where this group (of opportunists) were from. Edelman and Solarz arrived at the same time members of the clique and freinds of the local Halliburton employee arrived back from a trip to Turkey.

All of these neocons were in some way or form involved with fabrications, intelligence abuse or investigated for national security abuses and treason.
All had some form of strong interests in supporting the Chechen mujahideen.

Richard Perle

Selling the Iraq War
Information provided by Powerbase.info

The Daily Telegraph has been cited as instrumental in the propaganda drive to convince the British and European public to support the Iraq War. The neoconservative Devon Cross lobbied to sell the Iraq War to the UK and Europe using the Policy Forum. The reason for this is stated on the Policy Forum's website:

American foreign policy and its goals and motivations in undertaking the War on Terror were increasingly subject to caricature and worse in the European media, and to outright misrepresentation in the broader public debate[12].
The Policy Forum claimed success in selling U.S. foreign policy to the British media including the Daily Telegraph. For these lobbying efforts, at the end of 2007, the US Department of Defense paid the Policy Forum around $80,000 which was paid to Devon Cross[13].

Devon Cross was at the Policy Forum at the same time as Richard Perle who also served as a director of Hollinger International, the firm that owned the Telegraph.

Con Coughlin

Editor Telegraph

Con Coughlin published the article
Teheran 'secretly trains' Chechens to fight in Russia

(This article was a major deja vu and sign that Richard Perle's network in England and the U.S were in the process of selling a new war against Iran and using Chechen connections to Iran in the same way that they falsely connected Al Qaida to Saddam Hussein. This was a major indication combined with the local activities of intents to abuse the report delivered to the FBI December 30, 2000.)
Con Coughlin is the executive foreign editor of the Daily Telegraph.[14] Coughlin controversially received stories directly from MI6. His relationship with the British intelligence services was exposed after a legal writ was served against The Telegraph for publishing a suggestion that Colonel Gadafy's son was involved in a fraud[15]. Coughlin also printed a story linking Saddam Hussein with Al-Qaeda and he has published articles on Iran using (in the words of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran) "unnamed and untraceable sources"[16][17][18].

Pentagon distribution

According to Jim Lobe "the Telegraph’s often-dramatic accounts of all kinds of Islamic skullduggery appeared frequently in the Pentagon’s “Early Bird,” a compilation of up to 50 or so “must-read” news stories, including Coughlin’s, distributed throughout the national-security bureaucracy every weekday morning, during the six-year stewardship of Donald Rumsfeld[19].




Michael Ledeen

Former Iran Contra Member
Info by http://www.cooperativeresearch.org

After November 2000: Neoconservative Michael Ledeen Regularly Provides Karl Rove with Advice, which Sometimes Becomes Official Policy

After the 2000 Presidential Election, Bush’s White House political adviser, Karl Rove, tells neoconservative Michael Ledeen “Anytime you have a good idea, tell me.” From that point on, according to Ledeen, every month or six weeks, Ledeen offers Rove “something you should be thinking about.” On more than one occasion, ideas faxed to Rove by Ledeen, “become official policy or rhetoric,” the Post reports. [Washington Post, 3/10/2003]

Ledeen's Role in Niger Yellow Cake Forgeries

December 9, 2001: Defense Officials Attend Secret Backchannel Meeting with Iranians
The Bush administration sends two defense officials, Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin, to meet with Iranians in Rome in response to an Iranian government offer to provide information relevant to the war on terrorism. The offer had been backchanneled by the Iranians to the White House through Manucher Ghorbanifar, an Iranian arms trader and a central person in the Iran-Contra affair, who contacted another Iran-Contra figure, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute. Ledeen passed the information on to his friends in the Defense Department who then relayed the offer to National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Hadley, who expressed no reservations about the proposed meeting, informed George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage. According to officials interviewed by the New York Times, the United States Embassy in Rome was not notified of the planned meeting as required by standard interagency procedures. Neither the US embassy nor the CIA station chief in Rome learns of the three-day meeting until after it happens (see December 12, 2001). When they do catch wind of the meeting, they notify CIA and State Department headquarters in Washington which complain to the administration about how the meetings were arranged. [Newsday, 8/9/2003; Washington Post, 8/9/2003; New York Times, 12/7/2003] In addition to Ghorbanifar, Ledeen, Franklin, and Rhode, the meeting is attended by Nicolo Pollari, head of SISMI, and Antonio Martino, Italy’s minister of defense. [Washington Monthly, 9/2004] According to the Boston Globe, either at this meeting, a similar one in June (see June 2002), or both, Ledeen and Ghorbanifar discuss ways to destabilize the Iranian government, possibly using the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, a US-designated terrorist group, as a US proxy. [Boston Globe, 8/31/2004] Additionally, according to an unnamed SISMI source, Pollari speaks with Ledeen about intelligence his agency has collected (see October 15, 2001) suggesting that Iraq made a deal with Niger to purchase several tons of uranium. SISMI already sent a report to Washington on the matter in mid-October (see October 15, 2001). Reportedly, Pollari has also approached CIA Station Chief Jeff Castelli about the report, but Castelli has since indicated he is not interested in the information. [La Repubblica (Rome), 10/25/2005]


See Hawk of Pandora volume II preview



Chechens & 9/11

Articles from accredited investigative journalists that link Chechens to 9/11


America’s Dangerous Chechnya Game Aided 9/11 Terrorists
By Mark Ames 2002( editor@exile.ru )

"US's reluctancy to take Chechens as terrorists helped to hide 9/11 preparations L ast December, an incredible piece of evidence... ... Surveillance Act] warrant. The Chechen rebels, while believed to have links with bin Laden, were not considered a terrorist group by."

Last December, an incredible piece of evidence emerged in the indictment of accused 9-11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

While most of the media and Capitol Hill were focused on the CIA and FBI’s failure to “connect the dots,” a crucial clue has still been left unexplored: the Al Qaeda-Chechnya connection. If the US Government had been willing to explore the Chechen Connection, it could have prevented the terror attacks on September 11th.

Buried in the middle of the June 6th Washington Post article “Hill Probers Upgrade Evidence Gathered From Moussaoui” was proof that the failure to uncover the terrorist plot was not just a matter of poor coordination, but rather a direct result of deliberate U.S. foreign policy.

I’m going to quote a large chunk of the article here because it is so stunning, and because it has hitherto been so grossly overlooked.

A bit of background: on August 16th, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested in Minneapolis on immigration charges after an official at the Pan Am International flight school told the FBI he feared Moussaoui was planning a hijacking. Over the next few weeks, Minneapolis FBI agents tried to convince Washington to give them a warrant to search Moussaoui. Washington refused. The local agents’ frustration reached such a pitch that they even went to CIA for help, for which they were upbraided by Washington.

Here is why they couldn’t get the warrant:

“The main point of the dispute [between the Minneapolis FBI branch and Washington] was the value of information gathered about Moussaoui, a French national who had entered the United States in early 2001, and whether there was enough evidence to secure a warrant to search his belongings.

“The FBI received information from French intelligence, for example, including interviews with a family that blamed Moussaoui for inciting their son to fight and die with Muslim rebels in Chechnya, sources said.

“In her letter to Mueller, Rowley wrote that the French reports ‘confirmed his affiliations with radical fundamentalist Islamic groups and activities connected to Osama bin Laden.’ She argued that agents had enough evidence in hand ‘within days’ of Moussaoui’s arrest to provide probable cause for a warrant.

“Headquarters officials, however, insist that the French information detailed no direct ties between Moussaoui and any designated terrorist group, a requirement for obtaining a FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant. The Chechen rebels, while believed to have links with bin Laden, were not considered a terrorist group by the State Department.

“‘The angle we consistently had with the French was the Chechnya angle,’ one U.S. official said. ‘There were no specifics about affiliations with al Qaeda, no reports of being in the [al Qaeda] camps in Afghanistan — nothing.’

“In the end, lawyers at FBI headquarters declined to approve the Minneapolis request for such a warrant. It wasn’t until Sept. 11, hours after the suicide attacks, that the FBI sought and obtained a search warrant, although it came from a criminal court rather than the intelligence panel.

“The evidence they allegedly found included a computer disk containing information related to crop-dusting; the phone numbers in Germany of Ramzi Binalshibh, an al Qaeda fugitive who allegedly helped finance the plot; and flight deck videos from an Ohio store where two of the hijackers, Mohammed Atta and Nawaf Alhazmi, had purchased the same equipment.

“...One of the most tantalizing pieces of information was correspondence identifying Moussaoui as a ‘marketing consultant’ for a Malaysian computer technology firm, Infocus Tech. The letters were signed by ‘Yazid Sufaat, Managing Director,’ and stipulated that Moussaoui was to receive a $2,500-per-month allowance.

“That connection, it now appears, could have proved critical. Sufaat, a Malaysian microbiologist, provided his Kuala Lumpur condominium for a ‘terrorism summit’ attended by Alhazmi and another Sept. 11 hijacker, Khalid Almihdhar, in January 2000, according to CIA and FBI officials [who monitored the summit]. The gathering was also attended by a man later identified as one of the leading suspects in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

“...Knowledge of Sufaat’s letter to Moussaoui would have disclosed a possible al Qaeda connection, but it remained unexamined while the Minneapolis agents tried and failed to obtain a search warrant.”

In other words, had America agreed to list the Chechen separatists as “terrorists,” as the Russians have been urging them to do since 1999, the warrant would have been immediately obtained and evidence of the plot possibly uncovered. This was America’s best chance of foiling the September 11th attacks. However, official U.S. policy has refused to recognize the Chechen separatists as terrorists linked to Al Qaeda—despite the incredible wealth of evidence proving the connection. The Moussaoui evidence shows that America’s policy of refusing to view the Chechen separatists as “terrorists” was directly responsible for the failure to pursue Moussaoui. This was not mere human error or bureaucratic inefficiency. It was the result of a carefully-designed policy worked out by the Bush Administration.


Zacarias Moussaoui: Saved By Chechens
Bush’s core foreign policy team—National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz—started boasting months before they took office about how tough on Russia they planned to get. And “tough on Russia” meant “soft on Chechnya”—after all, if the Chechens hated the Russians, they couldn’t be all bad.

One of the Bush administration’s first foreign-policy moves was deciding to meet representatives of the Chechen separatists at the highest level ever. In February of 2001, a ranking State Department official, John Beyrle, met with Ilyas Akhmadov, the foreign minister of the separatist Chechen leadership. (By comparison, the Clinton Administration had only allowed a Russian desk officer to meet with Akhmadov.)

The Russians were furious. Sergei Markov, one of the Kremlin’s leading talking tools, published an article, “Russia Can See Beyond Bush’s Cold-War Logic” on the Kremlin’s web site, strana.ru, in which he demanded that any US official who met with the Chechen rebels should be deemed persona non grata in Russia. Reading Markov’s article now, it’s clear the Russians were trying to make sense of this unprovoked humiliation:

“The team of Cold-War veterans and inexperienced diplomats who shape the diplomacy of the new U.S. administration is pushing Russia toward actions in keeping with Cold-War logic. But Russia cannot benefit from such logic: Russia seeks not confrontation, but integration with the West. Therefore, Russia should not accept Cold-War logic.”

It is a strange reversal of roles: America as the erratic belligerent, Russia as the sober negotiator, trying to calm the madman down.

The Chechen connection to International Islamic militants is nothing new. Chechens were one of the most visible ethnic groups among the foreign fighters in Afghanistan. Yet while Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Uighur separatists, the IMU and other groups fighting alongside Al Qaeda were labeled terrorists by the State Department and media, the Chechens were spared, simply because the Bush administration had a soft spot for any group which was anti-Russian.

Early this year, with the Bush Administration so drunk on its Afghan victory that it was ready to scrap the ABM treaty, expand NATO and establish bases in the Caucuses and Central Asia, America essentially pulled down its pants in front of Russia and yelled, “Eat Me!” For the first time in history, Radio Liberty began broadcasting in the Chechen language. The move was considered such a slap in the face that even Grigory Yavlinsky, one of the few liberal politicians with the courage to oppose the second Chechen war from the outset, said that Radio Liberty’s decision showed “the tactlessness that is typical of American politicians.”

Desperate Muslim separatist groups in any other country turn to extremism and terrorism, and they get labeled Al Qaeda-linked international terrorists. Chechens do the same only on a larger scale, and they get... a Radio Liberty broadcast and a good feting.

Why?

It’s not as if the Chechen-Al Qaeda link is a great secret.

The phrase “thousands of Chechen fighters” was repeated nearly every day in the Western press to describe the Al Qaeda fighters battling the Coalition troops.

Videotapes of Chechens cutting the throats of Russian hostages have been one of the top hits of the terrorist underworld.

Moussaoui was known to have got his start as a recruiter for Chechen war jihadists in France and elsewhere.

And last week Mounir Motassadeq, who is on trial in Hamburg accused of being part of Mohammed Atta’s cell, testified that Atta and his comrades had wanted to fight in Chechnya but were told by Al Qaeda that they weren’t needed there.

According to an October 23rd Washington Post article, “Hijackers Had Hoped To Fight In Chechnya, Court Told”:

“In the opening day of his trial in a Hamburg state court, Motassadeq testified that he knew of Atta’s ambition to fight in Chechnya and that the two men spoke together after Atta returned from Afghanistan in February 2000.

“‘Atta said to me, “I was in Afghanistan and the people said to us that the Chechens do not need [fighters] anymore,”’ Motassadeq testified.”

How much more obvious could the Chechnya connection be? Muhammed Atta only brought down the World Trade Center because he was turned away from his first dream: fighting in Chechnya.

In the past few months, at least 15 Al Qaeda members, two of whom were considered to be high ranking, were reported captured in the Pankisi Gorge, a northern-Georgia region that borders Chechnya and has been controlled by Chechen separatists until now. Indeed, the alleged presence of the Al Qaeda terrorists gave the U.S. a pretext for introducing Green Berets into Georgia, a move which the Russians saw as a shocking betrayal of the post-9/11 alliance.

Yet Western news reports over the past week covering the hostage crisis were contemptuous of President Putin’s claim that the terror attack on Moscow was tied to international terrorism. Even after the terrorists themselves announced their affiliation with Islamic extremism as loudly and clearly as possible by releasing a video of themselves on Al Jazeera—the venue of choice for international terrorists everywhere —Washington refuses to recognize the obvious.

Typical is this aside, from a Reuters hostage-crisis article:

“Russia has drawn attention to Arab fighters in Chechnya and accuses the rebels of links to radical Islamist groups like the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda, whom Washington blames for the September 11 attacks. But privately, Western diplomats play down any Chechen involvement by al Qaeda.”

Rival AP took the same line the next day:

“In televised remarks, Putin described the hostage-taking as one of the largest terror attacks in history and claimed it had been planned ‘in one of the foreign terrorist centers’ that ‘made a plan and found the perpetrators.’ He didn’t provide evidence that the raid was organized abroad.”

Can you imagine a single AP, Reuters or any American article questioning the Bush Administration’s “evidence” of Osama bin Laden’s guilt in the 9/11 attacks? Particularly in the middle of the terror?

It’s been a year now since the World Trade Towers fell, and I haven’t seen or read any hard evidence directly implicating bin Laden. I’m not saying he’s not guilty, but if we’re going to be fair about this, we’d have to ask what right America had to kill thousands of Afghan civilians in order to drive out Al Qaeda when so little evidence has been presented—and why the threshold for what constitutes “evidence” is so impossibly high in Russia’s case, where the Chechen rebels have all but screamed into the world’s face: “We’re linked to international terrorists! We’re linked to international terrorists!”

And why wouldn’t they be? The Chechens need all the help they can get. America allied with Stalin against Hitler—why wouldn’t Chechen separatists ally themselves with Al Qaeda, Wahabbites and whoever else would give them C-4, sat phones and phony passports? As besieged Muslims, they make an obvious object of sympathy for radical Muslims around the world who feed on grievances, particularly those with fond memories of the Afghanistan jihad that eventually drove the Soviets out (and Saudi oilogarchs looking to expand their influence).

Among those who fought the Soviets alongside Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan was Khattab, the slain Chechen rebel leader. It’s absurd to imagine that these men wouldn’t help each other in their respective jihads.

But the US refused to see a connection--until it needed the Russians’ help. The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow, said shortly after September 11, “We have long recognized that Osama bin Laden and other international networks have been fueling the flames in Chechnya, including the involvement of foreign commanders like Khattab.”

Unfortunately, that view of the Chechen separatists never became official policy. Most unfortunately for the victims of 9/11 that is.

The question then isn’t whether or not the Chechens are part of what is called “international terrorism.” They are. The question is rather why the West, and the U.S. in particular, makes such an exception for the Chechen cause. It’s nauseating to read how hard the right-wing American heart bleeds for Chechens, because the fact is American conservatives have never given a flying fuck about anyone who can’t golf.

Bush after all is Ariel Sharon’s biggest supporter in the whole wide world, calling him a “man of peace,” a description that must have made even Sharon wince.

The Palestinians aren’t the only oppressed Muslims whom the Bush Administration could give an official “your oppression doesn’t exist” shit about. The U.S. hasn’t made a cause over the plight of Turkey’s Kurds (80,000 dead in 15 years), the Philippines’ Muslims (120,000 dead in 24 years), China’s Uighurs, the Fergana Valley separatists in Central Asia (our new Caspian oil region friends), or any other of our friends’ Muslim separatist minorities—not to mention the hundreds of millions of Arabs who live under despotic regimes propped up by the U.S.


Fred Hiatt: Cuckolded!
The Bush Administration said from the start that they were reorienting their foreign policy away from Clinton’s policy of promoting human rights and democracy—which they found childish and “unrealistic”—towards a policy promoting “American interests,” which presumably means U.S. oil and military interests. It’s all in the great Republican tradition of the coalition of Twerps and Frat Boys: the Twerps love the sound of their leaders talking “realism” and the Frat Boys love their oil tankers.

Thus today, Chinese Uighur separatists, the IMU (an Al Qaeda-linked separatist group in the Fergana Valley), Philippine Muslim separatists Abu Sayyef and the Kurdish PKK are all on the State Department’s terrorist list.

Not the Chechens. Not even after last week.

It’s not because Chechens are soft, cuddly people. During the period of Chechen independence from 1996-1999, the Chechens kidnapped up to 3,500 Russians, introduced radical Sharia law and invaded Dagestan. If you believe Putin, Chechen terrorists also were responsible for the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that killed over 300. They have committed numerous terrorist acts—from last week’s attack on the Nord-Ost musical to airliner, ferry and hotel hijackings, bombings, assassinations. Each is a terrorist act by any “official” definition. Yet somehow the Chechens have been able to avoid being labeled “terrorists.” They’re just legitimate separatists who happen to have elements who engage in terrorist acts, right?

(Remember, this isn’t a flaky semantic dispute or a Russophile/Russophobe debate: the use of the term is vital because it is the difference between whether or not a group gets its bank accounts frozen, its members harassed and hunted, and law enforcement officials access to FISA warrants on-demand.)

This bizarre double-standard holds true in the media as well. I tracked the evolution of the words used to describe the Chechen terrorists in the American press during the opening hours of the Moscow siege last Wednesday night. It was amazing: every possible description was found to avoid using the word terrorist, as if the Western reporters had a thesaurus with specific instructions: “Don’t use the word ‘terrorist’!”

In the early hours of the hostage crisis, Reuters called the Chechens an “armed gang,” while AP and CNN called them “Gunmen.” The BBC called the Chechens “armed attackers.” Like bank robbers or Crips. This in spite of the fact that in the same article, they described how the “gunmen” were Chechens ready for suicide and that they would blow all 800 hostages up if Russia didn’t end its war in Chechnya.

When it was clear that “armed gang” and “gunmen” had specific political demands, Reuters, early Thursday morning Moscow time, changed its term describing the Chechens: “About 40 Chechen guerrillas armed with guns and grenades held hundreds of Moscow theater-goers hostage on Wednesday night, threatening to blow up the building if police tried to storm it.”

Not to be outdone, AP found a similar yet equally value-friendly term to define the Chechens: “About 50 armed Chechen rebels seized a crowded Moscow theater Wednesday night, firing their weapons and taking hundreds in the audience hostage.”

They went from an “armed gang” and “gunmen” to “guerrillas” and “rebels.” It’s actually an improvement value-wise. Which would you rather be known as if you were taking over a theater of 800 innocents and trying to gain sympathy for your cause: a “terrorist” [worst], a “gunman” [bad, but better] or a “rebel”? Here’s a hint: The Boston Tea Party and the Lexington Minutemen were “rebels.” Al Qaeda and Abu Sayyef are “terrorists.”

Which makes me wonder: why aren’t Al Qaeda known as guerrillas or rebels? Their political demands are clear: stop supporting Israel and corrupt Arab regimes. Why wasn’t the poor sap who farted his way out to the USS Cole on a rubber dinghy packed with C-4 a “rebel” or a “guerrilla”?

I’ve searched Yahoo for the past few weeks to see why some groups are called “terrorist” while others are “rebels.” Here is a partial list of all the terrorists in the headlines: "Terrorists behind bomb blast at southern Afghanistan school, education officials say" [Oct 20]; "Court orders retrial of convicted Jordanian-American terrorist" [Oct 16]; "Woman jailed as terrorist suspect linked to Briton's murder" [Oct 15]; "New Zealand increases pressure on Indonesia to hunt down terrorists" [Oct 15]; "Yemen Blast Likely a Terrorist Act" [Oct 11]; "Terrorist Kin to Head Venezuela Post" [Oct 11]; "Kyrgyzstan and China begin joint anti-terrorist exercises" [Oct 10]; "Philippine mission to urge EU to declare local communist rebel group a foreign terrorist organization" [Oct 10 - and by the way, the EU listened to the Philippines]; "Marine Killed in Terrorist Attack in Kuwait" [Oct 9];

It’s pretty easy to find the pattern: If you are a stateless guerrilla group and you attack America or America’s sphere of influence, you are a terrorist. In an October 12th AP article “A List of Terrorist Attacks” catalogues the year’s terror highlights, including bombs in the Philippines, Bali, Pakistan and Tunisia...yet no mention of the bomb in Kaspysk, which killed 42 Russian marching band members! Amazingly, even an attack on inorganic matter—a French oil tanker—gets terrorist billing over Chechen “rebel/guerrilla” attacks on 800 innocent middle-class Muscovites.

You’ve got to wonder: Do Russians count as people to the West?

Russia’s problem, first and foremost, is that it dared, under Putin, to assert itself. That was unforgivable, and allowed the American Right to revert back to the only role it has felt comfortable in for the last 50 years: Russia-bashing.

Western journalists have had a somewhat more confused relationship with the Chechen resistance. At first, in 1994, it seemed like the Next Big Bosnia: evil Orthodox Slavic oppressors versus oppressed Muslim minority underdogs. Many a cub reporter’s career was made in Chechnya... that is, until the Chechens got their independence and started lopping off everyone’s heads, including Westerners’.

When the second Chechen War started, Western reporters were less inclined to see the Chechens as good-hearted minority underdogs. They were scared of the Chechens. And after the debacle in Kosovo, where another oppressed Muslim minority turned savage oppressor once given power, most Western journalists were a little less inclined to hyper-romanticize the Chechens.

However, the brutal behavior of the Russian occupying troops, as well as Putin’s refusal to toe Bush’s line on the war in Iraq, has brought out the latent Russophobe in many a powerful journalist.

Nowhere is this Russophobia more evident than in the Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt.

Hiatt’s Russophobia comes from a sense of having been personally betrayed by the Russian financial collapse in August, 1998. Up till then, Hiatt was one of the most shameless and shameful cheerleaders of Yeltsin’s kleptocracy.

In one of his most infamous articles in March, 1998, Hiatt wrote an unabashed blowjob on oligarch Vladimir Potanin, lovingly labeling him a “baby billionaire.” He called shock therapy “necessary” and “right” and its architect, Yegor Gaidar, Russia’s “most admirable reformer.”

Then it happened: the 1998 crash and incontrovertible proof that the Hiatts—that is, the entire Western press corps and think tank division—was wrong. Hiatt’s answer?

Rallying from post-crash crash humiliation, Hiatt went on the offensive in his “Who Lost Russia?” article in which he wrote that the failure in Russia was “not the failure of the U.S., but a Russian failure,” and that the question of Who Lost Russia was not appropriate because “Russia was never ours to lose.” Russia had outed Hiatt, shown everyone that he’d lived a lie for nearly a decade, as shill for a gang of thieves. Hiatt, and all the other chirpy neo-liberal missionaries, have never forgiven Russia for revealing them as the third-rate suckups they are.

Hiatt and his fellow neo-liberal boosters made Russia into their own pro bono patient. But when the patient didn’t respond to the medicine they were force-feeding it, they blamed the patient—indeed, hated the patient—and haven’t forgiven him since.

In 1999, Hiatt moved to Washington to take over the Post’s opinion page, perhaps the single most influential newsprint job in the world, which he has turned into a grotesquely anti-Russian forum. a platform for Hiatt’s spurned-love type hatred of Russia.

But I never thought that even Hiatt could write what he did in last Friday’s Post. On that Friday, two days into the hostage siege, Hiatt published what must surely be the most inhuman, offensive Washington Post editorial of his career, “Chechnya in Moscow.” It must be quoted at length because paraphrase would be taken for wild exaggeration. And remember again, this was published in the middle of the hostage crisis:

“Even if they prove to be real, the hostage-takers’ supposed links to other fanatical groups—and the Russian media’s insistence already that ‘this is our Sept. 11’—should not be allowed to obscure the differences between America’s war on terrorism and Russia’s war against Chechnya. It is important to draw distinctions between Mr. Maskhadov, the mainstream Chechen commanders and the Chechen civilian population, on the one hand, and the Muslim militants, on the other. The latter have played only a peripheral role in the conflict, while the former are fighting a legitimate war against an outside invader.”

This is a lie and Hiatt knows it. The top two warlords during the bulk of the conflict have been Shamil Basayev and Khattab, both radical Muslims. But more than that, notice the derision he casts not just on the idea that the “hostage takers’ have links to other fanatical groups”—and even more offensively, Hiatt, hiding behind the anonymous weight of the Washington Post editorial page, is genuinely outraged that the Russians could possibly claim to have a tragedy like America’s when he includes “the Russian media’s insistence that ‘this is our Sept. 11’” clause as part of that which doesn’t really matter, “even if it proves to be real.” Who are the Russians to compare their pain to ours? They’re nobodies, that’s who!

Incredibly enough, with 800 innocent civilians lives on the line, Hiatt’s first instinct is to say, “Your tragedy’s not as big as my tragedy!” That, folks, is the level of compassion and sophistication at which America’s most influential opinion-maker operates.

It isn’t that Hiatt is anti-war. God no, the man loves it! He was oddly forgiving of Russia’s military conduct during the first Chechen war, when his young reformer friends were in power in Moscow. He was aggressively in favor of bombing Serbia in 1999, even going so far as to blame the deaths caused by America on Milosevic, and encouraging NATO to bomb “Mr. Milosevic” [as if only he, and not 10 million Serbs, were being targeted] “no matter how long it takes.”

Today, Hiatt is considered one of the country’s leading editorial hawks on Iraq, for which he was singled out by The Nation as perhaps the single most influential propagandist for the upcoming war. He is anything but squeamish as a rule.

But he sure as hell cares about Chechens! Or rather, he sure as hell can’t seem to forgive the Russians. The above-mentioned editorial ends with an over-the-top swipe at Russia during what was truly one of its darkest moments in modern history. In it, he blames the Moscow hostage crisis and looming death of 800 Russians squarely on Russia itself, much as he blamed Russia for its own economic collapse four years earlier, the last time Russia had suffered such a serious shock:

“Russia’s war in Chechnya is also different because—unlike America’s war on terrorism—it has a clear political solution. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, could begin negotiating with Mr. Maskhadov tomorrow and could end the war just as easily, if he could muster the political willpower. Paradoxically, ending the war would also make the fight against al Qaeda’s terrorist network in Chechnya far easier. In the end, it is the Russian government’s invasion—with its systematic bombardment of civilians, its human rights violations and its mass executions—that has created anarchy in Chechnya, so conducive to al Qaeda and its ilk. While the United States must support Mr. Putin during this frightening new crisis, the Bush administration must also do everything it can to persuade the Russians, finally, to confront its true cause.”

Hiatt’s outburst was so shocking that the Russian ambassador, Yuri Ushakov, wrote a letter to the Post, published the next day:

“Imagine that on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, an influential Russian newspaper used the previous day’s terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon as an opportunity to lecture the U.S. government on its conduct. I suspect that most Americans would have found this patronizing advice to be deeply offensive, and yet this is precisely what The Post has done in its Oct. 25 editorial “Chechnya in Moscow.” Moreover, The Post took this position while hundreds of innocent civilians—including women, children and, yes, Americans—continued to be held hostage and threatened with mass murder at the hands of their Chechen captors.

“The Post claims that Russia’s war in Chechnya is different from the American war on terrorism because it could be ended “easily” if President Vladimir Putin had sufficient “political willpower.” But the United States could also bring an end to the war on terrorism, for example, by abandoning Israel, closing its bases in the region and withdrawing its troops. Successive U.S. administrations have maintained these policies because they have seen them as important or even vital to U.S. national interests. My country’s territorial integrity is no less important to its government and citizens.

“Aslan Maskhadov’s policies during 1996-99—when he was Chechen leader and the Russian military was practically absent from Chechnya—speak for themselves. During this period Chechnya, which enjoyed de facto independence, adopted Islamic sharia courts, developed an alliance with the Taliban, offered hospitality to al Qaeda representatives and became the scene of widespread kidnapping and murder, including of Western aid workers. Russia’s reintroduction of its military forces in 1999 came after attacks by Chechen forces in the adjacent region of Dagestan. It also followed terrorist bombings, linked to Chechen groups, of three apartment buildings; hundreds of innocent people were killed. The outrageous mass hostage-taking still underway should demonstrate to any unbiased observer that the Chechen militants are perfectly capable of such acts.

“Muscovites and other Russians closely followed the acts of the Washington sniper in recent weeks, identified with the fear and insecurity of area residents, and have been happy to see the apparent capture of those responsible. As Moscow’s crisis unfolded, President Bush was among the first foreign leaders to call President Putin to extend his sympathy and help; he offered not only political but also practical support in resolving the hostage situation. But no less important to the Russian people is the simple demonstration of Americans’ broader sympathy during this moment of great trial.

“As a Russian—as a human being—I am sorry that The Post cannot offer even that much.

YURI USHAKOV
Ambassador
Embassy of the Russian Federation Washington”

With Russophobes like Hiatt egging on the rightwingers in Bush’s administration, the US imposed an utterly ruinous policy of flirtatious accommodation with the Chechen separatists. Ruinous because this policy was one of the key reasons why the 9/11 plot was not uncovered, and ruinous because of future unforeseen consequences not just in terms of our relations with Russia, but because, like it or not, the Chechens really are linked to international Islamic terrorism.

In other words: if anything clearly wasn’t in America’s interests, it’s America’s coy and cynical game vis-‡-vis the Chechen separatists.

This isn’t easy to print publicly, even though I know several Western correspondents who, at the beginning of the second Chechen war, said much worse things off-the-record about the Chechens and what they deserved.


Chechenz with Attitudes
But the war is still going on three years later. It is savage and brutal, it no longer feels like revenge or giving the Chechens what they deserve for having fucked up their years of independence so badly. It’s a slow, dull genocide. Like so many other genocides we ignore. It seems to have such a clear solution to civilized Westerners: Putin should simply negotiate peace with Maskhadov, shake hands, and be done with it. Yet when America bombed Serbia, the Hiatts and McFauls didn’t patronizingly demand that Clinton negotiate a settlement with Milosevic; rather, Hiatt demanded that NATO keeping bombing “no matter how long it takes.” Nor has he called for a political solution with Iraq. America refused to negotiate with Milosevic unless he met all their demands unconditionally; today, America refuses to negotiate with Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden at all, ever. Why would negotiation be “different” and clearly logical in Chechnya, which already has a record of a massively failed negotiated settlement, and whose dispute (are/aren’t a part of Russia) is absolute and thus beyond compromise?

It would be equally absurd to pretend that the Chechens aren’t hooked deeply into Islamic extremism. The Chechens separatists aren’t cute, harmless rebels. They don’t aspire to be; they are great fighters and proud of it. And, like it or not, a lot of them are world-class kidnappers, killers, and extortionists.

No Westerner will dare say this. The Hiatts of America and the West don’t want to see it. They are as blind and simplistic in their jeering at Russia today as they were in cheering the reformers before the financial crisis.

This administration is supposed to be “realistic” about “America’s interests.”

So what is America’s interest in fetishizing the Chechen cause while befriending just about every other minority-oppressing tyrant on the globe?

If you want “realism,” here are some grim realities behind America’s bizarre coyness toward the Chechens. First: Wahhabism, a Saudi export, is the preferred version of Islamic extremism among Chechen fighters. Turkey has been often fingered as another supporter of Chechen separatism, and it’s no coincidence that the only Chechen terrorist operations outside Russia have taken place in Turkey. During last week’s hostage crisis, the FSB traced the terrorists’ consultation calls to Saudi Arabia and Turkey and their embassies in Moscow.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are two very close allies of America. Saudi Arabia is the number one oil producer; Russia is number two and threatening to break into the US market and disrupt OPEC. Turkey is the destination point for the Caspian Sea oil, the third largest reserves in the world. Its Ceyhan outlet will compete against Russian ports. Four of the five Central Asian republics speak a Turkic language, something Turkey has consistently tried to exploit, fomenting pan-Turkic sentiment throughout the 'Stans.

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia and Turkey have a hand in the Chechen war. The question is to what degree America's policy towards the Chechen separatists is influenced by its allies' support of the Chechens--and whether or not the Bush administration is serving its own people's interests as well as it's serving its oil allies'. But this isn't the first time this question has been raised.

America's greatest fear now is that Al Qaeda will set off a nuclear or dirty nuke in a major city. Russia is a poor, corrupt, badly governed nation awash in nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry. During the first Chechen war, the Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev left a small container of highly radioactive material in Moscow's Sokolniki park to let the authorities know what he had at his disposal and how far he'd be willing to go.

Recent reports suggest that Al Qaeda is recruiting non-Arab-looking operatives to carry out operations in the West and America. Chechens, particularly the more Slavic-looking ones, were cited as ideal recruits.

Considering the power and strength of the Chechen mafia and its access to any corner of Russia, the brutality and bravery of Chechnya's fighters, their religious fanaticism and links to Islamic extremism, is it really a good idea to let mindless Cold War Russophobia keep the Chechen separatists off the US State Department's international terrorist list?

In the past two days, White House officials have been using the word "terrorists" to describe last week's attack. HOwever, with an emotiaonlly unstable Russophobic media goon like Fred Hiatt controlling the nation's most influential Op-Ed pages, and thousands more Hiatts in alliance with the Cold War Waffentwerpen who dominate Bush's foreign policy team, it's hard to believe that the administration will make any move that it perceives as benefiting Russia--even if that means shooting America in the nuts.

http://www.exile.ru/153/153010101.html




The Chechens' American friends

The Washington neocons' commitment to the war on terror evaporates in Chechnya, whose cause they have made their own

John Laughland The Guardian, Wednesday 8 September 2004 23.59 BST


An enormous head of steam has built up behind the view that President Putin is somehow the main culprit in the grisly events in North Ossetia. Soundbites and headlines such as "Grief turns to anger", "Harsh words for government", and "Criticism mounting against Putin" have abounded, while TV and radio correspondents in Beslan have been pressed on air to say that the people there blame Moscow as much as the terrorists. There have been numerous editorials encouraging us to understand - to quote the Sunday Times - the "underlying causes" of Chechen terrorism (usually Russian authoritarianism), while the widespread use of the word "rebels" to describe people who shoot children shows a surprising indulgence in the face of extreme brutality.
On closer inspection, it turns out that this so-called "mounting criticism" is in fact being driven by a specific group in the Russian political spectrum - and by its American supporters. The leading Russian critics of Putin's handling of the Beslan crisis are the pro-US politicians Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov - men associated with the extreme neoliberal market reforms which so devastated the Russian economy under the west's beloved Boris Yeltsin - and the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Centre. Funded by its New York head office, this influential thinktank - which operates in tandem with the military-political Rand Corporation, for instance in producing policy papers on Russia's role in helping the US restructure the "Greater Middle East" - has been quoted repeatedly in recent days blaming Putin for the Chechen atrocities. The centre has also been assiduous over recent months in arguing against Moscow's claims that there is a link between the Chechens and al-Qaida.

These people peddle essentially the same line as that expressed by Chechen leaders themselves, such as Ahmed Zakaev, the London exile who wrote in these pages yesterday. Other prominent figures who use the Chechen rebellion as a stick with which to beat Putin include Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch who, like Zakaev, was granted political asylum in this country, although the Russian authorities want him on numerous charges. Moscow has often accused Berezovsky of funding Chechen rebels in the past.

By the same token, the BBC and other media sources are putting it about that Russian TV played down the Beslan crisis, while only western channels reported live, the implication being that Putin's Russia remains a highly controlled police state. But this view of the Russian media is precisely the opposite of the impression I gained while watching both CNN and Russian TV over the past week: the Russian channels had far better information and images from Beslan than their western competitors. This harshness towards Putin is perhaps explained by the fact that, in the US, the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled "distinguished Americans" who are its members is a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the "war on terror".

They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be "a cakewalk"; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush's plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.

The ACPC heavily promotes the idea that the Chechen rebellion shows the undemocratic nature of Putin's Russia, and cultivates support for the Chechen cause by emphasising the seriousness of human rights violations in the tiny Caucasian republic. It compares the Chechen crisis to those other fashionable "Muslim" causes, Bosnia and Kosovo - implying that only international intervention in the Caucasus can stabilise the situation there. In August, the ACPC welcomed the award of political asylum in the US, and a US-government funded grant, to Ilyas Akhmadov, foreign minister in the opposition Chechen government, and a man Moscow describes as a terrorist. Coming from both political parties, the ACPC members represent the backbone of the US foreign policy establishment, and their views are indeed those of the US administration.

Although the White House issued a condemnation of the Beslan hostage-takers, its official view remains that the Chechen conflict must be solved politically. According to ACPC member Charles Fairbanks of Johns Hopkins University, US pressure will now increase on Moscow to achieve a political, rather than military, solution - in other words to negotiate with terrorists, a policy the US resolutely rejects elsewhere.

Allegations are even being made in Russia that the west itself is somehow behind the Chechen rebellion, and that the purpose of such support is to weaken Russia, and to drive her out of the Caucasus. The fact that the Chechens are believed to use as a base the Pankisi gorge in neighbouring Georgia - a country which aspires to join Nato, has an extremely pro-American government, and where the US already has a significant military presence - only encourages such speculation. Putin himself even seemed to lend credence to the idea in his interview with foreign journalists on Monday.

Proof of any such western involvement would be difficult to obtain, but is it any wonder Russians are asking themselves such questions when the same people in Washington who demand the deployment of overwhelming military force against the US's so-called terrorist enemies also insist that Russia capitulate to hers?

· John Laughland is a trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group http://www.oscewatch.org


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chechen with a WTC map captured

Sun, 2001-09-23 20:05 — admin
MOSCOW - Russia's main security agency detained a resident of breakaway Chechnya who allegedly had a plan outlining terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center involving airplanes, according to a news report Monday.

The Chechnya branch of the Federal Security Service saidthe suspect was picked up in the city of Argun along with army tents and sleeping bags, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

The report said the word "jihad," or holy war, was written on the back of the piece of paper with the attack plan. The report did not say when the man was detained or give any details.

It was impossible to verify the claim. A spokeswoman for the security service headquarters in Moscow said she had no information about the detention.

The service's Chechnya office could not immediately be reached. Russian officials have made other such claims since terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington earlier this month. Last week, the Federal Security Service said it had found a computer compact disc during a raid in Chechnya containing instructions on flying Boeing aircraft - the planes used in the attacks.

Russian officials insist they are fighting international terrorists in Chechnya, and have expressed hope that the attacks on the United States would attract sympathy for the Russian military's plight in the breakaway republic. U.S. and other Western officials have criticized Russia's heavy-handed tactics in Chechnya.


"organised criminal formations"


Who Poisoned Alexander Litvinenko? Radioactive thallium


Berezovski/Litvinenko Connection/Article

Alexander Litvinenko

Security agent sucked into a world of Russian power games and oligarchs

Tom Parfitt
The Guardian, Saturday 25 November 2006

Alexander Litvinenko, who has died in a London hospital aged 43 from a mysterious illness, was a career security services officer who got sucked into the dark underworld of Russian politics.
Born in Voronezh, south-west Russia, he joined the army out of school, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Then, in the dying days of the Soviet Union in 1988, he entered the counter-intelligence department of the KGB.

In 1991, once the KGB's directorates had split up, he worked for the federal security service (FSB), fighting terrorism and organised crime, sometimes operating in Chechnya. In 1997 he moved to one of the most secret divisions of the service, a unit called URPO investigating "organised criminal formations".

At this time, a former mathematician turned businessman called Boris Berezovsky was making his fortune car dealing and picking up chunks of state companies in dubious privatisation deals. Shrewd, manipulative and charged with boundless energy, Berezovsky soon inveigled his way into the Kremlin, becoming a power behind the throne in the later years of the Yeltsin presidency.

As Yeltsin's health and popularity waned, Berezovsky, one of the first tycoons to be called an oligarch because of his political heft, needed allies to protect his position as rivals closed in on his business holdings. He fell in with Litvinenko, who had earlier investigated a car bomb attack in which Berezovsky narrowly escaped.

Then, in 1998, Litvinenko called a press conference, claiming that a year earlier he had been instructed to kill Berezovsky by then deputy head of the Russian security council. Flanked by other members of his FSB unit, one in a black balaclava, Litvinenko said his superiors had threatened him with violence when he refused their order to "kill the Jew who'd robbed half the country".

The truth of the accusation would remain disputed. Critics said it was fabricated to help Berezovsky blacken enemies in the FSB. Litvinenko claimed it was just one manifestation of the corruption and violence inside the FSB that he wanted to expose.

He was arrested the following March and imprisoned in the FSB prison at Lefortovo in Moscow on charges of exceeding his authority at work. He was acquitted in November 1999 but re-arrested before the charges were again dismissed in 2000. A third criminal case began but Litvinenko secretly left the country, ending up in London with his wife Marina, and was granted political asylum. In 2002 he was convicted in his absence in Russia and handed a three and a half year jail sentence.

In Britain, Litvinenko was reunited with Berezovsky, now too living in self-imposed exile. Litvinenko wrote two books, the first, The FSB Blows up Russia (2001), implicated the security services in a series of apartment block bombings in 1999 that killed more than 300 people. The attacks were blamed on Chechen rebels, but his book echoed fears of state involvement as a means of justifying the second war in Chechnya. The other was The Criminal Group from the Lubyanka (2002). However, other accusations, such as that FSB agents trained al-Qaida operatives in Dagestan and were involved in the September 11 attacks, did little for his credibility.

Before his death he was said to be investigating last month's assassination in Moscow of his acquaintance, the investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya (obituary, October 9).

What is certain is that Litvinenko will remain a disputed figure; to some a courageous defector and whistleblower, to others a traitor and oligarch's sidekick.

He is survived by Marina and their son, Anatoli.

· Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko, security service officer, born 1962; died November 23 2006


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011




WikiLeaks cables: Russia 'was tracking killers of Alexander Litvinenko but UK warned it off'

Claim that British intelligence was incompetent will deepen diplomatic row sparked by move to deport MP's Russian researcher

Jamie Doward and Emily Dyer
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 11 December 2010 21.30 GMT


Alexander Litvinenko, in intensive care shortly before his death from poisoning at University College Hospital, London, in 2006. Photograph: Natasja Weitsz/Getty Images
Russia was tracking the assassins of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but was warned off by Britain, which said the situation was "under control", according to claims made in a leaked US diplomatic cable.

The secret memo, recording a 2006 meeting between an ex-CIA bureau chief and a former KGB officer, is set to reignite the diplomatic row surrounding Litvinenko's unsolved murder that year, which many espionage experts have linked directly to the Kremlin.

The latest WikiLeaks release comes after relations between Moscow and London soured as a result of Britain's decision to expel a Russian parliamentary researcher suspected of being a spy.

The memo, written by staff at the US embassy in Paris, records "an amicable 7 December dinner meeting with ambassador-at-large Henry Crumpton [and] Russian special presidential representative Anatoliy Safonov", two weeks after Litvinenko's death from polonium poisoning had triggered an international hunt for his killers.

During the dinner, Crumpton, who ran the CIA's Afghanistan operations before becoming the US ambassador for counter-terrorism, and Safonov, an ex-KGB colonel-general, discussed ways the two countries could work together to tackle terrorism. The memo records that "Safonov opened the meeting by expressing his appreciation for US/Russian co-operative efforts thus far. He cited the recent events in London – specifically the murder of a former Russian spy by exposure to radioactive agents – as evidence of how great the threat remained and how much more there was to do on the co-operative front."

The memo contains an observation from US embassy officials that Safonov's comments suggested Russia "was not involved in the killing, although Safonov did not offer any further explanation".

Later the memo records that Safonov claimed that "Russian authorities in London had known about and followed individuals moving radioactive substances into the city but were told by the British that they were under control before the poisoning took place".

The claim will be rejected in many quarters as a clumsy attempt by Moscow to deflect accusations that its agents were involved in the assassination.

Russia says it had nothing to do with the murder, but espionage experts claim the killing would not have been possible without Kremlin backing. Shortly before he died, Litvinenko said he had met two former KGB agents, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi, on the day he fell ill. Both men deny wrongdoing, but Britain has made a formal request for Lugovoi's extradition following a recommendation by the director of public prosecutions.

New evidence linking Russia with the death of Litvinenko was recently produced by his widow, Marina, who procured documents allegedly showing the FSB security service seized a container of polonium in the weeks before the poisoning. Moscow disputes the claims.

The allegation that British authorities were monitoring the assassins' progress through London is likely to raise questions about whether Litvinenko was warned his life may have been at risk in the days before he was murdered.

Several people familiar with the affair said they thought Safonov's claims implausible, with one saying he had never heard it aired within London intelligence circles before. Nevertheless Safonov's remarks – in effect questioning the competence of Britain's security services – will do little to heal the relationship between London and Moscow.

The claims come after Britain announced that Katia Zatuliveter, a 25-year-old Russian working for the Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, is to be deported amid suspicions she was spying for the Kremlin, a charge she plans to contest.

Alexander Sternik, chargé d'affaires at Russia's embassy in London, hinted that the deportation could trigger tit-for-tat expulsions and denounced the move as a "PR stunt" designed to mask Britain's own problems. "These problems are many over the last couple of months," Sternik said. "You can cite the unflattering leaks from WikiLeaks and [England's] unsuccessful [World Cup] bid."

The Paris embassy memo also shines new light on relations between Washington and Moscow. Henry Crumpton reportedly gained almost mythical status after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has been identified in the US media as a CIA agent quoted in the 11 September commission report as unsuccessfully pressing the agency to do more in Afghanistan to combat Osama bin Laden.

Safonov was once tipped to take the top job at the federal security service after the then Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, dismissed its incumbent.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011



Who's really responsible for Mumbai? Dick Cheney doesn't want you to know.


ya always can tell a great thread at DU.....when half of it is deleted! :P


remember this one Jack.....MinstrelBoy....stillrobertpaulsen?
At the beginning

there was such great stuff going on here all the time so much interesting things NO one was ever bashed to the basement, there was no basement! We could talk about anything it was really incredible I loved it so much. Now you have to watch what you say, I have been so uncomfortable about this for too long now.


What now we have to wait till MSM is talking about something before it can be discussed here?


British firm accused in UN 'sex scandal'
International police in Bosnia face prostitution claims

Antony Barnett and Solomon Hughes
The Observer, Saturday 28 July 2001 19.15 EDT
A former United Nations police officer is suing a British security firm over claims that it covered up the involvement of her fellow officers in sex crimes and prostitution rackets in the Balkans.
Kathryn Bolkovac, an American policewoman, was hired by DynCorp Aerospace in Aldershot for a UN post aimed at cracking down on sexual abuse and forced prostitution in Bosnia.

She claims she was 'appalled' to find that many of her fellow officers were involved. She was fired by the British company after amassing evidence that UN police were taking part in the trafficking of young women from eastern Europe as sex slaves.

She said: 'When I started collecting evidence from the victims of sex trafficking it was clear that a number of UN officers were involved from several countries, including quite a few from Britain. I was shocked, appalled and disgusted. They were supposed to be over there to help, but they were committing crimes themselves. When I told the supervisors they didn't want to know.'

DynCorp sacked her, claiming she had falsified time sheets, a charge she denies. Last month she filed her case at Southampton employment tribunal alleging wrongful dismissal and sexual discrimination against DynCorp, the British subsidiary of the US company DynCorp Inc.

DynCorp has the contract to provide police officers for the 2,100-member UN international police task force in Bosnia which was created to help restore law and order after the civil war.

Bolkovac has also filed a case against DynCorp under Britain's new Public Interest Disclosure Act designed to protect whistleblowers.

As well as reporting that her fellow officers regularly went to brothels, she also investigated allegations that an American police officer hired by DynCorp had bought a woman for $1,000.

Bolkovac's British lawyers say her evidence will highlight how the underground sex trade in Bosnia is thriving among the 21,000 Nato peacekeepers and thousands of international bureaucrats and aid workers.

Many of the hundreds of women working in Bosnia's sex industry are lured from countries such as Romania and Ukraine with promises of jobs as waitresses but then delivered to brothel owners who confiscate their passports. Bolkovac claims that Dyncorp officers forged documents for trafficked women, aided their illegal transport through border checkpoints into Bosnia and tipped off sex club owners about raids.

In an email to more than 50 people - including Jacques Klein, the UN Secretary-General's special representative in Bosnia - Bolkovac described the plight of trafficked women and noted that UN police, Nato troops and international humanitarian employees were regular customers. It was shortly after this email went out that Bolkovac was reassigned.

Richard Monk, a former senior British policeman who ran the UN police operation in Bosnia until 1999, has sympathy with her plight. He said: 'There were truly dreadful things going on by UN police officers from a number of countries. I found it incredible that I had to set up an internal affairs department to investigate complaints that officers were having sex with minors and prostitutes. The British officers were on the whole extremely good and very professional, setting a great example. But there were policeman from other countries who should not have been in uniform.'

A DynCorp spokeswoman would not comment on the Bolkovac case because it was coming to court later this year. But in a earlier statement the company said: 'The notion that a company such as DynCorp would turn a blind eye to illegal behaviour by our employees is incomprehensible...We encourage our employees to be proactive in reporting inappropriate behaviour and commend those who follow our procedures by reporting it.'

Bolkovac's case is the second against DynCorp alleging misbehaviour in Bosnia. Air mechanic Ben Johnston is suing the company, alleging he was sacked because he had uncovered evidence that Dyncorp employees were involved in 'sexual slavery' and selling arms.

Since 1998 eight Dyncorp employees have been sent back from Bosnia, but none have been prosecuted.


The Whistleblower: The movie the U.N. would prefer you didn't see
Posted By Colum Lynch Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 2:13 PM Share

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Hollywood last year to cajole filmmakers and movie stars into making pictures that portray the U.N.'s good works. The Whistleblower, a scathing full-length account of the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia during the late 1990s, is not what he had in mind.

The Samuel Goldwyn Films movie, which is due out in theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Aug. 5, stars British actress Rachel Weisz as a U.N. policewoman who stumbles into the sordid world of Balkan sex trafficking and finds her fellow U.N. peacekeepers implicated in the trade.

It constitutes perhaps the darkest cinematic portrayal of a U.N. operation ever on the big screen, finding particular fault with top U.N. brass, the U.S. State Department, and a major U.S. contractor that supplies American policemen for U.N. missions.

The subject matter is familiar territory for Turtle Bay. A decade ago, I wrote a series of stories on U.N. police misconduct in Bosnia for the Washington Post, including a detailed account of U.S. police abuses and this piece documenting U.N. efforts to quash an investigation by a former Philadelphia cop, David Lamb, into allegations that Romanian peacekeepers participated in sex trafficking.

I would later contact Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska cop (played by Weisz) who serves as the film's hero, and report on her lawsuit for wrongful dismissal against the subsidiary of an American contractor, DynCorp International, which hired her in Bosnia. (DynCorp countered that it had fired Bolkovac in part because she had falsified work documents, claiming hundreds of dollars in unwarranted per diem expenses.) Bolkovac's fictional employer in the film, Democra Services, appears to be based on DynCorp.

The actual abuses in Bosnia were so shocking that the film's director, Larysa Kondracki, told Turtle Bay that she had to tone it down to make it believable and to ensure that viewers didn't "tune it out." The movie, she said, in some ways resembles a "70s paranoid thriller" in which it can be hard to tell the difference between the heroes and the villains. Kondracki declined to name DynCorp as the model for the company portrayed in the movie, citing unspecified legal concerns.

A spokeswoman for DynCorp International, Ashley Burke, told Turtle Bay: "I haven't seen the movie so I can't comment on its content, but I can tell you that, when we contacted the film's distributor to learn more about the movie, we were informed that the film 'is a fictionalized dramatic presentation' that while inspired by Ms. Bolkovac's experiences, is not based on her book. There was no threatened legal action taken to ensure they did not use the company's name in the film."

The film opens with two Ukrainian 15-year-olds, Raya and Luba, partying in Kiev before heading off to the home of a devious in-law of one of the girls. He promises them high-paying jobs in a Swiss Hotel, but instead sells them off into sexual slavery in post-civil war Bosnia.

On the other side of the world, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Bolkovac has hit a dead end in her own police career when a friendly captain shows her a brochure from Democra Services. "They need good people to get the country up and running," he says. "Kathy, I think you'd be great at this."

Bolkovac jumps at the opportunity of a tax-free $100,000 salary, the prospect of adventure, and a rare chance to help a war-wracked, ethnically divided country return to the rule of law.

What she gradually discovers is a community of U.S. cops and other international peacekeepers corrupted by the moral compromises they make in Bosnia. What's worse, she learns, is that the U.N. diplomatic and peacekeeping corps are the brothels' primary customers, and in some cases they are actually trafficking Eastern European women into Bosnia.

Madeleine Rees (played by Vanessa Redgrave), a former U.N. human rights official who served in Bosnia, is the inspiration for one of the film's few heroic characters. As the U.N.'s top human rights officer in Bosnia, she recruits Bolkovac and encourages her to launch an investigation into sex trafficking. She puts her in touch with an internal affairs investigator, played by David Strathairn, who helps her navigate the U.N.'s treacherous bureaucracy.

Her investigation ultimately brings her into contact with Luba and Raya, whom she convinces to cooperate but whose lives she is ultimately unable to protect from their brutal Balkan pimps. The characters are essentially composites of the women who were enslaved in Bosnian brothels at the time. But Kondracki said that everything bad that happens in the film to the two girls -- one is tortured and the other murdered -- actually happened to women in Bosnia.

Indeed many of the most disturbing practices depicted in the film -- including the U.N. peacekeepers purchase of trafficked women -- have emerged in internal U.N. investigations. Some of the most disturbing practices by DynCorp employees came to light in court when Ben D. Johnston, an aircraft mechanic who worked for DynCorp in Bosnia in the late 1990s, sued the company in Fort Worth, Texas, charging he was punished for uncovering wrongdoing by DynCorp employees, including involvement in sexual slavery and the purchase of illegal weapons.

In the film, Bolkovac encounters violent resistance from Balkan organized-crimes elements as she tries to free the Ukrainian women and break up the sex-trafficking ring. But she also finds her efforts undermined by U.N. bureaucrats. Monica Bellucci, the cultured and stylish official from the International Migration Organization, callously returns the girls to the local police, who are on the payroll of their pimps, because they can't produce legal ID photos. The U.N. leadership, meanwhile, at the request of the U.S. State Department and Democra, has shut down her investigation and fires her.

The film's real-life heroes, Bolkovac and Rees, have long since left the United Nations. But DynCorp has prospered, securing billions of dollars in security contracts for the State Department in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has continued to be dogged by allegations of drug abuse and other misconduct problems.
"This is formal impeachment proceedings," Nader told CNN's Erin Burnett Thursday on "OutFront."
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