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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:42 AM
Original message
A Scandal Over Spying Intensifies in Colombia (US Embassy targeted)
Source: New York Times

A Scandal Over Spying Intensifies in Colombia
Published: Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 5:17 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 5:17 a.m.

BOGOT, Colombia President lvaro Uribe, the top ally of the United States in Latin America, is enmeshed in a scandal over growing evidence that his main intelligence agency carried out an extensive illegal spying operation focused on his leading critics, including members of the Supreme Court, opposition politicians, human rights workers and journalists.

The scandal, which has unfolded over months, intensified in recent weeks with the disclosure of an audio intercept of a top official at the United States Embassy. Semana, a respected news magazine, obtained an intercept of a routine phone call between James Faulkner, the embassys legal attach, and a Supreme Court justice investigating ties of Mr. Uribes political supporters to paramilitary death squads.

Other recordings obtained in investigations by journalists and prosecutors point to resilient multiyear efforts to spy on Mr. Uribes major critics by the Department of Administrative Security, a 6,500-employee intelligence agency possibly South Americas largest that operates directly under the authority of the presidents office.

The agency, known widely by the acronym DAS, has been the focus of accusations of illegal spying before. But this case is sowing fear among Mr. Uribes critics in the political elite, coming as the president, a conservative populist, presses ahead with a project to secure a third term.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Why, you could just knock me over with a feather.
Do you suppose this could interfere with his plans to be Dictator for Life?
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. oh no!
From what I've read around here only popularly elected socialists are to be called dictators - even if a right winger starts a coup, they're the democratic one and NEVER a dictator.
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Me too.
I'm shocked. Is there a shock sign or will this do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. The New York Grimes have very dirty hands on South America, so we should be wary of
them on any S/A issue, including this one. I suspect that Alvaro Uribe has reached the end of his usefulness to the Pentagon and the rightwing warmongers in our national political establishment, and they want to install someone as president of Colombia who won't bother to go around on a tour of S/A leftist leaders trying to explain the seven new US military bases in Colombia; someone more Rumsfeld-like who won't give a fuck what the leftist leadership of S/A thinks, and will trigger hostilities and war on cue, when the US oil war plan in South America is finally ready to be implemented. And that someone--former Colombian Defense Minister Santos--is running for president, while Uribe scrambles to engineer a third term. Santos is chafing at the bit to invade Venezuela and Ecuador, kill all the leftists and turn the oil over to Exxon Mobil & brethren. But they have to get rid of this "US ally" Uribe--to whom Bush Jr. gave the "Medal of Freedom"--first. Uribe is bad news--don't get me wrong. But Santos is worse--much worse. And, given that, in Colombia, if you raise your head in a leftist cause, you can get it shot off, no one else has a chance.

So, all of this may be true about the DAS (and, frankly, if I were Alvaro Uribe, I'd be spying on the US embassy, too), but why is the NYT printing it? They regularly promote and suppress stories according to the interests of war profiteers and global corporate predators. Have we forgotten about what they did in the buildup to the Iraq War? Have we forgotten that they suppressed info about Bush Junta domestic spying for a year, so as not to mess up Bush Jr.'s war and stolen election plans? Have we forgotten Simon Romero's lying, scumbag articles about Chavez, day after day over the last five years? No, some of us have not forgotten. So we must ask: why are the disinformationists at the NYT promulgating this story? The above is my guess. I am open to other suggestions.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Not only that, but Simon Romero is telling us about it.
So "Why are we being told?" is certainly a good question. Maybe something is up.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I'm thinking about Vietnam and Diem.
In James Douglass's excellent book, "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters," he goes into considerable detail about JFK and Vietnam, and makes a good case for JFK's attempt to achieve neutral status for Vietnam in the Cold War (like Laos). Diem (the first president of the CIA's puppet South Vietnamese government) was of a similar mind. He had become less of a CIA puppet, and wanted detente with the North. That is why Diem was assassinated. JFK was dealing with a rightwing insurrection, by Puke ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, and the CIA, on behalf of the "military-industrial complex," and communications then were not what they are today. It was very difficult for JFK to get accurate information, and these forces were actively sabotaging his policy. He got tricked into believing that Diem needed to be removed from power, but did NOT okay his murder, and in fact was distraught when it occurred, because Diem was his hope for a "neutral" Vietnam, and for withdrawal of the "US advisers" (troops). One month later, Kennedy himself was assassinated, just after signing his first order for withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. And, three days after that, his successor, LBJ, said--regarding the Joint Chiefs, the CIA and the MIC, "Now they can have their war." LBJ rescinded JFK's order for withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and, within a year, we were in a full scale war in Vietnam.

The main issue between JFK and the MIC was that the MIC (and their spokesmen, the Joint Chiefs) wanted to nuke Russia while they had an advantage in nuclear missile strength. The Cuban Missile Crisis gave them the excuse they needed to ferociously pressure JFK to "push the button." He refused. He thought they were insane. And he not only did a secret trade with Russia to avoid Armageddon (swapping the withdrawal of US missiles in Turkey for the Russians withdrawing Soviet missiles from Cuba) but he opened backchannels to Krushchev and Castro and began negotiating the end of the "Cold War." This was the immediate reason for his assassination. The CIA had set the assassination up to point to Russia, in order to pressure LBJ to nuke Russia in retaliation. LBJ figured that one out, and opposed it. He was not guilty as to the assassination of JFK (according to Douglass) but did authorize the coverup, because of the false Russia connection. (He feared also being pressured to nuke Russia.) But he did not oppose the proxy wars like Vietnam. ("Now they can have their war.")

So, this is what the CIA does with foreign puppet leaders, like Diem, who get their own ideas and cease fulfilling CIA goals. Alvaro Uribe is somewhat similar--highly corrupt (as Diem was), with really bad friends and connections (Medellin Cartel, rightwing death squads--all very similar to Diem), clearly a puppet of the Bush Cartel-run war machine, but with civilian goals and local/regional affinities. Uribe might actually care what the other leaders of South America think of him. He joined UNASUR and wants to be part of regional development, and may feel some regional pride. Above all, he is civilian, not military. His former Defense Minister was/is a rival. Santos is very close to the Colombian military and to warmongering US Senators. He openly criticized Uribe for meeting with Chavez, in a peace meeting after the Ecuador incident. He also defied Uribe, after Uribe promised the other countries, in writing, that Colombia would never violate another country's sovereignty again, by publicly threatening to do the same thing to Venezuela. It is Santos whom our fascists and war profiteers want in charge of Colombia--for implementation of Rumsfeld's oil war plan. I think this is the reason for the prominence of anti-Uribe stories in our corpo/fascist media. They would black-hole these stories if Uribe was not on the outs.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well, that is interesting.
I read a book once by a ballistics expert that argued JFK was accidentally shot by his Secret Service guards. Shades of imperial Rome.

It is worth remembering that the USA has a long-standing habit of removing disobedient governments in Latin American, and that that habit pre-dates the CIA by something like a century.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Douglass presents an overwhelmingly convincing case that it was the CIA.
He synthesizes all the best research, including the false trails the CIA laid, and then places those facts in the context of the "Cold War," JFK's fear of nuclear Armageddon (prompted by the Cuban Missile Crisis), his personal transformation into a peace-maker, which was influenced by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton (through the mediation of Ethel Kennedy, Bobby's wife), and his struggle with the CIA and the Joint Chiefs, in such relevant detail that their motive is crystal clear. After the Bay of Pigs, JFK vowed to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces." And after the Cuban Missile Crisis, he determined to end the "Cold War." His goals were nuclear disarmament and ending all the proxy wars that the CIA was instigating worldwide, and creating a world in which the two systems could compete peacefully. He believed that the American people would support him in seeking world peace. And he was right about that.

After he was killed, when LBJ ran for president a year later in 1964, LBJ sold himself as the "peace candidate" and won the election with one of the biggest margins in history. I remember it well. It was my first vote for president. I voted for peace--and instead got 2 million people slaughtered in Southeast Asia before it was over. LBJ was lying. But JFK would not have been lying. He truly wanted to "hammer swords into plowshares." His efforts in that direction--his secret backchannels to Krushchev and Castro (getting around the CIA), the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (a first), the wheat deal with Russia (a first), trying to withdraw the US troops from Vietnam (where the CIA and Ambassador Lodge were disobeying his orders), and his settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis with Russia (the US withdrawal from Turkey), were all fought tooth and nail by the CIA, the Joint Chiefs and the "military-industrial complex" (the nuke and military industries). They killed Diem (the last hope for Vietnamese neutrality) and a month later killed JFK himself, because he was so determined to end the "Cold War."

To my mind, there is no more room for speculation about who killed JFK. The case is proven, as well as it can be after about a hundred witnesses were killed or otherwise silenced, and after LBJ led the successful coverup (for his own reasons) in which so much evidence was ignored, 'disappeared' or destroyed. The beauty of Douglass' book is that he puts the coverup in context--a continuum from JFK's refusal to nuke Russia, and the CIA's laying of the false trail to Russia, during the leadup to the assassination, to the post-assassination period and why LBJ agreed to the coverup (he didn't want a nuclear war either)--and, most of all, Douglass puts not only the assassination details but also the CIA's motives in context, and that is the clincher, and the thing that has been most submerged in the decades since then. It is enlightening to read a book that puts it all together: the details and the context (and thus the motive).

Douglass believes that we must face this reality--the "Unspeakable"--that the CIA assassinated JFK--in order to heal as a nation, to recover our humanity. Looking around at our nation today, it is quite obvious the delusional state we have been in, ever since then--with this growing psychological disease that finally erupted in the horrors of the Bush Junta. Whether our delusion is our helplessness and powerlessness, or the delusion that the USA are always the "good guys," it is based on that initial "unspeakable" reality that a president who wanted peace was not permitted to live.

The "unspeakable" is also the unspeakable horror of nuclear war in particular, the threat of which is the basis for our bully power in the world. JFK is the first and only US president who faced that horror directly--the Joint Chiefs telling him that nuking Russia would mean "only" 300,000 casualties on the east coast of the US, and their wanting to wipe Russia (and Cuba!) off the face of the earth, with hundreds of millions of casualties. No one knew at that time that this would mean the end of all life on earth. (Carl Sagan's warning about even limited use of nuclear weapons, "The Cold and the Dark," wasn't published until much later.) But JFK nevertheless grasped the insanity of it. Douglass goes into how and why he was able to do that. But basically that was his "crime"--facing the "unspeakable" and determining to prevent it.

This book was just recently published (last year). Douglass--a Catholic Worker, with a profound commitment to peace--has been researching and writing it for thirty years. It is superbly well-written and well-documented. It will be followed by books on the RFK and MLK assassinations. "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters" is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. It clarified the deep trauma that I myself, and our country, suffered in that era. The book gives you hope by ripping the scales from your eyes. Hope must be built on reality.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Well, I was there, though still young. I remember JFK.
I have never considered the official version credible. I'll put the book on my list, though it's a long list. It does sound interesting. After reading "Ghost Wars" I'm ready to consider most anything when it comes to the CIA.
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