Senin, 25 April 2011


U.S. intelligence summaries detail Guantanamo's secrets

WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON-Faced with the worst-ever foreign attack on American soil, the U.S. military set up a human intelligence laboratory at Guantanamo that used interrogation and detention practices they largely made up as they went along.
The world may have thought the U.S. was detaining a band of international terrorists whose questioning would help the hunt for Osama bin Laden or foil the next 9/11.
But a collection of secret intelligence documents from George W. Bush's administration, not meant to surface for 20 years, shows that the military's efforts at Guantanamo often were much less effective than the government has acknowledged. Viewed as a whole, the secret intelligence summaries help explain why in May 2009 President Barack Obama, after ordering his own review of wartime intelligence, called America's experiment at Guantanamo "quite simply a mess."
The documents, more than 750 individual assessments of former and current Guantanamo detainees, show an intelligence operation that was tremendously dependent on informants - both prison-camp snitches repeating what they'd heard from fellow captives and self-described, at times self-aggrandizing, former al-Qaida insiders turned government witnesses who Pentagon records show have since been released.
Intelligence analysts are at odds with each other over which informants to trust, at times drawing inferences from prisoners exercise habits. They ordered DNA tests, tethered Taliban suspects to polygraphs, strung together tidbits in ways that seemed to defy common sense.
The documents also show that in the earliest years of the prison camp's operation, the Pentagon permitted Chinese and Russian interrogators into the camps - information from those sessions are included in some captives' assessments - something American defense lawyers working free for the foreign prisoners have alleged and protested for years.
Yet there's not a whiff in the documents that any of the work is leading the U.S. closer to capturing bin Laden. In fact, they suggest a sort of mission creep beyond the post-9/11 goal of using interrogations to hunt down the al-Qaida inner circle and sleeper cells.
The file of one captive who now lives in Ireland shows that he was sent to Guantanamo to let U.S. military intelligence gather information on the secret service of Uzbekistan. A man from Bahrain was sent to Guantanamo in June 2002, in part, for interrogation on "personalities in the Bahraini court."
That same month, U.S. troops in Bagram flew to Guantanamo a sharecropper whom Pakistani security forces scooped up along the Afghan border as he returned home from his uncle's funeral.
The idea was that, once at Guantanamo, 8,000 miles from his home, he might be able to tell interrogators about covert travel routes through the Afghan-Pakistan mountain region. Seven months later, the Guantanamo intelligence analysts concluded that he wasn't a risk to anyone - and had no worthwhile information. Pentagon records show they sent him home in March 2003, after more than two years in either American or Pakistani custody.
McClatchy Newspapers obtained the documents last month from WikiLeaks on an embargoed basis to give reporters from seven news organizations - including McClatchy, The Washington Post, the Spanish newspaper El Pais, and the German magazine Der Spiegel - time to catalogue, evaluate and report on them. WikiLeaks abruptly lifted the embargo Sunday night, after the organization became aware that the documents had been leaked to other news organizations, which were about to publish stories about them.
Marked "SECRET // NOFORN," the documents consist of more than 750 intelligence summaries, They were written from 2002 to 2008. Many include photographs of the men, information about each man's physical and mental health, and recommendations on whether to keep them in U.S. custody, hand them over to foreign governments for imprisonment, or set them free.
They make little mention of the abuse and torture scandals that surrounded intelligence gathering - both at secret CIA detention centers abroad and at the Guantanamo camps.
Of an Australian man who came to Guantanamo in May 2002, Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood noted two years later that the captive confessed while "under extreme duress" and "in the custody of the Egyptian government" to training six of the 9/11 hijackers in martial arts. He had denied the ties by August 2004 and was repatriated five months later.
The documents make it clear that intelligence agents elsewhere showed photos of Guantanamo prisoners to prized war-on-terror catches held at secret so-called CIA black sites, out of reach of the International Red Cross. Notably the reports reflect that at times some of the captives' faces were familiar to Zayn al-Abdeen Mohammed Hussein, known as Abu Zubayda - whom the CIA waterboarded scores of times.
At times the efforts seem comedic. Guards plucked off ships at sea to walk the cellblocks note who has hoarded food as contraband, who makes noise during the Star Spangled Banner, who sings creepy songs like "La, La, La, La Taliban" and who is re-enacting the 9/11 attacks with origami art.
But they also hint at frightening plots.
If you believe the intelligence profiles, the alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed schooled four men now at Guantanamo in the summer before 9/11 in English and American style-behavior for an ancillary 9/11 attack - on U.S. military sites in Asia.
The documents also show military intelligence assessing what looks like little more than prurient gossip in writing reports for their superiors at the Pentagon's Miami-based Southern Command, as part of a Bush administration interagency process that freed about 500 captives - one fourth of whom the Defense Intelligence Agency later came to believe or suspect went on to actually fight U.S. troops or their allies, after their release.
Saudi Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 45, who made headlines just week as the first Obama administration candidate for a death penalty tribunal at Guantanamo is cast in his risk assessment as a high-risk captive. It makes no mention of that the CIA waterboarded him in a secret black-site interrogation before his transfer to military custody but includes his supposed strategy to not be distracted by women:
"Detainee is so dedicated to jihad that he reportedly received injections to promote impotence," an analyst writes, without explanation of the source.
Elsewhere in the files, U.S. military intelligence analysts discussing the dangerousness of two Iraqi men captured in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, include this observation: One Iraqi boasted that he had an affair with the other Iraqi's wife, in the husband's house. Both have since been repatriated to Iraq.
And they show how they got it wrong right from the start. On Day One, the camps commander declared the first airlift of 20 men "the worst of the worst," handpicked hardened terrorists plucked from the battlefield and shown shackled on their knees to their world in mute, blinded submission.
Not so, according to the military's own analysis, which has so far set free eight of the first 20 men. The first, as a nobody swept up in the war on terrorism, was released just nine months later..
The documents also show the arc of American understanding of the men who were first locked up at the crude prison camp called X-Ray. Early on in the enterprise, the U.S. military at Guantanamo profiled "The Dirty 30" - that number of men captured along the Afghan-Pakistan border near Parachinar - as bin Laden bodyguards who had traveled in a pack from Tora Bora to escape the American forces.
But by the time Bush left office, his interagency process had freed 10 of the men. Mostt were sent to Saudi Arabia, some after concluding they were probably not part of the al-Qaida founder's security detail.
Among those men is a convicted war criminal - Guantanamo's lone lifer, Ali Hamza al Bahlul of Yemen - convicted not as a "Dirty 30," but for serving as bin Laden's media secretary. and an al-Qaida filmmaker who fed the terrorist group's propaganda machine.



Netanyahu is an assassin, stresses Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday on a U.S. news talk show Iran does not have a nuclear weapon and has “no interest” in getting it.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN, Ahmadinejad said all nations, including the United States and Israel, should disarm.
“We are not seeking the bomb,” he said. “We have no interest in it and we do not think that it is useful.”
Asked about concern within Israel and the United States that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, Ahmadinejad called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a killer who should “be put on trial for killing Palestinians, for putting Gaza under siege.”
“The U.S. government should stop using taxpayers money to assist him,” the Iranian leader said.
“Netanyahu is a professional assassin. All dictators in history accuse others to turn the spotlight away from themselves,” the Iranian president said when asked about the Israeli prime minister’s worries about Iran.
“It is questionable [why] American media feel responsible for this person (Netanyahu),” Ahmadinejad said, adding that “you (American media) are afraid of Netanyahu’s warmongering.”
Asked about Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, both 28 — two Americans being held in Iran since July 2009 for crossing the border from Iraq — Ahmadinejad said it was possible their cases might be expedited but that would be up to judges hearing the matter.
“I have no influence over it,” he said.
However, he did acknowledge he had “suggested” the case of Sarah Shourd — who was arrested with Fattal and Bauer — “be regarded with clemency, mercy and more kindness and compassion to allow her to return to her family.”
Shourd, 32, returned to the United States Sunday after being locked up for more than a year. Fattal and Bauer are awaiting trial in Iran on espionage charges.
The Iranian president said the US and Israel’s nuclear weapons are the main threat to the world, and they are mistaken to think they can divert attention from this issue by using propaganda campaigns and spreading lies about others.
“Iran is firmly after the nuclear disarmament of the US and Israel.”
Ahmadinejad added that Israel is an “illegitimate regime” and an “occupier” and that the US easily starts wars and massacres people, “they are not qualified to have nuclear weapons and should be disarmed as soon as possible.”

UN panel says Israel flotilla raid broke int’l law

A group of U.N.-appointed experts says Israeli forces violated international law “including international humanitarian and human rights law” during and after their raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.

The U.N. Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission says Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was “unlawful” because a humanitarian crisis there at the time.
The three-member panel says Israel’s military response to the flotilla was “disproportionate” and “betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality.”
Eight Turkish activists and one Turkish-American were killed in the raid.
Israel says the soldiers acted in self-defense. The country’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva couldn’t immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday.

Nigeria election violence 'left more than 500 dead'

A Nigerian human rights group says more than 500 people died after presidential elections earlier this month.
The Civil Rights Congress said the violence happened mostly in the northern state of Kaduna and that the number of victims could be even higher.
Rioting broke out when it emerged that Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, had defeated a Muslim candidate from the mostly Islamic north.
Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes to escape the violence.
Mr Jonathan's presidential rival Muhammadu Buhari has denied instigating the "sad, unfortunate and totally unwarranted" events.
The Civil Rights Congress said the worst hit area was the town of Zonkwa in rural Kaduna where more than 300 people died.
"The updated figure is about 516," said Shehu Sani, head of the congress.
Correspondents say Nigeria is braced for possible further unrest over governorship elections on Tuesday in most of Nigeria's 36 states.
Muslim opposition supporters staged riots on Monday when the results of the election became clear. Churches were set alight and Muslims were then targeted in revenge attacks.
In the northern city of Kano on Sunday, many Christians celebrated Easter in police and military barracks where they had taken shelter from the riots.
Eyo Anthony said he and his family fled when rioters set fire to shops in their neighbourhood.
"Although it has been calm in the past two days I don't intend to go back to my house... until after the governors' elections," he said.
"I know how I managed to escape with my family and I don't want to relive the same experience."
Many in the north felt the next president should have been from their region because a Muslim president died last year before he could finish his term.
However, some analysts say the violence has more to do with poverty and economic marginalisation in the north than religion.
The north and south also have cultural, ethnic and linguistic differences.
Mr Jonathan was appointed to the presidency last year upon the death of incumbent Umaru Yar'Adua, a northern Muslim whom he had served as vice-president.
He has described the violence following the election as "horrific" and "shocking".

China, Pakistan in new nuclear plant talks: report

China’s main nuclear power company is in talks with Pakistan to build a one-gigawatt nuclear power plant in the South Asian country, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The state-run China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC), which has already helped Pakistan build a civilian reactor at Chashma in Punjab province, is also finishing a second one there and has agreed contracts to build two others.
“Both sides are in discussions over the CNNC exporting a one-gigawatt nuclear plant to Pakistan,” company vice president Qiu Jiangang was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
Qiu added that the first reactor was running safely, and that the second would be onstream by year’s end.
Officials at CNNC had no immediate comment when contacted by a French news agency.
The United States has conveyed its concerns to Pakistan over the contracts for the third and fourth reactors, saying such plans required special approval from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
The group brings together nuclear energy states that forbid exports to nations lacking strict International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
China joined the NSG in 2004. Pakistan has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.




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