Truthdig via Max Garthoff
Saturday, June 23, 2007
"Dodgy Dossier" authorship disclosures reveal lies told to Hutton and Butler enquiries by Sir John Scarlett and others.
" dedicated to telling the truth about the British government's September 2002 dossier Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction - that it was, after all, "sexed-up" by the government's spin doctors. "Ames goes on in exquisite, clear, authoritative detail how the true authorship of the "dodgy dossier" was other than that claimed at both the Hutton and Butler
"Although the government still insists that the dossier was the work of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and/or its chairman Sir John Scarlett,(pic of Sir John) the truth is that four government spin doctors were on the inside of the drafting process. The took part in the actual drafting the dossier and the oversight meetings. It has now been established that one of them - John Williams of the Foreign Office - produced the first full draft. The claim that the JIC wrote and approved the dossier is a fabrication."A small footnote and confirmation can be found in a story - "Iraq dossier penned by ex-Standard reporter" on Jun 21 2007 at ic-Kent newspapers online in an "Exclusive report" by Mark Dearn.
Tory MP for Billericay John Baron publicly named ex-Standard reporter John Williams as the man responsible for one version of the 50-page dossier, and not intelligence chiefs, as had been previously thought.
Mr Baron said Mr Williams, then director of news at the Foreign Office, wrote a draft which was then sent on to Sir John Scarlett, chairman of the joint intelligence committee, who wrote the final version the day after.... resulting in this .. a pic from Day 1 of the invasion.
However, Foreign Office apparatchik and Margaret Beckett's rubbing rag, media "Rentagob" Kim Howells says the dossier was not based on the Williams draft, which he claims was "already redundant".
Mr Baron said his evidence showed "spin doctors" worked on the dossier and that it was "sexed up", contradicting the findings of the Hutton and Butler inquiries. (i.e in plain language exposing the lies)
Mr Williams worked at the Medway Standard from 1973 to 1977, working under editor Gerald Hinks. He did his professional training at the newspaper.
After leaving the newspaper, then known as the Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham News, Mr Williams went on to be political correspondent at the London Evening Standard, and then political editor at the Daily Mirror before becoming the Foreign Office's director of communications in 2001. He now runs his own company, West One Communications.
The Foreign Office are noticeably reluctant to disclose Mr Williams "draft" dossier so that we may make a reasonable comparison of the contents of both - which only confirms the view that it's publication would confirm the claims of Chris Ames and John Baron. - and many others.
No doubt further discreditable revelations will appear as Blair heads off to the horizon - it would certainly interesting if the (now ex) Attorney General and lying Scouse bastard, Lord Goldstone decided to reveal exactly what advice he gave about the legality of the Iraq invasion and why, and why exactly the BAE corruption enquiries were so brutally terminated.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Perth's combined wind energy / Desalination plants , the greatest greenest civil engineering projects ever, anywhere.
Perth ,Western Australia is a growing city of over 1.7 Mn people (annual growth 3%), this oceanside paradise it sits not only on the Swan River (named after the native Black swans) , but on fast dwindling aquifers whose decline has been accelerated by a massive growth in demand by a shift to a hotter, drier shift climate.
The dry winter of 2001 and drier 2002 summer was the worst drought period on record - in 2005, it was confirmed that in the eight years from 1997 stream flows had dropped by a third to an annual average of 115GL/yr from 161GL/yr over the previous 23 years (1974–1997).
It was evident that short term cuts on sprinkler usage, greater groundwater allocation (three bores into the Yarragadee aquifer deep below Perth's northern suburbs and a further nine into the shallower aquifer at Mirrabooka) and A$142 MN spent on more storage was only a stopgap measure even with expenditure of $142m to further augment supply capacity with dams and resevoirs in Samson Brook and Wokalup Creek. ( Perth and South West dams total capacity is 688 gigalitres - they currently(today) hold 140.16 gigalitres, 20.4% of their total capacity.)
Although these measures added some 40GL/yr to the City's integrated water supply system supplying a user base over 2.5 million square kilometres, it was evident that a longer term, 50 year 'Security through Diversity' strategy would need to be adopted. Demand growth calculations showed that by 2010, around 107GL/year of new water will be needed to meet the rising demands of a growing population.
As a result the City fathers and the state owned Western Australia Water Corp. with remarkable foresight, planned, designed, and built a wind farm north of the City, to supply electricity for a massive coastal seawater desalination plant located at Kwinana, 25km south of the city (see Google Earth view) - the capital costs were A$350 Mn and with running costs of A$19 Mn a year . The direct cost of water delivered is A$1.16 per 1,000 litres (Kl).
With an in initial capacity of 140,000m³ and planned expansion to 250,000m³/day, it is the biggest of it's kind in the world and will ultimately supply 17% of the Perth coastal areas needs - some 45 GL/yr.
Drawing water from the Cockburn Sound the Perth Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant (SWRO) extracts water with an input salinity of 35,000mg/l to 37,000mg/l at 16°C to 24°C (0.02% of the water in the sound being removed per day).
This is initially filtered by the pre-treatement plant then is forced through the spiral wound membrane elements of the Reverse Osmosis treatment trains. This product water is treated with lime, chloride and fluoride, stored and then blended with water from other sources before being pumped into the the municipal integrated supply system.
The filter backwash and concentrate stream is returned to the sound and because the the Cockburn Sound is an area of environmental sensitivity the effluent is strictly monitored and has to meet stringent conditions have been imposed on TDS, temperature, DO and the sediment habitat in the vicinity.The concentrate outflow is about 7% salt, so the the discharge nozzles are designed to act as diffusers, to ensure that salinity falls to less than 4% within 50m of the discharge point.
Electricity for the desalination plant – which has an overall 24MW requirement and a production demand of 4.0kWh/kl to 6.0kWh/kl – comes from the new 80MW Emu Downs Wind Farm, which consists of 48 wind turbines located 30km east of Cervantes about a 3 hour drive north of the City. Developed by Stanwell Corporation, a power generation corporation owned by Queensland Government and Western Australia's Griffin Energy, this facility commenced operation in 2006.
Sydney, another seaside Australian city is expected to commission a plant even larger than Perth's in the next few months and now Perth expects to have built another one by 2011..
Perth was also examining exploiting the The South West Yarragadee aquifer as a water source which was resisted fiercely under their banner :
"The forests and wetlands of the South West Region may die
so Perth's lawn may live."
Their website is a model for ecological activists and well worth a visit.
"Perth's water crisis is not one of lack of supply but one of lack of imagination on behalf of short-sighted politicians and policy makers. The realisation that the continual search for water for unsustainable landscapes is a dead end resulting in a move towards collapse of ecosystems and economies."
The Friends of Yarragadee have obtained some respite and politicians have seen sense, because on May 16th 2007 West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter announced that a second seawater desalination plant powered by renewable energy would be Western Australia's next major water source. The Premier said ;
"The internationally acclaimed wind-powered Kwinana seawater desalination plant has demonstrated that large quantities of water from an unlimited ocean supply can be provided using a clean and green process," ...The proposed second combined wind energy / desalination plant is at a Water Corporation wastewater treatment near Binningup - will provide at least 45 gigalitres of water a year which could increase to 100 gigalitres. The capital cost will be A$640 million with a further A$315 million piping / connection costs.
"I have asked the Water Corporation to immediately start developing the State's second major seawater desalination plant."
Last week's State Budget allocated $750 million over the next four years for a new water source. An additional $205 million will be allocated in the 2011-12 financial year. Some of the cost will also be met by a A$30 rise in household water bills in 2008-2009 on top of the A$28 rise announced for 20078/8 in the Budget. The new plant is expected to produce water at A$1.90 a kilolitre (qv A$1.16 for Kwinana. Plant operation will require approximately 20 full time employees.
"We can no longer rely on traditional, seasonal climate patterns and rainfall," the Premier said.
As this decision to can the Yarragadee Aquifer development, was due to come on stream in 2009, there are concerns by some vote hungry pols that the winters of 2009/10 could see supply problems and (hot damn) lawn sprinkler restrictions. There are also more individually expressed concerns claiming that better water management may be the key to Perth's water supply.
These are the current mandatory restrictions on water usage in Sydney - Minimum fines for offences A$220.
- Hand-held hosing of lawns and gardens and drip irrigation is now allowed only on Wednesdays and Sundays before 10 am and after 4 pm
- No other watering systems or sprinklers are to be used at any time
- A permit from Sydney Water is required to fill new or renovated pools bigger than 10,000 litres
- No hosing of hard surfaces including vehicles at any time
- No hoses or taps to be left running unattended, except when filling pools or containers
- Fire hoses must only be used for fire fighting purposes – not for cleaning.
“Chains” from her debut album “Don’t Ask” (Sony 1995) . "Don´t Ask" sold 1.3 million copies world wide and sold 10x Platinum in Australia. "Chains" also topped the charts in the UK (#4) and across the rest of Europe, picking up numerous awards in the process.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Bell Helicopter (part of Textron) and Agusta (part of Finnmeccanica) joined forces in the Bell Agusta Aerospace Company (BAAC) to produce the worlds first civil tiltrotor passenger aircraft - because of the UK engineer GKN's joint ownership of Agusta Westland they have a 22.5% interest in BAAC. (Pic Der Spiegel)
The BA 609 Tiltrotor was providing displays by ship 001 at le Bourget this week of this 6/9 seater composite 300mph pressurised plane witha 25,000 ft. ceiling . The BA609 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney of Canada PT6C-67A turboshaft engines which have a maximum continuous power of 1,940hp each. The tiltrotor can cruise at 509km/hr with a range of 1,389km or 1,852km with auxiliary fuel tanks. It can land/take off in restricted city centre spaces in helicopter mode and fly as a fast turboprop and mode transformation takes less than one minute.
Assembled alongside the Osprey V22 at Amarillo, after their maiden flight in Texas on March 8th 2003 (the first flight with transition to full airplane mode, reaching a speed of 190kt (219mph) took place in November 2006) . The second test aircraft made its maiden flight in November 2006
The test program so far (June 1 2007) program has logged 137 flights and 159 flight hours on ship 001, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and 14 flights and 14 flight hours on ship 002 in Cameri, Italy. The flight envelope reached 310 ktas, 25,000 feet and 35 knots in rearward and sideward flight. The longest single flight was 1.7 hours. In vertical takeoff mode, the BA609 demonstrated climb rates of 2,650 fpm and in airplane mode, 2,900 fpm.
Certification for the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (now expected 2010 with customer deliveries 2 months later) will involve Part 25 certification for large aircraft, Part 27 for helicopters and new regulations specifically for the tiltrotor.
Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan has the contract to build all of the production fuselages for the BA609 and a production line will also be built at Agusta plant in Italy. Various cabin configurations for executive, military, cargo and medical use are available and there is the possibility of a hoist.
They have an order book of 70 planes (the first two years production) at approximately US$10 Mn each. ( A V22 is costing the US taxpayer ..er...approx US$160Mn a pop) AgustaWestland insists it already has an undisclosed government customer, and the U.S. Marines have expressed interest in acquiring the aircraft for training purposes.
"Dead on Time: How and Why Barry George executed Jill Dando", published in 2002 by John McVicar the ex-con crime cracker is a readable, accessible book (but with a totally bizarre and barmy thesis) about the very public murder of TV celebrity Jill Dando.
It was published shortly before the appeal by Barry George who had been convicted of murdering her was judged (  EWCA Crim 1923) by The Hon. Mr Justice Gage in the Crown Court - the transcript of which is available on the Support Barry George website which supports his current appeal.
This judgement provides a brief authoritative and excellent account of the murder, the police investigation, an examination of the evidence provided against Barry George and the reasons for the dismissal.
First attracted by McVicar's book attracted on the "New In" shelf at the library, bound in a blindingly bright yellow cover, reminiscent of the early Gollancz hardbacks, and bolstered the recollections of the author's criminal past and the celebrity of the victim, Lord Patel was tempted and borrowed it - he would not recommend anyone buy it to read it.
Only vaguely aware of the court case, the book provided a decent ( unique and it appears a fairly accurate ) view of the case by someone who sat in Court No1 at the Old Bailey throughout the trial.
Beyond that the book is an insane farrago of nonsense invented by McVicar . According to him the sensible, sexy yet homely girl from Lord Archer's home town having bought two Dover soles in the fish shop at the end of her Fulham street, came face to face with - not a Serbian ( "Serbs tend to rape, not kill women"), not her neighbour who heard the scream but not the gun, but ...
Well McVicar had teamed up with the notorious "Benjie" or Benjamin Pell, an elusive and shadowy denizen of Fleet Street who excelled in rummaging through dustbins for the odd trifle to sell to Sunday Tabloid editors on a slow newsday.
Anyway Benjie fires up Johnny that Barry George (once married to a Japanese girl Itsuko Toide, - a marriage she described to the Daily Mirror " I married a monster" as “violent and terrifying” explaining how George would frequently attack and rape her - it lasted from 1989 until the couple’s divorce in 1994 ) who liked to call himself Barry Bulsara (the real name of Freddy Mercury) and pretend to be Freddy Mercury's cousin, obsessed with "Queen" lyrics, fascinated with Ninjas and Nin jitsu the ancient art of Japanese assassination ( a relic art before pistols were invented and involving lots of dashing about, kicking, slashing and wearing exotic robes...but let it pass).
Wedding these themes, it appears that Jill was friendly with Cliff Richard - who slighted Freddie Mercury by accepting the lead role in "Time" and Barry George was his avenger and his friend Dando's nemesis - after throwing in Zoroastrianism, a bullet crimped in the shape of a imperial chrysanthemum, the film Highlander, the number 39, the Japanese transliteration of 'Dan-do' and the colour yellow - hence the colour of the book cover.
Anyway in the real world...
On 26th April 1999 at about 11.30 am returning to her flat at 29 Gowan Avenue, Fulham after a night spent with her boy friend and fiancee (they were due to marry on September 25th that year), unseen by anyone, Jill Dando 37, was killed by a single bullet fired from an unsilenced pistol that had been pressed firmly against the left side of her head when fired. A fired bullet and casing (Remington) were recovered by the police from the vicinity of the doorstep. She was pronounced dead at 13.05 in Charing Cross Hospital. The BBC mourning department went into overdrive.
Barry George, who lived ten minutes / half a mile, from her flat was first drawn to the attention of the police two days after the murder( by staff of both Hammersmith and Fulham Action for Disability (HAFAD) and Traffic Cars) but it was almost a year later, on 11 April 2000, that the police spoke to him as a witness. (This was after a static camera had been set up outside his flat, and a a team of 50 officers from "Operation Oxborough" began a covert surveillance operation).He was arrested for this murder on 25 May 2000 and charged on 29 May 2000.The trial Judge concluded that in terms of an investigation of this magnitude the delay was small.
Evidently the case against George was founded on his having an obsessive interest in Jill Dando (and other celebrities - he had photographs in his flat of women on TV that he had taken). We now know that Emily Maitlis who lived near Jill Dando at the time of her murder, had a stalker who sent 100's of letters, Julia Somerville and Sarah Lockett have also ben approached and harrassed in this way. There is no evidence that Barry George stalked or harassed any woman, sent letters, approached or contacted Jill Dando in any way - in other words he didn't appear to fit the stereotypical male stalker of pretty TV presenters who have been caught, found guilty and imprisoned.
The forthcoming appeal which the Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the to the Court of Appeal is said to rest upon the unreliability of the The Firearm Discharge Residue Evidence ("FDR"). Barry george's lawyers also have new medical evidence about hiss mental problems and new witnesses, who were not heard at the original trial, who may provide an explanation for why a particle of gunshot residue was found on George's coat.
The Commission's decision is contained (as required by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995) in a Statement of Reasons (SoR) - this is over 100 pages and is supported by more
than 1,500 pages of separate reports, statements and other documents.The Crown Prosecution Service can decide whether to resist the appeal or not - so far they have made no public comment.
Using a forensic sticky tape from inside the internal right pocket of a coat of Barry George's examined over one year after the crime, revealed a small particle 11.5 microns in size. (= 11 .5 millionths of a metre or approx 1/2 one thousandth of an inch) Two particles, which matched one another, had been found in the victim's hair near the wound, and on her raincoat. They were FDR and contained aluminium, lead and barium.
The expert's evidence was that, when a gun is fired there is a discharge of 'percussion primer cap' ("CAP") residue, and propellant residue. CAP residue does not degrade. There are about five common manufacturers of CAP containing three basic chemical compounds; barium, lead and antimony to which aluminium is often added. Remingtons was one of the makers. The micron sized particle contained three of the basic chemical compounds in the CAP, as had the cartridge used to kill the victim.
The defence's forensic expert Dr Lloyd's claimed the particle was so small, that to rely on it, one year after the killing, was "incredible". Its size "cast doubts on where it came from"- it could be the result of casual contamination.
The case is very reminiscent of the Stephen Kisko case where someone with noticeable personality traits (Kisko collected car numbers, George, photographed women and led a disordered life, had a petit mal and a cleft palate.
George (unknown to the jury had been convicted for indecent assault in 1982 and of attempted rape in 1983. He had also been arrested in 1983 for trespassing on the property of Diana, Princess of Wales. he had been found armed with two knives, rope, combat paraphernalia and a gas mask) became the focus of Police enquiries and under pressure for a result, corners were cut and forensic procedures not properly followed and were flawed - eye - witnesses met after identification parades and swapped notes, forensic handling was not totally correct.
We now know that the sole evidence that could possibly have linked Barry George to the crime the 11.5 micron metallic scrap residue from an inside pocket of a coat cannot be relied upon.
Orlando Pownall (Snr Treasury Council) for the prosecution , said on the 2nd day of the trial;
"It is no coincidence that this defendant happens to have a particle in the inside pocket of his coat ... this aspect of the case provides compelling evidence of his guilt."Which leaves PC Plod ( Detective Chief Inspector Hamish Campbell) with the uncomfortable fact that if Barry George is acquitted and he did not murder Jill Dando, there is some person(s) out there who did.
"Disruptions in energy supplies, sharp price increases and thuggish behavior by energy suppliers are threats to all democracies with growing economies."
Fred Thompson the Republican Presidential (nearly) candidate was in London yesterdayat the invitation of the Policy Exchange, home territory of the Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville Jones Fan club. He met Conservative leader the Boy David Cameron and Lady Thatcher, whose estranged grandchildren of her terrorist funding son live in America.
Policy Exchange was the venue for a speech for journalists "Building a Transatlantic Alliance for Tomorrow". (Click for video and transcript of the speech - Video of his views on abortion, cell stem research here)
Wit and Wisdom of Fred at the Policy Exchange....
I’ve thought that America needed a weekly question and answer period between the President and Congress. But in the past few months I’ve decided it isn’t such a good idea.Evidently a man of deep thought our Fred.
Rupe's rag of record, the Times gives him a glowing report after he was interviewed by Gerard Baker (United States Editor and an Assistant Editor of The Times.) - billed as an exclusive - well at least, his first with a non-US news organization, - excluding the ones he gave in Israel when he met Olmerde and Tzipi recently.
He told The Times that "his presidential bid would be based on his belief that Americans wanted change and that he was uniquely placed to provide it."
“I think they perceive the reality and the reality is that perhaps this is the occasion where the man meets the times..." he continued rather modestly.
Apparently he was strongly critical of the conduct of the Iraq war, (who isn't these days ?) and said America would proceed with a greater “dose of realism” in the future, whatever that means.
Nevertheless the original decision to launch an illegal invasion based on a tissue of lies was OK and “just” and claims that the US was right to try to promote democracy around the world.
No mention of him meeting Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Menzies Cambell or any other leading political figures.
Reuters report Fred was 1% ahead of Guiliani in a Rasmussen poll of Republican Presidential hopefuls over last weekend.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The Marine Corps is trying to acquire an adequate stock of spare parts to have on hand when the first Marine squadron flying the V-22 Osprey deploys to Iraq this fall.
Marine Corps Col. Matt Mulhern, who has the unenviable task of oversight for the
Albatross Osprey V22 widowmaker , whilst hanging out in the Press Bar at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget explained that the Marines are trying to anticipate which parts will suffer the most wear and tear. Fatalistically he explained , "Something will pop up that we didn't know about." You bet.
Bell Helicopter and the Boeing Co., ( 6,000 people in Fort Worth and 1,000 more in Amarillo depend on this program) who spent so long and so much money making this unarmed aircraft which carries 24 combat troops or internal payload of 20,000 lbs (qv Chinook = 25,000 lbs) and external payload of 15,000 lbs (qv Chinook = 25,000 lbs) want to build up supplies of key parts and components, (you bet they do) such as rotor blades and engines that will "inevitably" be worn down by the sand in Iraq.
VMM-263 Squadron, based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., the first squadron will go operational in Iraq with the flying coffin "later this year" - which is what they said last spring. Pic is of two marines using the sling without covering fire - a curious picture as the rotors do not appear to be rotating.
Each V-22 squadron will have 10 aircraft but will be staffed for 12 aircraft.
Amazingly there are reports that the Pentagon is now negotiating with Bell and Boeing for a five-year order for 167 more Ospreys for about $10 billion, plus the cost of engines (roughly $2 million each), even though it has not yet seen active service.
At 10.40 am in London, benchmark Brent crude contracts for August delivery were down 29 cents at US$ 71.55 per barrel (it hit hit a ten-month high of US$72.25 on Monday) . New York crude contracts for July delivery, which expires today, were down 27 cents at US$ 68.83 per barrel. Whilst the market is awaiting US reserve figures for gas there are rising concerns about today's general strike called in Nigeria.
The strike - said to test the will of the new president Umaru Yar'Adua relates to a series of fiscal measures pushed though in the last days of the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo, who stepped down last month.
The price of petrol was increased from 65 naira (51 US cents - 25 pence) a litre to 75...The government has now reportedly offered to reduce this to 70 naira (55 cents). This measure was designed to reduce domestic demand as Nigeria has to import fuel because the refineries cannot cope and are badly run down.
This “indefinite strike” is scheduled to start today and includes both major union groups in the country. Whilst this is a major concern recent attacks in the Niger Delta may signify more serious concerns over supplies.
Gunmen overran an ENI oilfield pumping station on Sunday and the company said 27 people were being held hostage at the facility, which normally produces about 40,000 barrels per day of oil.
U.S. oil company Chevron has cut its Nigerian oil output by 42,000 bpd after an invasion at a flow station by armed youths, a company spokesman said on Monday.
It is reported that some 756,000 bpd, or 25%, of the country's output (which generates 90% of the country's income) is shut because of militant attacks. Before the election which brought Mr Yar'Adua to power, the militants stepped up their violence, although there was a lull during the actual voting.
The attacks resumed shortly after the polls with more kidnappings and bombing of oil pipelines, leading to a 25% cut in production and ultimately the current spiking in global oil prices.
The BBC Online report that Benjamin Akande, who is a native Nigerian but is now a US-based academic expert on Nigeria (***?) told them:
"The truth of the matter is that Nigeria may need outside help to deal with this situation. The US, the EU, or the AU could come into this conversation and help resolve this issue," Mr Akande suggested.
Watch Mr Akande, Dean of Business Management , Webster University, St Louis talk about gas prices on Fox TV here.
Agrifuels do not come without a price - diversion of food products to fuel raises the cost of animal feeds and so on to meat, eggs, milk, corn syrup and products that contain, them and even the humble tortilla...as a trip to Wal Mart will confirm.
The unexpected prosperity of the Mid West corn growers has seen corn acreages rise at least 9% this year - which means higher fertiliser inputs. In the US this means high nitrogen urea fertilisers produced directly from natural gas. As natural gas use expanded for heating, prices rose and the fertilizer industry headed overseas where new plants utilising the most recent technology were built close to the source of the gas in Qatar, Saudi, Brazil, Egypt, India, Venezuela and Australia.
A typical plant is the one built by Snamprogretti (costing A$500Mn) on Burrup Peninsula north of Perth near Port Dampier using gas from extensive local gas fields which came on stream in 2003 and is jointly Australian / Indian owned and run. This site was preferred to one based in Darwin using gas from the Timor Sea - Snamprogretti (part of State owned ENI) have built over 90 urea plants around the world.
The plant will produce approximately 760,000t/yr of granular urea and 190,000t/yr of excess saleable ammonia. The ammonia production plant uses Halder Topsoe technology and the urea plant using its own technology. The Haldor Topsoe technology is used by 60% of ammonia plants being built around the world. The urea granulation is developed using the Hydro Agri process identical to another Snamprogetti plant in Venezuela.
The ammonia is produced by mixing natural gas and water with a catalyst to form oxides and hydrogen. These react with air to produce nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The nitrogen and hydrogen is combined to form ammonia (NH3). The carbon monoxide is converted to dioxide and used in the urea plant.
Ammonia and carbon dioxide are reacted to form ammonium carbamate. The urea is formed by dehydrating the carbamate. The urea has impurities removed and is then granulated by being sprayed onto urea granules in a fluidised bed.
The world's larger urea fertiliser plants is the Fertinitro petrochemical complex at Jose Anzoategui in Venezuela - Koch Industries the huge privately owned US oil products company has alarge interest in the plant. Costing US $1.1 billion, the plant was completed in November 2000 and is the largest nitrogen-based fertiliser unit in the world to date. The project consists of two ammonia plants and two granulated urea plants, with operating capacities of 1.2 million tonnes per year for the ammonia and 1.5 million tonnes per year for the urea. Of this, 240,000 tonnes of the ammonia and 1.5 million tonnes of the urea are intended for export. It is expected that overall production at the site will rise from 1.9 million tonnes per year to 4.6 million tonnes per year.
One of the principal advantages of the Jose site is that it has ample supplies of cheap natural gas and through more centralised control flare gas (gas extracted along with oil) cannot be burnt and wasted. Hence feeding the gas to a fertiliser plant becomes more economical.
The result is that the US and Canada increasingly rely on imports from lower cost suppliers but have seen domestic prices climb. Typically priced at US$270 a tonne in 2006 they may reach US$400 later this summer - which reflects the fact that 90% of all urea imports go into the US - from a position of self reliance ten years ago - currently there are two major sources, Qatar and Saudi who supply probably 25% of the US needs.
The major Saudi plant is the Sabic complex at Al Jubail which uses BASF / Uhde technology who have recently installed a 4th plant and their total urea output will rise to 2.6 million tonnes per annum while ammonia capacity will reach 2.3 million tpa. This increase in production has neatly coincided with an increased international demand.
QAFCO founded in 1969 and owned by the State of Qatar, now has 4 plants in operation and after recent completion of QAFCO-4 plant, QAFCO has emerged as the world’s largest single site producer of urea and ammonia with an annual production capacity of 2 Mn tons of ammonia and 2 Mn tons of urea.
So US reliance on foreign oil, through a huge switch to ethanol now relies heavily on the Middle East for nitrogen fertiliser, a low cost commodity which costs a great deal to ship and haul - to feed the nation.
Mr Chavez it appears likes to ship his to his friends in South America.
Whilst the tabloids worry about Venture capitalist's immodest earnings , the 2nd largest stockbrokers in the world (by volume) Morgan Stanley's income increased a whopping 40%.
For Q2 ending May 31st 2007 MS posted net income of US$2.6 billion, or US$2.45 a share, compared with US$1.8 billion, or US$1.75 a share, for Q2 2006.Gross revenue soared 32% to US $11.5 billion.
Chairman and CEO John Mack(appointed June 30, 2005) said, "Morgan Stanley ...(have) now achieved seven straight quarters with ROE above 20 percent, and we're well on our way to reaching our goal of doubling 2005 earnings over five years."
Simultaneously MS have opened their MSREF VI International Real Estate Fund fund, with $8 billion of equity commitments in which investments will include non-U.S. real estate assets, portfolios and companies, primarily in developed markets. To date, the MSREF funds have acquired real estate assets totaling $83.5 billion, with assets under management of $31.6 billion.
(MS total assets under management or supervision at May 31, 2007 were $560 billion, up $106 billion, or 23 percent, from a year ago.)
Kevin Warsh a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (nominated by POTUS and there until 2018) is an ex employee of MS working there from 1995 to 2002, and made VP and Executive Director in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department.
His appointment was famously described by Noam Scheiber , Editor of the New Republican ....
"Other than a Harvard Law degree and four years in the White House, the only qualification that jumps out at you is the $165,000-plus his father-in-law has donated to various Republican committees since 2002. Warsh may be perfectly capable of hazarding opinions about the future of the economy. But, by that standard, there are tens of thousands of people entitled to a seat on the Fed. ...Appointing someone like him to the Federal Reserve board dramatically lowers the bar for future appointments, which makes it more likely that the body of powerful technocrats will come to be dominated by political hacks. ...The only way you appoint Kevin Warsh to a seat on the Federal Reserve board is if you have little respect for the practice of economic policy-making and you're not ashamed to admit it."...but he is married to the daughter of Ronald Lauder , friend of Ariel Sharon, Chairman of the New York Port Authority who sold the WTC to Larry Silverstein who also has half shares in CETV with Sir Ronald Cohen's Apax Partners who will be replacing the role of Lord Levy the midget Karaoke King (after his FO funded monster leaving bash last night) as the representative for Israel and it's many friends in the UK Government.
More rate rises on the near horizon
As the UK market chewed over the Bank of Englan's last MPC minutes and Mervyn King being out voted over a UK rate rise, it is worth noting that the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes - which influences US interest rates on mortgages and corporate loans, gained almost 4 basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 5.12 percent.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Podblanc is a US based video aggregator that operates on a server in the Netherlands - with a seemingly totally libertarian view of what they make available who seem to have some connection to Prussian Blue who we posted about recently - this is an ABC broadcast from yesterday about Mr Dadullah sending his Taliban trained terrists off to Europe and North America.
This is the Mission Statement - Podblanc's primary intent is to establish a worldwide White volunteer news gathering network, and to merge same with coming TV convergence. [Kike google and joost already have streaming push-TV beta programs. The difference is, OURS will be White.] We ask that you create "news reporter" type videos. Since the advent of television, we have all been conditioned to view this format-- a man or woman holding a microphone (or having a clip-on lapel mike) making his/her report TO the camera, TO his viewers. You don't have to have a second person to do this, but you do need a tall tripod. So with your participation, we can level the field with MSM (mainstream media)-- establishing a kind of "Wikipedia of White-orientated video news gathering". Eventually, we may be able to have pages for specific cities-- e.g., New York, L.A., Berlin, Stockholm. The beauty of our possibilities are that MSM has virtually ceded White-interest news to anybody willing to grab and produce it, and that we will do.
If you just want to upload You Tube-like videos you have created or decided to bring in from elsewhere, that's fine too-- whether those are White-interest orientated or general interest. Our second favorite format likely to get you on the first pages of podblanc are YOU sitting, talking into the camera, pontificating on aspects of the White experience. We all have a lot to say.
Please use your skills as videographers to pick the highest quality vids you can-- ones that will "grab" others. We want to make a good impression to help our overall success as a group effort come opening day. That may be two to three weeks off; we are not sure.
Worth examining just to see what sort of use the You Tube idea is increasingly being adopted to generate interest in political issues... their degenerates category is a hoot.
Today from Boing Boing Link to You Tube
CT2 Television is not of course owned or operated by Gordy Brown's VERY good friend Lord Cohen's Apax partners and Ariel Sharon's chum Ronald Lauder's CETV European TV network. who only own and opereate TV Nova , Galaxie Sport in the Czech Republic.
UPDATE An explanation is due of the picture at the head of this post. It is taken from the live proceedings of the House of Lords today when Fatty Falconer rekindled the desire of many viewers to boil him down for candles when he announced that some 1,200 prisoners would be released early "on licence" - not discharged from their sentence, he was anxious to point out .(Which probably means even more bureaucracy to eventually discharge them).
Well Fatty Falconer has hardly got his feet under his expensive (and huge) desk at Selborne House on Victoria Street, and he has fucked up royally....but then , did you ever give the impression that this lard arsed ex bedmate of Tony's knew what he was doing - consider the wonderful success of the Millennium Dome ...?
Sky News Sunday Live with Adam Boulton
Interview with Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer.
Aired: Sunday, 6 May, 2007 10:00
Boulton: Because it is being suggested, again quite widely, that what’s going to happen is that you are going to do John Reid’s dirty work for him, that you are going to announce that more than three thousand convicts are going to be released early from prison because of prison overcrowding and then you’ll conveniently leave the government so you’ll take that bad smell with you. Is there any truth in that?
Falconer: I have read those same stories and there is no truth in that. I am not going to comment on the details of prison policy which only becomes my responsibility on 9th May but the stories in today’s paper and previous papers saying I am plotting to release three thousand prisoners when I take over is wrong.
and further on in the Interview...
Boulton: So, let’s get this clear. You are not going to announce early releases because of prison overcrowding in the next few weeks?
Falconer: I am not going to announce early releases because of prison overcrowding.
Boulton: Any early releases?
Falconer: Any early releases, no.
Boulton: So, it’s not just the number, it is simply wrong?
Falconer: It is simply wrong.
UPDATE Sky have helpfully made available the above clip on their news site - Go here for the videoclip
Times June 19, 2007
Burglars and drug offenders ‘to be freed’
"Two weeks ago, David Hanson, the Prisons Minister, said he did not anticipate bringing forward early release measures. “We are not in the mood to have an early release scheme, and the Lord Chancellor has basically indicated that at the commencement of the Ministry of Justice.”
Jail inmates 'to be freed early'
BBC Online News Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Lord Falconer is expected to announce the early release of up to 2,000 non-violent inmates, to combat prison overcrowding in England and Wales.
The Justice Secretary's statement, due in the House of Lords, comes as the prison population breaks the 81,000 barrier for the first time.
All this is of course good news for G3 Systems of Royston, Herts, a subsidiary of the US company IAP Worldwide (who were so widely , soundly and reasonably criticised for the running of Walter Reed Hospital) who are currently supplying 2 of their "Drop in Units" of pre-fabricated prison accomodation for 60-100 inmates at a minimum cost of over £130,000 per cell.
Ordered in January they were scheduled to be fitted in June 2007.
It is useful and interesting to re-visit the following exchange in the House of Lords 26th April Hansard col 768 Fatty Falconer was at the time The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and Lord Chancellor - the defender (Ho Ho Ho)of the Constitution.
Earl Ferrers: My Lords, would it not have been a good idea if the Government had sought the views of Parliament before undertaking these substantial changes?
This makes a nice picture of 3 of Tony's top ministerial clique of non elected Ministers. Fatty of course shared Tony's life, flat and bed, but not the long, lean limbed, fragrant and very beautiful Lady Amos who is of course a VERY VERY close friend of Tony's. She is best remembered for scuttling around West Africa in February 2003 in a transparent (and fruitless) attempt to drum up support amongst the darkies for the UN resolution to invade Iraq.
It must be pointed out that this dusky damsel was the leader of the Privy Council, that convened to pass an order in Council that denied the dusky Chagossian islanders title to their home. This was famously rejected recently by the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke. High Court, London 23rd July 2006 who rejected the disgusting Appeal by HM Government to decision to allow Chagos Islanders to return to their homeland ...in which he said..
"The suggestion that a minister can, through the means of an Order in Council, exile a whole population from a British Overseas Territory and claim that he is doing so for the 'peace, order and good government' of the territory is, to us, repugnant."
"The decision was in reality that of the Foreign Secretary, not of Her Majesty, and is subject to challenge by way of judicial review in the ordinary way."
The third, (and like Lady Amos, overdressed party and well up there in the removing and replacing spectacles whilst attempting to make it appear that listening to Lard Arse is a fascinating way of getting through the longeurs between lunch and supper) is the snooty bitch, Baroness Scotland of Asthal - whose main claim to fame is how she mislaid the Treason Act 1795 and in a fit of legal housekeeping swept it inadvertently into the trash can - a tale you can read here (which incidentally puts My Lord Tebbitt in an excellent light, and in which Lord Onslow provides welcome light relief).
The result is if you commit Treason you will no longer be prosecuted under the now extinct 1795 Act but that of the 450 year older Treason Act of 1351 - before of course anyone had heard of the United Kingdom so probably slaying the Queen or her issue north of the border may now well escape the death penalty.
UPDATE The hapless Minister of Prisons David Hanson on Newsnight looked as though he might soon break into tears as Paxo stuffed him, ably aided by some Tory blue shirted rascal feeding like a hyena on the poor sod.
Apparently it will require the early release over the next six months of 25,000 prisoners just to maintain the current prison population... rather fucks up the idea of a coherent sentencing policy...never mind the idea of a considered policy of rehabilitation.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) was the creature created by UNSC resolution 1284 of 17 December 1999. It replaced the older UNSCOM and all its direct staff were all UN employees - except for the various spies / agents of the Coalition of Potential Aggressors. It was mandated to verify Iraq's compliance with its obligation to be rid of its weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological weapons and missiles with a range of more than 150 km), and to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification to ascertain that Iraq does not reacquire the same weapons prohibited to it by the Security Council.
The precise but publicity happy Dr. Hans Blix of Sweden was the first Executive Chairman -1st March 2000 to 30 June 2003. On 1 July 2003, Mr. Demetrius Perricos (now aged 71 was asked by Kofi Annan to take on the job for 6 months) as Acting Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC by the UN Secretary General.
UNMOVIC inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in March 2003 - their most recent report (The 29th Qtly report - and probably their last) was presented on 29th May 2007. (PDF alert!) They are now down to 17 staff in new York and 2 local staff in Baghdad ( who “continue to perform routine maintenance on the office support equipment” - dusting the typewriters ? ) and the only activity reported is that 2 technical staff visited the Cyprus field office at the UK Sovereogn base in Larnaca in March to inspect equipment held there.
Therefore it is no surprise that the NYT reports today that the US and UK Governments have proposed to “terminate immediately the mandates” of the UNMOVIC weapons inspectors.A draft resolution is circulating which does not accept retaining any staff or resources. Apparently this has been accepted by Security Council Members (including Russia) and staff meetings on the latest proposal have already taken place.
Any decision about the commission’s future will need to deal with the disposition of the large, unusual and significant archive - containing no doubt detailed information that some Government quarters who traded with Saddam might wish to be incinerated / destroyed.
So far the Belgian ambassador, who holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, has scheduled more debate for the end of the month. At the same time the commission says it will release a 1,200-page compendium on Iraq’s illicit weapons program that could be the final word from the group.
So, what was effectively a vehicle to allow spying on Saddam, by the likes of Scott Ritter and Dr David Kelly will be quietly wound up and their records - 1,500 feet of paper files and a terabyte of electronic records will be trashed.
Nobody wants any future (or present) academics poking around in that lot.
It is worth remembering exactly what happened about the evidence of WMD's...
"Richard Dearlove, the Head of MI6, told Hoon and others at the war council on July 23, 2002:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.Hoon says nothing however about the July 23, 2002 war council whose deliberations are recorded in the Downing Street Memo. In fact, he has the gall to pretend that we don't know what he was told at that meeting......
Mr Hoon also expressed regret over the government's claim in the run-up to war that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which, he now accepts, turned out to be false. He said he had "gradually come to the acceptance" the weapons did not exist. But he insisted the government had acted in good faith.It is also worthwhile remembering what Hans Blix had repeatedly reported before the illegal invasion...
He still does not understand why the intelligence proved to be false. "I've been present at a number of meetings where the intelligence community was fixed, and looked in the eye and asked are you absolutely sure about this? And the answer came back 'Yes, absolutely sure'."
Mr Hoon added: "I saw intelligence from the first time I came into office, in May 1999 - week in, week out - that said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ... I have real difficulty in understanding why it was, over such a long period of time, we were told this and, moreover, why we acted upon it."
"U.N. reports submitted to the Security Council before the war by Hans Blix, former chief U.N. arms inspector, and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, have been largely validated by U.S. weapons teams. The common findings:Of course ...nobody wants to keep any records about that.
Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dormant.
No evidence was found to suggest Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons. U.N. officials believe the weapons were destroyed by U.N. inspectors or Iraqi officials in the years after the 1991 Gulf War."
If you want to read how the current Baghdad Gubment raidied the UNMOVIC piggy Bank to buy a new UN office (nearer to the UN) whilst holding onto their prime piece of Manhattan real estate go to Max News Iraqis Use U.N. Money to Enhance NYC Real Estate Portfolio
In their self adopted role as the World's Policeman the USA have assigned 5 Unified Combatant Commands (COCOM) which are US joint military command composed of forces from two or more services, organized geographically ("Area Of Responsibility", AOR) .
Last summer, the then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a planning team to examine what it would take to get an Africa command up and running. In early December, Rumsfeld made the recommendation to President Bush, who authorized a new command on the same day Rumsfeld left office.
The U.S. have for a long time expressed concerned about the increasing infiltration of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, especially in the northern trans-Saharan region. The so called Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), based mostly in Northern Africa, the GSPC it is said represents a threat beyond the Continent, northwards to Europe.
The U.S. has launched a number of initiatives to counter the threat, including military and intelligence training missions by Special Forces units.The U.S. has other strategic interests in Africa. The continent will account for 20 to 25 % of U.S. energy imports by the next decade.
The US is also determined to enlarge their foothold on the continent in response to intensifying competition with China, India and others for influence and for access to resources ... and .. "rising commitments with respect to global health in Africa."
From February 2007 a new command USAFRICOM which is the whole of Africa minus Egypt commenced operations. This was was added to the present 5 and was carved out of of USEUCOM (virtually the whole African continent) , USCENTCOM (East Africa - The "Horn") and USPACOM (Madagascar).
This will include a lot of offshore real estate(with a lot of oil in places) including the Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, islands belonging to Equatorial Guinea, and the Indian Ocean islands of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
This new command will be established by September 30, 2008 and is temporarily housed at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany until the permanent base somewhere in Africa is constructed. Navy Rear Adm. Robert T. Moeller (see pic) arrived commenced the role of CEO on Feb. 26.
It is claimed that his deputy will probably be State Department official, rather than a military officer to emphasise the interagency mix, focusing the efforts of intelligence, diplomatic, health and aid - and perhaps to assuage a bit of fluttering in the ambassadorial dovecots of the dark Continent.
This new deployment and change in strategic structures does more however, in that it reflects a major change from a reactive involvement in the continent to a proactive commitment to secure US interests.
The Dark Continent, whilst it has not figured greatly in White House concerns (distracted no doubt by the noisy Zionist cabal and their more pressing and immediate concerns) has been of growing concern , especially since the 2003/4 conflicts in the Niger Delta, the origin of increasing quantities of oil ( and natural gas) on very direct shipping routes to the US region .
The Northern Sahara/Sahel region, is supposed to harbour the GSPC whose attacks on some army troops in Mauritania and the kidnapping of 15 tourists has encouraged the Algerina Government to draw in US support and access to arms. But there are secptics about the nature, role and effectiveness and origins of these fundamental Islamaist jihadists. Moussa Ould Ham, editor of Le Calame, an independent Mauritanian newspaper , is convinced a new strand of the GSPC, not focussed on regime change in Algeria, carried out the attack.
"Wherever the Americans are, whether it's Iraq or wherever, an Islamic resistance rises up, and perhaps it's this Islamic resistance that we are seeing appearing in Mauritania today."
There are other interest involved - a lobby group , the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (the child of The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) - see more later) held a symposium and issued a paper, "African oil, a priority for US national security and African development"
This urges Congress and the Bush administration to encourage greater extraction of oil across Africa, and to declare the Gulf of Guinea "an area of vital interest" to the US. Walter Kansteiner, US Under-Secretary of State for African affairs, is reported saying that African oil "has become a national strategic interest". Ed Royce, the influential Republican senator for California and chairman of the Congress African sub-committee, maintains "African oil should be treated as a priority for US national security post 9-11".
It is worthy of note that Equatorial Guineau's ambassador in Washington (brother-in-law of president Teodoro Obiang) attended the AOPIG symposium. Two thirds of Equatorial Guinea's oil concessions have been awarded to US operators with close ties to the Bush administration. William McCormick, boss of CMS Energy, contributed $100,000 to Bush's presidential inauguration ceremony they eventually sold their interests to Marathon Oil. Ocean Energy, another company at work in the Gulf of Guinea, employs Chester Norris as a consultant in Equatorial Guinea (he was Bush senior's ambassador there).The coastguards are trained (and probably run by) by Military Professional Resources Inc, who will soon be patrolling the offshore oilfields. This private company is managed by retired high-ranking Pentagon officers.
Triton, is also a prime mover in Equatorial Guinea whose chairman, Tom Hicks, made Bush a millionaire fifteen times over when he bought the Texas Rangers in 1998. Hicks's leveraged buyout firm, Hicks Muse, is Bush's fourth-largest career financial patron, according to the Center for Public Integrity. Devon Energy (who took over Ocean Energy) paid $350,000 into Riggs Bank accounts for students from Equatorial Guinea enrolled in training programs or universities abroad, according to a Senate report. Many if not all the students were the children or other relatives of government officals.
See this Wayne Madsen report on connections between President Obiang, Jack Abramoff, George Bush's uncle ,Jonathan Bush, Riggs Bank, money laundering the Abayak SA slush fund and who knew about the 2004 abortive coup against Obiang which involved Mark Thatcher and whose ringleader Simon Mann rests in the Harare slammer, Prop. president Mugabe.
Sudan, which started exporting oil six years ago,produces over 200,000 barrels a day. Nigeria, Africa's leading exporter of crude oil, is set to increase daily output from 2.2m to 3m barrels, rising to 4.42m by 2020. The next largest African producing nation, is Angola, by 2020 it is expected to double output to 3.28m barrels a day - Chevron supervises 75% of oil production in Angola.
Equatorial Guinea currently holds the record (alongside Angola) for oil prospecting permits. Over the next 20 years it could become Africa's third largest producer (ahead of Congo and Gabon) with 740,000 barrels a day...or even more with offshore interests included. Thee new producers do not of ocurse belong to OPEC.
US oil companies - the giant Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, and operators such as Amerada Hess, Marathon and Ocean Energy - are investing more than US $10bn in African oil every year. (The Chad / Cameroon pipeline cost US$3.4Bn.)
The New York Times quotes Roger Diwan,CEO of the Petroleum Finance Company :
"There is a long-term strategy from the US government to weaken Opec's hold on the market and one way to do that is to peel off certain countries".The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), is a very odd think-tank set up in Jerusalem in 1984 with strong Likud support and a belief that:
Western societies are poised today to converge with Islam. Judeo-Christian, West European America is the enemy and target of these Elites. Particularly have White people become the target as these Elites, like Islam itself, have roused the huge and disaffected Black populations of the Americas, making them the instrument for Elite aims..blah ...blahMore here .....that has also shown a strong interest in the area and set up the African Oil Policy Initiative Group with members such as Barry Schutz an African specialist in the Bush Administration (Officially Office of Analysis for Africa, US state department), and Lt-Col Karen Kwiatkowksi (now retired and severe critic of Iraq ***) aUSAF officer seconded to work with Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld (remember the formation of USAFRICOM was approved by the President when Rumsfeld retired). See this IASPS Press release. and pic at top of article. "Changes in US Oil Policy : US will buy less oil from Saudis.
The U.S. Congress has approved $500 million for the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI) over six years to support countries involved in counterterrorism against alleged threats of Al Qaeda operating in African countries, primarily Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, and Morocco. This program builds upon the former Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), which concluded in December 2004 and focused on weapon and drug trafficking, as well as counterterrorism. Previous U.S. military activities in sub-Saharan Africa have included Special Forces associated Joint Combined Exchange Training.
The Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative officially started in June with Exercise Flintlock 2005. US special ops forces trained their counterparts in seven Saharan countries, teaching military tactics critical for enhancing regional security and stability. There is also a diplomatic effort to encourage participating nations to work collaboratively toward confronting regional issues- mainly countering the alleged Al Quaeda threat.
The Trans Saharan initiative builds on the successful Pan Sahel Initiative, launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to prevent terrorists from setting up safe havens in Africa. Other factors — war, poverty, disease, corruption and lack of education, among them — create an atmosphere of hopelessness where extremists' messages resonate, particularly with the younger generation. The very conditions that cause these humanitarian tragedies are also the very conditions that lead to breeding grounds for the kinds of threats that the US is most concerned about in this region.
TSCTI is being planned as a follow-on to the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI) that began in 2002, which helped train and equip at least one rapid-reaction company, about 150 soldiers, in each of the four Saharan states: Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.
The overall approach is straightforward: build indigenous capacity and facilitate cooperation among governments in the region that are willing partners (Algeria, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia, with Libya possibly to follow later if relations improve) in the struggle with Islamic extremism in the Sahel region.
TSCTI would support US national security interests in the "Global War on Terrorism" stopping the flow of illicit arms, goods, and people through the region helping focus nations to better protect their own vast borders and regions.
The Trans Saharan Counter-terrorism Initiative officially kicked off in June 2005 with Exercise Flintlock 2005.
Despite its successes, the Pan Sahel Initiative was constrained from its inception by limited funding and a limited focus. The Pan Sahel Initiative and the inroads it made laid important groundwork for the new Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative.
The new program will be better funded — it will receive about $100 million a year for five years. And unlike the program it replaces, the Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative will introduce a more comprehensive approach to regional security. The Defense Department will continue to focus on military operations, expanding its scope from the company to the battalion level.
The US Agency for International Development, for example, will address educational initiatives; the State Department, airport security; and the Department of Treasury, efforts to tighten up money-handling controls in the region.
One evident threat is posed by the newly active group calling itself al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb—AQIM in American military shorthand. Said to have been formed from Algeria’s Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, jopinerd forces local units of al-Qaeda. The GSPC itself emerged out of Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s, in which some 200,000 died. Its most recent attack, a car bombing in Algiers in April, killed at least 30 people. The CIA thinks that AQIM may have about 100-150 operatives, who could be “force multipliers”, meaning that they could train many more jihadists in the mobile training camps the Americans claim to have identified in northern Mali’s deserts near the Algerian border.
Stories are relayed that AQIM may link up with even murkier and vaguely anonymous groups groups, such as the Black Taliban of northern Nigeria. Blamed for an attack in April in the city of Kano. This killed scores of people - Black Taliban at work ? It is just as difficult to confirm / deny there exists a growing terrorist network elsewhere in the Sahel, and perhaps even a line of communication and supply reaching right across to Somalia and even on to Iraq.As a result of the 2004 global posture review, the Pentagon began implementing a number of Cooperative Security Locations (CSLs) and Forward Operating Sites (FOSs) across the African continent, through USEUCOM. These locations, along with Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, would form the basis of Africa Command facilities on the continent. See Post here on Camp Lemonier (Le Monier) In Jan 2006.
In Seymour M. Hersh's , piece in the New Yorker this month about Abu Ghraib and General Antonio Taguba he discloses that ,
"I was told by the former senior intelligence official and a government consultant that after the existence of secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe was revealed, in the Washington Post, in late 2005, the Administration responded with a new detainee center in Mauritania. After a new government friendly to the U.S. took power, in a bloodless coup d’état in August, 2005, they said, it was much easier for the intelligence community to mask secret flights there."Rule No 1 in building the Empire - Build the Prisons First.
**** Karen Kwiatowski :
"Many military professionals believe he (G Bush Jnr) is under the influence of neo-conservative ideologues led by deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz. "Bush isn't in control," says recently retired Air Force colonel Karen Kwiatkowksi.
A former Pentagon officer and Middle East specialist who once worked in the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, Ms. Kwiatkowski says key areas of government have been "hijacked" by "a network of political appointees in key positions . . . operating outside normal structures and practices." A self-described conservative, she says the neo-cons advocate "perpetual war to promote abstract global morality through military imperialism, propped up by muscular national socialism at home."November 27, 2003 by the Globe & Mail/Canada
Truth and Other Casualties by Monika Jensen-Stevenson
This clip from the SANE website referred to in the first comment shows their connection to IASPS.Visit the SANE website here.
A Clean Break:
A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.
- Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, "comprehensive peace" to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.
- Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
- Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform. etc., etc.,
- This document was of course the precursor of the Project for the New American Century PNAC
1 A Clean Break
2. PNAC produce their Project Document
3. 9/11 ( IASPS President and Founder is David Yerushalmi, and colleague of SANE founder Robert J Loewenberg. In 1991, teaming up with the Institute's policy experts, Yerushalmi was instrumental in establishing the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd., as an entrepreneurial policy tool to initiate radical free market reforms in Israel. Working along side fellow board members and shareholders such as Robert Tishman, Jerry Speyer, Larry Silverstein, Lawrence Tisch, Eugene Grant and Sy Syms)
4.Invasion of Iraq
perhaps another cycle is on the way
1. US Embassies bombed in Africa
2. IASPS produce African Oil Policy Initiative Group which publishes - "African oil, a priority for US national security and African development"
3. Rumsfeld makes plans for USAFRICOM
4. USAFRICOM is approved by Bush as Rumsfeld departs.
There is available a Congress Research Service report
CRS report for Congress
Africa Command : US Strategic Interests and the Role of the US Military in Africa
May 16th 2007 PDF Alert 35 Pages
This is a schematic map of the new area and it's origins.