Daily archives: August 24, 2006

Still No Info on Terror War’s ‘Ghost Detainees’

By Aaron Glantz in OneWorld US

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 23 (OneWorld) – The human rights group Amnesty International is appealing decisions by the United States government to withhold as secret information detailing the incarceration of so-called ghost detainees as part of the Bush administration’s self-styled “war on terror.”

The requests, which were submitted under the Freedom of Information Act with the help of the International Human Rights Clinic of New York University (NYU) School of Law, concern detainees who are–or have been–held by or with the involvement of the United States government, where there is no public record of the detentions.

Such individuals have also often been subjected to the practice commonly known as extraordinary rendition, which means they have been flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to a U.S.-allied nation where torture is legal and have been interrogated there.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of prisoners have been victims of torture in third countries. It’s difficult to ascertain the exact number because the files remain classified.


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Iran is the the chief beneficiary of the ‘war on terror’

A new report from Chatham House looks at Iran and its neighbours in this new era of conflict and uncertainty ushered in by the polices of Bush and Blair.

“There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East. The United States, with Coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran’s regional rival governments ‘ the Taliban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in April 2003 ‘ but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures. The outbreak of conflict on two fronts in June’July 2006 between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, and Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon has added to the regional dimensions of this instability…

..Iranian regional foreign policy, which is often portrayed as mischievous and destabilizing, is in fact remarkably pragmatic on the whole and generally aims to avoid major upheaval or confrontation.

Iran’s core foreign policy concerns are:

‘ regional hegemony, particularly economic and cultural, within its sphere of influence;

‘ an extension of the sphere of influence;

‘ regional stability;

‘ to see Iraq unified but unable to pose a military threat;

‘ an obsession with the US but uncertainty how to deal with it.”

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The ‘Neoconservative’ Sufi Muslim Council

The Washington neo-cons, President Karimov of Uzbekistan and Jack Straw appear to be linked to a newly prominent “Muslim interest group” that supports the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and Israeli action in the Lebanon…

From Sufi Muslim Council Exposed

Who and what is the “Sufi Muslim Council”? They seem to have emerged from nowhere ‘ suddenly their spokesman is interviewed on Radio 4 and Newsnight and a Channel 4 documentary gives their views some weight. They have a new website and a new magazine. But hardly anyone knows who they are or what they stand for?

We wanted to know the answer to these questions so we set about doing some basic research. We have uncovered very worrying links between this new council and the neocons in Washington. There are also links to some of the most brutal regimes in the world e.g. the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan. We have also unearthed allegations of dodgy business dealings and vote rigging.

The Neocon Link

Just take a look at the SMC website [www.sufimuslimcouncil.org] and the influence of the neocons in Washington becomes very clear. The majority of the content is written by neocons that criticise Islamic groups ‘ ‘Wahhabis’, the Muslim Brotherhood, MCB, MAB, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Tablighi Jamaat and Jamaati Islami are some of the examples that come in for criticism. There are articles entitled “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe”, “Hizb ut-Tahrir ‘ Islam’s Political Insurgency” and “Islamic Radicalism ‘ Its Wahhabi roots and current representation”.

We found that one of the prominent authors on the SMC website, who also writes for the SMC magazine “Spirit”, is Zeyno Baran ‘ a self confessed neocon who works for the ultra right wing Hudson Institute. She is close to the Uzbek regime and close to the oil and gas interests in Washington and Central Asia. She tirelessly does the bidding of the dictatorial regimes of Central Asia by playing down human rights abuses and encouraging western governments to enact draconian measures against Muslims. She has condemned Sheikh Qaradawi and the International Union of Muslim Scholars, amongst others. She says that Islam should play no role in politics and condemns even the mere mention of Islam in the Iraqi and Afghan constitutions.


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