The latest Wikileak material to come out is a CIA memorandum that deals with perceptions of the US as an exporter of terrorism. In a summary of the content at Wikileaks what appears is, “Contrary to common belief, the American export of terrorism or terrorists is not a recent phenomenon, nor has it been associated only with Islamic radicals or people of Middle Eastern, African or South Asian ethnic origin. This dynamic belies the American belief that our free, open and integrated multicultural society lessens the allure of radicalism and terrorism for US citizens.’ The report looks at a number cases of US exported terrorism, including attacks by US based or ﬁnanced Jewish, Muslim and Irish-nationalism terrorists. It concludes that foreign perceptions of the US as an “Exporter of Terrorism” together with US double standards in international law, may lead to noncooperation in renditions (including the arrest of CIA officers) and the decision to not share terrorism related intelligence with the United States.” (1) (George Ikners ikners.com Joomla)
What will be looked at in this article are the contents of the memo as well as the consequences of CIA observations to other countries in the world as well as Australia.
There has always been a concern particularly within Israel that there can and will be attempts to arrest Israeli officials in relation to war crimes allegations in Palestine. What this CIA memorandum is looking at is whether there are similar problems for the CIA and perhaps US citizens in general.
Several incidents are referred to in the memo. Including when five young Muslim Americans traveled from northern Virginia to Pakistan allegedly to join the Taliban and take part in jihad. Their families contacted the FBI and they were arrested by the Pakistanis.
In November 2008 a Pakistani American conducted surveillance to support Lashkar-i-Tayyiba (LT) when it attacked in Mumbai killing 160 people. LT induced him to change his name to a more Anglo Saxon one that facilitated his moving between the US, Pakistan and India. Some US Jews have also engaged in violent acts in Israel. In one instance an American Jewish doctor from New York emigrated to Israel and joined an extremist group, Kach, then 29 Palestinians were killed during prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. This action led to an Hamas retaliation involving bus bombings.
Some Irish Americans for a long time have provided financial and other support to the Irish to compel the UK to relinquish control of Northern Ireland. This has involved bombings of buildings and railway stations and Irish American have provided support for the IRA for arms purchases. It was only after repeated requests from the British and UK support for the US bombing Libya that the US government cracked down on Irish-American support for the IRA.
The memo then deals with what is referred to in a heading as, ”American Freedoms Facilitate Terrorist Recruitment and Operations.” The primary concern of the CIA has been the infiltration into the US by Al-Qa’ida (AQ) operatives. But it seems that AQ has been looking for Americans to operate overseas. US citizens can be very valuable assets overseas for AQ and other purposes because they carry US passports, are not readily recognizable, can communicate more freely and are able to use resources like the internet.
These type of CIA concerns while masked as the effect of “US freedoms” is really a plain statement of what Bin Laden has called the death by a thousand cuts. In this view the US will progressively limit and abolish ‘freedoms’ for security or homeland protection purposes and the system they value so highly will crumble before them. As the CIA memo notes terrorist groups must be aware of the ease with which the Taliban bound US citizen could travel between countries.
In this way the position becomes worse for the US, and deteriorates to a situation where you have to ‘secure your borders’ as the now frenzied phrase is used, to both incoming and outgoing movements of people. Truly an impossible task without the most draconian measures being put in place. Remember that the initial aim of AQ and other groups is for the US and others to get out.
But that is not about to happen according to imperialist and military wisdom and the price to be paid and the level of engagement employed by the local population in the US and in countries similarly engaged in the Middle East will eventually become untenable. Where the entire US concentration is to prevent and stop the inbound terrorist there is a space left where most governments would never suspect that US citizens would be plotting to take part in terrorist acts overseas. One can expect this tactic to gain greater usage and there will then be a steady stream of US bases terrorists going to other countries.
The memo refers to the ubiquity of the internet and facilities like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and blogs that will enable the radicalization of US citizens from abroad without the necessity for anyone entering the US. This type of comment is at once illogical and paranoia and probably a reflection of exactly the type of behaviour that imperialist powers like the US have been engaged in for decades if not centuries.
Except when the internet was not available the local media in a country sought to be dominated by the imperialists was used and local politicians who could best be described as thugs were enlisted to ensure that there was little if any viable opposition to the imperialist plans. Only the foolish would think that groups seeking to eradicate a US presence would not use exactly the same tactics the US and others have used for a great deal of time.
The next topic dealt with by the memo is termed, Impact on Foreign Relations if US seen as “Exporter of Terrorism” Now this is where we get to the real concerns of the CIA, please note that the heading does not refer to the impact of false beliefs that the US is exporting terrorism. The major concern could be encapsulated as asking “what will our friends do if they think we are exporting terrorism.” This is important because the US needs all the friends it can get in what the memo calls, “extrajudicial activities” By that what is meant is that the CIA and other US groups need other countries to assist with or actually do the dirty work. You would be familiar with such humane practices as detention in a foreign country that allows all manner of physical abuse that the US can avoid being accountable for. These abuses occur when the initial detention becomes, transfer and interrogation and people can disappear for great lengths of time, many probably never seeing the light of day afterwards.
The CIS unashamedly then uses 9/11 as the raison d’etre fo the US ability to get other countries to do their dirty work. The memo refers to the US being victims of terrorism and thereby having “leverage” to press foreign regimes (note the use of the word “regimes”) to acquiesce to requests to extradite terrorists from those countries. The memo adds,” however, if the US were seen as an ‘exporter of terrorism’ foreign governments could request a reciprocal arrangement that would impact US sovereignty.”
Surely this is the height of imperial arrogance, what is being said is that if the US want extradition and is a known exporter of terrorism then other countries could insist on an arrangement to extradite US citizens and that would be the end of unbridled US power in that sphere. But it gets worse as the memo spells out.
Foreign countries could request information on US citizens those countries deem to be terrorists or terrorism supporters. Then comes the really bad bit, these countries could “even request the rendition of US citizens.” What that would mean is that foreign countries could get hold of US terrorists, not exactly a nice outcome for a country devoted to the US of private contractors and security firms to carry out all manner of dastardly deeds on foreign soil. Worse still on this reasoning these foreign countries could even ask for the rendition of the bosses and leaders of these covert operations forces, basically the beginning of the end for the dirty tricks department.
Then the memo looks at a US refusal and sees that these same foreign countries could then “consider secretly extracting” these fine US citizens from the US to face the music in other parts of the world. It appears that the UK conducted operations against persons in the US thought to be Nazi sympathizers and there is some evidence to suggest that the UK in fact assassinated Nazi agents in the US.
A further consideration is that if the US is seen as an exporter of terrorism that raises difficult legal issues. As the memo notes the US is not a signatory to the International Criminal court (ICC) and has pursued bilateral immunity agreements BIAs) with other countries to ensure that US nationals are immune from prosecution. If the BIAs are not agreed to the usual termination of economic aid and military assistance occurs. Or as the phrase says, ”what we say goes.”
Thus the memo notes that if foreign regimes see the US position as “too one sided”, they could obstruct US detention efforts. In fact Italy in 2005 issued arrest warrants for the agents involved in the abduction of an Egyptian cleric. Where foreign leaders see the refusing to provide intelligence on US terrorism suspects and allowing people to testify then the response could be the same from the foreign countries. This has to some extent already happened in Germany where there was an acquittal of a 9/11 suspect because a witness was in US custody and the US refused to allow him to testify.
That is the extent of the memo called a “Red Cell special memorandum.” You should take the time to read the document and decide for yourself what its important features are and how it fits into present day imperialist and covert operations thinking. Perhaps it is all just part of the attempt to win the hearts and minds of people around the world and show them just how just and wonderful the system of democracy as presently practiced is.
The lessons for Australia are substantial, this is the fox we want to run with in pursuit of the hounds. These are the ground rules that will and do bind us to what we are supposed to think is a great and trusted ally.
(1) The Wikileaks site at http://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_Red_Cell_Memorandum_on_United_States_%22exporting_terrorism%22,_2_Feb_2010
George Ikners ikners.com Joomla