Saturday, October 31, 2009

Israel’s European Lobby

In their 2006 article “The Israel Lobby,” John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt famously assert, “Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.” Having for decades successfully steered policymaking in Washington in a pro-Israel direction, Israel’s American Lobby has more recently turned its attention to Europe. Despite its brief presence in Brussels, it appears to have already had marked success in influencing the nascent foreign policy of the European Union.

One of the most important of the more than 60 organizations that make up “the Lobby” is the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Jeff Blankfort, an American Jew who is one of the Lobby’s most trenchant critics, described the AJC as “the Lobby’s unofficial foreign office.” Extending its global diplomatic mission, the AJC opened an office in Brussels in 2004. Since then, according to Blankfort, it has held weekly meetings with a high official or the chief of state of EU member states. The meetings seem to be having the desired effect. As Blankfort wrote in 2006, “Over the past year the EU has moved away from relative support for the Palestinians to adopting one position after another reflecting Israeli demands.”

As part of its lobbying efforts in Brussels, the AJC founded the Transatlantic Institute (TAI) in February 2004. According to its mission statement, the institute functions as “an intellectual bridge between the United States and the European Union” with the aim of “strengthening transatlantic ties.” Although it describes itself as “nongovernmental, non-partisan and independent,” TAI’s publications leave little doubt that it intends to shift the EU in a more aggressively pro-Israel direction, as the neoconservatives succeeded in doing with the Bush administration’s Middle Eastern policy.

Like American neocons, the TAI’s executive director, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, has a “special affinity for Israel.” Before moving to Brussels, the Jewish Italian academic taught Israel Studies (a discipline which Mearsheimer and Walt describe as “intended in large part to promote Israel’s image”) at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, after having received his PhD in political science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. And like the current Israeli government and pro-Israeli groups worldwide, Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons are Ottolenghi’s overriding concern at the moment – now that the threat of Iraq’s non-existent WMDs has promptly been forgotten. In his 2009 book, Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb, Ottolenghi urges Europeans to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Despite his concern about the bomb, it’s unlikely that he would support a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons in the Middle East – since Israel is the only country in the region that currently possesses them.

Israel’s crying wolf is nothing if not predictable though. As for the “mushroom cloud” that’s supposedly looming over Europe, who, bar the mainstream media, could forget Condoleezza Rice’s pre-Iraq invasion soundbite: “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”? It was Michael Gerson, Bush’s pro-Israel speechwriter, who thought up that one. Incidentally, Gerson was so incensed by Mearsheimer and Walt’s criticism of the Lobby that he accused them in his Washington Post column of “sowing the seeds of anti-Semitism.”

Anyone for World War IV?

Before European policymakers give too much credence to the prescriptions of Ottolenghi and his “non-partisan” institute, they should familiarize themselves with the geopolitical outlook of Commentary, the magazine for which Ottolenghi blogs. Like the Transatlantic Institute, which became “the flagship of neoconservatism” in the 1970s, it was also founded by the American Jewish Committee, a relationship that lasted from 1945 to 2006. But above all, Commentary has been dominated by the political views of Norman Podhoretz.

Podhoretz, who has edited Commentary since 1960, claims that September 11, 2001 marked the beginning of World War IV (he considers the Cold War to have been World War III). “We are only in the very early stages of what promises to be a very long war,” declares the doyen of neoconservatism, “and Iraq is only the second front to have been opened in that war: the second scene, so to speak, of the first act of a five-act play.” Whatever about the incalculable cost in blood and treasure to the United States, presumably Israel won’t have any enemies left standing by the end of this bloody drama. Coincidentally or not, in 2007, the same year he published World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, Podhoretz was honoured by Bar-Ilan University with its Guardian of Zion Award, bestowed on Jews who have been supportive of the State of Israel.

However, those who question the motives behind Podhoretz’s enthusiasm for World War IV, or believe that his belligerent Zionism poses a far greater threat to world peace than “Islamofascism” – a nebulous concept that lumps together disparate entities such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Al Qaeda – are invariably smeared as anti-Semites. It’s not surprising, of course, that Zionists like Ottolenghi, in a transparent attempt to discredit their opponents, claim that “anti-Zionism is anti-semitism.” After all, “the charge of anti-semitism,” as Mearsheimer and Walt point out, is one of the Lobby’s “most powerful weapons.”

What is worrying, however, is that the EU now legitimates the deployment of that weapon by pro-Israelis against their critics. According to the definition given by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, it seems that you’re an anti-semite if you agree with Mearsheimer and Walt that pressure from Israel and the Lobby played a “critical” role in the decision to invade Iraq, or if you suspect that the likes of Podhoretz and Ottolenghi may be more loyal to Israel than they are to their respective countries. Before coming up with their working definition of anti-Semitism in 2004, the EU consulted with Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee. If they were asked about the question of loyalty, the AJC probably forgot to mention the case of Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, an American Jew, is now serving a life sentence for stealing thousands of documents while employed as an analyst for US naval intelligence during the mid-1980s. In Dangerous Liaison, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn write, “Though he always maintained that he was motivated purely by devotion to Israel, he was well paid for his services.” That money may have come from the US-Israeli Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), according to Claudia Wright, the author of Spy, Steal, and Smuggle: Israel’s Special Relationship with the US. When Jordan Baruch, an adviser to BIRD’s board, was asked for an audit report, he replied, “Even if I did (have one), I couldn’t release it.” Interestingly, it was Baruch and his wife, “long-time AJC leaders,” who funded the Transatlantic Foundation.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, Benjamin Netanyahu portrayed Israel’s grievance against Iran as a conflict which “pits civilization against barbarism.” It’s tempting to dismiss the Israeli leader’s assertion as the hyperbolic trope of a demagogue, but there may be some truth to what he said. After all, what better word than “barbarism” to describe what Israel has done to the Palestinians for the past six decades? Or the havoc that Israel’s supporters in America have wrought on the people of Iraq? Or the untold devastation they have in mind for the Iranians? The influence the Israel Lobby wields in Washington has ensured that the United States has long been complicit in Israel’s barbarism. And if the Lobby gets it way in Brussels, so too will the European Union.

Source: Dissident Voice

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How a Torture Protest Killed a Career

Editor’s Note: In this modern age – and especially since George W. Bush declared the “war on terror” eight years ago – the price for truth-telling has been high, especially for individuals whose consciences led them to protest the torture of alleged terrorists.

One of the most remarkable cases is that of Craig Murray, a 20-year veteran of the British Foreign Service whose career was destroyed after he was posted to Uzbekistan in August 2002 and began to complain about Western complicity in torture committed by the country’s totalitarian regime, which was valued for its brutal interrogation methods and its vast supplies of natural gas.

Murray soon faced misconduct charges that were leaked to London’s tabloid press before he was replaced as ambassador in October 2004, marking the end of what had been a promising career. Murray later spoke publicly about how the Bush administration and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government collaborated with Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov and his torturers. [See, for instance, Murray's statement to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Torture.]

But Murray kept quiet about his personal ordeal as the victim of the smear campaign that followed his impassioned protests to the Foreign Office about torture. Finally, on Oct. 22 at a small conference in Washington, Murray addressed the personal pain and his sense of betrayal over his treatment at the hands of former colleagues.

While Murray’s account is a personal one, it echoes the experiences of many honest government officials and even mainstream journalists who have revealed inconvenient truths about wrongdoing by powerful Establishment figures and paid a high price.

Below is a partial transcript of Murray’s remarks:

I was just having dinner in a restaurant that was only a block from the White House. It must have been a good dinner because it cost me $120. Actually it was a good dinner. …

I’ve never, ever spoken in public about the pain of being a whistleblower. Partly because of the British stiff-upper lip thing and partly as well because if you wish to try eventually to get on and reestablish yourself then it doesn’t do to show weakness. …

I was sitting in this place on my own and feeling rather lonely. And there were a whole bunch of people in dark suits coming from government offices, in many cases in groups, and there they were with the men’s suits sleek and the ladies, the whole office, power-politics thing going on, having after-dinner champagne in the posh bar.

And I was remembering how many times I’d been the center of such groups and of how successful my life used to be. I was a British ambassador at the age of 42. The average age for such a post is 57.

I was successful in worldly terms. And I think I almost never sat alone at such a place. Normally if I had been alone in such a place, I would have ended up probably in the company of a beautiful young lady of some kind.

I tell you that partly because this whole question of personal morality is a complicated one. I would never, ever, no one would have ever pointed at me as someone likely to become or to be a person of conscience. And yet eventually I found myself on the outside and treated in a way that challenged my whole view of the world.

Mission to Tashkent

Let me start to tell you something about how that happened. I was a British ambassador in Uzbekistan and I was told before I went that Uzbekistan was an important ally in the war on terror, had given the United States a very important airbase which was a forward mounting post for Afghanistan, and was a bulwark against Islamic extremism in Central Asia.

When I got there I found it was a dreadful regime, absolutely totalitarian. And there’s a difference between dictatorship of which there are many and a totalitarian dictatorship which unless you’ve actually been in one is hard to comprehend.

There’s absolutely no free media whatsoever. News on every single channel, the news programs start with 12 items about what the president did today. And that’s it. That is the news. There are no other news channels and international news channels are blocked.

There are about 12,000 political prisoners. Any sign of religious enthusiasm for any religion will get you put into jail. The majority of people are predominantly Muslim. But if you are to carry out the rituals of the Muslim religion, particularly if you were to pray five times a day, you’d be in jail very quickly. Young men are put in jail for growing beards.

It’s not the only religion which is outlawed. The jails are actually quite full of Baptists. Being Baptist is illegal in Uzbekistan. I’m sure that Methodists and Quakers would be illegal, too, It’s just that they haven’t got any so they haven’t gotten around to making them illegal.

And it’s really not a joke. If you are put into prison in Uzbekistan the chances of coming out again alive are less than even. And most of the prisons are still the old Soviet gulags in the most literal sense. They are physically the same places. The biggest one being the Jaslyk gulag in the deserts of the Kizyl Kum.

I had only been there for a week or two when I went to a show trial of an al-Qaeda terrorist they had caught. It was a big event put on partly for the benefit of the American embassy to demonstrate the strength of the U.S.-Uzbek alliance against terrorism.

When I got there, to call the trial unconvincing would be an underestimate. There was one moment when this old man [who] had given evidence that his nephew was a member of al-Qaeda and had personally met Osama bin Laden. And like everybody else in that court he was absolutely terrified.

But suddenly as he was giving his evidence, he seemed from somewhere to find an inner strength. He was a very old man but he stood taller and said in a stronger voice, he said, “This is not true. This is not true. They tortured my children in front of me until I signed this. I had never heard of al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden.”

He was then hustled out of the court and we never did find out what had happened to him. He was almost certainly killed. But as it happens I was within touching distance of him when he said that and I can’t explain it. It’s not entirely rational. But you could just feel it was true. You could tell he was speaking the truth when he said that.

And that made me start to call into doubt the whole question of the narrative about al-Qaeda in Uzbekistan and the alliance in the war on terror.

Boiled to Death

Something which took that doubt over the top happened about a week later. The West -- because Uzbekistan was our great ally in the war on terror – had shown no interest in the human rights situation at all. In fact, the opposite, going out of its way to support the dictatorship.

So the fact that I seemed to be interested and seemed to be sympathetic came as something of a shock and people [in Uzbekistan] started to come to me.

One of the people who came to me was an old lady, a widow in her 60s whose son had been killed in Jaslyk prison and she brought me photos of the corpse of her son. It had been given back to her in a sealed casket and she’d been ordered not to open the casket but to bury it the next morning, which actually Muslims would do anyway. They always bury a body immediately.

But she disobeyed the instructions not to open the casket. She was a very old lady but very determined. She got the casket open and the body out onto the table and took detailed photos of the body before resealing the casket and burying it. These photos she now brought to me.

I sent them on to the chief pathologist at the University of Glasgow, who actually now by coincidence is the chief pathologist for the United Kingdom. There were a number of photos and he did a detailed report on the body. He said from the photographs the man’s fingernails had been pulled out while he was still alive. Then he had been boiled alive. That was the cause of death, immersion in boiling liquid.

Certainly it wasn’t the only occasion when we came across evidence of people being boiled alive. That was the most extreme form of torture, I suppose, but immersion in boiling liquid of a limb was quite common.

Mutilation of the genitals was common. Suffocation was common, usually by putting a gas mask on people and blocking the air vents until they suffocated. Rape was common, rape with objects, rape with bottles, anal rape, homosexual rape, heterosexual rape, and mutilation of children in front of their parents.

It began with that and became a kind of personal mission for me, I suppose, to do what I could to try to stop this. I spent a great deal of time with my staff gathering evidence on it.

Being a very capricious government, occasionally a victim [of the Uzbek regime] would be released and we’d be able to see them and get medical evidence. More often you’d get letters smuggled out of the gulags and detention centers, evidence from relatives who managed to visit prisoners.

We built up an overwhelming dossier of evidence, and I complained to London about the conduct of our ally in rather strong terms including the photos of the boy being boiled alive.

‘Over-Focused on Human Rights’

I received a reply from the British Foreign Office. It said, this is a direct quote, “Dear Ambassador, we are concerned that you are perhaps over-focused on human rights to the detriment of commercial interests.”

I was taken aback. I found that extraordinary. But things had gotten much worse because while we were gathering the information about torture, we were also learning what people were forced to confess to under torture.

People aren’t tortured for no reason. They’re tortured in order to extract some information or to get them to admit to things, and normally the reason you torture people is to get them to admit to things that aren’t actually true. They were having to confess to membership in al-Qaeda, to being at training camps in Afghanistan, personally meeting Osama bin Laden.

At the same time, we were receiving CIA intelligence. MI-6 and the CIA share all their intelligence. So I was getting all the CIA intelligence on Uzbekistan and it was saying that detainees had confessed to membership in al-Qaeda and being in training camps in Afghanistan and to meeting Osama bin Laden.

One way and another I was piecing together the fact that the CIA material came from the Uzbek torture sessions.

I didn’t want to make a fool of myself so I sent my deputy, a lady called Karen Moran, to see the CIA head of station and say to him, “My ambassador is worried your intelligence might be coming from torture. Is there anything he’s missing?”

She reported back to me that the CIA head of station said, “Yes, it probably is coming from torture, but we don’t see that as a problem in the context of the war on terror.”

In addition to which I learned that CIA were actually flying people to Uzbekistan in order to be tortured. I should be quite clear that I knew for certain and reported back to London that people were being handed over by the CIA to the Uzbek intelligence services and were being subjected to the most horrible tortures.

I didn’t realize that they weren’t Uzbek. I presumed simply that these were Uzbek people who had been captured elsewhere and were being sent in.

I now know from things I’ve learned subsequently, including the facts that the Council of Europe parliamentary inquiry into extraordinary rendition found that 90 percent of all the flights that called at the secret prison in Poland run by the CIA as a torture center for extraordinary rendition, 90 percent of those flights next went straight on to Tashkent [the capital of Uzbekistan].

There was an overwhelming body of evidence that actually people from all over the world were being taken by the CIA to Uzbekistan specifically in order to be tortured. I didn’t know that. I thought it was only Uzbeks, but nonetheless, I was complaining internally as hard as I could.


The result of which was that even when I was only complaining internally, I was subjected to the most dreadful pattern of things which I still find it hard to believe happened.

I was suddenly accused of issuing visas in return for sex, stealing money from the post account, of being an alcoholic, of driving an embassy vehicle down a flight of stairs, which is extraordinary because I can’t drive. I’ve never driven in my life. I don’t have a driving license. My eyesight is terrible. …

But I was accused of all these unbelievable accusations, which were leaked to the tabloid media, and I spent a whole year of tabloid stories about sex-mad ambassador, blah-blah-blah. And I hadn’t even gone public. What I had done was write a couple of memos saying that this collusion with torture is illegal under a number of international conventions including the UN Convention Against Torture.

I couldn’t believe [what was happening], I’d been a very successful foreign service officer for over 20 years. The British Foreign Service is small. Actual diplomats, as opposed to [support] staff, are only about 2,000 people,
I worked there for over 20 years. I knew most of them by name. All the people involved in smearing me, trying to taint me on false charges, were people I thought were my friends. It’s really hard when people you think are your friends [lie about you].

I’m writing memos saying it’s illegal to torture people, children are being tortured in front of their parents. And they’re writing memos back saying it depends on the definition of complicity under Article Four of the UN Convention.

I’m thinking what’s happening to their moral sense, and I never, ever considered myself a good person, at all. Yet I couldn’t see where they were coming from and I still don’t; I still don’t understand it to this day.

And then these people – and I’m absolutely certain quite knowingly – tried to negate what they saw as these unpatriotic things. I was told I was viewed now as unpatriotic, by trying to land me with false allegations.

I went through a five-month fight and formal charges. I was found eventually not guilty on all charges, but my reputation was ruined forever because the tabloid media all carried the allegations against me in 25-point headlines and the fact I was acquitted in two sentences on page 19. It’s extraordinary.

Lessons Learned

The thing that came out of it most strongly for me is how in a bureaucratic structure, if the government can convince people that there is a serious threat to the nation, ordinary people who are not bad people will go along with things that they know are bad, like torture, like trying to stain an innocent man.

And it’s circular, because the extraordinary thing about it was that the whole point of the intelligence being obtained under torture was to actually exaggerate the terrorist threats and to exaggerate the strength of al-Qaeda.

That was the whole point of why people were being tortured, to confess that they were members of al-Qaeda when they weren’t members of al-Qaeda and to denounce long lists of names of people as members of al-Qaeda who weren’t members of al-Qaeda.

I always tell my favorite example which is they gave me a long list of names of people whom people were forced to denounce and I often saw names of people I knew.

One day, I got this list from the CIA of names of a couple dozen al-Qaeda members and I knew one really quite well, an old dissident professor, a very distinguished man who was actually a Jehovah’s Witness, and there aren’t many Jehovah’s Witnesses in al-Qaeda. I’d even bet that al-Qaeda don’t even try to recruit Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m quite sure that Jehovah’s Witnesses would try to recruit al-Qaeda.

So much of this intelligence was nonsense. It was untrue and it was designed to paint a false picture. The purpose of the false picture was to make people feel afraid. What was it really about. …

I want to mention this book, which is the greatest book that I’ve ever written. It’s called Murder in Samarkand and recounts in detail what I have just told you together with the documentary evidence behind it.

But the most interesting bit of the entire book comes before the page numbers start, which is a facsimile of a letter from Enron, from Kenneth Lay, chairman of Enron, to the honorable George W. Bush, governor of the state of Texas. It was written on April 3, 1997, sometime before Bush became president.

It reads, I’ll just read you two or three sentences, “Dear George, you will be meeting with Ambassador Sadyq Safaev, Uzbekistan’s Ambassador to the United States on April 8th. … Enron has established an office in Tashkent and we are negotiating a $2 billion joint venture with Neftegas of Uzbekistan … to develop Uzbekistan’s natural gas and transport it to markets in Europe … This project can bring significant economic opportunities to Texas.”

Not everyone in Texas, of course. George Bush and Ken Lay, in particular.
That’s actually what it was about. All this stuff about al-Qaeda that they were inventing, extreme Islamists in Central Asia that they were inventing.

I have hundreds and hundreds of Uzbek friends now. Every single one of them drinks vodka. It is not a good place for al-Qaeda. They were inventing the threat in order to cover up the fact that their real motive was Enron’s gas contract and that was the plain and honest truth of the matter.

Just as almost everything you see about Afghanistan is a cover for the fact that the actual motive is the pipeline they wish to build over Afghanistan to bring out Uzbek and Turkmen natural gas which together is valued at up to $10 trillion, which they want to bring over Afghanistan and down to the Arabian Sea to make it available for export.

And we are living in a world where people, a small number of people, with incredible political clout and huge amounts of money, are prepared to see millions die for their personal economic gain and where, even worse, most people in bureaucracies are prepared to go along with it for their own much smaller economic gain, all within this psychological mirage which is so much of the war on terror.

It’s hard to stand against it. I do think things are a little more sane now than they were a year or two ago. I do think there’s a greater understanding, but you’ll never hear what I just told you in the mainstream media. It’s impossible to get it there.

Source: Consortium News

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Law becomes racism with double standards

A series of recent reports and statements critical of Israel by respected individuals and institutions reminds us of a vital challenge to coherent national development and safeguarding the rule of law in the Middle East: why should anyone respect international law and orderly relations among nations if such standards of conduct are not equally applied to all?
Once or twice a week now we hear statements criticizing Israel’s behavior or exhorting it to respect international rules and norms. A few days ago Amnesty International issued a report about how Israeli control of water resources leaves the Palestinians in the occupied territories dangerously deficient in minimum amounts and quality of their water. A few days later United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to allow the reconstruction of Gaza to proceed, nearly a year after a massive Israeli military offensive crippled the area’s infrastructure and productive capacity.
He noted: “Ten months after hostilities ended in Gaza, we see no progress on reconstruction or the re-opening of borders. Families have not been able to rebuild their homes. Clinics and schools are still in ruins. I urge Israel to accept the UN reconstruction proposals as set forth, recognizing that the only true guarantee of peace is people’s well-being and security.”
These two examples of international pleas to Israel to adhere to international standards of law-abiding decency came just a few weeks after the report by the Richard Goldstone fact-finding mission for the UN Human Rights Council found sufficient evidence to say that both Israel and Hamas seem to have engaged in war crimes and even crimes against humanity in their conduct of the war nearly a year ago.
The larger point of such recent developments pertains to the slow degradation and ultimate negation of the rule of law in guiding the behavior of states and individuals. If states, armed groups and individuals see that some states, like Israel, are merely criticized but not seriously pressured or sanctioned because of their consistently criminal behavior – such as building colonies and inflicting mass reprisals against whole civilian populations – they conclude that international law, human rights standards, UN resolutions, international conventions and other such noble instruments have no meaning, and can be safely ignored.
When legal standards are applied only to some people and not all people, they cross the line from law to racism.
The importance of the Goldstone Report was captured in Goldstone’s statement to the UN Human Rights Council, in which he stressed that pursuing justice for all is critical for ensuring accountability, which in turn is vital for ending impunity in the use of violence against civilians. Here are a few of his statements that I believe reflect the essence and importance of his mission, reflecting the core values that the UN system tries to represent and keep alive:

“We accepted [to undertake the fact-finding mission] with the conviction that pursuing justice is essential and that no state or armed group should be above the law. Failing to pursue justice for serious violations during any conflict will have a deeply corrosive effect on international justice …
“The mission found that the attack on the only remaining flour-producing factory, the destruction of a large part of the Gaza egg production, the bulldozing of huge tracts of agricultural land, and the bombing of some 200 industrial facilities, could not on any basis be justified on military grounds. Those attacks had nothing whatever to do with the firing of rockets and mortars at Israel. The mission looked closely and sets out in the report statements made by Israeli political and military leaders in which they stated in clear terms that they would hit at the ‘Hamas infrastructure.’ If ‘infrastructure’ were to be understood in that way and become a justifiable military objective, it would completely subvert the whole purpose of International Humanitarian Law built up over the last 100 years and more. It would make civilians and civilian buildings justifiable targets. These attacks amounted to reprisals and collective punishment and constitute war crimes …
“A word about accountability. It has been my experience in many regions of the world, including my own country, South Africa, that peace and reconciliation depend, to a great extent, upon public acknowledgement of what victims suffer. That applies no less in the Middle East. It is a pre-requisite to the beginning of the healing and meaningful peace process. The truth and accountability are also essential to prevent ascribing collective guilt to a people …
“A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long. The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence. Time and again, experience has taught us that overlooking justice only leads to increased conflict and violence.”

Source: The Daily Star

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‘Toughest Sheriff’ Targeted by Feds

Phoenix, Ariz. is now the kidnapping capital of America, and ranks second worldwide only behind Mexico City. Phoenix—the nation’s fifth largest city—is located in Maricopa County, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been trying to combat an increasing crime wave associated with illegal immigration.

Of all the illegal aliens incarcerated in Maricopa County jails, 70 percent were arrested for felony crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, assault, kidnapping, DUI, robbery, forgery, and human smuggling. The violence at certain points on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated to such alarming levels that John Gibler, author of Mexico Unconquered, stated in a March 25 interview that we are facing a “bloody, very real war over territory.”

Narco-traffickers run rampant in Sinaloa, their gunmen execute rival drug dealers at will, while over 50 Mexican journalists have been slain since 2000. El Manana editor Ramon Cantu says with dire certainty, “All of our journalists who cover sensitive subjects, especially drug trafficking, have been the targets of threats and violence.”

Considering the “war” that is spilling over into this country, a variety of governmental forces are actually attempting to stop the law enforcement activities of Sheriff Joe Arpaio instead of assisting in his efforts. As it stands now, four separate entities are investigating and/or trying to thwart him: Eric Holder and the Justice Department, Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], and a House Judiciary Committee led by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

The Bush administration played it soft on the illegal immigration issue. But at least they didn’t interfere with Arpaio trying to uphold the law, especially when his men were doing ICE’s job for them.

On October 14, Rebecca Larsen of The Washington Times wrote about their 287(g) program. “This law permits local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration functions traditionally reserved for the federal government— such as holding illegal immigrants when arrested.”

But in an article by Andrea Christina Nill of the L.A. Progressive on October 7, “Arpaio believes the White House is going out of its way to single him out and curb his immigration-policing powers for political reasons.”

To reinforce his claims, the sheriff cites a meeting between the mayor of Phoenix and Holder that led to an investigation being opened two months later. Secondly, he notes the intervention of former Arizona governor—and now DHS head—Janet Napolitano.

“She has her mission. She works for the president. She has to report to the White House and take orders from them.” In addition, ACORN is launching petition drives against Arpaio, while the ACLU has filed lawsuits for “racial profiling.”

In the face of this adversity, Arpaio has stuck to his guns. “I don’t report to governors, I report to the people,” he told Jim Meyers of Newsmax on October 21. “The feds are not the boss of me.”

That’s why Arpaio has continued his street sweeps, raiding work sites that hire illegals, and arresting “coyotes” who smuggle human cargo into America. Drug dealers and gang-bangers also remain firmly in his crosshairs. And if ICE won’t accept the criminals delivered to them, Arpaio says assuredly, “I’ll have to transport them to the border myself.”

Believe these words, because Arpaio hasn’t backed down in the past. He’s the man who established a “tent city” to handle more prisoners, made male prisoners wear pink underwear, cut out salt and pepper from their meals, and placed men and women on chain gangs.

Barack Obama’s henchmen don’t scare him in the least. “I’m not worried about a thing. I’m a fighter.”

Could a more sinister element be lurking behind the vendetta against Arpaio, similar to how a private security firm rolled into Hardin, Mont. and tried to eliminate the local sheriff’s office? Could such moves be part of a larger, nationwide plan?

As Devey Kidd wrote for News With Views on Dec. 12, 2002, “The sheriff of your county is the highest elected official and has more power than most people realize. Your local sheriff has the power to tell dragoons from various federal alphabet soup agencies that they will not come into their county and attempt to enforce unconstitutional ‘laws’. Your local sheriff is there to protect your rights, not the actions of an out-of-control government.”

Are DHS, ICE, DOJ, and the Obama White House all plotting to handcuff Sheriff Arpaio’s ability to enforce the law as step one in a larger attempt to nullify local officials, only to have their authority replaced by Uncle Sam’s cronies? If this is a precedent, Arpaio has thus far defied their heavy-handed actions by continuing to parade arrested illegals before television cameras. His example needs to be followed by more of his colleagues before its too late.
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We’re glad to be able to sit down with you and let you say what you have to say. Our readers have been strong supporters of yours for a long time, going back to the days of the old Spotlight newspaper.

Pete, let me ask you something: Was John Wayne a subscriber to The Spotlight?

Yes, he was.

That’s interesting, because I get a lot of mail that talks to me about John Wayne. They see me on television and they say that I act like John Wayne. Honest to God, they say that. Someone mentioned to me that he was a subscriber to the old Spotlight.

Well, I always used to look at The Spotlight when I was in Congress. I always looked at it, every week. There were things in there that I checked out, and I know that it was very controversial and I know that the newspaper had a bent—let’s be honest—towards Israel, and I really don’t have a problem towards Israel . . . or the Jewish People. My problem is with the Israeli lobby, with the American Israel Public Affairs

The Israeli lobby has a stranglehold over government. I’ve already told you that. I’ve said it on national television. So I’ve been labeled an anti-Semite and all that, and I expected it. But that’s where I am, you know, in this interview now, and I want you to also know before starting out that you are the only print media that I’ve interviewed with.

Another of our famous readers was the late Col. L. Fletcher Prouty who was portrayed by Donald Sutherland as “Man X” in Oliver Stone’s famous film, JFK.

I give Oliver Stone a lot of credit. He took [the criticism] they gave him and he wasn’t afraid to put his feelings out there, and the only thing he could deduce is that, in order for anybody to cover up the Kennedy assassination he had to be so powerful that it could only be one entity and that would be the United States government, so at least he had the courage to do that.

And if there is an attack on Israel? . . .

If Israel is attacked, I’d want to support Israel. But quite frankly, we have been so one sided over there. We’ve imported the violence and we’ve imported the hatred from everybody in opposition to Israel. They see us as the protector [of Israel] without objectivity.

But more than anything, I think the Israeli lobby has a stranglehold on the United States. I mean, they can’t pass gas without asking where to do it. Now they can deny it all, call me a “kook” and everything they want to, but I’ve been through it. I’ve seen the other side of the one-eyed jack and it’s a real problem. If it’s not resolved, America will implode. America will implode. It’s a matter of time.

Just like the old Soviet Union.

And you can see what’s happening now: the machinations around the currency and the economic system and China’s foothold: their economic tentacles on America. So we’ve got some real problems and I expect to be really blackballed further by giving you this exclusive interview, so go ahead and hurt me.

You’ve been on five national television broadcasts since you’ve come home from prison and your appearances have caused quite a stir.

I’ve been out of prison about 35 days and I didn’t realize it, come to think of it, of how astounded I was that I always got so much mail in prison. People wrote me for seven years saying, “We miss you. We miss your one minute speeches. We miss your lively comments. We miss your questioning of things that no one else questions” and I didn’t realize how many people missed me.

And when I came home I was surprised by the massive turnout here. People lined up one hour before the place opened. You see, I wasn’t really going to attend. I didn’t want to. I had just gotten into town and I didn’t want that type of pressure, if you will.

I was very bitter, very upset and I didn’t want to manifest some of that in front of an audience that would say, “My God. Look at this guy. Prison changes a man.”

I’m getting a lot of mail from around the country. I’ve started to wonder why all these national television programs had me on as a guest. They’ve told me that I’m an interesting guest and they are all in it for the ratings. But some of the things that I’ve said on television have been quite a revelation and there are some entities that are quite upset with that and they are trying to counter and reduce the impact of some of the words I’ve used and I’m not so sure it’s worked in their favor. I’m not so sure that’s been in their benefit, since they’ve stirred the pot a bit and when you stir the pot, it stinks.

But what amazed me the most is the national response that I got all over the country. Every state. People are writing to me saying, “You are not just refreshing, you’re telling something, you’re telling the truth.” They are saying, “It’s evident what has happened. We don’t hate Israel either, but we know there’s something wrong that they have a tremendous foothold, a stranglehold on the government. There’s no doubt about it now.”

I guess the statements that I made that “We are involved in wars that we have little or no interest in” and that “our kids are coming home in body bags” and that “Our country is bankrupt over these wars” and that “There’s no end in sight,” are hitting home.

Now you see an expansion in Afghanistan. My God, if the American people knew that there are more contractors than soldiers involved in the Middle East, then they would really panic.

Because we’ve got what—about 280,000 soldiers, in the whole mess, but if you look at the contractors, there’s something like 230,000 contractors and many are making more money than our soldiers.

And they are there to provide security, to cook the food. If the American people knew what the Hell we are involved in here. . . . They’re just talking about the troops. No one is talking about these contractors.

The point I’m making is that they are not considered part of our troop force. They’re our contract force. The American people don’t know what we have half a million plus people over there and we are embroiled in something that may last years and years. We’re embroiled in 2009 Vietnam.

We’ve now been there almost as long as we were in Vietnam . . .

And now there’s a religious bent to it that is fanatical. Let’s tell it like it is. And to quote a president that made much sense—GeorgeWashington: “Beware of foreign entanglements.”

President Washington said that in his Farewell Address to the American people. Most politicians today don’t even know about the Farewell Address.

That was the advice of the first president of the United States, and how right he was. And look at Jefferson: “Beware of the appointment of federal judges for lifetime terms because they can take the Constitution and mold it like clay in their hands.”

God bless juries. Problem today is: The Justice Department controls the juries and they spoil the jury pool and the jury selection process.

Isn’t that what happened with the Justice Department in your own case?

No doubt. No question. But you know what? They are going to pay. There are too many people now coming forward admitting they were pressured to lie. And one of the jurors was excused the day before because they knew he was definitely going to vote “not guilty.”

He said, “They wanted to get me off the jury.” He prepared an affidavit to that effect. The prosecutor told her, “This man is a [pro-Traficant] juror,” and they got rid of him. When the former juror heard the decision, he said, he almost fell out of his car, when he heard that the jury convicted me.

And the other juror “Juror Number Eight” said one of the jury women confided in him that she had problem with the IRS and that it was sort of worked out with the understanding that they would try to place her as a juror in the Traficant trial. She was my most adamant opponent on the jury. It happened to be a Jewish woman.

I had no opportunity to cross-examine any agent who worked on the case against me. There was a six year investigation with over 200 FBI agents involved. They spent $15 million dollars investigating me. All of that time terrorists were aiming at the Twin Towers in New York, but the government’s eyes were on me. The Justice Department was focusing on me.

They couldn’t forget the fact that back in 1983 I was the only American who ever beat the Justice Department, acting as his own attorney, in a
RICO case. They couldn’t live with that.

[A RICO case is a federal trial involving the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt
Organizations act, often applied in organized crime and corporate white collar criminal cases. Falsely accused of having accepted bribery money from organized crime interests, Traficant acted as his own defense attorney in the earlier case and was acquitted by the jury, much to the dismay of the Justice Department, which continued to target Traficant. See AFP correspondent Michael Collins Piper’s book, Target: Traficant, for the details.—Ed.]

They offered one regional director from the IRS as a witness in my earlier trial. He said, in court, that “I know nothing about this case. I just draw up the tax forms.”

The fingerprint “expert” that they offered up was only three weeks on the job, but he had to answer questions about the report.

In the daily press here in Ohio [during the 2002 trial] they said that the FBI and the Justice Department had all this fingerprint evidence against Traficant. But when this so-called expert testified in court, I asked him, “How many, if any, of my fingerprints appeared on any of these documents that are being used against me”” and he said, “None.”

I said, “Not one?”

There was an objection from the prosecutors and it was sustained [approved] by the judge. I said, “How many latent prints of mine were there?” and he said, “None,” and I asked “How many partial prints were there that could possibly have been mine?” and he said, “None,” and I asked how many prints were there that could have been the prints of somebody else but could have been confused with mine and he said “None.”

So this is the government’s Achilles Heel. And I want the readers of American Free Press to know it, since the mainstream media is never going to explain it. I said, “Then certainly you took the audio and video tapes, is that correct, sir?” And then I saw the prosecutor’s head drop. The witness said, “No.” And I asked, “Well, who took those audio and video tapes?” He said, “No one took those tapes. There were none.”

I asked him, “Who told you that there were no audio or video tapes made of me by the FBI during a six-year-long investigation?” He said, “The assistant prosecutor.” He said he couldn’t remember who it was. I asked the witness to point to the person in question and describe what he was wearing, and he did so.

Now I had this retired secret service man acting as an investigator for me in my defense (he went back to the Carter years, having protected Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) and he said that he knew that I was innocent, that I was railroaded, when the government admitted in court that they had no audio or video tapes to use against me after they had conducted a six-year-long investigation of me.

He said that the Secret Service could never have gotten an indictment against me in a criminal case. It would have been a “must” to get some sort of memorialized statement made by me in an audio or video tape.

[And, of course, the FBI was tapping my phone and recording my conversations and they had people coming up and talking to me who were wired.]

What I—JimTraficant—need right now is some whistle-blower in the Justice Department to come out and admit that, yes, the Justice Department destroyed all of those tapes. Why did they do this? Because those tapes were exculpatory for me. They would prove that the Justice Department had me “bugged” for six years and they couldn’t get any evidence against me: not one incident of wrongdoing. I have a number of affidavits here from people who came to court to testify on my behalf, but the judge excused the jury from hearing their testimony. These were people who testified under penalty of perjury, if they were found to be lying [which they weren’t] and the judge did not allow their testimony to be heard by the jury.

They testified to the effect that a number of key witnesses against me had admitted that they lied on behalf of the government to incriminate me in order to avoid being indicted and sent to prison themselves. Juror Number Eight himself said that if he had just known about the pressure the government put on Richard Detore alone that he would have fought to the end to avoid convicting me.

However, they have a new rule in Ohio. If you have a Cleveland judge you have a Cleveland jury. I ended up with a Cleveland judge, Lesley Wells, who had personal animosity toward me since I didn’t support her when she ran for the Supreme Court before she was appointed to a federal judgeship. Personally, I had heard she some funny dealings up there. And I didn’t support too many judges, frankly.

They had news reports that JimTraficant—a sitting congressman—had conspired to have one of the potential witnesses in the case murdered. The FBI told this woman that the only way she could protect herself was to go public. This is how they tainted the potential jury pool in the Cleveland area: that is, putting out these stories such as this one that I was plotting to murder this woman. They wouldn’t try me before a jury pool taken from my own congressional district. No, they transferred the case to Cleveland.

So the people in Cleveland didn’t know me. They only knew me from what they read about me in these negative newspaper reports. When you’re the number one target of AIPAC, you’re not going to have any newspaper writing anything good about you.

However, American Free Press has been very strong in telling what they feel is the truth, with a strong bent going after Israel for many things that they believe are wrong. And quite frankly, many of the things that American Free Press has done have been very truthful and I know that you have suffered for it.

So you had this woman brought before the grand jury to testify against me, and they tried to pressure her to say things that weren’t true, and she realized what they did and she apologized to me and my wife. But it was all over by then. However, the jury pool was already poisoned by the stories in the media: they said I was a Mafioso and that I was going to have this woman murdered. Well, they never made any charges there, since it was all a lie.

There was another fellow that I ran into in a restaurant and he said, “I apologize, Jim. I was going through a divorce and I lost everything. So I lied [against you]. My attorney told me to tell the government what they wanted to hear and get it over with and I did it and I can’t live with it. It bothers me. I’m sorry. You’ve been a good man, a friend.”

He has put together an affidavit on my behalf. He also came to court on my behalf, but the judge didn’t allow his testimony to go before the court.

There was another instance where there were all these new stories about some crime I had supposedly committed but since the supposed witness refused to tell lies against me, there were no charges brought.

Then there was this instance with this Nigerian man, Nnamdi J. Okolo, who was an owner of a car-leasing agency in Northern Virginia, and he said his life was ruined because he wouldn’t perjure himself against me for the U.S. government. They wanted him to say that he kicked back money to me and to Richard Detore. They wanted him to tell lies about Detore in order to pressure Detore to tell lies to be used to prosecute me.

The Nigerian man, Mr. Okolo, told me, when I ran into him at Allenwood prison [where I was first incarcerated and where Mr. Okolo was later sent] that he didn’t know me from Adam, and that he would have been willing to lie against me, but he knew that Detore had two children just like him and that he couldn’t lie. He’s over in Nigeria today and he filed an affidavit with the Nigerian government explaining how the U.S. government tried to get him to lie.

Later an attorney contacted Mr. Okolo and told him that if he did not recant his charges against the U.S. government that his 79 year old parents would be deported from the United States. I feel sorry for that family. The last I heard was that the Catholic charities in Baltimore were looking into his parents’ case. Here’s a man—a Black immigrant from Africa—who showed courage and honor and his life was ruined by our government.

Then there’s the case of Richard Detore. Richard was pressured by the government to say that he saw me accept a cash bribe in my office in Washington from businessman John Cafaro. But he said, “I just won’t do it. Jim Traficant hasn’t done anything illegal with me. If he’s done something wrong, go ahead and get him, but I’m not going to lie about it.”

Richard Detore was a brilliant engineer and they needed a man of his quality to serve as a witness against me to get a conviction. So when he refused they said to him, “Okay, just say you were outside the office door and you heard the transaction.” He said, “I’m not going to do it.”

His attorney, who was a former assistant U.S. attorney [and still close to the government] told him: “Just tell the government what they want. They’re going to get Traficant.”

So finally Richard got a call from his attorney who told him, “Time’s up. You’re going to get indicted if you don’t go along with them.”

But Richard said, “I’m not going to lie.”

His attorney told him, “Richard, there’s no reward for honesty. You’re going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending yourself and you’re still going to end up in prison. They’re going to get Traficant. They want this guy.” But Richard said, “I’m not going to tell lies.”

And his attorney said, “I’m advising you to tell them what they want to hear. Look at it as a business decision.”

Well, when Richard was indicted (after he refused to lie about me) and then went to trial, he was acquitted in one hour. But they were successful in keeping his testimony out of my trial. So you had Detore and Okolo pressured to lie against me and both refused. And there were three other people who testified before the judge (out of the hearing of the jury) in my case who said that they were pressured to lie by the government.

And there were the false charges cast about by television news broadcasts that were never actually filed against me that involved people being pressured to lie. So that’s seven instances right here.

And there was no physical evidence against me [audio or video tapes, documents, fingerprints, etc]. If I were guilty of a crime, why did they have to force anybody to lie?

They later made the prosecutor, Craig Morford, the second highest post in the Justice Department. And they made Michael Chertoff, who headed the criminal division in the Justice Department in Washington (who supervised my prosecution), the head of Homeland Security. Attorney General John Ashcroft even came to Cleveland and gave awards to the team that convicted me. That’s how glad they were to get rid of Jim Traficant.

There was even talk that Morford was going to be appointed as U.S.Attorney General. But people from Virginia let it be known that they wanted to testify about Morford’s role in the Traficant case. This prosecutor suborned perjury, withheld evidence, and obstructed justice to get a conviction.

But he really didn’t convict me. The judge convicted me. She influenced that jury and withheld evidence. She did what she had to do.

Our country has to get at this powerful central government. We’ve got a massive government that the American people don’t even have an association with. They are subject to this government.

They thought they gave me a life sentence at my age. They didn’t think I would live through it. They put me in some rough prisons. I didn’t go to any camp, buddy. I ended up in a “medium-high” called “Gladiator School.” They wanted to medicate me, but I wouldn’t take it. They said I had a corkscrewed aorta, but I wouldn’t take it. So they sent me to the federal medical facility at Rochester, Minnesota.

I didn’t trust them giving me any medication. I didn’t trust the government at all. I was their number one target and the number one target of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). So when you put the Justice Department and AIPAC together, you have the most awesome, most powerful enemies in world history. I’m here. I’m still breathing, so far.

But if one whistle-blower comes forward to expose what they did, I’ll be worth millions and millions of dollars. And they are worried now, because they never thought I would come back. They figured people would have forgotten me.

Quite frankly, you can’t tell, unless you go to the ballot box, but the truth of the matter is that I’m probably more powerful now nationally than 90% of the United States Congress. And I now make this statement: I don’t see a member of Congress who is probably as well known philosophically as I am. There may be those who names are well known because they have big important jobs in Congress, but few know what they stand for.

Most politicians wake up in the morning, brush their teeth, shave, comb their hair, put on their clothes and then go to the window to watch which way the mob is moving. Then they go pick up their trenchcoat and go out and lead the mob, no matter what direction it is going.

And that’s the problem with this country. This country is on automatic pilot and being controlled by interests that are not even American.

We have the best Congress that Japan ever had, the best Congress China ever had, the best Congress Israel ever had, the best Congress Mexico ever had, the best Congress illegal immigrants ever had.

You’ve always been in the forefront of fighting injustice. You made a lot of enemies—including both the Justice Department and AIPAC, among others—when you came to the defense of Ukraine-born Cleveland autoworker John Demjanjuk, a naturalized citizen, who was falsely accused by the so-called “Nazi-hunting” unit of the Justice Department of being a concentration camp guard at Treblinka during World War II. Although the U.S. government stripped Demjanjuk of his citizenship and deported him to Israel where he was tried and convicted as a war criminal and sentenced to death, it was your work that got him released. And now he’s facing new charges, many years later, in Germany. Could you reflect on your experiences in the Demjanjuk case?

It’s a travesty and I’m surprised no one has even lifted their voice. Be advised that the original evidence that resulted in the Israeli Supreme Court overturning Demjanjuk’s conviction came from me. It came through a Freedom of Information Act request regarding a man named Feodor Fedorenko, the only man ever tried for war crimes at the Treblinka camp in Poland. He was acquitted.

He had been a naturalized American and when he went to Ukraine to visit his family, he was picked up by the Soviet KGB and tried in the old Soviet Union and was executed. There’s no doubt our government arranged that, perpetrated that.

When the Demjanjuk case came up, I couldn’t get anywhere. So I tricked the government. I did a Freedom of Information Act on Fedorenko, and bingo. I was told that there were a hundred pages or so on him and in those pages was the information that led to Demjanjuk being cleared of the charges and the dropping of the death sentence against him.

And remember that 17 people testified in the Demjanjuk case and identified him as the concentration camp guard known as “Ivan theTerrible”—IvanMarchenko—a man who was taller than Demjanjuk, had black hair, not blonde hair, was nine years older and had a scar on his

Then when I went on the House floor and revealed that I had a photo of the real Ivan, the Justice Department turned around and claimed that there were two Ivans.

Well, let me tell you about the power of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). No one in Congress would accept the evidence I had clearing Demjanjuk nor would they agree to hold a hearing regarding the activities of the Justice Department in this case. Demjanjuk had been stripped of his citizenship and he was scheduled to be executed in Israel. No one in the government of the United States would listen to the evidence.

I tried to put it before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinatti and they would not accept the evidence. So Demjanjuk’s attorney placed my evidence before the Israeli Supreme Court and they asked me to go over.

I went over. I payed my own way. While I was there, Bryant Gumbel of the Today show on NBC interviewed me and I said, “If they put this man to death, Israel is going to lose $20-25 billion a year from the American taxpayers.”

He said, “What do you mean, Congressman? Israel only gets $3 billion a year from the U.S.”

And I reminded him that $3 billion is $5,000 a year for every man, woman and child who lives in Israel (although, of course, that money goes to the Israeli government).

That’s from the foreign aid appropriations bill. However, when you look at the loans to Israel that are converted to grants, economic assistance, military assistance, trade pacts, Israel gets the equivalent of $30-35,000 a year for every man, woman and child in Israel. And my people in my district who are working 40 hours a week aren’t making that much money in Youngstown, Ohio.”

Gumbel’s response was “Thank you, congressman. Thank you.”

That night I got a phone call. Demjanjuk was being released and was going to be delivered to me to take him home from the Tel Aviv airport. I have to give Israel credit. They accepted the evidence and our government wouldn’t. Our congress wouldn’t and our courts wouldn’t, but Israel did. They knew that our government perpetrated one of the greatest crimes in history and as soon as I got Demjanjuk back to the United States, the Sixth Circuit Court issued a statement saying that this case was a tragic but
honest mistake by the government.

No one in the Justice Department ever faced charges for this. They knew that Demjanjuk wasn’t “Ivan the Terrible.” The documents I used to convince the Israelis to free Demjanjuk came from the Justice Department.
Now the Justice Department went after Demjajunk again but this time Israel wouldn’t try him. Israel didn’t want someone like Jim Traficant—if such a person existed—to start questioning the case. Well, now Traficant is out of jail and he is questioning the new case.

So now Germany is trying Demjanjuk for being a guard at another concentration camp, Sobibor. The truth of the matter is that if the government was proven to be so reckless and criminal in a previous action, how can they warrant any serious consideration in the current case. They were embarrassed the first time so now they are determined to hurt Demjanjuk and show the world that he was some kind of Nazi.

The truth is that Demjanjuk was taken prisoner by the Nazis and while the Germans did put guns in the hands of some of their prisoners and made to act as perimeter guards (under the threat of death) even if that was the case, those men shouldn’t be charged.

Well, now that I am out of prison, they are concerned. [People who have heard me on television speaking out] are starting to say, “Hey, wait a minute. This guy Traficant is right. We are bankrupt. We are involved in areas that are very questionable. Do they have this kind of control?”

Look at China. Look at Japan. China is taking $350 billion a year plus out of our economy. They are buying tanks, attack aircraft, nuclear submarines—building them with our money.

Look at our foreign aid. Forget about Israel. We gave $98 million last year to North Korea to convince them to slow down their nuclear development. What do you think they are using that $98 million for?

We gave $58 million to Russia so they would strive toward the word of law. I’ve got to say, “Beam me up” here. Here in Youngstown we have the Delphi workers, formerly Packard and General Motors. The salaried workers lost all their pensions and the hourly workers have to pay for their health insurance now. It’s a $160 million impact on our community. And look at the ripple effect and the other losses of jobs that will subsequently come, it will be a $250 million loss every year. But we can’t get a bit of help for our own people.

You’ve also been focused on the tax issue for a long time. You’ve been a major critic of the IRS and few politicians dare to do that.

The tax code is at the root of the problems we have in America today. We have a communist Marxist-Leninist tax policy in America. People don’t want to believe that, but it’s the truth. The predicate of the Marxist economic platform was a progressive income tax aimed at the so-called wealthy. But the truth of the matter is that the wealthy can avoid payment of taxes and they do, legally. So they are also taking jobs offshore since this tax code has destroyed America’s commerce.

You can’t fix the system. It’s got to be replaced. We should repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and abolish the Internal Revenue Service and institute a fair tax which would be a 25 percent retail sales tax, new retail sales only.

The chairman of the economic department at Harvard did a study that said this would be revenue-neutral, that it would raise the same amount of money our tax system now does and there would probably be no appreciable increase in prices, because if you take the burden of the current tax code off the backs of the companies that have all of these headaches dealing with it, they would be able to reduce prices for consumers. It would be the first border adjusted tax in our history. It’s not protectionism. If you buy an American car, it’s a 25 percent tax. If you buy a foreign car, it’s a 25 percent tax.

But there should be no taxes on savings or investment, no death tax, no capital gains tax. There would be no more withholding on salaries. This tax encourages you to work. The more you work, the more you make. The more you spend the more you pay in taxes.

When people come from Germany and Japan to visit Las Vegas, they will be contributing to our tax system. Illegal aliens who exist outside the income tax system would also now be paying and contributing. And look at the massive underground economy involving narcotics here in this country. They don’t pay income taxes, but they do spend money and a 25% retail sales tax would impact them and they would contribute to the system.

No more April 15. No more tax forms. Get the government the Hell out of our lives.Thirty-five states already collect a sales tax. Ninety-five percent of retail sales are conducted by big retailers. Only five percent are conducted by small business in America. People don’t realize that. Our troops are over in Germany and Japan and spending their money over there. If we had our troops here at home on our wide-open borders they would be spending their money here at home.

That brings up the issue of immigration. You’ve been up front and outspoken on that issue for a long time, saying things that a lot of politicians—both Democrats and Republicans—are afraid to say.

I’ve been called “racist” and “anti-Semitic”— everything—but I’m not. Here’s what I think: If you are in this country illegally, you shouldn’t get health care. You should be thrown the Hell out. My family were all immigrants—legal immigrants. If you come here illegally, we don’t want you in our schools and our emergency rooms.

We need an agreement with Mexico that they understand. We want the troops on the border to keep narcotics out of this country. And I’m not just talking about the southern border. I’m also taking about our northern border. Terrorists could smuggle the components of a nuclear weapon across the border and fire it off at New York. If that’s not a national security issue, I want to know what it is.

Now that there’s a growing Hispanic vote in this country and Congress is conscious of this. They try to make it look at though I am against Hispanic people. But I’m not. Hispanic Americans are being hurt with these policies
themselves. And the Black community is being pushed further to the back of the bus because the Hispanic vote is growing and politicians are catering to them.

So now they are saying that we should at least allow them to buy health insurance. Imagine this: if the policy and framework of a legislative initiative is “They are here and they should be allowed to buy,” it’s obvious they don’t want to throw the illegal aliens out. How much more bankrupt can America be?

Here’s where I want to just cut the line. It may sound strict and severe, but if a woman is pregnant and comes to America illegally and has a child, that child is an American citizen. This sounds harsh but I don’t think that child should be considered a citizen. And the mother and the child should be sent back to where they came from.

There’s only way to enforce our border and immigration security. If you build walls, they’ll build tunnels. We have a massive Army that we are paying all of this money and our soldiers are all over the globe and involved in wars that aren’t in our interests.

Put those troops on our borders. Rotate those troops every six months.America would be protected: our citizens, our resources, our assets would be protected. And we will utilize our resources for American citizens. We’re bankrupt and we can’t keep taking care of everybody all over the world. We have this foreign aid, but we’ve got Americans sleeping on steel grates.

Critics say this is a shallow, simplistic way of looking at things, but it is the truth. We’re too involved all over the world. I remember reading that some senator once said that if we don’t start taking care of the home front, we are going to end up destroying ourselves. And that was a debate on the floor of the Roman senate.

There was also a famous person in world history who said, “Let China sleep, for if China ever awakens, the earth shall tremble.” That was Napoleon—way back then. Well, the earth is shaking. The dragon has got hold of our assets— real strong.

I once said in Congress that Russia is a fly in our face. China is a dragon eating our assets. Russia didn’t have much of an economy ever and anytime we ever had any major international problem, Russia basically—with a lot of caveats—stood by the United States. I predict that if anything happens again, Russia will probably side with the United States. But people better take a look at that dragon.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is sponsoring legislation to audit the Federal Reserve System, the privately- controlled banking monopoly that dominates the U.S. money system. Now a lot of members of Congress are jumping on the bandwagon, but long ago, when it wasn’t fashionable, you were out front in criticizing the Federal Reserve.

To most of those members who are supporting Ron Paul’s measure, it is a matter of political expedience. I don’t attribute that to Ron Paul. I believe he’s sincere and his heart is in the right place. I was a little disappointed, by the way, that he voted with the others to expel me from the House of Representatives. I thought he would have looked at that a lot differently and I know that if he had all this information about what really happened in my case he probably would have. I like Ron and he’s a good man.

Quite frankly, they’ll audit the Fed and come out with their revelations and they’ll get their political victory, but the Fed will go on just like it is, with international banking controlling the money of the United States of America. I’m not for auditing the Fed. I’m for abolishing the Fed. The Constitution says that Congress shall coin money. Now the argument is: “You can’t have politicians handling the money of the United States.” But who do we have handling it? International politicians. I would abolish the Fed and put the money back under the control of Congress and putting the money back as it was originally mandated by the Constitution. The Constitution is quite clear.

The Constitution also says Congress “shall regulate” commerce with foreign nations. “Regulate.” What does that mean? Does it mean opening up the doors to cheap foreign imports? It means to weigh the different variables and cost of production, labor and manpower and regulate some mechanism to assure at least our mutual advantage and satisfaction with our trading partners. How can we with all of regulatory burdens in this country compete with a factory in Mexico that pays its employees 35 cents an hour?

What is more important to the commercial venue of a nation than the control of its money? Beam me up. Abolish the Fed. Let the Congress earn their money. Let them do something responsible. We hear that Congress has questioned the Fed or that Congress is worried about what the Fed is doing with interest rates.

Just abolish the Fed and put America in order. The Constitution ain’t bad, although it allowed slavery, treated women like cattle, treated American Indians like non-entities. But over the years the adjustments were made. There’s no doubt in my mind that our Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves.

Congress may go on and do what is politically expedient but this expedience may not be in the best interests of the United States of America. And we are in a Hell of a mess for it.

And if you are not in that pantheon of political machination, you are set aside, you are ostracized, you are even expelled and put in prison. I think my particular case is starting to show that this is only the tip of the iceburg.

Remember what happened to Bill Casey, who was CIA director in the Reagan years. All of a sudden he died. What about Vince Foster [who was Bill Clinton’s White House counsel who is said to have committed suicide]? They tried to make Rep. Dan Burton look like a buffoon for questioning the circumstances of Foster’s death. They found all these fibers all over his body and that implied to me, as a former sheriff, that maybe his body had been wrapped in a rug and transported. And I don’t trust the 9-11 commission either. I think they were just like the Warren Commission. They all seem like honorable men, but you can call me a conspiracy nut.

A lot of people don’t believe the criminal charges against you were valid, that you—yourself—were the victim of a frame-up, a conspiracy. People believe that your prosecution was politically-motivated.

What the mainstream media is saying now is that since I did a lot for this area—I brought $1.7 billion into my congressional district over and above normal formula money to rebuild and help this area that was hurting so bad—people don’t care if I did the things that I was accused of doing by the Justice Department. They still love me anyway. That’s the argument they use to downplay the serious legal issues at hand in my case, where perjury was suborned, evidence was withheld and justice was obstructed, every machination used to get an American citizen whose politics were not liked. And I’m beginning now to believe that my politics were feared. You see one man could light a fire and people might start thinking. They’ll try to destroy that one man so he doesn’t look credible.

But there are too many people who know me and respect me and they are saying, “We believe what you say is true. What the Hell are we doing? We’re bankrupt. Enough is enough. We can support Israel but we don’t have to go bankrupt. We can be objective and support our friends but we don’t have to go overboard. What are we doing? We’re embroiled in wars that are bankrupting us and our kids are coming home in bodybags. Our borders are being over-run. Our dollar is in danger. We’re losing currency reserve status in the world. They’ll start trading in the euro or some other currency. What will that do to us?”

I predict that if there is not a direct and intended change in the policies of the United States of America, America will implode. That’s the word that I’ve used before. I see Alaska, with its own revenue sources as a possibility [of breaking away from the United States]. Americans don’t understand that Alaska’s landmass is bigger than almost every European country, save for Russia.

Then look at Texas and the same thing, with Texas and a compact of states down there. What’s happening is that there is a strong dilution of citizenship and demographics, with a tremendous infusion of Hispanic people down there. But you never know. People are starting to get fed up,
paying a massive amount of taxes and don’t know where the money is going. It’s going all around the world, but our borders are still wide open. Their kids are subject to foreign wars. They can’t make a loan but Congress has bailed out the banks. If you want to make a loan, you have to have three dollars in the bank to borrow one.

What the Hell is going on here?

But nobody is articulating it that way. So everybody’s being put to sleep: they’re talking about the environment, health care, etc and no one is looking at the cancer here. You’ve got a $2 trillion dollar plus budget deficit in one year. And now everybody is mad at Jimmy Carter because he’s criticized our policies in the Middle East.

That’s right. They are starting to call Jimmy Carter an “anti-Semite.”

They are starting to defame Jimmy Carter whose heart is probably the best heart of any president ever elected. His fairness could never be questioned. Now we might question some of those policies he had on economics, with those massive interest rates, but in all fairness to Carter, in his last year he had the budget deficit down to $90 billion and there was no trade deficit. He had a balanced trade scenario. So you can knock Jimmy Carter all you want.

There was pain and pressure in the economy from the high interest rates and the bankers were certainly making a fortune. But the truth is that you had massive foreclosures, you had American turmoil, but America was bankrupting through the bankrupt mechanism of law and reconstructing and reconfiguring, but now what you have is you are just giving away money.

If you’ve got a problem, here’s some money. If Wall Street has a problem, then here’s money. The news media [says]: “If you don’t do it, things will collapse.”

Donald Trump made a Hell of a statement. I like old Donald. Donald says we have bankruptcy laws. Let the bad bankrupt and let the good survive and worry about the American citizen. Donald Trump was right. He gave a sense of wisdom that everybody should listen to.

But we didn’t do that. We didn’t let our own laws, our own structure, our own government, our own predicate of operations and commercial venue take hold. We are officially subsidized once again. What did we do with the automobile industry? We now have Government Motors. The great General Motors’ CEO is Barack Obama. That’s the way it is. That’s the situation.

We had the cash-for-clunkers program. We subsidized Americans buying cars and it looked good for people who had cars they wanted to get rid of. Are we going to have another cash-for-clunkers program? Are we going to subsidize more sales?

So when we have to subsidize the free enterprise capitalistic system, it no longer exists. It’s a socialistic communist system. What frightens me is that the government has gotten so big and now it’s about to get bigger. I’m not so sure that we shouldn’t have the private sector maintaining industry and the government taking care of those who fall through the safety net, as we always have—and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I can’t see us running all these industries. Government can’t do it. It shouldn’t be done.

We are the [most] socialistic nation in history, for the truth of the matter is that socialism is the redistribution of the wealth and no one redistributes wealth more than the United States of America. So we are a socialist system, augmented by a communist dollar program, a Marxist progressive income tax. Jim Traficant is saying that the income tax system in the United States is a Marxist program, the foundation of the Marxist economic platform.

In addition, I’m saying, the Federal Reserve System should be abolished, not audited, abolished. And Congress should coin money and should put our borders in order and regulate commerce with foreign nations and move to a fair tax which empowers everyone and has everybody pay their fair share; and nobody [would be exempt], including drug dealers, people on the street, the underground economy, illegal immigrants. Everybody pays [with the retail sales tax]. For those people who fall through the safety net, Congress has enough intelligence to promulgate plans and programs within that scheme to take care of them.

What would our Founding Fathers think about big government in
America today?

I think they had a Second Amendment to make sure there would be no strong central government. I don’t believe the Second Amendment was placed in the U.S. Constitution to protect duck hunters. It was to, in fact, make sure that a powerful central government would not be the only entity holding the fire power, that the citizens were empowered, because it was their government.

Is it possible that a government could be totally and completely out of control and beginning to manifest great power and that this power was so awesome that no one could even check it, and that this power was so great that no one could even question it? Could that happen? Not only could it happen, it is evidence in the United States of America
right now. We are in a fix here.

Are either of the major parties doing anything to combat this situation?

I see that both major parties tinkering with and trying to repair a mechanism that needs to be replaced. They are afraid. There is no ingenuity. There is no innovative thought.

Are you going to seek public office again?

I don’t know. Right now I don’t have a job and I’m being supported by my wife. There’s a lot of people here who want me to run. My old district was divided up after I left office, so if I were going to run again, I’d have to decide where to run.

Another factor is that I’m not going to get any [campaign contributions] if I do run. People are afraid to give me money, because if you give me money, you have the IRS come and audit you if your name appeared on any of my campaign finance reports.

I mean, I was targeted big time. If I did run, I’d have trouble raising money and I’ve the institutional press against me. You would have the Democratic Party which would join forces against me and try to knock me out. I’ve always been a Democrat, even though I’ve always been independent and voted for what’s best. So I really don’t know.

And while I have been speaking before some of the “tea party” groups and they are just opposing what the government has screwed up, but I don’t think that they have come with what I consider to be an advocacy for a program of what they sponsor, but I think they are starting to promulgate plans around those lines. I’ve even been invited by a group of Republicans to speak.

Among the people, I’m more or less seen as an American [rather than being identified with a particular political party or program]. I’m seen differently by a lot of people in this country. Although I ran as a Democrat, I didn’t always vote as a Democrat in Congress. If I thought their program was weak and it wasn’t good for the country, I didn’t vote for it. The same thing for the Republicans: I thought if the Republicans had a good idea, I’d support it. I think that’s the way it should be. I’ve never been endeared with the Democratic leadership. The Democratic leadership right now— well, I don’t know where they are going.

So I don’t know. I have a lot of groups that are saying I should throw my hat in on a national level and that if more people heard me that it would really start focusing on the circumstances of our government.

Source: American Free Press
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On the Contrary: Fascists and Zionists in Italy: ban revisionism; fire Prof. Caracciolo

In Italy, sparked by the case of a dissident university professor, an attempt to outlaw defending freedom of speech and unorthodox investigations of WWII history is led by neo-Fascists and Zionists

Rome University Professor Antonio Caracciolo

by Miguel Martinez | Palestine Think Tank | October 26th, 2009

Pacifici and Alemanno – the Zionist and the Neo-Fascist decide who must be silenced in Italy.

Antonio Caracciolo is a scholar of philosophy of law who is a member of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Rome University in Italy. Politically, he is a liberal in the Italian sense of the word: a believer in the separation of Church and state, constitutional democracy, the rule of law and a free market; however he keeps his opinions strictly out of his work, reserving them for his blog Civium Libertas.

Recently, his blog has dedicated much attention to the politics of Israel and the methods used by Zionist organizations in Italy to silence criticism of Israel in the Italian media and political sphere.

The Zionist discourse, in recent years, has focused increasingly on the extermination of the European Judaics during the Second World War, and this has led Antonio Caracciolo to touch another topic. As a liberal and legal scholar, he considers the attempt to introduce prison sentences against "Holocaust deniers" or "revisionists" incompatible with Articles 21 and 33 of the Italian constitution, which protect freedom of expression and of inquiry. In this context, however, Antonio Caracciolo has refused to get involved in historical discussions, or to support any "revisionist" thesis.

His blog – one of hundreds of thousands on the net in Italy – passed unnoticed for over two years, until a few days ago Italy's leading daily, La Repubblica, decided to make its existence front page news, under the more-than-misleading title: 'The extermination of the Jews is a legend,"Holocaust denier professor, Rome University under shock."

Gianni Alemanno, mayor of Rome, immediately demanded that the President of Rome's University, Luigi Frati, take steps against Antonio Caracciolo. It is ironic to recall that Alemanno is not only the first neo-Fascist to become mayor of the Italian capital, he has also been the historic leader of the mystic current in the Alleanza Nazionale (former MSI) party, and is the son-in-law of Pino Rauti, who introduced the occult ideas of Julius Evola into the neo-Fascist movement. [1] In Europe, even in the Middle Ages, mayors had no right to tell universities whom to hire or fire. Yet, the President of the University, Luigi Frati, thanked Gianni Alemmano for his prompt action and promised to "look into taking disciplinary steps against Caracciolo," which could include his being fired from his job.

The right-wing president of the Rome town Council, Marco Pomarici, declared that "one cannot tolerate certain statements circulating freely around Europe's largest university, especially in a course on Philosophy of Law. Such theories can generate a return of anti-Semitism and it is quite clear that Caracciolo is not suited to teach and must be dismissed." Irony again, since Councilor Pomarici, a short time ago, declared publicly that "there were also many positive elements in Fascism."

Riccardo Pacifici, the very Zionist president of the Judaic community elected by a first-time right wing majority (on a ticket explicitly called "For Israel"), and well known in Italy for an "aid to Gaza" hoax, calls directly for imprisoning Antonio Caracciolo: "Such "gentlemen" in some European countries – alas, not in Italy yet – are punished by the law for the ideas they uphold".

The next day, Riccardo Pacifici launched an appeal (directly from Israel) to the academic world, announcing that he would take legal action against Caracciolo's blog, and calling on university professors to take steps to "prevent allowing certain people having contact with students" (La Repubblica, October 23, 2009). Specifically, he calls upon the professors to "help us so that Italy makes laws declaring holocaust denial a crime".

Pacifici claimed the existence of a "true Holocaust denial network" on the Internet, hardly surprising if we consider that the Internet is a network. Pacifici also told the press that he had presented a black list of websites to the police.

"The problem of the net, emphasizes Pacifici, is that it is uncontrolled. The risk is that one can write anything by simply opening a website in Moscow. We also need to intervene in terms of legislation about this."

Statements of indignation about Caracciolo's blog "are not enough," Pacifici goes on. "Unanimous condemnation is not enough. We need to act in terms of criminal law."

The Caracciolo case opens a new frontier. Not only would unpopular opinions be banned, but also the right to criticize this censorship. Pacifici's proposal, if applied in Germany, would put Henryk Broder, candidate-president of the German Judaic Community, in jail, since Broder has promised to fight for the repeal of "Holocaust denial" legislation.

The following day, October 24, Repubblica itself published an article by Christopher Hitchens which called for a military attack on Iran, no less, but this seems not to have sent any shock waves through the media.

Far more than Holocaust revisionism/denial is at stake. Pacifici is calling for legislation that would outlaw a blog like that of Antonio Caracciolo, which criticizes a government of the Middle East, analyzes the action of public figures and organizations in Italy, and defends freedom of speech.

Such legislation would be possible only if laws were passed forbidding opposition to government policies, declaring certain foreign states to be above criticism, and forbidding support for free speech.

This of course is the basic issue behind "Holocaust denial legislation," which is actually only part of the general attempt by governments to control the Internet and to make opposition – outside of very limited channels – a crime: one need only think of the Czech Republic, where legislators slipped a few extra words into the the "Holocaust denial" legislation.

In Prague today, one can go to prison for up to eight years for "supporting class hatred" in "print, film, radio, television." "Hatred" of course is a purely emotional term, and any judge will be free to decide whether the person organizing a strike had such wicked feelings or not.


[1] The Italian neo-Fascist party, MSI (later Alleanza Nazionale, now dissolved into the governing centre-right party) was a complex coalition, with three main strands: very conservative, largely Catholic anti-Communists; the "left-wing" which saw Mussolini as the "true" Socialist in the progressive and secular nationalist tradition of the 19th century; and a mystic, largely pagan wing with close cultural ties to certain currents of German thought.

(End quote)

Source: On the Contrary

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