(NaturalNews) Imagine for a moment you are appearing in court for money laundering. What do you think your chances are of being acquitted if you admitted you laundered cash, but said you did so only because you were conducting research into how the system of selling drugs actually worked? If you said slim-to-none, you’d probably be right. That is, unless you’re a federal agent.
In what has become the epitome of the double standard, federal officials are defending the actions of Drug Enforcement Administration agents who have laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in narcotics money, just to see how the system works.
Now, consider that laundering drug money is nothing new. It’s been going on since there were illicit drugs and drug money. Which begs the question: Why would the DEA have to "learn" how the money laundering system works? And in doing so, hasn’t that helped the violent drug cartels who are responsible for killing thousands
Turkey is ready to act in unison with the Arab League if Syria fails to show good intentions to end an eight-month-old bloody crackdown, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday.
He told a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi that he was ready to attend a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that could take place on Sunday and that he was continuing consultations with the European Union, NATO and UN Security Council members.
Davutoglu said Syria “must open its doors to observers,” and that the patience of Turkey and Arab countries is “running out over the bloodshed in Syria.”
Giulio Terzi described the situation in Syria as a “worrying tragedy.”
The Arab League has threatened to impose sanctions on Syria unless it signs a deal on Friday to allow monitors into the country.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently hardened his stance against Assad and suggested for the first time the possibility of foreign intervention in Syria.
Thus far, Ankara has given shelter to some 20,000 refugees who escaped the deadly crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s security forces, and also housed Syrian opposition groups.
Israeli security forces officials said Wednesday that they believe Turkey is nearing a military intervention in Syria, in order to create a secure buffer zone for opposition activists.
Reports out of Kuwait suggest that Arab states are set to impose a no fly zone over Syria with US logistical support, advancing the prospect of a military assault to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under a “humanitarian” pretext.
“Senior European sources said that Arab jet fighters, and possibly Turkish warplanes, backed by American logistic support will implement a no fly zone in Syria’s skies, after the Arab League will issue a decision, under its Charter, calling for the protection of Syrian civilians,” reports Albawaba, citing Kuwait’s al Rai daily.
YNet news, the website for Israel’s most widely read newspaper, also carried the report.
As part of a plan to cripple the country’s military forces within 24 hours, the “movement of Syrian military vehicles, including tanks, personnel carriers and artillery,” would all be banned under the terms of the no fly zone.
Syrian opposition forces have repeatedly called for a no fly zone to be enforced over the country, but last month NATO all but ruled out the prospect. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has also called on the Obama administration to impose a no fly zone without waiting for a green light from the United Nations.
“If indeed Europe and the Western world is dead set upon an aerial campaign above Syria, then all eyes turn to the East, and specifically Russia and China, which have made it very clear they will not tolerate any intervention. And naturally the biggest unknown of all is Iran, which has said than any invasion of Syria will be dealt with swiftly and severely,” reports Zero Hedge.
Hostilities have accelerated in recent days, with Russian warships entering Syrian territorial waters on Friday in an aggressive maneuver designed to discourage any NATO-led attack.
Whose interest are they watching?
After the Arab League hypocritically suspended the membership of Syria amid the mounting pressures of NATO and the United States, the resurgence of violence in Egypt and the increasing use of excessive force in Bahrain and Yemen and the unrelenting massacre of innocent civilians by the barbaric regime of Al Khalifa and Ali Abdullah Saleh once again attracted the attention of conscientious observers in the international community.
According to official figures released by the “Bahrain Center for Human Rights” website, so far 44 Bahraini citizens were killed at the hands of the mercenaries of Al Khalifa regime. The Bahraini martyrs include the 6-year-old Mohammed Farhan, 14-year-old Ali Jawad Alshaikh and 15-year-old Sayed Ahmad Saeed Shams. The Bahraini organization has reported that many of these martyrs were killed while in custody. The Center has also published documents indicating that more than 1,500 Bahrainis including about 100 women were incarcerated since the eruption of turmoil in the Persian Gulf country on February 14, 2011 and that more that 90 journalists face life threat.
It’s also said that the Bahraini government has blocked the citizens’ access to more than 1000 opposition websites which are mainly used to organize and plan protests and mass demonstrations.
The Bahraini regime commits all of these aggressive and brutal actions with the direct involvement of the Saudi Arabia and the implicit support and backing of NATO and the United States. The author of the “Hidden Harmonies China” blog in a March 14, 2011 post referred to the abuses of human rights in Bahrain with the flagrant, duplicitous support of the White House: “the Entry of Saudi security forces to crack down on the protesters with deadly force is a complication for U.S. policies, to say the least, since U.S. is reluctant to criticize its oil ally dictators in the region.”
He also called Bahrain the “Las Vegas” of the Middle East, host to the U.S. 5th Fleet and a haunt for the rich Saudis who are forbidden by Islamic laws at home from indulging in alcohol and other immoral enjoyments, “but who often vacation in Bahrain for these reasons.”
Bahraini citizens have uploaded several video files on the internet, showing the cruel and ruthless torturing and persecuting of the protesters by the Al Khalifa lackeys. These videos depict the Bahraini forces using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters and killing many of them straight away. Some of these videos also show the Saudi and Bahraini cars nonchalantly running over Bahraini children and women, killing them at once.
The U.S.-Saudi project of crackdown on the Bahraini people was also empowered by many of the European cronies of Washington. In July 2011, Germany sold a set of 200 62-ton Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia which sparked a huge controversy among the German parliamentarians and anti-war activists. According to the Daily Telegraph, Wolfgang Gerhardt, former leader of the Free Democrats, the junior collation member to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, said it was “unacceptable” the deal went through without the knowledge of his party’s MPs. However, the agreement which was worth around USD 1,252 million was concluded and the Saudi government dispatched many of these newly-bought tanks to Bahrain to accelerate and facilitate the bloody clampdown on the protesters.
The situation in Yemen, however, is far more deplorable and appalling. Allvoices.com has reported that as of September 25, 1,870 Yemenis were killed in the revolution and the majority of the martyrs were unarmed civilians taking part in anti-government demonstrations.
The Yemeni dictator who has remained defiant in the face of frequent calls by the tribal leaders, opposition groups and demonstrators to step down and give up power has turned his country into a bloodbath and made the Yemeni uprising the longest, most devastative revolution in the revolutionary wave of protests in the Middle East. The protests in Yemen started on February 3, 2011 and have continued so far. The only reaction of the international community to the brutality in Yemen was an indecisive and faltering resolution by the UNSC which called for “an end to violence” and asked President Ali Abdullah Saleh to accept a peace deal brokered by the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. However, Abdullah Saleh who is tacitly supported by the U.S., kept up with the brutalities and according to Yemen Times, 94 protesters were killed after the Security Council adopted the resolution 2014.
In a report published on Yemen Times on November 17, it was revealed that “ninety-four Yemenis were killed and over 800 injured since UN Resolution 2014 was issued on October 21.”
“Tentative reports show that over the last three weeks in Yemen, 124 homes, seven mosques, six public institutions including one hospital, two community wells, and 17 vehicles were effectively destroyed,” Yemen Times reported.
In the days leading to the detainment and death of Moammar Gaddafi, the Western mainstream media were only talking about the Libyan civil war, and the reason was clear: NATO had secured a UNSC resolution to enact a no-fly zone over Libya and it was in the interests of the U.S. and its European partners to give coverage to the tumultuous situation in the North African country. However, the reports and news regarding the carnage in Bahrain and Yemen were predominantly shunned and boycotted, simply because these two despotic regimes were close allies of the U.S. in the Middle East.
Ambassador Haqqani Offered to Resign to ‘Quiet’ Dispute
The Pakistani civilian government announced today that it is recalling Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani to answer questions related to the growing scandal surrounding claims that he and President Zardari sought US help in moving against top Pakistani military officials earlier this summer.
Haqqani, seen as a top aide to Zardari, has offered to resign if it would end the investigation into the allegations, which emerged last month after a Pakistani-American businessman named Mansour Ijaz claimed he had been involved in a plot to deliver a personal letter from Zardari to Admiral Michael Mullen detailing the plan. Ijaz claimed the letter was given to him by a senior diplomat at Haqqani’s post.
Under the putative plan, Zardari would have promised to dramatically weaken the Pakistani military intelligence branch the ISI, including totally disbanding its Afghanistan unit, in return for US military support in a move against Pakistan’s armed forces.
Zardari reportedly feared, in the wake of the US assassination of Osama bin Laden, that the growing public discontent with the military’s inability to find bin Laden so close to its base, coupled with its inability to do anything about the US raid, would prompt the military to orchestrate a coup d’etat against his already shaky government. Zardari denied any involvement in the plot.
The Pentagon initially denied that Mullen had ever received a letter, but spokesman Capt. John Kirby later conceded that Mullen had in fact gotten the letter, just as Ijaz said. Kirby insisted that the letter was dismissed as “not at all credible.”
The revelation is liable to significantly weaken the Zardari government, which is already under considerable fire domestically for its cozy relationship with the US. It will likely also fuel anti-American sentiment across Pakistan, particularly in military circles, where US air strikes against Pakistani territory are seen as a considerable threat, and one the civilian government is not taking at all seriously.