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<nettime> US death squads


   31 January 2002


   By Wayne Madsen

   31 January 2002

   Today, The Washington Post ran the fifth segment in its series on what
   transpired within the Bush Cabinet in the aftermath of September 11.
   Of particular interest is what CIA Director George Tenent brought to
   the table at Camp David last September 15.  According to the article
   by Bob Woodward and Dan Balz, when Tenent produced a Top Secret
   "Worldwide Attack Matrix" that specified targets in 80 countries
   around the world, he sought unprecedented authority to simply
   assassinate foreign terrorists directly or though allied intelligence
   services. The CIA even prepared a "Memorandum of Notification" which
   would allow the agency to have virtual carte blanche to conduct
   political assasinations abroad. This Memorandum trumped previous
   mechanisms by which the President would authorize intelligence actions
   (but not assassinations) through individual Presidential Findings. The
   fail safe mechanisms established under the administrations of
   Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton were simply
   erased at the urging of Tenent.  In light of these revelations, what
   was authorized by the President may have led to the assassinations of
   a umber of human rights and ethnic leaders not connected in any way
   with Al Qaeda but did represent bothersome roadblocks to a number of
   U.S. military and corporate interests.

   It now seems likely, given the unprecedented "license to kill"
   President Bush granted to the CIA, there was U.S. complicity in the
   murders of the following individuals. Human rights commissions and war
   crime tribunals in Belgium and France should take a close look at
   these likely criminal misadventures:

   1. Theys Eluay. Today, the Indonesian army chief, General Endriartono
   Sutarto, confirmed in Jakarta that West Papuan independence leader
   Theys Eluay was assassinated by Indonesian Army units after he was
   kidnapped last November 11. The assassins were members of KOPASSUS, a
   special operations unit trained by U.S. Special Forces and CIA
   personnel and was involved in massacres in East Timor during the
   Indonesian occupation of that country. In 1969, West Papua was
   formally handed over to Indonesia by the United Nations after a
   referendum, now widely recognized as rigged, determined that the
   non-Indonesian population wanted to be Indonesian. Eluay was a thorn
   in the side of Freeport McMoran, a Louisiana-based mining company that
   has pillaged West Papua's natural resources and has been accused by
   local activists of propping up local Indonesian army and KOPASSUS
   officers with bribes and favors. Henry Kissinger serves as a Director
   Emeritus on the board of directors of Freeport and former Louisiana
   Senator J. Bennett Johnston, recently identified as a lobbyist for
   Enron, serves as a full member of the board.

   2. Abdullah Syafii. On January 22, 2002, Indonesian army troops
   assassinated the military commander of the Free Aceh Movement,
   Abdullah Syafii. The Free Aceh Movement demands independence for Aceh,
   a region in northwest Sumatra, and is a member of the non-violent
   Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), an
   international organization headquartered in the Netherlands. It has
   also been at loggerheads with ExxonMobil, which has extensive drilling
   and refining operations in the territory. Aceh's Governor Abdullah
   Puteh, who is claimed by local activists to be on the payroll of
   ExxonMobil, had written a letter to Syafii inviting him to attend
   peace talks with the government. Syafii's lieutenants claim that the
   letter contained a small microchip that permitted Indonesian KOPASSUS
   troops to track him down and ambush him. The operation has all the
   earmarks of the CIA, which can rely on National Security Agency (NSA)
   satellites to track such microchip transponders.

   3. Elie Hobeika. Elie Hobeika was the head of the Lebanese Forces
   militia, a right-wing Christian army that was allied with Israel
   during its 1982 occupation of Beirut. Although Hobeika was in charge
   of the Christian forces that massacred hundreds of Palestinian men,
   women, and children at the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps that year,
   he had irrefutable evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
   had authorized the mass murder in his role as Israeli Defense
   Minister. An official Israeli commission of inquiry found Sharon
   indirectly responsible for the massacres. Hobeika was going to testify
   against Sharon at an upcoming Belgian war crimes tribunal which has
   already indicted Sharon for the war crimes. It was that testimony that
   resulted in Hobeika being silenced by a Mossad car bomb that exploded
   near his SUV near Beirut. The bomb killed Hobeika and his bodyguards.
   The CIA, now closely allied with Mossad, is said to have given its
   approval for the action.

   4. Chief Bola Ige.  On December 23, 2001, Chief Bola Ige, the Minister
   of Justice and Attorney General of Nigeria, was assassinated in the
   bedroom of his home in Ibadan by unknown gunmen. Ige was a leader of
   the Yorubas, a largely Christian ethnic group that has championed the
   cause of southern Nigerian Christian tribes like the Igbo, Ogoni, and
   Yoruba that maintain grievances against exploitative Western oil
   companies that have spoiled their lands with pollution and pocketed
   most of the oil revenues for themselves and corrupt Nigerian
   politicians. Ige was the presidential candidate of the pan-Yoruba
   Alliance for Democracy but lost to the current President Olusegum
   Obasanjo, a former general who is thought by many Nigerians to be in
   the hip pocket of western oil companies, including Chevron and
   ExxonMobil. A lucrative CIA and Pentagon front operation, the private
   military contractor MPRI, has been training special units of the
   Nigerian armed forces. These forces have been active in putting down
   anti-oil industry protests by Igbo, Ogoni, and Yoruba tribal peoples
   along the Nigerian coast. Michael J. Boskin, the Chairman of the
   Council of Economic Advisers under President Bush I is a member of the
   Exxon Mobil board, while current National Security Adviser
   Condolleezza Rice served on the board of Chevron. Currently serving on
   Chevron's Board is Bush I trade representative Carla Hills and former
   Louisiana Senator Johnston, who also serves on the board of Freeport

   In all likelihood all of these assassinations were likely known to the
   CIA and allowed to take place unhindered. The killings all directly
   benefitted the interests of the US military-industrial complex that
   President Eisenhower so poignantly warned us about some 40 years ago.


   I more or less predicted the Indonesian murders a few months ago (just
   after Tenent received authorization to conduct assassinations of
   "terrorists") during an interview with Radio Singapore International.
   The transcript of that broadcast follows:

   CIA assassination missions - a look into the implications of this US
   Foreign policy

   Source: Augustine Anthuvan, Newsline, Radio Singapore International
   Broadcast date: 30 October 2001

   Wayne Madsen, a former Intelligence Officer at the National Security
   Agency in Washington with this comment.

                        When Senator Frank Church had a committee in the
   Senate that found out that the CIA was conducting assassination
   missions against foreign leaders and they passed very stringent laws
   against the CIA to prevent any abuses. And now what we're hearing is
   that the late Senator Church went too far. Well Senator Church was
   responding to some very severe abuses of authority by the CIA. And now
   we're hearing basically history is being changed on us here and we're
   hearing that Senator Church went too far in what he did.

                       And I think its very important now to understand
   that these things are all in context and  what people like Senator
   Frank Church did in the 1970s really still applies today."

                       If CIA assassination missions are taken beyond the
   present operations in Afghanistan to other countries where terrorists
   are known to be operating, what sort of repercussions will this
   present for country to country relations? A concern I posed to Wayne

                     "Especially in countries in South East Asia, we have
   a President who is very much in it with the US multi-national
   companies. What if they decide that West Papua independence  movement
   in Irian Jaya - West Papua - could be a terrorist organization. And
   they could decide well we're going to target their leadership for
   assassination because they happen to be against the interests of
   Freeport McMoran - one of the biggest mining companies in West Papua.
   Or what if they decide that the Aceh movement in Northern Sumatra
   happens to be ....... to the interests of Exxon Mobil corporation, and
   they decide to target their leadership for assassination. I think this
   is the problem with this type of wide sweeping authorization to
   assassinate foreign leaders. We may find ourselves assassinating
   people because they just so happen to be against US interests. "

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