Sunday, 30 August 2009

us preparing islamabad's occupation


The Sneaking US Occupation Of Islamabad

Pakistan was reported to have expelled the head of an American NGO providing cover to Blackwater operations on Pakistani soil. Now this deported American, Crag Davis, is back in Pakistan. And he is not alone. Close to 2,000 Hummers have arrived at a Pakistani port that are not destined for Afghanistan. The world's biggest US embassy is under construction in Islamabad. As if this is not enough, the US embassy has hired a huge number of houses across the Pakistani capital to serve as unofficial local franchises. Welcome to the silent American occupation of Pakistan, with the blessing of the elected Pakistani politicians and a silent Pakistani military.


Saturday, 29 August 2009.


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was given orders to the contrary, press reports of August 6 show that its spokesman, Mr. Basit, on August 5, at the Karachi Press Club, had already given out the fact of the 1,000 US Marines coming to Pakistan for the protection of the new, imperial US embassy in Islamabad.

Now we are seeing houses being barricaded for US personnel all across the capital and we know of the 300 plus 'military trainers' already ensconced in Tarbela.

In addition we have the notorious Blackwater (now hiding under a new label, Xe Worldwide) and the rather obvious CIA front-company, Creative Associates International, Inc. (CAII), operating not only in Peshawar but now in Islamabad also it transpires – and a recent reflection of this was the sealing off of the road in Super Market [a stone throw away from the houses of senior Pakistani officials] last week right in front of a school!

Whatever the US embassy gives out or the terrified Pakistani leadership echoes, the reality is that there is a questionable and increasingly threatening US armed presence in Pakistan and this may be augmented soon by an ISAF/NATO presence. Incidentally, to add to the suspicions of the US presence, reports are coming in of around 3,000 Hummer vehicles, fully loaded, awaiting transportation from Port Qasim.

Will some of these go to the Pentagon's assassination squads, who may take up residence in some of the barricaded Islamabad houses and with whom the present US commander in Afghanistan was directly associated? Ordinary officials at Pakistani airports have also been muttering their concerns over chartered flights flying in Americans whose entry is not recorded – even the flight crews are not checked for visas and so there is now no record-keeping of exactly how many Americans are coming into or going out of Pakistan. Incidentally the CAII's Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar! And let us not be fooled by the cry that numbers reflect friendship since we know what numbers meant to Soviet satellites.

Govt. Selling Pakistan's Agri Land To Foreigners

Now another threat, in the making for some time, is becoming more overt. Pakistan's precious and fertile agricultural land is up for grabs to the highest foreign bidder. Pakistan is not alone in being targeted thus by rich countries with little or no food resources. The UN has already condemned this purchase of agricultural land as a form of neo-colonialism. Over the past five years in a hardly-noticed wave of investment, rich agricultural land and forests in poor countries are being snapped up by buyers from cash-rich countries. Leading this grab of poor country resources are the rapidly industrialising states and the oil-rich countries who have, between 2006-2009, either directly through governments or through sovereign wealth funds and companies, already grabbed or are in the process of grabbing between 37 to 49 million acres of developing countries' farmland (a July 2009 report by Robert Schubert of Food and Water Watch).

Wealthy countries like Japan and South Korea are acquiring farmlands abroad for food security while oil-rich countries are seeking cheap water and cultivated crops to be shipped home. The land buyers from the oil-rich arid countries are seeking water as much as land because by buying or leasing land with sufficient water, they can divert their own domestic irrigation water to municipal water supplies.

The foreign land purchases destabilize food security since land given to foreign investors cannot be used to produce food for local communities – the foreign investors' intent being to take the food back to their own food-scarce countries. Many of the land purchases comprise tens of thousands of acres which are then turned into single-crop farms – and these dwarf the small-scale farms common in the developing world, where nearly nine out of ten farms (85 per cent) are less than five acres. Such land grabs have now been recognised as harming the local communities by dislodging smallholder farmers, aggravating rural poverty and food insecurity.

With Gulf countries importing 60 per cent of their food on average, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the investments into Asia and Africa to secure supplies of cereals, meat and vegetables. The rise in demand for food imports for the GCC comes at a time when exportable agricultural surplus worldwide has declined.

How does all this impact Pakistan? Pakistan has rich agricultural land and adequate water although the latter's distribution has been subject to political machinations. There has also been a seemingly deliberate effort by successive ruling elites to undermine the country's agricultural potential and nowhere is this more brazenly evident than at present with power outages preventing crucial water supply through tubewells; and many rich lands being converted into housing colonies! Then we have had artificially created sugar and wheat shortages – 'artificial' because for the last few years our wheat and sugarcane crops have been bountiful. As for the wonderful local fruit, that is also being diverted to feed external populations through exports that are not only depriving the locals of their land's bounty but also raising local prices so only the rich elite can consume what is left.

Now it has come out that we are selling land to the Gulf states, thereby undermining our local agriculture further. Abraaj Capital and other UAE entities have acquired 800,000 acres of farmland in Pakistan (we have learnt no lessons from the sale of the KESC and the PTCL). Qatar Livestock is investing $1 billion in corporate farms in Pakistan. But all this produce will be taken out, so the argument that this foreign investment will bring in new technologies into our agricultural sector does not hold. In any case, one does not have to sell one's land to foreign forces to acquire new technology which is available in the open market and the government can help local farmers acquire it.

Not surprisingly, the Gulf countries are pleased with Pakistan's rulers bending over backwards to accommodate their needs at the expense of the ordinary Pakistani – for none of the food produced on these lands will be available cheaply for Pakistanis; it will go to feed the Gulf populations. Gulf countries are happy because their imported food bill will cost 20-25 per cent less, positively impacting on their present high inflation rate. We may import this food from them for a price, just as our government has now decided to import sugar from the UAE. Of course the UAE itself imports sugar so the absurdity should be abundantly clear to all, including our profiteers!

In the visibly servile mindset of our leaders, instead of offering incentives on a similar scale to local farmers, Islamabad is offering legal and tax concessions, with legislative cover, to foreign investors in the form of specialized agricultural and livestock 'free zones' and may also introduce legislation to exempt such investors from government-imposed tax bans. The most worrisome aspect of such wheeling-dealing is the government's decision to develop a new security force of 100,000 men spread across the four provinces to ensure stability of the Arab investments. This will cost the Pakistani state around $2 billion in terms of training and salaries and the real fear is that this force will be used to forcibly eject local small farmers from their lands. Concerns have been further heightened because no labour laws will be applicable to corporate agricultural companies and there will be no sales tax or customs duties on import of agricultural machinery by these investors. Nor will their dividends be taxed and 100 per cent remittances of capital and profits will be permitted. So where is there even an iota of advantage for the ordinary Pakistani as opposed to the rulers?

With the US increasingly occupying Pakistan with their covert and overt armed presence, and the Gulf states taking over our rich agricultural lands our rulers are voluntarily making us a colony again – as we were under the British who used our men to fight their wars and our cheap labor to ship the finished produce back to Britain!

Have we come full circle after 62 years of our creation?

This article is extracted from the original published by The News International on Aug. 26, 2009. Dr. Mazari can be reached at

© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. & PakNationalists. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

War is suicidal, let’s go for talks: Qureshi

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Says Pakistan dismayed over Manmohan’s statement

By Mariana Baabar

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday hit out hard at statements issued by India, as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi warned New Delhi that a war would be suicidal.

“War is suicidal. When war is not an option, the only option left is talks,” he said while talking to newsmen at the Foreign Office here.The minister was asked to comment on a statement made in Barmer, in which Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had said relations with Pakistan were not conducive for the two sides to have talks at any level.

Earlier in New Delhi, Indian National Security Adviser MK Narayanan said people had tried to misinterpret the Sharm el-Sheikh joint statement and stressed that India would not resume the composite dialogue process until it saw concrete evidence that Pakistan had acted against terrorism.

Qureshi, while commenting on Manmohan Singh’s statement, admitted that he had not seen it. He, however, expressed his shock and dismay. “Then what about Sharm el-Sheikh? If there is to be no dialogue, then where are we heading?” he said.

“India told us that it was scared of more attacks, but when we ask them for information, they do not give it to us. Then you say no talks. What is the way out? Pakistan is not suffering from any inferiority complex, but for the sake of regional prosperity, we have to engage ourselves.”

When asked why in his opinion India was making these statements on the eve of meetings between the two foreign secretaries and the foreign ministers, Qureshi said it seemed that the Indian domestic politics was playing a major role in this regard.

“For example, a former Indian foreign minister writes a book. You can say you do not agree with it or intellectually challenge it. (The reaction to Jaswant Singh’s book) shows a certain mindset. They are falling prey to this. Who has the positive approach? Mumbai (attacks) were sad, very sad and I condemn them, but then what is the way out?

“Should we then give our agenda to terrorists? Where is the leadership (in India)? Politicians find ways out of blind alleys. What more can I say?” Qureshi added. Responding to a query about the reluctance of India to agree to a date for the foreign secretary-level talks, he said: “Why feel shy? We have written to the Indian foreign secretary and I shared this in the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FODP) meeting that Pakistan was willing to engage.

“This meeting was agreed upon by the two foreign ministers and (Indian) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was committed to dialogue. Responsibilities have been given to the foreign ministers for a meeting, but there has been no response from India.”

He said this clearly showed that Pakistan wanted to engage. “We are ready to sit face to face, as we know how to argue our case and how to talk,” Qureshi said. Replying to another question, he said Pakistan had no qualms about the foreign secretaries meeting in a third country.

“We have no issue with a third venue. We are happy to receive the Indian foreign secretary in Islamabad. But if it is a third place, so be it,” he said. Answering a query, Qureshi said as far as the policy on India was concerned, there was unanimity of opinion among all the major political parties in Pakistan.

“All views are identical and there is a consensus on the way forward and how to deal with India,” he said. Asked about Pakistan’s position on India’s claims that its nuclear tests were unsuccessful, he said this was being claimed by the Indian media. “I have no knowledge and do not know whether this is correct. We will wait and see, but we do not have to react prematurely,” he said.

Spy vs spy

Friday, August 28, 2009

By By Shakeel Anjum

ISLAMABAD: Brig (retd) Imtiaz Ahmed is an American agent planted by the American agencies mainly to defame the Pakistani intelligence agencies, former director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Malik Mumtaz Ahmad said on Thursday.

While addressing a press conference, he said after having played a key role in toppling the Benazir government in 1990, Brig Imtiaz was now bent on destabilising the present government.

Malik Mumtaz claimed that he had informed the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto through her special secretary (security) of the conspiracy plan ‘Midnight Jackal’ of Brig (retd) Imtiaz and Maj (retd) Amar. She contacted the then Army chief Gen Aslam Baig but he had denied.

Malik Mumtaz claimed that Benazir had sent her interior minister Nasirullah Khan Babar to Aslam Baig but the Army chief had again denied the report, asking him to produce evidence about the conspiracy.

“He is playing in the hands of American agencies to destabilise the political system,” Malik Mumtaz averred. “He is opposing Mian Nawaz Sharif to get entrance in the PPP camp,” he added.

He appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice against Brig Imtiaz and reopen his corruption cases. He claimed Brig Imtiaz’s “anti-state activities” were creating confusion in the political system.

The former FIA chief alleged Brig Imtiaz had collected illegal wealth during his tenure as IB head. Malik said that a corruption case was lodged with the FIA after the brigadierís removal during the Benazir government. However, the FIA did not pursue the case in the court, and, consequently, it was dismissed.

Malik said Brig Imtiaz made 27 valuable properties and a heavy account in a bank of London, adding, he got himself freed from the cases by using his influence during the Nawaz government in 1997.

The second case of corruption against Brig Imtiaz was registered by the Account Appellate Bureau chairman in 2000, Malik said, adding that the detailed list of his properties was attached with the petition. The properties included three houses and three commercial units in Islamabad as well as foreign exchange bearing certificates to the tune of Rs 20.8 million.

He said a court sentenced Brig Imtiaz to eight years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 7 million, also confiscating his assets. The court disqualified him for ten years for holding any public office or statutory or local authority. But he, taking advantage of the NRO, managed to retake his property.

Malik disclosed that before his “retirement at fault” from the Army in 1988, Brig Imtiaz had declared his total asset as a two-kanal plot at the Lahore Cantt Officers Society (Phase-II) and a 2,000-square-yard plot in the Defence Housing Society, Karachi. He questioned how Imtiaz made property worth billions of rupees as IB chief.

7th october 2008?

Conspiracies against Pakistan

Pakistan is passing through one of the most crucial periods of its 61-year history. The situation in NWFP and tribal areas is apparently going out of control with each passing day. Following is a piece by Mr. Ahmad Qureshi on this situation and he has given his point of view and analysis. We invite write-ups and comments on this subject from experts on the subject and the people who have an opinion on this crisis situation and how they see the available options for Pakistan. Write-ups should be concise and thought provoking.

Land of conspiracies

By Ahmed Quraishi

In a recent email exchange, one of the ideological founders of the country's largest left-oriented parties said that he believed that the "core strategic objective of the US" was to "establish its control over the Pakistan Army – to weaken it when it is strong and strengthen it when it is weak but maintain total control over it." He went on to say that the only long-term potent weapon that the Pakistan Army has is "the support of the people of Pakistan". The support General Kayani received from the people on the few words he said about not allowing foreigners to violate the territory of Pakistan is extremely significant."

This is where the defeatist stance of Pakistan's elected government on US belligerence becomes inexplicable. Gen Kayani does not need votes. Those who do need them are wasting a perfect opportunity to earn more of them. That is why Prime Minister Gilani's statement saying 'Pakistan can't wage war with US' comes as a shock. Even if true, why would the prime minister say this because it only serves to deprive Pakistan of the strategic psychological impact created by the army chief's warning.

America has been a duplicitous ally during the past seven years, using Pakistani cooperation on Afghanistan to gradually turn that country into a military base to launch a sophisticated psychological, intelligence and military campaign to destabilize Pakistan itself.

In one sign of the grand double game, despite poor relations with Iran, Washington has encouraged Karzai and the Indians to complete the construction of a road that links Afghanistan to an Indian-built Iranian seaport. The purpose is to end the dependence of both the US army and the Karzai regime on Pakistan. The recent demonization of Pakistani intelligence agencies is a pretext.

Apologists for the US position need to understand that Pakistan has a legitimate right to protect it interests in the region. Everyone does. The problem is not our intelligence agencies. It is how Washington deliberately trampled on the legitimate interests of its ally in favour of strengthening the position of our competitors. Maybe, had the Americans been as considerate to us as we have been to them, our spies wouldn't have needed to re-establish contacts with the militants. If we are doing this, it is protect our interest.

Pessimists fear that if our military tries to block US border violations, there is a possibility of armed conflict. Also, in case of conflict, Washington is expected to signal to India to open a front in the east to divert Pakistani military resources. But Pakistan is not without options. In fact, the Pakistani position is stronger than what it appears to be. Islamabad can activate old contacts with a resurgent and rising Afghan Taliban inside Afghanistan. The entire Pakistani tribal belt will seize this opportunity to fight the Americans. There is a possibility that Pakistani tribesmen could cross the border in large numbers using secret routes to dodge aerial bombardment and join the Afghan Taliban and find their way to Kabul. The misguided and suspicious 'Pakistani Taliban' – whom the NWFP governor has described on Sept 12 as an extension of the US military in Afghanistan – will also come under pressure of the tribesmen and will be forced to target the occupation forces instead of fighting the Pakistani government and people.

But the situation between Islamabad and Washington does not have to come to this. Islamabad can help tip the scales in Washington against the hawks who want a war with Pakistan. Not all parts of the US government accept this idea and this must be exploited. Pakistan must make it clear that it will retaliate.

US military posturing aside, Washington has recently seen a string of diplomatic defeats. Russia has cut American meddling in Georgia to size. In Iraq, a coalition of Shia parties is forcing the Americans to set a timetable for departure. And both Bolivia and Venezuela have expelled US ambassadors, and, in Bolivia's case, the world has suddenly become alert to Washington's intrusive meddling in that country's domestic politics and the role of the US ambassador in fuelling separatism. This is not very different from the US role inside Pakistan, where American diplomats have caused political chaos by directly engaging the politicians.

The only way to entrap Pakistan now is to either orchestrate a spectacular terrorist attack on the mainland US and blame it on Pakistan, or to assassinate a high profile personality inside Pakistan and generate enough domestic strife to scuttle military resistance to US attacks. It's called realpolitik.

American NGO Covers For Blackwater In Pakistan?

Reports suggest Pakistan has expelled a US Blackwater mercenary, but Pakistanis ask, 'Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans?' And who let them in?

In May, a US diplomat was caught arranging a meeting between a suspected Indian spy and senior Pakistani officials in the privacy of her house. In June when Pakistani officials confronted Washington with evidence that terrorists in Pakistan were using sophisticated American weapons, US media quickly leaked stories about American weapons missing from the US-trained Afghan army. And now reports confirm that the dirty secret arm of the US government – the mercenaries of Blackwater – have infiltrated sensitive regions of Pakistan. Blackwater works as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places. The question: Who let them in? And who deported one of them, if at all?


Wednesday, 5 August 2009.


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Three weeks ago a group of concerned Pakistani citizens in Peshawar wrote to the federal interior ministry to complain about the suspicious activities of a group of shadowy Americans in a rented house in their neighborhood, the upscale University Town area of Peshawar.

A NGO calling itself Creative Associates International, Inc. leased the house. CAII, as it is known by its acronym, is a Washington DC-based private firm. According to its Web site, the company describes itself as "a privately-owned non-governmental organization that addresses urgent challenges facing societies today … Creative views change as an opportunity to improve, transform and renew …"

The description makes no sense. It is more or less a perfect cover for the American NGO's real work: espionage.

The incorporated NGO is more of a humanitarian front that alternates sometimes for undercover US intelligence operations in critical regions, including Angola, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Gaza, and Pakistan. Of the 36 new job openings, the company's Web site shows that half of them are in Pakistan today. Pakistan is also at the heart of the now combined desperate effort by the White House-military-CIA to avert a looming American defeat in Afghanistan by shifting the war to its next-door neighbor.

In Peshawar, CAII, opened an office to work on projects in the nearby tribal agencies of Pakistan. All of these projects, interestingly, are linked to the US government. CAII's other projects outside Pakistan are also linked to the US government. In short, this NGO is not an NGO. It is closely linked to the US government.

In Peshawar, CAII told Pakistani authorities it needed to hire security guards for protection. The security guards, it turns out, were none other than Blackwater's military-trained hired guns. They were used the CAII cover to conduct a range of covert activities in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

The infamous Blackwater private security firm operates as an extension of the US military and CIA, taking care of dirty jobs that the US government cannot associate itself with in faraway strategic places. Blackwater is anything but a security firm. It is a mercenary army of several thousand hired soldiers.

Pakistani security officials apparently became alarmed by reports that Blackwater was operating from the office of CAII on Chinar Road, University Town in Peshawar. The man in charge of the office, allegedly an American by the name of Craig Davis according to a report in Jang, Pakistan's largest Urdu language daily, was arrested and accused of establishing contacts with 'the enemies of Pakistan' in areas adjoining Afghanistan. His visa has been cancelled, the office sealed, and Mr. Davis reportedly expelled back to the United States.

It is not clear when Mr. Davis was deported and whether there are other members of the staff expelled along with him. When I contacted the US Embassy over the weekend, spokesman Richard Snelsire's first reaction was, "No embassy official has been deported." This defensive answer is similar to the guilt-induced reactions of US embassy staffers in Baghdad and Kabul at the presence of mercenaries working for US military and CIA.

I said to Mr. Snelsire that I did not ask about an embassy official being expelled. He said he heard these reports and 'checked around' with the embassy officials but no one knew about this. "It's baseless."

So I asked him, "Is Blackwater operating in Pakistan, in Peshawar?"

"Not to my knowledge." Fair enough. The US embassies in Baghdad and Kabul never acknowledged Blackwater's operations in Iraq and Afghanistan either. This is part of low-level frictions between the diplomats at the US Department of State and those in Pentagon and CIA. The people at State have reportedly made it clear they will not acknowledge or accept responsibility for the activities of special operations agents operating in friendly countries without the knowledge of those countries and in violation of their sovereignty. Reports have suggested that sometimes even the US ambassador is unaware of what his government's mercenaries do in a target country.

Official Pakistani sources are yet to confirm if one or more US citizens were expelled recently. The government is also reluctant in making public whatever evidence there might be about Blackwater operations inside Pakistan. But it is clear that something unusual was happening in the Peshawar office of an American NGO. There is also strong suspicion that Blackwater was operating from the said office.

There are other things happening in Pakistan that are linked to the Americans and that increase the chances of Blackwater's presence here.
These include:

1. One of the largest US embassies – or military and intelligence command outposts – in the world is being built in Islamabad as I write this at a cost of approximately one billion US dollars. This is the biggest sign of an expansion in US meddling in Pakistan and a desire to use this country as a base for regional operations. Interestingly, US covert meddling inside Pakistan and nearby countries is already taking place, including in Russia's backyard, in Iran, and in China's Xinjiang.

2. A large number of retired Pakistani military officers, academics and even journalists have been quietly recruited at generous compensations by several US government agencies. These influential Pakistanis are supposed to provide information, analysis, contacts and help in pleading the case for US interests in the Pakistani media, in subtle ways. Pakistanis would be surprised that some prominent names well known to television audiences are in this list.

3. CIA and possibly Blackwater have established a network of informers in the tribal belt and Balochistan; there have also been reports of non-Pakistanis sighted close to sensitive military areas in the country. Considering the intensity and frequency of terrorist acts inside Pakistan in the past four years, there is every possibility that all sorts of saboteurs are having a field day in Pakistan.

4. Members of separatist and ethnic political parties have been cultivated by various US government agencies and quietly taken for visits to Washington and the CENTCOM offices in Florida.

The possibility of the existence of mercenary activities in Pakistan is strengthened by the following events:

5. Pakistani officials have in recent months collected piles of evidence that suggests that terrorists wreaking havoc inside Pakistan have been and continue to receive state of the art weapons and a continuous supply of money and trainers from unknown but highly organized sources inside Afghanistan. A significant number of these weapons is of American and Israeli manufacture. Indians have also been known to supply third-party weapons to terrorists inside Pakistan.

6. Some Pakistani intelligence analysts have stumbled on circumstantial evidence that links the CIA to anti-Pakistan terror activities that may not be in the knowledge of all departments of the US government. One thing is for sure, that CIA's operations in Afghanistan are in the hands of dangerous elements that are prone to rogue-ish behavior.

7. In May, a US woman diplomat was caught arranging a quiet [read 'secret'] meeting between a low-level Indian diplomat and several senior Pakistani government officials. An address in Islamabad – 152 Margalla Road – was identified as a venue where the secret meeting took place. The American diplomat in question knew there was no chance the Indian would get to meet the Pakistanis in normal circumstances. Nor was it possible to do this during a high visibility event. After the incident, Pakistan Foreign Office issued a terse statement warning all government officials to refrain from such direct contact with foreign diplomats in unofficial settings without prior intimation to their departments.

8. Pakistani suspicions about American foul play inside Pakistan are not new. On July 12, 2008 in a secret meeting in Rawalpindi between military and intelligence officials from the two countries these concerns were openly aired. The Americans accused ISI of maintain contacts with the Afghan Taliban. The Pakistani answer was that normal low-level contacts are maintained with all parties in the area. NATO and the Kabul regime were doing the same thing in Afghanistan. In return, the Pakistanis laid out evidence, including photographs, showing known terrorists meeting Indian and pro-US Kabul regime officials. Was the United States supporting these anti-Pakistan activities is the question that was posed to the US military and CIA.

9. Further back into history, in 1978 the ISI broke a spy ring made up of Pakistani technicians working for the nascent Pakistani nuclear program who were recruited by CIA. Pakistan chose not to raise the issue publicly but did so privately at the highest level in Washington.

Now there are reports that the Zardari-Gilani government is consulting Pakistan's Naval headquarters on a proposal to construct a US navy base on the coast of Balochistan. When things have reached this level of American meddling in Pakistan, Blackwater seems like a small issue. Some Pakistani analysts are of the view that elements within the Pakistani security establishment need to be very careful about where they intend to draw the red line for CIA operations in and around Pakistan.

© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. & PakNationalists. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

UN in Collaboration with Government is Promoting Illegal Prostitution in Pakistan

Saturday, August 29, 2009

By OmEr Jamil

Sex awareness workshops are okie, but delivering in a way that appreciates the professions for prostitutes (whores) and encourages them to continue it with dignity- that too in a Muslim country with Islamic laws and constitutions where the profession and acts like such are not only prohibited by law but also punished- is I believe worth a thousands condemnations!

I agree with the point that such workshops for prostitutes and whores also provide sex-health-safety and HIV awareness to these personnel. Yes, the workshop might have created much awareness and done 90% good! But in this regard, the illegal and extra-martial sexual activities where Islam has a clear stance of activities like such being one among the greatest sins, this 10% of evil message leads to such an agenda that sums up the expressions and confidence of these whores to speak up and feel like “…now I can continue my profession with more confidence“

Like a friend on Facebooks said; ‘Someone considers Pakistan as favorite state for conducting first of its kind research workshop for Sex workers, War in favor of USA made Pakistan learn an enlightened way to live their life, this is truly not Danda Bardaar nor a people who demand something but just a little bit more freedom. These people are not extremists but well enlightened moderate Muslims, this will be told to us if we question or government may consider it as small misconduct. The flag of enlightened moderation is now openly raised by UN which is still not banned and will never suffer any until democracy or dictatorship rules the land.’

The workshop was organized by Sindh AIDS Programme, Government of Sindh in collaboration with the United Nations! Now they- the very United Nations- are trying to train these Pakistani whores as how to carry on their ill and illegal deeds more “professionally” and ‘”confidently”; a direct or indirect appreciation & support of an illegal profession of course is a violation of the state!

Prostitution is a crime. The question is why these women are being trained under government patronage to commit crime in a safe way. This is like training a robber to commit robbery in a safe way!!! Instead of teaching safe sex, the government should give them vocational training so that they could earn their livelihood with dignity!!!

Also, lets look at what Dr. Shahid Masood has to say on this: check video with upper link

Also, see this post on Haqeeqat.Org already:

Prostitution in the Islamic Nation of Pakistan

Now, lets please have a look as BBC explains the proceedings:

Lessons for Karachi sex workers

By Arman Sabir

BBC, Karachi

Zeba Ramzan is a 28-year-old Pakistani sex worker. Born into the profession in Karachi’s red light district of Napier Road, she plies her trade all over the city. She is celebrating the launch of an initiative to promote health awareness among sex workers.

“We are now revealed to society,” says Ms Ramzan.

But prostitution remains illegal and anathema to many in Muslim-majority Pakistan. It is an ever-present fact of life, but never really acknowledged. The last two decades, given the increasing Islamisation of Pakistani society, have further reinforced stereotypes about such women. But the profession has only grown. Karachi alone has at least 100,000 female sex workers, according to data gathered by local welfare organisations. Lahore has 75,000 sex workers while the military garrison town of Rawalpindi has at least 25,000.

‘Spirit of openness’

Pakistan’s first workshop on health awareness among sex workers has contributed to a new spirit of openness in the profession.

“Earlier we were doing our jobs secretly, but now we can raise our voice for our rights,” Ms Ramzan says.

The three-day event was recently held in Karachi by Gender & Reproductive Health Forum (GRHF) – a local social welfare organisation – in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA).

“I am very happy that a number of sex workers attended the workshop,” says Ms Ramzan.

“This has provided us an opportunity to gather and exchange views and experiences.”

She is not the only one to have benefited.

“I became a sex worker five years back,” says Nadia, 26. Nadia said that she learned about safe sex measures at the workshop. “I had heard about HIV/Aids, but I thought that it could only be transmitted through blood transfusions. “I did not know that precautionary measures should be taken during sex as well,” she said. Before the workshop, most sex workers who attended did not know about measures for safe sex, Nadia added.

Dr Ghulam Murtaza, the head of the GRHF and the man behind the workshop, said the organisation was working to create awareness of safe sex among female sex workers. “It was very difficult to gather sex workers under one roof. Many were simply afraid of being arrested,” he said. “We offered several incentives and assurances and paid them 1,000 rupees ($20) per day for their attendance,” he said. “Finally, we succeeded in gathering almost 100 sex workers at the workshop held at a local hotel.”

Most of the sex workers who attended avoided the cameramen there, saying they were afraid of being exposed to their families.

Many said their husbands or family members did not know they were sex workers. They told their families that they worked for private firms.

Despite these barriers, Dr Murtaza said the workshop had been successful. “We have trained some female sex workers. They will now go to their community to create awareness among their co-workers.”


The international participants at the workshop were of the view that Pakistan was still relatively safe as far as HIV/Aids was concerned. The UNFPA representative, Dr Safdar Kamal Pasha, said at least 100 HIV-positive sex workers had been found in central Punjab. But the number of HIV-positive women was not high among female sex workers in Pakistan.

“It can be controlled by creating awareness about the disease among sex workers and about usage of precautionary measures,” he said.

The workshop was widely considered to be a success and Dr Pasha said they were considering organising a national convention for sex workers next year.

The sex workers themselves were moved by the workshop.

“Having attended the workshop, I feel reinvigorated,” Zeba Ramzan declares.

“I can now continue with my profession with more confidence.”

Saturday, 29 August 2009

underground tesla experiments in israel


What is Israel doing with the Pentagon in the Negev?

August 28-30, 2009

On August 27, Israel's Seismologic Division of its Geophysical Institute of the Ministry of National Infrastructure conducted, along with the U.S. Defense Department and the University of Hawaii, conducted a joint earthquake research experiment in Israel's Negev Desert. The experiment simulated an earthquake in the southern Negev designed to improve not seismological warning and acoustic reading systems in either Hawaii or earthquake-prone California or Alaska, but in Israel.

The cover story is that the simulated earthquake was designed to improve Israel's earthquake advance warning system. The simulated earthquake, created with 80 tons of explosives, created a 3.0 earthquake on the Richter scale.

The involvement of the Pentagon with Israeli "earthquake" research may involve a much more classified purpose. In 1995, this editor was told by an individual close to Mossad that Israel's intelligence agency was concerned about the Japanese Aum Shrinkyo movement arriving in Belgrade as Yugoslavia was collapsing. Agents of the cult movement were, according to the Mossad, trying to obtain Tesla earthquake-producing technology from notes and papers produced by the scientist on high-energy wave amplification maintained at the Nikola Tesla Institute in Belgrade. Nikola Tesla, a contemporary and one-time employee of Thomas Edison, died in 1943 and is considered the pioneer of alternating current machinery.

The Japanese cult members, who represented to institute officials that they were scientists, photocopied 100,000 Tesla documents. Tesla discovered that by altering the earth's magnetic field with electrical currents, earthquakes could result.

Israel's defense research community has also been interested in Tesla's earthquake- producing technology, which may have been at the heart of the recent Israeli-U.S. earthquake "sensor" test in the Negev. In 1998, Los Alamos National Laboratory produced a super-magnet code-named "Godzilla" that was the world's most powerful repeatable pulsed field magnet. Los Alamos had plans to create a more powerful magnet, twenty times more powerful than Godzilla, code-named Atlas. Atlas was designed with a magnetic field strength of 1000 tesla, 20 million times more powerful than the Earth's natural magnetic field and a potential weapon that could be used to alter the earth's magnetic field creating earthquakes.

There are suspicions that such technology was what was being tested in Israel's Negev Desert on August 27.

One indication is that the Israel and U.S. explanation for the test in the Negev was an intelligence cover story is that the U.S. Geological Survey, which records earthquakes all around the world, has no record of a 3.0 earthquake in the Negev on August 27.

Friday, 28 August 2009

libya: corfu talks rescue hbos and rbs


PanAm 103’s bombing was an iranian retaliation

August 25-26, 2009 --SPECIAL REPORT. EARLY EDITION. U.S. Air Intelligence Agency report stated Iran carried out PanAm 103 bombing

The neocons, in their normal group think fashion, are now teaming up to launch all-out attacks on Scotland for releasing from prison convicted PanAm 103 bomber Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi. Some neocons are urging a boycott of Scottish products and tourism. Of course, the demonization of Scotland comes as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visits Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London and follows Israeli attacks on Sweden's government over an Aftonbladet report on Israelis trafficking in Palestinian body parts removed from the bodies young Palestinians killed by Israeli troops, Ireland's former President and UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, and Norway over a boycott of Israeli products by a Norwegian regional government.

The blaming of Libya for the take down of PanAm 103 was concocted by the CIA and Mossad, working in tandem, to cover up their activities related to weapons smuggling with Iran in the 1980s. Had Iran been officially blamed for the December 1988 attack on PanAm 103, retaliation for the USS Vincennes attack on an Iran Air Airbus-300 in July 1988, the lucrative joint CIA-Mossad weapons smuggling program to and from Iran during the Iran-Iraq war would have become an embarrassment. Therefore, a cover story was created to blame Libya for the bombing and two Libyan agents, Megrahi, who was later convicted, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, who was acquitted based on the same flimsy and dubious evidence used to convict Megrahi, were named as the perpetrators.

The Iranian connection was never revealed by the CIA, which was under orders to cook the intelligence to pin the blame for Lockerbie on Libya.

A declassified Air Intelligence Agency, formerly SECRET NOFORN WNINTEL, dated March 4, 1991, states that Iranian Interior Minister Ayatollah Ali Akbar Mohtashemi ordered the attack on PanAm 103 in retaliation for the Iran Airbus downing by the U.S. Navy. The relevant paragraph in the redacted report states:

"Mohtashemi is closely connected with the Al Abas and Abu Nidal terrorist groups. He is actually a long-time friend of Abu Nidal. He has recently paid 10 million dollars in cash and gold to these two organizations to carry out terrorist activities and was the one who paid the same amount to bomb Pan Am flight 103 in retaliation for the U.S. shootdown of the Iranian Airbus. Mohtashemi has also spent time in Lebanon."

Two veteran ABC News correspondents, one in Paris and the other in Nicosia, later told this editor that the wire transfer of $10 million from Iran via a Greek bank to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley for the construction of the Pan Am 103 bomb was intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) Ayios Nikolaos listening station in Cyprus. Both correspondents said the blaming of Libya for the Lockerbie bombing was fantasy from the beginning. It was later revealed that Nidal, who later was given asylum by Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and died there under suspicious circumstances in 2002, had alternately worked for the CIA, Mossad, and Egyptian and Kuwaiti intelligence.

The CIA and Mossad went to extreme lengths to keep their secret arms smuggling network to Iran from exposure. This was during the time of the Iran-contra scandal and the transition from Ronald Reagan to George H. W. Bush. Bush was deeply enmeshed in the Iran-contra scandal and its links to the smuggling of weapons to Ayatollah Khomeini's government in Iran.

In 1987, the up-and-coming Christian Democratic Union Premier of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Uwe Barschel, began objecting to the use of Hartenholm airport in his state for the smuggling of weapons to and from Iran. The Iranian-run airport was also used to smuggle nuclear materials and drugs. Barschel was lured to the Hotel Beau-Rivage in Geneva by what WMR was told were CIA and Mossad agents operating under diplomatic cover with the assistance of the Federal German Bundesnacrichtendienst(BND) intelligence service. On October 11, 1987, Barschel was discovered dead and fully-clothed in his hotel room's water-filled bathtub. The drug Lorazepam was found in his blood stream. The autopsy of Barschel indicated force was used against him before his death.

Years ago, the editor was provided with copies of TOP SECRET CIA cables intercepted by East German intelligence in 1987. The cables are between the military attache at the US. Embassy in Bern and the Joint Chiefs' Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center (ITAC) at the Pentagon, with copies to the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations and the Director of the NSA, that suggest that the decision was made to assassinate Barschel, code named "Perch," after two agents, a CIA agent code named "Lokal" and a Mossad agent code-named "Rabbi" met with Barschel in Geneva, code named "Laketown," only to discover the Schleswig-Holstein Premier was "unyielding" to their demands about permitting his state to be used for Iranian arms and drug smuggling. The German word for the fish "perch" is "Barsch."

The second intercepted CIA cable states: "Jerry took Perch to Temple met with Lokal and Rabbi at 2130 Perch unyielding refuses coop Rabbi ordered disposition alternative w asap advise no act." In can be assumed that the CIA was being informed that Mossad was recommending that Barschel be eliminated and the CIA was informing Langley that no action was required on the part of the CIA.

Two days after Barschel's meeting with the CIA and Mossad agents, his body was discovered in the bathtub in Room 317 at the Beau-Rivage.

A little over a year later, Pan Am 103, would be blown up over the skies of Scotland. To protect the Iranian-CIA-Mossad smuggling link, Libya would be framed for the attack. And in an added bonus, a group of CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) personnel who may have been aware of the CIA's connections to the Iran-contra and Israeli weapons smuggling operations with Iran happened to be on board the ill-fated Boeing 747: Matthew Gannon, the CIA's deputy station chief in Beirut; Major Chuck McKee, assigned to the DIA station in Beirut; Ronald Lariviere, a security officer at the U.S. embassy in Beirut; and Daniel O'Connor, a security officer at the U.S. embassy in Nicosia. Assistant Deputy Director Michael S. Bernstein, a special agent for the Office of Special Investigation at the Department of Justice.

Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill, who is under tremendous political fire for releasing Megrahi to Libya while he lives his last days with prostate cancer, may still have the last triumph. Megrahi is vowing to present new evidence establishing his innocence. Barack Obama, who shows more and more by his actions that he still answers to his old employer, the CIA -- while he worked for the CIA front Business International Corporation and perhaps before and after -- wants Megrahi kept under house arrest in Libya.

There is little wonder why the Israel Lobby and Obama and FBI director Robert Mueller are so incensed over MacAskill's actions. Mueller was assistant to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh in 1989 and prosecuted both Megrahi and Fhimah, as well as long-time CIA operative Manuel Noriega of Panama. Obama and Mueller are clearly trying to cover the tracks of their respective agencies as Megrahi prepares to tell all.

August 25, 2009

The secret deal behind Megrahi's release

British intelligence sources report to WMR that a series of high-level financial deals between Libya, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, former Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin, and Scottish First Minister Alexander Salmond resulted in the release from a Scottish prison of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan Arab Airlines officials convicted of planting the bomb on board Pan Am 103 that killed 281 people on the plane and in the village of Lockerbie in 1988. Megrahi's colleague, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted of charges in the terrorist attack.

In fact, according to the British intelligence sources, the Libyans were never responsible for the bombing of PanAm 103, which was carried out by the Iranians and their Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) proxies in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley in retaliation for the shooting down by the USS Vincennes of an Iran Air Airbus-300 over the Persian Gulf in July 1988 that killed all 290 passengers and crew. WMR discovered from Cypriot authorities that the bomb intended for PanAm 103 arrived at Larnaca International Airport on a private plane from Lebanon, was placed on a flight to Frankfurt and then transferred to a feeder flight from Frankfurt to London Heathrow and, ultimately, on the ill-fated PanAm Boeing 747 bound for New York. National Security Agency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepts of Iranian and Greek banking communications proved the Iranian connection but the U.S., British, and Israeli governments saw fit to blame Libya's Muammar Qaddafi for the attack.

Negotiations on the deal to free Megrahi, who stood to embarass the British and U.S. governments with new evidence of his innocence if the appeal of his conviction had gone forward, began last October after two major Scottish banks, Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), collapsed. After HSBC and Barclays made overtures to the Bank of England to buy HBOS and RBS, the proposals were rejected by what is known in Whitehall as the "Larnarkshire Mafia" -- Brown, Darling, and Martin -- intervened in the Scottish financial crisis and ordered that public money vice commercial funds be used to prop up HBOS and RBS. Eventually, Lloyds TSB bought HBOS creating Lloyds Banking Group, which was, itself, later bailed out by the British government.

The word from Whitehall is that, although Parliament is in summer recess, senior staffers know that a major secret deal was worked out between Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street (the residences of the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, respectively) and Qaddafi and sealed after a meeting two weeks ago between Mandelson and Qaddafi's son, Saif al Islam Qaddafi, at a Rothschild family-owned villa on Corfu.

The deal worked out is that profits realized from future oil and gas deals between Britain and Libya will be used to bail out the Scottish banks. As for speculation that Labor wants to use the Scottish financial crisis to prove that current plans by the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) government to move Scotland toward independence to prove that Scotland cannot fare on its own without London, Brown and Salmond, a former RBS senior economist who negotiated Scotland North Sea oil revenue spending plans between RBS and the government while working for the bank, are on very close terms, according to our sources. Brown, a former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Salmond knew exactly what they were getting in return from Qaddafi and his son when they hammered out the "bailout-for-Megrahi" agreement -- the financial bail out of Scotland's two largest banks that were riddled with toxic bad loans by sweetheart oil and gas deals with Libya. Qaddafi was celebrating more than Megrahi's release at the public ceremony in Libya -- the mercurial Libyan leader, once considered a pariah, is now one of the most influential business moguls in Great Britain -- on both sides of Hadrian's Wall.

Private Eye issue 1243

21st august-3rd september 2009


Earlier this year the Eye predicted that the Scottish courts would hear only a small part of the appeal of Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi before it would be abandoned and he would return to Libya to die with his family. Meghari’s release was on the cards for some time.

That was ensured by Jack Straw, the justice minister, sticking up two fingers at parliament’s human rights committee and rushing through the prisoner transfer deal with our new best friend, Muammar Gaddafi. After all, the deal suited all the main players, cementing relations with Libya as well as halting an appeal that threatened to prove a major embarrassment to both the UK and US governments. News last week that Megrahi was to be returned on ‘compassionate grounds’, because he was dying of cancer, briefly raised hopes that his appeal could continue in his absence. But that was never going to be allowed to happen, and Megrahi, who had always said he would never return to Libya until his name was cleared, duly dropped his appeal.

The casualty is justice and the truth about the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, which claimed 270 victims. For as readers of the Eye’s special report by Paul Foot in 2001 are well aware, Megrahi’s trial was a travesty. There were the testimonies of two witnesses who were paid huge sums by the CIA – one a notorious liar and paid informer, Abdul Giaka, who first put Megrahi in the frame; the other the Maltese shopkeeper who identified him as the man who bought clothes said to have been packed round the bomb. He had been shown photographs of Megrahi.

Some forensic evidence appeared to have been tampered with and much evidence withheld – including the fact that there had been a serious breach in security in Heathrow at the Pan Am baggage area in the early hours of 21 December 1988, the day of the bombing. A padlock on the door had been professionally cut and the area open to intruders. Coupled with the testimony of baggage handlers about two extra cases going on board – one matching the description of the bag said to have carried the bomb – this would have featured heavily in Megrahi’s appeal.

And then, of course, there were the similarities to the modus operandi of a Syrian-backed terrorist cell operating out of Frankfurt, including altitude-sensitive timers, which the judges did not allow Megrahi’s defence team to raise at trial. Because the appeal in Edinburgh has been dogged by delay, none of these troubling issues have been aired. And now, short of the public inquiry demanded by the families of the victims, they never will be.

Allowing the only man convicted of the bombing to be returned to Libya has produced howls of outrage on both sides of the Atlantic. (That is, apart from the rare voices of the UN observer at the trial and some of the British victims’ families, who have studied every aspect of the case and believe there has been a miscarriage of justice.) That outrage would be better focused on the governments and justice systems that have ensured we have all been denied the full truth about Lockerbie.

Download Paul Foot’s 2001 special report, Lockerbie – The Flight From Justice, priced £5, here.

* To read this story in full, buy the latest edition of Private Eye – in shops now.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

italia: governa da decenni il male "antifascista"

Roma, 26 agosto 2009

Il sessantennio di regime partitocratico ha ridotto la Giustizia italiana, e la sua appendice carceraria ad una condizione incommensurabilmente più incivile, criminale e criminogena, violenta, illegittima e illegale, socialmente disastrosa e istituzionalmente aberrante, di quel che aveva compiuto e prodotto il ventennio fascista.

Giustizia e universo carcerario sono lo specchio dello Stato, del Regime, vigenti. Oggi più che mai. Ordine e welfare senza libertà, senza Democrazia, senza Stato di diritto producono fatalmente, se si aggiunge strage di legalità come oggi accade (e non nel ventennio ufficialmente totalitario del fascismo), strage di popoli.

Questo oggi non accade ancora perché il popolo italiano sta resistendo in modo mirabile, miracoloso, nel suo vissuto di civiltà e democrazia; sul piano etico, su quello morale, antropologicamente.

Così una società “chiusa”, come quella carceraria, oggi finisce per vivere come una straordinaria Comunità Penitenziaria, a cominciare, in primo luogo, per merito dei suoi operatori, dirigenti, polizia, amministrazione, letteralmente massacrati dal Regime, e per merito di un popolo di detenuti letteralmente sequestrati e martirizzati in una detenzione estranea e contraria a quella prevista dalla Legge fondamentale e dalle leggi e norme attuative.

Governi e opposizioni di Regime non sono altro che espressione di una realtà da decenni, criminale e criminogena. Si è compiuta così “la metamorfosi del male” del ventennio fascista nel suo opposto: il male “antifascista”, partitocratico, traditore delle leggi e dello Stato di diritto, della Costituzione, sul piano tecnico associazione seriale per delinquere, nell’illusione di poter in tal modo legittimare e governare con l’arbitrio il proprio Potere.

Marco Pannella

Monday, 24 August 2009

pyongyang's fake $100 better than real ones

Counterfeiting: Notes on a scandal

As the US edges towards engagement with North Korea, it will be forced to address Pyongyang's booming trade in fake American currency. David Samuels investigates how 'supernotes' are funding crime - and a dictatorship

In October of 1997, a white-haired 63-year old Irishman named Sean Garland paid a visit to Moscow in the company of an acquaintance subsequently identified only by the initials "JM". Garland was a self-proclaimed Marxist who dressed like a professor and served as head of a far-left faction called the Irish Workers Party that had never elected a single one of its members to any mainstream political body. Garland's first visit to Moscow was followed by three return trips in the first half of 1998, made in the company of known criminals from Dublin and Birmingham.

Garland's pilgrimage to Moscow made little ideological sense, since Boris Yeltsin had turned the former Soviet Union from a communist state into heaven on earth for gangsters of all nationalities - and the company that Garland kept made observers wonder about the true purpose of his visits. In addition to his career in leftist fringe politics, Garland was a lifelong terrorist who had personally engaged in deadly attacks on British soldiers and police in Northern Ireland since the 1950s, and whose exploits were said to have inspired Tom Clancy's novel Patriot Games. As the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) entered into fitful negotiations with Protestant groups in the 1990s, Garland served as chief of staff for "the Official IRA" or OIRA, which rejected the idea of a peace deal in favour of the continuation of bombings, bank robberies and other politically-motivated crimes.

Garland's odd itinerary in Moscow, which included several visits to the North Korean embassy, held the key to a mystery that had baffled British criminal investigators and the US Secret Service since the early 1990s, when counterfeit US $100 bills of exceptional quality had flooded Dublin. The fakes were so good as to be undetectable by the advanced bill-checking machines used by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, and local businesses and banks in Dublin stopped accepting $100 bills as legal tender. An Irish counterfeit dealer named Hugh Todd was arrested in 1994 with a large bundle of fakes, and more arrests followed as the bills continued to circulate throughout Europe and the Middle East in the most sustained, deliberate destructive attack on the US currency on record. The source of the near-perfect fakes, which soon became known as the "supernote", remained a mystery.

The existence of the supernote came to the notice of Western governments just after the fall of the Berlin Wall in December 1989, when a money handler at Central Bank of the Philippines became suspicious of a banknote that passed all the usual tests but still felt odd. The note, a $100 bill supposedly printed in the year 1988, made its way to Yoshihide Matsumura, a Japanese currency expert whose machines for detecting fake bills are among the most advanced in the business. The bill was an astoundingly accurate fake, Matsumura decided, the best that he had ever seen - yet it did not show any of the characteristics of the advanced fakes that he had encountered from Japan and Russia.

Like the real $100 bills, the fake was printed on paper that was made of three-quarters cotton and one-quarter linen fibres, which is manufactured for the US government using specialised machinery by Crane & Co, the stationary company. The images are then stamped on the paper using an intaglio press - a piece of specialised printing machinery so heavy and expensive that only governments normally own them. The fake made its way to the headquarters of the Secret Service in Washington, D C, where it was compared to the agency's master file of 20,000 examples of forged US currency. The bill was assigned the identifying numeric C-14342, the letter "C" indicating that it was a circular, or the first in what was expected to be a series of high-quality forgeries from a single source.

Bills from the same series turned up a year later in Lebanon's Bekka Valley, leading to suspicion that the supernote was being printed in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which needed foreign currency to fund an estimated $100 million a year in donations to Hezbollah and other terrorist organisations - who, as it happened, were being trained in bomb-making in Lebanon by Sean Garland. Intelligence analysts noted that Iran had taken delivery of two intaglio printing presses shortly before the fall of the Shah, who had sent a team of 20 master engravers to be trained by the Federal Bureau of Engraving in the US.

Since the beginning of its investigations, the Secret Service has routinely declined to comment on the origins and distinguishing characteristics of the "supernote", for fear of aiding the forgers and a variety of other reasons - including the fact that the supernote represents a gigantic, ongoing law enforcement failure fuelled by the agency's early and continuing refusal to acknowledge the nature, scope and source of the threat. The Secret Service discourages currency experts from discussing identifying flaws in the supernote and admonishes those who speak to the press. Still, it is known that the first widely-distributed supernote carried the date "1988" and was distinguished by at least three flaws, one of which may have been deliberately introduced by the forgers so that they could demonstrate the difference between real money and their own fakes.


One internationally-known currency expert was willing to talk to me about the flaws in the original supernote for publication, in exchange for a promise of anonymity. "The lamp-post base on the back, above the "H" of "HALL" to the right of centre, has a very weak, almost nonexistent, left outline," the expert explained, referring to the back of the old US $100 bill. "On the supernote the left side of the lamp-post base is clearly defined."

On the face of the 1988 supernote, the heavy horizontal line that intersects the portrait oval just above the decorative ribbon that bears the name "Franklin" does not reach the oval, as it does on a real $100 bill. Instead, the line dives down parallel with the oval and intersects the Franklin ribbon on both sides.

While it is difficult for currency collectors to acquire a supernote, he adds, the bills are available from foreign currency dealers who often sell them at a 150 per cent mark-up so they can't be accused of passing bad notes. Experienced currency dealers are quick to spot fakes, the expert says. Money handlers often refuse to handle certain series of $100 bills because of the high percentages of bad notes, with $100 bills from the years 1996 and 1999 attracting a high degree of scrutiny. "Any one series of supernotes stays in production only a few months or a year or so before the counterfeiters have to change to keep up," the currency expert told me.

According to a recent study by two economists with access to Secret Service data, at least one in every 10,000 US banknotes in circulation is a fake. One reason that the Secret Service showed so little initial interest in the supernote is that they were found overseas, where two-thirds of the $800bn in US currency circulates.

"It's a spit in the ocean compared to what's being printed," the Secret Service liaison at the American Embassy in London, John Sullivan, told a newspaper in 1993 in response to an inquiry about counterfeit $100 bills and other fakes, whose numbers had more than quadrupled between 1990 and 1992 - from $29.9m to $137.7m. By 1994, the Secret Service still had only six agents on permanent detail overseas to deal with what had become an epidemic that worried bankers and criminals alike. In December of 1993, for example, gunmen stormed a classroom in the Russian city of Rostov and demanded a ransom of $10m in $100 bills - along with a sophisticated machine to weed out the fakes.

Where circumstantial evidence about the source of the supernote had originally pointed towards the Shah's intaglio presses and US-trained engravers now under the control of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Secret Service was eventually forced to start looking elsewhere. In 1994, executives of a North Korean trading company carrying diplomatic passports were arrested for depositing $250,000 in supernotes in a bank in Macao. Similar incidents involving a weird assortment of diplomats, terrorists and criminals with ties to North Korea followed. In January 1996, a middle-aged Japanese man approached a money changer in the beach resort of Pattaya, Thailand and gave him 90 crisp US $100 bills in exchange for 225,000 baht. The bills were fake, and were soon traced to Yoshimi Tan-aka - a Japanese Red Army terrorist who had disappeared inside North Korea in 1970. Tanaka fled to Cambodia and took refuge in the North Korean embassy in Phnom Penh. He was later apprehended at the Vietnamese border in an embassy Mercedes after trying to bribe a border guard with $10,000 in $100 bills, which the guard wisely refused - they were probably counterfeit.

The revamped $100 bill, unveiled in 1996, featured a new engraving by the artist Tom Hipschen, who gave Franklin an enigmatic look that recalled the half-smile on the face of the Mona Lisa, and drew attention to the portrait. Microprinted in Franklin's lapel were the words "United States of America", a phrase that was also microprinted inside one of the numbers on the bill, which were printed in colour-shifting OVI ink. Concentric lines in the oval surrounding the portrait were designed to create interference when scanned by a laser. Red and blue fibres were embedded in the paper, along with other safety features designed to protect the banknote from forgers. Tiny security threads that repeated the denomination of each bill were embedded in the paper to prevent counterfeiters from washing off the ink and turning dollar bills into hundreds - a favourite trick of Columbian counterfeiters. Within two years, all of these features would be successfully copied in the "big head" incarnation of the supernote, which turned up in London first and was called C-21555 by the Secret Service.

By the late 1990s, nearly all available evidence pointed to North Korea as the source of the supernote: Sean Garland's trips to Moscow were made for the purpose of picking up a new supernote that precisely replicated the safety features of the redesigned US currency. By the time Garland was arrested on 7 October 2005, in a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it was estimated that he and his associates had passed $28m in redesigned supernotes produced inside North Korea. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Garland's network, while sizeable, distributed only a tiny fraction of the supernotes still in circulation. At least $45m in North Korean supernotes have been detected in circulation, out of an estimated production of bills with a face value of $45-$75m per year.

According to people who regularly handled the bills, the North Korean fakes are so good and are updated with such regularity that the best way to tell that they are fakes is their superior quality. "The joke was, they were better than the Bureau of Federal Engraving produces," says David Asher, a former Treasury department official who was in charge of leading the fight against the criminal activities of the North Korean state. Asher mentions the high quality of the paper and the precision of the printing process, including the sharp relief of the clock hands on the tower on the back of the bill, as among the few reliable giveaways that a bill with Ben Franklin's face on it was printed in North Korea. According to Asher, the biggest victims of the supernote are the Chinese, who have found that between 2-4 per cent of the $100 bills circulating in some regions of the country are fake - a de facto tax on Chinese money changers by North Korean forgers.


Trying to trace the supernotes to their source is a difficult task, owing to the fact that North Korea is a highly-militarised totalitarian country ruled by the dictator Kim Jong-Il. Recent reports from North Korea analysts suggest that Kim was recently treated for pancreatic cancer: the Korean leader looked thin and grey in footage of his recent meeting with former US President Bill Clinton, who arrived in Pyongyang on 4 August to pick up two American journalists who were incarcerated in a North Korean labour camp for crossing the border earlier this year. In June, Kim announced his intention to hand over to his 26-year-old son, Kim Jong-Un - the third Kim to ass-ume the central role in the political cult. Recent interviews by researchers, including this author, with South Korean intelligence officials and North Korean defectors, have resulted in what appears to be a more-or-less accurate picture of the mechanics of the century's greatest forgery operation - one of the officially-sanctioned large-scale criminal activities that have earned North Korea the nickname "the Sopranos state".

The printing of supernotes is overseen by an organisation called Office 39, which runs state-sponsored criminal activities and is housed in a plain, barracks-like building on Changgwant Street in Pyongyang (the proceeds of these operations are managed by Office 38, which is located in the same building). Estimates are that illegal exports from North Korea, including counterfeit money, methamphetamine, fake pharmaceuticals and weapons amount to $500m per year - a sum that equals or exceeds the value of the country's legitimate exports.

The supernote has a place of honour in North Korea's criminal economy. The main printing plant is housed at 62 Printing House, an address that suggests that it is located in Pyongyang city; the building is actually located in Pyongsung. According to a North Korean defector who worked for the central committee of the Communist Party, the workers who produce the supernote get superior food rations that include 600 grams of rice a day as well as "family food". The presses used to produce the supernote come from a company called De la rue Giori in Switzerland, with additional equipment from Japan, paper from Hong Kong and ink from France. Because their identity cards list them as citizens of Pyongyang, they are allowed to travel to the capital.

A South Korean analyst told me that there are two other plants inside North Korea where fake currency is produced - the Song Shin printing factory, which is under the control of the North Korean army reconnoitering corps, and a second plant using Austrian printing machinery that is under the control of the Communist Party Central Committee. While the counterfeiting operations exist to make money, the analyst explained, they are also motivated by a healthy dose of anti-Americanism as well as by North Korea's state philosophy of juche, or self-reliance. "Juche means that North Korea can and should produce for itself anything that the rest of the world can produce," the analyst explained. "If other nations have missiles, then North Korea should have missiles. If America produces dollars, which are the world's reserve currency, North Korea must produce its own dollars." While Office 39 personnel who help distribute supernotes were asked to leave the North Korean embassy in Beijing two years ago, the South Korean analyst says, they are still active in Germany, in Zagreb, Croatia and the Middle East.


Official North Korean publications firmly reject the suggestion that their country is involved in producing supernotes. In an article published in 2006 by the North Korean weekly Tongil Sinbo, a government spokesman insisted: "Even while noisily babbling about 'counterfeit currencies', the United States has not produced any evidence to back up what it says."

A remarkable undercover operation run by the FBI from 2003 to 2005 had provided more than enough evidence of the depth and scale of North Korea's involvement in the supernote scam, as well as providing a frightening hint of the uses to which North Korea's smuggling networks might be put. On 2 October 2, 2004, a Panamanian freighter, the Ever Unique, arrived in Newark, New Jersey, from Yantai, China, with boxes of toys, which hid a cargo of $300,000 in supernotes. Two months later, the initial shipment was followed by $3m in supernotes that arrived in Newark, and another $700,000 that arrived in the port of Long Beach, California.

All three shipments were part of one of the most mind-blowing FBI undercover operations in recent history, which would escalate from contraband cigarettes to supernotes, to requests for automatic weapons, mortars, and surface-to-air missiles, and result in the arrest of 87 people in the United States. The sting began with the successful infiltration of a 400lb agent named Jack Garcia into the Gambino crime family in New York under the name Jack Falcone. Two FBI agents named Lou Calvarese and Tom Zyckowski, were working an unrelated case whose goal was to expose Chinese smuggling networks that might be able to move weapons into the United States.

The three agents became involved with an elderly and proper-seeming Chinese-American couple named Bill and Mary Liu, who claimed to be able to obtain anything they wanted from connections in China. Posing as an overweight Mafioso, Garcia claimed to be involved in the drug business with Columbians who wanted weapons in exchange for cocaine. "We told the Lius we had a dirty customs official at the docks who'd let that container go in," Garcia told me. "We would then remove the container and bring it to a neutral location."

The Lius' main interest was not weapons but counterfeit cigarettes, which turned out to be such a stunningly-lucrative business that Garcia and his fellow agents soon despaired of convincing the Lius to move anything more risky. In the course of their involvement with the sting, the Lius wound up importing approximately 250 million packs of counterfeit cigarettes to the US. Through the Lius, the agents met Keith Tang, a Vietnamese-born Chinese who lived in California. Tang, an avid golfer rarely seen without his trademark Tiger Woods golfing cap, also wanted Garcia's supposed connections at the Port of Newark to import phoney cigarettes, but claimed to be able to provide weapons as well. After a trip to Asia, he returned with an OK on the weapons as well as samples that the agents hadn't asked for - three phoney $100 bills.

"We were told they were manufactured in North Korea," Garcia remembers. "I actually looked at it with Louie Calvarese. I had seen a lot of counterfeit because I worked a lot of dope in my career. This stuff was great." Calvarese, who recently retired from the FBI, was equally impressed. "When they left, I took out my bills and compared, I couldn't tell the difference," he remembers. "I said, 'Jack took a look. Can you tell the difference?' He said no." The agents passed the bills to the FBI lab and the Secret Service, which confirmed that they were supernotes. Tang then invited the agents to Phuket, Thailand, to meet his supernote contact, who also dealt in heroin and weapons. They would stay at the Le Meridien resort and enjoy the beaches and food, as well as the company of local women.

Garcia, whose weight made it hard for him to fly in a commercial aircraft, declined the invitation, but Calvarese went, along with a female agent who posed as his girlfriend. In Phuket, he met Jyimin "Jimmy" Horng, a Chinese from Macao who had supposedly competed for China in judo in the Olympics and now worked for the North Korean government selling supernotes and weapons. "He had connections to very high officials in the North Korean government," Calvarese remembered.

When Horng quoted a price of $500 a piece for AK47 rifles, Calvarese objected that he had purchased the same guns in Russia for $100. Horng went off and called a contact in North Korea, and then returned with some bad news. "'Listen it has to be $500,'" Calvarese remembers Horng saying. "If I do it on my own through my contacts, the price could be lower but if we get caught my family is going to die, and my family's family is going to die." Horng offered Calvarese $5m in supernotes, and sent him a half-inch thick catalogue translated from Korean that offered artillery shells, rocket launchers and other forms of advanced weaponry. Calvarese and Garcia met with Horng and Tang again in Atlantic City, and ordered $1m in supernotes at a price of 30 cents on the dollar. Horng threw in another $2m on consignment as well as some counterfeit Viagra.

The agents had landed in the middle of a global bazaar presided over by a weird dictator in which seemingly-limitless quantities of weapons, drugs, and fake currency were being made available to well-connected criminals by a foreign government that itself seemed to function like a mafia family. Frightened by the terror bombings in London in 2005, the US government got cold feet and ordered the arrest of everyone involved in the cigarette-smuggling business and other scams before the AK47s and rocket-launchers were imported into the States. Tang and Horng were invited to attend Calvarese's fake mafia-style wedding in Atlantic City, with Jack Garcia ostensibly acting as best man. "They gave us Rolex watches," Calvarese remembers with chuckle. "I said, 'is this counterfeit?' 'Oh no, we wouldn't do that to you.' They were real. They paid a lot of money for those watches." Eighty-seven people went to jail, but the production of the supernote continues. In March, 2006, a supernote stash was seized by Hong Kong police from a Chinese-American man coming from Macao. Later that year, supernotes were reportedly discovered in the take at several Las Vegas casinos and turned over to the Secret Service.


Winning the fight against counterfeiting seems even less likely, as long as governments retain the power to turn paper and safety features worth pennies into certificates of value worth thousands of times what they cost to produce. "You watch that beautiful, free-line elegant engraving coming up at you gradually with this red safe light around. Your heart starts to beat," explained the printer Mike Landress, who counterfeited American currency in the 1960s and then wrote an autobiography called I Made It Myself. Landress compared the experience of having a life-sized image of US currency in his possession to having an orgasm. Cheap digital technology has made the kind of thrill that Landress experienced available not only to governments and large criminal organisations, but to anyone who can afford a digital scanner and an inkjet printer. A counterfeiter named Wesley Weber crippled Canada's $100 bill by using techniques he found on websites, commercially-available paper, and four Hewlett Packard Deskjet 1220C printers. In 2005, a man named Yakub Yusupov and his two sons Eduard and Pinchas were arrested in New York City and charged with selling $9.5m worth of near-perfect $100 bills from a video store on Parsons Boulevard in Queens.

For economic and psychological reasons, the counterfeit business is likely to continue as long as human beings use currency, and counterfeit $100 bills will be easy to find. I recently visited a detective named Jim Capaldo in his modest office in the NYPD's Organised Crime Control Bureau, which contains a government-issue file cabinet, bare linoleum floors and an award for exemplary service. Capaldo's raincoat hung on a bare wire hangar near his desk. In the evidence bag in front of him was a phoney $100 bill, seized as part of an investigation into Mexican gangs who had engaged in three shootings on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, a hotspot for obtaining forged documents. One subject of the investigation had also sold counterfeit money to undercover cops on five separate occasions. "I'm sure he had other customers. How many, I have no idea," Capaldo says. "It seems clear he didn't produce the money himself."

The fake in the evidence bag was dated 1999. When we compared it with a real $100 bill from 2003, a number of differences became apparent. In the fake, Franklin's eyes looked fuzzier, as if he had been up late and felt sad - an effect that was most likely the result of a digital printing process. On the other hand, each one of the known security features that was present in the real note - the two watermarks of Franklin's head, the red and blue fibres, and the security strip with the number "100" embedded in the paper - was also present in the fake.

The question of why North Korea continues to produce the supernote has a simple answer: because they can. "Crime is a very lucrative business," says David Asher. "If you are a nation and you can deal drugs and print someone else's currency, you can make a lot of money." Asher quit the Bush administration over the decision to downplay North Korean counterfeiting and other illicit economic activities in the hopes of sealing an ever-elusive agreement on the disposal of North Korea's nuclear reactors and stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.

While policymakers in the State Department and elsewhere have portrayed the fuss over the supernote as a distraction from the real business of cutting a deal on North Korean nuclear weapons, Asher regards the two issues as inextricably linked. "The idea was, 'Oh my God, if we stop them, they might not want to negotiate.'" Asher states. "It's a false premise."

The failure of Bush's second-term diplomacy offensive makes it all the more unlikely that Obama's campaign promises about the wonders of engagement will result in real-world success. While Bush's late-blooming interest in diplomacy may have seemed churlishly overdue, it also carried a credible threat of force. Bush's failure to achieve diplomatic progress with Iran or North Korea means that the Obama administration will be forced to come up with even bigger carrots - assuming that the North Koreans are interested in making a deal. However, Bill Clinton's success this month in bringing home the two US journalists suggests that Pyongyang has not shut down completely. Nonetheless, some see Obama's failure to respond decisively to North Korea's provocative 4th of July missile tests as raising the likely price of any deal even further.

The fact that the North Korean state has grown quite comfortable doing business through criminal middlemen around the world in a wide variety of contraband merchandise suggests that the supernote and the threat of nuclear proliferation may be linked in even more frightening ways. North Korea has already transferred nuclear technology to Iran and Syria. During a visit to the Yongbyon nuclear facility in North Korea, the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Siegfried Hecker, was allowed to hold a sealed glass jar containing a 200g casting of alloyed plutonium metal produced by North Korean scientists. Six hockey pucks of plutonium approximately 6.5cms in diameter and 2cm thick, Hecker noted in a subsequent report about his visit, would be enough to assemble a simple nuclear bomb. Hecker estimated the likelihood of detecting six hockey pucks of plutonium alloy properly coated in plastic and lead, carried in a briefcase from North Korea to Iran, as virtually zero.

Given North Korea's years of experience in the transportation and distribution of illicit goods through criminal networks, it would seem easy enough to find willing and experienced volunteers to carry a nuclear briefcase. FBI agent Lou Calvarese concurs. "Its pretty scary," he says, summarising his conclusions about the connections between North Korea's black economy and the threat of nuclear proliferation. "I think everything is held together by a Band-Aid."


At end of the second paragraph the author made such howler as to lose all credibility
[info]cpmack wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 09:14 am (UTC)

"'the Official IRA' or OIRA, which rejected the idea of a peace deal in favour of the continuation of bombings, bank robberies and other politically-motivated crimes.

Anyone remotely familiar with Ireland or the IRA would know that the IRA split into the "Provisional IRA" and the "Official IRA" in 1969 and the "Officials," known as the "stickies," and that the OIRA declared a ceasefire in 1972 and has not been active since about 1975. This entire sentence is therefore a complete howler of an error, one that should not have made it into the article. It is so ludicrous a statement that from that point onwards any knowledgeable reader would discount the rest.

But no, it gets worse - "Irish Workers Party that had never elected a single one of its members to any mainstream political body," would that be Sinn Féin - the Workers Party, the "The Workers Party," now called "Democratic Left"? which has indeed had members elected to counsels and the Dáil (Parliament), including such prominent politicians as Proinsias De Rossa, Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore, Eric Byrne, Pat McCartan and Joe Sherlock - who left Garland behind after the party split.

Wow, to make a mess of the first two paragraphs is pretty inexcusable -- Garland's background is in fact pretty well known...



[info]chuckman_john wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 12:45 pm (UTC)

The story of North Korea's producing the so-called super-notes, one-hundred dollar notes of near perfect quality, is an old one, but it is not necessarily true, as the author of this piece assumes.

There is another story that says it is the CIA manufacturing these super-notes.

Such an intelligence operation would serve two ends.

One, it is a new source of untraceable funds for the CIA. We know that in the past the CIA has used drugs and armaments as ways to obtain off-the-record funds.

Two, the notes, combined with the story this author repeats, provide one more excuse to beat-up on North Korea.

Just ask yourself whether it is likely that North Korea has the immensely complex technology for producing notes of this quality.

Then ask yourself whether this is the way the United States would behave if indeed it knew North Korea was the source of the bills.


Sean Garland

[info]paulwilson2 wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 12:56 pm (UTC)

David Samuels has obviously had this story ' Planted ' on him by an American Neo Con source. To have it run in a supposedly Liberal paper gives it added kudos, thats the idea anyway. After Sean Garlands original arrest in Belfast he returned to the Irish Republic. The US authorities had 4 years to try and extradite him, they did'nt... because they would have to prove a Prima Facea case before an Irish court. The request to extradite him was only submited as the Bush administration left office, clearly an attempt to ' Spoil ' any moves by Obama to ease tensions with North Korea.

Neo Con Planted Story

[info]davidjohnston9 wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 01:21 pm (UTC)

1 Despite the impression given by the article, "supernotes" are detectable and not "super" at all; banks in AP are well abe to detect them.

2 "Evidence" sourced mainly from Asher is unreliable to say the least. Asher is the godfather of frivolous and over-the-top accusations ge he once claimed that a North Korean cement freighter had rammed a container ship and blown itself up on a suicide mission, to commit insurance fraud. In reality the freighter was sliced in half by the container ship, and sank.

3 As per Klaus Bender, the Austrian/Swiss police are sure that neither the ink nor the printing presses necessary to print "supernotes" have been purchased by Korea.

4 Korea, despite Asher's assertion that it can't exist without using criminal means, does in fact have extensive trade with China (it exports minerals) in return for capital goods, food and indeed hard currency.

5 Do you not think it the slightest bit suspect that the neo cons gofer (Asher) manages to get the supernote story into the media again, just at the time that US Korean relations may actually be improving?

A similar article, again pushed by Asher, has appeared in Vanity Fair this month.



He has done this before, each time US/Korea are at the point of reaching a deal.

6 At a monetary intelligence briefing sometime ago in Switzerland, Asher and UST entourage gave a presentation outlining their "evidence" (as such) wrt their accusations concerning "supernotes".

The participants (professionals in the field of forgery prevention and forensics etc) were appalled at the lack of evidence and poor research conducted by Asher and the UST team; ie Asher has no evidence.

To rely on this man as a source of "evidence" for this article is naive to say the least.

Asher's "theories" are rebutted in detail in this piece, published in 2007.

The existence of North Korean counterfeits could be concealed from the world financial system—if they are only circulated in North Korea. So, if North Korea is counterfeiting vast quantities of US currency, maybe Kim Jung Il is doing it to build a palace from bricks of hundred dollar bills; an offense against good taste, perhaps, but hardly a casus belli.

Bottom line is, Mr. Asher’s allegation that Supernotes of the type that have already been detected are circulating in large quantities thanks to the vagaries of the international cash system and the cupidity of bankers is extremely implausible.

And, parenthetically, where are our counterfeits coming from?

The number one source of counterfeits (measured by counterfeits seized) for the last four years running: Colombia.

Did Samuels not read it, or has he become so close to certain sections of the GOP/neo cons these days that he doesn't need to check the facts anymore?

Sean Garland

[info]conormccabe wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 04:11 pm (UTC)

you need to Google a bit better. Sean Garland is a member of a party that had eight T.D.s in the Irish parliaments (T.D. = M.P.) and a M.E.P. in the European parliament. Admittedly the party split in 1992, but even then the Garland side had a sitting T.D.

The only thing that reads like a Tom Clancy novel is your article, Mate, as both are works of fiction.

Try doing some research, for puck's sake!

[info]margueston wrote:

Monday, 24 August 2009 at 05:43 pm (UTC)

Further to the comments about Sean Garland, far from being a 'lifelong terrorist who had personally engaged in deadly attacks on British soldiers and police in Northern Ireland since the 1950s', Garland, the Workers Party and the OIRA have supported British security forces and 'constitutional politics' in Northern Ireland since the mid 1970s. It then appears that Mr Samuels believes the OIRA to be either the CIRA or RIRA when he states 'As the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) entered into fitful negotiations with Protestant groups in the 1990s, Garland served as chief of staff for "the Official IRA" or OIRA, which rejected the idea of a peace deal in favour of the continuation of bombings, bank robberies and other politically-motivated crimes'. Also, by Protestant groups, does he include the Irish and British Governments? Even the briefest check on Wikipedia would have put the author right on all these counts. The whole article smacks of neo-con scaremongering. 'Six hockey pucks of plutonium'. We're quaking in our boots!

The Secret of America's Counterfeit 'Supernotes'

“America's accusations against North Korea are on very shaky ground ... A rumor has circulated for years among representatives of the security printing industry and counterfeiting investigators that it is the American CIA that prints the Supernotes at a secret printing facility.”

By Klaus W. Bender

Translated By Armin Broeggelwirth

January 8, 2006

Germany - Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung - Original Article (German)

For the international police authority Interpol , the case is of the highest priority. For nearly 20 years and in great quantities, counterfeit 100-Dollar-Notes of impeccable quality have been in circulation. Interpol has been looking to find the source of the notes, but so far has been unable to identify it. In March 2005, Interpol issued a so-called "orange notice." With an "orange notice," Interpol member countries are notified of a special threat situation. At the end of July 2006, Interpol hosted a crisis conference for central banks, police investigators and members of the high security printing industry over the Supernotes. The Americans believe they know the perpetrators: the communist dictatorship of North Korea, archenemy of the United States. But at the end of the one-day conference, doubts emerged about this accusation. Worse still: A rumor emerged that the Americans themselves could be behind the forgeries.


Since the first counterfeit 100-Dollar-Federal-Reserve-Note was discovered at a bank in Manila, Philippines in 1989, there has been great excitement about the issue. Even experts on currency printing have been unable, using visual inspection and touch-testing - the most important tests of authenticity for average citizens - to differentiate the counterfeit 100-Dollar-Notes from the genuine ones. With respect, investigators therefore baptized the forged notes as Supernotes. At that time (1989), several countries were suspected, including the Iranian Mullahs, Syria, Lebanon's Hezbullah, and also the former East Germany. Washington doesn't like to be reminded of this, because today it is convinced that it must be North Korea Possible evidence of this is that North Korean diplomats and businessmen with diplomatic passports have been intercepted over the years with huge bundles of Supernotes in their luggage. In addition, North Korean defectors have spoken of a state-directed counterfeit money operation. But the reliability of these statements is open to question.


Principal witness for this version is a former North Korean economic attaché to Moscow, who in 1998 was caught with $30,000 of Supernotes in the Russian city of Vladivostok. In 2003 he defected to the West and reported that the counterfeiting operation was run for the benefit of Dictator Kim Jong-il's private wallet, and that he was personally involved and responsible for the production of the Supernotes. Since that time, people in Washington have believed that Kim Jong-il not only finances his French Cognac and his missile and nuclear weapons program with Supernotes, but that the forgeries are all that keeps his entire bankrupt economic system from collapsing. America claims to know that Supernotes valued at $250 million are printed in North Korea and brought into circulation every year. Doubts about this are not permitted; the entire American media landscape has self-censored itself over this explosive topic.


The printing of bank notes is an extremely complex technical venture. It is hard for the layperson to imagine the expertise required to produce counterfeit money of the quality of the Supernotes. The banknote paper used for the Supernotes is produced on a so-called Fourdrinier papermaking machine and consists of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. Only the Americans make their currency in this manner. On the Supernotes, neither super-thin polyester security film with the microprint "USA 100" nor the graduated watermarks are missing. For this, the counterfeiters would require at least one papermaking machine. In addition, a chemical and physical analysis of the paper proves that the cotton used in the Supernotes originated in America's Southern States. To be sure, this cotton is freely available on the open market.


Other than the Nazi counterfeit operation of the British Pound note during World War II, in the long history of currency counterfeiting the Supernote is the first ever produced using Intaglio printing . The Supernotes have a perfectly perceptible Intaglio raised print. Therefore, to print such Supernotes, one requires an Intaglio printing press, which is manufactured only by KBA Giori (former DLR Giori) in Wuerzburg, Germany , which the American Federal Reverse and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have used for years to print the dollar.

These special printing machines are not available on the open market. Even the resale of such a machine is reported to Interpol as a matter of routine. In the 1970s, North Korea did possess a standard printing press from the last century, which was indeed manufactured by KBA in Wuerzburg, Germany. But experts say that such a printer would be unable to produce a Supernote without additional equipment. And because of a lack of spare parts, North Korea's printer has been out of order for some time. Today, China is likely printing the currency for its neighbor.


Charges that North Korea secretly procured a modern printing press from KBA Giori during the 1990s are an invention. Pyongyang has been trying to buy new printing presses in Europe, but so far has had no success - if only because it never paid in full for its old standard press. Forensic analysis by a criminal laboratory shows that the security inks used for the Supernotes are identical to those used in genuine notes. That applies even to the expensive OVI color-changing ink, which alters its appearance depending upon angle of the incidence of light; the dollar changes from bronze-green to black. The top-secret OVI ink is produced exclusively by Sicpa of Lausanne, Switzerland . The exclusive inks used by the Federal Reserve are mixed by the American licensee in high-security factories in the United States. This applies to all security inks used in U.S. dollars.

It however cannot be discounted that despite strict controls on the production process, small quantities of these special inks could have been stolen. But it's interesting to ask how the quantities needed for mass production could have gone unnoticed and how the material could have been smuggled across strongly-guarded national borders. It is however true that North Korea was once a customer of Sicpa. Whether Supernotes are printed with genuine inks is easily verified by Sicpa. A secret tagging system allows the backward-tracing of the security ink to the exact production date. Sicpa has refused comment because America is its largest customer.


Another peculiarity concerning dollar notes that emerged starting in 1996 is that every variation implemented by the Fed in the printing of the dollar has been immediately replicated by the counterfeiters. At present, no less than 19 different plates for the Supernotes have been identified, and they are absolutely perfect. Micro-printing sized at only 1/42,000 of an inch are hidden on the new notes, and under a magnifying glass the Supernotes show no deviation from the original. Where ever did the counterfeiters find such specialists?

Washington's thesis of a "Pyongyang Connection" and "economic warfare against America" are not widely believed. Strangely, although the counterfeiters have mastered the technology of the infrared sensitive security inks used on the new Supernotes, the notes are produced in such way that automated currency test systems recognize them immediately as forgeries. In America, the Supernotes have little chance of going undetected. Also suspicious is the fact that the 50-Dollar Supernote, which is even more finely crafted than the 100-Dollar Supernote, is not being circulated by the forgers, even though this denomination is far more widely used by the general public and often goes untested.


If the North Koreans sought economic advantage by counterfeiting Supernotes, then the enterprise must be considered a classic bad investment. According to data from the American secret service, which is responsible for dealing with the counterfeiting of currency, only $50 million worth of Supernotes have been confiscated in the 17 years of their existence. But Kim Jong-il couldn't even buy one of the printing presses he would need for less then $50 million. Neither can counterfeit currency investigators in Europe confirm that the Supernotes come primarily from East Asia. In Europe, these counterfeit notes are routinely removed from circulation after automated inspection by banks. The Supernotes are thought to originate mostly in the Middle East, East Africa and also Russia. From these countries, it is assumed, the false bank notes could have reached North Korea in the course of weapons sales. Japan previously maintained the most intense economic relations with North Korea. But over the years, Japanese police have never been able to confirm an increase in the circulation of the Supernotes. Just the opposite is true, in fact.


South Korean police have stated that indeed, on several occasions in Seoul, considerable quantities of counterfeit dollar notes have been found in the possession of people from Shenyang and Dadong, Chinese cities near the North Korean border. But according to the South Korea police, the last time they detained a North Korean diplomat carrying large quantities of Supernotes occurred many years ago. America's accusations against North Korea are therefore on very shaky ground. And now the pendulum swings back: A rumor has circulated for years among representatives of the security printing industry and counterfeiting investigators that it is the American CIA that prints the Supernotes at a secret printing facility. It is in this facility, thought to be in a city north of Washington D.C., where the printing presses needed to produce the Supernotes is said to be located. The CIA could use the Supernotes to fund covert operations in international crisis zones, and such funds would not be subject to any control by the American Congress. One could comfortably lay the blame for the counterfeit money operation at the feet of Pyongyang's arch enemy.


For a decade and a half, the Supernotes were of interest only to counterfeit money investigators. But by officially accusing Pyongyang for the first time, President George W. Bush made the issue a cornerstone of his policy on the Korean Peninsula. Washington allegedly has “indisputable evidence,” but has refused to disclose it for security reasons. Such a publication is long overdue. Otherwise the public could see parallels to the events that lead to the Iraq War in 2003. At the time, the Americans spoke of “indisputable evidence” that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction to justify their invasion. Afterwards, they had to admit that their “indisputable evidence” was wrong.

*Klaus W. Bender is the author of “Moneymakers, the Secret World of Banknote Printing,” published by Verlag J. Wiley in 2005.