News Round Up (19 May 2007)

"An Open Letter to President Bashar al-Asad," by Patrick Seale, by Patrick Seale, May 17, 2007

Dear Mr. President,

Friends of Syria — and I count myself among them — have been puzzled and saddened by the lengthy jail sentences passed on Syrian political prisoners, human rights activists, and prisoners of conscience. These harsh punishments have attracted worldwide attention and done your country’s reputation great harm.

With the greatest respect, I urge you to review these cases and to grant an early amnesty to the prisoners…..

Patrick Seale speaks for many.

Richard Sale on Chalabi: (This is from Colonel W. Patrick Lang's site) Read the several posts on Chalabi from ex-CIA and others. Extraordinary.

According to more than half a dozen CIA operatives, including former clandestine DO officials, "Agency people became aware that Chalabi had probably been a long-time agent for Iran," in the words of one. These sources, including Whitley Bruner, say that Chalabi was long ago working for Iran in Lebanon, even before the agency recruited him in 1991 and stuck him in as head of the INC. Bruner said of Chalabi: "He never gave the agency any intel on Iran, never submitted to being debriefed.' adding, "He was Iran’s guy."…

In any case, Chalabi got caught fabricating information and the CIA cut him off. He merely went to the Pentagon and the checks kept coming because his fabricated intelligence on Iraq's WMD was so essential to selling the war, this from a man who had already failed four CIA polygraphs so that the agency had issued a "burn" notice on him by the late 1990s.

In 2004, Chalabi betrayed to Iran the fact the NSA was listening to mail belonging to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).  Milt Bearden called me in real distress the day the Iranian channel went off the air.

But Chalabi's real goal was to get rid of the Baathists in Iraq, and get rid of the army. In spite of promises we had made to senior Iraqi military, some of whom facilitated our entry into Iraq in 2003, Bremer, Wolfowitz and Chalabi broke all those promises and the Iraqis joined the insurgency.

The Security Council and the Hariri Tirbunal. (Thanks to Nur-in-Cubicle)

"It's the mildest solution: the Security Council will not appropriate the tribunal as was the case for Rwanda or ex-Yugoslavia. The Security Council will be satisfied with simply unfreezing the situation." This is how an anonymous Western diplomat explained the draft resolution aiming at ensuring the creation of the tribunal to judge the assassins of Rafik Hariri; Chapter VII may or may not be cited. Russia has said it will not veto the resolution but will abstain. (Via L'Orient-Le Jour)

"U.N.`s Lebanon tribunal draft," By William M. Reilly May 19, 2007 

'Many countries,' he said, had hoped the Lebanese could work it out themselves to support such a tribunal.

'Unfortunately there is a deadlock that the Lebanese were not able to settle the issues,' La Sabliere told reporters. 'Members of the Security Council are aware we have to face our responsibilities.'

Said Paris` envoy, 'What we are looking for is to help Lebanon and I would say the draft will unlock what is locked. It is a resolution which will establish a tribunal. It`s a very simple resolution.'

La Sabliere said, 'There is a real commitment from the beginning by the Security Council. The Security Council has to face its responsibility and I am confident it will do it.'

He expressed hope it could be adopted before the end of the month.

An informal count shows at least 11 yes votes and no vetoes.

Russia, a longtime ally of Syria, has not threatened a veto and, because there previously was an agreement in the Security Council for a tribunal 'of an international character,' Moscow can be expected not to vote it down.

The draft measure carries the weight of the U.N. Charter`s Chapter VII, authorizing the use of force, making it mandatory and giving it the weight of international law.

It calls for the court to be established in a 'timely manner' and sit in a location to be determined in consultations between the United Nations and the government of Lebanon. The draft says if Lebanon cannot afford the tribunal, the U.N. secretary-general may accept contributions for its operation.

Comments (2)

annie said:

Dear Josh,
I wish that Seale’s letter had been on the top of your blog for a little while. It has immediately been buried under new posts.

May 20th, 2007, 5:46 am


DJ said:

Damn! This story about Chalabi is startling!!
Is it only me wondering? Or are you guys also struggling with the same question?


Josh, I haven’t read Tenet’s new book (At the Center of the Storm) yet. Have you? I am sure he’d said something about this….

May 20th, 2007, 6:04 am


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