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Friday, July 25, 2014

Unresolved Issues of the Diana and Dodi Inquest

Unresolved Issues of the Diana and Dodi Inquest
by John Morgan © 2008
Emailshining.bright@optusnet.com.au 
Websitehttp://www.thedianaplot.com
Nexus Magazine June-July 2008.  Vol 15, No 4
Was the verdict of the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed sound, or were the Royal Coroner's instructions to the jury part of an ongoing cover-up ofwhat really happened in the Alma Tunnel on 31 August 1997?
Key Witnesses Missed
Lack of Jury Access to Evidence
Inadequacies of Early Investigations
Diana's "Rocking" Ambulance
Diana's Anti-Landmines Campaign
Was There Judicial Bias?
Removal of Murder as a Possible Verdict
The Following Vehicles
Requirement of Jury Unanimity
Did Justice Prevail?
After three-and-a-half days of deliberation, the jury at the British "Coroner's Inquests into the Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mr Dodi Fayed" finally delivered its verdict on Monday 7 April 2008. The 11 jurors sitting in London's Royal Courts of Justice had patiently listened to six months of evidence given by 268 witnesses.1 Their finding was that the 1997 crash which occurred in the Alma Tunnel in Paris had been caused by "unlawful killing, grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes" (transcript, page 5, lines 5-7, page 6, lines 16-18). The Royal Coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, had pointed out that unlawful killing equates to manslaughter.
Did these final inquests (treated hereafter as the singular "inquest") answer the many questions that have surrounded the circumstances of the tragic crash? Did justice prevail, or was the inquest just another major event in continuing the cover-up of what truly happened in the Alma Tunnel on 31 August 1997?
One fact is certain: the over 7,000 pages of inquest transcripts and evidence now comprise the most detailed account that exists of the Paris crash and the circumstances and events surrounding it.
The jury also stated that "the crash was caused or contributed to by the speed and manner of driving" of both the Mercedes and the "following vehicles", and that the Mercedes driver's judgement was impaired "through alcohol" (5.20-24,7.6-10).
This outcome from the inquest followed the French investigation, which was finalised in September 1999,- and the British investigation —Operation Paget —which was completed with the publication of the Paget Report in December 2006 ? Both these investigations found that the Alma Tunnel crash had been caused by a drunk driver, Henri Paul, who was speeding.
Even after these two lengthy inquiries and now the inquest, there still remain critical, unresolved issues.
Key Witnesses MissedDuring his summing up on the morning of 31 March, Lord Justice Scott Baker claimed that the inquest had been extremely thorough and stated that the conspiracy theories regarding the crash "have been examined in the minutest detail through the evidence of over 250 witnesses" (9.21-23). The reality, though, is that there are over 50 important witnesses who were never cross-examined during this inquest. Some of these people's evidence is so central to the conclusions drawn by the jury that the omission of it could cast doubt on the validity of the final verdict.
Because the crash occurred in France, most key witnesses were not residents of the United Kingdom and therefore were outside the jurisdiction of the Royal Coroner. Throughout the inquest, the government of France—where these witnesses generally lived—solidly maintained a position of refusing to cooperate. It failed to enforce the appearance of people who did not wish to be cross-examined.
Included in this group of witnesses is Professor Dominique Lecomte, head of the Paris Institute of Forensic Medicine; she is the pathologist who carried out the first autopsy on the Mercedes driver, Henri Paul. The Paget Report revealed that, during that autopsy, 58 identifiable errors were made, including the failure to identify the body properly. Lecomte also conducted the initial external medical examinations of the bodies of Diana and Dodi.
Another vital witness who evaded an appearance at the inquest is Dr Gilbert Pepin, the Paris toxicologist who carried out the alcohol testing on blood samples from both of Henri Paul's autopsies. It is the results of his testing that led to the high blood-alcohol readings that became the basis of the French and British investigations' conclusion that the crash was caused by a drunk driver.
Generally during this inquest, when a witness was not made available for cross-examination, their statement(s) to the French or British police were read out instead. In the case of Lecomte and Pepin, who both had signed statements with the British police, these statements were not read out to the jury. Thus the jury was not provided with any direct evidence from the two most important witnesses regarding the circumstances in which the alleged blood-alcohol results from the driver of the Mercedes were based—yet it is these blood test results that are central to the jury's finding that Henri Paul was guilty of gross negligence.
It is difficult to overstate the importance to this inquest of the evidence of Lecomte and Pepin. The question has to be asked: if Lecomte and Pepin have nothing to hide, then why did they not want to cooperate with the British inquest?
If Diana, Princess of Wales, was murdered, then Lecomte and Pepin would have played key roles in the aftermath and the ensuing French cover-up.
There are many other important witnesses who were not cross-examined. They include:
•   Tom Richardson, an American tourist who was the first pedestrian to rush  into  the  Alma Tunnel immediately after hearing the noise of  the   crash.     He   was   never interviewed by either the French or the British investigators.
•   David Laurent, who had to swerve to avoid a slow-moving, old-model, light-coloured Fiat Uno-type car as he entered the Alma Tunnel, just  seconds  before  the  crash occurred behind him.   His evidence is critical, as paint from an old-model white Fiat Uno was found on the Mercedes after the crash, and that Fiat Uno has never been officially identified. Laurent also was never interviewed by the British police.
•  Father Frank Gelli, Diana's local Anglican minister at St Mary Abbots Church near Kensington Palace.  He was a friend of Diana, and stated in a media interview in 2000 that Diana had asked him if he would perform the wedding when she married Dodi.   Gelli performs a service in memory of Diana on 31 August each year outside the gates of Kensington Palace.   He was never interviewed by either the French or the Britishinvestigators.
•  Michel Massebeuf, the driver of Diana's ambulance following the crash.   He is one of only three people who were in the ambulance, which didn't deliver Diana to the hospital until 2.06 am—one hour and 41 minutes after the crash.   Massebeuf was never interviewed by the British police.
•  A female student intern who was another one of the three people in Diana's ambulance. She assisted the ambulance doctor and must have been involved in administering Diana's treatment. This woman was never interviewed or named in any police investigation and remains anonymous to this day.
•  Nicholas Langman and Richard Spearman, both MI6 agents who were operating out of the British Embassy in Paris at the end of August 1997.  It has been alleged that both were involved in the organisation of the crash. They both made statements to the British investigators; these were not included in the Paget Report and were not read to the jury during the inquest.
Lack of Jury Access to Evidence
The entire inquest process was hamstrung by the fact that witnesses were unable to recall clearly the detail of events that occurred so long ago. Throughout the six months of evidence, there were countless instances where those being cross-examined said: "I'm sorry. It is ten years ago now. I cannot remember."
For the jury, this problem was exacerbated by the antiquated rule whereby they were unable to have access to the earlier official statements of cross-examined witnesses, which had been given during the initial French investigation and the later British Operation Paget. Many of the French eyewitness statements were taken within hours of the crash. It should be obvious to all concerned that these original statements, taken very soon after the events, would provide more accuracy than witness cross-examination over 10 years later. On the morning of 11 December 2007, the jurors themselves requested access to these statements. After some discussion in the Court, Lord Justice Scott Baker's decision was: "No, you cannot have the statements" (66.7).
It is evident that if this had been an inquest without a jury, then the Coroner would have had access to all witness statements. Why should a jury have been any different?
Inadequacies of Early Investigations
The failure of the French authorities to carry out a thorough and adequate investigation in the first place, when the events were still fresh in the minds of key witnesses, also contributed to the difficulties that faced the inquest.
Take, for instance, the evidence of Alberto Repossi, the jeweller who sold Dodi Fayed the "engagement ring" (he was cross-examined on 10 December 2007). Repossi was never interviewed by the French, and thus his first testimony was not taken until the British Operation Paget officers interviewed him in September 2005, eight years after the crash.
Likewise, Brian Anderson (17 October 2007. afternoon), a passenger in a taxi following behind the Mercedes and thus a key eyewitness to the crash, according to police records was never interviewed by the French. His first official testimony was taken by British officers on 31 August 2004, precisely seven years after the events he had to describe. To the shame of both the French and the British investigators, there are no records of any attempts being made to locate the driver of the taxi that Brian Anderson was in.
American Joanna da Costa (formerly Luz) (22 October 2007, afternoon), one of the first two pedestrian eyewitnesses on the crash scene, was never interviewed by the French investigators. Her only interview was taken by the British police on 23 August 2004, but for some unknown reason this testimony was never included in the official police Paget Report.
Where delays of up to a decade or more in the hearing of evidence have occurred, it is obvious that the accuracy of testimony could have been compromised.
The recently completed inquest did, however, help to highlight the some of the areas where the early French investigation failed abysmally. For example, the inquest showed up mistakes made during the initial night-time investigations. Under cross-examination, French investigators blamed some of these errors on poor lighting. Sergeant Thierry Clotteaux (6 November, afternoon) admitted that "the lights were not so great" (50.17-18). Another police investigator, Hubert Pourceau (6 November, morning), stated that a 19-metre-long (Mercedes) tyre mark (7 November, 16.5-9) was missed "...because it was night-time and it was not very visible. They couldn't see it" (40.12-13).
This begs the question: where was the forensic lighting that one would expect at any night-time crash scene, let alone the scene of arguably the most important car crash of the 20th century?
Investigators revealed that during the night they had to rely on the lights of the emergency vehicles; then, after those vehicles had left the scene, they were reduced to using the dim tunnel lighting.   Apparently they didnt even have their own torches!
Diana's "Rocking" AmbulanceOn the morning of 17 October 2007, a statement given to the French investigation by Thierry Orban, a photographic reporter, was read out to the inquest. Referring to the ambulance carrying Princess Diana, Orban stated: "I then followed the ambulance, preceded by motorcyclists and followed by a police car which kept us at a distance. After the Pont d'Austerlitz, opposite the Natural History Museum, the ambulance stopped, the driver got out hurriedly and got into the back. That was when I took the only photo of the ambulance, which is in any case blurred. It was rocking, as if they were doing a cardiac massage" (12.25, 13.1-8). This stoppage occurred within 500 metres of the hospital gates.
In his statement to Operation Paget, Dr Martino, who was inside the ambulance, explained the situation: "I had the vehicle stopped in order to re-examine the Princess... I did not do any cardiac massage at that moment but it is not easy to do cardiac massage or resuscitation with a vehicle moving" (Report, p. 515).
The ambulance driver Michel Massebeuf s statement to the French investigation was read to the inquest on the morning of 14 November. He described what happened: "However, in front of the Jardin des Plantes, the doctor [Martino] asked me to stop. We stopped for about five minutes, in order for him to be able to provide treatment that required a complete absence of movement" (23.15-20).
This evidence raises the question: why did Thierry Orban witness a rocking ambulance if there was no cardiac massage taking place and "complete absence of movement" was required? This question was not put to Dr Martino when he was cross-examined on the afternoon of 24 January 2008.
The statements by Thierry Orban and Michel Massebeuf were both inexplicably omitted from the Paget Report. Also, it is not known why Orban and Massebeuf were not cross-examined during this inquest.
Diana's Anti-Landmines CampaignA significant portion of inquest time was dedicated to evidence regarding the possibility that Diana was pregnant at the time of her death. This is a proposition put forward by the conspiracy camp as a possible motive for murder. The evidence, or lack thereof, has always indicated that this would appear to be an issue impossible to prove either way.
If Diana was murdered, more likely as possible motives would have been other factors: the rapidly developing relationship between Diana and Dodi, and Diana's prominent and effective involvement in the international anti-landmines campaign.
Diana's anti-landmines activity was a possible motive for murder that was almost completely ignored by the 832-page Paget Report, produced by Lord Stevens in December 2006.
Michael Mansfield, QC, acting on behalf of Dodi Fayed's father Mohamed Al Fayed throughout the inquest, provided some compelling arguments regarding her campaign. During his cross-examination of the Conservative former Minister for the Armed Forces, The Hon. Nicholas Soames, MP (12 December 2007, afternoon), Mansfield quoted Soames's Tory colleagues at the time. One told Diana: "Don't meddle with things about which you know nothing" (81.15-16). Another described Diana as a "loose cannon" (75.25) when referring to her visit to the minefields of Angola in January 1997. Soames himself in 1997 portrayed Diana, Princess of Wales, as a "totally unguided missile" (64.6).
Soames is alleged by Diana's close friend Simone Simmons to have directly threatened Diana with an "accident" if she continued with her anti-landmines activities. On the morning of 10 January 2008, Simmons gave evidence regarding a four-inch-thick anti-landmines dossier, titled "Profiting Out Of Misery", which Diana compiled in the last year of her life. Simmons stated that Diana claimed the dossier "...would prove that the British Government and many high-ranking public figures were profiting from their [landmines] proliferation in countries like Angola and Bosnia. The names and companies were well known, it was explosive and top of her list of culprits behind this squalid trade was the Secret Intelligence Service, the SIS [MI6], which she believed was behind the sale of so many of the British-made landmines that were causing so much misery to so many people. 'I'm going to go public with this and name names,' she declared" (52.13-22).
London Daily Mail journalist and close friend of Diana, Richard Kay, said in his testimony to the inquest on 20 December (morning) that he received a phone call from Diana just hours before she died. He confirmed that during this call the Princess stated that she fully intended to "complete her obligations to...the anti-personnel landmines cause" (28.17-18). Kay said that this would have involved a future visit to the minefields of South East Asia.
Was There Judicial Bias?
During Lord Justice Scott Baker's two-and-a-half days of summing up to the jury, he made some statements that should be subjected to scrutiny.
On the afternoon of 31 March 2008, during his discussion of Diana's fears for her life, the Coroner stated: "One might have thought that if Diana had really feared for her life, she would have mentioned it to Mohamed Al Fayed at the time of the conversation with him shortly before the crash, when he said she told him she was pregnant and engaged" (129.23-25, 130.1-2).
In saying this, Baker appeared to disregard the fact that Diana could not possibly have known the crash was about to occur. Why would she particularly mention it at that stage when she was on holiday, happy and in love, and she had already discussed her fears with Mohamed Al Fayed earlier during that summer.
Early on 1 April, during his summing up of evidence given by Diana's butler Paul Burrell (14-16 January 2008), Baker recounted what Burrell alleges he was told by Her Majesty the Queen in December 1997: "Be careful, Paul; no one has been as close to a member of my family as you have. There are powers at work in this country of which we have no knowledge. Do you understand?" (5.9-12)
The Coroner then went on to say: "Members of the jury, assuming something like those words were said, you may think it stretches one's imagination to breaking point to conclude that they have the remotest thing to do with a staged collision in a tunnel three and a half months before" (5.18-22).
Burrell had only recently lost his boss in a car crash, the circumstances of which raised many unanswered questions. Yet Baker was effectively making out that the jurors were fools if they saw any connection between the Paris crash and the Queen's comment. Given the context in which Burrell had met his former boss, the Queen, because of post-crash events, and given that the meeting was within a few months of the crash, it seems reasonably logical that the comment could have had some connection with the crash.
Later on the same day, 1 April, Baker summarised the evidence of David Laurent, who was driving through the tunnel ahead of the Mercedes immediately before the crash. In his statements that were read to the jury on the morning of 11 October 2007, Laurent related that he had to swerve to avoid a slow-moving car as he entered the Alma Tunnel. Baker stated that Laurent described this car as "a small light hatchback" (107.3-4). A closer look at David Laurent's evidence shows that he gave two descriptions of this car. In his first statement, given to the French police on 14 October 1997, he said: "It was a small light-coloured hatchback car" (23.17). His second statement, given to the French police in April 1998, has more detail: "It was an old model, a light coloured, white or beige, a Fiat Uno type car" (53.2-3). The Coroner changed "light coloured, white or beige" to "light", giving a completely different meaning to the description (107.4). Furthermore, he failed to mention "old model" and "Fiat Uno type car".
Laurent's evidence is important because it indicates that the Fiat Uno, which made contact with the Mercedes immediately before the main crash, was seen moving slowly beforehand. This could corroborate later evidence given by Souad Moufakkir (6 November, afternoon), who also claimed to have seen the Fiat Uno slowing down prior to the crash. Laurent's evidence of the Uno being an old model was corroborated by George Dauzonne (29 October, morning), who was a witness to the Fiat Uno as it left the tunnel after the crash.
Removal of Murder as a Possible Verdict
On the morning of 31 March, at the start of his summing up, Lord Justice Scott Baker announced to the jury that he was withdrawing murder from the possible verdicts available to them. He stated: "My direction in law to you is that it is not open to you to find that Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed in a staged accident" (13.25, 14.1-2).
Baker went on to explain: "When a coroner leaves a verdict of unlawful killing, in this case on the basis of a staged accident, to a jury, he must identify to the jury the evidence on which they could be sure of such a conclusion. But in this case sufficient evidence simply does not exist" (14.11-15).
In what then may have seemed confusing to the jury, Baker continued: "This does not, however, mean that all the suggestions you have heard about the possibility of a staged crash are irrelevant.
Because there is some evidence, albeit limited and of doubtful quality, that the crash was staged, it will be necessary for you to consider it in the context of the five verdicts that are open to you" (14.18-24).
Baker appeared to be conceding that there was evidence of a staged crash, but not enough to enable him to allow the jury to be given the opportunity to decide that it was murder.
This inquest was conducted in the midst of a background of unanswered questions regarding the crash that occurred in circumstances which have led millions of people around the world to believe it is possible that Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed were murdered. The jury members faithfully sat there through the six months of evidence, believing they had been assigned the task of determining whether this was in fact the case.
It could be argued that, at the very last moment, the Coroner virtually pulled the rug out from underneath the inquest. The very purpose of the inquest was to establish whether Diana and Dodi were murdered.
The very purpose of having a jury make the decision was in order to remove the possibility of an Establishment cover-up. What happened is that at the very end of the inquest. Coroner Baker ruled that the jury should no longer be entrusted with the power to decide on whether a murder took place. In so doing, instead of quelling allegations of a cover-up, Baker added fuel to them.
The Following Vehicles
After this decision by the Coroner, the jury was left with five possible verdicts (31.24-25, 32.1-6):
1)   unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles);
2)    unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the Mercedes);
3)         unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes);
4)         accidental death;
5)         open verdict.
In giving these options, the Coroner also removed the possibility of the Mercedes's contact with the white Fiat Uno— which was travelling ahead of the Mercedes as it entered the tunnel—having an influence on the crash. During the inquest, clear forensic evidence was shown that proved the Mercedes was involved in a collision with this car. Because the Fiat Uno was in front of the Mercedes, it cannot be included in the term "following vehicles" in the possible verdict provided to the jury. Baker has failed to explain why he removed the Fiat Uno from suspicion as a possible cause of the crash.
As discussed earlier, the jury chose the third option: "unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles and of the Mercedes)".
The reason that the description is "following vehicles" is because these vehicles remain unidentified. It is therefore very surprising that in virtually every media report describing the jury verdict, the words "following vehicles" have been replaced by the word "paparazzi". There is actually no evidence which indicates that these vehicles were in fact driven by paparazzi.
Eyewitnesses near the Alma Tunnel described several motorbikes closely pursuing or surrounding the Mercedes as it entered the tunnel:
•  Olivier Partouche, a chauffeur who was standing near his car across the road from the tunnel, witnessed a Mercedes "immediately followed by a number of motorcycles" (24
October, morning, 6.9-10).
•  Francois Levistre, who was travelling ahead of the Mercedes, described seeing through his rear-vision mirror a "vehicle surrounded on either side by motorbikes" in his first statement made to French police on 1 September 1997, one day after the crash (Paget Report, p. 455; also see inquest transcript, 15 October, afternoon).
•  Brian Anderson, who was travelling in a taxi that was overtaken by the speeding vehicles, described three motorbikes that "were in a cluster, like a swarm around the Mercedes" (17 October, afternoon, 98.24-25).
Thus the eyewitness evidence clearly shows that the "following vehicles" mentioned in the jury verdict are in fact several motorbikes that were seen very close to the Mercedes as it entered the Alma Tunnel.
On the afternoon of 2 October 2007, Scott Baker identified eight paparazzi who were near the Mercedes as it left Place de la Concorde. They were Benhamou, Guizard, Odekerken, Martinez, Arnal, Rat, Darmon and Chassery (95.10-11). It was also revealed that Benhamou rode a green Honda scooter; Guizard drove a grey Peugeot 205; Odekerken drove a Mitsubishi Pajero; Martinez and Arnal were in a black Fiat Uno; Rat and Darmon were on a blue Honda 650 motorcycle; and Chassery drove a black Peugeot 205 (94.3-10). This evidence shows that of the paparazzi pursuing the Mercedes, there was actually only one motorbike, a Honda 650. All the other pursuing paparazzi were either in cars or on a scooter.
On 7 November 2007, Paget accident investigator Anthony Read revealed to the inquest that French investigators had conducted tests on the performance of a Honda 650, comparing it with the Mercedes S280 (afternoon, 103). They found that at full acceleration over 1,400 metres, the Honda 650 was the equivalent of 17 per cent slower than the Mercedes. Darmon, who was driving the Honda, gave evidence to the inquest (29 October, afternoon) that he lost sight of the Mercedes after he turned right, onto the expressway, after leaving Place de la Concorde. With Rat his passenger, they were the first of the paparazzi to arrive at the crash scene.
After analysing the evidence, it becomes very clear that it is quite impossible for any of the motorbikes surrounding or closely pursuing the Mercedes as it entered the Alma Tunnel to have carried paparazzi. Instead, the motorbikes were unidentified— which is why they have been described in the jury's verdict simply as "the following vehicles".
It is clear, however, from early eyewitness evidence that camera flashes were seen on the expressway just before the Alma Tunnel:
• Bruno Bouaziz, a French police lieutenant, said in his 31 August 1997 statement, which was read out to the jury on the afternoon of 12 November 2007: "Witnesses told the first police to arrive at the scene that the Princess's car was travelling at high speed, chased by photographers on motorcycles. Others saw the Mercedes slowed down by a Ford Mondeo vehicle  so that photographers riding motorcycles could take photographs" (118.18-23).
•  Olivier Partouche said in a statement taken six hours after the crash:   "...I think that I saw flashes before the vehicles disappeared into the underpass" (24 October, morning, 26.1-3).
•  Clifford Gooroovadoo, who was standing near Partouche, said in his first statement, taken two hours after the crash, that he "saw a motorbike with two people on it and also saw that the pillion passenger of this motorbike was taking one photo after another in the direction of the vehicle that was making the noise [the Mercedes]" (12 March 2008, morning, 76.20-23).
•  Benoit Boura (24 October, morning) was travelling eastbound (the opposite way to the Mercedes) towards the Alma Tunnel. He said in his second statement of 31 August 1997 that "before all this [the crash] happened, therefore before entering the tunnel, I saw flashes in the distance" (Paget Report, p. 454).
On the morning of 27 November 2007, Baker himself stated: "I am very interested in trying to find any...photographs showing the journey of the Mercedes before the collision" (48.12-15).
It is evident that if these photos of Diana and Dodi's final moments before the crash had been taken by paparazzi, then they would be worth millions of pounds and somehow they would have surfaced after the crash—whether in newspapers, TV or over the Internet. But no such photos have ever been published.
This raises the question: who took these photos through the untinted windows of the Mercedes S280 on its final trip? Were they men on motorbikes masquerading as paparazzi with the purpose of harming the occupants of the Mercedes, but hoping that blame would later be attributed to the paparazzi?
It is to the shame of both the French and British inquiries that, after five years of "thorough" investigation, none of these motorbikes has been identified.
There are also motorbikes—probably the same ones—that were seen fleeing the crash scene, and cars including the white Fiat Uno that were witnessed fleeing after the crash. The reality is that the police on both sides of the Channel have only ever officially identified one vehicle in this entire case, and that is the crashed Mercedes S280.
The question must be raised: if the riders, passengers and drivers of the vehicles that were clearly witnessed fleeing the crash scene have nothing to hide, why is it that not one of them has come forward to explain their actions?
Requirement of Jury UnanimityOn the morning of 31 March 2008, as Coroner Scott Baker commenced his lengthy summing up, he instructed the jury: "Whatever your verdict, whether unlawful killing, accident or open, it must be unanimous. There are circumstances in which a majority verdict can be accepted, but they have not arisen in this case and, if they do, I shall give you a separate direction about it" (15.5-10).
Later, on the morning of 2 April, just before he sent the jury out to deliberate, he reiterated: "With each verdict, whether unlawful killing, accident or open, it must be the verdict of all 11 of you" (51.22-23).
At 3.30 pm on 7 April, after the jury had been out for three-and-a-half days without reaching a unanimous verdict, the Coroner told them: "The position is this, that the time has now been reached when I am able to accept from you a verdict upon which at least nine of you are agreed" (full-day transcript, 3.15-18).
There is no correlation between Baker's earlier requirement that the verdict must be unanimous, and his later statement that some sort of mysterious time limit had been reached and the rules could be changed to a majority of nine being acceptable. The Coroner had already stated on 31 March that the "circumstances in which a majority verdict can be accepted have not arisen in this case". On 7 April, he made no attempt to explain in what way the circumstances had now changed to enable a majority verdict to be acceptable.
This evidence indicates that, in reality, the result in the case of the inquest into the deaths of Diana and Dodi should have been a hung jury.
Did Justice Prevail?Did the inquest achieve justice for Diana, Princess of Wales, Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul?
The following restraints were placed on the jury:
•  no access to original witness statements, despite the crash having occurred over 10 years before:
•  a large number of crucial witnesses failing to give evidence and not being required to;
•  removal by the Coroner of murder as a possible verdict open to the jury.
Was the inquest really thorough?
Were the jury members provided with the evidence that really would have enabled them to achieve a unanimous verdict?
Did the Coroner place trust in the ability of the jury to be able to decide on the evidence?
It seems almost unfair that the jury should have been expected to reach a verdict in the above circumstances. It is as though the jury members achieved a verdict with at least one hand tied behind their back.
It would also seem likely that the general public's perception, that the British and French governments have not been up front about the circumstances and events surrounding the Paris crash, would seem justified by the way in which this inquest was conducted.
To those who say "It's over ten years now; it's time to move on": does the fact that a crime or a gross injustice occurred a decade ago mean that it is of less importance and significance than if it happened yesterday?
It is this attitude of public complacency and wanting to "move on" by so many people that has helped enable one of the greatest crimes and, equally, one of the greatest cover-ups  of our  time  to  have  been perpetrated and successfully carried out.
Endnotes
1.   To view and download transcripts and other published material from the "Coroner's Inquests into the Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mr Dodi Al Fayed", go to http://www.scottbakerinquests.gov.uk.  Note that the page numbering in the transcripts is at the bottom of each page.
2.   To view and download an English translation of the final report by the Public Prosecutor's Office in Paris, originally obtained by the London Sunday Times, go to http://www.geocities.com/wellesley/6226/report.htm?200613.
3. To view and download the Operation Paget inquiry report, go to http://www.met.police.uk/news/operation_paget_report.htm.
About the Author:John Morgan is an investigative journalist and writer based in Brisbane, Australia. Since 2005, he has carried out extensive full-time research into the circumstances surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. His book, Cover-up of a Royal Murder: Hundreds of Errors in the Paget Report (available from http://www.thedianaplot.  com and http://www.allbookstores.com ), is reviewed in this edition of NEXUS.
John    Morgan    can    be   contacted    by   email    at shining.bright@optusnet.com.au.

Rudolph Hess: New Perspectives on an Old Mystery

Rudolph Hess: New Perspectives on an Old Mystery
 T Stokes – November 10, 2010
Some years ago on Christmas Eve I was invited to attend a 70th birthday celebration held for ex-intelligence personnel.
An amusing senior policeman who told filthy jokes introduced me to an inebriated old chap dozing in front of a fire who had been at guard at Spandau prison, where Hess was held.
Almost word for word I remember what he said to me and I repeat it here:
“The history books say that Hess, the third most powerful man in Germany, who had bodyguards 24 hours a day, could not even go to the toilet on his own, yet we are told he slipped away from them, went to an airfield which was guarded in time of war, got in without being recognised, bolted on extra large fuel tanks without being challenged, gave a signature for fuel, and warmed up the engine for the statutory 20 minutes without being stopped, Britain was at war with Germany and anyone stealing an aeroplane was shot down instantly, yet although there were no maps, he knew exactly where to fly to in Scotland, British interception fighters were told keep away,”
So I then asked him what exactly was he was telling me?
Luring Hess to Britain, he said, was an MI6 “sting operation” to embarrass Hitler.
Hess told us that the Katyn Forest massacre was the work of Stalin’s N.K.V.D, which we already knew although we blamed Germany.
Hess also said that Hitler wanted peace with us and that Germany, Britain and the U.S were all part of the Anglo Saxon brotherhood and he did not want war among them. Particularly he wanted Churchill to stop bombing civilians.
Remember that at Dunkirk Hitler allowed the British army to escape. He could have annihilated our forces as they were largely defenceless in the water, but he wanted our forces strong because all through the war, we were negotiating with Germany over the seriousness of the Soviet threat.
The former Spandau guard said Hess was “fitted up at the Nuremberg trials and given a life sentence, he was also given mind altering drugs, which made him appear mad before the trial, and all Germans were beaten and serially kicked in the groin, on Churchill’s orders.”
Hess desperately wanted to discuss the “Jewish question” but Britain, controlled by the international financiers themselves, refused.
A prominent Rothschild among them is on record as saying and I quote:
“There will be no room in the new land for schorrers” (beggars or poor Jews).
Some years later I discussed this with a senior wartime MI6 officer who said:
“No one in the prison (Spandau) is allowed to speak to Hess, he has not been allowed to speak for 25 years, the whisper is, that the man in prison is not Hess at all because the prison doctor claims he does not have Hess’s chest or leg wounds from WWI”.
Sir. Anthony Blunt added to this by saying Britain knew it was the Soviet forces who liquidated thousands of the Polish intelligentsia at Katyn forest. The concern in Oxford and Cambridge Universities was that if Russia conquered Britain, our intelligentsia would go the same way.
The father of ex BBC TV producer John Leigh, was in wartime intelligence and he was personally involved in Hess’s capture. According to Leigh: “I was given a map and told to go immediately on my motorbike and sidecar to pick up a very distinguished German who was landing in Scotland and pick him up and bring him here, before the others got him”.
His reference to getting to Hess “before the others got him” is telling because it indicates that British intelligence may have been at odds over him.
Neville Chamberlain had made extensive inquiries through security sources as Hitler rose to power, and Admiral Barry Domvile had AIPs (agents in place) right at the top of the Third Reich and he insisted Hitler was not a threat to Britain but to Russia.
I also managed to get a statement from one of Hess’s arresting officers who confirmed much of what I had already been told, but added, that Hess was expected in his aircraft.
He also said Hess was being drugged to make him appear “mad” and believed that Hess was switched with another prisoner. The arresting officer said it was rumoured that Hess was with the King’s brother and peacemaker, the Duke of Kent on a flight over Scotland when it came down killing all aboard.
Anthony Blunt claimed Britain did not want to shorten W.W.II with the treaty brought by Hess and rejected it without consultation.
Churchill said many times he wanted “total war” and “the complete elimination of Germany, as a nation”.
Those phrases, “ The complete elimination of Germany as a nation” and “total war” were used consistently by the Rothschild financial backers who put Churchill into power at the start of World War II.
During the Arab/Israeli 6 day war a highly placed Rabbbi and good friend who advised on the Nuremberg trials, gave me further back up information.
That Churchill was in the grip of these men there can be no doubt, it is documented that he was a 33rd degree mason, had been involved in unsavoury occult practises and made his personal fortunes during the Boer war by protecting Jewish investment in the South African diamond and gold mines.
Finally I’ll close by asking if you can answer the question: “name one person who was in Churchill’s war cabinet”? The answer may seem evasive because this was the age of dictators like Franco, Mussolini, Hirohito, Stalin, Hitler and yes, Churchill too.
This strange situation was created and manipulated by the moneymen for their benefit. These dictators were just like chess pieces on a board used to play each other for profit. With the ultimate winners in their wars being the moneylenders, the international financiers who funded the conflicts and profited from them too.
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Who's Inciting Anti-Semitism?

Who's Inciting Anti-Semitism?

Copyright ©1996 by Michael A. Hoffman II
The international campaign to jail and censor writers, artists and historians who have the temerity to question or doubt the dimensions of the gildedShoahboat--the gas chambers, kabbalistic six million figures and similar relics of "Holocaust" religiosity--is associated almost exclusively with the snoops and turnkeys of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
In other words, this inquisition is identified in the public mind with Jews, or at least those self-appointed spokesmen for the Jewish people who hold court in the corporate media.
Some Jews threatened to kill David Irving and his editor at St. Martin's Press, last March, if the contract to publish Irving's biography of Joseph Goebbels wasn't canceled. (It was canceled).
What is most amusing about the suppression of Irving's book, on grounds that it's a Nazi screed, is the fact that it's actually one of the most withering indictments of a top Nazi ever penned in any language, including Hebrew!
But since Irving's history doesn't toe the total "Holocaust" line, he's been consigned to outer darkness. The Zionists disapprove of history writing. They require theology masquerading as history.
In Germany and France, the Zionist hounds are barking in the ears of judges and prosecutors, demanding imprisonment for more than a dozen scientists, professors and writers who do not agree with certain Jewish notions about WWII.
French writer Roger Garaudy stated in his recent book, The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics, that the Zionist state is using Auschwitz gas chamber tales to excuse its massacres of Palestinians. For writing this he is facing prison on a charge of "denying crimes against humanity."
The hypocrisy of the charge is revealed by the fact that no Jew in France has been arrested for denying the "crime against humanity" that occurred in Qana, Lebanon, on April 18, when Israelis massacred nearly 100 Arab refugees who had taken shelter at a United Nations base.
An 83 year old Capuchin monk, Abbé Pierre, who was once voted France's most popular man for his charitable work, lost his halo as soon as he performed the most basic duty of friendship--refusing to condemn his friend, Garaudy, for having written a book the Jews and the Jewish Cardinal Lustiger, don't like. Abbé Pierre actually had to go into hiding in Italy.
Dr. Robert Faurisson of the Sorbonne has been on a criminal trial merry-go-round for the past decade, because he's written books doubting homicidal gas chambers. In 1989 he was nearly beaten to death. Faurisson's colleague, Henri Roques, forfeited his doctorate after submitting a thesis skeptical of gassings.
In Germany, historian Udo Walendy has just been sentenced to 18 months in prison for publishing skeptical gas chamber research. Max Planck Institute Chemist Gemar Rudolf has been ordered to prison because his studies in Auschwitz contradict the official claims. He has had to flee Germany to avoid a two year prison sentence.
Last August, the elderly American writer Hans Schmidt ended up in a German jail after prosecutors charged him with writing an anti-Zionist newsletter in America (Schmidt was released on bail in January and fled to Florida).
Writer Günter Deckert languishes in prison for the 'crimes' he committed with his pen (Günter Deckert Freedom Committee, c/o G. Coletti, Box 61221, Pasadena, CA 91106).
Gary Lauck of Nebraska, publisher of a right wing newspaper, is serving a four year sentence in Germany. The U.S. Consul General said he has not "registered any concerns with Washington" regarding Lauck's treatment or legal due process in the case. Media access to Lauck is restricted.
In Canada, David Irving was handcuffed and deported. (He is banned from entering Australia as well). Canada is the billionaire Bronfman family's fiefdom (Edgar Bronfman Sr. once called the people of Austria, "dirty anti-Semitic dogs"). Bronfman, the head of the World Jewish Congress, financed the Marilyn Manson rock album, "Anti-Christ Superstar." The cover art sports a stylized SS rune. When kosher Judeo-Nazism is used as a marketing gimmick by Jewish moguls themselves, to sell CDs and rake in the dollars, it is entirely permissible. In fact, it becomes a a top ten hit on the record charts.
The Canadian government has thus far prosecuted publisher Ernst Zündel twice for distributing the book, Did Six Million Really Die? Having failed to silence him by public means, he is now being subjected to secret star chamber proceedings within Canada's security bureaucracy. Zündel's house was destroyed by arson in 1995.
The list of infidel intellectuals facing jail, censorship or violence for their dissent from Zionist doctrine is, to borrow a phrase from Wordsworth, continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the Milky Way.
The rabbis are persecuting men and women who cannot find it in their conscience to assent to official dogma about World War II. And while Wiesenthal & Co. are riding high for the moment, one wonders if they have not blundered badly and provoked a backlash. Freedom of speech is something almost genetic in the American and European people. It has been the defining right which distinguished us for centuries from the Oriental empires of the Ottomans and Mongols.
Christopher Hitchens has come to Irving's defense, in the pages of Vanity Fair, calling on historians to debate Irving, and for an end to the censorship of his books as well as recognition that he is "...a great historian...Few contemporary scholars of the Third Reich have his depth of knowledge."
When the Germans, at the insistence of the Zionist Wiesenthal Center, blocked access to Zündel's web-page on the Internet, students on-line at schools like the Carnegie Institute, defiantly "mirrored" Zündel's page on their own web-sites. And the defiance is growing.
For many years the renegade chief rabbi of the Satmar, Joel Teitelbaum, claimed the Zionist movement had a vested interest in provoking anti-Semitism. It seems as if the Satmarer rebbe had a point.

Revelation of the Method and the Murder of Spirit



Revelation of the Method and the Murder of Spirit

A Page from the Cryptocracy's Psychological Warfare Manual

by Michael A. Hoffman II
No, this isn't a column about ectoplasm or the Fox Sisters; but the epistemology of mass suppression of spirit, soul and mind; in other words, a page from the Cryptocracy's own psychological warfare manual.
In the June 5, 2006 edition of the New York Times, there appeared on one-third of page A19, an illustrated report on the concept that the 9/11 terror attacks were US government-sponsored. The article was titled "For 9/11 Conspiracy Buffs, A Chance to Compare Notes." It was reported by Alan Feuer.
If we were not in the alchemical "Must Be" stage of the "Making Manifest of All that is Hidden" era, then this NY Times report would have never seen print, or the reporter would have merely poked fun, or suggested that 9/11 conspiracy investigators are fit mainly for the booby hatch, in the American tradition of what Richard Hofstadter sneeringly termed "paranoid style."
Nothing of the kind in this report, however. The New York Times graciously called the 9/11 investigators  "skeptics and scientists." Even the website of these dissenters was provided: 911Truth.org
The anomaly that is the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, which was not attacked in any discernible manner, but mysteriously fell anyway, was cited rather than avoided. Also noted by the Times are incendiary topics such as the collapse of the World Trade Center towers through "controlled demolition," and the fact that "the military command that monitors aircraft 'stood down' on the day of the attacks." This is just the sort of sensitive, hidden data that ought to make the Cryptocracy squirm, unless the Cryptocracy itself approved its release for purposes of Revelation of the Method.
Physics Prof. Steven E. Jones is recognized by the NY Times as the antidote to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Report, which claims to debunk the notion that the collapse of WTC building 7 was any kind of anomaly. A long URL is furnished for Prof. Jones' rebuttal paper.
The tenor of the New York Times report is mostly respectful. It all but affirms that there's a good case for believing the US government did this to its own citizens. That's quite an astounding concession in the nation's "newspaper of record," in an article taking up one-third of page 19 in the paper's first section, under the headline "New York Report." 
The June 5 Times report is unprecedented; it should have made huge waves: Bush's press secretary should have been asked about it, Ann Coulter should have been confronted; Prof. Jones should have been on all the news networks. The New York Times should have editorialized. Instead, just a few tiny blips of reaction on the media screen and then, flatline.
I promised at the beginning of this column to take you on a foray into the control epistemology of the Cryptocracy, so here goes. The "Revelation of the Method" is a deadly weapon in the hands of the enemies of the Establishment, in those times past when the American people were possessed of an alert mind, an awakened consciousness, concentrated will-power and not too many distractions.
Today, amnesia, apathy and distractions both digital and consumer cornucopic, are all-pervasive, except when people are cued by the Establishment to become outraged, as in the outrage generated on behalf of Darfur and a few years before that, for Kosovo. This is official outrage. Unofficial, spontaneous, grassroots outrage is harder to find. 
When the New York Times, an organ of the System itself, strongly hints that the US government is complicit in the murder of thousands of its own citizens - - and as a result of this revelation there are no sustained street protests, mass rallies, riots, pickets, lawsuits, televised hearings, booing and hissing of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush and Ashcroft whenever they attend public forums; no special investigations by the newspaper and television journalists - - then murder of our spirits is taking place on a mass scale and the Cryptocracy's gamble in revealing this information, is paying off.
It is risky to reveal to the people what has been done to them by the gangster class that lords it over them. Patently, in the wake of the revelation, the risk is one of reprisal, retribution and rage by the people. But where there is little or none of that, then the Cryptocracy has tripled its hold on the minds and hearts of Americans: it has strongly hinted about the mass murder it committed on Sept. 11 and yet, there are few significant repercussions. This non-reaction tends to demonstrate that the people of the US accept, at the subliminal level of their consciousness, that their own leaders are mass murderers of their fellow citizens, and mostly what they do in return is shake it off and head to the mall.
If the Federal government succeeds in another big attack on America by means of its Islamic patsies, it could well tip our country over into military rule. Bringing the behind-the-scenes perpetrators of the first 9/11 attacks to justice, prevents the state's orchestration of a second attack, the one that most likely would lead to martial law tyranny and the eclipse of the American dream of liberty. But even after revelations in the June 5 New York Times - - replete with directions to web pages that give strong evidence of an official role in the terror attacks - - Atlas shrugs. 
This is a less-than-human response, a result of the alchemical processing of humanity, the devolution from angel to beast.
There you have it, a page from the real-time psychological warfare manual of the Cryptocracy.
Copyright©2006 RevisionistHistory.org 
For further research:
by Michael A. Hoffman II

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cleansing Lydda & Ramla

Cleansing Lydda & Ramla

Upon Lydda's and Ramla's occupation on July 11-12, 1948, the Israelis were surprised to find that over 60,000 Palestinian civilians didn't flee their homes. Subsequently, Ben-Gurion ordered the wholesale expulsion of all civilians (including man women, children, and old people), in the middle of the hot Mediterranean summer. The orders to ethnically cleanse both cities were signed the future Prime Minister of Israel, by Yitzhak Rabin. Many of the refugees died (400+ according to the Palestinian historian 'Aref al-'Aref) from thirst, hunger, and heat exhaustion after being stripped of their valuables on the way out by the Israeli soldiers.
From the quotes below, it shall be conclusively proven that the Palestinian version of the events (at least in the cases of Lydda and Ramla) is the true version. It should be noted the Zionist account of this war crime was intentionally suppressed until Yitzhak Rabin reported it in his biography and in a New York Times  interview (which was censored in Israel at the time), however, it was later confirmed in the declassified Israeli and Zionist archives.
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Famous Quotes

Yitzhak Rabin wrote in his diary soon after Lydda's and Ramla's occupation on 10th-11th of July 1948:
"After attacking Lydda [later called Lod] and then Ramla, .... What would they do with the 50,000 civilians living in the two cities ..... Not even Ben-Gurion could offer a solution .... and during the discussion at operation headquarters, he [Ben-Gurion] remained silent, as was his habit in such situations. Clearly, we could not leave [Lydda's] hostile and armed populace in our rear, where it could endangered the supply route [to the troops who were] advancing eastward.
Ben-Gurion would repeat the question: What is to be done with the population?, waving his hand in a gesture which said: Drive them out! [garush otam in Hebrew]. 'Driving out' is a term with a harsh ring, .... Psychologically, this was on of the most difficult actions we undertook".
 (Soldier Of Peace, p. 140-141 & Benny Morris, p. 207) .

Later, Rabin underlined the cruelty of the operation as mirrored in the  reaction of the soldiers, he stated during an interview (which was censored in Israeli publications) with David Shipler from the New York Times on October 22, 1979:
"Great Suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. [They] included youth-movement graduates who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humaneness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to. There were some fellows who refused to take part. . . Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action . . . to explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action." (Simha  Flapan, p. 101)
It should be noted that just before the outbreak of the war in 1948, the residents of the two cities, Lydda and Ramlaconstituted close to 20% of the total urban population in central Palestine, including Jewish Tel-Aviv. Currently, these people and their descendants number nearly half a million, and they mostly live in deplorable refugee camps around Amman (Jordan) and Ramallah (West Bank). Based on Rabin's personal account of events, the decision to ethnically cleanse the two cities was not an easy one, however, that did not stop him from giving a similar order, 19 years later, to ethnically cleanse and destroy the villages of'Imwas,  Yalu, and Bayt Nuba. The exodus from these cities  was portrayed firsthand by Ismail Shammout, the renowned Palestinian artist from Lydda, click here to view his exodus gallery. Similarly, Mr. Youssif Munayyer have a written on this subject part of the 64 anniversary of Nakba in an OP-ED article to the NY Time, click here for details
On July 24, 1948 the Mapai Center held a full-scale debate regarding the Palestinian Arab question against the background of the ethnic cleansing of Ramla and Lydda. The majority apparently backed Ben-Gurion's policies of population transfer or ethnic cleansing. Shlomo Lavi, one of the influential leaders of the Mapai party, said that:
"the ... transfer of the [Palestinian] Arabs out of the country in my eyes is one of the most just, moral, and correct that can be done. I have thought of this for many years." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 192)
When the First Truce ended, Operation Dani headquarters (near Ramle and Lydda) informed the Israeli General Staff on July 10 1948:
"a general and considerable [civilian] flight from Ramle. There is great value in continuing the bombing." During the afternoon, the headquarters asked the General Staff for renewed bombing, and informed one of the brigades: "Flight from the town of Ramle of women, the old, and children is to be facilitated. The [military age] males are to be detained." (Benny Morris, p. 204)
Soon after the Lydda massacre was carried out by the Israeli Army Yiftah Brigade on July 10, 1948, Mula Cohen (the brigade's commander) wrote of his experience when expelling the 50,000-60,000 Palestinians who inhabited Ramle and Lydda:
"There is no doubt the Lydda-Ramle affair and the flight of the inhabitants, the uprising and the expulsion [geirush in Hebrew] that followed cut deep grooves in all who underwent [these experiences]." (Benny Morris, p. 206)
Yitzhak Rabbin, the commander of Operation Dani in Ramle area, communicated the following explicit orders at 1:30 PM on July 12, 1948 to Yiftah Brigade (see above quote):
"1. The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly without attention to age. They should be directed towards Beit Nabala. Yiftah [Brigade headquarters] must determine the method and inform [Operation] Dani HQ and the 8th Brigade.
2. Implement immediately." The order was signed "Yitzhak R[abin]." A similar order, concerning Ramle, was apparently communicated to Kiryati Brigade headquarters at the same time. (Benny Morris, p. 207)
On July 16 1948 Aharon Cizling, the 1st Israeli Agriculture Minister, cautioned the Israeli cabinet (a few weeks after the ethnic cleansing of 60,000 people from Lydda and Ramla):
"We are embarking on a course that will most greatly endanger any hope of peaceful alliance with forces who could be our allies in the Middle East .... Hundreds of thousands of [Palestinian] Arabs who will be evicted from Palestine, even if they are to blame, and left hanging in the midair, will grow to hate us. If you do things in the heat of the war, in the midst of the battle, it's one thing. But if after a month, you do it in cold blood, for political reason, in public, that is something altogether different." (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 191)
And on the same subject, Cizling also said during a Cabinet meeting:
"I have to say that this phrase [regarding the treatment of Ramla's inhabitants] is a subtle order to expel the [Palestinian] Arabs from Ramla. If I'd receive such an order this is how I would interpret it. An order given during the conquest which states that the door is open and that all [Palestinian] Arabs may leave, regardless of age, and sex, or they may stay, however, the army will not be responsible for providing food. When such things are said during actual conquest, at the moment of conquest, and after all that has already happened in Jaffa and other places. . . . I would interpret it as a warning: save yourself while you can get out." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 27)
And also went on to describe his dismay at the looting of the Palestinian Ramla City (but not at the raping of Palestinian women), Cizling stated:
". ..It's been said that . 'there were cases of rape in Ramla. I can forgive rape, but I will not forgive other acts which seem to me much worse. When they enter a town and forcibly remove rings from the fingers and jewelry from someone's neck, that's a very grave matter. ... Many are guilty of it." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 71-72)
All the Israelis who witnessed the events agreed that the expulsion of the inhabitants of Lydda and Ramle, under the hot July sun, was an extended episode of suffering for the Palestinian refugees, especially those from Lydda. Some were stripped by Israeli soldiers of their valuables as they left the town or at checkpoints along the way. An Israeli archeologist, known by Guttman, subsequently described the trek of the Palestinian refugees out of Lydda:
"A multitude of inhabitants walked one after another. Women walked burdened with packages and sacks on their heads. Mothers dragged children after them . . . Occasionally, warning shots were heard . . . Occasionally, you encountered a piercing look from one of the youngsters . . . in the column, and the look said:We have not yet surrendered. We shall return to fight you." For Guttman, an Israeli archeologist, the spectacle conjured up "the memory of the exile of Israel [a the end of the Second Commonwealth, at Roman hands.]" (Benny Morris, p. 207)
A Palmach (the Israeli strike force) report, probably written by Yigal Allon soon after Operation Dani, stated that the expulsion of the Lydda and Ramla Palestinian inhabitants, besides relieving Tel Aviv of a potential, long-term threat, had:
"clogged the routes of the advance of the [Transjordan Arab] Legion and had foisted upon the Arab economy the problem of "maintaining another 45,000 souls . . . Moreover, the phenomenon of the flight of tens of thousands will no doubt cause demoralisation in every Arab area [the refugees] reach . . . This victory will yet have great effect on other sectors." (Benny Morris, p. 211 & Israel: A History, p. 218)
And in response to report above, the Israeli MAPAM party co-leader, Meir Ya'ari, criticized Allon's use of tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees to achieve a military strategic goal, he stated:
"Many of us are LOSING their [human] image . . How easily they speak of how it is possible and permissible to take women, children, and old men and to fill the road with them because such is the imperative of strategy. And this we say, the members of Hashomer Hatzair, who remember who used this means against our people during the Second World] war. . . . I am appalled." (Benny Morris, p. 211)
http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Famous-Zionist-Quotes/Story739.html

Friday, July 4, 2014

Things Fall Apart: Iraq

Things Fall Apart: Iraq


 By  on June 26, 2014

The mistakes of U.S. foreign policy are mostly based on the same flawed idea: that the world is a chessboard on which the U.S. makes moves, or manipulates proxies to make moves, that either defeat, counter or occasionally face setbacks from the single opponent across the table.
The game held up for a fair amount of time; the U.S. versus the Nazis (D-Day = checkmate!), the U.S. versus Japan (Lose an important piece at Pearl Harbor, grab pawns island by island across the Pacific, and so forth). Most of the Cold War seemed to work this way.
And so into Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration seemed to believe they could invade Iraq, topple Saddam and little would be left to do but put away the unused chessmen and move on to the next game. In reality, world affairs do not (any longer?) exist in a bipolar game. Things are complex, and things fall apart. Here is a quick tour of that new form of game in Iraq.
Iran
– Iranian transport planes are making two daily flights of military equipment into Baghdad, 70 tons per flight, to resupply Iraqi security forces.
– Iran is flying Ababil surveillance drones over Iraq from Al Rashid airfield near Baghdad. Tehran also deployed an intelligence unit to intercept communications. General Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, visited Iraq at least twice to help Iraqi military advisers plot strategy. Iran has also deployed about a dozen other Quds Force officers to advise Iraqi commanders, and help mobilize more than 2,000 Shiite militiamen from southern Iraq.
– As many as ten divisions of Iranian military and Quds Force troops are massed on the border, ready to intevene if Baghdad comes under assault or if important Shiite shrines in cities like Samarra are threatened, American officials say.
– Suleimani was a presence in Iraq during the U.S. Occupation and helped direct attacks against American troops. In particular, Iraqi Shiite militias under the tutelage of Suleimani attacked American troops with powerful explosive devices supplied by Tehran. These shaped charges were among the very few weapons used toward the end of the U.S. Occupation that could pierce U.S. armor, and were directly responsible for the deaths of Americans.
– General Suleimani is also the current architect of Iranian military support in Syria for President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. calls for Assad to give up power, and was steps away from war in Syria to remove Assad only months ago.
– Should America conduct air strikes in Iraq (some claim they are already stealthily underway), those strikes would be in direct support of Iranian efforts, and perhaps Iranian troops, on the ground.
– The United States has increased its manned and unmanned surveillance flights over Iraq, and is now flying about 30 to 35 missions a day. The American flights include F-18s and P-3 surveillance planes, as well as drones.
ISIS
– ISIS, currently seen as a direct threat to both Iraq, Syria and the Homeland, is a disparate group of mostly Sunni-affiliated fighters with strong ties to Syria. The U.S. is now at war with them, though it appears that as recently as 2012 the U.S. may have had Special Forces arming and training them at a secret base in Safawi, in Jordan’s northern desert region. There are reports that the U.S. also trained fighters at locations in Turkey, feeding them into the Syrian conflict against Assad.
– ISIS has been funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three supposed U.S. allies. “The U.S. Treasury is aware of this activity and has expressed concern about this flow of private financing. But Western diplomats’ and officials’ general response has been a collective shrug,” a Brookings Institute report states.
– ISIS itself is a international group, though added 1,500 Sunni Iraqis it liberated from a Shia prison near Mosul. A senior U.S. intelligence official said there are approximately 10,000 ISIS fighters — roughly 7,000 in Syria and 3,000 in Iraq. There are between 3,000 and 5,000 foreign fighters who have been incorporated into ISIS ranks.
Turkey
– The New York Times reports Turkey allowed rebel groups of any stripe easy access across its borders to the battlefields in Syria in an effort to topple President Bashar al-Assad. An unknown number of Turks are now hostages in Iraq, and Turkey continues its tussles with the Kurds to (re)fine that border.
– “The fall of Mosul was the epitome of the failure of Turkish foreign policy over the last four years,” said Soli Ozel, a professor of international relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul. “I can’t disassociate what happened in Mosul from what happened in Syria.”
Iraq
– With the official Iraqi Army in disarray, Prime Minister Maliki is increasingly reliant on Shiite militias primarily loyal to individual warlords and clerics, such as the Madhi Army. Despite nine years of Occupation, the U.S. never defeated the Madhi Army. Prime Minister Maliki never had the group surrender its weapons, and now, with the Baghdad government too weak to disarm them, they exist as the private muscle of Iraq’s hardline Shias. Once loosed onto the battlefield, Maliki will not be able to control the militias. The Mahdi Army has also sworn to attack American“advisors” sent to Iraq, believing them to be a vanguard for a second U.S. occupation. Many of the most powerful militias owe their ultimate loyalty not to the Iraqi state, but to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Sadr has much blood on his hands left over from the Occupation.
Syria and Israel
– Syrian government aircraft bombed Sunni targets inside Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 57 civilians and wounding 120. Syrian warplanes also killed at least 12 people in the eastern Iraqi city of Raqqa Wednesday morning. A U.S. official said it was not clear whether the Iraqi government requested or authorized Syrian air strikes in Iraqi territory.
– Israeli warplanes and rockets struck targets inside Syria the same day as Syria struck Iraq.
Checkmate
It should be clear that there is no such thing as simply “doing something” in this crisis for the U.S. As with the 2003 invasion itself, no action by the United States can stand alone, and every action by the United States will have regional, if not global, repercussions apparently far beyond America’s ability to even understand.
A chess game? Maybe, of sorts. While American interest in Iraq seems to parallel American interest in soccer, popping up when world events intrude before fading again, the other players in Iraq have been planning moves over the long game. In the blink of an eye, U.S. efforts in Syria have been exposed as fully-counterproductive toward greater U.S. goals, the U.S. has been drawn back into Iraq, with troops again on the ground in a Muslim war we thought we’d backed out of. The U.S. finds itself supporting Iranian ground forces, and partnering with militias well outside of any government control, with Special Forces working alongside potential suicide bombers who only a few years ago committed themselves to killing Americans in Iraq. What appears to be the U.S. “plan,” some sort of unity government, belies the fact that such unity has eluded U.S. efforts for almost eleven years of war in Iraq.
In such a complex, multiplayer game it can be hard to tell who is winning, but it is easy in this case to tell who is losing. Checkmate.
(C) Peter Van Buren, 2014

Iraq: What They Died For

Iraq: What They Died For

By  on July 4, 2014

As I see the images of Iraq’s unfolding civil war, sometimes I think I even recognize a place I had been, having spent a year in the midst of America’s Occupation there, 2009-2010. I was a State Department civilian, embedded with an Army brigade of some 3000 men and women far from the embassy and the pronouncements of victory and whatever bright lights Iraq might have had. I grow weary now of hearing people talk about America’s sacrifices, our investment, the need for troops or air strikes, our blood and treasure spent to free Iraq, or whatever it was we were supposed to have gone there to do.
So many people say those things. But before another one says another thing, I wish they could have seen what I saw in Iraq. This.
I
Private First Class (PFC) Brian Edward Hutson (name changed), in Iraq, put the barrel of his M-4 semiautomatic assault rifle into his mouth, with the weapon set for a three-round burst, and blew out the back of his skull. He was college- aged but had not gone and would never go to college. Notice appeared in the newspapers a week after his death, listed as “non-combat related.” Of the 4,486 American military deaths in Iraq, 911 were considered “non-combat related,” that is, non-accidents, suicides. In 2010, as in 2009, the years I was in Iraq with PFC Hutson, more soldiers died by their own hand than in combat. Mental disorders in those years outpaced injuries as a cause for hospitalization. The Army reported a record number of suicides in a single month for June 2010. Thirty- two soldiers in all, more than one a day for the whole month, around the time PFC Hutson took his life.
The M-4 rifle PFC Hutson used to kill himself, successor to the M-16 of Vietnam fame, allows the shooter, with the flip of a switch, to choose to fire one bullet per trigger pull or three. Nobody knows whether PFC Hutson spent a long time or no time with the rifle barrel in his mouth, but he must have really wanted to be dead, because he chose three shots. The bullets exploded through his brain in sequence. He left his toilet kit in the shower trailer. He still had Clearasil in the bag. Rumor was he’d had trouble sleeping. I didn’t know him.
I heard about his death at breakfast and walked over to his sleeping trailer along with some others. I took a quick look inside and saw the fan spray of blood and brain on the wall, already being washed off by the Bangladeshi contractor cleaning crew KBR had brought to Iraq for the war. The bleach solution they used was smearing more than cleaning, and the Bangladeshis had little stomach to wring out the mop heads all that often. Blood like this smells coppery. Even if you’d never smelled pooled blood before, you didn’t have to learn what it was, you already knew something was wrong in this place, this trailer, this Iraq.
Death does not redeem or disgrace. It is just a mess and no one who deals with it thinks otherwise. Don’t ask poets or pastors, because they do not know that pieces of people still look a lot like people and that extreme violence leaves bodies looking nothing like the bodies you see in open caskets or on TV. In Iraq I saw a girl crushed when a wall collapsed, her face looking like a Halloween pumpkin a few days too late. There was a drowned man in an irrigation ditch, gray and bloated, no eyes. Fish had nibbled them. You saw that stuff in Iraq. It was how war works.
A week before Hutson’s suicide, another soldier lost his life. This soldier, a turret gunner, was killed when his vehicle unsuccessfully tried to pass at thirty-five miles per hour under a too-low bridge. The Army counted deaths by accident as “combat deaths,” while suicides were not. Under a policy followed by George W. Bush and in part by Barack Obama, the families of suicides did not receive a condolence letter from the President. Suicides do not pertain to freedom. They died of the war, but not in the war.
II
But if distinctions between causes of death were made at the Pentagon, that was not the case on the ground in Iraq. The death of any soldier reverberated through the base This was, after all, a small town, and nobody was left untouched. The comfort of ritual stood in for public expressions of actual feelings, which were kept private and close. And the ritual prescribed by regulation was the same, whether the death
was by suicide or in combat. The chapel had rows of chairs set up, much as it would in Hamilton, Ohio, or Marietta, Georgia for a wedding, only at the front of the room was a wooden box, made and brought to Iraq for this purpose, with holes for the US and the unit flag and a slot to stand the deceased’s rifle.
The remains of the deceased were likely already on their way home and not with us. This was not for PFC Hutson anyway, it was for us. The box holding the flags was made of plywood, stained and varnished like paneling, and reminded everyone of a B+ high school wood shop project. The dead man’s boots stood on either side of the rifle, with his helmet on top. It was fitting no one had cleaned the boots, because the presence of the dust and dirt wiped away a lot of the standardization of the ritual. Before the event started, the hum in the room was about future meetings, upcoming operations, food in the chow hall, the workaday talk of soldiers.
There was a program, done up on a word processor, with the official Army photo of the deceased, wearing a clean uniform, posed in front of an American flag— young, so young, you could see a few red pockmarks on the side of his face, a chicken pox scar on his forehead. All these photos showed a vacant stare, same as every high school graduation photo. The printed program was standard fare— some speeches, the chaplain leading the 23rd Psalm, and a final good-bye.
The speeches were strained because the senior officers who feel it important to speak at these events rarely knew, or could know among the many troops under them, the deceased. As with every other briefing they gave, the officers read words someone else wrote for them to give the impression of authority and familiarity. The dead man’s job had something minor to do with radios and most present couldn’t say much beyond that. The eulogy thus rang a bit hollow, but you reminded yourself that the words were not necessarily intended for you alone and that the Colonel may not have been the best man for the job. He was a responsible man, trying hard to do something impossible, and he probably felt bad for his lack of conviction. He did understand more of why we were all here, in Iraq, and that a task had to be done, and that he need not be
http://latest.com/2014/07/iraq-what-they-died-for/