Koran Burning in NATO Error Incites Afghans for 2nd Day
BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Protests against the burning by NATO personnel of an undisclosed number of Korans spilled into a second day on Wednesday and seemed poised to widen as the United States Embassy in Kabul ordered a lockdown suspending all travel by its staff.
The violent protests began on Tuesday as news of the burning spread along with word that NATO personnel were also preparing to dispose of many more Korans by incineration.
The Nation – Pakistan After the pause of more than three weeks, drones, the American killing machines, have returned to our skies and resumed their operation. As usual our air space is open to them to operate at will and return to bases safely. The latest attack in Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan killed six innocent civilians.
Following the arrest of CIA agent Raymond Davis who murdered two Pakistani citizens in cold blood, it was generally thought that drone attacks had come to an end since he used to provide target intelligence to operational headquarters. With their resumption, it appears his replacement has taken over the charge. It is worth mentioning here that the ISI had categorically told TheNation Saturday that it had never been instrumental in providing intelligence to Americans for drones and would never indulge in any activity that is detrimental to the national interest or lead to violation of country’s territorial sovereignty. A website run and managed by a professor at The Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute has documented over 124 drone attacks since 2004 and the last documented attack on May 11, 2010, in Miranshah shows that only 30 Al-Qaeda operatives perished in six years but more significantly 1266 civilians were killed and over 445 of them were left injured.
That makes a tally of 2.5 percent of strike rate against Al-Qaeda operatives. With such a poor rate of success, the US option of using drones could best be termed a big failure. These are authentic figures, and the world community must raise its voice at global forums to halt this ruthless killing of innocent civilian population.
The federal government must direct the Foreign Office to establish contact with the US Administration and convey to it the people’s indignation over drone operations. In case the request falls on deaf ears, there would be no option left but to challenge these drones as they appear in our skies. For this, all logistic support made available to the Americans for such operations should be withdrawn and Pakistan Air Force ordered to shoot them down as was done by the Hizb-e-Islami in Afghanistan and Passdarans in Iran. We can only hope that our leadership would pick up the courage and do what needs to be done to stop the cruel American drones from attacking our tribal region at will, failing which it should be ready to face severe backlash of the people across the country.
The people of Pakistan are also keenly watching what is happening in the Middle Eastern region where American hegemony is being challenged and their puppet regimes are being overthrown.
This news was published in print paper. To access the complete paper of this day. click here
American Held in Pakistan Shootings Worked With the C.I.A.
The American arrested in Pakistan after shooting two men at a
crowded traffic stop was part of a covert, C.I.A.-led team of
operatives conducting surveillance on militant groups deep
inside the country, according to American government
Working from a safe house in the eastern city of Lahore, the
detained American contractor, Raymond A. Davis, a retired
Special Forces soldier, carried out scouting and other
reconnaissance missions for a Central Intelligence Agency
task force of case officers and technical surveillance
experts, the officials said.
Many critics of WikiLeaks still, somehow, claim that there’s “nothing new” in the Cablegate releases (now stretching back to November 28), that most of the issues raised raised by the cables are old hat, and the impact (as in Tunisia, for example) overhyped. So it seems useful here, for the first time in easy to consider format, to assemble most of the major revelations. This seems especially valuable because the reporting is now scattered around the globe, often emerging from smaller papers.
At the outset, the cables were published by the media partners, not WikiLeaks itself. The New York Times made good on its promise to cover them hot and heavy for about ten days, while the Guardian did all that and more. But Times coverage quickly grew sporadic, the Guardian fell out with Assange (he has now turned to the Telegraph), while the Norwegian daily Aftenposten picked up some of the slack.
Here are brief summaries, listed chronologically, as they appeared. There are even more in my new book The Age of WikiLeaks. Not included are the shocking cables concerning Egypt released on January 27 and other recent bombshells:
-Saudi donors remain the chief financiers of Sunni militant groups like Al Qaeda.
-Saudis (and some other Middle Eastern states) pressed U.S. to take stronger action against Iran.
-Yemeni president lied to his own people, claiming his military carried out air strikes on militants actually done by U.S. All part of giving U.S. full rein in country against terrorists.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
by James Risen and Mark Mazzetti
WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, according to Congressional investigators and former Blackwater officials.
While it is not clear how many of those businesses won contracts, at least three had deals with the United States military or the Central Intelligence Agency, according to former government and company officials. Since 2001, the intelligence agency has awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates, according to a United States government official.
The Senate Armed Services Committee this week released a chart that identified 31 affiliates of Blackwater, now known as Xe Services. The network was disclosed as part of a committee’s investigation into government contracting. The investigation revealed the lengths to which Blackwater went to continue winning contracts after Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in September 2007. That episode and other reports of abuses led to criminal and Congressional investigations, and cost the company its lucrative security contract with the State Department in Iraq.
The network of companies — which includes several businesses located in offshore tax havens — allowed Blackwater to obscure its involvement in government work from contracting officials or the public, and to assure a low profile for any of its classified activities, said former Blackwater officials, who, like the government officials, spoke only on condition of anonymity.