(THE AUSTRALIAN) THE civilians pouring out of the besieged city of Sirte accused NATO of genocide yesterday as rebel forces called in reinforcements and prepared for a fresh assault on Muammar Gaddafi’s home town.
Long lines of civilian vehicles were leaving after a night of NATO air attacks on the town. Rebel forces fighting for the National Transitional Council added artillery and mortar fire.
The people leaving the town, many looking scared, said conditions inside Sirte were disastrous. They made claims which, if verified, are a challenge for NATO – which operates under a UN mandate to protect civilians – saying the NATO bombing raids hit homes, schools and hospitals.
“It was worse than awful,” said Riab Safran, 28, as his car was searched by rebel fighters outside Sirte. His family had slept on the beach because the houses were being bombed, he said. “They hit all kinds of buildings – schools, hospitals,” he said.
He could not distinguish between the NATO bombs and the rebels shells, he said, but believed it was a NATO bomb that destroyed his home on Saturday.
NATO said its warplanes bombed a number of military targets, including a rocket launcher, artillery and ammunition stores.
Some of those interviewed said the Gaddafi forces were making people stay in the city. Others said residents were frightened of the rebel fighters, who were reported to be abducting women from cars trying to leave Sirte. NTC fighters denied the charges.
Residents said power and water had run out and petrol was 88 Libyan dinars ($72) a litre. The water shortage has produced an epidemic of diseases, according to medical staff at a clinic in the town of Harawa, 40km east of Sirte.
But the Gaddafi forces had supplies of ammunition, pasta, oil, flour and food, residents said. They used an open radio channel to taunt the rebels, insisting the city would never be taken.
Meanwhile, Libya’s transitional justice minister said he had imposed a measure abolishing the country’s state security, prosecution and courts, which sentenced regime opponents to prison.
At a press conference in Tripoli, Mohammed al-Alagi said he had signed the order to disband the security agencies, but it still needed approval by the NTC.
He said the order included the abolition of a special court where many opposition members were sentenced to life in prisons such as Abu Salim in Tripoli, where inmates were reportedly massacred by the Gaddafi regime.
Rebel leaders are pressing ahead with efforts to do away with some of the hated remnants of the former regime even though fighting continues and Gaddafi’s whereabouts remain unknown.
In a boost to Libya’s economy, Italian and French energy companies have begun oil production in Libya after months of civil war, a potential economic lifeline for the new government.
Officials of the transitional administration are still awaiting international action to unfreeze billions of dollars in Libya’s assets. They say the funds unfrozen so far are not enough to rebuild the country after 42 years of the Gaddafi regime.
The de facto prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, asked the UN Security Council to lift some of the economic sanctions on Libya, but said NATO should stay until civilians were no longer being killed.
Italian energy giant Eni said yesterday it had resumed oil production in Libya. By Monday, 15 major wells had been tapped, producing 31,900 barrels of oil a day.
French energy company Total said it also started oil production in Libya last week.
(Activist Post) As reported earlier, rebel fighters tasked by NATO to take Bani Walid have begun filtering back home after frustrating and continuous defeat by the city’s defenders. A recent rocket barrage managed to kill rebel commander Daw Saleheen, who was leading operations against Bani Walid, Associated Press reported. Saleheen had taken part in a previous, CIA-MI6 1993 attempt to overthrow Qaddafi and the Libyan government, and was subsequently imprisoned for 18 years. Tempting fate twice, Saleheen became a field commander for this most recent Western-backed attempt to seize Libya, featuring brutal air bombardments by NATO aircraft and foreign arms and training being freely shipped into the country. Despite these increased odds, for Daw Saleheen, his ignoble battle has ended in defeat.
Meanwhile, the coastal city of Sirte is still holding out against NATO attacks civilians are describing as “genocidal,” while rebel forces concede their “final assault” has failed, and are regrouping for yet another “final assault.” The rebels, with NATO assistance, are still cutting off Sirte from essential supplies, including food, water, and electricity, intentionally creating a humanitarian disaster to, as the rebels say, “starve the city into submission.”
Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at
Land Destroyer Report.
(The Telegraph) “A group was captured in Bani Walid consisting of 17 mercenaries. They are technical experts and they include consultative officers,” Moussa Ibrahim told Syrian-based Arrai TV.
“Most of them are French, one of them is from an Asian country that has not been identified, two English people and one Qatari,” he added.
He said the 17 would be shown on television at a later time, but did not give more details.
It was not immediately possible to verify the claims. The French foreign ministry said it had no information regarding the report.
(Tony Cartalucci) Alternative media activist David Icke, who has been warning about the false nature of the “Arab Spring” since it began over six months ago, has pointed out an astounding “flashback” regarding an August 3, 1981 Newsweek article titled, “A Plan to Overthrow Kaddafi.”
‘The details of the plan were sketchy, but it seemed to be a classic CIA destabilization campaign. One element was a “disinformation” program designed to embarrass Kaddafi and his government. Another was the creation of a “counter government” to challenge his claim to national leadership. A third — potentially the most risky — was an escalating paramilitary campaign, probably by disaffected Libyan nationals, to blow up bridges, conduct small-scale guerrilla operations and demonstrate that Kaddafi was opposed by an indigenous political force.”
Quite obviously this plan has been executed verbatim with the necessary addition of a NATO intervention to rescue the above stated “paramilitary” campaign from Libyan security forces – a contigency plan explicitly spelled out in another Wall Street-London subsidized, signed confession, Brookings Institution’s “Which Path to Persia?”
Using Military Force to Assist Popular Revolutions, page 109-110 (page 122-123 of the PDF): “Consequently, if the United States ever succeeds in sparking a revolt against the clerical regime, Washington may have to consider whether to provide it with some form of military support to prevent Tehran from crushing it.” “This requirement means that a popular revolution in Iran does not seem to fit the model of the “velvet revolutions” that occurred elsewhere. The point is that the Iranian regime may not be willing to go gently into that good night; instead, and unlike so many Eastern European regimes, it may choose to fight to the death. In those circumstances, if there is not external military assistance to the revolutionaries, they might not just fail but be massacred.
Consequently, if the United States is to pursue this policy, Washington must take this possibility into consideration. It adds some very important requirements to the list: either the policy must include ways to weaken the Iranian military or weaken the willingness of the regime’s leaders to call on the military, or else the United States must be ready to intervene to defeat it.”
The disinformation campaign began in February as overt, now verified lies were told to the public regarding both the nature of the uprising and the Libyan government’s reaction to it. As tank driving, jet flying battle hardened LIFG Al Qaeda mercenaries waged war against the Libyan army, the corporate media in tandem with NATO member states preparing to intervene, portrayed the uprising as peaceful placard waving activists being mowed down by machine gun fire and strafed by Libyan warplanes. Evidence now confirms no such atrocties took place, however the UN citing this intentional disinformation authroized NATO intervention.
The very nature of the Benghazi rebels has been deceptively presented to the public. In fact, they are a collection of extremists and mercenaries, many of whom had been fighting recently in Iraq and Afghanistan against US forces. These mercenaries, who have been backed by the CIA and MI6 for the last 30 years (see time line), are being portrayed as an “an indigenous political force” opposing Libya’s government. It has just been recently revealed that the rebel commander attempting to seize Tripoli is none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj, an Al Qaeda asset who was previously captured by in Malaysia, tortured by the CIA in Bangkok, Thailand in 2003, before being release back in Libya where he is now fighting on behalf of NATO.
Additional disinformation comes in the form of media attempts to portray Qaddafi as a rambling madman who despite the disparagement, has turned out to be one of the few heads of state speaking any truth at all regarding the conflict besieging his nation. From his earlier claims that the uprising was foreign backed Al Qaeda, to now verified claims that the rebellion was nothing more than a means to usher in a foreign occupation and the despoiling of Libya’s resources, he has been spot on.
As rebels loot his home and his compound in central Tripoli, he is now being disingenuously portrayed as an opulent tyrant who hoarded state resources at the cost of his population. Betraying the duplicity of this lie is the UN’s own Human Development Index which lists Libya as one of the most developed nations in Africa and is ranked higher than many other nations including Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. Quite obviously Libya’s oil wealth was put to good use, and as Libya has ensured the West’s nefarious corporate-funded NGOs were excluded from Libyan society, no other explanation for Libya’s development exists beyond the government’s own initiatives.
What we are witnessing in Libya is a concerted, admitted war of aggression by corporate-financier interests who have openly conspired to carry out a campaign of military and economic conquest throughout the Middle East (and beyond), including Northern Africa and specifically including Libya. From Wesley Clark’s 2007 speech, to Newsweeks’ 1981 article, we have been handed a signed confession that “our” governments are the true enemies of free humanity, masking their agenda with the thinnest veneer of moral justification, almost as if to insult the intelligence of so many who eagerly continue to empower them as they maliciously move forward. Once again, we must commit ourselves to identifying the corporate-financier interests truly driving this agenda, lurking behind the military and political leaders paraded before us as the executors of “international policy.” We must also commit to boycotting and replacing these corporate-financier interests as well as ending the recognition of any of the legitimacy they endlessly heap upon themselves.
(PRISON PLANET) For what it’s worth here is a response from the BBC concerning footage it ran on August 24, claiming a gathering in India, with people waving Indian flags, was actually footage of celebrations from a liberated Green Square in Tripoli:
Dear Mr Watson,
Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘Breakfast’ broadcast on 24 August on BBC One.
We understand you were concerned that incorrect footage was shown during a report on the latest developments from Tripoli, and that images from India were broadcast instead.
We forwarded your complaint to ‘Breakfast’ Editors who explained in response that they realized within moments that they were showing the wrong footage and quickly took it down.
They also apologized immediately and pointed to how the problem was caused by confusion over a “feed” coming in to television center from the international agencies.
We apologize for any concern this may have caused and we’d like to assure you that your feedback has been registered on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, program makers, channel controllers and other senior managers. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Finally, I have attached an invitation from the Head of BBC Audience Services, asking you to participate in our customer survey. We would welcome your views on our service.
So in summary: Sorry, we got “confused”. Here is video of the broadcast
(GUARDIAN) Investigation finds Taliban attackers may not have been to blame for death of 25-year-old Ahmed Omed Khpulwak in July
The Taliban was initially blamed for the 25-year-old’s death, but an investigation by the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts’ Network (AAN) said Khpulwak may have been killed by US weaponry once the Taliban attackers were already dead.
“It seems – in what would be the worst luck of all – that Omed may have survived the suicide bombs only to be shot dead by US special forces when they entered the ruined RTA building,” the ANN investigation, published on Wednesday, said.
“Evidence for this centres on the nature of his wounds, the timing of his death, ballistics and (hearsay) comments from police.”
The investigation, by the AAN senior analyst Kate Clark, said it was clear that Khpulwak had died from gunshot wounds, but that “who pulled the trigger is less clear”.
It said: “From the timing of Omed’s death, it seems likely that both the Taliban attackers, who were initially blamed for his death, were already themselves dead, but that still leaves the counter-attacking force, as made up of Afghan and international, probably US, forces.
“The ballistics evidence points to Omed having been killed by a weapon used by the US military, although the possibility that such a weapon was used by Afghan security forces or even [the] Taliban has to be borne in mind.”
The investigation concluded that the “vast majority” of people killed in the attack “died at the hands of the Taliban”, but added that “one civilian may have been killed by international forces”.
The report said: “This case raises questions as to whether, in an admittedly dangerous and difficult situation, ‘looking Afghan’ can be enough for international forces to believe there is hostile intent and an imminent threat.”
The BBC said it had made an official request for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force to carry out an urgent investigation into the facts surrounding Khpulwak’s death.
A spokesman for the BBC said: “Following the death of BBC stringer Ahmed Omed Khpulwak in southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province last month, various conflicting reports have emerged regarding the facts surrounding his death.
“The BBC officially requested that [the coalition] inquires into the circumstances of his death and reports the findings to the BBC and to his family as urgently as possible.”
Khpulwak joined the BBC in May 2008 as a stringer, and also worked for the Telegraph and the Pajhwok Afghan news agency.