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LATEST! / ¡RECIENTE!
Future and Freedom in Turkey. Part 1, RELIGION. HOT

New evidence further incriminates the Government of Colombia in illegal wiretapping scandal HOT

PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATIONS INSIDE COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLANTIONS CONTINUE. HOT

RUSSIA AND SPAIN: ORGANIZED CRIME, HALF TRUTHS AND PUBLIC SECRETS HOT
RUSIA Y ESPAÑA: MAFIA, CONEXIONES, VERDADES A MEDIAS Y SECRETOS PÚBLICOS

"FIVE MAJOR NEWSPAPERS DEBATE WIKILEAKS IN MADRID HOT

PAKISTAN: WAR AND CORRUPTION (CABLE ANALYSIS) HOT

JORDAN: THE INDUSTRY OF WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

LIBYA: A REPUBLIC FOR THE MASSES?a>

CORRUPTION IN BAHRAIN

25 BAHMAN - PROTESTS IN BAHRAIN
25 BAHMAN - PROTESTAS IN BAHREIN

THE PROBLEMS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION IN EGYPT.
LOS PROBLEMAS DE LA SUCESION EN EGIPTO.

ARTICLES / ARTICULOS
Notes on the persecution of Julian Assange // Notas sobre la persecución a Julian Assange
New collectives: The Anonymous example. // Nuevos Colectivos: El ejemplo de Anonymous
Networking: background and future // Redes: Pasado y Futuro
Characteristics of the Conflict: Free-media versus Institutions //
(Part 2) A GLOBAL CYBERWAR – A war fought by the global population
(Part 1) A GLOBAL CYBERWAR – Background

NEWS
Recent developments in cyberwar: Anonymous servers down
Anonymous collective publishes an audio-visual manifesto
Julian Assange on the impact of Wikileaks
Founder of Wikileaks asks for financial help

INTERVIEWS / ENTREVISTAS
Interview with @Anonymouse, member of Anonymous collective, operator of #wikileaks channel on AnonOps IRC server // Entrevista con Anonymouse, operador del canal #wikileaks del IRC de Anonymous

New evidence further incriminates the Government of Colombia in illegal wiretapping scandal

April 13, 2011 1 comment

The Department of Administrative Security (DAS) of Colombia was used as a tool for domestic spying on various occasions during the Government of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). For example, #09BOGOTA849 states that, “CTI investigators reportedly found evidence that since 2004, the DAS had a unit dedicated to spying on groups and individuals considered a threat to the GOC. Originally known as the “G-3” group, the unit did not officially exist and reported only to the DAS director or the deputies in charge of intelligence and counterintelligence. “Semana” reported that besides numerous leftist groups and politicians, the G-3 also collected information on Supreme and Constitutional Court magistrates, Colombian Army officials, and their relatives. The unit was disbanded in late 2005 after a similar domestic spying scandal, but the article claims DAS continued domestic spying through the “National and International Group for Observation and Verification” (GONI) set up in 2006.”

The biggest scandal came in 2009 after weekly publication Semana broke the news that DAS had spied on Supreme Court Auxiliary Magistrate Ivan Velazquez and other leading magistrates that were working on a case investigating links between top level officials of GOC and paramilitary leaders. According to #09BOGOTA688, Semana stated that Velazquez “was followed by DAS detectives and may have had as many as 1900 of his calls illegally tapped over two years”. This quickly led to accusations by the Court that the Government of Colombia was trying to cover up its high level connections to right wing terrorist organizations. The Government denied its involvement in the scheme and was then placed under serious pressure to control DAS, to which Ex-President Uribe complied by placing them under the jurisdiction of the Colombian National Police (CNP) as well as by creating an investigative commission that vowed to identify the culprits.

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Categories: Articles

Freedom and Future in Turkey – a cable analysis series – Part 1, RELIGION

April 13, 2011 1 comment

Turkey is a land of many lands. A checkpoint, a bridge between the East and the West used by many cultures and civilizations across the history of humankind. In many ways, however, the country is not only divided by the classical dichotomy between Europe and Asia, as it is a nation made up of many different groups, clans and tribes.  It is difficult to accept that those living in Bodrum along the Mediterranean beaches are from the same country as those living in the deserted  Diyarbakir; and it would be hard to argue that those living in the orthodox Kayseri are as Turkish as those in modern Istanbul. Colloquially one could say that Turkey suffers from an identity problem. This has been seen as an obstacle for the government, obsessed with standardizing religion so as to moderate extremist clans that have a unfavourable view in Europe. To unite people under the giant Turkish state, the government has spread the same flag over the whole country, trying to make it present in every village, town or major city. But far away from making one single body of Anatolian citizens, the red fabric painted with a star and a moon all abroad the country only denounces the paradox of Turkish society in religious affairs.

We will be publishing a series of reports related to freedom on turkish lands and minds. For more information or if you want to help us continue our work contact us at wlworld@hush.com or on Twitter @wikileaks_world.

PART 1, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND EQUALITY

Turkey,s reputation as a moderate, tolerant, and secular country is due in large measure to the oppressive and authoritarian manner in which the State monitors and controls religion” (05ANKARA6106).

Allowing rare exceptions, almost everyone in Turkey considers oneself a muslim. According to U.S. diplomacy (2005), around 98% of the Turkish population are muslims.  This , however, is shallow information, as it is necessary to totally review the concept of ‘being a muslim’ to understand specific ‘turkish islamism”’. While Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are somehow liberal cities, outside these big centers most people  practice Islam in the traditional way. The general conclusion is that although the state tries to gather muslims in Turkey into a single body, there are several differentiated sects and tribes of them in the country.

Religious structure was established in the 1924 Constitution, after the liberal revolution guided by the national hero Ataturk installed an ideological secular state, formally known in Turkey as Kemalism.  The Kemalist doctrine proposes equality regarding the relationship between the state and religious sects. Apart from the possible benefits, it still implies the end of the traditional Muslim society (, where each religious sect  enjoyed a degree of autonomy, with their own leadership, collecting their own taxes and living according to their own system. In an attempt to implement this new social order, the Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) was created  “to  execute  the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of  Islam,  enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the  sacred  worshipping places”.

With these actions the Turkish government is essentially trying to reconstruct and portray Turkey as a moderate Islamic society:

Turkey has the reputation of being the home of “moderate Islam” because it combines a “secular” political system with a tolerant strand of Sunni Islam (…) The majority of Turks subscribe to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. The Hanafi school is one of the more open-minded and tolerant strands of Sunni Islam.” (05ANKARA6106)

Standardization, however, is never without resistance. In this case, the problem is that Diyanet is always seen as adjacent to the Sunni majority, the religious majority in the country and currently in power. It is obvious that the Sunni Shafi’i and the Alevi sects do not have the same support by the state as the dominant Sunni Hanafi. This works in the same way as the Armenian Greagorians, Roman Catholics, Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholics, Greek Orthodox,  Bulgarian Orthodoxes, Georgian Orthodoxes and Protestants , all of which are also neglected by the government. Cables 05ANKARA1511, 05ANKARA1935 and 05ADANA191 express the Christian persecution in Turkey, especially in the South, performed by the  Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet). To solve this bad reputation Diyanet has been designing “outreach programs”, aimed specifically towards certain religious groups so as to integrate or model them after what they believe will serve the nation.

State funds are used to construct mosques, but the state spends no money on Alevi houses of worship, Jewish synagogues, or Christian churches. All Muslim school age students are required to take classes in the Hanafi-Sunni tradition of Islam, regardless of their personal sectarian beliefs. Non-Muslim students are not required to take these courses, but alternative courses are not offered by the state. Private religious classes are illegal and proselytizing by non-Muslims, while not illegal, is viewed with great suspicion and actively discouraged”. (05ANKARA6106).

For a  more specific example, Cable 07ANKARA747,  describes the attempt made by Diyanet to reach out to the important Alevi group: “Diyanet Foreign Relations Vice Chair Mehmet Gormez recently told us that the Diyanet is increasing its outreach efforts to Alevis to dispel the notion that the Diyanet is an exclusively Sunni organization”.

“The new programs include more in-depth training on Alevism for Sunni religious

officials, government sponsored trips to Europe for Alevi religious leaders to support Alevi education and plans to publish a definitive Alevi history.This attempt, however, has been carried out for the wrong reasons, according to Alevi organizations. They have accused Diyanet of being “authoritative” and “insincere” in its actions. For example, Pir Sultan Abdal Alevi Association President Kazim Genc said that  “Diyanet remains an exclusive, discriminatory Sunni organization.  The Diyanet employs only Sunnis, and only meets with Alevi groups that share its views”

Many leaders have also pointed out that these “outreach plans” are merely carried out to please the European Union in their demand for equality towards Alevis, and a general feeling of failure and resentment is present:

“Many of Turkey’s Alevis have long found it offensive that the GOT does not recognize them as a distinct relgious group or allow them to freely practice their religion (…)Alevis want the government to treat Alevism equally in public school religion courses and in the allocation of public funds for the construction and administration of cem houses.”

The headscarf polemic

In April 2007, Military performed an intervention on politics to prevent the election as president of a Abdullah Gul, a person whose wife wore the headscarf. The banning of the headscarf  has always been a strong symbol of the secular state established by Ataturk’s revolution. At the end, Abdulla won the presidential elections and in 2008 AKP, leaded by him, in a joint with MHP- Nationalist Movement Party -, passed a law allowing wearing headscarves in universities. Turkey’s chief prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalçınkaya, asked the Constitutional Court to close the AKP – Justice and Development Party – with accusations of ‘anti-laicistic activities’. The case was concluded on 30 July 2008 with the judgment that the AKP had been at the centre of activitiesviolating secularism. After deliberating for three months, Constitutional Court decided not to close the party, AKP was deprived of half of the grant provided by the Treasury.

Regarding this matter, a cable from 2008 classified by Ambassor Ross Wilson points out that Endorgan “allowed himself to be  goaded by the National Action Party (MHP) into putting the  headscarf ban at the head of the reform queue.  For this  short-term populist win, he sacrificed a larger  constitutional reform package that would have significantly  strengthened Turkey’s democracy. (…)  These and other missteps exacerbated fears among  many that Erdogan was going too far, too fast; that there  were no effective constraints on the AKP (especially after  the military’s botched intervention last spring); and that  fundamentalists might soon dominate the bureaucracy,  judiciary, universities, etc., to change Turkey in dangerous  and permanent ways”. (08ANKARA691).

Control for political objectives

The crusade for control over religion for political purposes has turned the supposed free, secular turkish state into on that “actively monitors and represses religious expression ( …). The Turkish state hires and trains all religious officials (imams and muftis); appoints them to their posts; and pays their salaries. The state writes the sermons that most of the imams deliver at Friday prayers; picks which imam in each mosque gets to deliver the Friday sermon; and uses undercover intelligence officials to monitor their activities.”. (05ANKARA6106).

These actions are opposed to the ideals of the 1924 revolution of a secular and fair state. The seem to follow the political will to adapt Turkey to western standards as a part of the project of joining the E.U. This has forced the leading party, AKP to adopt insincere behaviors regarding its objectives and legality. Although known as religious oriented party and supporting religion in the ways we exposed above, AKP is officially and publicly a secular party, since Turkish constitution and party law bans parties formed around sectarianism, ethnicity or regionalism. On this subject 05ANKARA6106 states that: “nonetheless, AKP is an Islam-oriented political party. The leaders and grassroots members of AKP largely come from the Refah and Fazilet parties, banned for Islamic extremism in 1998 and 2001 respectively” (…)A variety of Embassy contacts assert that AKP,s senior leadership does not really believe in religious tolerance, but merely pretends to support tolerance in an effort to court Western favor and promote Turkey,s EU membership bid”.

In cable 04ANKARA7211, the crude political ambitions of Turkish politicians is revealed as ambassador Eric Edelman reported that “We have also run into the rarely openly-spoken, but widespread belief among adherents of the Turk-Islam synthesis that Turkey’s role is to spread Islam in Europe, “to take back Andalusia and avenge the defeat at the siege of Vienna in 1683” as one participant in a recent meeting at AKP’s main think tank put it”.

The result is that, “while Turkish law explicitly denies religiously-derived ideas and sentiments any place in the public square, religious institutions are not only under strict state control, but are in fact an integral part of the Turkish State apparatus”. (03ANKARA4767).

Thus, the fake secular political system has problems that require an urgent solution to turn Turkey into a country with reasonable levels of religious freedom. The selective subsidies given to religious infrastructure, the manipulation of religious education and the privileges given to Sunni beliefs and traditions are crippling the bold ideals of the Turkish republic dreamed in Ataturk´s revolution. As of now, “Islam as it is lived in Turkey is stultified, riddled with hypocrisy, ignorant and intolerant of other religions’ presence in Turkey(…)Until Turkey ensures that the humanist strain in Islam prevails here, Islam in Turkey will remain a troubled, defensive force, hypocritical to an extreme degree and unwilling to adapt to the challenges of open society”. (04ANKARA7211).

Categories: Articles, English

25/02/2011 Paramilitary organizations inside Colombian government: human rights violations continue.

February 25, 2011 1 comment

Over the last decade, the Colombian government has tried hard to free itself from the bonds between government officials, congressmen and military leaders and right the wing paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The group is sponsored by a wide range of people: from high profile corporations and politicians to small landowners looking to protect their interests from opposite guerrilla formations such as FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional). Their actual political and economic power is a matter of concern and in the past even ex-President Alvaro Uribe has been questioned about his and his government’s involvement in illegal activities related to the organization. During these years violence has been widespread and thousands of people –civilians, businessmen and politicians have been killed or kidnapped.

President Juan Manuel Santos and General Mario Montoya

President Juan Manuel Santos and General Mario Montoya

For example a cable from 2006 #06BOGOTA1981 mentions that Uribe named Major General Mario Montoya Commander of the Colombian Army (COLAR), a key strategic security post in the country, adding that “Montoya is reportedly close to President Uribe, whom he met while serving as the Fourth Brigade Commander in Medellin”. The cable then goes on to briefly highlight Montoya’s experience in the field, especially with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, after which it adds that the COLAR Counter-Intelligence Center (CECIM)had previously investigated Montoya “for corruption, possible ties to the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and narcotics trafficking, stemming from his time in Antioquia Department and along the north coast. According to DAO reporting, Montoya allegedly was involved in scams with corrupt Colombian National Police officials who allowed him to take credit for drug seizures and anti-terrorist operations, while protecting the narcotrafficking activities of, and providing weapons to, the AUC”. It also states, however, that the “Embassy is not aware of evidence to corroborate these allegations and does not have access to the results of the CECIM investigation”.

In 2008, “Montoya stepped down less than a week after President Alvaro Uribe’s dismissal of 27 military officers for their roles in the disappearance and subsequent murders of young men from Soacha and Antioquia. Montoya had been the subject of multiple human rights complaints during his tenure, including alleged abuses committed in Medellin’s poorer neighborhoods during Operation Orion, collusion with paramilitaries, and demanding “body count” as a measure of operational success.” (#08BOGOTA4028).  At the time the Colombian press quoted U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, who said this was a “long overdue and positive step”.

Interestingly the same cable mentions NGOs complaining that Montoya’s substitute at the head of COLAR was his own protégé Major General Oscar Enrique Gonzalez Pena, criticizing his “close association with Montoya, and voiced concerns regarding 45 alleged extrajudicial killings committed by the 4th Brigade during his command”. Montoya recommended his substitute directly to Uribe and reportedly commented to the media in Colombia that he was the “’best commander in the country’ during his tenure as 4th Brigade commander because his unit reported the most combat kills—857”. At the time, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, now President of Colombia, told the U.S. Ambassador he was concerned about Gonzalez Pena’s implications with paramilitary groups. He also put pressure on Uribe not to choose him but was ignored, Santos then “met with Gonzalez who assured him that he was “clean” on all fronts”. Viceministers Pinzon and Jaramillo, however, remained opposed and said that he “could be an obstacle to further improvements on human rights”.

Human Rights Watch, in a letter directed to current Viceminister Angelino Garzon last January, said that President Juan Manuel Santos is on the right track to solve the serious human rights problems in Colombia, however, it firmly states that there is still much to be done and calls for “bold measures by the current government”. They have argued that “in 2010, more massacres were committed in Colombia than in any other year since the beginning of the Justice and Peace process in 2005. The 38 massacres recorded between January and November 2010 represented a 41 percent increase over the same period from the previous year”. The letter also mentions that there are still many trade union leaders and human rights spokespeople being threatened, kidnapped and killed with impunity throughout Colombia. Reporters Without Borders places Colombia in the 145th place (out of 178) in its list regarding free press and safety for journalists.  On the same note, Joel Simon, executive director for Committee to Protect Journalists recently said: “We’ve heard repeated pledges from governments that the killers of journalists will face justice, but until these promises are fulfilled, media will continue to be targeted by those who believe they are above the law and immune from consequence”

Categories: Articles

24/02/2011 Russia and Spain: Organized Crime, half truths and public secrets

February 24, 2011 4 comments

 

Court Prosecutor Jose “Pepe” Grinda Gonzalez was involved in the prosecution of Zahkar Kalashov, a Vory V Zakone (highest echelon in Russian Mafia or Eurasian mafia leadership). He has been addressed by some as the “executing hand of the USG regarding the Russian mafia.”

In 10MADRID154 , he gave a detailed assessment on Spain’s operations against Russian Organized Crime (OC) in a closed door meeting with experts on the subject, where he explained he considers Belarus, Chechnya and Russia to be virtual “mafia states” and Ukraine a soon-to-be-one. Grinda also cites a “thesis” by Alexander Litvinenko that he believes is accurate. Litvinenko, the former Russian intelligence official who worked on OC issues, died in London from poisoning under mysterious circumstances in late 2006. He believed that “the Russian Security Service (FSB), the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and its military intelligence (GRU) – control OC in Russia”.

The cable also mentions Grinda saying that “he believes the FSB is “absorbing” the Russian mafia but they can also “eliminate” them in two ways: by killing OC leaders who do not do what the security services want them to do or by putting them behind bars to eliminate them as a competitor for influence. The crimelords can also be put in jail for their own protection.”

He argues that “the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was created by the KGB -Russia’s old Committee for State Security, a force to which Vladimir Putin belonged- and is home to many serious criminals”. Grinda further alleged that there are proven ties between the Russian political parties, organized crime and arms trafficking. He also mentioned, without elaborating, the strange case of the “Arctic Sea” ship in mid-2009 as “a clear example” of arms trafficking. The “Arctic Sea” disappeared for about a month in the summer of 2009 and was later recovered from the coast of West Africa on August 17. A great deal of mystery surrounds the whole case but it is known that the ship was being monitored by the Mossad (Israel’s intelligence service), which would later claimed that the boat didn’t contain timber, as Moscow had declared, but S-300 missiles, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapon. The final destination was Iran.

Further reading:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/6145336/Arctic-Sea-ghost-ship-was-carrying-weapons-to-Iran.html

Russian mafia and the Russian State

Grinda states that “10-12 years’ worth of investigations on OC has led him to believe that whereas terrorists aim to substitute the essence of the state itself, OC seeks to be a complement to state structures”.

He also notes that “OC begins to accumulate both economic and political power when it begins to bid for contract tenders on civil works and infrastructure projects.”

He then talked a bit about heads of the organization, the Vory V Zakone, saying that they “do not engage in racketeering and murder, preferring to distance themselves from this activity and focus on crimes that are further up in the hierarchy, such as corruption of high-level ministers”.

Grinda commented that Gennadios Petrov, the chief target of Spain’s Operation Troika (further reading on Operation Troika below), was engaged in a “dangerously  close” level of contact with senior Russian officials. In a surprise move, Spanish judges granted bail to Petrov, who is out on house arrest as of January 31, 2010.

Grinda has noted that Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the U.S. have been valuable partners in supplementing information to further flesh out his office’s understanding of the Russian mafia’s activities. He added that Spain is beginning to collaborate with France on these issues, but singled out the United Kingdom for its lack of cooperation. It is worth noting that the ex-spy Litvinenko died in a London hospital, further investigation into the affair was blocked by the UK.

When referring to his government’s collaboration with Russia, Grinda recalled Spain’s efforts to arrest Tariel Oniani as part of Operation Avispa (more information on Operation Avispa below). “In June 2005, Georgian-born Oniani fled to Russia hours before he was to be arrested in Spain and Russia gave him citizenship in April 2006, despite the fact that he had fled Spanish justice. He cites this fact as “an example of Russia putting crimelords to work on behalf of its interests”. Grinda alleged that the Russian Ministry of Interior and the FSB are closely protecting Oniani in Russia (even in prison). Following Oniani’s arrest in Moscow in June 2009, Spain requested his extradition for charges stemming from Operation Avispa, to which Russia replied that Oniani’s Russian citizenship prevented him from being extradited.

Operation Troika

This police operation was conducted in Mallorca, Malaga, Madrid and Alicante and its main target was Gennadios Petrov and some of his closest collaborators, all from Russia’s Tambov-Malyshev crime family.

Cable 09MADRID869 :

“Phase I of Op Troika, which was executed in June 2008 resulted in the arrest of 20 top leaders of Russia’s Tambov-Malyshev crime family for criminal conspiracy, money laundering, document falsification and crimes against public finances. Most of those arrested were “Vory v Zakone” or “Thieves in Law,” the highest echelon of  Russian OC leadership. In particular, Gennadios Petrov, the alleged leader, Alexander Malyshev, Petrov’s deputy, and Vitaly Izguilov, a key lieutenant who was out on bail from his arrest in Operation Avispa, allegedly formed the leadership of one of the four largest OC networks in the  world and the largest Russian OC network. Spain served as the group’s safehaven from authorities and rival OC networks in Russia from which they directed their illicit business. Baltasar Garzon, the National  Court judge who directed the investigation, accused the group of laundering money in Spain that came from a range of illicit activities conducted elsewhere, including contract killings, arms and drug  trafficking, extortion, coercion, threats and kidnapping.”

Conservative daily ABC reported in July 2008 that the Government of Spain’s (GoS) security services “tapped ‘thousands’ of conversations in its two-year investigation. Unnamed sources told the newspaper that 230 of those intercepts “will make your hair stand on end” because of their revelations on the Troika  defendants’ – especially Petrov’s – immense power and political  connections, as well as the range of criminal activity in Russia that  the Troika defendants directed from Spain. According to the article, Troika mafia leaders invoked the names of senior Government of Russia (GoR) officials to assure partners that their illicit deals would proceed as planned. The press suggests this “sensitive” evidence could impact bilateral relations and adds that the “extremely delicate” details of Op Troika are so close-hold that barely ten high level government officials are aware of them all.

ABC also claims that Vladislav Retznik, a very close collaborator to Petrov, has very strong ties to Russia: not only does he work as Petrov’s right hand; he is also chair of Duma‘s (Russian lower House of Parliament) Financial Markets Committee and vicespokesman of its parliamentary group. Retznik happens to be “very close to Russian’s PM Vladimir Putin and is also a close friend of Russian president Dmitri Medvedev and German Fref, president of Sberbank and a key member of the Ministry of Economy and Development”.

The whole article can be found here: http://www.abc.es/20081020/nacional-nacional/operacion-troika-contra-mafia-20081020.html

On the other hand, Russian daily Novaya Gazeta states that “an anonymous businessman from St Petersburg, who dealt both with “Malyshevskie” and “Tambovskie” in the 90’s, told one of their correspondents that the Spanish operation might have undesirable consequences for some members of the Russian political and business elite. This source considers that those “Russian Spanish” might have been in contact till recently with some high ranking officials in Moscow. In particular, some media gave the name of Igor Sechin in relation to Ilia Traber and Gennady Petrov. Igor Sechin is the former deputy head of the President’s Administration and now he is one of the deputies prime minister.”

You can read the whole article at: http://en.novayagazeta.ru/data/2008/43/06.html

In 09MADRID869 it is noted that: “Multiple press reports allege that Moscow was left out of the loop on the Troika investigation – whose Phase II raid resulted in the detention of three lawyers in southern Spain in April 2009 – due to Madrid’s fear of leaks to GoS OC targets. Moscow reportedly is interested in learning what exactly the Spanish have as evidence and has sent investigators to Spain for meetings with GoS officials on more than a half a dozen occasions  since the Troika Phase I arrests. Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev have met three times  since then, including in Madrid in March 2009, when the two leaders upgraded the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership and signed an MoU -Memorandum of Understanding- on cooperation on OC matters.”

[For MoU see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorandum_of_understanding]

Operation Avispa

This Op. was conducted by Judge Garzón‘s colleague, Judge Fernando Andreu, it “targeted the Russian, Georgian and Ukrainian OC presence in Spain, which allegedly laundered money from illegal casinos in Russia by investing in the Spanish real estate market”

Phase III of the operation, conducted in 2007, resulted in three more arrests, including the Spanish national government’s number-two official in the Catalan region, Eduard Planells, for allegedly helping members of the “Russian” mafia secure work visas to  allow them to enter the country legally.

– Further reading: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2007/07/16/espana/1184576122.html

“Although GoS officials in 2005 publicly proclaimed Avispa a success, subsequent press reports suggest authorities struggled with leaks and bureaucratic snafus. Zahkar Kalashov and Tariel Oniani – Georgian-born Russian citizens who were the primary Avispa targets – apparently were both tipped off hours before the 2005 raid occurred and fled the country […] the Russian security services or a corrupt source within the GoS have been cited as possible culprits”. Kalashov would later be arrested in Dubai and quickly extradited to Spain, which had placed an arrest order via Interpol.

As said before, the Government of Russia decided to protect its citizens: “Spanish press reports suggest that Madrid has expressed interest in the extradition of Tariel Oniani, whom Russian authorities arrested in Moscow in June 2009. Spain has sought Oniani through Interpol since 2005. However,XXXXXXXXXXXX suggested to POLOFF on August 17 that Moscow is unlikely to extradite Oniani to Spain.”

The leaks also states that El Mundo, center-right daily from Spain, published on July 6, 2009 an extensive report on Britain’s absolute lack of cooperation to detain russian criminal Michael Tcherney, accused of money laundering in Alicante. Tcherney had fled Russia in the 90s after his alleged implication in a 200 million dollar bank scam:

http://www.youkioske.com/prensa-espanola/diario-el-mundo-6-julio-09-/ (page 15).

Cable 09MADRID1003 states that, Fernando Bermejo, the city’s prosecutor for anti-mafia, anti-corruption and money laundering issues, claimed that there is large scale money laundering going on in Catalonia and “many, many” members of the Eurasian mafia are active in the region. He and Gerardo Cavero, Barcelona’s chief prosecutor on counter-narcotics and organized crime suggested that public declarations by senior Spanish officials in mid-2008 (see  Ref A) that the raid that nabbed Petrov and others had “decapitated” the  Russian mafia in Spain were optimistic statements made in a moment of euphoria that did not reflect the current reality”.

Other organizations Involved

To grip the level of involvement in Spanish businesses, Grinda mentions one of Spanish leading law firms, Cuatrecasas, saying it “constantly defends Russian mafia members”. Emilio Cuatrecasas, the founder, has denied any factual connection to the Russian mafia, stating that the four clients they counseled and defended, from Russia or other ex-soviet republics were not connected. He also said, however, that he had defended two other clients from money laundering charges: one was Israeli and the other, Russian.

On their website they have reported a merger with a Portuguese firm – Gonçalves Pereira- and they are both counseling Qatar Holding (Qatar Intermediate Industries Holding Company Limited) in the signing of a treaty with Banco Santander for Latin America. They have stated that they are “back to the growth path”, with a revenue of 241.7 millions Euros last year.

Categories: Articles

23/02/2011 – Five major newspapers debate Wikileaks in Madrid

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Today the auditorium of the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid hosted a debate between the chief editors of the five major newspapers involved in cablegate: Javier Moreno from El Pais, Alan Rudbridger from The Guardian, Sylvie Kauffmann from Le Monde, Georg Mascolo from Der Spiegel and Bill Keller representing The New York Times. The theme was the future of journalism in the new global context set by Wikileaks.

There was plenty of expectation, and early on in Twitter trends users were wondering if weThe Guardia, NY Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El Pais meeting in Madrid to discuss Wikileaks would see a true discussion and not an orchestrated charade. This was important as most of the audience was made up of young reporters and students on assignment from their Universities: if the debate was to be centered on the future of journalism and its new model then the way it was to be carried out had to be convincing for the future players present. It seemed, however, that the organizers had planned on trying to have a big impact on the future generations, as they lined up students of a journalism Master sponsored by El Pais behind the main participants, though it was still unclear if they would be allowed to join in the debate. As they went in, the viewers were given a piece of paper each, in which they were supposed to write down a question addressed to one of the five editors. It is a shame that even though the scene was perfectly set for an interesting and enriching discussion, full of young people ready to carry the torch when their time comes, it turned out to be sterile: no participation was allowed from and the master students were a little bit more than a stage prop.

Javier Moreno, the host from El Pais opened up with a brief and general reflection about the issue at hand. He asked himself how Wikileaks actions has revolutionized journalism, and how work ethics should change for people associated with the press. Interestingly he also questioned his own role, suggesting that maybe the newspapers present had become the establishment and were outdated compared to new forms of communication such as free social networking. After him Bill Keller from the New York Times came on strong, saying that he was “skeptical that Wikileaks has changed the world as we know it. It only has in a quantitative way, due to the volume of information released”. He went on to say that it was positive for journalism because “everybody can be a publisher” though he also added that “it has not invented a new era in journalism”. When asked about how it would affect diplomacy he eerily quoted U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates saying that “foreign countries don’t do business with America because they love it, they do it out of self-interest”. This hard, skeptical line was followed by Sylvie Kauffmann and Georg Mascolo. However Alan Rudbridger from The Guardian changed the tone by saying that organizations like Wikileaks (referencing other organizations with the same goals) have the highest standard of free speech because they have the “power to deal with repressive governments thanks to technologies that guarantee the anonymity of their sources”.

He then went on to explain the ethos of publishing such highly compromising cables and all five agreed on the fact that it was too risky to expose the lives of certain people who would be in trouble if their activities were known. On this subject, Keller stated that the New York Times decided what to publish based on their “own judgment”: “we consulted with the U.S. government but made our own decision in the end”. At this point the debate lapsed into sterility, as the participants recounted anecdotes about the decision making process at the time or went into detail explaining the structure of the teams that edited the cables for protection. Javier Moreno, trying to be incisive, asked Bill Keller about Bradley Manning and the actions of the U.S. government against him, and as he could not answer he simply described Manning’s situation and shifted towards Julian Assange and the Espionage Act of 1917. He did mention however, that in his own opinion it would be “very hard to go after Assange with the Espionage Act” as it would also mean “going after the New York Times for publishing secret information” and that for some time he and his staff had considered opening a drop-box for leaks to be published in the newspaper, as a way to adapt to new times. He also said, quite shockingly that “the U.S. government reacted in a sober and mature way” towards the publication of the cables.

After they all agreed on this subject, Moreno raised the issue of the revolutions going on in the Arab world, and asked about the role media was playing in the conflict. Most of the answers were redundant or unclear. Moreno himself answered his own question saying that the “Arab revolution has a lot to do with technology and social networking”. Kauffmann added that she believed people were the ones that made the changes, now they only had the right instruments. On the other hand, Keller said that this is a very important tool as it makes the process much faster and wider in a quantitative way, though the same structures are in place: for it to be news there had to be a journalistic effort behind it. To this Rusbridger responded wisely saying that, if the press was to adapt to new times it needed to “put an end to the difference between a professional journalist and a citizen […] the media must find a new middle position between sources and audience to continue being relevant”.

All this talk about the future led inevitably to business models, a theme that was not present in the program of the debate but which crept out from underneath as a matter of common interest of the participants. At this point the age difference between the five editors and their audience was palpable, as they debated about the battle between open and closed information while free data was being offered on the twitter trends worldwide being projected behind them. Then the debate ended and the questions from the audience were dropped because of “lack of time”. People left the auditorium abruptly and in a hurry. The feeling was that the debate turned out to be a friendly chat between colleagues, who seemed to be complimenting each other for their good work and doing a superficial analysis for all the young journalists they had brought there: no real issues were raised and the lack of participation made the debate shallow. Issues like the persecution of Julian Assange in the media; the lack of pressure against the war criminals still in charge of the U.S. government or the arbitrary transparency of the New York Times would have come up for sure if the people present would have been given the chance to ask.



Categories: Articles

22/02/2011 Pakistan: war and corruption (cable analysis)

February 22, 2011 1 comment

Aside from its own political and ideological conflicts, in 2004 Pakistan saw itself obligated to join a taskforce with the U.S. to fight Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups in its northern region. This created a relationship of mutual interests between the pakistani political elite and U.S. military interests on the region – generally characterized by the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders. This agreement seemed to complicate problems that already existed in Pakistan, mostly corruption in every sense, and a reliance on U.S. support also was originated. Based on leaked cables of U.S. Diplomacy, we selected some cases where this co-dependence shows its weaknesses and incapabilities to establish an honest and democratic Pakistan.


U.S. DRONE ATTACKS

Since 2004, the U.S. has been using drones (no tripulation aerial vehicles) to attack areas in Northern Pakistan with the official purpose of a War on Terrorism, aimed to defeat Taliban and Al-Qaeda groups. The drones have become a weapon of choice for the United States in the fight in Pakistan. Although it begun during the Bush administration, the “drone war” is still active inObama´s government. Despite officially condemning the this kind of tactics, the cables reveal that in a meeting in 2009, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Gilani “thanked the U.S. Senate for its support of his country’s democracy”, however, in the same document, Gilani added that “drone strikes not only violated Pakistani sovereignty, but also fed anti-U.S. sentiment, making harder his own public case that the struggle against extremists was “Pakistan’s war.” Instead, there was popular pressure on elected officials like himself to forcefully respond to alleged U.S. border incursions, which were “an embarrassment” for the GOP”. But this public ‘embarrassment’ has its solution, since “he believed he could effectively convince the public that those targeted were responsible for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination and the killing of innocents at schools, shopping centers and police stations” – facts which are impossible to confirm, as Benazir´s (a female political leader, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan) murder and the death of innocent people in are still very murky. (08ISLAMABAD3586).
In a meeting also held in 2009, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik asked U.S. Ambassador to hold off the drone attacks till the Bajaur operation got finished. But Prime Minister Gilano “brushed aside Rehman’s remark” and said “I don´t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We,ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it”. In the same cable we have a remark about how these attacks were portrayed in the media: “(Note: The strike has been front page news, but the media is reporting that the targets were nests of Arab fighters.)”. (08ISLAMABAD2802).
POLITICAL MANIPULATION
On February 25, 2009, Pakistan’s Supreme Court sentenced the brother Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, political leaders of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League, to be ineligible to work in public affairs. President Zardari, in the period, appointed Salmaan Taseer, member of situation Pakistan Peoples Party – which was led by Benazir Bhutto until her death and has President Asif Ali Zardari as chairman.
“Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif told Principal Officer Lahore [Ms. Carmela Conroy assumed charge as Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, on August 27, 2009] that the decision, which they claimed was entirely Zardari’s, was a declaration of war; they would not seek legal appeals and instead would take their battle to the streets. In a press conference, Nawaz revealed that Zardari had offered to drop the case in exchange for PML-N agreement to extend the tenure of the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; he called on Pakistanis to come out into the streets to protest”.
According to Charge d’Affaires Gerald Feierstein to Pakistan, “The decision [came] as no surprise; Zardari has been telling us for weeks that it was coming and that he felt he could control the reaction. Before making this move, he coaxed the Muttahida Quami Movement party into the coalition to renew Gilani’s majority in the National Assembly (Ref B). He also successfully sealed a power sharing deal in three of the four provinces over seats in the upcoming Senate elections (Ref A) to ensure the PPP will have a majority in the Senate.” (09ISLAMABAD415).

The relationship between Zardari and U.S. Ambassy was expresed 21 days before the sentence. On February 4, Feierstein had already cleared out on his scenesetter for Special Envoy Holbrooke [ In January 2009, Richard Holbrooke was appointed as a special adviser on Pakistan and Afghanistan]: “(…) you will find Zardari is pro-American and anti-extremist; we believe he is our best ally in the government. Clearly, Zardari runs the show, and Gilani has at times chafed at public acknowledgment of this fact. We believe, however, that reports of Zardari-Gilani tensions are exaggerated; Gilani knows his place and will tow Zardari’s line”. (09ISLAMABAD236).

HUMAN RIGHTS

In September 2009 the Pakistani Embassy reported a “growing body of evidence is lending credence to allegations of human rights abuses by Pakistan security forces during domestic operations against terrorists in Malakand Division and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas”. The abuses were being committed in the same areas U.S. developed massive missile attacks since 2004, the battleground of “Drone War”, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan. It is not possible to entirely guilt Pakistani Army of those crimes in the same way we can not forget U.S. participation on the same conflict.

In the same report Anne Woods Patterson- then Ambassor to Pakistan said “The allegations of extra-judicial killings generally do not/not extend to what are locally referred to as “the disappeared” .Although her advice to U.S. diplomatic corps was to”Continue to privately raise this issue repeatedly and at the highest levels of the Pakistan government and military”, on a worldwide level there was no register of communication on those issues with international community. (09ISLAMABAD2185).

“Pakistan hedges its bets on cooperation because it fears the U.S. will again desert Islamabad after we get Osama Bin Laden; Washington sees this hesitancy as duplicity that requires we take unilateral action to protect U.S. interests. (…) The relationship [between U.S. and Pakistan] is one of co-dependency we grudgingly admit–Pakistan knows the U.S. cannot afford to walk away; the U.S. knows Pakistan cannot survive without our support”, resumed the Ambassador on 21 February, 2009. (09ISLAMABAD385)

Categories: Articles, English

21/02/2011 Libya, a Republic for the Masses?

February 19, 2011 1 comment

Muammar al-Gaddafi came to power in Libya on the 1st of September 1969 through a military coup which proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic, now he is the longest serving national leader that does not belong to a royal family. His stance on international affairs has mostly been conflictive and aggressive in nature, although after a long list of disputes such as financing terrorism worldwide or military clashes with the U.S. he moderated his policies seeking collaboration with international corporations, especially with the Bush Administration.

In the early years of his regime Gadaffi set up a system based on what he considered Islamic socialism. In practice this meant a system based on popular or direct democracy, where the population would be organized in communes or popular councils so as to personally elect their leaders. The state was built upon these units and controlled the larger companies, leaving the small ones for private ownership. In 1975 he started publishing a recollection of his philosophy in the Green Book, where he called the system in Libya the Third International Theory, calling it a third way in between capitalism and communism. He also called his form of government Jamahiriya (a term coined by him), often translated as “republic of the masses”, thus making officially making Libya the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. In – Gaddafi stepped down from his leading position in the General Peoples Committee (the ruling governmental organ) and is now considered a spiritual guide under the title of “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution”.
Under his (something year) rule Libya has been involved in a variety of conflicts. For instance, it is reported that Libya financed the “Black September Movement” that committed the terrorist attacks during the 1972 Olympics in Munich; he has been in close contact with al – Qaeda and various extremist organizations and has had several violent clashes with Arab and non-Arab nations. The constant animosity with the U.S. reached its climax in 1986 when U.S. military intelligence intercepted cables proving that the Libyan government had been directly involved in a bomb planted in a West Berlin club that was popular amongst U.S. officials. President Reagan ordered an aerial attack over Tripoli and Benghazi that killed 60 people. In 1989 they also financed a bomb attack in a French airline, on flight between Congo to Paris that resulted in no survivors.

Their extremist position, however, has changed considerably over the last decade. In 2003, the government wrote a letter of apology for its actions to the U.N. and paid compensations to the victims and the parties involved in the attacks. Thanks to the analysis of the leaked cables the world is offered a glimpse behind the real motivations that led the Libyan government to moderate its position towards the Bush administration, a fact that led to the United States rescinding Libya’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in June 2006.
Cable 10TRIPOLI79 describes a meeting with Mohamed Layas, the Head of the Libyan Investment Authority in his “prime office-space overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Layas discussed with the Ambassador (accompanied by the FCS officer and P/E chief) the many ways in which U.S. businesses could thrive in Libya, through investment, trade, and joint ventures”. He also mentioned that “U.S. companies can expand on their success in Libya’s hydrocarbon market by competing for contracts in the electricity market, health services, and tourism”. These statements prove that Gadaffi and his family, who are well integrated into the system of power, along with other officials are planning and carrying out large privatizations of state owned companies, a process carried out with success in China and Russia (to name a few) and that would mean millions of dollars for whoever carries out the transaction. This claim is supported by Laya’s own statement, from the same cable, where he admits that there is a great deal of “bureaucratic and red tape corruption”.

In another cable, 10TRIPOLI136, “the new head of the Libyan Privatization and Investment Board, Jamal al-Lamushie, told the Ambassador (accompanied by econoff) during a February 10 meeting that U.S. companies are welcome in Libya, and to that end, pledged to help arrange meetings for the upcoming U.S. Trade Mission. In al-Lamushie’s view, most Libyans are pro-U.S., but, he believes some Americans have negative views of Libya due to the media. He said “we consider you as a friend, and we are all part of one team, to make the trade mission a success.” He also noted “that Libya was “speeding up” the process of privatization, in which nearly 20 state-owned enterprises will be either liquidated, sold to employees, or sold to investors. He said foreign investors are now able to partner with Libyan companies, either from the private or public sectors, in joint ventures at up to 60 percent ownership”. How these operations will be carried out exactly is left unclear.

In conclusion, the Libyan case (bearing all differences) is fairly similar to all the other governments that have either been collaborating with the U.S. and its corporations for a long time, or have started doing so after the Bush Administration pursued its war interests in the region. So, after months of protests it is becoming clear that what people are really fighting against is corruption created by government conspiracies that are acting against their people illegally for their own benefit and of those surrounding them. The nature of these revolutions is not politically oriented; it rather tends to indicate an attempt to change the structure of government from outside the political structure. The earlier protests in Tunisia and Egypt showed that governments could be toppled (if not yet remade adequately) and most importantly, that when people see the widespread rumors of corruption, backdoor deals and violent coercion confirmed by the media thanks to cablegate, they are not willing to let it happen.

Categories: Articles

19/02/2011 Jordan: the industry of War in the Middle East.

February 19, 2011 19 comments

A recent cable, from 2010 announces: “Jordan continues to face some of the most troubling challenges of King Abdullah’s 10-year reign”. These problems are a deficit of USD 1.43 billion, unstable regional politics, originated from the continuous privilege of rural communities in the East Bank over urban communities with larger Palestinian populations, rigged elections and unequal political rights (09amman813). The cables also reveal that this inequality is created by the government and pushed through by force: “The King’s economic and political changes face domestic opposition from tribal leaders and an array of entrenched East Bank interests. The latter include many in the military, security services, and bureaucracy, who enjoy a disproportionate share of the current system”. (10AMMAN329).

According Amman News, Secretary General of the Popular Unity Party Saeed Dhiyab stated that “the clashes were instigated by a group of hooligans, and charged that security forces condoned the violence by not intervening to break out the fights”. The current unrest in Jordan seems to be -once again-, the response of the population towards a whole history of repression and injustice practiced by its government. The clashes started on the 18th of February in the capital, Amman, between protestors calling for political and economic reform, and a group for “Loyalty and Belonging” to King Abdullah II. The clash produced an unconfirmed number of victims. Foreign journalists reported violent threats to confiscate their cameras and the media is still gagged by the government.

Despite its delicate economic situation, Jordan continues to seek participation in OEF or “Operation Enduring Freedom” (OEF is the official name used by the U.S. Government for the War in Afghanistan). The cables reveal, however, that military and political activism in Afghanistan is a juicy source of income for the country’s economy. A cable from 2010 attests that “Over the course of the next six months, seven additional BCT [Brigade combat team Modernization is the U.S. Army’s main modernization program] sets of equipment are scheduled to transit Jordan en route to the port of Aqaba and ultimately to the U.S. Redeployment represents a significant boon to the Jordanian economy: $15.1M in 2009”. (10AMMAN329).

In a meeting in 2010 in Washington, “Jordanians [were] expected to offer significant increases to Jordan’s security support in Afghanistan in exchange for additional economic assistance through an anticipated Afghanistan supplemental appropriation”. (10AMMAN219). In a summary, 2009, wrote by Ambassador R. Stephen Beecroft to Jordan, it was expected “the Jordanians would likely accept reimbursement at cost for any additional contributions we do want¨. (09AMMAN813).

The population never agreed with Jordan´s participation in the Afghanistan War. The Government has systematically refused to attend popular demands on the matter and called on them to support the War on Terror. What most people did not know is that the Jordanian Army never stopped supporting their country´s role in the War, but only for economic reasons: “Despite the recent suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan, the resulting press reporting regarding Jordan’s role in Afghanistan, and domestic public pressures on Jordan to end its security cooperation with the U.S., the Jordanians will make significant offers to increase their assistance during the Washington visit” (09AMMAN813). In 2010 the Ambassador in 2010 Amman stated that, “Jordanian government officials have privately reiterated the commitment to maintaining their relationship with us, highlighting their deployments in Afghanistan and elsewhere” (10AMMAN219)

Jordanian interests in war were also expressed in a dialogue with the ex-president Zeid Rifai, who “predicted that dialogue with Iran will lead nowhere, arguing that if the U.S., the EU, and the Arab states agree that under no circumstances should Iran be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, military force becomes the only option. “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter,” was how he put it to visiting NEA DAS David Hale in November [2009]”. (09AMMAN813)

Cable 10AMMAN329 says: “In May, [2010] Jordan completed a donation of 10 M60 tanks to Lebanon, funded by UAE. Jordan delivered to Yemen 25 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers in response to a request from State Department, funded by UAE. Jordan has offered to assist with other deployments, counter-piracy missions, and to host training courses and exercises for Iraqi, Lebanese, and other forces, but remains dependent on external financial support to fund its contributions”.

Significantly cable 10AMMAN459 from 2010 enthusiastically states that“JAF [Jordanian Forces] leaders have intimated that they would advocate even larger-scale deployments (a brigade), if the pay/entitlement expense were not so burdensome. In fact, during the Joint Military Commission in November 2009, MG Mash’al Al Zaben, Chief of Staff for Strategy, stated that Jordan would stay in Afghanistan until the last U.S. soldier came home”.

Categories: Articles

19/02/2011 Cables reveal corruption in Bahrain

February 19, 2011 2 comments

Every day the constant flow of leaks reveals why the people are fighting so hard to tear down the regime and write a new constitution: they show Bahrain as a country based on media manipulation, government lobbying and all sorts of corruption and trafficking of influences.

Policies in Iraq

On discussing political and military behavior of U.S. troops in Iraq with Ambassador to Iraq Crocker , the Crown Prince of Bahrain said that if the U.S. wants to “win the war in Iraq by using the democracy ticket, (…) that requires rallying Iraq and regional opinion, which in turn requires resolving the Israeli-Palestinian question”. In the same cable, Ambassador Adam J Ereli wrote down that the Prince stressed that “If this [a democratic solution] was not possible, then the U.S. should drop democracy promotion as the main element of its strategy in Iraq and the region and rely instead on traditional power politics (…) identify strong groups that would support U.S. policies, and stand by them”. He also added, “you did it in the Cold War and you can do it now.” ¨. (07MANAMA1010)

Eid Holiday 2007 – Media manipulation

On October 14 and 15, 2007, during Eid holiday (a three-day Muslim festivity that marks the end of Ramadan), activists of Al-Haq Movement, a political organization in Bahrain, tried to reach the Island of Um an-Nassan, near the fishing village of Al-Malikiya (the site of an active confrontation over fishing rights) “just off Bahrain’s western coast”. On those dates, “security forces intercepted the boats” and turned back several dozen protesters. Activists subsequently circulated an “invitation” for ordinary Bahrainis to “visit” the island on the following day. When they did so, Al-Haq organizers claimed that security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd before they could launch their boats. There was, however, no retaliation against this attack, as the “Al-Wifaq society (which participates in Bahrain’s parliament) told media that the protest was essentially peaceful”. In a further attempt to distort the truth, the “police chief for the area publicly praised Al-Wifaq’s mediation efforts for helping to defuse the situation” and a “Malikiya municipal council official told media that some protestors attempted, but failed, to explode a propane gas cylinder”. The same cable explains: “Following the October 14 confrontation, the government issued a statement in local media saying that the island was essential for Bahrain Defense Forces training and would therefore remain off-limits to the general public. (Note: The government restricts access to some thirty smaller islands and large swaths of the southern part of Bahrain’s main island. While it uses national security to justify these restrictions, it is widely believed that the access restrictions are used to reserve prime real estate for the ruling family.)” (07MANAMA950)

The Boeing Case in 2008 – Trafficking of influences

Cable 08MANAMA47 recounts the U.S. Ambassador interfering and lobbying for U.S. companies. “Following months of heavy lobbying by the Ambassador, the Crown Prince and King rejected a Gulf Air proposal to buy Airbus and directed the airline to make a deal with Boeing. Gulf Air signed an agreement valued at $6 billion with Boeing on January 13, in time to coincide with a POTUS visit. The agreement represents a significant Embassy commercial advocacy success”. It also points out that “Gulf Air was then still jointly owned by the Governments of Bahrain and Oman and Embassies Manama and Muscat each lobbied their respective host governments on Boeing’s behalf”. Boeing ended up sending a message expressing its gratefulness for the Ambassador. “In a letter of thanks to the Ambassador Boeing stated, “Your continued effort to touch the right leaders and remain a strong advocate for Boeing in this process made an enormous difference in the final outcome. The working together activity between you, your team, and Boeing is a model that we should really aspire to replicate in other countries.””

Maintaining a Corrupt Regime

The leaked cables offer a glimpse of the level of corruption going on in the upper spheres of the regime, on the other end, the streets are becoming more and more unsafe and violent thanks to the repression by those who wish to stay in command.  Until now at least ten people have been killed and hundreds are injured, some of the stories surfacing on social networking sites state that hospitals have been attacked and paramedics were beaten for trying to help wounded protesters. A couple of hours ago a video of peaceful protestors being assassinated in Manama by the armed forces surfaced on the Internet, it is very explicit in nature but it illustrates the point perfectly. Therefore, viewers are warned, extremely graphic content ahead:

Categories: Articles

17/02/2011 25 Bahman –Protests in Bahrain

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment
No Sunni, No Shia, Just Bahraini” is the chant going on right now in Manama, capital of Bahrain. Until now, political clashes in the country were always ethnically oriented, however since the beginning of the recent protests on 25 Bahman (14th of February), Sunni’s and Shii’s, men and women, young and old have been fighting together. Thanks to blogs and twitter accounts that have managed to escape government censorship, we know that a peaceful protest held in Lulu Roundabout has turned into a massacre of civilians by the ruthless armed forces: an unknown number of people have been killed and hundreds have been arrested.
International affairs
In an effort to gain a better understanding of the political and military background of BahrainThuhur prayers, Sunnis and Shiaa praying together at #lulu #Bahrain #Feb14 and its importance in the Middle- East, we must turn once more to the leaked diplomatic cables. In 08MANAMA496, C. Henzel, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. in Bahrain, states that “As the smallest Gulf state, Bahrain has historically needed closer security ties with a western patron than any of its neighbors. As a result, the U.S. Navy has had a presence here since the closing days of the Second World War”.  Other cables assure that in 2008 Bahrain’s leadership was “focused first on defending against potential Iranian missile threats, but also on the return of Navy dependents, and coastal radar upgrades”.  In the same year, ”U.S. foreign military financing for Bahrain […] was only $3.9 million. State, with DoD support, [was] pressing for an increase in the next budget”.
When King Hamad received a message from Iran urging both governments to support an attempt to drive American forces from the Gulf (08MANAMA252), his government was actually supporting the U.S from behind the curtains by putting pressure on Iran to change its behavior and welcoming U.S. military presence (08MANAMA528). Also, in his will to ‘fight corruption’ and secure his interests, King Hamad preferred a deal with U.S. corporations: ”U.S. companies have won major contracts in the past two years [2009], including: Gulf Air’s purchase of 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, a USD 5 billion joint-venture with Occidental Petroleum to revitalize the Awali field, and well over USD 300 million in Foreign Military Sales (09MANAMA680).
Local Affairs
In domestic political affairs Bahrain has long suffered from the clashes between two of its ethnic majorities, the larger Shi´a and the minor Sunni (who are in power and are U.S. allies): ¨The Wifaq party remains the most popular party among the majority Shi’a underclass and advocates non-violent political activism on behalf of the Shi’a community. Two Islamist parties dominate the Sunni side of the political scene¨ (08MANAMA592).
As a result, cable 08MANAMA496 explains that censorship and social coercion has been used to increase Bahrain´s regional stability: ”Over the past two months the King has departed from his traditional detached style and intervened personally in several controversies arising from Bahrain’s Shi’a-Sunni tensions. He has publicly, both personally and through his ministers, summoned communal leaders, newspaper editors and bloggers to warn them against crossing red lines against discussion of issues like royal family disputes and criticism of judges who have sentenced Shi’a rioters to prison terms”(2008).
Human Rights and Recent Developments
Although Bahrain has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world (according to the U.N.), its government´s preoccupation with war in the Gulf and mostly with Iran), the Royal Family has created a considerable gap between the rich and the poor. According to studies lead by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (2004), half of the bahraini citizens are suffering of poverty and poor living conditions. Furthermore, the government led by King Hamad has maintained itself during the years by repressing its citizens’ basic freedoms in various ways. Tonight, as people protested peacefully, asking for basic rights such as freedom of information and democratic elections, were brutally attacked, without an offer to negotiate, by the riot police and the secret service dressed as civilians (forces trained by the U.S.).  We know, from recent tweets, horrifying news about the protest that is going on at Lulu Roundabout. For example @BahreinRights said: ¨Protesters at #lulu been brutally attacked by tear gas & rubber bullets at 3AM (…) time while sleeping, many kids and women were there¨, while @Warchadi tweeted that ¨police are attacking houses and arresting people”. The number of dead and wounded is still unknown and women and children are being evacuated to a nearby hospital. Many of them are tweeting desperately for blood donations. Also, recent posts confirm that tanks have arrived at the roundabout and people are fearing for their lives.
Thursday, 17 Feb 2001, 03.52 AM (GMT 0)
@Dr_Murtadha: News of more than 100 wounded and tht paramedics are nt being allowed to pick up wounded from the roundabout #Bahrain #feb14 #lulu

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The problems of the presidential succession in Egypt.

February 11, 2011 Leave a comment

The struggle for democracy, unleashed indirectly in Egypt by the leaking of thousands of secret documents from the U.S. Diplomatic service, is particularly complicated due to Egypt’s political situation in the Middle East. The necessary succession of the Mubarak regime results in a very fragile state of affairs, as the important players in area, Israel and the U.S. on one hand, and Palestine, Syria and Iran on the other, all know how important it is to count the future Egyptian president as an ally. Precisely because of this, in a 2007 cable 07CAIRO1417 the U.S. ambassador in Cairo says that “Presidential succession is the elephant in the room of Egyptian politics. Despite incessant whispered discussions, no one in Egypt has any certainty about who will succeed Mubarak, or how the succession will happen”.

As of now, Egypt is entering its third week of paralysis; protests and riots are still widespread across the country and without a sign of relent. President Mubarak has hidden himself and even though he has come out to assure the nation that he will not run for President again, the government’s stance on the matter indicates that he does not want to step down from his office, but rather that he prefers to stall and see if the situation calms down. To relieve some tension he shifted power toward Omar Suleiman, the vice-president and the strong arm currently in charge of running the country. This political maneuver is revealing after taking into account the strategic interest from Egypt’s allies, Israel and the U.S. It is obvious that even though the Obama administration has publicly asked Mubarak to step down and allow a democratic transition, they did this knowing that they could never permit a figure such as Amre Moussa’s, the secretary of the Arab League, to lead the country.

The nature of this three-way alliance has been revealed in recently published cables, which show the motivations behind it in numbers: cable 09CAIRO874, for example, states: “peace with Israel has cemented Egypt’s moderate role in Middle East peace efforts and provided a political basis for continued U.S. military and economic assistance ($1.3 billion and $250 million, respectively)”. Adding to this feeling, cable 07CAIRO3503 reveals the submissive nature of Suleiman towards Israel, as he is said to have stated “that the Israeli Defence Force would be “welcome” to re-invade Philadelphi, if the IDF thought that would stop the smuggling”, and went as far as to affirm that, “Egypt wants Gaza to go “hungry” but not “starve”. More significantly, a cable from 2008 also points out significantly the benefits of a calming period for the people of Gaza, after which the Israelis could start to build institutions against Hamas, a plan alarmingly reminiscent to the recent populist measure of raising government salaries by 15%, as if he was precisely trying to calm the population down to his benefit. This man, the former head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, has also been identified personally as a torturer and has strong ties with the C.I.A, accusations that have been corroborated by the leaked cables.

Therefore, succession in Egypt is clearly a matter of international interest, something that does not only affect the Egyptian people but also the delicate balance of powers in Middle East, especially concerning the Gaza siege. If things go as planned, the U.S. and Israel will have succeeded in placing their preferred candidate and there will not be, as there has never been up until now, a real peace negotiation in Gaza. Also, this strong external pressure means that the battered Egyptian people will have to fight hard to achieve a real democratic transition, luckily, however, after Mubarak’s defiant speech on Thursday it seems the crowd in Tahrir square will just continue to grow day after day.

Categories: Articles, English

Notes on the persecution of Julian Assange

December 27, 2010 1 comment

[Este articulo fue traducido al castellano (espanol). Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

There is no doubt that Wikileaks is under continuous attack: threats from the Pentagon; calls by the old Republican right and the recently empowered Tea Party for a direct attack on what they have called a “terrorist threat”; the renowned boycotts by Paypal, Moneybookers, Amazon and now even Apple; the Australian government’s reticence to defend its citizen (Julian Assange); the rejection of Mr. Assange’s residence in Sweden for unexplained causes, and the list grows.

Now even though many voices have hinted, or even openly declared, that the rape charges against him are just another part of this campaign, because of its sensitive nature it is wiser not to hurry in our conclusions. What is clear though is that the constant irregularities at the heart of the case can make it questionable, which is why many of those voices are worried about the real motivation behind the accusations. Last August, in the middle of the political storm unleashed by the leak in July related to the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Assange was casually dating the liberal politologist and Swedish activist, Anna Ardin. According to her version of the story, he would have forced her sexually on the night of the 14th of that month, pressing charges around a week later.

It must be made clear that it is perfectly possible that Mr. Assange committed rape; that  we must not judge him with a different ethos because of his actions with Wikileaks and the esteem he carries. However, Anna Ardin’s lack of care allows us to see what is perhaps the true nature of the facts, as in the days following the alleged rape, she posted two comments on her microblogging accounts, Twitter and Bloggy, in which she not only does not complain of any sort of harassment, but seems to be thrilled with his company. When alerted and accused by the Swedish journalist Göran Rudling, Ardin erased both posts from her account. Is this the attitude of a supposed rape victim, deleting objective and very relevant information about the case?  Evidently, her actions speak by themselves. The good thing, as we have mentioned before on this blog, is that everything you do on the Internet leaves a trace, and effectively, Google recorded her comments in their image caches; Mr. Rudling found them and spread them on the net, making them impossible to be silenced (however, another obscure fact, that invites speculation, is that these caches were eliminated by Google from their servers, something that normally happens in years or never). In the case of the other victim, Sofia Wilen, related with Ardin only through Mr. Assange, we now know on behalf of the Swedish prosecutors that comments with the same contradictory nature were made by her through SMS on her mobile phone. There are a number of theories that attempt to explain these discrepancies: Ardin acts in a jealous tantrum when she discovers that Assange does not want a serious relationship and that he is simultaneously seeing Sofia Wilen (theory justified by her radical feminism, especially in articles such as this one and based on this other one, in which she elucidates methods on how to get ‘legal revenge’ on cheating boyfriends); Ardin has contacts with the CIA, acquired through her odd anti-Castrist activism and her participation in the Damas de Blanco organization, where  she met Luis Posada Carriles and Carlos Alberto Montaner, supposedly old CIA collaborators. This last one, as with all conspiracy theories, is hard to prove with certainty even though the doubts are obvious and remain.

The months following the arrest warrant are chaotic: Mr. Assange leaves Sweden several times; meanwhile the senior Swedish prosecutor, Eva Finne closes the case because of lack of evidence and  Claes Borgstrom, a right-wing politician and lawyer to the two women, manages to reopen it in another district; reacting, Mr. Assange’s legal team offers its clients disposition to preliminary questioning: they receive no answer;  he then asks permission to leave to England and it is conceded, he leaves and the media calls it absconding and fleeing; again he shows his disposition to questioning and again it is unanswered, Interpol enters the scene and an international ‘manhunt’ starts, magnified by the press; he gives himself in voluntarily and is jailed in solitary confinement without bail, he is kept there the for the maximum amount of time and has to pay a huge amount as bail; on the 16th of December he is freed but must remain in house arrest, with a tracking device attached to his body, waiting to be extradited.

On the afternoon he has freed he gave an interview to the BBC, in which he explained the court procedures from the inside and shed light on the harassment of his liberties: “We did not hear any evidence whatsoever; in fact, we heard an argument that has been repeated now over this court hearing and the prior too: that no evidence whatsoever needed to be produced and in fact none has been produced […] the preliminary actions in Sweden were done in secret, there was an application in Sweden to have me held incommunicado, there is a statement by the prosecutor that my lawyer is to be gagged.” Is this the normal behavior in an average rape trial? Again, the facts speak for themselves. It is clearly, as Mr. Assange has said, a smear campaign, designed by Wikileaks’ political enemies to misinform the general public, through the media they control and through the Internet. He stated that, “my name, if you search on the Internet, appears in some five million web pages, four million of those also mention de word rape. There are thirty three million web pages altogether on the Internet that mention the word rape in any context,  which means I am mentioned in over 1/10th of all the contexts of all the rapes ever documented on the Internet. This has been a very successful smear campaign”. It seems that they are holding him only to make his name appear next to ‘rape’ and far away from freedom of speech, transparency and truth; however, as of now, we can only wonder. It is another chapter in the war of information, with frightening conclusions like “some disturbing aspects of Europe, for example, that any person in any European country can be extradited to any other European country without the provision of any evidence”.

To counter this initiative we must ask ourselves, as global and compromised citizens, some frank questions: As Mr. Assange correctly points out, what is happening with human rights and freedom in Europe? How should we react if he is finally extradited and put on trial according to the Espionage act of 1917 , which could have him jailed or even see him executed? And more importantly, why is everybody talking so much about him instead of questioning the obvious war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why not concentrate on the lies that covered up the deaths of many innocent civilians? And finally, what can be done, as a global civil society, to bring the people responsible to justice?

Categories: Articles, English

New collectives: The Anonymous example.

December 21, 2010 7 comments

[Este articulo fue traducido al castellano (espanol). Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

In the growing clash between private and governmental institutions (which now includes politically controlled news sources), and individuals and free media, the self-referenced Anonymous group has come to stand as a possible alternative in which normal global civilians can participate.

Anonymous is an effective icon of how individuals, using the power of collectivity and a popular task-force, can take an active part in such crucial times. Their ideology is very simple: “We are doing this to support the ideals of Freedom of Speech and Information […] our ideals have always been to see information shared freely, and this won’t change in the future”. The main and obvious implication is that they are not politically oriented, a rule on which its members insist on. They claim to be outside the political-economical structure, they want to be a vessel through which well connected people can actually affect it and not only legitimate it through the planned regular ‘democratic’ elections.

The collective came into world’s attention after a Fox News report in 2007. In it, the media giant made a direct relation between the members of a forum on the 4chan service (a forum for members), with a group of hackers whose interests were stealing passwords, spreading false rumors to bring chaos, violating internet privacy, distributing pornography etc. This is actually blatant misinformation, and very far from reality. “Anonymous has been active long before Fox coined the ‘Hackers on Steroids’ meme”, we were told by an Anon. member. They are a “decentralized, non-hierarchical collective”, seeking to spread and enforce the ideals mentioned above, which has led them to be directly involved in campaigns against institutions and people who openly practiced censorship or applied restrictions on knowledge and information, organizations such as the Scientology Church and the Iranian and U.S. Government, among others.

They, just as Wikileaks chief Julian Assange has done in the past, do not regard themselves as hackers or a hacker organization. “We all have different skills to offer, we cannot be classified as a hacker collective (…) actually some of us can hardly even be called Tech-savvy”, they say. What makes Anonymous a collective is the diversity and the amplitude of its actions and members, they are not just “a small group of misfits on a lone imageboard. We are normal people: students, teachers, white collar, blue collar, doctors, lawyers, and so on. The one thing that ties all of us together is the internet”, as we were told by another member.

Internet is giving people the possibility to exercise their individuality, to assume an active disposition towards global concerns in a way we could only imagine a few years ago. This is especially notable respecting freedom, not only in speech or information but also in a personal idealistic context. Anonymous has become, in the light of recent events, one of the leading examples of these global dynamics: with the help of thousands of unnamed civilians who have found a way to make a difference, they are fighting for their causes, which, as we have been told, have been motivated by Wikileaks.

Thus, we are watching a massive and voluntary adhesion to the Payback Operation, a global and popular task-force conceived to knock down the virtual services of big private institutions such as Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and American Bank, among others,  for censoring and boycotting. This super-consciousness composed by users of varying degrees of specialization, attached only by the beliefs of free-speech and knowledge is growing, and is a leading example of how this cyberwar is changing the parameters of political activism.

Categories: Articles, English

Recent developments in cyberwar: Anonymous servers down

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

[Esta noticia fue traducida al castellano (español). Pincha aqui para leerla.]

The official Anonymous collective recruitment web has been shut down. A new improvised link announces: “Our usual website is unable to accommodate visitors due to DDOS attacks, so we have limited the site to a much lighter interface to display basic information to our Users”. Also, the Collective’s IRC network is under stress. There have been massive kicks, lag and many functions are unavailable.

The same tactic (DDos attack) used by the group to freeze Visa’s, Mastercard’s and Paypal’s servers are being used against them. A Anon. member pointed out that the current attacks are “fairly powerful”. However, according to this spokesperson, Operation Payback is not under risk: “nothing is ever cancelled / OP will be here until we are no longer needed / our stated mission and goals remain”.

The organization behind these attacks remains unknown. When we asked a member of the collective if they know where the attacks are coming from the answer was a plain “unsure atm [at the moment]. After some insistence they gave us some possible suspects. “Well the obvious assumption would be twofold / companies that have been targeted by the users of our irc is one / 2 would be anyone else out there who disagrees with our views (…) companies have before used hired guns to achieve their goals; ie aiplex”. ” I have seen some Ron Paul supporters call to action / only an assumption though”, said another.

Our impression is that the group is conscious about the magnitude about current worldwide events related to the cyberwar.  However, they stressed that “this is kind of a new phenomenon, we dont understand it fully either”. To end the interview a member explained: “Our hope is that once they understand what is at stake for everyone, they might decide that we are not a bunch of kids / that we are forward thinking in our views / and might one day decide that what we stand for is correct and just”.

The global cyberwar continues.

Categories: News

Networking: background and future

December 10, 2010 3 comments

[Ese articulo fue traducido al castellano (español). Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

The creation of networking back in the 1960s, through both private and U.S. investment in military research created robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer organisms. Eventually this system grew into the largest and most effective way of global communication.

Internet has become so important in our lives that we now live in two different, but connected worlds; one life as an “internaut” and another in the physical world . These two are connected in such a way that all one does online neccesarily affects the other.

Networking is present in almost every country in the world since it started in the US. English is the main language used (28% of Web visitors) followed by Chinese (23%), Spanish (8%), Japanese (5%), Portuguese and German (with 4% respectively). It has recently grown into radical new ways of social interaction, manifested through web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.

Users are able to add a wide variety of facts to any kind of web-pages, as well as share it with others for free. It is from this freedom to share information that the controversial concerns arise in the areas of privacy, marketing, and copyrights. This ongoing conflict, born with computing (see open source vs. closed source debate), has recently resulted in censorship. Countries like China, Iran, Myanmar and the United States, who have blocked some web pages that focus on subjects that contend their authority, contravene their ideals or that they deem goes contrary to their general beliefs. This censorship is relatively common in China and other authoritarian regimes. However, the attack perpetrated by the United States against Wikileaks, for doing the job it’s domestic media should be doing, is unique as it demonstrates the hollowness of the much stated concept of western democracy. Freedom of speech is not something that should be taken for granted, it is something that must be earned.


The growth of social networks has been so accelerated that in a few years time they have reached an extraordinary number of users. Facebook, for example, by July of 2010 it had more than 500 million active users. It is working in almost every single country and in many different languages. Social networking has become the biggest and fastest form of global communications, a fact with vast implications. On one hand, it is probably the biggest market tool ever fathomed by corporations to increase sales. This has led to a race to colonize the possible profits, and to achieve them a system is being created, from the inside, to control the Net in a capitalist fashion and ultimately, to achieve a sort of political control. It is an idea that as of now remains unstable, as many companies find it hard to capitalize on such a free and open space. The result of this is takeover is detrimental to our view of a free Internet.

Our virtual lives are replacing the way we commonly interact, and our space for freedom, knowledge and exchange is shifting on it’s axis. We must find a way to preserve it. If the people before us fought with weapons to defend these rights, we must also do it on the Internet, using information as our ally. The way to stop this corporate and institutional takeover is to understand that their own secrets are being read, watched and known by all.  With a transparent flow of information we can fight together to maintain net neutrality and reap the benefits of a free Internet.

Categories: Articles, English

Anonymous collective publishes an audio-visual manifesto

December 10, 2010 2 comments

An audio-visual manifesto posted recently on the net by the Anonymous collective is the best summary of  its beliefs and our struggle. The video points out some important characteristics about the group. First of all, they deny the claims that they are a terrorist organization. We are not a terrorist organization or a group of “hackers” as governments, demagogues, and the media would have you believe. We are a diverse group that touches every aspect of philosophy, religion, and politics ever conceived by man”, they say.  Also, they  continue to focus on popular recruitment, “It is here that we proclaim: Any individual, organization, corporation, and/or government entity which supports Freedom of Speech and a Free Internet is an ally of Anonymous. If you work to suppress Freedom of Expression and a Free Internet your efforts will be halted (…) We would like to ask that you as a citizen, organization, media entity, or government do the same by joining us”. We assume the group has nearly 9,000 activists and growing, where people with very different characters and skills are focusing on a common objective through networking.

[El manifiesto fue traducido por un colaborador al castellano. Pincha aqui para leerlo.]

Categories: English, News

Interview with @Anonymouse, member of Anonymous collective, operator of #wikileaks channel on AnonOps IRC server

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

[Esta entrevista fue traducida por un colaborador al castellano. Pincha aqui para leerla.]

The infamous hacker group Anonymous launched a popular campaing for those seeking to help DDos attacks on the systems which had boycotted Wikileaks. Mastercard, Visa, Amazon and PayPal are some of their aims.

An IRC server run by the organization is the recruitment’s portal for this global task-force.

This night we spoke with the operator of the channel #wikileaks.

[23:10] <> Can you give us general history of your participation in the Anonymous organization?
[23:10] <Anonymouse> sure
[23:10] <Anonymouse> i personally started being involved around 5 months ago, when the operation was totally centered in copyright matters
[23:12] <Anonymouse> soon, lacking coding skills, i made my way to propaganda design and control, vulnerabilities scans, and general control of some channels regarding spanish-french speaking people
[23:12] <Anonymouse> lately operation payback was dying for a number of reasons
[23:13] <> Which reasons?
[23:13] <Anonymouse> internal fights, lack of soldiers, and general need of a boost like wikileaks gave us
[23:14] <> So the participation in this conflict regarding Wikileaks is an attempt to get more public awareness?
[23:15] <Anonymouse> operation payback always was about freedom, including speech and press freedom, and also about gov’s control on flow of information and legislation
[23:15] <Anonymouse> i think i speak for everyone who gave 20 hours a day for the last half a year to this operation when i say
[23:16] <Anonymouse> wikileaks is the best of reasons to keep moving

[23:16] <Anonymouse> we still want to fight copyright, at least till we get an answer about our general requests
[23:16] <> You mentioned something about internal fights, what was the main reasons for the misunderstanding?
[23:16] <Anonymouse> concerning internet, patents, and intellectual property
[23:16] <Anonymouse> mmmm well
[23:17] <Anonymouse> anonymous is basically a massive conscientiousness, more than an organization
[23:17] <Anonymouse> however, in order to plan organized an long-term attacks
[23:17] <Anonymouse> some kind of power structure is required
[23:17] <Anonymouse> given that, we had 2 different internal kinds of fights
[23:18] <Anonymouse> since the operation started, we had another hackers attacking our servers
[23:18] <Anonymouse> “GREAT” hackers, so to speak, very powerful people, who asked for another kind of operation payback, not ddoss centered
[23:18] <Anonymouse> obviously anonymous disagreed that line of attacks because not many have elite hacking skills
[23:19] <Anonymouse> further on, passed some months of the first attacks
[23:19] <Anonymouse> internal fights where had regarding specific chatrooms privileges, moderators, administrators…
[23:19] <Anonymouse> fight for power, u may say
[23:20] <Anonymouse> or maybe, for glory, better said
[23:20] <> So Anonymous is centered on a more`popular`  form of hacking; gathering more users, also ordinary users?
[23:20] <Anonymouse> this operation specifically, it is
[23:20] <Anonymouse> it is based on ddoss attacks, in return of aiplex attacks against the pirate bay
[23:20] <Anonymouse> ddoss attacks require a high number of people participating to be succesful
[23:21] <> Do you agree we are now watching  some people fighting a global cyberwar, maybe the biggest one in history?
[23:21] <Anonymouse> no discussion at all, we are fighting a cyberwar since aiplex was first hired
[23:22] <Anonymouse> and no doubt is the biggest and most popular ever, in my opinion
[23:22] <> What are the perspectives of this war, do you believe the big institutions can be challenged, do you believe this popular task-force can reach its objectives?
[23:23] <Anonymouse> to be totally honest, since the first day i started fighting this war, i had something deep inside me that told me “this war is a war that can`t be won”
[23:24] <Anonymouse> but also to be sincere, wikileaks gave a whole new meaning to our fight, not only new soldiers, but new media coverage, new people affiliated with our cause
[23:24] <Anonymouse> and i think big associations may join us in the future
[23:24] <> A normal inte­rnet user that somehow wants to take part in the conflict, what can he do?

[23:25] <Anonymouse> visit ­www.anonops.net, its our main website where u can find everything you need to join. You can be a soldier or a thinker, a designer or a coder, a philosopher or an average citizen, there is a place for everyone in anonymous
[23:26] <> Assange said that world history will be divided in before and after the leaks, do you agree? What do you think about the global future regarding this matter. What are the consequences, what will change in your opinion?
[23:29] <Anonymouse> i think after we saw today, mastercard and visa successful attacks, this snowball can’t now be stopped, people is willing to know. What is happening right now is unique. Is an event that history never saw before, we are pioneers of the new ways, the free flow of information ways. Free information WILL change the shape of the world, the very essence of governments, the trsnaparency of every corporation. I can’t agree more with Assange. Once people taste the freedom.

Categories: Interviews

Characteristics of the Conflict: Free-media versus Institutions

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In the past days, PayPal, Amazon and a Swiss Bank’s  services boycotted  Wikileaks. According to the official  web-site, nearly 100 thousand USD were seized by those payment services.  As well as this, Mastercard and Visa have just recently blocked the financial services offered to Wikileaks, and the damage may be even worse.

A member of our Facebook group, Carmen Morawska, added an interesting piece of data: “Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, points out that while MasterCard and Visa have cut WikiLeaks off you can still use those cards to donate to overtly racist organisations such as the Knights Party, which is supported by the Ku Klux Klan”.

Another interesting point is that after being charged with “sex crimes” in Sweden (the country where, curiously, the Wikileaks servers are located – Assange is australian), Interpol called Wikileaks founder’s arrest on maximum urgency.

The truth is that after Wikileaks released the diplomatic cables bank services, internet services, local and international police departments and other governments directly opened fire against what they view as their direct rival.

For us these are inequivocal signs of the real essence of the Wikileaks Conflict: it is a dispute between individuals/free-media vs. institutions. All of the  big enterprises that stopped offering their services to Wikileaks had no legal background to apply those sanctions. What is more, they represent a direct political backlash, as both of the corporations acted under pressure from the U.S. Government, a fact which also makes it a criminal. As this is obviously illegal, Wikileaks is already arranging its legal team.  We believe this is clearly the start of a deliberate battle, in which governments and private groups exercise political pressure on each other to establish a common task-force, which is to restrain the claims for freedom made by individuals and the independent media.

Categories: Articles

Julian Assange on the impact of Wikileaks

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

In an interview published by the Spanish journal El Pais, the founder of Wikileaks affirmed that world’s history  will be divided in a before and an after the leaks. We believe it is the most relevant attack against governmental institutions in all of the contemporary age.  The impact on politics and diplomacy generated by the leaks, as Assange attests, are still hard to screen.

Assange, who gave the interview through the Internet, also confirmed to be, naturally, suffering murder threats made in great part by The United States’  far right politicians.

Categories: News

(Part 2) A GLOBAL CYBERWAR – A war fought by the global population

December 6, 2010 1 comment

<This is the 2nd part of an article composed of various parts.>

The free distribution of secrect, conspirational documents of different powerful countries, mostly of the U.S.A., constitutes the revolution brought by Wikileaks.  The difference with the past is that this not only affects the U.S. – like for example with the Pentagon Papers in 1971-, but is more of worldwide concern. As the 250,000 documents are diplomatic cables, most of the relevant countries in the global political landscape have been directly referenced. The organic workings of international relations have been exposed to the world, through the Web, to a global civil society that in this case, can unite around the same objectives as none of us likes what we see. The cables are complex and vast, but what clearly comes into focus is, as one of the leakers of the Pentagon Papers, Noam Chomsky has recently stated, a profound fear of democracy by the political elite. Their actions clearly oppose the will of their voters or supporters, even more so by trying to censor the truth and persecute the people who have shown it to the world.

The issue is that, however strong this feeling is, we are in a tricky position to act. In the past the path was clear cut on how to struggle for the rights of a population, the enemy was obvious. Nowadays, in the scheme of an unregulated global society, that is acting through new channels of social exchange, the whole thing seems very confusing and frankly impossible. Nobody has a clear answer on this subject, the road is being made as we type. Information, we would say, is our main weapon and our credo; if transparency is achieved on such a high, global scale, it is hard for conspirative governments to play dirty. Also, even though we find it hard to believe, they feel the pressure.

Stemming from this is the idea of Net Neutrality. This is a delicate issue, and a difficult problem to solve; it is also a principal reason for the whole misunderstanding between the rules and sanctions on the Web. It is here that governments, enterprises and free individuals are mixed in a strange relationship in which control is still, at this point, very lax. For example, the servers in which the information is saved on are owned mostly by private groups in a local setting; however, their information has a global range, so, what rules can we apply to that content? As of now, the basic norms are enforced by the local legal framework. So, if in Sweden The Pirate Bay is legal and their servers are there, a user in the USA can still use TPB’s services without any legal consequence – although it is illegal in his country.

Therefore, in a way the Internet is no longer a completely free space for exchange. Both enterprises and governments act as intermediaries in our connections through the cyber-sphere. The idea is that we have to fight for net neutrality, it is basic for creating an uncontaminated global civil conscience, capable of opposing big government and market forces. This means that a need exists, the necessity for a popular cyberarmy which could fight, or at least oppose, the constant threat of the restrictions on freedom on our only valid way of communication.

The most recnt chapter happened when governments were forced to really play a role in this battle between restriction and liberty, property and community, individual and institutions, fought in virtual territory, another type of political dispute was established. Given the lack of regulation, both sides fight the war with opposite interests  and with many resources. As of now, the U.S. government and its allies, trying to withhold the online presence of secret documentation, opened fire using DDos attacks against the servers holding them. The prized resource is information, the weapons are computers and other types of information. The soldiers: informers and programmers. This is what a cyberwar is about.

Categories: Articles

Founder of Wikileaks asks for financial help

December 6, 2010 2 comments

Wikileaks founder, the australian reporter Julian Assange sent this letter to partners and global community in general. He asks financial help to stand the costs of his legal representation. According to him, the prosecution started in Sweden, leave him at risk of arrest in U.K, since Interpol theoretically hunts him with maximum interest.

Although Scotland Yard confirmed that they know his exact location, they did not act. Some people think the threat of publishing top secret documents of a powerful, and unknown, American bank may be the reasons behind this threat. Assange has confirmed to have very relevant material with him. In the past days the Wikileaks site has offered an encripted doomsday packet supposedly containing this information. He claims he will publish in case of death or arrest.

For those interested in helping,  the Wikileaks Foundation has a web-page offering various ways to donate.

From: Julian Assange – WikiLeaks

Subject: WikiLeaks – hope you can help

Date: Saturday, 4 December, 2010, 3:21

Dear ***,

As you may have heard I am facing arrest in the United Kingdom in relation to extradition attempts by Sweden and probably the US.

If this happens I will be stuck in solitary confinement during my defence unless I can raise the necessary funds for bail and representation.

I am reaching out to you in regard to this matter and I am also looking at support to defend our other WikiLeak people.

If you can assist or you know someone who could please contact me here or my solicitor Jennifer Robinson (jennifer.robinson@fsilaw.com +44(0)75 8452 9148 or +44(0)78 3111 5000) of Finers Stephens Innocent LLP.

Hope you can help,

Julian

Julian Assange – WikiLeaks

Categories: News

(Part 1) A GLOBAL CYBERWAR – Background

December 6, 2010 2 comments

<This is the first part of an article composed of various parts. Part 2>

On the 22nd of November around 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables were published in copyleft status on the Internet by the non-profit international organization Wikileaks. Curiously, the shock did not allow society to understand that  this was to be the start of the most significant conflict ever to be fought through the Web, with implications which strongly transcend the cyber-sphere.

The concept of age of information, or information revolution, was applied to the 21st century without exaggeration by the sociologists of our time. The technological advances focused on adaptability, portability and velocity of data access and transmission in the past decades, lead us to a social context in which information is vastly connected by a global web. Also, the main global communication sources – portable computers and phones – are more easily accesed by  the world population; the numbers in this field are increasingly on the rise. The use of these tools, connected to the International Net, Internet, changed the history of human relationships with other humans and also with governments and institutions. The lack of regulations in this new enviornment, combined with the fast establishment of the international and global character of the Internet gave it the important status of an autonomous zone. Meanwhile, personal entities as well as private and governmental institutions attached secret information to the chains of this global cyber jungle made of bytes.

During it’s early years, Internet was mainly used by mega institutions, aiding in the exchange and access to contents; and also in spreading propaganda to specific groups. But step by step, the amplitude of possibilities of this global connected system also offered the appearance of political activism. Violation of copyrights was the biggest problem concerning this matter. This problem was mostly related to the free distribution and sharing of audio, video and writing contents of private institutions under copyright regulations and a solid legal framework; a framework which did not have an active application in cyberspace. The P2P, peer to peer, concept of mutual exchange of content between users is as old as the Web itself and is one of it’s founding paradigms: to create a space of ideal exchange, of creative commons, that in it’s final phase would bring intellectual and physical freedom. In this sense the Internet is a massive success and one of the only things our global civil society can be extremely proud of. The coroporate world – who is a part of this but cannot control it- has been trying to extract profits from this web for decades and they are starting to come through.

However, almost intsantly, a movement of boycott and liberation from the capitalist institutions, both governmental and private, grew to be reality. Napster, The Pirate Bay and so many others show an example that the Net became a place to get goods for free, to spare what you have and to battle the market conditions and regulations that reign outside this virtual atmosphere.

Categories: Articles

24/02/2011 Rusia y España: Mafia, conexiones, verdades a medias y secretos públicos

February 25, 2011 1 comment

El Fiscal de la Fiscalía Especial contra la Corrupción y la Criminalidad Organizada Jose “Pepe” Grinda González, que trabajo en el proceso de Zahkar Kalashov, un vor v zakone -el rango más alto en la jerarquía de la mafia rusa-, presentó recientemente un detallado análisis de las operaciones del Gobierno Español en contra del Crimen Organizado ruso (CO) o mafia Eurasiatica en una reunión a puerta cerrada con expertos en el tema, en donde explica que considera a Rusia, Bielorrusia y Chechenia como “estados-mafia”, y señala que Ucrania sigue el mismo camino. Cable:10MADRID154.

Grinda también cita notablemente la tesis mantenida por Alexander Litvinenko, el ex agente de los servicios de inteligencia rusos, que trabajaba en temas relacionados con el CO y que murió envenenado en Londres por polonio-210 radioactivo en 2006. Litvinenko sostenía que “el Servicio de Seguridad Ruso (FSB), el Servicio de Inteligencia Extranjero (SVR) y el GRU (servicio ruso inteligencia militar) – controlan el crimen organizado en Rusia”.

El cable también menciona a Grinda diciendo que “cree que el SSR está “absorbiendo” la mafia Rusa, pero que también puede ‘eliminarla’ de dos maneras: matando a los líderes de la mafia que no hacen lo que los servicios de seguridad les piden, o encerrándolos para eliminarlos de la competición por influencia. Los jefes podrían también ser encarcelados para su propia protección”. Argumenta, además, que el “Partido Democrático Liberal (PDL) fue creado por la KGB – el viejo comité para las seguridad del estado, fuerza a la que pertenecía Vladimir Putin – y que contiene muchos criminales de gran escala. Grinda añade que existen lazos comprobados entre los partidos políticos rusos, el crimen organizado y el tráfico de armas. Sin elaborar demasiado, cita el enigmático caso del “Barco del Océano Ártico” como un “claro ejemplo de tráfico de armas”.

Según el Telegraph, Este barco estuvo desaparecido aproximadamente durante un mes en verano de 2009 y fue recuperado en la costa de África Occidental el 17 de agosto. Todo lo sucedido está envuelto en un aire de misterio, pero parece claro que el barco estaba siendo observado de cerca por el Mossad (el servicio de inteligencia israelita), que declararía luego que el barco no contenía madera, como mantenía Moscú, sino misiles S-300, el arma anti-aérea más avanzada del gobierno Ruso. Su destino final era Irán.

El crimen organizado y el gobierno ruso

En el mismo cable Grinda afirma que “tras investigar el CO durante 10-12 años había llegado a la conclusión que si bien las organizaciones terroristas intentan sustituir la esencia propia del Estado, el CO intenta convertirse en un complemento de sus estructuras”.

También dice que “el CO empieza a acumular poder económico y político cuando consigue contratos civiles legales en proyectos civiles y relacionados con la construcción de infraestructuras”. Al referirse a los altos mandos de la organización (los vor v zakone) dice que estos “no se mezclan en crímenes como el asesinato, extorsión o chantaje, sino que se concentran en actividades de mayor posición jerárquica, como la compra de altos cargos del Gobierno”.

Uno de estos altos mandos, Gennadios Petrov, principal objetivo de la Operación Troika, llevada a cabo en España (para más información sobre la Operación lee más abajo), estaba, según nos cuenta Grinda, “peligrosamente cerca” de las altas esferas del GdR. Petrov fue, de manera curiosa y sorpresiva, puesto en libertad bajo fianza por jueces Españoles, y desde el 31 de enero de 2010 está bajo arresto domiciliario.

Varios países colaboraron en la investigación, que sigue abierta, entre ellos Alemania, Suiza, Austria, Bélgica y los EEUU. También sacó a relucir la reciente colaboración del gobierno francés y, más importante aún, la falta de colaboración del Reino Unido, país en que murió el ex espia Litvinenko y que bloqueó las investigaciones pertinentes al caso.

En cuanto a la colaboración del gobierno Ruso, Grinda recuerda los esfuerzos que hizo España para arrestar a Tariel Oniani como parte de la Operación Avispa (más
información abajo). “En junio de 2005, el georgiano Oniani escapó a Rusia horas antes de que fuese arrestado en España y Rusia le hizo ciudadano en abril de 2006, a pesar de su calidad de prófugo de la justicia española. Cita este hecho como “un ejemplo de Rusia poniendo a criminales de alto rango a trabajar para sus intereses”. También alega que el Ministerio de Interior Ruso está protegiendo a Oniani incluso mientras esta encarcelado. Cuando este fue arrestado en Moscu en junio de 2009, Espana solicitó su extradición basándose en los datos recogidos por la Operación Avispa, a lo que Rusia respondió diciendo que la ciudadanía Rusa de Oniani le protege de ser extraditado.

La Operación Troika

Fue llevada a cabo en Mallorca, Málaga, Madrid y Alicante, y su objetivo principal era Gennadios Petrov y sus colaboradores más cercanos, todos de la familia criminal de Tambov-Malyshev.

El cable 09MADRID869 revela: “La Fase I de Op Troika, ejecutada en junio de 2008, resultó en el arresto de veinte líderes de la familia criminal de Tambov-Malyshev, acusados de conspiración criminal, blanqueo de dinero, falsificación de documentos y crímenes contra las finanzas publicas. Muchos de los arrestados eran “vor v zakone” o “Criminales de Ley”, el peldaño mas alto del liderazgo del crimen organizado Ruso. En particular, Gennadios Petrov, el supuesto líder, Alexander Malyshev, su consejero y Vitaly Izquilov, uno de sus tenientes, que gozaba de libertad bajo fianza después de su arresto en la Operación Avispa. Todos ellos formaban uno de los cuatro círculos criminales más grandes del mundo y el más grande de la Mafia Rusa. España sirvió como refugio de las autoridades y grupos rivales. Baltazar Garzón, el juez del Tribunal Supremo que dirigió la investigación, acusó al grupo de lavado de dinero en España proveniente de una gran variedad de actividades ilícitas, que incluían asesinatos a sueldo, ventas de drogas y armas, extorsión, coerción, chantaje y secuestros.

El diario conservador ABC reportó en julio de 2008 que el gobierno de España había grabado miles de conversaciones durante la investigación de dos años. Fuentes anónimas revelaron al diario que 230 de esas grabaciones “te pondrían los pelos de punta” por la gravedad de revelaciones sobre los acusados –especialmente Petrov- y su inmenso poder y conexión políticas, además de la cantidad de actividad criminal en Rusia llevada a cabo desde España. Más de una vez se mencionan altos oficiales del gobierno ruso para asegurar a sus socios que sus actividades criminales seguirían tal y como habían sido planeadas. La prensa sugirió en su momento que esta evidencia, extremadamente delicada, podría afectar las relaciones bilaterales entre ambos países. Además, añadieron que los detalles de la operación Troika están tan bien asegurados que sólo diez de los más altos cargos del gobierno Espanol estarían al tanto de todos.

El ABC proclama que Vladislav Retznik, un colaborador cercano de Petrov, goza de fuertes lazos con el GdR: no sólo actuaba como mano derecha de Petrov, sino que además “lo más significativo es que Retznik no es un diputado más dentro de la Duma, no sólo preside el comité legislativo de mercados financieros y es viceportavoz de su grupo parlamentario-, sino que es alguien muy próximo al primer ministro Putin y que puede presumir de la amistad del presidente del país, Dmitri Medvédev, y de la del presidente del Sberbank (primer banco ruso), German Fref, hasta hace poco titular del Ministerio de Economía y Desarrollo.”
El diario ruso Novaya Gazeta publica que “un hombre de negocios anónimo de San Petersburgo, que trató tanto con la “Malyshevskie” como con la “tambovskie” en los noventa, contó a uno de sus corresponsales que la operación española podría tener consecuencias no deseadas para ciertos miembros de la élite política y económica de Rusia. Esta fuente considera que los citados “Rusos Españoles” podrían haber estado en contacto recientemente con altos mandos de Moscú. En particular, algunos medios nombraron a Igor Sechin en relación a Ilia Traber y Gennady Petrov. Igor Sechin es el antiguo jefe delegado de la Administración del Presidente y es ahora uno de los delegados del primer ministro.”

También en 09MADRID869 se menciona que “múltiples informes alegan que Moscú fue dejado fuera de la investigación Troika –cuya Fase II resultó en la detención de tres abogados en el Sur de España en Abril de 2009- por miedo a filtraciones a criminales objetivo del GdE. Moscú está interesado en conocer las pruebas exactas que tienen los españoles y ha enviado investigadores a reunirse con mandos del GdE en más de media docena de ocasiones desde los arrestos pertenecientes a la Fase I de la operación Troika. El Presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero y el Presidente ruso Dmitri Medvedev se han reunido tres veces desde entonces, incluida la ocasión en Madrid en Marzo de 2009, cuando los dos líderes elevaron las relaciones bilaterales de los dos países a la categoría de asociación estratégica y firmaron un MoU –Memorandum of Understanding, “Memorandum de entendemiento” acerca de la cooperación en temas de CO.”
Ver http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorandum_of_understanding

Operación Avispa

Llevada a cabo por el Juez Fernando Andreu, colega de Baltasar Garzón, “tenía como objetivo la presencia del CO ruso, georgiano y ucraniano en España, que presuntamente blanqueaba dinero proveniente de casinos ilegales en Rusia mediante la inversión en el mercado inmobiliario español”.
La fase III de la operación, llevada a cabo en 2007, terminó con tres arrestos más, incluido el de Eduard Planells,subdelegado del Gobierno de Cataluña, por ayudar a miembros de la mafia rusa a obtener visados de trabajo para entrar legalmente en el país. Más información en El Mundo.
Del mismo cable, 09MADRID869: “Si bien oficiales del Gobierno de España (GdE) proclamaron públicamente la Operación Avispa como un éxito, informes de prensa posteriores sugieren que las autoridades tuvieron que enfrentarse a filtraciones y desbarajustes burocráticos. Zahkar Kalashov y Tariel Oniani – ciudadanos rusos de origen georgiano, principales objetivos de la Operación Avispa- fueron aparentemente alertados horas antes de la redada ocurrida en 2005 y volaron fuera del país.”
“Los servicios de seguridad rusos o una fuente corrupta en el GdE han sido citados como posibles culpables”.
Kalashov sería posteriormente arrestado en Dubai y rápidamente extraditado a España, que había presentado una orden de arresto mediante la Interpol.
Kalashov “cambió sus abogados en Diciembre de 2008. Días después uno de sus nuevos abogados, Alfonso Díaz Monux, murió por disparos de un sicario desconocido en su garaje de Madrid. De todas formas, Díaz había recibido amenazas de muerte durante casi un año por su trabajo con otro cliente.”
Como ha sido mencionado anteriormente, el GdR protegió a uno de sus ciudadanos. “Informes de prensa españoles sugieren que Madrid ha expresado interés en la extradición de Tariel Oniani, arrestado por autoridades rusas en Moscú en Junio de 2009. España ha buscado a Oniani mediante la interpol desde 2005. Aún así, XXXXXXXXXXXX sugirió a POLOFF el 17 de Agosto que Moscú no va a extraditar a Oniani a España.”
El Mundo, periódico español de centro-derecha, publicó el 6 de Julio de 2009 un reportaje exhaustivo acerca de la absoluta falta de cooperación por parte del gobierno de Gran Bretaña a la hora de detener al criminal ruso Michael Tcherney, acusado de lavar dinero en Alicante.
Tcherney había huído de Rusia en los noventa después de ser implicado en una estafa bancaria por valor de 200 millones de dólares

Como reza el cable 09MADRID1003, “Fernando Bermejo, fiscal delegado de la Fiscalía Anticorrupción de Barcelona, encargado también de casos de blanqueo de dinero, afirmó que hay una operación de lavado de dinero a gran escala afincada en Barcelona, y “muchos, muchos” miembros de la mafia Eurasiática operando en la zona. Él y Gerardo Cavero, fiscal coordinador de la Fiscalía Antidroga del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña, sugirieron que las declaraciones públicas de altos mandos Españoles a mediados del 2008 acerca de que las redadas habían “decapitado” la mafia rusa en España se trataban de declaraciones optimistas realizadas en un momento de euforia que no reflejan la realidad.

Para detallar el nivel de involucración en negocios españoles, Grinda menciona uno de los bufetes de abogados líderes en España, Cuatrecasas: “¿Por qué Cuatrecasas defiende constantemente a miembros de la mafia rusa?”. Emilio Cuatrecasas, fundador, ha negado conexión con el CO, declarando que “durante los últimos cinco años y en diferentes momentos y procedimientos, nuestro Departamento de Derecho Penal ha prestado asesoramiento y defensa jurídica a cuatro clientes, sin ninguna relación entre sí, de origen ruso o de otras ex repúblicas soviéticas” También hizo mención a otros dos clientes imputados por blanqueo de dinero, “un empresario alemán de origen ruso, y relevante miembro de la comunidad judía alemana y, el otro, un importante empresario israelí. El primero de estos clientes se encuentra en Alemania a la espera de juicio y el segundo está en Israel, país que ha denegado su extradición a España por falta de pruebas”.
En su página web se informa de la fusión con la firma portuguesa Gonçalves Pereira y de su asesoramiento a Qatar Holding en su acuerdo con Banco Santander para América Latina.
También declaran que han vuelto a la “senda del crecimiento”, con una facturación el pasado año de 241,7 millones de euros.

Categories: Articles, articulos, Espanol