Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hillary Sends Panamanian Strongman Noriega to France?

Panama dictator Manuel Noriega finished his jail term for drug charges in 2007, yet remained behind bars in Miami as America decided his next stop. Panama wanted Noriega for murder, France for laundering drug money. BBC reported on France's win:

The former Panamanian leader, Manuel Noriega, has arrived in France after being extradited from the US, where he has served more than 20 years in jail.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier signed a "surrender warrant" after all judicial challenges ended.

Does the French extradition have anything to do with Noriega's work for the CIA? The CIA recruited Noriega in the late 60's and supported the strongman until 1987.

Will Panamanians ever get justice? Not from the "Just Us" crowd.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Specter of Iran as a "Virtual Nuclear Weapons" State

Anonymous sources in the Pentagon leaked a memo from Defense Secretary Robert Gates on ratcheting up military options against Iran. When questioned about the memo, the Pentagon spokesman said:

“The secretary believes the president and his national security team have spent an extraordinary amount of time and effort considering and preparing for the full range of contingencies with respect to Iran.”
Given Israeli PM Netanyahu's "press free" visit, I'm sure this is true.

An Obama adviser, one of two who approved Israel's military invasion of Gaza, weighed in:

General James L. Jones declined to speak about the memorandum. But he said: “On Iran, we are doing what we said we were going to do. The fact that we don’t announce publicly our entire strategy for the world to see doesn’t mean we don’t have a strategy that anticipates the full range of contingencies — we do.”
A "senior administration official" said Obama would draw a clear line in the Middle Eastern sand:

The official said that the United States would ensure that Iran would not “acquire a nuclear capability,” a step Tehran could get to well before it developed a sophisticated weapon. “That includes the ability to have a breakout,” he said, using the term nuclear specialists apply to a country that suddenly renounces the nonproliferation treaty and uses its technology to build a small arsenal.
That line in the sand surrounds Israel, with its hundreds of nuclear bombs and nonparticipation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. P.M. Netanyahu didn't return for Obama's nuclear security summit. The President can put off Helen Thomas, but not Middle East leaders with concerns about America's inconsistency. Turkey and Egypt were willing to point to the dung in the middle of the nuclear shelter.

According to virtual sources, Iran may become a "virtual nuclear weapons" state. Where's "spill the beans" Tony Blair when the world needs him?