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In our previous posting here, we presented MAS account from financial year 1993 to 2001 to show there is something sinister about the claim and demand to investigate MAS and Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.
The mere mention of Tajuddin does not attract complimentary and supportive comments, be it on ABITW or Rocky Bru's posting here that gave us a link. Some friends and political friends are whispering why this blog sounded supportive of Tajuddin, someone scorned by many.
We'll explain but we should ask why are many chasing the ghost of the past when there are bigger ghost of today?
First and foremost, supportive should not be the word but curiousity is more appropriate.
Secondly, it is nothing new for this blog to write about MAS. This blog has been tracking MAS issues until the time Dato Idris Jala left. We have written more than 30 postings on MAS and more when it include Air Asia.
This blog held back comment on the new management to give them time to establish themselves.
Thirdly, we sense a major bull in the stories on MAS by Raja Petra and Din Merican. No, it is not about a bullish stock market.
The story of MAS presented by Raja Petra and Din Merican have been made up and patched together with few unrelated stories to dramatise their politically motivated campaign to ridicule and smear national institutions like the police, MACC, Attorney General office, etc.
Fourth, we sense there is a sinister collaboration that could involve Tan Sri Nor Mohaamd Yakcop and Dato Kalimullah Masyerullah. Both are suspiciously linked to Anwar Ibrahim.
All one need is to go back to an 8-year old news article retrieved from Malaysia Today. It is a New York Times dated December 27, 2002 written by Wayne Arnold, Read below:
First he lost control of Malaysia's national airline, then one of its biggest cellular operators. Now Tajudin Ramli, the tycoon whose corporate empire has been besieged by the very government that helped him build it, appears to have lost control of his flagship holding company, too.Let's clear something.
Malaysia's bad-debt agency, Pengurusan Danaharta, appointed special administrators earlier this week to take over day-to-day operations at Mr. Tajudin's aviation holding company, Naluri. The move came after the agency scrapped a 510.9 million ringgit ($134 million) deal to sell Mr. Tajudin's 45 percent stake in Naluri to recover some of the roughly 1 billion ringgit he owes Danaharta.
"We have to make sure that our rights are protected," said Izhar Hifnei Ismail, an agency spokesman. "What we really want to see is that whatever value there is preserved."
Seizing control of Naluri also gives the agency control of roughly 900 million ringgit ($236 million) left over from the government's much criticized, 1.8 billion ringgit buyout in late 2000 of Mr. Tajudin's stake in the Malaysian Airline System, the flag carrier. Naluri's new administrators will now be able to open Naluri's books, repeating a process that has already produced charges of financial misconduct against Mr. Tajudin at the two other companies he used to run.
The unraveling of Mr. Tajudin's holdings and the surrounding scandal are part of a purge by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of the entrepreneurs he once relied on as nation builders. In their place, he has promoted a group of technocrats, like those who run Danaharta, to overhaul corporate Malaysia.
While it no longer has a business of its own, Naluri owns stakes in four small airlines, including World Airways in the United States. It also owns part of a Malaysian aircraft parts company with Boeing. Executives at Naluri said they were prohibited from commenting by the special administrators. Mr. Tajudin was unavailable, they said.
A former merchant banker, Mr. Tajudin rose to prominence in the late 1980's under Daim Zainuddin, then the finance minister. Mr. Tajudin's company, Technology Resources Industries, bought Naluri, then called Malaysian Helicopter Services, from the struggling Malaysian Airline System in 1991. The same year, Technology Resources bought the country's sole cellular operator, Celcom.
Mr. Tajudin capped the rapid expansion of Malaysian Helicopter in 1994 by turning around and paying 1.79 billion ringgit in cash for the central bank's controlling stake in Malaysian Airline System, financing the purchase with a huge loan backed by his own shareholdings.
Mr. Tajudin's borrowing caught up with him, however, when the Asian financial crisis hit Malaysia in 1997. While Technology Resources and Celcom managed to win restructuring deals with creditors, Mr. Tajudin tried in vain to sell his stake in Malaysian Airline to pay off debts.
In late 2000, the government -- with Mr. Daim doing a reprise as finance minister -- finally bought out Mr. Tajudin, paying Naluri the same price per share it had paid for Malaysian Airline seven years earlier. The bailout, which paid Mr. Tajudin more than twice the prevailing market price, provoked widespread public outrage and was followed by the ouster of Mr. Daim.
Since then, the airline's new managers have asked the police to investigate allegations of irregularities involving a contract with a Naluri cargo venture in Germany.
The new owner of Technology Resources has made similar accusations. Mr. Tajudin lost control of the company last spring when he failed to make payments on roughly 1 billion ringgit in personal loans backed by his stakes in Technology Resources and Naluri. Securities regulators refused to let him use the funds raised by the sale of his Malaysian Airline stake, much of which is still at Naluri. Danaharta, which had bought the loans from local banks, in turn sold his stake in Technology Resources to Telekom Malaysia.
This summer, Danaharta agreed to sell Mr. Tajudin's stake in Naluri to a little-known company called Valiant Entity. Local newspapers have linked Valiant to Mr. Tajudin, but Danaharta said it had no evidence of a connection. Either way, when Valiant failed to provide Danaharta with a required letter of credit for the purchase by a Dec. 17 deadline, Danaharta called off the sale and appointed special administrators for Naluri from KPMG.
Taking over the management of Naluri is an extraordinary move: the agency usually takes over only deeply indebted companies that it deems beyond restructuring. Naluri has no debts. But Mr. Tajudin remains Naluri's chairman and largest shareholder. In August, Naluri proposed buying back roughly 830 million ringgit in stock from its shareholders.
There was no "purge by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of the entrepreneurs he once relied on as nation builders." This we have confirmed with a close source.
If anything that Dr Mahathir was unhappy was the open declaration by Tajuddin that he was a Government nominees. Back when Tajuddin was "given" MAS, he said he was "glad" to the press.
And there was no such plan to replace the Tajuddins and the Halim Saads to promote "a group of technocrats, like those who run Danaharta, to overhaul corporate Malaysia."
It was all a Nor Yakcop game.
The Government had established Khazanah Nasional Berhad as the vehicle to take up allocated IPO Bumiputera shares.
Nor Yakcop was kept in Government after advising Dr Mahathir on the Selective Currency Control in the capacity as Economic Adviser. He was given a portfolio to take charge of Danaharta and be Chairman of Khazanah.
That should clear any claim that Dr Mahathir brought in Nor Yakcop into the cabinet and become a menace till today.
When he was Adviser, he was scheming behind Dr Mahathir's back with Pak Lah (Khairy included), and Kalimullah to make Khazanah a new vehicle to emulate Temasik Holdings. To do that, they need to acquire assets other than those already with Minister of Finance Inc.
Tajuddin and Halim became a victim.
Naluri was takenover eventually by Atlan Berhad group with Dato K being part of it. That explains his name is in the list Tajuddin's countersuit.
Tajuddin's Celcom share was sold away by Danaharta. Given the infrastruture and lead Celcom had, Tajuddin was shortchanged just like Halim.
Celcom shares was sold by Danaharta to Telekom, a Khazanah controlled company at around RM2.30 per share. One source claimed the Star report then that Tajuddin had a two digit price offer from abroad was true.
Khazanah has since grew bigger and bigger, but what has happened to it? It's financial position remains a mystery.
Under the helm of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, who is another of Nor Yakcop's running dog, Khazanah's performance is a big mystery and it's direction is aimless.
At one time, it was buying up asset and making claim it was nurturing and turning around companies. Except for Proton under the leadership of Dato Syed Zainal, Azman has yet to turnaround UEM and MAS.
What happened to MAS?
Since Azman and his Binafikir's Wide Unbundling of Asset (WAU) excercise involving RM5 billion worth of asset in financial year 2003, MAS faced a major loss of more than RM1.2 billion in financial year 2005.
They then brought in Dato Idris Jala, the man Nor Yakcop dubbed as the best money can buy CEO. MAS made a profit of RM840 million in 2007 but by selling off assets.
Since then it's profitability remain a yo-yo dependent on world jet fuel prices, because Idris timed his hedging wrongly until year 2011. Yet Tajuddin was being accused for loses from 1998 to 2001 arising from the ringgit drop during the financial crisis.
Operating profit is still a myth despite MAS showing profit. Is the profit a myth also?
The reason MAS continue to face difficulty lies with privately owned and majority held by foreigners airline, Air Asia.
Air Asia were taking MAS profitable routes locally and abroad. They had special status over MAS without the need to perform national services.
National services is something all that was dubbed as crony had to perform.
Under the WAU scheme, all MAS assets was taken over by Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad (PMB), as the leasing company which leases it back to MAS. It is basically a sell and leaseback exercise but on a bigger scale.
PMB is placed under Khazanah Nasional. What is the financial performance of PMB? If PMB and MAS were to be consolidated, what will be the consolidated profit and loss?
Only then will we know whether MAS did better than Tajuddin, the one being accused as corrupt and a shroud of conspiracy is being created as to allegedly cover him up by Attorney General, Police, ACA (now MACC) and who elses.
In the meanwhile, Nor Yakcop is still at large. His boys are still comfortably socialising with Kalimullah.
Khazanah is not getting any better.
All their ventures under the RM1 billion food fund failed to prove consultants and green boys of Khazanah can't developed and managed businesses.
Khazanah were made to look like fool to be greenmailed by two Indian brothers to buy a non-control stake in Parkway.
Their executives' KPI are to bring in deals and it doesn't matter if it bomb out later.
Khazanah must be bombing out everywhere. They are now on a selling off assets phase under the excuse liquidating not related investment. So much for so-called professionals and product of illustrious Universities.
Aren't they supposed to keep it for the Bumiputeras as a "trust" organisation?
No wonder they ignore calls by Bumiputera NGOs to defend play a role for Bumiputera agenda. The irony is Abdullah's administration had Malay Agenda as slogan.
Actually, they do not care.
Under another of Nor Yakcop's boy, Tan Sri Azman yahya, Danaharta never care to nurture ailing Bumiputera companies during the crisis.
Chinese owned companies were given much leeway but not Bumiputera companies. Azman Yahya was merciless with them.
The market talk among bankers then was that Azman Yahya was squeezing the desperate businessmen and taking the bargain buy for himself for a quick resell. Expectedly, most of the companies squeezed by Azman Yahya are Bumis.
Nor Yakcop is also continuing his losing streak.
He had cause a big hole in Bank Negara because of his foreign exchange losses which is said to be in the RM30 billion.
The true picture of Khazanah financial situation is not determined. By the time, Najib couldn't contain and had to divulge Khazanah's financial situation (with PMB included), Nor Yakcop should get a place in the Guiness Book of World record for the biggest loser of all time.
There have been endless talk that Nor Yakcop is in the must leave list in the next Cabinet reshuffle. But why is he still being given task and placing his people in agencies like EPF, Talent Corporation and Equinas?
So the fifth reason, why is the likes of Raja Petra, Din Merican, Tan Sri Robert Phang, Tan Sri Hadenan Jalil, and others are going for the ghost of the past than the bigger and more reckless ghost of today?
It must be beyond just about some businessman allegedly siphoning money or committing corrupt act. For politically inclined Raja Petra and Din Merican, there must be a bigger agenda at work!
Monday, December 27, 2010
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Sunday, December 26, 2010
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At one of the four weddings I attended yesterday, I bumped into one of the Political Secretary of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
When our conversation moved into the latest issue raised by Rocky Bru, the host popped up the question Rocky raised yesterday.
He denied and claimed if such a file reached Pak Lah, he would have seen it.
It could be a potential embarassment for him and Pak Lah because another source claimed Dato Seri Najib had seen the file.
Furthermore, a Jakarta based NGO, Migrant CARE, made a press release dated August 1st 2007 to inform the case involving Indonesian maid, Robengah is under investigation and their finding will be submitted to relevant authority.
No name of the Senior Minister was mentioned but a PAS blogger claimed it had something to do with a withdrawal a month earlier by a Senior Minister from contesting for a significant position in an International body.
The press release found on Tenaganita website here is reproduced below:
Migrant Care: Maid Raped by Malaysian Senior MinisterMigrant CARE did not release the name of the Minister.
We are extremely concern about the alarming increases in number of such rape and physical abuses incidents happened in Malaysia. Two years ago, we failed to advocate for an Indonesian maid who was raped by a Minister from Kedah.
We wish to express our gratitude towards the concern of the Civil Society and bloggers community in Malaysia with regards to the recent Maid Raped by Malaysian senior minister.
This case involved Malaysian Politician from the ruling party whose Indonesian Maid name Robengah is currently under Migrant Care investigation.
The nature of the case is highly sensitive and involve the national interests of both countries, we hope all the concern parties will be very patient with us because Migrant Care is as concern as the other stakeholders of this loving nation of Malaysia.
As an NGO Migrant Care shall have no political interests to tarnish the image of the politician and political party involved, nor denying the rightful justice of the raped victim.
We cordially request the interested parties please do not create any untruthful speculations before the results of final investigation of which we will officially submit to the relevant authority for their further actions.
Failure of such, then we shall seek justice through international communities.
RELA, in their national missions, has already caused significant hatred feeling among the people in the Republic of Indonesia against Malaysia despite of very cordial diplomatic relationship at the top government to government level. The role of RELA as Indonesian undocumented migrant bounty hunter has become significant security threat to the regional security in the years to come.
It is timely that Malaysia – Indonesia think tank groups seriously study the migrant workers that impacted the social, political, economy and regional security.
We believe justice will be done in accordance to the law of Malaysia through the proper channel and positive constructive engagement with the authorities involved.
Jakarta, 01 Agustus 2007
Kontak: Wahyu 08129307964, Anis 081578722874, Alex +60163121201
Perhimpunan Indonesia untuk Buruh Migran Berdaulat
(Member of Migrant Forum in Asia and International NGO Platform on Migrant Workers' Convention)
Jl. Pulo Asem I C No 15 RT 015 RW 001 Jati, Jakarta Timur 13220 Indonesia. Telp/Fax: +62 21 4752803
Neither do we know.
But one PAS blog, Jiwo Kelate linked the then Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim's withdrawal from nomination for the position of Secretary General to the Commonwealth to the case.
The blogger claimed Rais withdrew a month before the press release due to pressure from the Indonesian. Read it here.
That is PAS's blogger speculation.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Bekas Panglima Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM), Jen (B) Tun Ibrahim Ismail, 88, meninggal dunia pada 4:40 awal pagi tadi di Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan di mana Allahyarham dirawat kerana sakit tua sejak tiga bulan lepas.
Jenazah Allahyarham telah dikebumikan di Makam Pahlawan, Masjid Negara selepas solat Asar tadi.
Allahyarham merupakan ahli kumpulan elit Force 136 yang terakhir yang ditubuhkan untuk membebaskan Malaya sepanjang diduduki tentra Jepun dari tahun 1941 ke 1945.
Begitu besar jasa Allahyarham tetapi kenapa tiada kelihatan kaum-kaum lain untuk bersama memberi penghormatan terakhir?
Wakil kedutaan asing dan wakil tentera dari negara barat ada kelihatan tetapi rakyat lain negara ini yang menikmati perjuangan Allahyarham seolah-olah langsung tidak hargai pengorbanannya.
Penulis blog berpeluang menghadhirkan diri untuk bersama menyempurnakan sembahyang sunat dan pengkebumian jenazah satu-satu tokoh ketenteraan negara yang dimasyhurkan sebagai Panglima Melayu.
Kali akhir penulis bertemu wajah dengan tokoh ini ialah dalam satu majlis Perkasa yang turut sama dijemput ialah Jen (B) Dato Jaafar Onn, anak Dato Onn Jaafar pada Oktober 21hb 2008 di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman.
Semasa itu, Allahyarham melancarkan laman web Perkasa. Allahyarham telah diberi penghormatan oleh Perkasa untuk menjadi ahli Perkasa nombor keahlian 0000001.
Pesanan Allahyarham dalam Majlis tersebut masih lagi kekal dalam ingatan penulis, "Bersatulah Melayu." Seruan bersatu itu ditujukan supaya hak=hak keistimewaan orang Melayud an Bumiputera dipertahankan tanpa kompromi.
Ketika itu, Allahyarham menyuarakan kerunsingan kepada keadaan sekarang dan melihat kesatuan Melayu penting untuk mengekalkan keamanan negara.
Rencana mengenai Allahyarham di Bernama berikut:
Jen Tun Ibrahim Ismail Dalam KenanganSatu lagi otobiografi beliau boleh diperolehi dari laman Wikipedia sini.
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Dis (Bernama) -- Jen (B) Tun Ibrahim Ismail, bekas Panglima Angkatan Tentera (PAT) yang meninggal dunia Khamis merupakan seorang wira yang pernah menyusup untuk mengintip semasa pendudukan Jepun di Tanah Melayu.
"Have you met Mariam?" adalah kod rahsia yang digunakan sewaktu Allahyarham dikerah mengetuai sepasukan kecil terdiri daripada anak-anak Melayu mendarat di laut berhampiran Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu untuk mengintip bagi pihak British.
Kod rahsia itu kemudian dijadikan judul bukunya yang diterbitkan pada 1984 bagi berkongsi pengalaman semasa Allahyarham dalam tentera sejak menyertai latihan di sebuah akademi tentera Dehra Dun di India.
Ia mengisahkan bagaimana Allahyarham, ketika itu berpangkat Leftenan, dan pasukannya ditangkap dan menjadi tawanan perang oleh Jepun dan menghadapi risiko hukuman pancung.
Namun mereka berjaya memperdayakan Jepun dengan berpura-pura berpaling tadah sehingga akhirnya Jepun menyerah kalah.
Allahyarham, 88, menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya di Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan kira-kira pukul 4.40 pagi akibat sakit tua dan meninggalkan seorang isteri serta empat anak.
Dilahirkan di Johor Baharu pada 19 Okt 1922, Allahyarham mendapat pendidikan awal di Sekolah Melayu Air Molek sebelum ditukarkan ke Sekolah Inggeris Ngee Heng dan Sekolah Inggeris Bukit Zaharah.
Allahyarham pada awalnya bercita-cita menjadi seorang akauntan, menamatkan pengajian di English College (kini Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar), mengubah pendirian untuk menyertai kerjaya tentera.
Bagaimanapun, Allahyarham tidak dapat menyertai Askar Melayu kerana ia hanya untuk Negeri-Negeri Melayu Bersekutu ketika itu menyebabkan beliau menyertai Askar Timbalan Setia Johor (JMF) pada April 1941 dan dihantar ke India untuk latihan.
Pada tahun tersebut, Allahyarham menyertai Force 136, mengetuai pasukan kecil anak-anak Melayu memerangi tentera Jepun.
Selepas perang tamat, Allahyarham melatih unit-unit polis di Johor bagi menghadapi ancaman komunis ketika Darurat sekitar tahun 1949 dan menjadi sasaran komunis disebabkan keberkesanan strateginya untuk memerangi ancaman.
Allahyarham juga merupakan salah seorang anak Melayu pertama yang menjadi Pegawai Pemerintah Batalion pada April 1958 dan tahun berikutnya menjadi Pegawai Memerintah Briged Kelima Infantri ketika Konfrontasi Indonesia-Malaysia.
Pada tahun 1969, Allahyarham dilantik menjadi Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif kepada Pengerusi Majlis Gerakan Negara (MAGERAN) ketika itu iaitu Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdul Razak, semasa peristiwa malang 13 Mei.
Allahyarham dinaikkan pangkat menjadi Jeneral "Empat Bintang" pada hujung tahun tersebut.
Pada 30 Nov 1977, Allahyarham menamatkan perkhidmatan setelah 36 tahun berkhidmat sebagai tentera, sekali gus menamatkan perkhidmatan selama tujuh tahun sebagai PAT Malaysia.
Sepanjang menjadi PAT (1 Julai 1970-30 Nov 1977), Allahyarham banyak mengatur kerjasama dengan negara-negara jiran bagi membanteras ancaman komunis.
Pada tahun 2000, Allahyarham dianugerahkan "Supreme Warrior" daripada Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) dan "Doctorate of Philosophy (Management)" daripada Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM).
Jenazah Allahyarham dikebumikan di Makam Pahlawan di Masjid Negara selepas solat Asar.
Sementara itu, bekas Panglima Angkatan Tentera Jen (B) Tan Sri Yaakob Mat Zin berkata Allahyarham seorang yang sangat mengenali anggota dan pegawainya walaupun peringkat bawahan.
Bekas Panglima Tentera Darat Jen (B) Tan Sri Md Hashim Hussein pula berkata Allahyarham sangat berkesan dalam pentadbiran ketika menjadi Director Operation East Malaysia pada tahun 1958.
"Keadaan ketika itu tegang dengan ancaman subversif di Sabah. Namun dengan kepimpinan Allahyarham, semua keadaan dapat dihadapi dengan tenang hinggalah ancaman komunis reda," katanya.
Sumbangan dan pengorbanan tokoh-tokoh seperti Allahyarham sering hilang dari pengetahun rakyat. Pelbagai kisah keberanian dan kepahlawanan askar-askar berhadapan dengan musuh hilang dalam lipatan sejarah.
Begitu banyak nyawa askar yang terkorban tanpa dikenang dan diketahui oleh orang ramai yang kini mengambil mudah keamanan dan kesejahteraan yang dikecapi negara ini.
Hanya doa dan fatihah saja yang dapat kita hadiahkan buat pahlawan pahlawan seperti Allahyarham.
Dalam ucapan takziah kepada keluarga Setiausaha Agung Perkasa, Tuan Syed Hasan Syed Ali menggesa kerajaan mewujudkan Muzium Kesultanan dan Pahlawan-Pahlwan Melayu untuk mengenang jasa mereka-mereka yang telah menyumbang kepada bangsa, agama, dan negara.
Muga Allah cucuri rahmat ke atas roh Panglima Melayu ini yang telah banyak berjasa untuk memberikan keamanan dan kesejahteraan kepada semua rakyat Malaysia. Kami doakan rohnya diletakkan bersama para syuhada.
Al Fatihah buat Pahlawan.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010
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Show me the money, Salahuddin!
MACC Operations Review Panel chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil gave a statement to confirm MACC is investigating former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli for graft. The first to hit the story online was The Sun here.
This statement seemed in contrary to the operational description by MACC Commisioner Dato Abu Kassim in a meet the blogger session recently. It is also strange that a Panel Chairman is talking to the press.
His statement is in contradiction to what was told to us by Abu Kassim and gave the impression that MACC could be pressured by political opposition propaganda in the same manner opposition are claiming the ruling party is influencing corruption investigation and prosecution.
Being independent means MACC's operation should be free from politics and not be easily influenced by political propaganda, particularly the senseless unjustifiable ones.
MACC had succumbed to the propaganda and charade by Raja Petra, dan blogger Din Merican with YB Salahuddin Ayub as front. The suspicion is there are former police Dato Ramli Yusoff and lawyer Rosli Dahalan as ventriloquists.
Even with them behind, Raja Petra and Salahuddin can't convincingly explain their allegations. They have not been subjected to Q&As with bloggers. Probably, neither do Din Merican knows head or tail. He has long left the corporate world to sufficiently know the story behind the story.
Despite being a member of Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Salahuddin couldn't draw enough attention on his allegation against MAS.
They turned towards Tan Sri Robert Phang - an old philantropist, or that is what everyone claim he is and member of the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel of MACC - to raise ruckus. It is obvious that all of Robert Phang's issues are those written repeatedly by Raja Petra.
Robert Phang has lately been quite generous giving donations to DAP, thus it is clear where his political leaning is. His impartiality is now questionable.
Let's read the The Sun yesterday, below:
MACC renews probe on Tajudin RamliBefore exposing the ridiculous claim they made of the so-called MAS scandal, there is a strange procedural precedent here.
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15, 2010): New evidence and witnesses have surfaced, prompting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to renew a probe into former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli for graft.
MACC Operations Review Panel chairman Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil said today that contrary to claims by various quarters, the MACC was indeed investigating Tajudin for corruption.
"In view of new evidence surfacing, investigations are under process," he told a press conference, adding that "new evidence" also meant a witness or witnesses had come forward to shed light.
He said the investigation involved reports lodged against Tajudin in connection with MAS’s cargo operations.
"Many alleged MACC had swept the matter under the carpet, but the fact is MACC is investigating Tajudin," he said.
Read for the rest of the news on The Sun here.
Since when do those other than the Commissioner, Dato Abu Kassim or his assigned person become the spokesman for MACC?
Operations Review Panel play an active check and balance role in the operations of MACC but the Panel does not run the operations of MACC. Thus, the Chairman of the Panel is not the Commission's so-called CEO to make public announcements for the MACC!
Look up the MACC official website here for details on the Panel's term of reference.
In the session with Abu Kassim, the bloggers did seek for explanation on the MAS issue raised by Raja Petra and his gang. Abu Kassim explained that the investigation was done by police, thus MACC can't be investigating what is already being investiogated by police since 2002.
MACC only existed in 2009 and the Act passed in Parliament in 2008.
Maybe they find it difficult to understand that when one Government agency take up the case, they other agency lay off. Duplication of work is too difficult a concept for anarchist and Pakatan supporters to understand.
Hadenan dah memandai-mandai and playing to the political gallery which could cause embarassment to the Commission.
Since this is about fighting corruption, one is obliged to put aside such tiny winy issues. After all, one is talking about Tajuddin Ramli, Tun Daim's alleged crony. And it is about fighting someone claimed to be arrogant and Din Merican's motivation to take up cause.
Since it will weaken my argument to raise territorial and bureaucratic issues, I am obliged to put all this aside even though Din Merican was quite an arrogant sonofabitch himself and I was at his receiving end when he was at Sime Darby.
Before going further, the pertinent question to ask: Is there a case against Tajuddin?
To answer and analysis that, we use The Malaysia Insiders yesterday's report that is padded with background information as a guide.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed today that new evidence has surfaced in its investigations against Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.Now for the background information.
The anti-graft body’s Operations’ Evaluation Panel chairman (PPO) Tan Sri Dr Hadenan Abdul Jalil said today that corruption investigations against the former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman was still underway, but refused to elaborate further.
“The MACC still currently investigating Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli, the former MAS chairman for alleged corruption.
“There is new evidence to Tajuddin Ramli’s case, but we cannot reveal any further details as of yet. There are new witnesses, but with all corruption cases, it can only stay investigated if witnesses come forward,” Hadenan told a press conference today.
MAS experienced its biggest ever loss amounting to RM8 billion when Tajuddin was chairman, which led to complaints being lodged against him.This part puzzles me.
Pakatan Rakyat parties, chiefly PAS, have been pressuring the MACC to investigate the high-profile case, using the anti-graft body’s delay in investigations as political fodder in nightly rallies across the country.
PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub, who is part of the Parliamentary Committee on Corruption, had claimed that the MACC was holding back in probing the case.
“I cannot forget the MAS issue... I had reported it to MACC, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Police and the chairman of the special panel for MACC but so far there has been no response.
The reason is PAS people are not equipped to handle corporate issues and honestly speaking, none have the ability to decipher any corporate wrongdoings. It is difficult to trust Salahuddin's allegation.
The question is how did Salahuddin came up with such a number of RM8 billion loss during Tajuddin's time.
Let us look at the following compilation of MAS accounts.
Tajuddin joined MAS on July 1994 and left on February 2000. For easy calculation, we consider financial ending 31 March 1994 to 2001.
The total loss before tax between FY 1994 to 2000 adds up to RM752 million and total after tax loss is RM908 million.
Aisay YB ... it is hardly RM1 billion, thus where did you get loss of RM8 billion? I have yet to even go deeply into the account.
Continuing the MI report:
“If you follow procedures, this is strange, why no development in these cases? Look at PKFZ, only after five years we see some form of action, the same goes for (Datuk Seri) Khir Toyo,” the PAS man told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.To repeat again, Salahuddin should have ask the police. Raja Petra's police friend Ramli Yusof was the investigating officer. Ask Raja Petra then!
Hadenan, however, refuted allegations that the anti-graft body was powerless when investigating high-powered personalities.
“There have been claims that the MACC has not been investigating (Tajuddin Ramli’s) case... investigations are still being carried,” said Hadenan.
MAS had first lodged a police report against Tajuddin in 2002 for allegedly causing the national carrier to suffer losses in excess of RM8 billion.
Tajuddin was the executive chairman of the airlines from 1994 to 2001.
Investigation take time. Salahuddin should understand the process. Has he been playing truant or sleeping in the Advisory Board meetings?
More from MI:
According to a report to the MACC, a major contributor to the record losses under Tajuddin was the relocation of MAS’s cargo operation in Amsterdam and Frankfurt to a single hub in Hahn, Germany, where the airline was forced to enter into a disadvantageous aircraft lease contract with a company, which was later linked to Tajuddin’s family.There has been much talked on this.
The new cargo hub operation had caused MAS to suffer losses of between RM10 million and RM16 million a month before the project was terminated after the government regained control of MAS in 2001.
The termination resulted in a RM300 million arbitration claim against MAS by the company.
But why did MAS went for arbitration and end up losing? Why did they not go for civil lawsuit or file a report with the German police or it's anti-corruption agency?
Having lost it, is there any more issue? Wonder who is the dumb lawyer for MAS?
The General Counself for MAS is Dr Wafi Hamid, son of former Minister, Tan Sri Hamid Osman. MAS had initially hired the firm Norton Roose to represent them but Dr Wafi changed it to his buddy in Hishamuddin & Lee. Hishamuddin & Lee only pocket the in=between for the work was out-sourced to Allen Gladhill & Co.
Wafi's buddy is Rosli Dahalan ....
The report to the MACC dated May last year also alleged that the Attorney-General has been reluctant to prosecute Tajuddin, despite the then-CCID chief Datuk Ramli Yusoff’s assurance in 2007 that it had identified various prosecutable offences.All these claim will be taken into cognizance.
It also claimed that Tajuddin had been given access to the investigation and police records, which were used to facilitate the arbitration claim.
But since Ramli Yusoff is mentioned, it is worth noting that his name regularly crops up in Raja Petra's Malaysia Today and Din Merican's blog.
Both of them championed Ramli Yusoff's cause. They claimed Ramli and his lawyer, Rosli Dahalan was charged for corruption because former IGP, Tan Sri Musa Hassan fixed him. Again we take cognizance.
When both were acquited, it was a big victory for their propaganda. However, some lawyer friends said Raja Petra and Din Merican did not tell the full story.
Ramli had declared his asset but couldn't explained it. He got away because unlike Singapore, our court does not accept unexplainable asset as proof for act of corruption.
Bar Council mana? Tidor ka?
The question still remain: How did Ramli got his money? The only explanation plausible is corruption. Ramli cannot claim he is exonerated because of the weakness of our judges.
These Pakatan and now claiming Third Force supporters claimed to be fighting against corruption and accused others of corruption but they themselves are working together with corrupts.
Tajuddin is in quite a predicament. For someone friendly with the Government, he is walking on a tight rope since he had to counter sue the Government. But he can afford lawyers.
For us the rakyat, the issues now is the difficulty MACC has to face in their pursuit to combat corruption when:
1. those supposed to provide check and balance in operations stoop to political pressure and ridiculous claims and some playing politics themselves;Is there a case against Tajuddin?
2. those inside the committees, panels and advisory boards of MACC are themselves putting the organisation in a difficult spot with their political spinning then actually working seriously to address corruption;
3. those making allegations have no sincerity to make their allegations sensible but keep repeating the same lies just to deceive the public into believing; and
4. those claiming whistle blowers are themselves corrupt and have ulterior motives.
Perhaps Raja Petra and Salahuddin can explain further, but no spinning please!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Global Research, December 13, 2010
"World bankers, by pulling a few simple levers that control the flow of money, can make or break entire economies. By controlling press releases of economic strategies that shape national trends, the power elite are able to not only tighten their stranglehold on this nation's economic structure, but can extend that control world wide. Those possessing such power would logically want to remain in the background, invisible to the average citizen." (Aldus Huxley)
Wikleaks is upheld as a breakthrough in the battle against media disinformation and the lies of the US government.
Unquestionably, the released documents constitute an important and valuable data bank. The documents have been used by critical researchers since the outset of the Wikileaks project. Wikileaks earlier revelations have focussed on US war crimes in Afghanistan (July 2010) as well as issues pertaining to civil liberties and the "militarization of the Homeland" (see Tom Burghardt, Militarizing the "Homeland" in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis, Global Research, October 11, 2008)
In October 2010, WikiLeaks was reported to have released some 400,000 classified Iraq war documents, covering events from 2004 to 2009 (Tom Burghardt, The WikiLeaks Release: U.S. Complicity and Cover-Up of Iraq Torture Exposed, Global Research, October 24, 2010). These revelations contained in the Wikileaks Iraq War Logs provide "further evidence of the Pentagon's role in the systematic torture of Iraqi citizens by the U.S.-installed post-Saddam regime." (Ibid)
Progressive organizations have praised the Wikileaks endeavor. Our own website Global Research has provided extensive coverage of the Wikileaks project.
The leaks are heralded as an immeasurable victory against corporate media censorship.
But there more than meets the eye.
Even prior to the launching of the project, the mainstream media had contacted Wikileaks.
There are also reports from published email exchanges that Wikileaks had entered into negotiations with several corporate foundations for funding. (Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007).
The linchpin of WikiLeaks's financial network is Germany's Wau Holland Foundation. ... "We're registered as a library in Australia, we're registered as a foundation in France, we're registered as a newspaper in Sweden," Mr. Assange said. WikiLeaks has two tax-exempt charitable organizations in the U.S., known as 501C3s, that "act as a front" for the website, he said. He declined to give their names, saying they could "lose some of their grant money because of political sensitivities."
Mr. Assange said WikiLeaks gets about half its money from modest donations processed by its website, and the other half from "personal contacts," including "people with some millions who approach us...." (WikiLeaks Keeps Funding Secret, WSJ.com, August 23, 2010)
At the outset in early 2007, Wikileaks acknowledges that it was "founded by Chinese dissidents, mathematicians and startup company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa".... [Its advisory board] includes representatives from expat Russian and Tibetan refugee communities, reporters, a former US intelligence analyst and cryptographers." (Wikileaks Leak email exchanges, January 2007).
Wikileaks formulated its mandate on its website as follows: [Wikileaks will be] "an uncensorable version of Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations," CBC News - Website wants to take whistleblowing online, January 11, 2007, emphasis added).
This mandate was confirmed by Julian Assange in June 2010 interview in the New Yorker:
"Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations. In an invitation to potential collaborators in 2006, he wrote, “Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations...." (quoted in WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 7, 2010, emphasis added)
Assange also intimated that "exposing secrets" "could potentially bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality—including the US administration." (Ibid)
From the outset, Wikileaks' geopolitical focus on "oppressive regimes" in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Central Asia was "appealing", i.e. consistent with US foreign policy.
The composition of the Wikileaks team, not to mention the methodology of "exposing secrets" of foreign governments, were in line with the practices of US covert operations geared towards triggering "regime change".
The Role of the Corporate Media: The Central Role of the New York Times
Wikileaks is not a typical alternative media initiative. The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel are directly involved in the editing and selection of leaked documents. The Economist and Time Magazine have also played an important role.
While the project and its editor Julian Assange reveal a commitment and concern for truth in media, the recent Wikileaks releases of embassy cables have been carefully "redacted" by the mainstream media in liaison with the US government. (See Interview with David E. Sanger, Fresh Air, PBS, December 8, 2010)
This collaboration between Wikileaks and selected mainstream media is not fortuitous; it was part of an agreement between several major US and European newspapers and Wikileaks' editor Julian Assange.
The important question is who controls and oversees the selection, distribution and editing of released documents to the broader public?
What US foreign policy objectives are being served through this redacting process?
Is Wikileaks part of an awakening of public opinion, of a battle against the lies and fabrications which appear daily in the print media and on network TV?
If so, how can this battle against media disinformation be waged with the participation and collaboration of the corporate architects of media disinformation.
Julian Assange has enlisted the architects of media disinformation to fight media disinformation: An incongruous and self-defeating procedure.
America's corporate media and more specifically the New York Times are an integral part of the economic establishment, with links to Wall Street, the Washington think tanks, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Moreover, the US corporate media has developed a longstanding relationship to the US intelligence apparatus, going back to "Operation Mocking Bird", an initiative of the CIA's Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s.
Even before the Wikileaks project got off the ground, the mainstream media was implicated. A role was defined and agreed upon for the corporate media not only in the release, but also in the selection and editing of the leaks. In a bitter irony, the "professional media" to use Julian Assange's words in an interview with The Economist, have been partners in the Wikileaks project from the outset.
Moreover, key journalists with links to the US foreign policy-national security intelligence establishment have worked closely with Wikileaks, in the distribution and dissemination of the leaked documents.
In a bitter irony, Wikileaks partner, The New York Times which has consistently promoted media disinformation is now being accused of conspiracy. For what? For revealing the truth? Or for manipulating the truth? In the words of Senator Joseph L. Lieberman:
“I certainly believe that WikiLleaks has violated the Espionage Act, but then what about the news organizations — including The Times — that accepted it and distributed it?” Mr. Lieberman said, adding: “To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, and whether they have committed a crime, I think that bears a very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department.” (WikiLeaks Prosecution Studied by Justice Department - NYTimes.com, December 7, 2010)
This "redacting" role of The New York Times is candidly acknowledged by David E Sanger, Chief Washington correspondent of the NYT:
"[W]e went through [the cables] so carefully to try to redact material that we thought could be damaging to individuals or undercut ongoing operations. And we even took the very unusual step of showing the 100 cables or so that we were writing from to the U.S. government and asking them if they had additional redactions to suggest." (See PBS Interview; The Redacting and Selection of Wikileaks documents by the Corporate Media, PBS interview on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross: December 8, 2010, emphasis added).
Yet he also says later in the interview:
"It is the responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest issues of the day and to do it independently of the government." (ibid)
"Do it independently of the government" while at the same time "asking them [the US government] if they had additional redactions to suggest"?
David E. Sanger cannot be described as a model independent journalist. He is member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Aspen Institute's Strategy Group which regroups the likes of Madeleine K. Albright, Condoleeza Rice, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former CIA head John Deutch, Robert.B. Zoellick (president of the World Bank), and Philip Zelikow (formerly executive director of the 9/11 Commission) (among other prominent establishment figures). (See also F. William Engdahl, Wikileaks: A Big Dangerous US Government Con Job, Global Research, December 10, 2010).
Several American journalists, members of the Council on Foreign Relations interviewed Wikileaks, including Time Magazine's Richard Stengel (November 30, 2010) and The New Yorker's Raffi Khatchadurian. (WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange : The New Yorker, June 11, 2007)
Historically, The New York Times has served the interests of the Rockefeller family in the context of a longstanding relationship. The current New York Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, son of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and grandson of Arthur Hays Sulzberger who served as a Trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation. Ethan Bronner, deputy foreign editor of The New York Times as well as Thomas Friedman among others are members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
In turn, the Rockefellers have an important stake as shareholders of several US corporate media. (Membership Roster - Council on Foreign Relations)
The Embassy and State Department Cables
It should come as no surprise that David E. Sanger and his colleagues at the NYT centered their attention on a highly "selective" dissemination of the Wikileaks cables, focussing on areas which would support US foreign policy interests: Iran's nuclear program, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan's support of al Qaeda, China's relations with North Korea, etc. These releases were then used as source material in NYT articles and commentary.
The Embassy and State Department cables released by Wikileaks were redacted and filtered. They were used for propaganda purposes. They do not constitute a complete and continuous set of memoranda.
From a selected list of cables, the leaks are being used to justify a foreign policy agenda. A case in point is Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, which is the object of numerous State Department memos, as well Saudi Arabia's support of Islamic terrorism.
Iran's Nuclear Program
The leaked cables are used to feed the disinformation campaign concerning Iran's Weapons of Mass Destruction. While the leaked cables are heralded as "evidence" that Iran constitutes a threat, the lies and fabrications of the corporate media concerning Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program are not mentioned, nor is there any mention of them in the leaked cables.
The leaks, once they are funnelled into the corporate news chain, edited and redacted by the New York Times, indelibly serve the broader interests of US foreign policy, including US-NATO-Israel war preparations directed against Iran.
With the regard to "leaked intelligence" and the coverage of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, David E. Sanger has played a crucial role. In November 2005, The New York Times published a report co-authored by David E. Sanger and William J. Broad entitled "Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran's Nuclear Aims".
The article refers to mysterious documents on a stolen Iranian laptop computer which included "a series of drawings of a missile re-entry vehicle" which allegedly could accommodate an Iranian produced nuclear weapon:
"In mid-July, senior American intelligence officials called the leaders of the international atomic inspection agency to the top of a skyscraper overlooking the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer.
The Americans flashed on a screen and spread over a conference table selections from more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments, saying they showed a long effort to design a nuclear warhead, according to a half-dozen European and American participants in the meeting.
The documents, the Americans acknowledged from the start, do not prove that Iran has an atomic bomb. They presented them as the strongest evidence yet that, despite Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is peaceful, the country is trying to develop a compact warhead to fit atop its Shahab missile, which can reach Israel and other countries in the Middle East."(William J. Broad and David E. Sanger Relying on Computer, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran's Nuclear Aims - New York Times, November 13, 2005)
These "secret documents" were subsequently submitted by the US State Department to the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, with a view to demonstrating that Iran was developing a nuclear weapons program. They were also used as a pretext to enforce the economic sanctions regime directed against Iran, adopted by the UN Security Council.
While their authenticity has been questioned, a recent article by investigative reporter Gareth Porter confirms unequivocally that the mysterious laptop documents are fake. (See Gareth Porter, Exclusive Report: Evidence of Iran Nuclear Weapons Program May Be Fraudulent, Global Research, November 18, 2010)
The drawings contained in the documents leaked by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger do not pertain to the Shahab missile but to an obsolete North Korean missile system which was decommissioned by Iran in the mid-1990s. The drawings presented by US State Department officials pertained to the "Wrong Missile Warhead":
In July 2005, ... Robert Joseph, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, made a formal presentation on the purported Iranian nuclear weapons program documents to the agency's leading officials in Vienna. Joseph flashed excerpts from the documents on the screen, giving special attention to the series of technical drawings or "schematics" showing 18 different ways of fitting an unidentified payload into the re-entry vehicle or "warhead" of Iran's medium-range ballistic missile, the Shahab-3. When IAEA analysts were allowed to study the documents, however, they discovered that those schematics were based on a re-entry vehicle that the analysts knew had already been abandoned by the Iranian military in favor of a new, improved design. The warhead shown in the schematics had the familiar "dunce cap" shape of the original North Korean No Dong missile, which Iran had acquired in the mid-1990s. ... The laptop documents had depicted the wrong re-entry vehicle being redesigned. ... (Gareth Porter, op cit, emphasis added)
David E, Sanger, who worked diligently with Wikileaks was also instrumental in the New York Times "leak" of what Gareth Porter describes as fake intelligence.(Ibid)
While this issue of fake intelligence received virtually no media coverage, it invalidates outright Washington's assertions regarding Iran's alleged nuclear weapons.
In a bitter irony, the selective redacting of the embassy cables by the NYT has usefully served not only to dismiss the issue of fake intelligence but also to reinforce Washington's claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. A case in point is a November 2010 article co-authored by David E. Sanger, which quotes the Wikileaks cables as a source;
"Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a [Wikileaks] cable dated Feb. 24 of this year.... (WikiLeaks Archive — Iran Armed by North Korea - NYTimes.com, November 28, 2010).
These missiles are said to have the "capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or easily reach Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles." (Ibid, emphasis added).
Wikileaks, Iran and the Arab World
The released wikileaks cables have also being used to create divisions between Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States on the other:
"After WikiLeaks claimed that certain Arab states are concerned about Iran’s nuclear program and have urged the U.S. to take [military] action to contain Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took advantage of the issue and said that the released cables showed U.S. concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program are shared by the international community." Tehran Times : WikiLeaks promoting Iranophobia, December 5, 2010)
The Western media has jumped on this opportunity and has quoted the State Department memoranda released by Wikleaks with a view to upholding Iran as a threat to global security as well as fostering divisions between Iran and the Arab world.
"The Global War on Terrorism"
The leaks quoted by the Western media reveal the support of the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia to several Islamic terrorist organization, a fact which is known and amply documented.
What the reports fail to mention, however, which is crucial in an understanding of the "Global War on Terrorism", is that US intelligence historically has channelled its support to terrorist organizations via Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. REF These are covert intelligence operations using Saudi and Pakistani intelligence as intermediaries.
The use of the Wikleaks documents by the media tend to sustain the illusion that the CIA has nothing to do with the terror network and that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are "providing the lion's share of funding" to Al Qaeda, the Taliban Lashkar-e-Taiba, among others, when in fact this financing is undertaken in liaison with their US intelligence counterparts.
"The information came to light in the latest round of documents released Sunday by Wikileaks. In their communiques to the State Department, U.S. embassies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states describe a situation in which wealthy private donors, often openly, lavishly support the same groups against whom Saudi Arabia claims to be fighting." ( Wikileaks: Saudis, Gulf States Big Funders of Terror Groups - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News)
Similarly, with regard to Pakistan:
The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations, make it clear that underneath public reassurances lie deep clashes [between the U.S. and Pakistan] over strategic goals on issues like Pakistan's support for the Afghan Taliban and tolerance of Al Qaeda,..." (Wary Dance With Pakistan in Nuclear World, The New York Times December 1, 2010
The corporate media's use and interpretation of the Wikileaks cables serves to uphold two related myths:
1) Iran has nuclear weapons program and constitutes a threat to global security.
2) Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are state sponsors of Al Qaeda. They are financing Islamic terrorist organizations which are intent upon attacking the US States and its NATO allies.
The CIA and the Corporate Media
The CIA's relationship to the US media is amply documented. The New York Times continues to entertain a close relationship with not only with US intelligence, but also with the Pentagon and more recently with the Department of Homeland Security.
"Operation Mocking Bird" was an initiative of the CIA's Office of Special Projects (OSP), established in the early 1950s. Its objective was to exert influence on both the US as well as foreign media. From the 1950s, members of the US media were routinely enlisted by the CIA.
The inner workings of the CIA's relationship to the US media are described in Carl Bernstein's 1977 article in Rolling Stone entitled The CIA and the Media:
[M]ore than 400 American journalists who [had] secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. [1950-1977]Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. ... Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners,... Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work....;
Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune. The CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein
Bernstein suggests, in this regard, that "the CIA’s use of the American news media has been much more extensive than Agency officials have acknowledged publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress" (Ibid).
In recent years, the CIA's relationship to the media has become increasingly complex and sophisticated. We are dealing with mammoth propaganda network involving a number of agencies of government.
Media disinformation has become institutionalized. The lies and fabrications have become increasingly blatant when compared to the 1950s. The US media has become the mouthpiece of US foreign policy. Disinformation is routinely "planted" by CIA operatives in the newsroom of major dailies, magazines and TV channels:
"A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the scoops, that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources, where the parameters of debate are set and the "official reality" is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain."(Chaim Kupferberg, The Propaganda Preparation of 9/11, Global Research, September 19, 2002)
Since 2001, the US media has assumed a new role in sustaining the Global War on Terrorism and camouflaging US sponsored war crimes. In the wake of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld created the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics: "The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries -- as an effort to influence public opinion across the world. (Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002, see also michel Chossudovsky, War Propaganda, January 3, 2003).
Today's corporate media is an instrument of war propaganda, which begs the question as to why the NYT would all of a sudden promote transparency and truth in media, by assisting Wikileaks in "spreading the word"; and that people around the World would not pause for one moment and question the basis of this incongruous relationship.
On the surface, nothing proves that Wikileaks was a CIA covert operation. However, given the corporate media's cohesive and structured relationship to US intelligence, not to mention the links of individual journalists to the military-national security establishment, the issue of a CIA sponsored PsyOp must necessarily be addressed.
Wikileaks Social and Corporate Entourage
Wikileaks and The Economist have also entered into what seems to be a contradictory relationship. Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange was granted in 2008 The Economist's New Media Award.
The Economist has a close relationship to Britain's financial elites. It is an establishment news outlet, which has consistently supported Britain's involvement in the Iraq war. It bears the stamp of the Rothschild family. Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild was chairman of The Economist from 1972-1989. His wife Lynn Forester de Rothschild currently sits on The Economist's board. The Rothschild family also has a sizeable shareholder interest in The Economist.
The broader question is why would Julian Assange receive the support from Britain's foremost establishment news outfit which has consistently been involved in media disinformation?
Are we not dealing with a case of "manufactured dissent", whereby the process of supporting and rewarding Wikileaks for its endeavors, becomes a means of controlling and manipulating the Wikileaks project, while at the same time embedding it into the mainstream media.
It is also worth mentioning another important link. Julian Assange's lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), a major London elite law, happens to be the legal adviser to the Rothschild Waddesdon Trust. While this in itself does prove anything, it should nonetheless be examined in the broader context of Wikileaks' social and corporate entourage: the NYT, the CFR, The Economist, Time Magazine, Forbes, Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI), etc.
Wikileaks has the essential features of a process of "manufactured dissent". It seeks to expose government lies. It has released important information on US war crimes. But once the project becomes embedded in the mould of mainstream journalism, it is used as an instrument of media disinformation:
"It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent. To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition... To be effective, however, the process of "manufacturing dissent" must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement " (See Michel Chossudovsky, "Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, September 2010)
What this examination of the Wikileaks project also suggests is that the mechanics of New World Order propaganda, particularly with regard to its military agenda, has become increasingly sophisticated.
It no longer relies on the outright suppression of the facts regarding US-NATO war crimes. Nor does it require that the reputation of government officials at the highest levels, including the Secretary of State, be protected. New World Order politicians are in a sense "disposable". They can be replaced. What must be protected and sustained are the interests of the economic elites, which control the political apparatus from behind the scenes.
In the case of Wikileaks, the facts are contained in a databank; many of those facts, particularly those pertaining to foreign governments serve US foreign policy interests. Other facts tend, on the other hand to discredit the US administration.
All these facts are selectively redacted, they are then "analyzed" and interpreted by a media which serves the economic elites.
While the numerous facts contained in the Wikileaks data bank are accessible, the broader public will not normally take the trouble to consult and scan through the Wikileaks databank. The public will read the redacted selections and interpretations presented in major news outlets.
A partial and biased picture is presented. The redacted version is accepted by public opinion because it is based on what is heralded as a reliable source, when in fact what is presented in the pages of major newspapers and on network TV is a carefully crafted and convoluted distortion of the truth.
Limited forms of critical debate and "transparency" are tolerated while also enforcing broad public acceptance of the basic premises of US foreign policy, including its "Global War on Terrorism". With regard to a large segment of the US antiwar movement, this strategy seems to have succeeded: "We are against war but we support the "war on terrorism".
What this means is that truth in media can only be reached by dismantling the propaganda apparatus, --i.e. breaking the legitimacy of the corporate media which sustains the broad interests of the economic elites as well America's global military design.
In turn, we must ensure that the campaign against Wikileaks in the U.S., using the 1917 Espionage Act, will not be utilized as a means to wage a campaign to control the internet.
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