al-Monitor, citing emails from Tyler Drumheller to Sidney Blumenthal:

According to one entry from March 22, 2011, “officers” with the General Directorate for External Security — the French intelligence service — “began a series of secret meetings” with Jalil and Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis in Benghazi in late February and gave them “money and guidance” to set up the council ... “In return for their assistance,” the memo states, “the DGSE officers indicated that they expected the new government of Libya to favor French firms and national interests, particularly regarding the oil industry in Libya.” ... Another memo dated May 5 asserts that individuals close to the council stated “in strictest confidence” that as early as mid-April 2011 French humanitarian flights also included “executives from the French company TOTAL, the large construction from VINCI and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS).” Subsequent flights have allegedly carried representatives “from the conglomerate THALYS and other large French firms, all with close ties to [Sarkozy].”

Also blamed is Bernard Henri-Levy.

al-Monitor notes that this information is impossible to verify, and questions Drumheller's honesty due to his involvement in the Nigerian yellowcake hoax.

CAR WTF

Feb. 11th, 2014 05:52 pm

The latest news from the Central African Republic is the retaliatory ethnic cleansing of Muslims by everyone else. Considering the recent history, it's odd that this is actually getting into the mainstream media and that this violence is being allowed by the powers that be.

The "Seleka" "rebel" alliance swept across the country in an instant and deposed the then-existing government. The only resistance they met was a South African peacekeeping force which they defeated by sending human waves until the South Africans ran out of ammo and surrendered. Western reaction: it's the middle of Africa, so nobody cares. Local reaction: every neighbouring country immediately recognized Seleka as the legitimate government.

Then we started getting reports from Christian missionaries who said that the "rebel" alliance was actually foreign fighters from al-Qaeda killing everyone, and the old Seleka commanders were only figureheads. This was allowed to go on for a year with all media considering that this was not news. There were rare reports of "bandits" or "highwaymen" appearing deeper into the rural areas as time went on, but these were reported as crime stories and not considered as part of the war.

Then there was a report that 20% of the country's population had fled their homes to escape the Muslims. Finally, the French sent peacekeepers to the country. Tens of thousands of refugees headed to the airport expecting the French to protect them. The French ignored them. Seleka's commanders were honored guests, even as the refugees accused them of war crimes. The French were there for the sole purpose of disarming the "anti-machete" militias fighting against Seleka. These militias had been threatening to recapture the capitol before the French arrived. So that became the stable state of affairs for a few months.

Very suddenly, the head of Seleka surrenders the country and Chad removes thousands of Muslim foreign fighters as "refugees". A new non-Muslim leader is appointed, and the survivors of the war start ethnically cleansing Muslims wherever they can find them. The peacekeepers are sitting back and letting it happen. With the foreign fighters out of the area, the targets are going to be the locals who were there before the war and may not have had any part in it.

It seems like foreign powers were involved and backroom deals were made at every major shift in power. Somebody financed and armed Seleka. Somebody convinced the other African governments to support Seleka and give no aid to the old CAR gov. Somebody convinced the French that disarming the local militia was a good idea. Somebody convinced the French and the world community to make a 180-degree shift in their policy toward the country. Somebody decided to allow the foreign fighters to escape rather than trying them for war crimes or at least identifying them. Somebody decided to let the victors have their bloodletting. None of this was done in public.

Rumour has it that the old CAR government, before the invasion, had just made a mining deal with China. This little bit of possibly non-information is the closest thing I have to a piece of the puzzle.

A Ballad of Drugs and 9/11, by Peter Dale Scott. Ignore the silly versing and read it as a straight series of sentences. The allegations are similar to those in Deep Capture's last report, probably due to the use of the same sources.

Two drug smuggling ships were caught in the Mediterranean, both freighters registered in Tanzania, both carrying hashish, with both crews setting the cargo on fire after they were approached. Sounds interesting. Current estimates of the amount of drugs are 30 tons on the Gold Star and 20 tons on the Luna-S. These are police estimates of drug volume so they might get reduced to a sandwich baggy in some guy's locker on each boat by next weekend [EDIT: The Gold Star's cargo is down to 3.75 tons but they're blaming the fire for that], but from here and now it looks like an awful lot was intercepted. A website claiming to list the largest drug seizures in history would include either of these two ships near the top. This is going to be a huge hit to the smugglers.

I suspect that both drug ships belong to the same drug ring and that someone decided to bring the hammer down on them. My pet hypothesis is that one drug org is siccing the cops on its competition. Too many details... )

While the seizures are most likely the result of good old policework, I have a pet hypothesis that someone provided enough information to target one specific drug ring for a strategic purpose. There's not enough information to say who either side was. There are enough fragments to begin to suspect just about everybody operating in the Mediterranean region. The most obvious reason would be for one gang to knock out a competitor and establish higher prices for its own drugs. The timing of the Syria conflict presents another possibility: this could be the CIA hitting Syria's money supply. Or it could be Syria and Russia hitting the CIA as a response to the arming of AQ forces as alleged by Bodansky. We don't know enough to say anything about it, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

I'm surprised at how little press this story is getting given that it involves fire and drugs and novelty and high seas adventure and a second big event to keep the story in the news after the first one. The Daily Show covered it, but that's about it for the English-language press.

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