Michael Collins: Gaddafi Jihadist Rehab Program Spawns Rebel Military Leaders

Monday was the day we heard that the "US believes al-Qa'ida is on the verge of defeat after deputy leader's death" as The Independent headlined the story. It stood out as a sequel to the recent United States action in Pakistan, which brought us the news (but not the body) of a dead Osama bin Laden. It appears that a US operated drone killed Al Qaeda's top deputy, one Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan citizen. After decades as a jihadist, Rahman is no more. But is that the end of al Qaeda?

On Tuesday, foreign affairs columnist for the Asia Times, Pepe Escobar, published a remarkable column outlining the command structure of the victorious NATO backed military leaders. Abdelhakim Belhaj, the lead commander of the rebels, and the two top regional commanders were once affiliated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LGIF). In fact, commander Belhaj was once the subject of a US led extraordinary rendition (aka torture) in Thailand. About the time the US planned to send Belhaj to Guantanamo Bay, the Gaddafi's government requested his return to Libya.

Turkish Military Defies Civilian Rule

Michael Collins

On July 24, an Istanbul Court ordered the arrest of 102 current and former high ranking Turkish military officers. The military responded by shielding the officers in locations that made arrests difficult, if not impossible. This provoked the current conflict between Turkey's constitutionally independent judiciary and the military. (Image)

The officers charged were allegedly part of Sledgehammer, the latest plan in a series of military plots and coups by the Turkish high command. The military and its allies were to blow up mosques, churches, and synagogues; then blame these acts on terrorists, Kurdish separatists, for example. In addition, the military planned to provoke the shoot down a Turkish aircraft by the Greek military and down a civilian airliner blaming it on terrorists.

More bricks in the wall...

intriguing stuff --cho

Several apparently diverse elements from the news this morning all point to an agenda on the part of Bush Administration, but getting a clear picture of just what that overall agenda is, and what the goals might indicate, can be mind boggling.

Anyone want to see if there are some common threads here...?

  1. UBS to Write Down Another $19 Billion


    The planned capital increase would come on top of a $13 billion infusion UBS received from the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and an unidentified Middle Eastern investor this year.

    UBS’s problems of the last year are a stunning reversal for an institution long known for its staid, conservative style. Beginning in 2005, UBS made a huge bet on mortgage securities, seeking the higher yields they offered and trusting that the AAA ratings they bore would protect the bank from outsize losses.

    Eventually, UBS’s mortgage portfolio topped $100 billion.

    “The losses at UBS are staggering,” Ms. Whitney of Oppenheimer said. “It’s hard to fathom another quarter of $18 billion or $19 billion write-downs, but this isn’t the end of their problems.”

    That bit about the unidentified Middle Eastern investor (emphasis mine) caught my eye.