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Special forces 'on the ground' in Iran In an article in the latest edition of the New Yorker, Hersh, who was the first to uncover US human rights abuses against Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison last year, reports that Pakistan, under a deal with Washington, has been supplying information on Iranian military sites and on its nuclear programme, enabling the US to conduct covert ground and air reconnaissance of Iranian targets, should the escalating row over Iran's nuclear ambitions come to a head (London Guardian)
The redacted Iran op-ed revealed The New York Times has taken the unusual step of publishing an op-ed in which parts of the contents have been "redacted" or blacked out by government censors, who believe that its contents would reveal "sensitive" information that the White House wants to withold (The Raw Story)
What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran HERE is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, as blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process and demanded substantial deletions (New York Times)
Gulf of Tonkin Incident is the name given to two separate incidents, one disputed, involving the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a DESOTO patrol, was engaged by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. A sea battle resulted, in which the Maddox expended over 280 3" and 5" shells, and which involved the strafing from four USN F-8 Crusader jet fighter bombers. One US aircraft was damaged, one 14.5mm round hit the destroyer, 3 North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and 4 North Vietnamese sailors were killed and 6 were wounded; there were no U.S. casualties.
The second Tonkin Gulf incident was originally claimed by the U.S. National Security Agency to have occurred on August 4, 1964, as a naval battle, but instead may have involved the "Tonkin Ghosts", and no actual NVN Torpedo Boat attacks. The outcome of this second incident was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression". The resolution served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
In 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there may not have been any North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident of August 4. The report stated:
[I]t is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...] In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2. (Wikipedia)
Bush administration provokes open war on Iran As reported by the January 12 New York Times, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice admitted that George W. Bush authorized the raid of the Iranian liaison office in Irbil, Iraq, and that the raid was part of a broad military offensive against Iran ordered by Bush several months ago (Online Journal)
Was The British-Iranian Hostage Crisis Staged? on The BBC's Newsnight programme last night: Diplomatic Editor: Mark Urban demonstrated to Host: Jeremy Paxman: that the video footage released by the Iranians yesterday - of those 15 British service personnel being "captured" - seems to have been FAKED in large part! (Q)
American Travesty When 46 people were arrested for drug offenses in the sleepy Texas town of Tulia, the local lawman was hailed as a hero. But there was a problem – almost all of the defendants were black, and there wasn't a shred of evidence. Andrew Gumbel reports on an extraordinary story of racism and police corruption - "Tulia's streets cleared of garbage" (The Independent)
Beware of private prisons The coming years look positively rosy for the private prison industry as it anticipates - and lobbies for - a wave of immigrants and prisoners of the war on terrorism (The Daily Texan)
MI5 'helped IRA buy bomb parts in US' A FORMER British Army mole in the IRA has claimed that MI5 arranged a weapons-buying trip to America in which he obtained detonators, later used by terrorists to murder soldiers and police officers (London Times)
U.S. Toll in Iraq Is 27 for Deadly Weekend New details also emerged about clashes on Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, which left five Americans dead. Lt. Col. Scott R. Bleichwehl, an American military spokesman, said the gunmen who stormed the provincial governor’s office during a meeting between American and local officials were wearing what appeared to be American military uniforms in an effort to impersonate United States soldiers (New York Times)
The Three-State Solution by Leslie H. Gelb "To put most of its money and troops where they would do the most good quickly - with the Kurds and Shiites. The United States could extricate most of its forces from the so-called Sunni Triangle, north and west of Baghdad.... American officials could then wait for the troublesome and domineering Sunnis, without oil or oil revenues, to moderate their ambitions or suffer the consequences." (Council on Foreign Relations)
Top secret army cell breaks terrorists It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG), and it has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror (London Telegraph)
Preparing the Battlefield The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran - Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources (The New Yorker)
Taliban buy American -- to Elude Attacks Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have managed to escape U.S. and NATO attacks and carry out painful assaults against foreign forces, thanks to an American state-of-the-art military technology that has reached their hands (Military.com)
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