ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY Part 17 E
Posted on July 17th, 2020

KAMALIKA PIERIS

The Central Intelligence Agency of the USA, CIA was popularly seen  as a bungling agency, responsible for the many failures of US  policy abroad. But  it also has many successes to its credit. CIA  was powerful abroad.  CIA is responsible for planning, carrying out and providing cover-ups for USA assassinations.  CIA  can legally act only overseas.    CIA hacking of Americans in USA can only be done with permission, observed analysts.

The CIA and Germany’s BND Federal Intelligence Service had for decades used a Swiss encryption company Crypto AG, for spying. Crypto supplied devices for encoded communications to some 120 countries . Unknown to those governments, Crypto was secretly acquired in 1970 by the CIA and BND. They rigged Crypto’s equipment to break the codes  of other governments and read their messages. The two agencies were thus able to gather information during major crises such as the hostage crisis at the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.

Google  started its ‘street view’  in Sri Lanka in 2014, with views from the north and the east.  It had obtained government approval from the Sri Lanka Tourism Authority to image every inch of the North and east. Google is a participant in US military and CIA intelligence, said Kamal Wickremasinghe.      Google earth software was developed by the Keyhole , a company openly funded and operated on behalf of CIA.  The technology behind Google Earth is the same as that employed by US Military and intelligence system in their quest for full spectrum domination of the planet, Kamal said.   

The United States accusing Sri Lanka of war crimes is similar to the pot calling the kettle black as the US is the number one perpetrator of war crimes in the world, said critics. There is no other country than the US which is so stained with blood. What about their wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan,   they asked.

The US has the worst history of war crimes such dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  There is a long list of bombing, from Nagasaki,  china, Guatemala, Korean, Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Peru, Vietnam, Cambodia,  Libya, Nicaragua, Iran, Bosnia, Sudan,  and Afghanistan. US has dropped  over 3000  tons of depleted uranium  through its  bombs

There were military interventions in China, France, Bolivia, Austria, Iraq, Greece, Portugal, Philippines, about two dozen names altogether, said analysts. US  also engaged in illegal covert operations  in  places like Vietnam, Chile, and Cuba.

During the Vietnam War US forces committed horrifying atrocities. There was the 1968 Mai Lai massacre of   347 and 504 unarmed citizens, most women and children, in   two villages. Information on the various Vietnam massacres is found in the Vietnam War crimes working group files, compile by Pentagon and held in the US archives.

US has had a horrifying record of human rights abuses.  There has been torture of inmates in secret US prisons.In 2006, Congress found that CIA had engaged in widespread torture. USA admitted before the UN Committee against Torture that they had ‘crossed the line’ at its CIA site at Guantanamo.

The main agency dealing with war crimes was the International Criminal Court (ICC). US armed forces have committed war crimes, as defined in the ICC and Geneva conventions, in the various US wars. US had launched an illegal war against Iraq,  on the spurious ground that it had weapons of mass destruction.  In 2004, there were photos   of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib. 

But USA has made sure that it cannot be prosecuted. US does not accept the jurisdiction of the ICC.   The US is not a signatory of the ICC and does not recognize its authority over American citizens.

US went out of its way to protect its military personnel accused of committing war atrocities. USA signed some 100 bilateral immunity agreements with a number of countries, prohibiting the surrender to the ICC of officials, military personnel and US employees. No American has been indicted in ICC. US also threatened to veto  UN peacekeeping mission unless its troops were granted immunity from prosecution by the ICC.

In 2002, USA passed the American Service-Members’ Protection Act which was specifically aimed at the International Criminal Court. It prohibits any U.S. citizen or institution from cooperating with the International Criminal Court and prohibits the transfer of U.S. classified national security and law enforcement information to that court. It even bans the provision of U.S. military assistance, (with specified exceptions) to the government of a country that is a party to the court.

 The American Service-Members’ Protection Act authorizes the President to bring about the release from captivity of any U.S. military personnel or covered allied persons who are being detained or imprisoned by or on behalf of the ICC and authorizes the US President to use all means necessary to do so.

The phrase ‘use all means necessary’ enables the US government to resort to force to obtain the release of a US citizen or an ally who happens to be in the custody of the ICC. It authorizes military force to free military personnel held by ICC. 

But this is about to change. US army has been fighting in Afghanistan since 2001. For nearly two decades hundreds and thousands of American troops  have rotated through Afghanistan.  Afghanistan is a strategic hub in Central Asia bordering    Russia, China and Iran. US is building an oil and gas pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. All the US bases are located along the route of this pipeline.  Also Afghanistan has over 1400 mineral outcroppings, of iron coals, copper cobalt, gold, lithium.

There were war crimes charges against the USA in Afghanistan. The US armed forces and the CIA are alleged to have committed the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and rape and other forms of sexual violence in Afghanistan.

The ICC Prosecutor alleges that members of the US armed forces and the CIA had used the following torture techniques against detainees – incommunicado detention and prolonged and continuous solitary confinement, sensory deprivation, sensory overstimulation,  exposure to extreme heat or cold, exploitation of phobias and cultural, religious and sexual taboos, sexual humiliation or insults, offensive use of items of religious significance, imposition of stress positions designed to induce muscle fatigue, suspension from the ceiling, food deprivation, slamming against a wall, cramped or close confinement by placing detainees in boxes, sexual violence, including by means of rectal rehydration or rectal feeding applied with excessive force; and suffocation by water, or the practice of waterboarding, placing of detainees in icy water baths etc. 

Attempts to investigate these crimes  were blocked by the US.  US said it was not a signatory to the Rome Statute and could not be investigated without a UN Security Council order or consent of USA. Though USA is not a member of the ICC and therefore does not come under its jurisdiction, Afghanistan is a member of ICC and any crime conducted on its territory can be brought to the ICC regardless of the  nationality of its perpetrator, said ICC. Afghanistan joined the ICC in 2003 and it is on this basis that the ICC has claimed jurisdiction over deeds alleged to have been committed in Afghanistan by US armed forces and the CIA, observed Chandraprema.

This ICC war crimes probe against the USA had been in the pipeline for more than two years. In November 2017, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) had requested authorization from the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC to initiate an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by the USA in Afghanistan since 2003. This was initially rejected.

The Prosecutor filed an appeal against that decision.  On 5 March 2020, the Appeals Chamber of the ICC decided unanimously to authorize the investigation against the USA. An investigation of alleged war crimes by the US and others in the Afghan conflict can go ahead, ruled the ICC.

 ICC chief prosecutor said that US may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan, as a deliberate policy, She spoke of war crimes of torture and related ill treatment by US military forces in Afghanistan and secret detention facilities operated by the CIA.

 The US establishment has reacted sharply to the initiative of the ICC Prosecutor. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in 2019 that they are determined to protect American and allied military and civilian personnel ‘from living in fear of unjust prosecution’ for actions taken to protect America. If the ICC persists in this course of action, they will impose travel bans on judges and personnel of the ICC and will also take further steps like economic sanctions. President Trump said that any attempt to target American, Israeli or allied personnel for prosecution by the ICC will be met with ‘a swift and vigorous response’ (Continued)

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