So Uribe is hiding his indiscretion in massacring a FARC camp inside of Ecuador by claiming that he has recovered documents from a laptop computer (is it the same laptop that the MEK turned over nuclear information in Iran on?) in the raid which show that the FARC was trying to create a radioactive uranium dirty bomb, presumably to kill people in the USA, and by showing that Chavez of Venezuela has paid 300 million dollars to the FARC making him a “supporter of terrorism” (and you know what happens to those who harbor the terrorists… as long as we’re not talking about terrorists friendly to the USA at least).
Well, it turns out that these claims tread on very thin ice at best and are probably big lies. US intelligence officials, not holding back too much disdain, have said that they are very skeptical about the claims of radioactive dirty bomb-making attempts by the FARC. From ABC News:
U.S. intelligence officials, while they did not comment directly on the possibility of FARC engaging in the illicit uranium trade, cautioned that reports of FARC attempting to acquire materials for a radioactive dirty bomb should be treated with extreme skepticism.
Also, now we have this analysis from Greg Palast which sheds severe doubt on the claim that Chavez supplied 300 million dollars to the FARC:
I read them. (You can read them here) While you can read it all in español, here is, in translation, the one and only mention of the alleged $300 million from Chavez:
“… With relation to the 300, which from now on we will call “dossier,” efforts are now going forward at the instructions of the boss to the cojo [slang term for ‘cripple’], which I will explain in a separate note. Let’s call the boss Ángel, and the cripple Ernesto.”
Got that? Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government.
Indeed, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange. Here’s the next line:
“To receive the three freed ones, Chavez proposes three options: Plan A. Do it to via of a ‘humanitarian caravan’; one that will involve Venezuela, France, the Vatican[?], Switzerland, European Union, democrats [civil society], Argentina, Red Cross, etc.”
As to the 300, I must note that the FARC’s previous prisoner exchange involved 300 prisoners. Is that what the ‘300’ refers to? ¿Quien sabe? Unlike Uribe, Bush and the US press, I won’t guess or make up a phastasmogoric story about Chavez mailing checks to the jungle.
To bolster their case, the Colombians claim, with no evidence whatsoever, that the mysterious “Angel” is the code name for Chavez. But in the memo, Chavez goes by the code name … Chavez.
Well, so what? This is what . . . .
Colombia’s invasion into Ecuador is a rank violation of international law, condemned by every single Latin member of the Organization of American States. But George Bush just loved it. He called Uribe to back Colombia, against, “the continuing assault by narco-terrorists as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.”
Well, our President may have gotten the facts ass-backward, but Bush knows what he’s doing: shoring up his last, faltering ally in South America, Uribe, a desperate man in deep political trouble.
Uribe claims he is going to bring charges against Chavez before the International Criminal Court. If Uribe goes there in person, I suggest he take a toothbrush: it was just discovered that right-wing death squads held murder-planning sessions at Uribe’s ranch. Uribe’s associates have been called before the nation’s Supreme Court and may face prison.
In other words, it’s a good time for a desperate Uribe to use that old politico’s wheeze, the threat of war, to drown out accusations of his own criminality. Furthermore, Uribe’s attack literally killed negotiations with FARC by killing FARC’s negotiator, Raul Reyes. Reyes was in talks with both Ecuador and Chavez about another prisoner exchange. Uribe authorized the negotiations. However, Uribe knew, should those talks have succeeded in obtaining the release of those kidnapped by the FARC, credit would have been heaped on Ecuador and Chavez, and discredit heaped on Uribe.
Palast also has words of praise for Correa’s level-headed handling of the affair, which I for one must second:
Luckily for a hemisphere on the verge of flames, the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa, is one of the most level-headed, thoughtful men I’ve ever encountered.
Correa is now flying from Quito to Brazilia to Caracas to keep the region from blowing sky high. While moving troops to his border – no chief of state can permit foreign tanks on their sovereign soil – Correa also refuses sanctuary to the FARC . Indeed, Ecuador has routed out 47 FARC bases, a better track record than Colombia’s own, corrupt military.
For his cool, peaceable handling of the crisis, I will forgive Correa for apologizing for his calling Bush, “a dimwitted President who has done great damage to his country and the world.” (Watch an excerpt of my interview with Correa here.)
Also, I just couldn’t resist providing a little dirt on Uribe for all of you who think that we are supporting a beautiful beacon of democracy and freedom in Colombia against the evil terrorists:
back in the day Senator Uribe was considered to be one of the world’s top drug dealers, working for the Medellin cartel and being—how did U.S. intelligence put it?— “a close personal friend of Pablo Escobar.” But that was 1991, this is now, and surely we couldn’t hold a grudge going back to the early 90s (sorry just a little laptop humor!) Haha here at BoRev, we don’t need any miracle computer to tell you what a liberal democracy is made of. We’re kicking it analog after the jump.For the record, Colombian paramilitaries are also listed as a terrorist group in the US and Europe. With that in mind, Uribe’s political allies alone make the FARC look like boy scouts. Por ejemplo:
>>> Fourteen of Uribe’s closest congressional allies remain behind bars for their terrorist links, and are slowly revealing where bodies have been dumped, leading to discovery of mass graves last spring. >>> His foreign minister was forced to resign a year ago when her brother (a senator) was arrested for overseeing the killing of thousands of peasants. (Yeah that’s “thousands” with a “thu”)
>>> His campaign manager/secret police chief was jailed that same month for “giving a hit list of trade unionists and activists to paramilitaries, who then killed them.”
>>> His Army chief “collaborated extensively” with illegal death squads and, back in 2002, colluded in the massacre of 14 people for their supposed leftist politics.
>>> His police intelligence unit illegally wiretapped the phones of journalists and opposition figures for two years
>>> His Defense Minister “tried to plot with the outlawed private militias to upset the rule of a former president,” and
>>> In last fall’s elections, a whopping 30 major candidates turned up murdered.
And of course our little hero gags newspapers from reporting on corruption, jails journalists without trial, gave himself the power to rule by decree, overrides Supreme Court decisions by fiat, refers to human rights monitors as “political agitators in the service of terrorism,” and amended the Constitution to give himself a new term.
In summary, it appears that a very corrupt Uribe is trying to divert attention from his act of war (supported fully by President Bush), by putting forth these outrageous allegations (that appear to be lies anyway you look at them). May level heads prevail, like that of President Correa, and may the US butt out of Latin America’s business and forget about that whole Monroe Doctrine thing.