An Altered al-Qathafi History via ADAM CURTIS

EXPLANATION:
The long article by a BBC doubting Thomas contains a great many references to various historic events, but usually draws the wrong conclusions. Mathaba Silver member or Mathaba Gold subscribers may use the members-only comment form to ask any specific questions regarding any of the `events/history` mentioned.The below is copied (and I edited it). The original was circulated widely among the “political left”. Naturally Mathaba.net does not endorse it nor its erroneous conclusions, but we publish it for our Silver supporter members and Gold subscriber members because it attempts to cover a great many historic incidents, and you may have questions about some of those. For those therefore seeking any clarification please mention the specific issue and ask clear questions, and those that we are able to answer we will be pleased to do so. In addition the publication here of this article serves as an archive, since we also collect and archive some (dis)information articles. — Editor


Published at “Information Clearing House

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“He’s Behind You”
By Adam Curtis

25 October 2012 “Information Clearing House” – 

CHAPTER ONE – THE WILDERNESS YEARS

The story begins back in the mid-1970s with a lonely and frustrated Colonel Gaddafi. He had come to power in 1969 with a burning ambition to transform the world – by liberating the Arab countries from the domination of the west, especially from Britain and America. But no-one would help him – or even cared. He was simply ignored.

Gaddafi was following the vision that had been set out by his hero Gamal Abdel Nasser, the President of Egypt. Nasser had promised to unify the Arab world and transform it into a new revolutionary force that would be strong enough to stand up to the western powers.

But then, in 1970, Nasser died and his vision faltered. Gaddafi tried to keep it alive by unifying Libya with other countries – first with Egypt under Sadat, then with Tunisia and Algeria in something he called “The Steadfastness Front”. He even tried Idi Amin in Uganda. But one by one the Arab countries gave up and slipped back to being the compliant puppets of America or Russia.

And Gaddafi was left all alone without any friends.

Here is some of the earliest footage of Gaddafi. It starts with his first appearance ever before the western press.

But Gaddafi wasn’t going to give up. He was determined to challenge the old colonial powers.

He was convinced that Northern Ireland was very like Libya. The Catholics, he believed, were fighting a revolutionary struggle against the yoke of British imperialism. So he offered to supply them with money and arms.

He also offered the IRA semi-ambassadorial status – and an IRA supporter went out to live in Tripoli as the “ambassador”. His Libyan handlers gave him the code-name “Mister Eddie”.

old trawlers took lots of guns and semtex from Libya to deserted coves on the coast of Ireland.

Gaddafi also wanted to undermine the west’s support of Israel. He supported Palestinian groups fighting the Israelis.

And Gaddafi also funded a left-wing revolutionary party in Britain. It was called the Workers Revolutionary Party and its most famous members were the actress Vanessa Redgrave and her brother Corin. The only problem was that it was probably the most useless of all the revolutionary parties in Britain.

I have found a wonderful film that was transmitted just once in a general election programme in 1974 at 4am in the morning. It shows what happened that night when Vanessa Redgrave stood as a WRP candidate for parliament – against a Labour MP called Reg Prentice. It was in Newham in east London and her behaviour as the results are announced shows dramatically why Colonel Gaddafi was backing the wrong revolutionary horse.

It is also very funny and very sad at the same time.

Included with this relationship with Colonel al-Qatfiafi, in the late 1980s the WRP held an inquiry into what really went on. The report is still kept secret, but parts of it have been published. If these bits are true, they say that in April 1976 Corin Redgrave had signed a secret deal with the Libyan government for:

providing intelligence information on the ‘activities, names and positions held in finance, politics, business, the communications media and elsewhere’ by ‘Zionists’.

Therein is specifically described the distinction being made between the difference of Jews from “Zionists“:

In other words Corin Redgrave agreed to use the party as Colonel Gaddafi’s spy agency in Britain

and feed him information about prominent Zionist Jews in British society.

Here is Mr Redgrave preparing to do a party political broadcast on the BBC – promising to abolish parliament and create a “workers state”.

This communist idealogy swift  brought indignation from Muammar al-Qathafi who was against state communism as much as he was fervantly against captalism.

By the late 70s al-Qathafi decided that there was only one solution to his dilemma. If all the other revolutionaries were so useless,

– he would have to continue to develop his own global revolutionary theory.

So he did just that and he gave it a name. He called it “The Third International Theory”. Gaddafi had discovered what he said was a Third Way, an alternative to capitalism and communism.

Traditional democracy as practiced in Britain and America was a sham he said. It was actually a form of dictatorship. All a party needed was 51% of the vote and it could then impose its ideas on everyone for four or five years – just like clans in Libya did.

The alternative was a new kind of direct democracy in which the people governed themselves. There were no parties – instead Peoples’ Committees elected People’s Congresses that would manage things. …

Gaddafi was terribly proud of it. He wrote it all down in what he called The Green Book which he then published in lots of languages because he believed it was a universal, global theory.

this idea pervaded Libyan society from these odd shots I found in some news rushes.
Mu’ammar now realised that God/Allah gave him a Great Mission to fulfill.



They were filmed on a Libyan Ferry going from Malta to Tripoli in the early 1990s. Below decks there are permanent metal signs everywhere explaining the Third International Theory of direct democracy. Good music on the PA system as well.

Gaddafi wanted to tell the world about his vision. He began to invite the BBC to come to Libya and film long interviews so he could explain how important it was.

The trouble though was that every time the BBC interviewers turned up they weren’t really that interested in his theory. Instead they wanted to twist his intentions and they would continuoisly ask him whether he is sending arms to the IRA, and whether he was really planning to torpedo the QE2.

That’s what they are really interested in. Not the Third UNIVERSAL Theory !

Colonel Gaddafi starts off being grumpy about this. But then you can see his face change as he begins to realise what the submarine story is doing for him. That maybe he doesn’t need friends – what he really needs are powerful enemies that will make him, and his Third International Theory, infamous, and thus famous.

There is also a fascinating moment in one when Gaddafi breaks into English and describes his time when he came to study in Britain as a young military student. He tells how he went to Beaconsfield and was bullied by pro-Zionist British students there. You begin to feel sympathy with him…

CHAPTER TWO

Then, in the early 1980s Gaddafi got what he wanted, a global infamy that would make him a powerful presence on the world stage. And he got it because he suddenly became useful to two groups at the heart of the power structure of the West who were facing the growing uncertainty of the time.

One was a new wave of right wing ideologues around President Reagan in America who wanted to find a way of regenerating the moral purpose of their country in the world.

The other was the secret services in both America and Britain. The spies were beginning to realise that the Soviet Union might no longer be a serious threat – and that might threaten their own existence.

What they needed was a new enemy. And the more terrifying, unpredictable and mad the better.

At the beginning of 1981 President Ronald Reagan promised to regenerate America’s moral mission in the world – above all to confront the evil empire of the Soviet Union.

But in the back rooms of the CIA, analysts were beginning to question whether this was necessary. They said that all the data they were gathering showed that the Soviet Union was in a terrible state. Even the invasion of Afghanistan, they said, was defensive. There was no way that the Russians wanted to take over the world any longer – even if they ever had.

But the new head of the CIA, William Casey, and the new Secretary of State, General Alexander Haig didn’t want to hear this. They were convinced that America had to have something to fight for.

And bit by bit, through the spring and summer of 1981 a new enemy started to emerge in the American newspapers. It was Colonel Gaddafi. State Department officials and other administration “sources” briefed journalists that Gaddafi was at the heart of “the new global disease of terrorism”.

In August, American jets patrolling off the coast of Libya shot down two Libyan fighters over the Gulf of Sidra. Gaddafi was furious and began issuing all sorts of threats against America.

Then, in October, a famous sensationalist journalist called Jack Anderson wrote a LYING and false article (from which he benefited $$$$ from the CIA).

It said that Colonel Gaddafi had sent a six-man hit team to the US to assassinate President Reagan. Sources in the administration, he said, had concrete evidence that they were led by the most famous terrorist in the world called Carlos “The Jackal”. (Obviously all this was fabricated and conceived by  the CIA and MI6.)

Then Newsweek said that Gaddafi had equipped them with “bazookas, grenade launchers and even portable SAM-7 missiles capable of bringing down the President’s plane”. The State department even issued photo fits of the six assassins.

But it seems that it was all completely untrue. Made up by the Reagan administration.

Here are some extracts from a documentary made later in the 1980s in which the journalist Jack Anderson explains

how he was fed the story, why he believed it – and how it turned out not to be true.

It also includes an interview with one of the administration men who fed the story to the press. He was part of a committee that had been specifically set up to turn Gaddafi into the mad dog of terror. But even he admits that it was based on very little evidence.

It’s a fascinating piece because it is the earliest evidence of what would become known later inside the Reagan administration as “Perception Management”. This was the idea that you could use the press and television to tell stories that simplified the world for the American people and turned it into a struggle of good against evil. A cartoon-like picture that justified America’s policies in the world.

It didn’t matter whether the stories were completely true or not because the overriding moral aim was good.

Perception Management.

Mu’ammar al-Qathafi was a man who understood Reagan’s Perception Management as well, if not better, than the men around Reagan.

His key ally in this was TV – and in particular the rise of 24 hour news. Underlying it was a shift away from considered packages and towards an exciting sense of immediacy.

Mu’ammmar al-Qathafi was brilliant at it. Here are some of the best bits from the archives of that time. It starts with him appearing on a live satellite link to a mass meeting of The Nation of Islam in Chicago with Louis Farrakhan.

And here is a bit from a film exposing how Mu’ammar al-Qathafi has invited German rocket scientists (some of whom had Nazi pasts),

to come and build a rocket in Libya. Mu’ammar appears in the film explaining that Libya wants to investigate outer space for peaceful purposes.

And we see also an angry Mu’ammar, because of the lies and direction the USA and Britain were taking in maligning all he tried to do.

And then Muammar al-Qathafi goes all soft and offers the hand of friendship. He invites the British national team to come

and take part in the Libyan International Show Jumping Contest.

The BBC programme Nationwide made a film following the team and what happened. It is just a wonderful film.

Not least because it includes a song Gaddafi commissioned – sung in English – to promote his Third Way theory. Plus lots of horses.

Here it is

arrested six British oil workers. Lots of people turned up to see him in his tent and plead for their release including a very odd Labour MP with a large plaster on his nose, and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy Terry Waite. There is a good bit where the Archbishop of Canterbury shows off the copy of the Koran that Colonel Gaddafi has sent him.

And the fashion choice Gaddafi makes when he walks in to be interviewed by the BBC’s Kate Adie is fantastic. As is his eye-rolling.

Here is a fantastic hand held video of him in his bombed-out house the next morning. He calls Thatcher a “harlot”

and says that the Americans are trying to stop him spreading his Third Universal Theory to the young of the world.

And he says that the Americans killed his adopted daughter in the raid.

In 1986, the Americans bombed Libya, claiming that Gaddafi had been the mastermind behind a wave of terrorist attacks at European airports and the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin.
Reagan explained that “Gaddafi” was one of the central figures of global terrorism. Along with Iran and North Korea he was part of a set of:

“outlaw states run by the strangest collection of misfits, looney tunes and squalid criminals since the advent of the Third Reich.”

But yet again all of the American allegations turned out not to be true.A year later the BBC journalist Tom Bower made a film that examined the claims in detail. It makes a very powerful case that Gaddafi had nothing to do with the airport attacks. It also looks at the facts behind the Berlin discotheque bombing and questions how much Libya was really behind that as well.The film interviews men from European intelligence agencies, from Israeli intelligence and even the ex-prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin. All of them say that the Americans had taken Colonel Gaddafi’s mad rantings after 1981 and assembled the fragments of rants and quotes into a dossier that they said was “evidence” of him being a terrorist mastermind.The hard evidence, they all insist, is that Syria was behind the attacks. They say that Libya had been chosen as a “soft target”. It was too dangerous to confront the real culprit – Assad and the terrorist groups he directed – because of the dangers of destabilising the region. Instead you went for Gaddafi – a man without friends or allies. Even the Russians didn’t care about him.(SO HERE THE WEST BEGINS THEIR ATTACK ON THE ASSAD FAMILY OF SYRIA for their own greedy and ZIONIST financial reasons.)

CHAPTER THREE – MORE FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FANTASTIC LIES made believable: “THE WEST’s NEW BEST ENEMY

Mu’ammar forever then would be the West’s “Black Sheep Boy”–Such an impression of “an evil Gaddafi” helped

to make their simplified, and often fictional, version of the world, seem real to the populace.

Increasingly journalists also found themselves seduced by the special power that Gaddafi had – he could help you transform the world into an entertaining story of global super-villains and a battle against dark forces – and he made it feel real.

But just as had happened with the politicians and spies this would lead some newspapers, and their grand traditions of investigation and truth-telling, to lose touch with reality and create a semi-fictional world.

It began with Arthur Scargill, the leader of the National Union of Mine Workers.

  

Back in 1984, at the height of the miners’ strike, the Sunday Times published a “sensational expose”. It said that the Chief Executive Officer of the NUM had gone to Libya, met with Colonel Gaddafi, and that Gaddafi had secretly given money to help the British miners.

The Sunday Times said that the NUM man – Roger Windsor – had travelled there with “the European representative of a Libyan-backed terrorist group” and a high-up man in Libyan intelligence. The terrorist representative apparently also ran a grocers shop in Doncaster.

Here is the TV report that night – including footage of the NUM man meeting Colonel Gaddafi that had been released by the Libyans.

A few months later the strike collapsed, and the story was forgotten. But five years later in 1990 the Daily Mirror and ITV’s “Cook Report” programme brought it back to life in a sensational way.

They alleged that Scargill had used Colonel Gaddafi’s money corruptly to pay off the mortgage on his house while his members starved. This effectively destroyed Scargill – because although many people thought him vain, pompous and scheming – no one had thought that he was corrupt.

It was full of breathless detail, of the money being smuggled through Heathrow in suitcases, being hidden in biscuit tins and then counted out and distributed in Arthur Scargill’s office.

Here is a taste of the avalanche of reaction. Including the Mirror’s new proprietor Robert Maxwell challenging Scargill to sue. I have also included an extraordinary shot from some news rushes of a camera constantly pursuing Scargill – up stairs, through corridors, into a ballroom and then through a car park. In its odd way it gives a very good sense of the mood, and of what Scargill was like as a person.

And, as he is followed, notice that Scargill stops to buy a left-wing newspaper called News Line. It is the paper of the Workers Revolutionary Party which had got funding from Colonel Gaddafi.

But it seems that all the allegations of corruption were completely untrue.

It was true that Mr Windsor went to Libya and met Colonel Gaddafi. There was some money that was lodged in a bank account in Doncaster – but none of it seems to have ever got to the NUM or Arthur Scargill.

But more than that – many journalists and MPs who have looked into the whole episode are convinced that Arthur Scargill and the NUM were somehow set up, possibly by MI5. That the trip by Mr Windsor to Libya and the money he said received was stage-managed or manipulated in some way by the British intelligence services to smear Scargill.

On the other hand none of them have produced solid evidence. Some have alleged that Mr Windsor was really working for MI5, which he firmly denies. Others have asked whether the so called terrorist from Doncaster was a plant. He too firmly denies any such thing.

Then – in 2002 – the Mirror editor who had published the original expose, Roy Greenslade, wrote an article saying that he now believed that everything they wrote was false, and that the Daily Mirror with its great tradition of investigative journalism had been duped. It is a very powerful and courageous piece and it ends like this:

I am now convinced that Scargill did not misuse strike funds and that the union didn’t get money from Libya. I also concede that, given the supposed wealth of Maxwell’s Mirror and the state of NUM finances, it was understandable that Scargill didn’t sue.

Nothing I have said should be taken as criticism of the Mirror journalists: we were all taken in. I can’t undo what has been done, but I am pleased to offer the sincerest of apologies to Heathfield and to Scargill, who is on the verge of retirement. I regret ever publishing that story. And that is the honest truth.”

You can find the whole article here. It is really good.

Sorry, Arthur

In 1990, the Daily Mirror, then edited by Roy Greenslade, claimed that at the height of the miners’ strike NUM president Arthur Scargill had taken money raised for strikers. But now the truth can be revealed:

On March 19 this year the highest court in France, the Cour de Cassation, ordered Roger Windsor, former chief executive of the National Union of Mineworkers, to repay a debt of The judgment went unreported in Britain, as did an NUM press release more than a month later that celebrated the court’s ruling.

Yet this case – and Windsor’s humiliation – deserve the widest possible audience because they are the culmination of a deplorable saga which goes some way to vindicating a wronged man: NUM president Arthur Scargill. Wronged by the press in general, by the Daily Mirror specifically and, since I was then its editor, by me.

We journalists seem to find it impossible to apologise for what we have written and I know, sadly, that some old friends and colleagues won’t appreciate this mea culpa. But lingering embarrassment is far outweighed by my heartfelt delight in being able, at last, to put the record straight by saying sorry.

Twelve years ago, the Mirror published a series of stories which genuinely deserved the adjective sensational. The most damaging “fact”, headlined with a certainty that brooked no contradiction, was that Scargill had paid off the mortgage on his house with money donated by Libya. The main story claimed that at the height of the 1984-5 strike, Scargill had counted out from money supposed to go to suffering strikers to clear his home loan from the NUM, along with those of two other officials, the then general secretary Peter Heathfield and the then chief executive, none other than Roger Windsor.

Running in parallel were several other cloak-and-dagger tales about m donated by Russian miners, movements of funds through Swiss and Irish banks and boxes of cash being driven through the night. There was a cast list of exotic characters, including Libya’s Colonel Gadafy, a Pakistani shopkeeper in Doncaster called Altaf Abassi and Scargill’s former driver-cum-minder Jim Parker.

Almost as exotic was the Mirror man responsible for obtaining the original tips, Terry Pattinson – the testy and excitable industrial editor. He was first approached by Parker, who had fallen out with Scargill, in July 1989. Very soon after, he was separately contacted by Windsor, who had quit the union and said he had a terrific story to sell to the paper.

My predecessor as Mirror editor, Richard Stott, then oversaw months of an investigation code-named Operation Cyclops. Cash deals of were agreed with Parker and Windsor. Contracts were signed. The investigation was said to be nearing completion when Stott was deposed by Mirror proprietor Robert Maxwell in my favour.

When I took over in February 1990, Maxwell gleefully confided that the paper had a huge, hush-hush scandal in the pipeline. But my heart sank when I realised the subject: I had no animus against Scargill (quite the reverse); I thought it inappropriate for the left-of-centre Mirror to target a trade union leader; but, most important, I thought the copy presented to me was both impenetrable and lacking in substance. With the NUM’s assets under sequestration during the strike, it had been entirely understandable for Scargill and his executive to use subterfuge to protect their funds. I had donated money to street collectors shaking buckets and I didn’t really expect it to reach strikers through official union routes.

To help me understand what Cyclops was about, I assigned two experienced reporters – Frank Thorne and Ted Oliver – to go over every detail of Pattinson’s story, and to reinterview Parker and Windsor. It was obvious Pattinson had no love for Scargill, and I wanted to make sure this didn’t cloud his judgment. He also detested the involvement of Thorne and Oliver, and there were several rows between the trio. After one noisy pub argument, I had to placate the fractious Pattinson by pretending to admonish the other two.

This incident alerted me to the most farcical situation of all: the great Scargill story was no secret. Five months before I became editor, Scargill had got wind that something was up, and his union’s paper ran a story asking: “Has Robert Maxwell’s Daily Mirror launched a special ‘smear’ campaign against the NUM? And is its prime target union president Arthur Scargill?”

After a couple of weeks, an industrial correspondent from a rival paper asked me when we were going to run our Scargill scoop. Not only did half of Fleet Street appear to know, I then discovered that Central TV’s The Cook Report was so far down the road on the same investigation that its intrepid reporter, Roger Cook, was already planning his script. I could and should have abandoned the whole project at that point. But I respected the reporting talents of Thorne and Oliver who, despite their disagreements with Pattinson, had come to believe in the veracity of his informants’ stories.

By this time our main witness, Windsor, was living in France and I sent the trio to see him, to go over every point in his allegations. He demanded a further (eventually paid to him) and proved difficult to deal with. They did have reservations about him, due in part to his reluctance to return to Britain, but on balance they believed him. The central revelations concerned the mortgage repayments and the fact, always previously denied, that the NUM had received money from Libya. Each of the claims was sensational. Linked, they were dynamite. But was Windsor telling the truth?

Parker couldn’t really corroborate either claim. He spoke mainly about collecting boxes of cash from British trade union leaders. Windsor named Abassi as the Libyan link man who given him the money and, after a little persuasion, Abassi confirmed to Thorne and Oliver that he had given to Windsor from Libyan sources. There was still a problem. Windsor was the only witness to the alleged dividing of the money to repay home loans. With the Cook programme pressing to broadcast and requesting our help in return for telling us what they knew, one of the most extraordinary moments in my journalistic career happened.

Out of the blue, Steve Hudson, the finance officer whom Windsor had named as the other man in the room when the money was counted out, phoned one of our reporters. Hours later, he turned up in my office to give a taped interview in which he confirmed every word of Windsor’s account. He didn’t ask for payment and spoke under no duress. Despite my earlier misgivings, I could no longer turn a blind eye to Cyclops.

Throughout these weeks I had been editing a paper owned by the world’s most intrusive proprietor. But I didn’t tell Maxwell how the Scargill investigation was progressing until suddenly informing him that we had to publish on March 5 to coincide with that evening’s Cook Report. He was furious – Maxwell hated surprises – and was even more bad-tempered when the Sun preempted our scoop with a story suggesting that Scargill was facing a controversy over Libyan and Russian money. After we published, Maxwell foolishly hogged the TV limelight, reinforcing Scargill’s belief that Maxwell was part of a plot.

We sent a set of written questions to Scargill but, nervous of an injunction, didn’t mention the mortgage. That was an ethically suspect decision, breaking a time-honoured tradition in which people are given a chance to answer press allegations. I expected Scargill to sue. Pattinson, convinced by every allegation, was sure he wouldn’t. He was right about that. Scargill confined himself to a statement decrying our “vicious lies”.

The series ran all week and one evening Maxwell asked me if I was entirely happy with the story’s provenance. I knew immediately what he meant. Had the Daily Mirror been duped as part of a secret service plot to discredit Scargill? Was Windsor, if not an agent of MI5, being manipulated by one of its officers? I discussed this with the trio and they dismissed any such notion. Thorne and Oliver didn’t much like Windsor, but they thought him an unlikely recruit to MI5. They pointed to the interlocking jigsaw in which Parker, Abassi, Windsor and Hudson had played their parts and, as I would repeat endlessly in the following months and years, if it wasn’t true why hadn’t Scargill sued for libel?

Even when Gavin Lightman QC, who held an inquiry at the NUM’s prompting, ruled that the mortgage story was “entirely untrue” I was relaxed – though I was badly shaken by Hudson changing his story. Most of us moved on. I departed from the Mirror. Maxwell departed from this earth. Peter Heathfield retired in 1992, distraught at the slur on his name. But Scargill, similarly outraged, fought on.

The most important enduring court action was launched by the French-based International Energy and Miners’ Organisation (IEMO), which sought to recover from Windsor the he had admitted receiving from union funds. In 1994, the IEMO won its case to recover the money when a French court decided that despite his denials, Windsor had signed a mortgage deed and – according to forensic handwriting experts – his wife’s signature, which strongly resembled his own, had been forged.

Four years later, two courts of appeal in Bordeaux reaffirmed that judgment. The Cour de Cassation was Windsor’s last hope. Now claiming insolvency, he faces a bill for the loan plus interest, costs and damages estimated at

I left a phone message at Windsor’s home in central France this week. He did not reply, but his London-based lawyer called in his stead. I repeated that I wished to speak to Windsor, who didn’t call back. Similarly, Hudson – now the director of finance for the coal industry social welfare organisation – didn’t return my call.

So was Windsor working for MI5? He strenuously denies it and recently sued the Daily Express for asserting that he was. Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, was asked directly by the Guardian last September whether he was an MI5 agent. Choosing her words carefully, she replied: “It would be correct to say that he, Roger Windsor, was never an agent in any sense of the word that you can possibly imagine.”

It looks as though the mystery behind Windsor’s decision to make such sweeping allegations against his former union colleagues may never be solved. It has brought him to ruin and the NUM estimates it has cost the union to fight court battles since the Mirror’s series.

I am now convinced that Scargill didn’t misuse strike funds and that the union didn’t get money from Libya. I also concede that, given the supposed wealth of Maxwell’s Mirror and the state of NUM finances, it was understandable that Scargill didn’t sue.

Nothing I have said should be taken as criticism of the Mirror trio: we were all taken in. I can’t undo what has been done, but I am pleased to offer the sincerest of apologies to Heathfield and to Scargill, who is on the verge of retirement. I regret ever publishing that story. And that is the honest truth.

In the article Greenslade speculates whether the Daily Mirror had been duped as part of an MI5 plot to discredit Scargill. But he says it remains a strange mystery.

His article though is fascinating because of the wider picture it gives of what was beginning to happen to investigative journalism as it got involved in this cartoon-like world of “internal subversion” and “international terrorists” and mad dictators. It didn’t seem to be so much about just revealing the truth any more – rather it was helping create a sense of dark shadowy plots and impenetrable mysteries surrounding modern life.

And it was going to get a lot weirder – and yet again Muammar al-Qathafi was going to be at the heart of it !

 

SIGNS ONLINE NEWS AGENCY SERVICE 21 NOV. 2012

Delivery Director, Office Libyan authorities today

Mu’ammar al-Qathafi turned himself in on 20 NOVEMBER 2012 ?

No, This is not Mu’ammar…It is his secretary who posed as Mu’ammar for many years—supposedly, 42 years (since November 1969).

Signs online-agencies-2012-11-21 08: 51: 13
Libyan media sources said the Libyan armed group agreed to extradite Ahmed Ramadan al-Asibei, Director Office of Mu’ammar al-Qathafi, who has been delivered to the (RAT) Libyan authorities on Wednesday, 20 NOV. 2012.

According to the sources, the arrangements in the capital Tripoli to receive al-Asibei, completing the move Panel to investigate years al-Qathafi’s 42 years of al-Asibei-with former intelligence chief Abdallah Senussi. a black box for al-Qathafi.

Al-Asibei joined the list of detainees in the State with the Senussi and external security chief earlier Abu Zaid Dorda, Mustafa al-Kharroubi Rafik al-Gaddafi.

أحمد رمضان الأصيبعي

عربي
تسليم مدير مكتب القذافي للسلطات اليوم
علامات أونلاين – وكالات – 2012-11-21 08:51:13
قالت مصادر إعلامية ليبية أن جماعة مسلحة ليبية وافقت على تسليم أحمد رمضان الأصيبعي مدير مكتب معمر القذافي المعتقل لديها إلى السلطات الليبية اليوم الأربعاء.
وبحسب المصادر فإن ترتيبات كبيرة في العاصمة طرابلس تجري لاستلام الأصيبعي، لتكتمل بهذه الخطوة حلقة التحقيق في سنوات حكم القذافي الـ42 عاما، إذ يعد الأصيبعي -مع رئيس المخابرات السابق عبد الله السنوسي- بمثابة الصندوق الأسود للقذافي.
وسينضم الأصيبعي إلى قائمة الموقوفين لدى الدولة مع السنوسي ورئيس جهاز الأمن الخارجي سابقا أبو زيد دوردة ومصطفى الخروبي رفيق القذافي.

 

THE LOCKERBIE LIE & FABRICATION BY THE CIA:

Initially, the following was going to be their coverup story for their drug-running…But they soon decided that Muammar al-Qathafi was an easier scapegoat as usual.
This was the original CIA-tale:

On December the 21st 1988 a Pan Am flight from London to New York was blown up – and the debris came down on the small Scottish town of Lockerbie. It was one of the first of the modern terror panics – and what made it feel more intense and frightening was the avalanche of reporting in the new 24-hours news cycle.

In the face of this, investigative journalism was going to go beyond the fog of immediacy and cut through and tell the truth – what really happened.

And it did – or so it seemed. Within months of the attack the famous Sunday Times “Insight” team had a series of scoops that revealed that the bombing on the Pan Am plane was a revenge attack by Iran for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by an American warship in the Gulf in 1988. The articles laid it all out in enormous detail – how the Iranians had paid a Palestinian terrorist group based in Syria to plant the bomb in a Toshiba cassette player. And that this had been done with the help of the Syrian authorities.

The terrorists were named and “intelligence sources” were quoted with absolute certainty saying that they knew this is what had happened. There was no mention at all of Libya.  But this they quickly deided had to change to make their story and hate for Muammar al-Qathafi viable.

suddenly in December 1990 there was there was a complete switch.

“Intelligence sources” in America began to tell journalists that they had found evidence that showed that it was Libya who had masterminded the bombing.

Then in June 1991 the British and American governments formally announced that Libya had been behind the bombing. Here is the first TV report, it includes a conservative MP called Teddy Taylor who had been to see Colonel Gaddafi. He raises the question that was going to lie at the heart of this puzzle.

Isn’t it a bit odd, he says, that at the very moment in 1990 when Syria became America’s ally in the first Gulf War, that America suddenly stopped accusing it of Lockerbie? And at the very same moment America and Britain suddenly find evidence proving it was Libya.

Suddenly the media was deluged with reports that said that the Lockerbie bombing had been carried out by Libya.

And many of the investigative journalists who had previously said that it was definitely Iran also changed their tune as well. Even the journalists who had written the Sunday Times articles saying there was concrete proof it was Iran and Syria now said it was the mad dog of terrorism – Colonel Gaddafi. And what’s more their “intelligence sources” were absolutely sure too.

But a few old-school investigative journalists held out against this sudden swerve. The main one was Paul Foot from Private Eye. He wrote a devastating pamphlet that tears part the whole American and British case against Libya.

Foot showed that much of it rested on the evidence of one extremely dubious witness called Mr Giaka who claimed to be high up in Libyan intelligence. In fact he was a mechanic in a garage who serviced the vehicles for Libyan intelligence – and he had been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Americans.

Even his CIA handlers were very suspicious of him – and after two years of getting nothing from Mr Giaka they told him they would stop paying him unless he came up with some incriminating evidence for the US Department of Justice. The next day Giaka did just that – describing a samsonite suitcase that was loaded onto a plane in Malta by Libyan intelligence. Something he had forgotten to mention for two years.

Giaka explained:

“When I met with the representatives of the Department of Justice, they are very good investigators, and they can distinguish truth from lies. One way or another, they can obtain what they want.”

The other key piece of evidence was a tiny fragment of what the Americans said was a kind of timing device that had been sold only to Libya. It too was only discovered to be important 18 months after the bombing – but yet again Foot shows how dubious the claims were that the Americans made about this tiny fragment.

Foot’s pamphlet is a powerful piece of journalism that makes a strong argument that the case against Libya is at best massively flawed and more probably a work of fiction.

But it also shows what was happening to journalism – because Foot argues that the tradition of investigative journalism that the Sunday Times Insight team represented had fundamentally changed. And the reporting of Lockerbie and Gaddafi showed this.

When Rupert Murdoch had bought the Sunday Times in 1983 he had appointed a new editor who disapproved of the Insight column and its traditions. Foot says:

“One casualty was the tradition of independent journalistic investigation. This was replaced in the main by material which posed as “investigative” but which in fact recycled information from safe sources, safest of which were the police and the security and intelligence services.”

That reliance on sources in the police would come to have disastrous consequences for News International – as we have recently seen.

But the key point back then in the early 90s is that that growing reliance upon sources in the secret intelligence world happened at the very moment when those sources were themselves becoming hopelessly lost. The Cold War was over and all the old certainties were disappearing and the spooks were floundering around, not really knowing what was going on any more.

This made both the intelligence services and their political masters increasingly prey to those right-wing ideologues who had first emerged around President Reagan and who seemed to believe that you could base policy “on not very hard evidence” in order to manage the world.

And some journalists, desperate for crumbs from the powerful went on blithely publishing what they were told by their sources, no matter how illogical, contradictory or phoney it was.

And everyone moved further into a two dimensional world.

In 1999 – pushed by Nelson Mandela who Gaddafi trusted – he agreed that the two men named by America and Britain as suspects could be put on trial in a special Scottish court in the Netherlands. Gaddafi believed that the lack of any substantial evidence would set them free.

But it didn’t. One was acquitted, but Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a Scottish prison. Gaddafi protested as did lots of Libyans. But is important to realise so did lots of people in Britain. The Professor of Law at Edinburgh University, Robert Black has said bluntly that:

It is the most disgraceful miscarriage of justice in Scotland for 100 years.
Every lawyer who has read the judgement says ‘this is nonsense’. It is nonsense. It really distresses me.”

And Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died on the plane, doesn’t believe that the court got anywhere near the truth about Lockerbie. When the verdict was read out in court Swire fainted.

It would seem that possibly Colonel Gaddafi’s distrust of Britain and America might not have been just another of his fantasies.

But even then the Americans refused to lift the sanctions until Libya “admitted their guilt”.

And in 2003 Gaddafi agreed, with a good and soft heart for the victims of the sore Pam Am flight, to pay “raparations”;

and in turn, all will be settled, “be forgiven” and a new start could begin in relation of the West with The Great Jamahiriya.

Mu’ammar al-Qathafi had decided – as had happened throughout this story – that the only way to get what he wanted was to pretend.

Here are some sections from the rushes of an interview with Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam. Again and again Saif insists that Libya’s admission of guilt was a simply a necessary pretence. A lie that was “the only way to exit from the nightmare of the sanctions”.

They were being forced “to play by the rules of a game invented by Britain and America”.

The interviewer is the BBC producer Guy Smith. He is brilliant at insistently pushing Saif about the terrible cynicism and hypocrisy that underlies such a decision. But Saif is also rather impressive in the way he responds. Not only was there no alternative, he says, but everyone involved – even the families of the victims – have become corrupted by the situation. The families are greedy, he says, constantly asking for more money.

If Saif is right – then the picture he gives is a very dark one, where the lies and exaggerations that started back in 1981 have stretched out to corrupt everyone involved.

It is a really good interview.

But Mu’ammar understood this fake world better than anyone else – His aim was to find a way of getting back to the centre of the world stage.

ALTHOUGH THE REALITY WAS THAT THE GREAT JAMAHIRIYA HAD NO WMD….

The key, Gaddafi knew, were weapons of mass destruction. America and Britain had invaded Iraq in the spring of 2003 – and they had justified this by claiming that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. But it turned out that he didn’t and it was a disaster, especially for Tony Blair.

So Gaddafi decided to help Blair. He admitted that Libya had indeed been hiding chemical weapons and nuclear research facilities, and he offered to give them up.

For Tony Blair this was a godsend because it allowed him to say that the Iraq invasion was having the desired effect of persuading other “rogue states” to transform themselves. And the BBC allowed Blair to break live into the 10 pm news to announce that Colonel Gaddafi had made an historic decision.

The only thing that no-one mentioned was that Gaddafi didn’t really have any dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

He had tried to develop nuclear research in Libya, and had bought lots of centrifuges and other equipment. But it had never got off the ground. The CIA would later be quoted as saying that it was way beyond the ability of Gaddafi’s scientists even to assemble the equipment.

And one of the leading WMD experts – Jonathan Tucker from the Monterey Institute -said that the chemical weapons were “quite limited”. Libya had made mustard gas but it remained in leaking barrels and hadn’t been turned into weapon form. As for the more powerful nerve agents Tucker said Libya had tried to make them but turned out not to have the capabilites or the know-how.

Here are some bit of Tucker’s 2009 report – The Rollback of Libya’s Chemical Weapons Programme:

The nuclear program was embryonic….while the biological weapons program was little more than a plan that had made minimal progress.

The Libyan Chemical Weapons program…had involved fewer than a dozen chemists and chemical engineers.

The size of the Libyan Chemical Weapons stockpile turned out to be far smaller than the 100 metric tons that the US intelligence community had estimated. Although the Chemical Weapons research program was still active, the production line had been shut down for more than a decade.

The large-scale production of nerve agents was beyond Libya’s technological reach.”

As the presenters wait for Blair to appear, Andrew Marr sums up what is happening brilliantly. The story that is central to Blair’s “world picture” he says is that the modern global threat is “rogue states” coming together with “WMDs”. And Gaddafi has just made that story real.

________________________________________________________

The NATIONAL FRONT of Great Britain Ireland and the British Isles

Another group who were feeling power and influence slipping away from them turned to him for help. This time it was the National Front.

By the late 80s the extreme right in Britain were falling apart. To try and save themselves a new younger generation in the National Front decided that what was needed was a positive, inspiring model for how to organise society as an alternative to the two-party parliamentary system.

And the model for that, they decided, was Muammar al-Qathafi’s Green Book and its “Third UNIVERSAL Theory”.

A National Front delegation went to Libya. They asked for money to fund their new project – but all they got were bulk copies of The Green Book. Undaunted they decided to try and set up a model for this new politics in the London suburb of Isleworth.

Here is a lovely bit from a documentary made about what happened to the NF in the 1980s and 1990s. There is a great grabbed interview with the architect of the scheme – Phil Andrews. He admires Muammar al-Qathafi because he criticises traditional corrupt politics.

Phil sets out to create an al-Qathafi -style popular JAMAHIRIYA democracy in Isleworth. To help in this he donates a copy of The Green Book to the local library.

We went to Isleworth Library to see if anyone had borrowed the Green Book since the film was made. But we found that Muammar al-Qathafi’s book is no longer there. Robert Deighton who works in the library said that it had now become “a hub”. To do this they had got rid of all the books that no-one borrowed, so it looks like no-one in Isleworth ever read about al-Qathafi’s Third Universal Theory. And now they never will.

Here is a picture of Robert in his “hub”.

In the 1994 Muammar al-Qathafi held a lavish parade for the 25th anniversary of the Libyan al-Fateh Revolution,

but  practically no-one came from other countries.

________________________________

CHAPTER FOUR – WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION

But the fake vision of Gaddafi had by now gone very deep in the western  imagination. He was at the centre of an interconnecting web of ludicrous, largely fictional stories. And what was now going to happen was that those stories would begin to a coalesce with other simplified and exaggerated stories about other super-villains around the world. Out of that odd stew would come a grand unified theory that would be one of the central beliefs of our age.

MI6 called it “Global Risks” and it was a vision that we now lived in a terrifying world of mad dictators at the head of rogue states who were teaming up with international terrorists, drug barons and ruthless adventurers offering to sell things like smuggled nuclear weapons to the highest bidder.

The world, this theory said, now had to be seen as one interconnected system that transcended nations and their petty preoccupations. And western elites had a duty to defend the system against this new array of “Global Threats”. In short they should become world policemen.

MI6 loved this theory because it gave them something new to do. And the obvious place to start was by getting rid of Muammar al-Qathafi.

________________________

PLOTS TO ASSASSINATE MUAMMAR AL-QATHAFI:

In 1998 a whistleblower from inside the British intelligence services called David Shayler claimed that in 1996 MI6 had paid an Islamist Jihadi group in Libya to kill Colonel Gaddafi. If true it was not very good for MI6 because it meant that agents of the British government were engaging in a programme of assassinating foreign heads of state.

The Islamist group were called The Libyan Islamist Fighting Group. But, Shayler said, they had bungled the operation and detonated a bomb under the wrong car, killing six innocent people.

Both MI6 and the Labour Government denied it. But Shayler agreed to appear on a special Panorama programme that examined his allegations. The presenter – Mark Urban – concludes that Shayler’s claims were true.

Shayler’s story about the strange things that were going on inside MI6 were quite true!

Twenty years before officers in MI6 had allegedly tried to assassinate Mu’ammar al-Qathafi by paying

a group of Islamist rebels called The Libyan Islamist Fighting Group.

_________________________________________________________

But now everyone was believing in this vision of a world of hidden threats. And the biggest threat of all were WMDS.

Journalists also tried to turn themselves into World Detectives, trying to expose these new terrifying threats – the Weapons of Mass Destruction that the crazy but infernally cunning dictators were hiding. Their sources in the intelligence agencies told them the WMDs were there. Somewhere.

Here are some sections from a documentary made in 1998 about a search for Colonel Gaddafi’s WMDs that both illustrates this perfectly – and then at the end shows the empty fatuity of this quest.

It is made by the journalist John Sweeney. He gets into Libya to make a film about Gaddafi’s giant water project [The Great MAN-MADE RIVER PROJECT], but he has an additional aim which is to see if the Libyan’s are hiding WMDs in the giant underground reservoirs

There are fantastic, beautiful shots of this extraordinary project as Sweeney tramps around looking for the hidden threats. He finds nothing yet keeps talking about how the CIA say there is the biggest chemical weapons plant in the world hidden somewhere.

But Sweeney is a very good and honest journalist – he has an ability that is very rare in TV reporting to emotionally judge the truth of a situation – and towards the end he confronts his minder about the WMDs. He does it on audio, but to do this he has to keep the video camera running.

What results is not only a piece of avant-garde film making. But the minder is also very sharp. In just a few sentences off-camera he makes you reflect on how ridiculous and paranoid this western mindset has become. And Sweeney gives him the space to do it.

There then followed a tidal wave of creepiness with ministers and commentators lining up to say how “courageous and statesmanlike” Gaddafi had been, and how he had “taken a step towards world peace”. Culminating in Blair going to visit Gaddafi in his tent.

Here is Blair’s visit:

And in return for this, many western institutions and eminent individuals now happily set out to create a new, alternative, and equally fictional image of Libya. It was no longer the dark realm of international terrorism. It was a “reforming” country joining the modern world. Led by an inspired “modern thinker” – Colonel Gaddafi.

Behind a lot of this was an American PR company called The Monitor Group. They were paid million to conduct a cleansing campaign for Libya’s image. The aim, according to an internal memo was to:

enhance international understanding and appreciation of Libya and the contribution it has made and may continue to make to its region and to the world.”

They did this by getting eminent liberal intellectuals and leading academics to come out to Libya and have economic forums where they all agreed that the country could develop into a “unique form of popular capitalism”.

One of these intellectuals was the famous prophet of The Third Way who had inspired Tony Blair – Professor Anthony Giddens from the LSE. Giddens was flown out and met Colonel Gaddafi. He wrote proudly of how he discovered that his version of the Third Way was similar to Gaddafi’s Third International Theory:

You usually get about half an hour with a political leader. My conversation lasts for more than three. Gaddafi is relaxed and clearly enjoys intellectual conversation. He likes the term “third way” because his own political philosophy is a version of this idea. He makes many intelligent and perceptive points. I leave enlivened and encouraged.”

Very NBF.

Giddens was so encouraged that he went out again and took part in a panel of intellectuals chaired by Sir David Frost – and everyone talked about how “authentic” Colonel Gaddafi’s conversion was.

Here they are sitting round a modern table – while Colonel Gaddafi reminds himself of his theories.

With this new image Gaddafi then set off to tour the world as a new leader-cum- philosopher. And everywhere he went the westerners who had once laughed at him and tried to kill him now bowed down before him.

Here are the reports of him visiting the European Commission who were so kind as to have recreated and exact model of the Colonel’s tent for him to stay in.

The British elites now got everywhere in Libya. Here is an odd moment from a documentary made by Simon Reeve that uncovers a telling detail.

When he gets to the city of Sabha Reeve goes to visit the hut that Colonel Gaddafi lived in when he was a schoolboy. It is now preserved in the middle of a roundabout. Reeve leafs through the visitors book and finds an effusive entry from a British General called Robin Searby.

General Searby was Tony Blair’s Defence Co-ordinator for Libya. Documents later revealed that General Searby had helped negotiate a deal that would lead to the SAS training Libyan soldiers in “counter-terrorism”.

Searby defended the programme by saying that the Libyans were woefully behind in counter-terrorism tactics:

It was better to have them inside the tent rather than outside

He added though that the programme had to be abandoned – because “the Libyans were not up to it”.

————————————————————————-

GADDAFI SPEAKS AT THE UNO:

Muammar al-Qathafi was invited to the UN.  He made an hour and half remarkable speech where he also  tore-up the UN charter;  and he exposed that swine-flu is man made.

Here are the reports of the visits.

The al-Qathafi family now became international D-list celebrities.

His son Saadi went to play professionally for Perugia FC in Italy.

Another son – Hannibal – travelled the European party circuit staying in swank hotels. In 2008 he was arrested in Switzerland for allegedly assaulting two of his servants. Although the charges were dropped two days later, the Libyans threatened to stop trade with Switzerland, cancelled air flights, and Hannibal’s father withdrew billion from his Swiss account. It has been reported that the Swiss then apologised and paid Hannibal compensation.

His extremely glamorous daughter Ayesha was a lawyer.  She went to Iraq to be one of the defence team in Saddam Hussein’s trial.

The most sought after was Mu’ammar’s second son, Saif al Islam:

He too wanted to become a “modern thinker’ like his father, so he applied to the London School of Economics. One of the Professors discovered that he was helped in his application by British Aerospace.

Some of his teachers were a bit baffled by their new student. One professor later said – “I could never get clear exactly what he was arguing.”  But another LSE professor had no such doubts. He was called David Held, and he was a great enthusiast for the idea of “globalisation”. And Saif’s thesis was very much on message – it was called:

“THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS: FROM ‘SOFT POWER’ TO COLLECTIVE DECISION MAKING”

When someone at the LSE explained Giddens’ Third Way theory to Saif, apparently his immediate reaction was

“my father invented that thirty years ago.”

the same time he was becoming an international artist. He had a travelling exhibition of his own paintings. It was called “The Desert Is Not Silent”.

Here are some of the paintings.

At the end of 2008 Saif was awarded his PhD. A few weeks later Professor David Held suggested to him that he might help fund the LSE’s Centre For Global Governance. Held says that there was no connection between the two.

Saif said that he would give the Centre million, and it would come, he said from his own Foundation in the Great Jamahiriya.

The loan was agreed, David Held joined the board of Saif’s Foundation – and then Saif was asked to give a lecture in the big auditorium at the heart of the LSE.

Here is David Held introducing Saif al Islam Gaddafi’s speech. Saif still tries to defend his father’s idea that Libya is a better form of democracy than the democracies of the west. He points out how the increasingly low turnout of voters in America has allowed politics to be co-opted by special interests. And then happily he says that this means that the Great JAMAHIRIYA is a truer form of democracy.

And even Colonel Gaddafi’s oldest enemies now became his new best friends.

CHAPTER FIVE – DOWN THE DRAIN

But this dream world of global acceptance wasn’t going to last. Gaddafi had managed to redeem himself by

his accurate but  simplified vision of the world that was divided into goodies and baddies in such a way that he became a goodie.

Despite Muammar al-Qathafi upcoming UNO humanitarian award scheduled for MARCH 2011, and the

African Continental Bank which would be scheduled to open in Sirte by September 2011,

the ZIONIST ELITES were becoming  restless with the world financial economic crisis….

So, theZIONISTS invented this thing called “The Arab Spring”!
Which meant that Muammar al-Qathafi must be a baddie again. So everyone switched sides yet again, just like that. And the last dance began.

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2 thoughts on “An Altered al-Qathafi History via ADAM CURTIS

  1. Pingback: Prayers and Chants for the Return of the Great JAMAHIRIYA / Prières et chants pour le retour de la Grande Jamahiriya « Windows Live space

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