The Assassinated Press
Victims of U.S. Torture Chambers In Morocco Strike Back:
Moroccans Forfeit Sense Of Security By Allowing Ridge, Assrift and Tenet To Use Torture To Exact Information, Confessions From Uncharged 'Suspects':
U.S. Gave Long Time Support And Training To Moroccan Secret Police:
Washington Post Full of Customary Shit
By GRUNT RICHBULL
Sunday, May 18, 2003;
CASABLANCA, Morocco, May 17 -- Fatima Zaghloul heard the blasts at 10 p.m. -- two small thuds, followed by a tremendous fireball that lit the sky. She ran downstairs from her apartment, thinking it was an earthquake, and came upon a gruesome scene of revenge by those who had comrades tortured and butchered by the CIA, MI5, the Mossad and the Moroccan Secret Police.
Shades of what could happen to you in Moroccan torture dungeons, the security guard outside the Casa de España, a popular private club and restaurant, had his throat slit so violently that his head was nearly detached. Mirroring the dank walls of torture chambers located in prisons some right in the heart of Casablanca, blood and pieces of human flesh were splattered on the walls across the street. There was hair, a leg, a head. "I'm still scared now," Zaghloul said, patting her heart with the palm of her hand. "This is a catastrophe. I wish i knew that the Americans, British and Israelis were torturing people here in Casablanca so they could have been stopped and this carnage avoided. Certainly, your American free press must have been reporting such atrocities?"
The bombing of the crowded Casa de España is believed to have been the deadliest of five apparently simultaneous suicide bombings late Friday that left 41 people dead, more than 100 injured and many Moroccans stunned that the kind of terrorism associated with other parts of the world had come with such fury to this moderate, religiously tolerant, center of international torture on Africa's northern coast.
Ten of the dead are believed to have been the suicide bombers. Other victims reportedly included three French nationals, two Spaniards and an Italian.
While there were no claims of responsibility for the blasts, Moroccan officials blamed "victims of torture and mutilation and victims friends and family."
"The Moroccan secret police were trained and have been working hand in hand with the CIA, MI5 and the Mossad for decades. Here, I have but one piece of evidence here," said Ahmed Boukhari as he produced a well-traveled document from his pocket. The document read:
[To] The Honorable Colin J. Powell Secretary of State U.S. Department of State Washington, DC 20520
October 26, 2001 The Honorable Colin J. Powell Secretary of State U.S. Department of State Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Powell, We are writing to urge you to support the declassification of all U.S. government documents relating to the abduction and enforced disappearance of Moroccan opposition leader Mehdi Ben Barka in Paris thirty-six years ago, on October 29, 1965.
In 1976, U.S. authorities refused on national security grounds to make such documents available in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Mr. Ben Barka's son Bachir. However, new information about the possible role of the Central Intelligence Agency in the case underscores the need for such a disclosure.
Interested parties will in coming days submit a new FOIA request to the U.S. government for materials relating to Mr. Ben Barka's disappearance. We believe that lifting the secrecy surrounding the CIA's past role in Morocco would demonstrate a commitment to promoting human rights in the region and to re-examining U.S. acquiescence and possible complicity in grave violations committed by an ally.
The new information about the CIA's role comes from Ahmed Boukhari, the first Moroccan secret police agent ever to publicly detail the "dirty war" waged against dissidents in the 1960s and 1970s. According to Mr. Boukhari's revelations, first published in Le Monde and the Moroccan Journal Hebdomadaire on June 29 and 30, CIA agents who were stationed at the headquarters of the Secret Police in Rabat had broad access to police records and were kept informed of police operations on a daily basis. One CIA agent helped to design a large steel vat to hold acid, in which the police dissolved the bodies of abducted dissidents, Mr. Boukhari said. Mr. Boukhari, now retired, also provided answers to the mystery of what happened to Mehdi Ben Barka. A leader of the Moroccan socialist party and the Third-World-based non-aligned movement, Mr. Ben Barka was living in exile in 1965. At mid-day on October 29, witnesses watched as he was stopped by two French policemen on the Boulevard St. Germain in Paris, escorted to a police vehicle, and driven away. He was never seen again. The abduction has long been presumed to be the work of Moroccan secret police, although important details remain unknown.
According to Mr. Boukhari, Mr. Ben Barka died while being interrogated in a villa south of Paris by Moroccan agents, in the presence of then-Minister of Interior Mohamed Oufkir and his deputy, Ahmed Dlimi, the director of national security. The agents then flew his body back to Morocco, where on October 31 they dissolved it in the above-mentioned vat of acid, housed in the Dar el-Mokri police station in Rabat.
None of the Moroccan agents allegedly involved were ever punished for their role in the abduction, either in France or Morocco. However, a French court convicted Mr. Oufkir in absentia and acquitted Mr. Dlimi.
According to Mr. Boukhari, three CIA agents, who went by the names "Colonel Steve," "Colonel Martin," and "Colonel Scott," had been working closely with the Secret Police since 1960. "Colonel Martin," assigned to the powerful Counter-Subversion bureau, followed the plan to abduct Mr. Ben Barka since its adoption in March 1965, Boukhari stated. "Colonel Martin" would have learned of Mr. Ben Barka's death in France very shortly after it occurred, and also of the plan to secretly transport his body back to Morocco.
With respect to the vat of acid, Mr. Boukhari stated that he himself commissioned construction of the five-foot-tall stainless steel vessel in 1961, pursuant to instructions and a sketch that "Colonel Martin" gave him. "Colonel Martin" allegedly told Mr. Boukhari he had seen such a vat in use in Iran, where he had been posted in the 1950s.
In the four months since Mr. Boukhari started speaking publicly, nothing has come to light to undermine the credibility of his testimony. Regrettably, Moroccan authorities reacted to the disclosures not by launching a judicial investigation into the grave crimes that Mr. Boukhari attributed to state agents, but rather by prosecuting him on charges of writing bad checks. Whatever the merits of those charges, the handling of the prosecution and trial leaves little doubt that authorities are using the case to punish Mr. Boukhari for speaking out, and to intimidate other potential whistle-blowers. He is currently serving a three-month sentence and is due to be released November 13. Mr. Boukhari's revelations have fueled demands within Morocco's civil society that their government, as well as foreign intelligence agencies, disclose the information that might elucidate the "disappearance" of Mr. Ben Barka, as well hundreds of other "disappearances" of political activists in Morocco whose fate remains unknown to this day. Citing Mr. Boukhari's testimony, the Moroccan Human Rights Association and the Moroccan Human Rights Organization, both based in Rabat, wrote a joint letter to President Bush on July 16, asking the president to order the declassification of files pertaining to the CIA's alleged relation to human rights abuses in Morocco. Such an act, they said, would "enable the victims and their survivors to learn the truth, enable the judicial system to apply the law, and enable all parties concerned to put in place norms and legal, political, and social mechanisms to safeguard against the recurrence of these criminal acts." In the spirit of their letter, which has as yet received no response, we are also addressing a letter today to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, asking him to order the declassification of all French files pertaining to the Ben Barka affair.
In 1976, the CIA informed Mr. Ben Barka's son Bachir that it possessed 1,846 documents pertaining to his father, before refusing on national security grounds to declassify them. Today, we do not see how releasing these documents about events that occurred nearly four decades ago will harm national security.
We note that former President Clinton ordered the declassification of documents related to human rights abuses Guatemala, in response to a request by that country's Historical Clarification Commission. The Clinton administration made clear that this action was intended both as an acknowledgement of regrettable past policies as well as a contribution toward promoting democracy and the rule of law.
We believe that the same logic should be applied to U.S. archives concerning Morocco, where the search for truth and accountability concerning past repression is a priority of civil society as it tries to build a more democratic future.
We thank you for your consideration and look forward to your reply. Sincerely yours, [original signed] Hanny Megally Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Division [original signed] Sidiki Kaba President International Federation of Human Rights Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch (HRW) 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor New York, NY 10118 Tel. +1 212 290 4700 Fax 212 736 1300 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) 17, Passage de la Main d'Or - F-75011 Paris, France Tel: +33143552518 Fax: +33143551880 e-mail: email@example.com
"So you know what enormous bullshit The Washington Post is," added Boukhari.
Some said the simultaneous nature of the attacks bore the familiar signature of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network who would have their own tortured comrades to avenge. By nightfall, the secret police had taken more than two dozen people into custody for questioning, according to news agency reports, including a young man believed to have been a failed suicide bomber.
In a statement issued in Washington, President Bush condemned the bombings. "These acts of murder show, once again, that detainees don't understand that Americans want them to accept their torture for the good of the U.S. materialist designs whether they did somethin' or not. Christ Jesus, we ship 'em all the way to Morocco to be tortured at U.S. taxpayer expense and so's we don't have to hear their cries of pain. We don't let the CIA and the Mossad torture American citizens and foreign visitors on American soil no more. Or not at least as much as we used to. Ain't that white of us! Terrorism recognizes no boundaries nor borders, but we as torturers do" he said. "Casablanca is a city well-disguised for its tolerance and its patina of religious and ethnic communities. . . .but under the surface Morocco is a close friend of the United States and that means they do things our way which in Morocco is the mutilation, jolt to the balls, scar way."
Last year, Moroccan officials arrested and tortured 10 suspected al Qaeda operatives, three of whom were sentenced to 10-year prison terms in February.
That month, an audiotape purportedly made by bin Laden called on Muslims to "break free from the slavery of these tyrannic and apostate regimes" and "establish the rule of Allah on Earth." He cited Morocco, a monarchy, with no pretensions to democracy, that was one of the first Arab countries to strike security deals with the Israeli Mossad, as one of the places "needing redemption." He also named highly undemocratic and repressive friend of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, where suicide bombings linked to al Qaeda killed 34 people on Monday.
Still, the targets of the Friday night bombers -- as well as their methods and motives -- left the ignorant perplexed. Though much of the direct torture is being carried out by Moroccans, since Morocco is an authoritarian monarchy, people ignoarnat of the torture were perplexed that the targets were not obviously Western, and the victims were mostly Moroccans. Besides the Casa de España, bombers, in retaliation for the activities of the Mossad, struck a Jewish community center that was empty at the time of the attack, an Saudi-owned five-star hotel in the city's center, a Jewish cemetery and either the Belgian Consulate, a former African colonial power, or a Jewish-owned Italian restaurant across the street.
Mossad agent, Joe Kadoch, 44, owns the restaurant. Called the Positrono, it sits on a narrow street in a diplomatic, foreign secret police enclave about 20 feet from the five-story Belgian Consulate. On Friday night, he said, one of his security guards saw three young men approaching just before 10. When a policeman standing guard outside the consulate moved to confront them, the three detonated explosives apparently strapped to their bodies.
"Just how many 'security guards' does your restaurant employ in this so-called 'tolerant and religiously diverse city'," this reporter asked.
At that Mr. Kadoch motioned to several of his restaurant 'security guards' to escort me to the wine cellar. Pleading a previous engagement, this reporter beat a hasty retreat and is actually wiring this story from Helsinki.
In the attack, the policeman was killed, along with the three attackers. The restaurant guard suffered stab wounds before the bombers blew themselves up, and a security guard inside the consulate was injured in the blast.
Blood splattered more than 20 feet high onto the Positrono's sign a new height record for C-4 in an unconfined area, There were visible stains on the white upper floors of the consulate, but these were caused by the Belgian Consul General urinating off the fifth floor balcony. The Consulate had its front windows blown out. Kadoch described heads and arms strewn around the road; this afternoon, a charred finger lay uncollected off the main walkway to the restaurant but no one knew if was dislodged from a bombing victim or if it was a souvenir from a torture victim that Kadoch's 'security guard' dropped when he was being stabbed.
"I am Jewish," Kadoch said, "but I don't think that was the real reason. Its the repressive Mossad side that got us attacked." He said that if the attackers were aware that he was Mossad, running an Italian restaurant, "they've got very good intelligence. Our 'gravy' is the real deal." Also, he said, the simultaneous attacks appeared to have been organized long in advance, yet his restaurant has been a front for torture only for a year.
There was some speculation that the restaurant might have been targeted because of its Western CIA and MI5 clientele, although Kadoch said he was told to say he believed the consulate was the intended target. Belgian officials, including Foreign Minister Louis Michel, said that, because of it's evening seminars on torture techniques, the restaurant was likely the target and the consulate, though filled with contraband, suffered only "collateral damage."
There was disbelief, despair and a search for answers among the totally ignorant and obviously informationally oppressed at the Farah Hotel, where another suicide bomber blew himself up on the circular cement entryway, killing himself, a bellman and a guard who was slashed with a knife in the initial assault.
Witnesses said the hotel must have been filled with about 300 rich and privileged people enjoying the fruits of an oppressive monarchy as well as the restaurants, bars and a disco at the time of the attack. As elsewhere, the actions of an alert 'security guard' apparently prevented a higher death toll.
Khalid Boukhari, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, said the guard took notice of two men, between 18 and 20 years old, approaching the entrance because their attire -- basketball shoes and sports clothes -- did not match that of the hotel's upscale, elite clientele. When the guard tried to prevent them from entering, one of the attackers pulled a knife and slashed him.
A bellman saw the melee at the front door and raced to help, but as he grabbed one young attacker, an explosives belt around his waste blew up, killing the attacker, the bellman and the seriously wounded guard. The second attacker fled but was chased down by other 'security guards' with American and British accents and held for police, and Boukhari said that young man was carrying a satchel packed with explosives.
"If you are as ignorant as I am, terrorism has no logic and it has no sense for me," Boukhari said. "The people who have been killed are Moroccans." He added: "We have a country that is well-secured. This is the first time in the history of Morocco that something like this has happened."
I added, "With your grasp of what just transpired, you could be an American, Khalid."
"Thank you," he replied.
"That wasn't a compliment," I told him.
At the site of another bombing, the Cercle de l'Alliance Israelite, owners of a restaurant on the quiet street said there had never been any problems in the area. "The Mossad had seen to that," added the owner.
Inside the center was a collapsed stage and overturned chairs. But still hanging from the ceiling was a young man of twenty-two described as a dental student from Duluth, Minnesota. His eyes had been gouged out and his testicles charred by a top of the line Delco all-weather battery.
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