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Fri May 1, 2015, 12:39 PM

Colombia’s Supreme Court urges investigation of Uribe for spying on opponents

May 1, 2015

Colombia’s Supreme Court urges investigation of Uribe for spying on opponents

posted by Adriaan Alsema

Following the sentencing of his former chief of staff and former spy chief on Thursday, former president Alvaro Uribe should be the next to be investigated for illegally spying on opponents, according to Colombia’s Supreme Court.

The scandal over illegal spying practices by now-defunct intelligence agency DAS dates back to 2008 when prosecution investigators began finding out that the intelligence agency had been spying on opposition politicians, the Supreme Court, human rights organizations and journalists.

The Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced Uribe’s then-chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, and former DAS director Maria del Pilar Hurtado for having ordered and coordinated the spying on what seemed to be on persons and entities deemed inconvenient for the Uribe administration.

The scandal led to the dismantling of the DAS in 2011 and the incarceration of numerous intelligence officials including agents who hired civilians to plant bugs in the offices of the Supreme Court, the directors of both the Intelligence and Counterintelligence units, and recently one of its directors.


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Reply Colombia’s Supreme Court urges investigation of Uribe for spying on opponents (Original post)
Judi Lynn May 2015 OP
Peace Patriot May 2015 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat May 2, 2015, 03:26 AM

1. The real question is what the CIA wants.

And I don't know to how they currently stand on the U.S.-coddled Uribe, but I would guess that they have several reasons for continuing to protect him.

The Supreme Court is required to kick the matter over to the Colombian legislature, and that committee was receiving death threats from Uribe's crime gang a few years ago, and has done absolutely nothing. I think that that will remain the case until the CIA weighs in--or, rather, backs off--since I'm sure that Uribe, in addition to taking his own measures, has been enjoying the CIA's active protection since Panetta's term as Director.

One of Panetta's very first actions as CIA Director was to travel to Colombia, where I believe he yanked Uribe from the stage, probably because Uribe was such an embarrassment--i.e., a U.S. ally, Colombia, being run by a mafiosa, who has been tied to death squads and drug trafficking throughout his career (common knowledge among his victims or their survivors and advocates), as well as illegal domestic spying. Uribe was the Bush Junta's 'made man," and was threatening to stay in power at the time that Panetta visited. (Uribe was bribing legislators to change the constitution to give him a third term, for instance; others were prosecuted for the bribery, but not him). Panetta gave him a quiet spanking, but publicly Obama and Panetta arranged cushy academic sinecures for Uribe at Georgetown and Harvard and other honors. (Bush Jr had given him the U.S. Medal of Freedom.)

Obama and/or Panetta, or whoever the real powers are behind the CIA, apparently decided that U.S. corporate inroads into an increasingly leftist and independent South America were more important than other U.S. goals--such as overthrowing the Left in Venezuela and elsewhere (for which fascist loudmouth Uribe was a handy tool), having a corrupt western hemisphere training ground for outfits like Blackwater as well as wide-open venues for other Pentagon and U.S. agency 'contractors,' and, in general, trying to re-gain U.S. rule in the region by foul means.

These were the Bush Junta tactics, furthered by Uribe, and they weren't working. South America just kept going more and more Leftist and independent with each U.S./Bush Junta foul play, with the Left making progress in Central America as well, in Nicaragua and Honduras and, to some extent, in El Salvador. And this was not good for U.S. Corporate. The final Bush Junta foul play occurred six months into the Obama administration, with the tripwire fascist coup d'etat in Honduras. I'm pretty sure that was designed by the Bush Junta and carried out by Bush Junta moles in the Pentagon and the State Department. Obama and H. Clinton reacted very badly to that coup. And U.S. participation in that coup soured Obama's initiatives, on behalf of Big Corporate, throughout the region.

This damage--and the damage of 8 years of Bush Junta insults, dirty tricks and coup attempts--needed to be repaired. Better relations with Latin America has clearly turned out to be an Obama goal. I wasn't sure, for a while, how complicit he was in the Honduran coup, and if that was a harbinger of more U.S. heavy-handedness in Latin America. Now I think he was only complicit post facto, and was perhaps not fully in control of the pertinent actors at the Pentagon and in the diplomatic corps only six months into his first term. The Honduran coup greatly benefited Honduras' rich elite and U.S. and other big corporations. And that is why Obama did not condemn it, and why Clinton actively played along with it. Benefit to the 0.01% and their close brethren in the "military-industrial complex" is the driving force of U.S. policy in all cases, no matter which of the two parties is permitted to be in charge.

The Bush Junta served these interests with war and brutal tactics, which turned out to be counter-productive in Latin America as the region underwent an historic leftist democracy revolution. Our Democrats serve these same interests but more subtly in some instances (drone strikes instead of invasion; insurance corporation-run health care rather than no health care; supporting Santos, as president of Colombia, who wants to legalize all drugs and initiated peace talks with the FARC, rather than supporting Uribe, who wants to keep drugs illegal to keep his cartels in gold chains and SUVs, and who is a fascist warmonger). Though Obama pretended to be against the Colombia/U.S. "free trade for the rich" agreement during his campaign, he was really for it, and pushed it and signed it, once he was in office. But he needed to clean up Colombia's image first. Thus, Uribe was out and Santos in.

I think Obama's opening to Cuba has the very same motivations. In fact, it's commonly understood, among knowledgeable analysts, that Latin American leaders apprized Obama that U.S. policy on Cuba was a major obstacle to friendly relations throughout the region. Deals are being made with Chinese, Russian, European, Japanese and other firms, as Latin America's Leftist leaders aim for a "level playing field" rather than U.S. domination--and aim for BETTER deals for their people. For example, when Hugo Chavez insisted on more oil revenues for Venezuela's public benefit programs, and Exxon Mobil balked, he made deals with other oil companies who agreed to Venezuela's terms. This is one of the reasons that Venezuela's Leftist government is so hated by our oil-dominated government and controlled press. They told Exxon Mobil to take a hike! Similar things are happening throughout the region--Latin Americans finally standing up for themselves, both on economic deals and in other ways (for instance, Ecuador's Leftist president kicking the U.S. military out of Ecuador--something the Ecuadoran people have long desired).

Obama has to lead the way, if U.S. corporations and the U.S. "military-industrial complex" are to worm their way back into the good graces of Latin American governments. Even free-trade complicit and rightwing governments in Latin America don't like insults to their sovereignty and don't want to be thought of as controlled by the U.S. (Uribe was an exception.) Thus, Uribe is out (he was thoroughly disliked by most Latin American leaders), and Santos is in. Peace talks to end Colombia's 70 year civil war are succeeding. And U.S. idiotic policy on Cuba is ending. Both things are historic advances toward a better world. But we have to be realistic about how such advances sometimes occur. Obama is not doing these things because they are right; he is doing them to advance U.S. corporate/military interests, in what he and his team, and those behind him, consider more effective ways than the Bushwhacks. Latin American leaders, for their part, see common ground on issues like Cuba and Colombia's militarism.

This does not mean that the U.S. government does not continue to be devious. NSA spying on the president of Brazil, for pete's sake! And we can be sure that plenty else is going on, in secret, to undermine Leftist governments. But the Bush Junta didn't even try to find common ground of any kind. They were ridiculously belligerent--also murderous and vastly, vastly corrupt. But subtle or unsubtle, the goals are the same, and the methods--whether the "neo-liberal" methods of the Democratic Party leadership, and of Obama and Clinton (both B and H) in particular, or the openly brutal methods of the Bush Junta and their ilk--feed off of each other. The Bush Junta, for instance, greatly assisted Uribe in eliminating labor leaders, community organizers and others--by assassination--and in brutally displacing FIVE MILLION peasant farmers from their lands, all of which paves the way for "free trade for the rich." Then comes Obama with "free trade for the rich" wrapped up with peace initiatives and other ribbons.

Latin Americans want peace in Colombia (and in the region, and in the world). They want--they demand--recognition of Cuba. They are not stupid about the U.S.--far from it. They see common ground. This has taken quite skillful diplomacy on all sides. I'll give that to Obama. He and his agents are skillful.

So, will Uribe continue to be protected by the Obama administration (or its string-pullers)? I think so, yes, for many reasons. One of them is that I think Uribe has ammunition against his Bush Junta mentors and the Obama administration certainly seems to be under obligation to protect Bush Junta principles. I don't think they can afford to cut Uribe loose, though they may wish to. Uribe is a serious malefactor no doubt waiting in the wings for Bush III to ascend to power. But there is every indication that he will never pay for his crimes, any more than the Bushwhacks will. And I don't think it's just Uribe's intimidating, death-threatening organization that is protecting him. Over one hundred of his closest associates, including family members, are in jail or under serious investigation for their crimes, but not him. The death squads haven't protected them. Who is protecting him? Who has that power? Who has that vested interest? And what IS that interest?

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