By NIL NIKANDROV*
(Feb. 17) – Two recent high-profile suicides – one in France and another in Argentina – are very similar. A successful and well-liked French police chief by the name of Helric Fredou was found dead after launching an investigation into the terrorist attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo weekly. Official reports claim the officer shot himself in his office using his service weapon before he had completed his report on the high-profile terrorist attack in Paris.
Hours before the fatal gunshot, Officer Fredou gave an interview in which he said that the case involved «many unexpected nuances, but we will get to the bottom of it all». Perhaps it was this promise that prompted those shielding the terrorists to rush to eliminate the threat posed by the police chief. Afterward, the media released a version of his death that cited nervous exhaustion, depression, and «emotional burnout». French officials have not seemed overly eager to investigate the hidden factors behind the demise of Officer Fredou, even though another police officer who was tracking the «warriors of jihad» also committed suicide during that same period of time. The sober analysis on the blogs that sprang up soon after the event in Paris, and which pointed to the fingerprints of the CIA and Mossad, gradually vanished from the Internet.
A very similar event took place in Buenos Aires, where Alberto Nisman, a special prosecutor investigating the long-ago explosion at the Jewish Cultural Center in 1994, allegedly shot himself in January. Nisman was focusing on uncovering the «Iranian fingerprints» and the premise that President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman had entered into a backroom deal with Iran to normalize relations with that country. The refusal of Buenos Aires to continue the pattern of confrontation with Iran that had been foisted upon the Argentines at the outset of the investigation in the 1990s has angered Washington and Tel Aviv.
Despite Nisman’s close ties to the American and Israeli embassies and regular visits to these countries for consultations, the prosecutor was still unable to obtain conclusive evidence of collusion between Kirchner and the Iranians. Argentina’s ex-spy chief, Antonio Stiuso, also led him astray. It was discovered that before his death Nisman had repeatedly telephoned Stiuso because he had promised the prosecutor transcripts of Christina’s confidential telephone conversations regarding the «deal with the Iranians». But now Stiuso was avoiding him because he did not in fact possess such materials. Colleagues close to Stiuso have stated that he himself had been duped by the CIA station, which had promised to provide him with records of Christina’s telephone conversations. On the eve of the parliamentary hearing, Nisman still lacked even the most basic documented evidence to back up his widely publicized statements about President Kirchner’s «criminal plan». The «Memorandum of Understanding with Iran,» which had been drafted by Argentine lawyers and diplomats in order to break the deadlock in relations with Tehran, and which was being used as evidence of Christina’s guilt, had been discussed in both houses of parliament and approved.
Given this situation, criticism of Argentina’s intelligence service, which has been unable to obtain conclusive evidence identifying those responsible for the explosion at the Jewish Cultural Center, continues to mount. Because of Nisman’s death that criticism has not abated. In Argentina, Juan Gabriel Labaké, a lawyer for one of the defendants in the case of the Buenos Aires explosions, has been the most disparaging. He claimed that the completion of the prosecutor’s report and his death «changes the entire situation». That lawyer believes Nisman «was the victim of sinister forces that … eliminated him to prevent him from speaking out. He was forced to draft a report, after which he was more useful dead than alive. He was an unwelcome testifier who was also destabilizing the national government. He was not welcomed by those for whom he was drafting the report. For the CIA. I am not claiming the CIA killed Nisman, but the CIA is the prime suspect».
According Labaké, he gained access to a document jointly produced by the CIA and Mossad that had been drafted to address the full spectrum of questions related to the bombings in Buenos Aires. Nisman used this material to brief the lawyer (on the condition that Labaké sign a promise to maintain the confidentiality of what he read). According to the lawyer, «this document is full of fantasies, like many others that are manufactured by intelligence services … There are mentions of two Iranian terrorists who escaped from Iran and were hidden by the CIA in a secret military base in Iraq … The CIA is using these two individuals as if they were valuable witnesses, and Iran is being accused of culpability on the basis of their testimony. Nisman is repeating these accusations.
Labaké discovered other premises from the CIA/Mossad report that Nisman had copied out word for word, and he submitted an accusation to the attorney general accusing the prosecutor (prior to his death) of «treason, the subversion of the friendly relations of the Argentine government with a foreign state, the delay of justice, the abuse of power, and discrimination and persecution on religious grounds». Labaké believes that Nisman’s death will not be the last during the investigation into this case, stating, «In order to be sure of a satisfactory resolution to this problem they will have to eliminate one or two more». The lawyer again emphasized that the CIA was a suspect in all of this.
Cristina Kirchner has affirmed that the newly reorganized Federal Intelligence Agency of Argentina will begin its work in April. Argentines approve of the assertive steps being taken to replace the old Secretariat of Intelligence (SI), which had been compromised by a series of scandals. Officials had no shortage of grievances against the SI, such as: the Secretariat’s arbitrary actions, interference in the domestic fray by its higher-ups, and corruption among its staff. The history of the Secretariat of Intelligence, as well as its predecessor, the SIDE, is filled with facts of illegal spying, repression, the use of false evidence, and the peddling of information and influence.
As a result, the SI was infiltrated by foreign intelligence services, particularly the CIA and Mossad. This was done through various channels, including official ones, under the pretext of coordinating the joint fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. These legal opportunities were used to study the personnel working within the Argentine intelligence service, as well as the nature of its operations in the Western hemisphere, Europe, and other regions. Under the guise of «friendly cooperation,» American and Israeli intelligence services targeted their recruiting efforts within the ruling circles of the SI, as well as in its operational and technical divisions.
Now the US Embassy in Buenos Aires is pushing to ensure that the questionable circumstances surrounding the death of Prosecutor Nisman are magnified in every way possible. The previously established facts have been denied and entirely new evidence has found its way into circulation, the purpose of which is to destabilize the government of Cristina Kirchner.
Why is this attack being unleashed upon the Argentine government? The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York was used to justify the US and NATO invasion in Afghanistan, and the spread of chaos in the Middle East and the terrorist attack in France have signalled the onset of convulsions within continental Europe – which is part of a huge zone of impending instability from Gibraltar to the Yellow Sea. Efforts are underway to overthrow the government of Argentina in order to create a «domino effect» that will spread chaos throughout Latin America, weaken Brazil and her «populist state,» and dismantle the integrated associations on the continent (Mercosur, Celac, ALBA, Unasur, etc.).
The television channel CNN, which in Latin America is seen as a tool in a dirty war of propaganda, was put to use as a way of disseminating information about Nisman’s death. Correspondent Drew Griffin commented on the matter, «Initial accounts say it’s suicide, but in a country where politics are as intriguing and complicated as the national dance, the conspiracy theories begin to twirl. At newsstands, at cafes, the conclusion is simple: murder, led in part by… Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner». At meetings with top Argentine officials, Noah Mamet, the US ambassador in Argentina, insistently reiterates Washington’s offer to provide professional assistance in the investigation into the circumstances behind the prosecutor’s death. Each time he emphasizes that the Argentine investigation must not deviate from its primary task – to meticulously identify «Iran’s fingerprints».
In response to a request made by the American Congress, Argentina’s foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, dismissed the idea that the US might be allowed to investigate the death of Alberto Nisman: «I do not understand why they think the FBI can solve problems everywhere in the world». President Kirchner reacted even more sharply, «We are neither a fourth-category country nor a banana republic where someone can show up and give us advice».
Her position has been met with undisguised irritation in Washington and Tel Aviv. As Christina has admitted, her intelligence service has never failed to discover the source of any threat she has ever received. The Argentine president is well-known for her tenacity and courage, and so she asks Argentines to remember that «if something were to happen to me, do not look toward the east – look toward the north». Meaning – toward the United States.
* Nil Nikandrov is a veteran journalist who has covered South America for years.
Source: Strategic Culture
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