Tonight I want to point out a story of which very few people are aware. Surprisingly enough, this is inspired by a piece that is actually on CNN (a network which represents, usually, the very worst of the Corporate/Republican Noise Machine, albiet in a far more insidious and subtle way than Fox).
The story is here:
WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Obama on Thursday sent a civil nuclear agreement with the United Arab Emirates to the Senate for ratification, but its passage remains uncertain, thanks to a recently disclosed video.
Senior U.S. officials said lawmakers critical of the deal could use the video, which shows a member of the UAE government’s royal family torturing a man, to argue the United States should not have such nuclear cooperation with a country where the rule of law is not respected and human rights violations are tolerated.
This is putting it oh-so-mildly, and it barely touches the tip of the UAE iceberg.
Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan is one evil guy, and, ironically, looks almost exactly like a Central Casting version of Satan himself (only without the horns):
If you’d like to see the videotape in question, the one where he brutally tortures a man, assisted by one of UAE’s finest uniformed police officers, you can see it here:
It’s really nasty:
A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country’s royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.
A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim’s arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man’s wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.
In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed.
I wrote about it here in which I challenged Hannity to not only get waterboarded, but to have his penis sliced, Binyam Mohammed style, and also have the board with protruding nails in it pounded into his naked ass, as is seen in the video referred to here.
At any rate, the fact that one of their own enjoys torturing businessmen is almost beside the point. What IS the point is that the UAE, and Dubai, is an utterly corrupt country, built literally by slave labor, and has basically replaced BCCI as the place for jet-setting criminals, both corporate and governmental, to do their business.
And Obama wants to play “let’s share Nukes!” game with them.
He wants to give them nukes.
Let me just run you down a little past history of Dubai and Halliburton. Dubai is the new home of Halliburton, which I’m sure you all know is Dick Cheney’s own company and a big (HUGE!) beneficiary of the “war on terror” in the old-fashioned Corporate Welfare sort of way. It’s a “diary” (god I hate that term) I wrote over at DK a while back:
Most people probably don’t realize that Halliburton, our Vice President’s company, has been trading for years with most of the folks on the United States’ “axis of evil” list, including Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, and Libya.
One of the simple ways around this is to simply export the illegal stuff to the United Arab Emirates, where trading activity accounts for the biggest single chunk (16.5%) of a $20 billion economy, to be re-exported to the offending countries.
This article from Forbes.com shows how Halliburton skirts the law:
Halliburton, for example, manages to do business with Iran obliquely. Its Dubai-based affiliate, Halliburton Products & Services Ltd., allegedly has no Americans on staff; the Houston oil services company claims it has no direct ownership of the operation. Nevertheless, FORBES has obtained documents showing how Kala Ltd., the British arm of the National Iranian Oil Co., solicited at least 17 separate bids from the affiliate during 1997 and 1998 (when Vice President Cheney was Halliburton’s chief executive). A few bids include handwritten notes that say “FOB [free on board] Dubai Airport” or “FOB Dubai port”–meaning that the U.A.E. was just a way station between Halliburton and Tehran.
Other American products documented include spark gaps, which can be used to detonate nuclear bombs, ended up in Pakistan, in the same fashion.
This source claims that Halliburton was involved with bribes and other shenanigans involving Iran’s nuclear ambitions:
Scandal-plagued Halliburton — the oil services company once headed by Vice President Cheney — sold an Iranian oil development company key components for a nuclear reactor, say Halliburton sources with intimate knowledge into both companies’ business dealings.
Halliburton was secretly working at the time with one of Iran ‘s top nuclear program officials on natural gas related projects and sold the components in April to the official’s oil development company, the sources said.
Now comes word that Halliburton, which has a long history of flouting U.S. law by conducting business with countries the Bush administration said has ties to terrorism, was working with Cyrus Nasseri, vice chairman of the board of directors of Oriental Oil Kish, one of Iran’s largest private oil companies, on oil and natural gas development projects in Tehran. Nasseri is also a key member of Iran’s nuclear development team and has been negotiating Iran ‘s nuclear development issues with the European Union and at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Nasseri was interrogated by Iranian authorities in late July for allegedly providing Halliburton with Iran ‘s nuclear secrets and accepting as much as $1 million in bribes from Halliburton, Iranian government officials said. During the first round of interrogations in the judiciary, a huge network of oil mafia has been exposed, according to the IPS report.
That’s just one teeny little story about UAE.
I read a fantastic story recently about modern-day slavery in the UAE. I’m still looking for it, but in the meantime I’ve found this link which gives something of an overview. Basically the gleaming towers and fantastic architecture of Dubai and the UAE are built with literally slave labor. Workers are “recruited” from India and Pakistan with the promises of high wages, then they are shipped to the UAE, where their passports are confiscated. They are then forced to work without pay, while being housed in what are basically prisons, miles away from the cities they are building. That’s the jist of it, the link I provided gives examples of other slavery, including the sexual variety.
There’s also this, which I wrote about here some time ago:
MIAMI – Rulers of the United Arab Emirates were accused in a lawsuit of enslaving tens of thousands of boys over three decades and forcing them to work as jockeys in the popular sport of camel racing.
The lawsuit was filed last week by unnamed parents of boys suspected of being abducted, sold and enslaved. They claim more than 30,000 boys could have been victimized and seek class-action status.
The lawsuit alleges Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, the deputy ruler, were the most active perpetrators.
The Crown Prince was served with the lawsuit Monday while buying horses in Kentucky.
The lawsuit claims the boys were taken largely from Bangladesh and Pakistan, were held at desert camps in the UAE and other Persian Gulf nations, and forced to work. It claims some boys were sexually abused, given limited food and sleep and injected with hormones to prevent their growth.
Now that’s just some sick shit.
And gosh, I haven’t even gotten started here. This, from the CNN article (believe it or not):
Dubai also was one of the major hubs for the nuclear trafficking network run by Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who admitted spreading nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya up until the year 2000. He was eventually pardoned by the Pakistani government.
These are the people Bush wanted to have run the ports of the United States.
And these are the people Obama wants to play Nuclear footsie with. A country who is known for already trading black-market nuclear technology.
Can someone tell me again how Obama is different from Bush? Other than being charismatic, charming, and articulate?
But the administration felt comfortable sending the agreement to Congress at this time, officials said, given that there has been little reaction to the release of the video except for a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this month from U.S. Rep. James McGovern — the Massachusetts Democrat who co-chairs the congressional Human Rights Commission. Watch how the video came to light »
McGovern expressed “outrage and concern” and asked Clinton to “place a temporary hold on further U.S. expenditures of funds, training, sales or transfers of equipment or technology, including nuclear, until a full review of this matter and its policy implications can be completed.”
Of course there’s been little reaction to the video. I doubt too many people have actually seen it. And is that any reason to go ahead with the treaty? What is this country turning into, one big “American Idol” show??
Oh wait. It’s all about money, isn’t it? I almost forgot …..
Like our “ally” in the “War on Terror”, Pakistan:
The headline says it all.
That’s it for now.
More to come …..