Top British NATO General wants cyber-attacks to trigger article 5 collective response

From RT

https://www.rt.com/uk/379371-nato-cyber-attack-war/video/

March 3, 2017

NATO’s top European commander wants cyber-attacks to be considered a strong enough reason to trigger the alliance’s Article 5 which contains the principle of collective self-defense.

General Adrian Bradshaw, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe accused Moscow of cyber and informational attacks, telling the BBC the West needs “a grand strategy” to combat Russian “hybrid warfare.”

Currently, Article 5 declares that an “armed attack” against one or more NATO member states shall be considered an attack against all of them, leading to an appropriate collective response.

For Bradshaw, however, this definition is not broad enough to ensure the effective operation of the Alliance.

The West must respond by using all the tools at its disposal – economic, political, diplomatic as well as military – to deter Russian aggression”, the general reportedly said.

He wants the interpretation of Article 5 to be stretched to include other pretexts for collective self-defense other than an “armed attack”, which is what the wording of the article currently states.

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Putin warns Romania and Poland against installing ABM missiles

From RINF

May 28, 2016

Eric Zuesse

On Friday, May 27th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin again asserted that American President Barack Obama lies when saying that the reason America’s anti-ballistic missile (“ABM”) or Ballistic Missile Defense (“BMD”) system is being installed in Romania, and will soon be installed in Poland, is to protect Europe from Iranian missiles that don’t even exist and that Obama himself says won’t exist because of Obama’s deal with Iran. Putin is saying: I know that you are lying there, not being honest. You’re aiming to disable our retaliatory capacity here, not Iran’s. I’m not so dumb as to believe so transparent a lie as your assurances that this is about Iran, not about Russia.

Putin says that ABMs such as America is installing, disable a country’s (in this case, Russia’s) ability to retaliate against a blitz invasion — something increasingly likely from NATO now as NATO has extended right up to Russia’s very borders — and that Russia will not allow this disabling of Russia’s retaliatory forces.

He said that “NATO fend us off with vague statements that this is no threat to Russia … that the whole project began as a preventive measure against Iran’s nuclear program. Where is that program now? It doesn’t exist. … We have been saying since the early 2000s that we will have to react somehow to your moves to undermine international security. No one is listening to us.”

In other words, he is saying that the West is ignoring Russia’s words, and that therefore Russia will, if this continues, respond by eliminating the ABM sites before they become fully operational. To do otherwise than to eliminate any fully operational ABM system on or near Russia’s borders would be to leave the Russian people vulnerable to a blitz attack by NATO, and this will not be permitted.

He said: “At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know.”

In other words: Only the Americans, who have designed and control the ABM system, will be able to know if and when Russia is left totally vulnerable. Not even the Romanians will know; and Putin says, “Russia has ‘no choice’ but to target Romania” — and later Poland, if they follow through with their plans to do the same.

By implication, Putin is saying that, whereas he doesn’t need to strike Romania’s site immediately, he’ll need to do it soon enough to block the ABM system’s upgrade that will leave Russia vulnerable to attack and (because of the fully functional ABM) with no ability on Russia’s part to counter-strike.

He is saying: Remove the ABM system, or else we’ll have to do it by knocking it out ourselves.

Putin knows that according to the Article Five, “Mutual Defense,” provision of the NATO Treaty, any attack against a NATO member, such as Romania, is supposed to elicit an attack by all NATO members against the nation that is attacking. However, Putin is saying that, if NATO is going to be attacking Russia, then it will be without any fully operational ABM system, and (by implication) that Russia’s response to any such attack will be a full-scale nuclear attack against all NATO nations, and a nuclear war resulting which will destroy the planet by unleashing all the nuclear weaponry of both sides, NATO and Russia.

Putin is saying that either Romania — and subsequently Poland — will cancel and nullify their cooperation with U.S. President Obama’s ABM installation, or else there will be a surgical strike by Russia against such installation(s), even though that would likely produce a nuclear attack against Russia by NATO, and a counter-strike nuclear attack by Russia against NATO.

When Putin said “No one is listening to us” on the other side, the NATO side, Putin meant: I don’t want to have to speak by means of a surgical strike to eliminate a NATO ABM system, but that’s the way I’ll ‘speak’ if you are deaf to words and to reason and to common decency.

He will not allow the Russian people to become totally vulnerable to a nuclear attack by the United States and its military allies. He is determined that, if NATO attacks Russia, then it will be game-over for the entire world, not only for Russia.

He is saying to Obama and to all of NATO: Please hear and understand my words, and be reasonable, because the results otherwise will be far worse for everyone if you persist in continuing to ignore my words.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Putin Warns Romania and Poland Against Installing ABM Missiles

Polish leaders’ reckless rhetoric increases tension, as they ignore Russian security and guarantees made to Gorbachev

From Rick Rozoff

Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

MoD Siemoniak: Poland ‘cannot ignore threats’

Atlantic Resolve exercise

Poland’s Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that despite the unstable situation in eastern Ukraine, Poles should feel safe.

“However, we cannot ignore any threats and we have to remember that after years of peace, suddenly one country decides to the change the borders of another,” Siemoniak told the public broadcaster TVP on Monday evening.

“[Poland is] a member of EU and NATO and as such we are safe,” Siemoniak maintained, adding that “let us not forget that NATO is much stronger than Russia in military terms”.

Siemoniak underlined that Poland’s security is maintained by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – the founding charter of the military alliance – which calls for mutual defence in case of an attack on one of its members.[Editor: will Ukraine be quickly inducted into NATO so that the civil war becomes the pretext for attacking Russia under Article 5? What about the guarantees made to Gorbachev about NATO boundaries?]

“US forces have been stationed in Latvia precisely for this reason, to underline their presence,” Siemoniak said.

The comment comes as the United States on Monday sent heavy armour to Latvia and also announced that it will send some 3,000 troops to the Baltic states for joint exercises over the coming months.

“The deliveries are intended to “demonstrate resolve to President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together,” US Major General John O’Connor told the AFP news agency in the Latvian capital, Riga.

O’Connor added that the equipment would remain there “for as long as required to deter Russian aggression”.

Meanwhile, Minister Siemoniak said that a Polish training mission for Ukrainan army officers and NCOs will be finalised later this month.

We would like to undertake this mission in Poland, although there an idea to conduct these exercises in Ukraine has also surfaced,” he said. “Our decision will made regardless of what the Russians think, what’s more important is that this cooperation is effective”.

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Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

Kopacz: Europe faces greatest security crisis since Cold War

Prime Minister of Poland Ewa Kopacz has stated that the Ukrainian crisis has triggered an unprecedented security threat to contemporary Europe.

”We have the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War,” she affirmed in an interview with public broadcaster TVP. ”To disregard this would be irresponsible,” she added.

”Yet sending signals that spark anxiety among our citizens would also be too much.

”So we need to have a balanced position,” she said. Kopacz claimed that Poland’s membership of NATO is the country’s guarantee of security.

To date, Poland has been one of the most vigorous defenders of the new Kiev government. ”We need to protect our own interests, but at the same time to fight for something that Ukraine is fighting for today.

”For the first time, blood is actually being shed for the European Union, or for an attempt at integration into the European Union.”

https://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/invoking-article-5-polish-defense-chief-says-nato-can-defeat-Russia/

U.S. torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes

From World Socialist Web Site, December 12, 2014
By Alex Lantier
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/12/euto-d12.html

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture—including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs—officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.

Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

Re-posted at

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-torture-report-exposes-european-powers-involvement-in-cia-crimes/5419480