Greece | Egypt | CIA torture | Trayvon Martin

Matina Stevis, Ian Talley: IMF Concedes It Made Mistakes on Greece (Wall Street Journal)

The International Monetary Fund has admitted to major missteps over the past three years in its handling of the bailout of Greece, the first spark in a debt crisis that spread across Europe.
In an internal document marked “strictly confidential,” the IMF said it badly underestimated the damage that its prescriptions of austerity would do to Greece’s economy, which has been mired in recession for the last six years.

Serge Halimi: Back to a feudal Europe / Wettlauf ins Mittelalter (Monde diplomatique)

The speculators have extricated themselves without losing one cent of the loans they made to Greece at astronomical interest rates. Obviously, such skill in robbing Europe’s taxpayers for the benefit of the hedge funds qualifies the troika to make the Greek people suffer. There are also hospitals, schools and universities that could be closed without any opposition. And not just in Greece: it’s only by making such sacrifices Europe that will be able keep its place in the triumphal progress towards a new Middle Ages.

Esam al-Amin: The Grand Scam: Spinning Egypt’s Military Coup (CounterPunch)

Even before a single demonstrator went to Tahrir, Okaz, a Saudi daily newspaper preemptively published the details of the scenario that unfolded three days later when the military took over. The following day, Al-Ahram, an official newspaper and Egypt’s largest circulated publication, had the headline “Either Resign or Be Overthrown.” This report foretold in frightening details how the events would unfold, including the military ultimatum, the overthrow of Morsi, the arrest of the MB leaders, and the suspension of the constitution. By July 3 nightfall, Gen. Sisi announced the overthrow of Morsi, the suspension of the constitution, and the beginning of a political roadmap. It was exactly the same roadmap President Morsi announced earlier, and the opposition rejected. The only difference was his ouster. … Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke to the coup leader Gen. Sisi at least five times during the crisis. … Within days, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns went to Egypt and met with the coup leaders and their civilian enablers. …
By the time the assembled speakers behind Gen. Sisi led by ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, and the Coptic Pope finished their blessings of the military coup, the security forces were in full force as hundreds of MB supporters including senior leaders were rounded up on the flimsy charge of instigating violence. … More than a dozen pro-Morsi media outlets including TV channels, websites, and newspapers were raided and closed. By July 8, the army killed over 80 pro-Morsi demonstrators and injured over 1000 when they were praying and protesting peacefully in front of the Presidential Guards Club, where Morsi is believed to be detained. So far, more than 270 people have been killed and thousands injured by the army and security forces across Egypt.

Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous: A Growing Divide in Egypt: As Army Outlines Transition Plan, Brotherhood Vow Revolt After Massacre (Democracy Now)

We turn now to Egypt, where members of the Muslim Brotherhood have called for an uprising one day after Egyptian armed forces shot dead more than 50 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a protest outside Cairo’s Republican Guard barracks where the deposed leader is believed to be held. Over 400 people were injured in the clashes. The army claims it acted in self-defense.

Patrick Kingsley: Killing in Cairo: the full story of the Republican Guards’ club shootings (Guardian)
Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous: With Deadly Crackdown, Is Egypt’s Military Repeating Same Mistakes of Post-Mubarak Transition? (Democracy Now)
Sharif Abdel Kouddous: “The Jailers Should Be Jailed” (Democracy Now)
Egyptian Liberals Embrace the Military, Brooking No Dissent (New York Times)

A hypernationalist euphoria unleashed in Egypt by the toppling of Mr. Morsi has swept up even liberals and leftists who spent years struggling against the country’s previous military-backed governments.

Wilhelm Langthaler: Democratic coup? / Demokratischer Putsch? (Anti-Imperialist Camp)

Former CIA agent involved in rendition must be returned to Italy to face justice (Amnesty International)

Amnesty International is calling for the return of CIA agent, Robert Seldon Lady, to Italy to face justice for his part in the US-led rendition programme. “By his own admission, he participated in a kidnapping operation that resulted in a man being tortured. Seldon Lady evaded justice by leaving Italy before his trial. This time he should have to answer the charges against him in Italy in person,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

Barbie Latza Nadeau: CIA Agent Robert Seldon Lady: Italy’s Most Wanted (Daily Beast)

When CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady devised the plan to swoop Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, off a Milan street on a chilly February morning in 2003, he says he was just following orders from his American bosses. “Of course it was an illegal operation,” Lady told Italy’s Il Giornale newspaper at the time. “But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”

Greg Miller, Karen DeYoung: Panama releases former CIA operative wanted by Italy (Washington Post)
Ken Hanly: The US double standard — Snowden versus Lady and Carriles (Digital Journal)

Panamanian officials claim that Lady had been detained at a border crossing with Costa Rica pending an extradition request from Italy. He was let go on the grounds that Panama does not have an extradition treaty with Italy and the documentation sent by Italian officials was “insufficient”. It was insufficient, I expect, to counteract a request by the US for him to be sent back home. … Panama has experience with what happens when you displease the US.

Norman Pollack: Obama, Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman Verdict (CounterPunch)

The verbatim transcript of Obama’s unscheduled appearance at the White House news briefing revealed all the human warmth of dead mackerel wrapped in yesterday’s paper. …
When Pres. Obama stated, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” or conversely, he could have been Trayvon Martin, he unwittingly put global millions in an uncomfortable position. No one wishes Mr. Obama dead (the thought liberated from that statement), but global millions, myself included, would like to see him leave office, whether by resignation or impeachment, but IN DISGRACE, in disgrace for his political treachery: his personal authorization of targeted assassination, his ties to Wall Street and posture of deregulation, his compulsive obsession with secrecy, and now, the horrid policy of mass surveillance, his diplomatic aggressiveness, as in the Pacific-first geostrategic framework of containing and isolating or weakening China, his chumminess with the the military and intelligence communities, …

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