Russian Ambassador Assassinated in ‘Open Provocation’; LaRouche Warns: Put Obama on Suspect List
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey G. Karlov, was shot and killed today in Ankara, while speaking at the Contemporary Arts Center, in what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced—on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin as well—was an open “act of provocation” against Turkey-Russia relations. The perpetrator, a 22-year-old gunman, came to the event under false police ID, shouted radical slogans, and was himself shot within minutes of his crime, by Turkish special security forces.
The assassination comes on the eve of collaborative conferences on resolving the Syrian crisis, among Turkey, Russia, Iran and others, tomorrow in Moscow; and on Dec. 27 in Astana, Kazakhstan, involving the Syrian government and moderate opposition. Turkey and Russia have recently cooperated in the evacuation of residents and rebels from eastern Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, which began Dec. 15. This morning the UN Security Council unanimously approved the deployment of UN inspectors to monitor the ongoing process, following modifications to the draft, in response to Russian objections.
On first reports of the assassination today, statesman Lyndon LaRouche warned, “Put Obama on the list of suspects.” LaRouche made reference to the nature of the act, and to the nature of President Barack Obama. The assassination itself was “a deliberate kind of kill—a set-up.” He said, “It’s not just vengeance, it’s a special operations act.” He urged that authorities “run down the people involved in any way in this.”
Secondly, LaRouche pointed out that Obama himself is on record for killings. He conducts, for example, the infamous Tuesday sessions for authorizing lists of drone targets. He deploys Americans to their harm and death in bloody regime-change military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Obama’s stepfather himself was a killer-agent in Indonesia. As the stepchild, “He is intrinsically a killer,” LaRouche put it.
Obama specifically threatened action against Russia, at his Dec. 16 press conference and in an earlier National Public Radio interview. Obama asserted, without proof, that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers, and menacingly said, “I think there is no doubt that, when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action, and we will, at a time and place of our choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be. But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”
Today’s assassination crime, and Obama’s threats and campaign against Russia and other nations, focus our attention as citizens of all nations, that we must continue to bear down hard, to enforce a shift to a new paradigm of development and peace, and put Obama and his axis out of action. The fact that he leaves office in 30 days is no cause for ease, but just the opposite.
This is underscored by new documentation of the evil character of the 16-year Bush/Obama regime, which came to light today. Newly available FBI files—obtained under Freedom of Information Act demand—show that the FBI in 2012 was actively probing the support network for the 9/11 killer-hijackers, involving Saudi backers, when in 2004, the FBI had denied anything like that ever existed, and said there were no leads to pursue, following the publication of the 9/11 Commission Report. At least two new individuals were identified as key co-conspirators with the San Diego cell of hijackers. The 2012 investigation extended to New York, London, and Copenhagen.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Assassinated in Ankara
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey G. Karlov, was shot dead today, while delivering an address at an art museum in Ankara. After being wounded by the lone gunman, Karlov was transported to a hospital, where he died. Three other people were wounded in the attack.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu later identified the attacker as a 22-year-old former police officer by the name of Mevlut Mert Altintas. According to news reports, he was heard shouting, “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria! As long as our brothers are not safe, you will not enjoy safety.” A Dutch website posted video footage of the shooting online, in which Altintas was seen wearing a suit and reportedly entered the premises using his police identification. He then shot Karlov in the back as the ambassador was speaking. Russian broadcaster RT reports that Turkish special forces killed Altintas following the shooting.
In both Ankara and Moscow, government officials vowed that Karlov’s assassination would not affect Turkish-Russian relations and that those responsible would be found and brought to justice. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Russian President Vladimir Putin to brief him on the attack, according to Erdogan’s presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was already on his way to Moscow for a tripartite meeting on Syria with the Russian and Iranian Foreign Ministers when the attack occurred. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are expected to hold a joint press conference in Moscow on the assassination, reports Turkish daily Hurriyet.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said today, “Ambassador Karlov is a unique diplomat who earned appreciation of all state cadre by his professional and personal competences as he carried out successful works at a very difficult time in Turkey. His memory will always with us. We will not allow this attack to overshadow Turkish-Russian friendship.” Karlov had been ambassador in Ankara since July 2013 and had earlier in his diplomatic career worked extensively in North Korea.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said today, that the Russian government considers the attack on Karlov a terrorist attack. “Terrorism shall not pass, we will take resolute efforts against it,” Zakharova stressed, reported TASS.
NATO-Russia Council Met in Businesslike Atmosphere
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The NATO-Russia Council met behind closed doors in Brussels today, for only the third time this year, and while no breakthroughs were made—indeed, none were expected—the meeting appears to have been conducted in a very businesslike atmosphere. Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute, while disparaging Russia as “disruptive,” openly said on ABC News, “I don’t believe that anyone in Russia today intends to attack NATO.” This itself made headlines in Europe, as in TASS’s “U.S. Envoy Says Russia Has No Plans To Attack NATO.”
“The meeting was long and comprehensive,” said Alexander Grushko, Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, reported Sputnik. “We discussed the most important factors that influence the military security in Europe.” According to Grushko, Russia expressed concern over deterrent policies against Russia conducted by the Alliance, and insisted that the strengthening of trust-building mechanisms between Russia and NATO was impossible while the Alliance implemented confrontational security schemes. “We stressed that cessation of NATO’s military activity near Russian borders and return of the situation to the status as of 2013 year-end will be the contribution in support of European security,” Grushko said.
Russia Will Train China’s Special Forces To Combat Terrorists
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The head of the privately run Chechen International Special Forces Training Center in Gudermes, Chechnya, Daniil Martynov said Russia will train Chinese special forces to sharpen their shooting and hostage rescue skills to combat terrorism, RIA Novosti reported today. Martynov, who had just returned from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, was involved in exchanging experiences with his Chinese counterparts in combatting terrorism. Some dissident Uyghurs, non-Han local residents of Xinjiang are carrying out terrorist acts against China.
“They (Chinese) have seen us at the international Special Forces competitions in Jordan at the KASOTC Center, and sought our cooperation,” said Martynov. KASOTC refers to the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, an installation located in Amman, that specializes in the state-of-the-art counter- terrorism. The Chinese were the first to propose cooperation, said Martynov. In July, a delegation of the Chinese security forces flew to Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, and they also visited the Terek Russian Special Police Forces Training Center near the village of Tsentaroy, where they saw demonstrations presented by commandos, Gazet.ru reported.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Japan, Russia Relations Move Forward on Economic Cooperation, Toward Resolution on a Peace Treaty
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—Following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s groundbreaking visit to Japan on Dec. 15-16, it is clear that both countries are committed to broad cooperation and seeking ways to overcoming differences on resolving the disputed islands issue so as to agree to a peace treaty. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was quoted as saying by TASS, “[The issue] of signing a peace treaty, which has not been solved for more than 70 years, is not easy, but at least one step has been made.”
Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a joint statement that “the start of consultations on joint economic activity of Russia and Japan on the South Kuril Islands may become an important step towards signing a peace treaty.” It said that such joint economic activity and its implementation “cause no damage to the positions of Russia and Japan on the peace treaty issue.”
There is public support in Japan for this. TASS reports the results of an opinion poll by Mainichi Shimbun, showing 59% of Japanese citizens support the idea of carrying out a joint economic activity on the South Kuril Islands, while only 25% oppose the idea. The figure is even higher (72%) among those who support the government of Prime Minister Abe, says the survey conducted Dec. 17-18. Even among those who oppose the government the number of supporters of the idea represent 46% for, 39% against. While 60% of respondents voiced hope that there will be progress in solving the territorial dispute, only 29% have no such expectations.
The Sakhalin Region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako said on Dec. 18 that the authorities of Russia’s Sakhalin region and Japan’s prefecture of Hokkaido have been discussing joint economic activities in the South Kuril Islands.
“We are ready to provide Japanese companies with an opportunity to implement various projects in the South Kuril Islands that would cover housing construction, road building, setting up waste recycling facilities, and developing aquaculture,” Kozhemyako said on Dec. 18 at a meeting with Hokkaido’s Governor Harumi Takahashi.
He invited Takahashi to visit the islands together with Japanese businessmen in order to discuss the possibilities of joint economic activities on these territories on the ground. “I believe it is a very interesting proposal, so I welcome it. However, this matter is within the responsibilities of Japan’s government; they need to develop a clear position on that. The Hokkaido authorities hope that it will be done in the near future so that a joint economic activities’ system could be introduced in the South Kuril Islands,” Takahashi stated.
Upcoming Meetings in Eurasia To Address International Security, Deepening Economic Cooperation
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—A series of meetings to take place over the next 10 days in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in Russia, and Astana, Kazakhstan, will provide platforms to debate the pressing issues of combatting international terrorism, and stepping up economic cooperation among the nations of Eurasia, Southwest Asia, and Asia generally.
In statements reported by Sputnik, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the leaders “hope to speak in detail and concrete terms with those who can really bring about an improvement in the situation on the ground, while our Western partners are busier with rhetoric and propaganda and aren’t influencing those who listen to them.”
Following the Moscow meeting, two meetings will take place in St. Petersburg on Dec. 26, both to be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. These are the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), whose members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, and then the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEU), whose members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. The latter’s summit agenda will include various aspects of cooperation among these economic and trading partners, a key feature of which will be the signing ceremony of the EAEU Customs Code agreement, TASS reported today.
The CSTO summit will focus on issues relating to the global and regional agenda, specifically combatting terrorism and threats of extremism, illegal drugs, and weapons trafficking.
Then, on Dec. 27, as we reported in yesterday’s EIR Daily Alert, representatives of Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Kazakhstan will meet in Astana for formal discussions with Syrian opposition figures, reflecting the creation of a new negotiating framework aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Number of Heroin ‘Orphans’ Soars Across the U.S.; Social Services Overwhelmed
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—A spate of articles from major U.S. media in recent days points to the horrific toll that the heroin epidemic is taking on a generation of children, whose parents have overdosed and left them to either to be raised by family members, or tossed into foster care. An increasing number of grandparents are adopting and caring for their grandchildren who have lost their parents.
In states across the country, state, county and local social service, child protection and foster care agencies and courts are overwhelmed, unable to handle the growing number of traumatized and neglected children, whose parents either lost custody because of their drug addiction, or overdosed—often in front of them. Jane Sites, director of a mental-health treatment program for traumatized children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, warns “they are out there by the thousands, and they are our kids,” the Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 16.
Robin Reese, executive director of Ohio’s Lucas County Children Services, told the Journal, “honestly, if something doesn’t happen with this addiction crisis, we can lose a generation of kids…. God knows I would hate to see orphanages come back, but the child-protection system is being inundated now.” The Lucas County seat is the once-industrial city of Toledo, in Ohio’s northwest.
Since 2010, Ohio has seen a 19% increase in the number of children removed from parental custody and placed in foster care. In Vermont, between 2013-16, that figure grew by 40%, and in West Virginia, by 24% between 2012-16.
Children who live with their addicted parents suffer terrible neglect, often denied food and clothing because their parents sell those items for money to buy drugs. Many stop attending school. Their trauma is profound. The Daily Caller on Dec. 18 cited officials warning that the current crisis “is upending the lives of countless children across the country, who deal with emotional trauma long after leaving their parents.”
Many children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a variety of other emotional problems, requiring therapy and counseling for years. Babies born addicted to opioids go through painful withdrawal symptoms for months, and often face serious health challenges. Hospitals are now treating dozens of opioid-addicted newborns a year, compared to just a few not that long ago.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Found Guilty of Negligence in France
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—IMF Managing Director Minister Christine Lagarde was found guilty In a French government corruption case dating from 2007 when she was France’s Finance Minister. Madame Lagarde didn’t stick around to learn the verdict, but flew to her IMF office Washington. Word is that she’ll serve no jail time, but the IMF Board is scheduled to meet “soon” to discuss her case. One well-known pundit suggests the Fund be renamed Inmates Managing Funds.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Dramatic New FOIA Revelations: FBI Still Probed New 9/11 Leads in 2012
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—A new FBI document, obtained through an FOIA lawsuit related to the FBI’s 9/11 Review Commission cover-up, shows that, as late as October 2012, the FBI was pursuing new leads on co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks. The heavily redacted document was obtained by lawyers for the Florida Bulldog, which also has a separate FOIA action, seeking over 80,000 pages of FBI documents on the Sarasota Saudi family with ties to three of the hijackers.
Today, the Bulldog published a detailed report on the FOIA document, accompanied by the document itself, by publisher Dan Christensen. According to the FBI document, new leads on Saudi support networks for the San Diego terror cell were underway in New York and in Copenhagen, Denmark as late as October 2012. Two individuals were identified as facilitators of the two San Diego terrorists, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi: Osama “Sam” Mustafa and Mohdar Abdullah. Mustafa owned a San Diego gas station where al-Hazmi worked for a period of time, after coming to the United States directly from the al-Qaeda planning meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mustafa was arrested in Tampa, Florida in May 2012 for Treasury check fraud, in a case filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia. Mustafa was convicted a year later of the $17 million swindle, but he escaped while out on bond and is still a fugitive, according to the FBI document. In 2014, he was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison.
The second new name in the FBI report, Mohdar Abdullah, was identified as a confidant of the two Saudi intelligence “handlers” of al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, Osama Basnan and Omar al-Bayoumi. They assigned Abdullah to facilitate the “day-to-day life” of the two hijackers. Abdullah was arrested on Sept. 19, 2001 as a suspected accomplice of the hijackers but was eventually deported after he pled guilty to immigration violations. While in custody awaiting deportation, according to the 2012 FBI document, he boasted that he had worked with the San Diego hijackers on the plot. The document also suggests that Abdullah was in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen years later, under President Obama’s drone-kill program.
The new document is reportedly part of a larger number of FBI files set to be released under the FOIA case. The document alone shows that the claims that the 9/11 Commission completed the probe and showed that there was no Saudi Monarchy support for the terrorists is a total lie, a lie that the FBI has covered up until now. Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), co-chair of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and attorney Sean Carter (representing the 9/11 families) both told Dan Christensen that the existence of the document shows the magnitude of the FBI cover-up, since the existence of the document was concealed right up until the FOIA release.
Electoral College Votes Up Trump; More Electors Tried To Defect from Clinton, Than To Dump Trump
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—The 538 members of the Electoral College met today, in which electors gather in the capitals of each of their respective 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, to officially vote for a new President. Trump got 304 electoral votes, according to AP, well more than the 270 required—despite efforts from the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton to discredit the election and its results.
In fact, more electors tried to defect from Hillary Clinton than from Trump. With not all voting is yet reported, seven Clinton voters in four states balked at backing her, while only two dumped Trump. The state tallies will now go to Washington, D.C., where they will be certified by the new Congress, on Jan. 6, 2017.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Fusion Advances: In South Korea, a 70-Second Plasma Operation; In Europe, a Successful Plasma Start-Up
Dec. 19 (EIRNS)—South Korea announced last week that its superconducting tokamak, KSTAR, had achieved a new record for steady-state plasma operation of 70 seconds, it was reported on Dec. 14. Last week, at the Fusion Power Associates meeting, the head of South Korea’s National Fusion Research Institute, Dr. Keeman Kim, reported on last year’s record, of 55 seconds, which this now surpasses. The Institute released a statement saying “this is a huge step forward for realization of the fusion reactor.”
One of the challenges of containing a fusion plasma is preventing heat flux from accumulating on the plasma-facing components in the machine. Korea’s National Fusion Research Institute says that “various techniques” have been applied to deal with that challenge of protecting the walls and internal components of the tokamak.
It should be noted that it is not possible to compare results on different machines, such as the “more than 60-second” recent result from China’s EAST tokamak, with this 70 seconds from KSTAR. Each machine runs experiments under different conditions, testing different parameters, such as plasma temperature, magnetic field strength, external heat supplies, etc., and to test different materials and equipment. For example, although China’s EAST reactor has sustained a plasma for longer earlier this year, KSTAR’s results were obtained at higher plasma pressures and temperatures. Using different methods, and in some cases, tackling different problems, they all have steady-state operations at the end goal.
Also last week, while the Fusion Power Associates conference was underway in Washington, the WEST tokamak in France produced its first plasma on Dec. 14. This milestone was excitedly reported to the conference participants by Dr. Alain Becoulet, who is in charge of WEST from the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
The WEST machine (“W” Environment in a Steady-state Tokamak, where the “W” is the symbol for tungsten), is the former Tore Supra tokamak. It has undergone extensive upgrades over the past three years, in order to be a test bed for developing technology for ITER. Its first experimental campaign will begin next year. The major research on WEST is in diverter structures, which are needed to remove particles that are flung into the chamber walls, heating and degrading them, and potentially disrupting the plasma. It has been named “WEST,” as a way to complement China’s “EAST,” or Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak. The goal of all of these machines is to move towards a steady-state tokamak, which is what will be needed to produce commercial electricity from fusion.