Da Black Whole

Friday, June 03, 2005


14 Nations Fail to Stop Human Trafficking

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer 18 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The United States accused 14 nations Friday of failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers. The countries include Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism.

Three other U.S. allies in the Middle East — Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar — were newly listed this year as nations that are failing to adequately address trafficking problems. The State Department said the 14 countries could be subject to sanctions if they do not crack down.

As many as 800,000 people are bought and sold across national borders annually or lured to other countries with false promises of work or other benefits, the State Department said in its annual survey of international human trafficking. Most are women and children.

"Trafficking in human beings is nothing less than a modern form of slavery," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice' said. "The United States has a particular duty to fight this scourge because trafficking in persons is an affront to the principles of human dignity and liberty upon which this nation was founded."

The other countries listed as poor performers in stopping trafficking are: Bolivia, Cambodia, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Myanmar,
North Korea' , Sudan, Togo and Venezuela.

Venezuela, which has had a tense relationship with the United States in recent months, said it has taken several steps to combat trafficking. In a written statement by its embassy, it called Venezuela's inclusion in the list "a sad demonstration of how the administration has politicized its work on human rights."

The department placed China, South Africa and 25 other countries on a watch list. Those nations have trafficking problems, but their governments are making what the State Department calls significant efforts to combat them.

Saudi Arabia has turned a blind eye to the problem of poor or low-skilled workers brought into the country and exploited or who go there voluntarily but find themselves in "involuntary servitude," the report said.

Saudi employers physically and sexually abuse migrants from South Asia, Africa and other places, withhold pay and travel documents or use migrant children as forced beggars, the report said. Some of the migrants work as domestics in the homes of wealthy Saudis.

"The government of Saudi Arabia does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so," the 2005 Trafficking in Persons report said.

The report said the Saudis apparently prosecuted only one employer during the period covered by the report, from March 2004 to March 2005.

"We have domestic workers being brought in from many countries into domestic servitude, child beggars, a lot of beatings, reports of beatings and rape," said John R. Miller, the special ambassador for human trafficking.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington had no immediate comment on the report.

Despite periodic differences, Saudi Arabia and the United States have a tight alliance built on economic and military cooperation. Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, the kingdom's de facto ruler since his half brother King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, visited President Bush' at his Texas ranch in April.

The United States spends $96 million to help other countries combat trafficking, Rice said.

The United States is not included on the list, although Miller said the country is far from immune.

"Modern-day slavery plagues every country, including the United States," Miller said.

The Justice Department' is due to issue a separate report on trafficking in the United States later this month.

Congress began requiring the international ranking reports in 2000. This is the fifth report, and it covers trafficking to and from 150 countries.
Miller said the goal "is not to punish, but to stimulate government action to eliminate" human trafficking.

Countries that fail to crack down can be subject to a variety of sanctions, including the withholding of some kinds of U.S. foreign aid. The United States will not cut off trade and humanitarian aid, the report said.

Countries that receive no such assistance can be declared ineligible to take part in cultural and educational exchange programs.
Two countries have been sanctioned since the reports began — Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela.


the following story and commentary was posted by remarksman on soc.men on May 31, 2005:


AP: Gitmo Detainees Say Muslims Were Sold

By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 16 minutes ago

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - They fed them well. The Pakistani tribesmen slaughtered a sheep in honor of their guests, Arabs and Chinese Muslims famished from fleeing U.S. bombing in the Afghan mountains. But their hosts had ulterior motives: to sell them to the Americans, said the men who are now prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000, the detainees testified during military tribunals, according to transcripts the U.S. government gave The Associated Press to comply with a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

A former CIA intelligence officer who helped lead the search for Osama bin Laden told AP the accounts sounded legitimate because U.S. allies regularly got money to help catch Taliban and al-Qaida fighters. Gary Schroen said he took a suitcase of $3 million in cash into Afghanistan himself to help supply and win over warlords to fight for U.S. Special Forces.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards," said Schroen, who retired after 32 years in the CIA soon after the fall of Kabul in late 2001. He recently published the book "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan."

Schroen said Afghan warlords like Gen. Rashid Dostum were among those who received bundles of notes. "It may be that we were giving rewards to people like Dostum because his guys were capturing a lot of Taliban and al-Qaida," he said.

Pakistan has handed hundreds of suspects to the Americans, but Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told the AP, "No one has taken any money."

The U.S. departments of Defense, Justice and State and the Central Intelligence Agency also said they were unaware of bounty payments being made for random prisoners.

The U.S. Rewards for Justice program pays only for information that leads to the capture of suspected terrorists identified by name, said Steve Pike, a State Department spokesman. Some $57 million has been paid under the program, according to its Web site.

It offers rewards up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

But a wide variety of detainees at the U.S. lockup at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, alleged they were sold into capture. Their names and other identifying information were blacked out in the transcripts from the tribunals, which were held to determine whether prisoners were correctly classified as enemy combatants.

One detainee who said he was an Afghan refugee in Pakistan accused the country's intelligence service of trumping up evidence against him to get bounty money from the U.S.

"When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you."

Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo.

"It's obvious. They knew Americans were looking for Arabs, so they captured Arabs and sold them - just like someone catches a fish and sells it," he said. The detainee said he was seized by "mafia" operatives somewhere in Europe and sold to Americans because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time - an Arab in a foreign country.

A detainee who said he was a Saudi businessman claimed, "The Pakistani police sold me for money to the Americans."

"This was part of a roundup of all foreigners and Arabs in that area," of Pakistan near the Afghan border, he said, telling the tribunal he went to Pakistan in November 2001 to help Afghan refugees.

The military-appointed representative for one detainee - who said he was a Taliban fighter - said the prisoner told him he and his fellow fighters "were tricked into surrendering to Rashid Dostum's forces. Their agreement was that they would give up their arms and return home. But Dostum's forces sold them for money to the U.S."

Several detainees who appeared to be ethnic Chinese Muslims - known as Uighurs - described being betrayed by Pakistani tribesmen along with about 100 Arabs.

They said they went to Afghanistan for military training to fight for independence from China. When U.S. warplanes started bombing near their camp, they fled into the mountains near Tora Bora and hid for weeks, starving.

One detainee said they finally followed a group of Arabs, apparently fighters, being guided by an Afghan to the Pakistani border.

"We crossed into Pakistan and there were tribal people there, and they took us to their houses and they killed a sheep and cooked the meat and we ate," he said.

That night, they were taken to a mosque, where about 100 Arabs also sheltered. After being fed bread and tea, they were told to leave in groups of 10, taken to a truck, and driven to a Pakistani prison. From there, they were handed to Americans and flown to Guantanamo.

"When we went to Pakistan the local people treated us like brothers and gave us good food and meat," said another detainee. But soon, he said, they were in prison in Pakistan where "we heard they sold us to the Pakistani authorities for $5,000 per person."

There have been reports of Arabs being sold to the Americans after the U.S.-led offensive in Afghanistan, but the testimonies offer the most detail from prisoners themselves.

In March 2002, the AP reported that Afghan intelligence offered rewards for the capture of al-Qaida fighters - the day after a five-hour meeting with U.S. Special Forces. Intelligence officers refused to say if the two events were linked and if the United States was paying the offered reward of 150 million Afghanis, then equivalent to $4,000 a head.

That day, leaflets and loudspeaker announcements promised "the big prize" to those who turned in al-Qaida fighters.

Said one leaflet: "You can receive millions of dollars. ... This is enough to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life - pay for livestock and doctors and school books and housing for all your people."

Helicopters broadcast similar announcements over the Afghan mountains, enticing people to "Hand over the Arabs and feed your families for a lifetime," said Najeeb al-Nauimi, a former Qatar justice minister and leader of a group of Arab lawyers representing nearly 100 detainees.

Al-Nauimi said a consortium of wealthy Arabs, including Saudis, told him they also bought back fellow citizens who had been captured by Pakistanis.

Khalid al-Odha, who started a group fighting to free 12 Kuwaiti detainees, said his imprisoned son, Fawzi, wrote him a letter from Guantanamo Bay about Kuwaitis being sold to the Americans in Afghanistan.

One Kuwaiti who was released, 26-year-old Nasser al-Mutairi, told al-Odha that interrogators said Dostum's forces sold them to the Pakistanis for $5,000 each, and the Pakistanis in turn sold them to the Americans.
"I also heard that Saudis were sold to the Saudi government by the Pakistanis," al-Odha said. "If I had known that, I would have gone and bought my son back."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Chief of Caribbean Services Michelle Faul has covered the prison at Guantanamo Bay since it opened in January 2002. Associated Press writers Paisley Dodds in London and Matthew Pennington in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.


it's not sufficient that we're leading the world in arms sales and prisoners per capita, and it's not enough that were torturing folks in our mancages
nor is it sufficient that we're spreading matriarchy across the globe

now we're in the slave trade

uh, didn't we already have one war over this?

makes ya wonder who exactly are the Evildoers these days, hmm?

nice going, junior!

you da man!

it makes me sick and ashamed to be an american, and if you don't feel the same way, don't fret, no doubt you can purchase a slave to have your feelings for you



ok Condo and Georgie-Porgy, i think we "get it" now, as you feminists have been harping on us for decades --

it's OK for the United States to engage in the slave-trading of MEN

but it's a terrible crime and grave tragedy to engage in the slave-trading of WOMEN AND CHILDREN

thank god you righteous upholders of Decency and Goodwill pointed out the moral divergence in these two vastly different scenarios

gee, lessee: one standard for womenandchildren, and a whole OTHER standard for, ah, those nasty males (they're only Evildoers, after all, vile opponents of our beloved matriarchy)!!

the word "hypocrisy" does not do this "selective standard" justice -- let's just call it FOUL and COWARDLY and leave it at that


  • Divergence ...


    Bush: ..we will direct every resource at our command, every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence and every necessary weapon of war... Name the Goddess. I'll seal you

    Powell: They have a skill that helps you
    Powell: You lost Iraq. Now blast the lot
    Powell: We deal in the dark cities

    Bush: There is dilemma. There's grief with our bombs
    Bush: Hear the name we hold
    Bush: Her wide evil wind
    Bush: But the crime is censored
    Bush: I feel grateful

    Bush: Hear our fame, this little fuck
    Bush: We send a path

    Colin Powell: Your wolf send chills


    Also of concern, is this reversal as he talks about America (I sealed her drama).

    And the sheriff's an imbecile

    And finally, we are only left wondering as George Bush says forwards that he doesn't want to be a war President and then says in reverse, Hell sickness, I wish you were master.

    By Blogger Annie, At 6:53 PM  

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