The War Machine or How To Manipulate Venezuelan Reality

INTERPOL achieved what Washington hasn’t
been able to do for years: invent the way to “validate” some kind of
bogus evidence against Venezuela that will jusfity US aggressions and
possibly the next military intervention.

By Eva Golinger
Topics
Short URL

Interpol’s Creativity

Since 2002, the Pentagon has been seeking
evidence that intimately relates President Chávez and his government
with the FARC. Top secret documents from the Department of Defense
(that we have desclassified under FOIA) evidence that the Pentagon has
been unable to find proof of a clandestine, subversive relationship
between the Venezuelan government and the FARC. The sources used in
some Pentagon documents that attempt to show such a relationship are
completely unreliable, since they are mass media outlets from Venezuela
and Colombia, such as Globovisión, Caracol, El Universal and El
Nacional – all of whom are aligned with the opposition to Chávez.

When
the Colombian government bombed the FARC camp in Ecuador on March 1,
killing two dozen people in an illegal incursion onto Equatorian
territory that was condemned by the Organization of American States
(OEA) and only supported by the United States (suprise!), it was all
they could do to produce evidence they had been seeking for six years.
Just hours after the illegal invasion and massacre (during which 5
innocent Mexican visiting students were killed), the head of Colombia’s
National Police, General Naranjo, was announcing they had “found” a
“laptop” that belonged to Raul Reyes, the FARC commander killed in the
bombing, and that the computer contained information that showed a link
between President Chávez and several members of his government, and the
handover (or offering) of weapons and money to the FARC. (Now we would
have to ask how the Colombian police found that key information so
quickly amongst the more than 39,000 word files and several million
documents contained on the computers that the INTERPOL report says it
would take 1,000 years to read). All of sudden, evidence was found that
not even the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency or the world’s top
spies could encounter during years of secret missions, agent recruiting
and handling and psychological operations; that Chávez was going to
sell uranium to the FARC to make dirty bombs; that Chávez promised
somewhere between $250-$300 million to the FARC; that he gave them
weapons; and that together they sought to overthrow Uribe’s government
and install a FARC marxist state.

That mysterious machine
contained anything the Empire could ever have dreamed up to bury the
Venezuelan government and declare it over and done with.

But,
there was a big problem: since the machine had been in the hands of the
Colombian government – confessed adversary of its Venezuelan neighbor –
and the “Documents” that evidenced the relationship with President
Chávez were actually just texts written in Word, without signature or
seal, there was little faith in their credibility. How easy it is to
just write a document in Word on some computer and say it was written
by someone else! Word documents don’t have original signature. If they
had found – say – a diary or a journal written by the hand of Raul
Reyes, then the situation would be quite different, but a bunch of
texts in Word? Emails? In today’s world, electronic information is
unreliable. Computers can been manipulated from a remote source. Any
decent hacker or computer techie can enter into a system and alter
whatever, without leaving fingerprints.

So, Colombia did the
intelligent thing. They said – lets let an uninvolved third party
evaluate the computers to determine whether they have been manipulated
or not by us. And that’s when Interpol came along.

The Secretary
General of the International Police (INTERPOL), Ronald Kenneth Noble,
is an ex US Government employee, and he was First Undersecretary of the
Department of Treasury in charge of the Secret Service, the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Center for Federal Law Enforcement
Training, the Network of Financial Crimes Control and the Office of
Foreign Assets Control (which, by the way, is the entity in charge of
enforcing the blockade against Cuba and the prohibition of US citizens
to travel there). Noble has been Secretary General of INTERPOL for 8
years (two terms), and it was he who was in charge of supervising the
authentication of the “evidence” obtained by the Colombian government
in the FARC camp.

INTERPOL was charged with a pretty limited and
subjective mision, that was to “Examine the user files on the eight
seized FARC computers and to determine whether any of the user files
had been newly created, modified or deleted on or after 1 March 2008.”
INTERPOL did not occupy itself with verifying the origin, accuracy or
source of those files or computers, which means that reasonable doubt
still remains regarding the true authorship of that data. INTERPOL took
for granted that the machines and the evidence pertained to Raul Reyes
and the FARC, which in legal terms prejudices the entire investigation
because it shows that from the beginning, INTERPOL had already taken
the side of the Colombian government.

INTERPOL’s report states
specifically that the scope of their forensic examination was limited
to a) determining the actual data contained in the eight seized FARC
computer exhibits, b) verifying whether the user files had been
modified in any way on or after 1 March 2008, and c) determining
whether Colombian law enforcement authorities had handled and examined
the eight seized FARC computer exhibits in conformity with
internationally recognized principles for handling electronic evidence
by law enforcement.” [Interpol Report, page 7].

Subsequently,
INTERPOL’s report confirms that the “verification of the eight seized
FARC computer exhibits by INTERPOL does not imply the validation of the
accuracy of the user files, the validation of any country’s
interpretation of the user files or the validation of the source of the
user files.” [Interpol Report, page 9].

So, INTERPOL only
examined and verified whether the data contained on the computers had
been created, modified or deleted after March 1 when it was publicly in
the hands of the Colombian government. And although in their own
report, INTERPOL concludes that access to the machines between March 1
and March 3 by the Grupo Investigativo de Delitos Informáticos of the
Colombian Judicial Police (DIJIN) “did not conform to internationally
recognized principles for handling electronic evidence by law
enforcement” [Page 31], Secretary General Noble justifies that
violation and the modifications made by the DIJIN as part of the
difficulties encountered by those law enforcement who “are first on the
scene”.

INTERPOL says its role was “exclusively technical” yet
Secretary General Noble began his press conference on May 15 with a
very partialized political discourse in favor of the Colombian
government and condemning the FARC as drugtraffickers and terrorists.
When asked by a journalist from TELESUR whether he could confirm the
source of the evidence, Noble blurted our “I can say with certainty
that the computers came from a FARC terrorist camp…” The journalist
asked if they belonged to any person in particular, and Noble responded
“yes, the now dead Reyes…”

If we return to page 9 of the
INTERPOL report we can clearly read the statement: “the verification of
the eight seized FARC computer exhibits by INTERPOL does not imply the
validation of the accuracy of the user files, the validation of any
country’s interpretation of the user files or the validation of the
source of the user files.”

So, how did Mr. Noble know the computers belonged to Raul Reyes if INTERPOL did not analyze their origen?

In
the end, INTERPOL can say that technically those computers were not
modified or altered after March 1, but that tells us nothing concrete
that could serve as legal evidence in a court of law. We don’t know the
source of those machines. We don’t know who created the documents, text
and data on those computers. There is no way whatsoever to authenticate
the information contained on the thousands of Word documents and emails
on those computers. They could be stories, wishes, dreams, prayers or
fantasies. What they are not is actual hard core proof of a crime.

And
as no surprise, the US government has expressed its “concern” over the
INTERPOL report and the “ties between the Venezuelan government and the
FARC.” (The US government is always “concerned” when it comes to
Venezuela. First, Ambassador Donna Hrinak expressed her “concern” over
President Chávez’s statements criticizing the US bombing in Afghanistan
in October 2001, and months later came the coup d’etat against Chávez.
Then it was Ambassador Charles Shapiro who expressed his “concern”
about the political crises and the divisions in the country and soon
after we had the economic sabotage of the oil industry in December
2002. Later we had Ambassador William Brownfield saying he was
“concerned” about the increase in drug transit and the threat to
freedom of expression, and we had street violence, an increase in
funding to the opposition, and the White House certified Venezuela as a
nation “not cooperating” with counterdrug measures and the war on
terror. And now what?)

First, the spokesperson for the
Department of State, Sean McCormack stated on May 16 that “this is a
motive of concern for us. It’s a concern for the people of Colombia and
the government of Colombia…Right now our intelligence community is
analyzing the INTERPOL report…You don’t have to look far beyond the
many news reports that we have seen recently based on the information
found in those laptops and other information…” (Right, when the news
media says something in sync with Washington’s foreign policy, it’s
pointed to as a valid source, but when they criticize Bush’s policies
on Irak or discover inconsistencies with the administration, then they
say the media are biased and unrealiable).

The next day, the
normally low profile (for now) US Ambassador in Venezuela, Patrick
Duddy, appeared on Globovisión declaring that “elements of concern”
exist in the documents found on Raul Reyes’ laptop and that “we respect
what Interpol has presented and we remind you that there is already a
ton of material that has come out in the press and there are elements
of conern, but also there is a lot of information and the agencies that
have access to it will analyze it.” Of course his statement is
identical to that of the Department of State, and that’s no coincidence
– that’s because the embassies all receive a “Western Hemisphere Press
Guidance” sheet telling them exactly what to say!

So, the next
step will be when the CIA, the Pentagon and other official Washington
representatives “certify” the information on the computers and launch
all kinds of additional accusations towards Venezuela – now with
“proof”, even if invented. Wasn’t the power point presentation that
Colin Powell so assuredly presented before the UN Security Council
regarding the weapons of mass destruction in Irak considered “proof”?
So, now we have laptops with non-authenticatible documents that will be
used as “evidence” to place Venezuela on the state sponsors of terror
list or worse, justify some kind of military incursion onto Venezuela
territory to safeguard the world from terrorists.

The Fourth
Fleet of the Navy has already been activated, something not seen since
World War II, and will be patrolling and coordinating military activity
in the Latin American region. Last month, SOUTHCOM launched Operation
Enduring Freedom – Caribbean and Central America – which deployed an
elite batallon of National Guard and navy ships into the region to
prepare strategies to detect and defend against terrorist threats in
the region.

In the end, INTERPOL achieved what Washington hasn’t
been able to do for years: invent the way to “validate” some kind of
bogus evidence against Venezuela that will jusfity US aggressions and
possibly the next military intervention.