« on: Today at 06:05:49 am »
Every time I see this thread title, I can only think:
You know what I always say? "Always kill the mouthy one", that's what I always say.
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I, on the other hand, narrowly avoided killing a busker with an accordion this morning while getting a coffee.
How did you miss?
The AMIA bombing was an attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA; Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building. It occurred in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. It was Argentina's deadliest bombing ever. Argentina is home to a Jewish community of 200,000, the largest in Latin America and sixth in the world outside Israel (see Demographics of Argentina).
Over the years, the case has been marked by incompetence and accusations of cover-ups. All suspects in the "local connection" (among them, many members of the Buenos Aires Provincial Police) were found to be "not guilty" in September 2004. In August 2005, federal judge Juan José Galeano, in charge of the case, was impeached and removed from his post on a charge of "serious" irregularities due to mishandling of the investigation. In 2005, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who would later become Pope Francis, was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case. He was one of the signatories on a document called “85 victims, 85 signatures” as part of the bombing’s 11th anniversary.
On October 25, 2006, Argentine prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos formally accused the government of Iran of directing the bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. According to the prosecution's claims in 2006, Argentina had been targeted by Iran after Buenos Aires' decision to suspend a nuclear technology transfer contract to Tehran. This has been disputed because the contract was never terminated, and Iran and Argentina were negotiating on restoration of full cooperation on all agreements from early 1992 until 1994, when the bombing occurred.
The central piece of evidence cited in Nisman’s original 900-page arrest warrant against seven senior Iranian leaders is an alleged Aug. 14, 1993 meeting of top Iranian leaders, including both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then president Hashemi Rafsanjani, at which Nisman claims the official decision was made to go ahead with the planning of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).
But the document, recently available in English for the first time, shows that his only sources for the claim were representatives of the MEK or People’s Mujahideen of Iran. The MEK has an unsavory history of terrorist bombings against civilian targets in Iran, as well as of serving as an Iraq-based mercenary army for Saddam Hussein’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War.
William Brencick, who was then chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires and the primary Embassy contact for the investigation of the AMIA bombing, told me in an interview in June 2007 that the U.S. conviction about Iranian culpability was based on what he called a “wall of assumptions” — a wall that obstructed an objective analysis of the case.
The first assumption was that it was a suicide bombing, and that such an operation pointed to Hezbollah, and therefore Iran. But the evidence produced to support that assumption was highly suspect. Of 200 initial eyewitnesses to the bombing, only one claimed to have seen the white Renault van that was supposed to have been the suicide car. And the testimony of that lone witness was contradicted by her sister, who said that she had seen only a black and yellow taxicab.
That is only the first of many indications that the official version of how the bombing went down was a tissue of lies.