Sunday, January 18, 2015

The new political clash over the AMIA case in Argentina

This is a set of further reports from TV Pública argentina on the more than dubious allegation made by Alberto Nisman, prosecutor in the still unsolved AMIA bombing case from 1994, that Argentine President Cristina Fernández is deliberately covering up for Iranian perpetrators. Nisman made the accusation and it was picked up by opposition politicians and media (especial Clarín and La Natión) in the context

678 - La Justicia corporativa y la utilización del atentado a la AMIA - 15-01-15 (1 de 3) 16.01.2015:

678 - La Justicia corporativa y la utilización del atentado a la AMIA - 15-01-15 (2 de 3) 16.01.2015

This third one focuses more on the repercussions of the Paris terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical paper, which is the context in which Nisman and the opposition are making their AMIA case accusations against Cristina: 678 - Las reflexiones del Papa y de Barenboim sobre el atentado en París - 15-01-15 (3 de 3) 16.01.2015

The commentators worry that Nisman's play in this case may be part of pressure supported by the United States. They don't claim to have any documented evidence for it. But because of assumed Iranian involvement in the case, it is a case in which the US has taken a significant interest. The Obama Administration has not been overtly hostile to Cristina's government. On the other hand, it's down near Venezuela on Washington's list of favorite Latin American governments.

In any case, Nisman's claim against Cristina seems preposterous.

Robert Parry has a recent article on American foreign policy trends in which he discusses the operative template for US-backed "regime change" (Neocons: The ‘Anti-Realists’ Consortium News 01/17/2015):

In those “regime change” cases, there is also a consensus on how to handle the targeted countries: start with “soft power” – from anti-regime propaganda to funding internal opposition groups to economic sanctions to political destabilization campaigns – and, then if operationally necessary and politically feasible, move to overt military interventions, applying America’s extraordinary military clout.
Again, I don't see Argentina as the target of any kind of serious regime change operation, though I have no doubt that the US government, business lobbies with an interest in Argentina, Paul Singer and the "vulture funds" and probably both parties would prefer to have an Argentine government that was more responsive to American demands.

On the other hand, Cristina does seem to think that the pressure is more serious than just grumpy financial lobbyists: Argentina says will use anti-terror law against U.S. printing firm Reuters 08/14/2014; Daniel Merolla, US could topple my government, kill me: Argentina's Kirchner AFP 10/01/2014)

The Buenos Aires Herald reports in Ex Interpol head Roland Noble: What prosecutor Nisman says is false 01/18/2015:

Former Secretary General of the Interpol Roland Noble said special prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s accusations against Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration over the 1994 AMIA Jewish centre bombing are “false” and he confirmed that “no member of the Argentine government” has ever asked Interpol to revoke the Red Notices against Iranian officials, as Nisman denounced.

“What prosecutor (Alberto) Nisman says is false. No member of the Argentine government has ever asked us to revoke the Red Notices against the Iranian officials,” Noble said, categorically, to Pagina/12 newspaper.
In Kirchnerites want Nisman to show evidence, the Herald reports:

Kirchnerites will insist tomorrow in Congress that special prosecutor Alberto Nisman lacks evidence to charge President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner with the coverup of the AMIA Jewish community centre bombing that killed 85 people in 1994.

For his part, Nisman — the prosecutor appointed ten years ago by the president’s late husband, Néstor Kirchner — revealed to some opposition media that he will appear at the hearing summoned by PRO lawmaker Patricia Bullrich, who heads the Criminal Legislation Committee, with more documents to back his allegations.

Fernández de Kirchner’s Chief-of-Staff Aníbal Fernández yesterday reactivated his defence of the president, who on Wednesday was accused of having ordered to negotiate impunity for the Iranian suspects in the AMIA attack in order to fuel trade relations with Tehran. According to Nisman, Argentina needed oil and wanted to sponsor the grain exports to the Persian country. Former Foreign minister Jorge Taiana yesterday revealed that it was Iran that wanted to stop the commercial exchange with Argentina when the country issued the arrest warrants against eight Iranian officials — who were reportedly implicated in the worst-ever terrorist attack the country suffered.

Fernández repeated that the accusations against the president were “ridiculous” but he preferred not to mention the situation of Luis D’Elía, a former Kirchnerite official who was forced to step down in 2006 after defending Iran in the AMIA case. It was then when Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Co-rral defined the AMIA attack as a crime against humanity and ordered to arrest eight Iranian suspects and a Libanese one.

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