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Snowden’s EthiopiaLeaks: Reading Between the Lines

Edward Snowden’s politburo for secret documents has finally begun to release NSA files on the highly classified (and not so highly classified) activities of the USA in Ethiopia. In an article in The Intercept by veteran Horn of Africa journalist Nick Turse we find the latest chapter of another long awaited expose of the role of Pax Americana in Ethiopia.

The NSA documents released show the US military was secretly running an anti-terrorist intelligence gathering operation for many years in Ethiopia. The lands surveilled include Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Conspicuously absent from the documents is any mention of Eritrea, Ethiopia’s neighbor and arch enemy.

When you read between the lines you find that  Eritrea is under UN Security Council sanctions for allegedly supporting terrorism in Somalia in the form of Al Shabab. But no mention is made of Eritrea in the top secret cables of the US Army’s Intelligence Division when it comes to anything to do with terrorism in the Horn of Africa. If the US Army is not concerned about any link between Eritrea and terrorism then shouldn’t this be a word to the wise on the matter?

This should be the final nail in the coffin of the decade old tall tale of Eritrea as a supporter of terrorism (as Cuba was so slandered for decades).

Snowden’s EthiopiaLeaks follows in the footsteps of  Wikileaks Ethiopia File where we find now Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Donald Yamamoto way back in 2007 saying that Eritrea’s involvement in Somalia was “insignificant” (“Wikileaks Exposes UN Eritrean Sanction Lies”).

Later Wikileaks exposed how the UN Security Council Sanctions against Eritrea passed on Christmas Eve, 2009 were crafted by, amongst others, the US State Department’s Economic Sabotage office aimed as preventing international funding for Eritrea’s mining industry start up gold mine in Bisha and had nothing to do with any alleged support for terrorism as in Al Shabab in Somalia.

Now we have Snowden’s EthiopiaLeaks showing that no matter the lies told in public by the US State Department and their allies at HRW and Amnesty International, the US military wasn’t buying any of it and didn’t waste any time in wild goose chases concerning Eritrea and support for terrorism, i.e. Al Shabab.

End of Story? No…in Nick Turse’s article he interviews Felix Horne, Horn of Africa specialist for HRW who along with Amnesty continues to insist that once upon a time Eritrea was supporting the Al Queda branch Al Shabab in Somalia. Never mind Wikileaks, never mind the Snowden Leaks once a lie is told never admit what you have claimed is not real. This is so true of those who once surrounded Barack Obama and Hillary the Terrible and of course, their minions in their incestuous relationship with Human Rights Watch. We are talking about Tom Malinowski and his “special relationship” with Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) and her Mafia, when he wasn’t serving as Horn of Africa specialist et al at HRW.

HRW to HRC to HRW to HRC, who could tell who he was working for. The guy who was so blatantly pro-Pax Americana while switch hitting for HRW that he caused numerous Nobel Peace Laureates to publicly protest in an Open Letter to HRW?

One thing Nick Turse’s article didn’t mention is the not so secret AFRICOM Drone Assassination and Surveillance Program long based in Ethiopia. Hopefully Snowden’s EthiopiaLeaks files will have something on this for as recently as February 2015 an AFRICOM drone fired a cruise missile from Ethiopian airspace that struck an arms depot in the Eritrean town of Decamhare. Apparently wreckage from the drone was found identifying it as a cruise missile of the type used mainly by Predator drones in their assassination campaigns.

We find the hand of AFRICOM again in June of 2016 when Ethiopia sent a couple of their army divisions across the border into Eritrea at Tsorona where a major battle took place. AFRICOM’s role was so blatant that the Eritrean government issued an all to rare public statement condemning such.

So here’s to more juicy tidbits from Snowden’s EthiopiaFile, maybe something that exposes a major crime or two will surface, we have given up finding any senior criminals being named and shamed a la Phil Agee. It has taken a while for EthiopiaLeaks to see the light of day and hopefully there is much more to come.

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Thomas C. Mountain attended Punahou School for six years some half a dozen years before “Barry O’Bombers” time there. He has been living and writing from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g_ mail_ dot _com

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