Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Corruption Behind the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

by Thierry Meyssan/

While the Nobel Peace Prize award has led to a chorus of praise from the Atlantic alliance leaders, it has also raised skepticism around the world. Rather than discuss the reasons that might after the fact justify this surprising choice, Thierry Meyssan exposes the corruption of the Nobel Committee and the ties between its chairman, Thorbjørn Jagland, and Obama’s associates.
19 October 2009

Madeleine Albright and Thorbjørn Jagland, during a meeting at NATO headquarters

"This morning, after listening to the news, my daughter came and told me:" Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize” [1]. This is the touching story that the United States President told complacent reporters to attest that he had never wanted this distinction and was most surprised. Without any further inquiry, newspapers ran front pages on the "humility" of the most powerful man in the world.

Indeed, it is hard to say what is the most surprising: the awarding of such a prestigious distinction to Barack Obama, the grotesque staging that went with it, or the method used to bribe the jury and divert the prize from its original purpose.

First, let us recall that, according to the Nobel Committee rules, nominations are to be submitted by institutions (national parliaments and political academies) and by qualified persons, mainly judges and former recipients. In theory, a nomination may be submitted without the candidate having been notified. However, when the jury makes its decision, it establishes a direct link with the grantee to ensure that he is informed an hour before the press conference. This would be the first time in its history that the Nobel Committee failed to this courtesy. According to the Committee spokesman, he did not dare to wake the United States President in the middle of the night. Perhaps did he not know that counselors take turns at the White House to receive emergency calls and wake the president if necessary? Moreover, the Nobel Committee had at least informed the journalist Gerhard Helsok who announced the news a day earlier on the Norwegian channel TV2.

The lovely scene of the little girl announcing the Nobel Prize to her daddy does not allay the discomfort caused by this distinction. According to Alfred Nobel’s will, the prize should be awarded to "the person who [during the previous year] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

In the founder’s spirit, the purpose was to support militant action and not to issue a certificate of good intentions to a head of state. The winners having sometimes flouted international law after receiving the prize, the Nobel Committee decided four years ago not to reward a particular act, but only to honor persons having dedicated their lives to peace. Thus, Barack Obama was the most deserving of all peace activists in 2008 and did not commit any major infringement of international law in 2009. Without even mentioning those still held at Guantanamo and Bagram, or Afghans and Iraqis facing a foreign occupation, what do Hondurans crushed by a military dictatorship have to say about this, or Pakistanis, whose country has become the new target of the Empire?

Now to the heart of the matter that White House public relation officials and Anglo-Saxon media want to hide from the public: the despicable relationship between Barack Obama and the Nobel Committee.

In 2006, the European Command (i.e. the regional command of U.S. troops whose authority then covered both Europe and most of Africa) solicited Barack Obama, a Senator of Kenyan origin, to participate in a secret inter-agency (CIA-NED-USAID-NSA). The goal was to use his status as a parliamentarian to conduct a tour of Africa that would allow both to defend the interests of pharmaceutical companies (against off-patent productions) and to counter Chinese influence in Kenya and Sudan [2]. We shall only examine the Kenyan episode here.

The destabilization of Kenya

Barack Obama and his family, accompanied by a press officer (Robert Gibbs) and a political and military advisor (Mark Lippert), arrived in Nairobi on a special plane chartered by Congress. Their plane was followed by a second one, chartered by the U.S. Army and carrying a team of specialists in psychological warfare led by the supposedly retired General J. Scott Gration. Kenya was then experiencing a booming economy. Since the beginning of the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, the growth rate had increased from 3.9 to 7.1% of GDP and poverty had declined from 56 to 46%. These exceptional results were achieved by reducing economic ties with post-colonial Anglo-Saxon partners and replacing them with more equitable agreements with China. To put an end to the Kenyan miracle, Washington and London decided to topple President Kibaki and impose a devoted opportunist: Raila Odinga [3]. To that effect, the National Endowment for Democracy oversaw the creation of a new political party, the Orange Democratic Movement, and plotted a "color revolution" in the forthcoming parliamentary elections of December 2007.

Senator Barack Obama campaigning for his "cousin" Raila Odinga. Senator Obama was greeted like a native son and his journey was hyper-publicized. He interfered in local politics and participated in Raila Odinga meetings. He called for a "democratic revolution" and his "companion", General Gration, gave Odinga one million dollars in cash. These actions destabilized the country and raised official protests from Nairobi to Washington.

Following this tour, Obama and Gen. Gration reported to General James Jones (then head of the European Command and NATO Supreme Commander) in Stuttgart before returning to the United States.

The operation continued. Madeleine Albright, as NDI President (the branch of the National Endowment for Democracy [4] that specializes in handling left-wing parties) travelled to Nairobi, where she oversaw the organization of the Orange Movement. Then John McCain, as chairman of the IRI (the branch of the National Endowment for Democracy that specializes in handling right-wing parties) complemented the opposition coalition in dealing with small right-wing organizations [5].

During the parliamentary elections of December 2007, a survey funded by USAID announces the victory of Odinga. On election day, John McCain announced that President Kibaki rigged the election in favor of his party and that in fact the opposition led by Odinga had won. The NSA, in conjunction with local phone operators, sent anonymous text messages to the population. In areas populated by the Luo (Odinga’s ethnic group), they read "Dear Kenyans, the Kikuyu have stolen our children’s future... We must treat them in the only way that they understand... with violence." In areas populated by Kikuyu, they read: "The blood of any innocent Kikuyu will be paid. We will slaughter them right to the heart of the capital. For Justice, establish a list of Luos that you know. We will send you the phone numbers to call with such information." Within days, this peaceful country sank into sectarian violence. The riots caused over 1 000 deaths and 300 000 displaced. 500 000 jobs were lost.

Madeleine Albright came back. She offered to mediate between President Kibaki and the opposition trying to overthrow him. With finesse, she stepped aside and placed in the spotlight the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. The board of this respected NGO was newly chaired by the former Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland.

Breaking with the Center’s traditional impartiality, he sent two mediators on site, whose expenses were entirely footed by Madeleine Albright’s NDI (that is to say ultimately out of the U.S. Department of State’s budget): another former Norwegian Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan (the Ghanaian is very much on the scene in Scandinavian states since he married the niece of Raoul Wallenberg). Compelled to accept the compromises forced on him in order to restore civil peace, President Kibaki agreed to create a prime minister post and to entrust it to Raila Odinga, who immediately began reducing trade with China.

Small gifts between friends

The Kenyan operation stopped then but the lives of the protagonists went on. Thorbjørn Jagland negotiated an agreement between the National Endowment for Democracy and the Oslo Center, which was formalized in September 2008. An attached foundation was created in Minneapolis that allows the CIA to indirectly subsidize the Norwegian NGO. It acts on behalf of Washington in Morocco and especially in Somalia [6].

Obama was elected President of the United States. Odinga declared several days of national holiday in Kenya to celebrate the outcome of the election in the United States. General Jones became a national security adviser. He appointed Mark Lippert as Chief of Staff and General Gration as Deputy. During the presidential transition in the U.S., the President of the Oslo Center, Thorbjørn Jagland, was elected chairman of the Nobel Committee, despite the risk that such a crafty politician would pose to the institution [7]. The nomination of Barack Obama for the Nobel Peace prize was filed no later than January 31, 2009 (regulatory deadline [8]), twelve days after he took office in the White House.

Lively debates took place as the Committee was still unable to agree on a name in early September, as outlined in the usual timetable [9]. On September 29, Thorbjørn Jagland was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe following a behind-the-scenes agreement between Washington and Moscow [10]. This called for a favor in return. Although membership of the Nobel Committee is incompatible with a major executive political position, Jagland did not resign. He argued that the law strictly prohibits the combination with a ministerial office but says nothing about the Council of Europe. He then returned to Oslo on October 2. The same day, the Committee appointed President Obama for the 2009 Peace prize.

In its official statement, the committee stated quite seriously: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population. For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman.” [11].

For its part, the lucky winner declared: “I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee (...) I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.” In other words, this “humble" man believes that he embodies "all nations". This does not bode well for peace.