Israeli TV Reports About Asgari Possible Death in Israeli Prison Censored
The fallout of my reporting on the case of Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Ali Reza Asgari is developing along many fronts. Most readers will know that I reported, based on an Israeli source, that Asgari was Prisoner X, housed in Ayalon Prison and that he had been murdered earlier this month by the Mossad. I also noted here that Yossi Melman devoted most of one of his recent columns to debunking my story that he was ever in Israel. Though he never disputed that Asgari had been kidnapped by the Mossad. He also never disputed that Prisoner X had been murdered by the Mossad. He disagreed with my source’s contention that Prisoner X was Asgari. Unfortunately, in a national security state you have to carefully read between the lines both of what a reporter says and what he doesn’t say, what he rejects and what he affirms through silence (as in the legal term “silence equals assent”). So with Melman’s reporting. Despite Melman’s dismissive rejection of my reporting, now Channel 2’s veteran correspondent, Ehud Yaari, is reporting on Iran’s demand that the UN investigate Asgari’s disappearance and possible murder. The TV news story also noted my claim (without crediting me of course) that Asgari had first been kidnapped and then murdered four years later in Ayalon. Unfortunately, but predictably, the censor forced the story to be removed from the channel’s website. But I retain a screenshot of the censored story and you may view it around 2:00 into this newscast. Later, the censor allowed Channel 2 to publish a scrubbed version of the story which no longer referred to any claim Asgari was killed at Ayalon, and instead referred to the Iranians saying:
“There’s a real fear for his life, because no reports were received lately about his activity”
The censored version completely misstates the Iranian position. Melman too reported yesterday (English translation) on a statement made by Iran’s deputy foreign minister (which I also reported on here several days ago) that Asgari had been kidnapped. One thing to know about Melman’s reporting. When he knows a statement by an official or a news (or blog) report is wrong, he says so. The fact that he does not contradict the claim of kidnapping indicates a pretty good likelihood that he believes the kidnapping is a credible story. Melman deliberately omits from his report the additional expressions of concern expressed by Sheibani and the foreign and defense ministers that Asgari may’ve been murdered in Ayalon Prison. He does this, of course, because his own Mossad sources tell him that this part of the story is false. Only time will tell if he is right or I am. He also follows the Channel 2 incomplete characterization of Iran’s views claiming they sought to “clarify what happened to him.” But even if we follow Melman’s version of events (both stated and inferred), Prisoner X was murdered in Ayalon Prison and Asgari was kidnapped by the Mossad (possibly with assistance of other intelligence agencies). These two events, even if we follow Melman’s portrayal, should be raising bright red flags inside Israel’s human rights community and in the international community. Melman also refers to a report by Laura Rozen in Politico (one wonders whether there was any coordination between them), which conveniently confirms Melman’s and the Mossad’s claim that Asgari is not in Israel. In her article, Rozen repeats the Mossad version of Asgari’s willing defection to the west. As happens all to frequently in Rozen’s often spotty reporting, she resorts to sources with political agendas without acknowledging this in her description of their views. She quotes an Iranian-American, Pooya Dayanim, who she describes as a “Los Angeles-based Iranian pro-democracy activist.” This makes you think that Dayanim is on the side of the angels regarding Iran, that he supports the Green Movement and is a political reformer. Actually, Dayanim is an attorney, and a member of Los Angeles’s wealthy Jewish community, some of whom tend to pro-monarchist political views (though Dayanim himself claims to favor a democratic Iran, overthrowing the Islamic Republic by non-violent means). Dayanim himself is a contributor to the National Review and his Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee regularly hosts far-right Israeli speakers like those from the Israel Law Center, which tried to sue former Iranian president Khatami, blaming him personally for the disappearance of 12 Iranian Jews. One wonders why Rozen omitted any reference to these parts of Dayanim’s political agenda in her own reporting. Is it any wonder that Dayanim would suggest a scenario regarding Asgari that would take Israel and the Mossad off the hook:
“The story is not true,” Pooya Dayanim…told POLITICO Thursday. “I was somewhat observing this situation from the periphery from the time he left Iran. …The news is a complete fabrication and a fantasy.”
He was observing the story “from the periphery” and yet he somehow has expert sources who know that my reporting is a “fabrication and fantasy.” Of course, he provides no bona fides proving he knows anything about the incident. Yet Rozen relies on his views implicitly as if they clinch the case. This is one of the reasons I call Rozen’s reporting shoddy. She reported similarly about the case of whistleblower Shammai Leibowitz, getting important details about Shammai and his background wrong in her reporting. Then she had the chutzpah to sniff around his friends asking for dirt about him (of course she didn’t phrase it that way) that she could use in her reporting. Much of the information I offered her, which provided strong support for Shammai, somehow never made it into her reporting. Small wonder.
66 thoughts on “Israeli TV Reports About Asgari Possible Death in Israeli Prison Censored – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Pooya Dayanim, a supposed lawyer, makes defamatory and slanderous statements left and right, and one here directed at Richard’s business reputation. He is PROBABLY [this is how a real lawyer writes] not a practicing lawyer, but one seeking political attention, via his “small, but politically connected” group. The truth is that the real representative of the Iranian-American Jewish community is and has been the IAJF (Iranian-American Jewish Federation), a REAL domestic lobby that seeks to help Iranian-Americans…IN AMERICA. Pooya’s nearly non-existent (read: pretty much one or two person led operation there) “organization” has no website even. I am wondering if he is possibly an embezzler of the $75 million per year “regime change” fund reported by Seymour Hersh in years past. SOMEONE is getting that money, and I’m wondering if it’s Pooya at this point based on his stances, his lack of reputation in the Iranian-American community, and his fervent stances which do not come even close to representing the majority Iranian-American opinion. For that, you should, rather, consult Trita Parsi, of the National Iranian American Council (the NIAC), another REAL domestic lobby.
Let’s just put it this way, none of the thousands of young Iranian-Americans I know are aware of who the f this joker is, and indeed, I will make sure they now do. Pooya has gone too far and his agenda is clear.
None of his articles either have a ring of truth nor accuracy. Is someone paying him to make fabrications? I’ll have a friend send his respective bar associations (if there are any lol) some letters questioning his ability to be truthful. There’s a difference between being mistaken, and acting like in ludicrous fashion and against the rules of PROFESSIONAL responsibility. This guy has run errant towards the latter like a foaming at the mouth madman.
An Israeli non mainstream news site, yet to be censored, has reported the incident: (Sorry, Hebrew only)
All Rozen did in the first article was report the arguments about Prisoner X and statements against it; hell, she even quoted you. Maybe she should’ve gone into your political background as well, discussing some of things you’ve said?
Her second article is plain reporting as well; I couldn’t find any bit of it her ‘snooping for dirt’, unless this quote she got from a friend of his was somewhat indicative of her attempting to smear him:
“He is a wonderful, thoughtful, passionate person,” the activist continued. “Shamai is a fearless advocate for peace between Israel and the Arabs. … Whatever happened in this case was no doubt motivated by his wish to see a peaceful resolution of this conflict.”
It’s bad enough to get lied to, but it’s worse when you think readers won’t take time to read what you cite, refuting your smears against someone.
She should delve into Richard’s political background, but be careful not to be inaccurate or compromise his integrity unduly. Whereas Richard would shine under the light of day, Pooya and Ebrahimi, her counter sources, would scurry into a roach motel.
Like the time he slandered blogger Adam Holland as being both a Muslim hater and being a part of a ‘vast right wing conspiracy’, and yet when asked to prove it, came up with nothing?
You are assuming that no one can read between the lines and that people with sinister intentions do not often hide behind illusionary curtains of morality. Prove to me that he slandered Adam Holland. What Richard said was accurate and true. Adam’s regurgitation of the right-wing talking points are merely hidden under a facade of good faith, and additionally, he states several times on his blog that he words things carefully or chooses his words wisely. Why is he so cautious? Is it because he has more to say, but doesn’t want to open himself up to a lawsuit?
As for Dershowitz, also mentioned in that entry, his incessant ranting with blaring inaccuracies and propaganda, combined with his history of defending killers who people “can’t prove” as murderers, like OJ Simpson and IDF, make him an apt ally for Holland. After all, birds of a feather flock together they say. If I was Marcia Clark or Christopher Darden, I would have given F. Lee Bailey a nice bottle of the finest cognac and hope that he goes back to sleep, while ripping Dershowitz a new one 🙂
If she quoted Richard, it was no doubt to deride his allegations with what she believes is “irrefutable” proof, and perhaps she is so presumptuous about her own credibility with her readership, she probably feels it unnecessary to provide any background on him (he is well-known in the blogosphere anway) or risk a response on this blog that she might be hard-pressed to tackle if she prejudiced such information in any way.
Secondly, her flattering comments on Shamai are a tad patronizing and it’s obvious her snooping around in the dirt turned up nothing substantial.
Third, I agree with Richard that her work is shoddy, and I’ll go further and state that it’s deceptive. She writes:
“Ebrahimi, now based in Europe, has written on his Farsi-language blog that Asgari is safe in a western country.
In 2008, Ebrahimi was arrested in Turkey on an Iranian arrest warrant charging him with assisting the FBI with Asgari’s defection. But a rapid appeal organized by a network of Iranian exile activists, including Dayanim, led to current and former U.S. officials intervening with the Turkish government to prevent Ebrahimi from being deported back to Iran, and he was instead safely flown back to Berlin.”
She bases her opinion on the statement of an Iranian blogger on behalf of whom the U.S. government intervened with the Turkish government to prevent his deportation to Iran. Hmmm. The U.S. government certainly has a great reason to step in and rescue a non-American? Maybe he was returning the favor by writing this. Maybe Iran was wrong; maybe instead of helping Asgari defect, Ebrahimi pointed Asgari to the wrong hotel in Turkey, where he was then kidnapped. Or, maybe Dayanim was the one who slipped him the dubious tip about Asgari being safe in a western country. Or maybe he did help Asgari defect and was told Asgari’s in a witness protection plan which he stupidly believes.
Her article is full of holes and is just as speculative and presumptuous as any other, although she certainly tries to pass it off as fact.
“It’s bad enough to get lied to, but it’s worse when you think readers won’t take time to read what you cite, refuting your smears against someone.”
Personally, I don’t feel lied to. I’m very instinctive and my instincts tell me you have your own agenda and axe to grind here.
Really? So writing about someone and trying to find out more about them is automatically ‘snooping for dirt’? Do you actually know her intent, or are you merely just assuming about it?
And since when did she say ‘I believe that my side of the story is irrefutable’? All she did was report a story; Silverstein’s findings on Prisoner X, and the sources that disagreed with. Maybe if she obviously injected her opinion into it, or made her own statements, you’d be right.
And as for doubting Ebrahim, you’re certainly entitled to do that. However, calling him a just a blogger is misleading; he’s allegedly provided information to the US about Iran, probably making him a -touch- more then just a blogger.
And what axe do I have to grind, exactly?
No, I read her reporting about Shammai, found it riddled with errors and that it offered no balance whatsoever in discussing the supposed alarming elements in Leibowitz’s background. Then she wrote professing sympathy for his plight & asked for background information about him. She’d already made clear her overall perspective on her subject. There was no reason to cooperate w. her in slamming Shammai. I wrote positive information about him & she had almost no interest in pursuing such an angle in her story. She saw Shamai as a criminal & security risk when Daniel Ellsberg has called him a whistleblower.
Her choice of suspect sources & offering their “angle” on the story as much as injects her opinion into the story. She’s not an objective journalist, not even close. She has an agenda & she doesn’t offer any alternative view a proper hearing.
Ebrahimi is described as a blogger by multiple media sources. I picked up the description fr them. I’ve never heard him described any other way. Why should “allegedly providing information to the U.S. about Iran” qualify him as anything at all? That’s a statement so vague it could mean anything or nothing.
Your axe–that’s rather clear…
You’re tiresome. This article by Rozen is not only a total smear of Leibowitz, but completely misunderstands the reasons why an intelligence agency might hire someone like him w. the background he had. If you’re an intelligence agency for a government which is having a tense relationship with another nation wouldn’t you be interested in employing a national of that nation who might be a dissident in terms of that nation’s politics & who might provide an alternate perspective?
I wrote these comments to various individuals at the time of this incident critiquing Politico’s & Rozen’s lackluster reporting:
Because hiring someone who leaked private comments of a judge is just a perfect choice for a person to deal with classified information. And someone who’s actively encouraged a group to (albeit non-violently) disobey the military? Would American security knowingly hire someone like that?
Just be because a letter is written doesn’t mean its published; it could be that the WaPo chose not to.
Why do you think that “should be raising bright red flags inside Israel’s human rights community”?
Why should they care about an Iranian general, who was the head of the El Kuds forces that are deeply involved in worldwide intense anti Israely teror and military actions?
If this is all true then Israelis should be very proud for another sucsess of their defence agencies.
Personally I hope he is alive and can be traded but thats the only reason to keep him breathing.
That’s a bad spin. Israel threatens Iran overtly on false pretenses, whereas Iran has reactionary policies. The world knows the difference between the two and I hope you soon will as well.
Because threatening to ‘wipe the country off the map’, support anti-Israel/Jewish terrorist/militant organizations, and supporting Holocaust/Shoah denial is completely reactionary, right?
Unless you mean politically reactionary, like the Tea Parties reaction against modernity.
“Because threatening to ‘wipe the country off the map’, support…”
You just ripped to shreds your own credibility and everything expressed by you here with this comment.
What, by quoting the Iranians themselves?
Hell, I’ll even quote the presidents for you:
And let’s assume I made a mistake. Does that mean anyone who’s made a mistake automatically loses all credibility?
Why are you so upset that Iran’s leaders are hostile toward Israel when Israel’s leaders are even more hostile toward Iran & regularly threaten its regime with annihilation? Are we supposed to grow pale and chilled that Iran’s president made threatening sounding statements about Iran? But not when Israel’s leaders have spoken far more chillingly & convincingly of their own intentions?
This is the last time I want you to bring this subject up. Many others have done so here & frankly it’s yet another of those grandstanding arguments I abhor. If you continue you’ll be moderated.
I hate to do it for you but here are some supporting links showing Iranian attitude to Israel:
Just as I thought. So basically what you have is “Death to America! Death to Israel! chanted at Iranian rallies, when this is chanted at rallies in other countries too.
Then you have a speech on Zionism by Ahmedinejad that has been totally eviscerated and misinterpreted by hasbara.
That’s it?? LOL!
Oh my God ! Maurice thinks ‘wikipedia’ is a reliable source for Iranian attitudes towards Israel.
If you google Zionist editing wikipedia, you have various informations on the programmed ‘taking over’ of wikipedia and CAMERAs role in the editing of the socalled free encyclopedia.
I’m not saying that ‘wikipedia’ is always biased, but you should go for their sources, and they often go back to MEMRI on topics such as translating ‘the wiping off the earth’ blablabla.
I get it, Deir Yassin, any source that goes against your version of fact is automatically invalid as being biased or hasbara, whereas any souce you bring is impeachable.
I have no idea what MEMRI and CAMERA are (I’ll look them up when I have time), but to automatically negate anything they might say or prove is not being open minded to two sides of the case
If you look through my comment rules you’ll see a list of “sources” which I find totally unreliable & propagandistic (& they cover both right & left). AMong them are MEMRI & CAMERA. They are never to be trusted.
I see I taught Shmuel a new word. 🙂 You mean to say “unimpeachable”, which is the opposite of impeachable.
Yes, & for the ESL crowd, it has nothing to do with “peaches,” the fruit.
Thanks for your correction of my English – after 30 years absence from my birth country the language gets a bit rusty.
In Hebrew we have an expression “איזהו חכם? הלומד מחברו” (Who is a wise person? One who learns from his friend)
Good advice, though sometimes hard to follow.
I’m NOT saying that wikipedia is always biased, I’m saying that the sources should be studied carefully. Recently, I found an entry – I can’t exacly remember which – and the only ‘objective’ source was Benny Morris (after he turned Likudnik), the rest was Ephraïm Karsh, Yoav Gelber, Dershowitz and MEMRI.
You gave me a wikipedia entry to explain that the inhabitants of a Palestinian village were recent migrants from Transjordan. You totally manipulated even the wikipedia informations, and you want me to swallow your statements without verifying the sources ?? By the way, you never answered my comment.
Well, if your arguments are “God gave us this land”, “A land without a people for a people without land”, “The Jews accepted the Partition, the Arabs refused”, “Seven Arab armies attacked the newborn Jewish State” and “The Arabs and the Iranians want to wipe Israel off the earth”, then you’re right. You better not be too critical of the sources !
You didn’t know Hasbara, Ilan Pappe, CAMERA and MEMRI ?
Shmuel, welcome to the real world 🙂
Look for the sources and the various controversies.
It’s all 10% of facts and 90% of the interpretations of the facts, a lawman as you should know that.
English was my third language 🙂
Lhipenwhe, the Tea Party is not represented by Sarah Palin. The media tries to make it that way to discredit the party. It seems the third column is a threat to corporate interests. When they start seeking isolationism in foreign policy, they will become a threat to the Israeli lobby as well. The real leaders are politicians like Rand Paul, who is not cut from a different cloth than his father, as it turns out
Your other comments are ridiculous. Please google your own statements if you cannot think autonomously before you submit comment button.
The fine art of analogies is lost upon you. The Tea Party wishes to go back to a non-existent age of American excellence based upon outdate beliefs; the IRI follows a code of Islamic fundamentalism that is quite backwards. Palin and the Mullahs ironically probably have a few things in common.
No, it is not.
Since the Islamic revolution of 1980 Iran put itself in the front of Israeli enemies, including active support of Hizballa, Hamas and others. Iran’s leadership states openly that Israel should be exterminated and they lead official public demonatrations in Theran with the extermination of Israel as the main theme.
Behaving as an enemy and the activities of the El Kuds forces cannot be considered as legitimate political strugle. (BTW “El Kuds” means Jerusalem, why should Iran have a military/terrorist organ named after Jerusalem?)
“Iran’s leadership states openly that Israel should be exterminated and they lead official public demonatrations in Theran with the extermination of Israel as the main theme.”
Shameless hasbara; I mean…Israeli bullshit.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said here Monday that the Zionist Regime of Israel faces a deadend and will under God’s grace be wiped off the map.
“O dear Imam (Khomeini)! You said the Zionist Regime that is a usurper and illegitimate regime and a cancerous tumor should be wiped off the map. I should say that your illuminating remark and cause is going to come true today.
The Zionist Regime has lost its existence philosophy… the Zionist regime faces a complete deadend and under God’s grace your wish will soon be materialized and the corrupt element will be wiped off the map,” said President Ahmadinejad.
You know how they have Chinese finger traps? I’m debating on whether or not I should illuminate for you that they’ve purposely left this statement out there for two years because it clearly states, several times, and even in your own copy and paste, that the ZIONIST REGIME should be wiped off the map. Not civilians or innocent people, but a REGIME.
When they have you trained like a puppy on 20 second soundbites, I guess the details are just too much to handle, eh?
“Why should they care about an Iranian general, who was the head of the El Kuds forces that are deeply involved in worldwide intense anti Israely teror and military actions?”
Geee, and here I thought he was a defector who provided valuable information to Israel and the U.S.??
“If this is all true then Israelis should be very proud for another sucsess of their defence agencies.”
Don’t toot your horn just yet. The implications behind this story are HUGE; and if it surfaces that he did defect and he was then kidnapped, tortured and murdered; be afraid, be very afraid because this story will become a runaway train.
If he is a defector than all is OK. But, if Silverstein is correct than I stand behind my words, such a guy deservs the rights he provided his victims.
“such a guy deserves the rights he provided his victims”
Proper justice does not work that way. Would you advocate a system, for instance, where abusive husbands were beaten up and raped in prison? Where the penalty for a murderer would be to be strangled or stabbed?
Please go back to the Middle Ages or the time of “an eye for an eye” by yourself and do not try to take us with you.
What I mean is that a person whose JOB is to kill people by terror cannot claim for too many rights.
No, what you said was that if Israel did kill him it did a good thing. You can attempt to rephrase & walk things back, but it won’t do you much good. Next time, if you think before type you might not have to do this.
No Mr. Silverstein, no.
Like you in this post, I referred to the content of Melman’s article which denies your story on assasination.
I would never dream of supporting murder of prisoners, POW’s or anybody held by Israeli authorities.
You mean an Israeli human rights group should be uninterested in the murder of someone by the Mossad? Someone who as far as we know wasn’t tired or convicted of any crime? Or certainly not convicted in an open legal proceeding. It wouldn’t be much of a human rights group now, would it?
Praising the murder of a human being is a huge comment rule violation here. Any future comments will be moderated & any future violations may cause you to lose yr privileges.
Well, it seems that I’ve beet misunderstood so let me refraize it.
“If it is true that Israel succeeded to kidnap this guy, interrogate and jail him, then the Israelis should be very proud.”
Needless to say that I don’t accept any claim that he was murdered. Any killing, by any Israeli organ under such alleged circumstances, is a shamefull major crime which cannot and shall not pass without proper investigation and punishment.
Every e-mail I have sent you has been returned, including my response to your last night e-mail about Dayanim. My e-mail works properly. Please check to see whether there is a problem on your side.
Dayanim is not pro-Green Movement. He has his own agenda.
“Dayanim is not pro-Green Movement. He has his own agenda.”
No doubt. And I don’t even need proof. Why is it that he appears to be like a character that belongs in the Chalabi “how to con” playbook?
the most interesting passage comes actually from politico, and according to which the Iranians issued an arrest warrant against Ebrahimi in 2008, charging him with assisting the FBI with the defection of Asgari.
which proves in my opinion that the Iranians have no idea where Asgari is, how he disappeared, and are shooting at all directions.
Richard – kudos, you proved that you have some influence around the world, and everyone reads your blog.
“Lebanese media reported last month that Asgari, a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander who had ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah,
has provided information for the Special Tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Iranian exile sources suggest that Asgari’s location is a secret to protect him from possible assassination attempts,
including from those trying to thwart the Tribunal’s investigation.
Among the people who Asgari contacted for help when he was seeking asylum in the West is his friend and fellow former IRGC official,
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, who had previously received asylum in Germany. Ebrahimi, now based in Europe,
has written on his Farsi-language blog that Asgari is safe in a western country.
In 2008, Ebrahimi was arrested in Turkey on an Iranian arrest warrant charging him with assisting the FBI with Asgari’s defection.
But a rapid appeal organized by a network of Iranian exile activists, including Dayanim, led to current and former U.S.
officials intervening with the Turkish government to prevent Ebrahimi from being deported back to Iran, and he was instead safely flown back to Berlin”
How do you spell N A I V E? Or maybe you’re just playing the part?
the last thing i am is naive, i’m just not as gullible as you are.
Yossi Melman – who has been covering the mossad for a long long time, and is known to have excellent sources within the different intelligence agencies, wrote an article (which Richard linked to) in which he stated that Asgari never set foot on israeli soil. for me it’s more then enough.
if you weren’t treating israel as the boogieman maybe you would have considered the following:1
1. Asgari defected
2. Asgari appeared in front of the STL.
do i have evidence ? no i don’t, is it possible, as much as the claim that he was murdered in ayalon prison.
Guess you didn’t read my posts below, did ya?
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi is a former member of Ansar-e Hezbollah (supporters of Party of God) that used to attack reformers, intellectuals, book stores, etc. For some reason he turned against his group, made a taped confession of all he and his group had done and who in the government led them, and gave it to Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Laureate for Peace, which she passed to Interior Ministry. Ebadi was arrested and jailed for about 1 month! Ebrahimi left Iran and is now in exile in Europe. I have always had the feeling that Ebrahimi did what he did so that he could get political asylum in Europe and the comfortable life that comes with it.
Much has been said about how Asgari was tortured while still in Iran, and how that motivated him to defect. This notion has been propagated mainly through the Iranian Jews in southern California, aided by Ebrahimi. If the torture story is true, given that he was an IRGC officer and knew much about Iran’s military, there would have been no way that the government would allow him to leave Iran on his own.
But, let us say that he fooled everyone and left Iran with the intention of defecting, and let us say that he in fact defected. Why has he not contacted his family, even through a third party? The man has two wives, many children, an extended large family, and many many friends. No a single one of them has heard from him. Why? Is he such an a..h… that does not care about anybody and only cares about giving away “secrets?” I find this impossible to believe.
Dayanim belongs to the far-right tiny minority that wants to restore monarchy in Iran, in collaboration with neocons. He is not a pro-democracy activist. Perhaps, he presents himself as one to receive funds from the State Department. Iranians in the US have many such charlatans among themselves, unfortunately.
The Iranian Jewish community in southern California has been concerned about the Asgari report and its negative implication for Israel. Someone even claimed that reporting on Asgari in Israel is anti-semitic! In view of these people, Israel is beyond criticism. So, if you criticize it, you must be anti-semite.
Of course, Richard could be wrong. In other words, his source did not know the truth or lied. But, given that this subject has attracted international attention, would it not be prudent to somehow make a demonstration of him being alive by whoever that is holding him?
I followed one of the trackbacks in your comments the other day and someone had their own screen shots to a Hebrew site.
Laura Rozen didn’t contact you? That’s some shoddy reporting if not.
Great Job by you putting prominent nat’l security reporters to shame!
Of course she didn’t contact me. Why should she when she has such a sterling source as Pooya Dayanim who knows everything there is to know about everything subject concered with Iran?
Like asking Mr. Magoo to read the fine print LOL
Don’t go on any dates or talk to any ladies in the grocery store (like Nader). 🙂
I went to Rozen’s article and this part stuck in my mind:
“Lebanese media reported last month that Asgari, a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander who had ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has provided information for the Special Tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Iranian exile sources suggest that Asgari’s location is a secret to protect him from possible assassination attempts, including from those trying to thwart the Tribunal’s investigation.”
Her link to this Lebanese media report goes to “Lebanese Forces Media” which is merely basing its report on an article in Ad-Diyar newspaper. I didn’t see the actual article and can’t read Arabic anyway but this is the link to this paper online: http://www.aldiyaronline.com/
The link Rozen provides states:
“Asgari, who made his statements BEFORE the U.N. investigation committee some eight months ago, said Hizbullah “carried out” Hariri’s assassination.
Richard, I have a few points to make.
1. How long was Prisoner X in Ayalon? Was it more than 8 months?
2. Can someone who reads Arabic search the “ad diyar or al-diyar” online and literally translate the article?
3. Let’s assume that you are right about Asgari and that the indictment by the Tribunal is based mostly on Asgari’s testimony if indeed he did appear BEFORE the U.N. investigation committee, or the U.N. was instead provided with a bogus affidavit, can you imagine the implications here? This is all very strange.
4. Iran’s FM asked the U.N. to investigate Asgari’s fate. That’s odd, because if he appeared before the U.N. shouldn’t the U.N. respond that he appeared before the Tribunal’s investigative committee and he’s perfectly fine and living in “kalamazoo”??
Something stinks very fishy!
Rihcard, a year passed and we are all getting older
you claim the article was censored – how did i miss that – Israel is a security state etc. the bad people of the shabac and the mossad are lying to the Israeli public, reality is a bit different.
1. there was a small piece on last nights mabat about iran’s claim, it is available online.
2. surprise surprise the article is alive and well, and still is on the mako website… http://www.mako.co.il/news-military/security/Article-27385ece6424d21004.htm
so what are you saying exactly ?
The context was this: “Unfortunately, in a national security state you have to carefully read between the lines both of what a reporter says and what he doesn’t say…”
“National security state” sounds more like a euphemism for Police State! Lol.
A slightly nicer way of saying it, I should say.
The claim made by the ad-diyar article that Asgari appeared before the STL 8 months ago that Rozen refers to really mystifies me.
Anyway, while I was looking around I came across this title on another blog:
Falsified documents” circulated by former Beirut Iran Embassy guard, suggest Gen. Asgari “defected”
slightly more than interesting. Read “The General Vanishes” here.
Posted by G, Z, or B at 9:56 PM 0 comments
So I went to the article.
Before let me quote what Rozen wrote in her article:
“Among the people who Asgari contacted for help when he was seeking asylum in the West is his friend and fellow former IRGC official, Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, who had previously received asylum in Germany. Ebrahimi, now based in Europe, has written on his Farsi-language blog that Asgari is safe in a western country.”
Wo and behold, the article I went to states “Suddenly, a new account appeared on a Persian language blog, which, if true, would mean that Asgari defected from Iran and applied for political asylum to the United States of his own free will, and utterly de-legitimize repeated attempts by the Iranian regime to suggest that he was somehow kidnapped.
The account appeared promising. After all, it provided documentation — something all of the rumors, speculation and anonymously sourced news stories haven’t provided until now.
There’s just one problem – the organizations whose documents these are meant to be, say they are fake.” [FAKE!!]
The author comes to a few conclusions about these fake documents and this one peaked my interest:
“Or the alternative – that somebody, for some reason, had enough interest in promoting a false tale of a deal and defection with the U.S. to go to the trouble of whipping up these falsified papers and feeding them to the Persian-language blogosphere.
The documents come from the blog of Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, someone who claims to know Asgari and who himself defected from Iran in February of 2006.”
So then, if the UNHCR, one of the organizations tied to the fake docs, claimed that Ebrahimi’s document was false; how on earth did the U.N. get a hold of Asgari to testify before the STL investigative committee on the Hariri case 8 months ago??? What I’d like to know is who was Al-diyar, or ad-diyar’s source for the claim that Asgari appeared before the STL IC??
Anyway, here’s the link to that article:
And you may find interesting some theories on how they [Mossad or CIA] might have gotten Asgari out of Turkey in this other article on same media site, especially this one:
“The Israelis would either put on chartered boat bound for Tel Aviv, or use a helicopter to bring him to a secluded air strip, where a plane could fly him to Israel in less than two hours. Or they could use the cargo hold of an El Al flight out of Istanbul.”
It’s time get at the truth, somehow. Again the implications in this story are mind-blowing.
Oh, I’m sorry, where are my manners?
HAPPY NEW YEAR! TO YOU AND MY FELLOW BLOGGERS!
I wish you health and much success in that order.
Happy 2011 🙂
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi was NEVER an IRGC officer. That by itself is a lie. He was a foot soldier for a vigilante group, Ansar-e Hezbollah, as Asghar says in his comment.
And, in addition, why would Asgari’s family cry and plea publicly for his safe return? You’d think a father and husband would at least give some notice before trying to exit stage left. So many unanswered questions!
RE: “This is one of the reasons I call Rozen’s reporting shoddy.” – R.S.
MY COMMENT: Although I once very much enjoyed reading her articles, I pretty much gave up on her when she went to Politico. I consider that the journalistic equivalent of “bourging out” (a/k/a having “bourged/bouged out”).
Bourgeoisie – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourgeois
Urban Dictionary: bouged – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bouged
Is prisoner X really General Asgari? Or should that be ‘was Prisoner X really General Asgari?’
If not, then who is/was Prisoner X and has murder, suicide or something else taken place here?
Does the general still find favour in the eyes of the present Iranian establishment?
Has he been of great service to Israeli, American, British, German, Turkish intelligence agencies?
Or is he part of some wider ploy in this very confusing saga of possible kidnap, defection, multiple location, whatever it is?
Can a ‘proof of life’ scenario be demonstrated? If it can, then it may now be in the best interests of quite a few countries to do so.
If not, then why not? It can’t be an especially hard task to accomplish. Unless the good general is actually dead. In which case, certain difficulties would tend to present themselves.
I suppose the truth, in some truncated form, will eventually emerge; secrets carried to the grave often have a habit of becoming manifest at a later date. By then, of course, some other novelty may well have gripped the public imagination and the fate of our old friend, General A, becomes relegated to little more than a few paragraphs in the obituaries column.
For the moment the questions remain. Is this all a distraction, a cover-up for some unfortunate ‘accident’? Can we hope for new information to come to light? Or will the fog of war blanket the whole matter until those searching for answers become distracted by events of a more pressing and immediate nature?
In time, all may be revealed. As with most cases, it rather depends on how much pressure can be brought to bear on such a subject.
Okay, again I must harp on this point:
If Asgari is the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s “king witness” incriminating Hezbollah in the assassination of Hariri and allegedly appeared before its investigative committee 8 MONTHS AGO [according to Ad-Diyar’s allegation], then why did the UNHCR claim that the document that Ebrahimi posted on his blog proving that Asgari sought refugee asylum from the UN was a FAKE?
If the case against Hezbollah rests on Asgari’s testimony and the man was Prisoner X and he was murdered, then this knowledge would blow the STL’s case against Hezbollah.
If Asgari is a “king witness” incriminating Hezbollah then why when Iran requested that the UN investigate the fate of Asgari did the UN not respond: Hey, the guy’s alive; he’s our king witness in the STL investigation because he testified IN PERSON before the committee 8 MONTHS AGO?
Why can’t Hezbollah demand that the STL produce this witness on videotape at least, just to prove that the man is alive and that this alleged testimony is not phony??
Come on, I mean a newspaper can’t go claiming that a man that hasn’t been seen in years suddenly appeared before the STL 8 MONTHS AGO, without getting proof that the man is still alive!!
And if this article is a FAKE, then why did Rozen refer to it in her own article in Politico?
Someone must demand and insist that the UN answer whether or not Asgari did testify before the STL IC and provide proof that the man is alive to satisfy Iran’s demand that the UN investigate his fate and come up with answers as to whether he’s still alive.
The problem here, as always, is not so much who may be the guilty party in all of this. It is why such a thing should be happening in the first place. If it has happened. Which it may well have done, all options being held open for the present.
It’s the old, old story, repeated over and over again.
This person has died tragically and well before his time.
A blunder, an accident, unintentional and most regrettable.
If it can be established who was responsible, then that person will be tried and punished, receive a strongly worded reprimand, be reduced in the ranks, have his pension rights taken away, etc., etc.
If no one is found to be at fault, then it’s all been down to bad luck and circumstance; the dance continues and the story resumes with very little to disturb its well-worn narrative.
That’s our real dilemma. We still have nothing to hand with which to rewrite the plot, supply a happier ending. General A yesterday, Miss B today and tomorrow Mister C. And, after that, there’s always another prisoner X.
‘What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?’
Very probably if all that can be done is merely to close the stable door every time the horse has bolted.
Surely the proper course of action must be to invest in a stronger door with a much better locking system.