UPDATE: In a statement today (Nov 7) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned recent Israel-Hezbollah violations. What's strange about this statement is that the Sec-Gen does not mention anything about the Francop. Likewise the American government has not made any statements about this supposed arms shipment - no statements from President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton. All of this adds to my suspicion that this Israeli false flag operation has no credibility. Equally strange is that the prior alleged arms shipment to Syria aboard the Hansa India is not being mentioned in the context of the Francop. Why is the Hansa India shipment being quietly swept under the rug? Maybe there was some CIA connection with that shipment. Don't forget the Iran-Contra affair.
This is not a formal post, but a collection of my notes from investigating the Israeli pirates capture of the Francop in international waters. It started as a comment in response to Nolocontendere's excellent post on the blog Piglipstick titled "Fish Grow Larger Too With Each Retelling". It got so long that it exceeded the 4,096 character limit, so I'm posting it here.
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To: Nolocontendere of Piglipstick blog
Since you have been so good at pointing out some of the glaring flaws and inconsistencies in this story, I want to give you some more information to see if you can decipher it.
The MSM is saying that the Francop is a Cyprus based ship. But I found articles that say the Francop is operated by a German company.
Spiegel [translated from German] - Stopped weapons freighter belongs to German shipping company
Also I'm very suspicious that the crew knew nothing about this shipment. They are now saying it was 36 containers out of 400, and that it weighed 600 tons. That's a lot! And I'm guessing that containers full of arms - which contain lead - would be significantly heavier than normal containers.
So what I'm suggesting is that the crew knew about the arms, and that this was a false flag operation run by Mossad, with perhaps CIA involvement.
Also it's supicious that the ship was allowed to leave Israel so quickly. Again this points to a false flag operation. The ship was intercepted on its way from Israel through Lebanese waters on Friday.
Lebanon probes Israeli-intercepted arms ship
"The Francop ship entered Lebanese territorial waters at noon today and, upon its arrival off Beirut port, the navy in cooperation with UN naval forces searched the vessel," an army statement said.
"Military intelligence began interrogating the crew on the motives for the seizure of the vessel while the concerned authorities... will take all the necessary measures to ensure it does not carry banned goods," it said.
The wording of the article implies that the ship's operators should bear responsibility for allowing arms to be carried on its ship. But Israel was happy with their excuse that they knew nothing about it. No questions asked. Do you see what I'm getting at?
Also the UN was involved in the interrogations of the crew. This ship regularly visits Beirut and the captain should have been fully aware of the restrictions on arms shipments to Lebanon.
Finally, here is a site which appears to be neutral, but which contains a lot of detailed information on this incident.
Flags of Convenience
Oddly, there are two pictures of the stern of the ship on this site. One has painted on the back of the ship "St. Johns" and the other "London" indicating the registration of the ship.
The more I dig into this the deeper it gets. Did you know there was another ship detained by the US military with Iranian arms in October - the Hansa India? Notice that this was also a German ship.
US troops find Syria-bound weapons in Suez
US soldiers discovered several containers of ammunition aboard a German ship bound for Syria and possibly Hizbullah earlier this month, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Monday. US troops stationed in the Gulf of Suez boarded the freighter Hansa India at the beginning of October and found eight containers of ammunition “apparently being shipped from Iran to Syria,” it claimed. Two US warships stopped the ship after receiving a tip-off from intelligence services.
BTW, Israel's IDF has posted YouTube videos and slide shows related to the Francop. I'm wondering if it's normal for Iranian companies to label all their products in English. And also, the containers were clearly marked IRISL, which is the Iranian shipping company. Nothing like hiding in plain sight.
Slide Show of Weaponry Found on The 'Francop' 5 Nov 2009
Israel Navy Intercepts Iranian Weapons en route to Hezbollah, 4 Nov 2009
Notice IDF Navy Commander getting off the Francop in the slideshow. Maybe it was Celine and Jacqueline's day off.
Israeli navy chief apologizes for strip club visit
The Germans were asked if they were going to prosecute this case and their answer was no because the ship is registered in Antigua. How convenient.
Germany: No case against ship's owners
And from the same article it looks like this is the start of an Israeli campaign to boycott all shipping from Iran.
On Wednesday, in the aftermath of the Francop's capture, Israel's Foreign Ministry sent a memo to its ambassadors abroad urging them to speak to their governments about stepping up pressure against Iran.
They were instructed to also ask the governments to be more vigilant with respect to commercial shipping and in particular to follow the example of the United Kingdom, which earlier this month banned companies from dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.
It just gets deeper and deeper...
Enjoy! Sorry for the long comment. It started off really short and just kept growing. Kind of like Pinochio's nose.
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As a bonus, here's a previous comment I made on the article "Pot, Kettle" - also from the Piglipstick blog...
Another great article on the Israeli Pirates of the Mediterranean. I don't know how you do it. You really crank out the articles. Great stuff on the swine flu scam as well. I too wrote on this subject in little article I titled Swine flu emergency or a bunch of baloney?.
But anyway, enough shameless promotion. I found a few links on the Israeli piracy case that you be interested in. I don't know what exactly what to make of them. So I'm hoping you can decipher them.
First up a couple of articles from DEBKAfile. They pretend to go into detail about the supposed drug running operation, but I think they get slightly hysterical. Anyway, if your not bored with this whole farce yet take a look at these links.
Captured Iranian arms ship tip of the iceberg of vast weapons sealift to Hizballah
Israel Navy commander: Hizballah arms ship carried hundreds of tons of hardware
They go into a whole drama about how the arms passed through the Suez and were shadowed by the US and Israeli Navy in the Mediterranean. Very Tom Clancy.
I decided to check up on some of their info and found this. On a site called MarineTraffic.com they have information on ships and they include the Iranian ship "Visea". There are links to maps of the exact location. So Iran is doing a great job of keeping this hidden. You don't need a satellite to track this ship - just a PC.
MarineTraffic info on Visea
And on another site called United Feeder Services I found information on the Francop. The ship apparently runs a regular schedule which includes Beirut, Lebanon.
My own theory is that when the Francop was at the Egyptian port of Damietta, the arms were smuggled on board. Egypt has been working alongside Israel to crush Hamas. This is well known. So it wouldn't surprise me to find out they were working with Mossad on this operation as well.
I hope this helps.
UPDATE 2: Nov 7
More, More, More - How do you like it?
Yes there's more. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Where's the love? That's what Israeli newspapers want to know. The Jerusalem Post just can't understand why the world isn't going ga-ga over the weapons seized by the Israeli Navy.
In January 2002, the IDF commandeered the Iranian Karine A weapons ship en route to Gaza. The Karine A was carrying a 10th of the weapons that the Francop was carrying. But the impact the Israeli commando mission then had on Israel's political position was more than 10 times greater than the political impact of this week's successful operation.I couldn't agree more, more, more. Nobody is buying this false flag operation. Don't you think Madame Secretary "nuke Iran" Clinton would be heralding this if there was anything to it. She's never been shy about denouncing Iran or doing the bidding of her AIPAC handlers. As I said before, this just raises my suspicions even more that this was all a setup designed to divert attention from the Goldstone Report.
The exposure then of Iran's support for Palestinian Authority-backed terror forces caused the Bush administration to abandon its previous acceptance of Yasser Arafat as a legitimate political leader. That in turn paved the way for Israel's launch of Operation Defensive Shield three months later. In that operation Israel wrested military control over Judea and Samaria away from Palestinian militias and terror cells.
Wednesday's raid has had no discernible impact on American policy. The US did not denounce either Syria or Iran for breaching the UN Security Council resolution barring Iranian arms shipments as well as the Security Council resolution prohibiting nations from arming Hizbullah. The US did not state that in response to what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called a "smoking gun," it will reconsider its decision to send an ambassador to Damascus or its commitment to appeasing Iran through its nuclear talks in Geneva. The only thing a State Department official could bring himself to say was that the US is concerned about "Hizbullah's efforts to rearm in direct violation of various UN Security Council resolutions," and remark that the groups remains, "a significant threat to peace and security in Lebanon and the region."
Despite the government's energetic efforts to use the Francop interception as a means to convince the nations of the world to unite against Iranian-backed terror, no one seems willing to acknowledge the clear strategic implications of Iran's exports of terror weaponry. Today no one is any more willing to treat Iran as the enemy of the international system it has been for 30 years than they were before Israel exposed the Francop cargo of terror for all the world to see.
And for those true blue conspiracy theorists, I'll give you one more possibility. It could be that the arms were destined to supply some CIA led operation. Maybe they were arms being sent through Turkey to supply CIA supported operations in Iran. Who knows? Somebody at the US State Department obviously knows something, and they're not telling.