Meiring Affair in The Nation
jlevich at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 18 19:34:55 MDT 2003
Excellent piece by Naomi Wolf. First time the Meiring Affair has hit the US
press so far as I know.
Lookout by Naomi Klein
Mutiny in Manila
[from the September 1, 2003 issue]
What does it take to become a major news story in the summer of Arnold and
Kobe, Ben and Jen?
A lot, as a group of young Philippine soldiers discovered recently. On July
27, 300 soldiers rigged a giant Manila shopping mall with C-4 explosives,
accused one of Washington's closest allies of staging terrorist attacks to
attract US military dollars--and still barely managed to make the
That's our loss, because in the wake of the Marriott bombing in Jakarta and
newly leaked intelligence reports claiming that the September 11 attacks
were hatched in Manila, it looks like Southeast Asia is about to become the
next major front in Washington's War on Terror.
Now, post-mutiny, the question is: Who did it? The government blames the
Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The mutinous soldiers point the finger back
at the military and the government, claiming that by inflating the
terrorist threat, they are rebuilding the justification for more US aid and
Among the soldiers' claims:
§ that senior military officials, in collusion with the Arroyo regime,
carried out last March's bombing of the airport of the southern city of
Davao, as well as several other attacks. Thirty-eight people were killed in
the bombings. The leader of the mutiny, Lieut. Antonio Trillanes, claims to
have "hundreds" of witnesses who can testify to the plot.
§ that the army has fueled terrorism in Mindanao by selling weapons and
ammunition to the very rebel forces the young soldiers were sent to fight.
§ that members of the military and police helped prisoners convicted of
terrorist crimes escape from jail. The "final validation," according to
Trillanes, was Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi's July 14 escape from a heavily
guarded Manila prison. Al-Ghozi is a notorious bomb-maker with Jemaah
Islamiyah, which has been linked to both the Bali and Marriott attacks.
§ that the government was on the verge of staging a new string of bombings
to justify declaring martial law.
[T]he soldiers were not the first to accuse the Philippine government of
bombing its own people. Days before the mutiny, a coalition of church
groups, lawyers and NGOs launched a "fact-finding mission" to investigate
persistent rumors that the state was involved in the Davao explosions. It
is also investigating the possible involvement of US intelligence agencies.
These suspicions stem from a bizarre incident on May 16, 2002, in Davao.
Michael Meiring, a US citizen, allegedly detonated explosives in his hotel
room, injuring himself badly. While recovering in the hospital, Meiring was
whisked away by two men, who witnesses say identified themselves as FBI
agents, and flown to the United States. Local officials have demanded that
Meiring return to face charges, to little effect. BusinessWorld, a leading
Philippine newspaper, has published articles openly accusing Meiring of
being a CIA agent involved in covert operations "to justify the stationing
of American troops and bases in Mindanao."
Yet the Meiring affair has never been reported in the US press. And the
mutinous soldiers' amazing allegations were no more than a one-day story.
Maybe it just seemed too outlandish: an out-of-control government fanning
the flames of terrorism to pump up its military budget, hold on to power
and violate civil liberties.
Why would Americans be interested in something like that?
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