Monday, August 31, 2009

Justice Department Seeks Removal of Detroit-Area Man Who Shot Jews While Serving as Nazi Policeman

/PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice has initiated removal proceedings against a Troy, Mich., resident based on his participation in violent acts of persecution while serving as an armed member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) in occupied L'viv, Ukraine, during World War II, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division announced today.

The charging document, filed Aug. 27, 2009, in U.S. Immigration Court in Detroit, alleges that John (originally Iwan) Kalymon served as a member of the UAP from at least May 1942 to March 1944; that he personally shot Jews while serving, killing at least one; and that he participated in violent anti-Jewish operations in which Jews were forcibly deported to be murdered in gas chambers and to serve as slave laborers.

"These charges once again demonstrate the resolve of the Department of Justice to deny safe haven in this country to human rights violators, no matter how long ago they committed their heinous acts," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "The ultimate removal of John Kalymon will close a very painful chapter and provide a measure of justice to his victims and their families."

As the government established in prior federal court litigation that resulted in a court order revoking Kalymon's naturalized U.S. citizenship, during the German occupation of L'viv, which had been part of Poland before the war, Nazi German forces assisted by the UAP confined more than 100,000 Jews to a ghetto in the city and carried out periodic operations to reduce the ghetto's population. In these violent operations, German forces and the UAP rounded up Jews, beating and shooting those who showed any sign of resistance, and sent most of them to be murdered in the gas chambers at the Belzec extermination center. Some were shot or selected to be worked to death in forced labor camps.

Kalymon, 88, admitted in court proceedings that he fled with retreating German forces in 1944. He immigrated to the United States from Germany in May 1949, concealing his UAP service from U.S. immigration officials and obtained U.S. citizenship in Detroit in October 1955. A federal judge in Detroit revoked his citizenship in March 2007, concluding that Kalymon assisted in the wartime persecution of Jews by, "taking part in sweeps of the ghetto during periodic reduction actions; manning cordon posts around the city to prevent Jews from escaping before and during such actions; and hunting for Jews who attempted to hide or flee." The court noted that World War II-era documents, including a handwritten Aug. 14, 1942, report prepared by Kalymon in which he accounted to his UAP superiors for ammunition he had expended that day in shooting Jews, proved that Kalymon personally killed at least one Jew and wounded at least one other. The actions were part of the so-called "Great Operation," which resulted in the removal of 40,000 Jews from the L'viv Ghetto in August 1942.

"With the active assistance of collaborators like John Kalymon, the Nazis annihilated some 100,000 innocent Jewish men, women and children in L'viv," noted Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of the Criminal Division's Office of Special Operations (OSI). "Participants in such crimes have forfeited any right to enjoy the precious privilege of U.S. citizenship or to continue residing in the United States."

The proceedings to denaturalize Kalymon were initiated in 2004 by OSI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit. The case is a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against former participants in Nazi crimes of persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 107 individuals who participated in Nazi-sponsored persecution. In addition, more than 180 suspected participants in Nazi crimes who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as a result of OSI's "Watchlist" program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

The removal case against Kalymon is being litigated by OSI Senior Trial Attorney William H. Kenety. The Detroit office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has provided assistance. Members of the public are reminded that the charging document contains only allegations and that the government will be required to prove its case before an immigration judge.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Iraqi, U.S. Forces Arrest Terrorist Suspects in Iraq

Iraqi forces, working with U.S. advisors, have arrested six suspects in connection with terrorist attacks throughout the country, military officials reported.

The latest arrests came yesterday, when Iraqi special operations forces, along with U.S. advisors, arrested two suspects with court-issued warrants in Baghdad. The two are believed to be part of al-Qaida in Iraq and responsible for terrorist attacks against Iraqi government officials and security forces in the Iraqi capital.

On Aug. 16, Iraqi special operations forces arrested a suspected terrorist cell leader and two other cell members in the western city of Asad in Anbar province. The suspects, arrested on court-issued warrants, are believed to be responsible for terrorist attacks on Iraqi security forces and civilians in the area.

On Aug. 15, an Iraqi commando battalion, with U.S. forces advisors, arrested a suspected terrorist in Tikrit, about 90 miles north of Baghdad in Ninevah province. The commandos arrested the suspect on a court-issued warrant for suspicion of recruiting potential insurgents, and for planning and executing numerous attacks against Iraqi security forces. The commandos arrested the suspect at his home without incident.

Officials said the U.S. unit was conducting a combined operation with Iraqi special operations forces in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq security agreement, and that the arrests will disrupt terrorist groups.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Division South news releases, 8/18/09.)
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

U.S. Forces Pursue Terrorists Linked to Drug Trade

U.S. forces are going after terrorists who feed off the drug trade in Afghanistan, a senior Defense Department spokesman said yesterday.

"There is a well-established connection between the drug trade and financing terrorism in Afghanistan," Bryan Whitman said.

Whitman emphasized that U.S. forces target terrorists linked to the drug trade, not drug traffickers linked to terrorists.

The difference, he said, is that counternarcotics is a law enforcement mission, and the Afghan government is in charge of that. The U.S. State Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency support Afghan authorities seeking to clamp down on drug traffickers.

But some drug lords finance terrorism. Officials estimate that the Taliban receive about $80 million per year from drug networks. In some instances, Taliban groups have entered the drug trade, and in others, Taliban fighters are providing protection for drug lords, State Department officials said.

The nexus between the drug lords and the Taliban creates a problem for U.S. troops conducting security and force protection. "That make them a legitimate target," Whitman said.

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Former UN Human Rights Rapporteur Offers 7 Points of Action on Iran to the UN Secretary General

/PRNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented meeting at the UN, Professor Manouchehr Ganji, a former UN special Rapporteur on Human Rights and currently an opposition leader and human rights protagonist for Iran, met with senior ranking UN Officials regarding the gross & systematic violations of human rights by the regime in Iran.

"I conveyed my message of gratitude to the Secretary General for his June 22 statement of urgent concern over the Iranian Regime's disregard and gross neglect of human rights in Iran, especially the post election use of vicious and lethal force against defenseless civilians," said Dr. Ganji. "The Secretary-General's urging of Iranian authorities to immediately stop the arrest, threat and use of force against Iranian citizens, was timely and quite thoughtful, although ineffective as the regime continues its 'violence,'" he added.

Having served as the UN's 1st Special Rapporteur on apartheid & on economic, social and cultural rights, Dr. Ganji recommended the following seven points of action on Iran as the minimum demands of Iranians today, adding "the Iranian people are rightfully looking to the UN to exercise its moral and legal authority in defense of their basic fundamental rights."

1-Declaration by the Secretary General that the regime in Iran is a gross violator of the UN charter obligations, particularly in regards to gender, ethnic, linguistic and religious discriminations.

2-The urgent need for permanent presence in Iran of an UNHCHR representative to monitor observance of human rights.

3-The need for permanent presence of International Committee of Red Cross in Iran as once existed during the former regime, for surveillance of prison conditions throughout Iran.

4-The urgent need for full disclosure of all detention centers, large and small, throughout Iran.

5-The need for immediate abrogation of "law of vengeance".

6-The need for regular admittance and facilitation of tasks, by Iran, of the six most important UN Special Rapporteurs on: torture; right to freedom of opinion, expression and press; arbitrary arrest and detentions; status of women; and independence of judges and lawyers.

7-The need for appointment of a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights for Iran.

Formerly Dean faculty of Law, Tehran University, Professor Ganji was Minister of Education, and served in multiple capacities at the UN & as member of various Committees on Human Rights.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Global Strike Command Will Stress Nuclear Mission

A key step in reinvigorating the Air Force's nuclear deterrence mission will be made today with the activation of the service's Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said the new command will bring together the Air Force bomber force and intercontinental ballistic missiles under a single commander.

"Standing up the command is no small task, and actually we're doing it sooner than we anticipated," Donley said during a Pentagon news conference Aug. 5. "This command will provide the combatant commanders the forces needed to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations through ICBM, B-2 and B-52 operations."

Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz will command the organization. The headquarters will include 900 people, and is slated to reach full operating capability by Aug. 7, 2010, Donley said. The 20th Air Force, the service's missile organization, will come under the new command in December; and the 8th Air Force, the bomber component, will come under the command in April.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz stressed that the new command will be a major command like Air Combat Command or Air Force Special Operations Command. The role is to "organize, train and equip America's ICBMs and nuclear-capable bombers, and prepare a cadre to do this important work with passion and professionalism," he said during the news conference.

Ensuring professionalism and pride in the nuclear field will be vital to the command's success, Schwartz said, noting that airmen with nuclear expertise had been leaving the service, feeling their work was not appreciated.

"The bottom line is retention has a lot to do with perceptions on how important people's work is, and how worthy that work is," the general said. "We've worked to make it clear to those who will serve in this command that the work is important to the country's defense and it will continue to be so."

Making the command a major command also will give airmen in the nuclear fields an advocate equal to the other commands, he said.

The creation of the command is an effort to boost security and reduce errors. In a 2007 incident, nuclear weapons were loaded aboard a B-52 bomber at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and flown to Barksdale before the mistake was discovered. In another incident, nuclear nose cones mistakenly were shipped to Taiwan. As a result, the service's top civilian and military officials -- Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley -- resigned.

Multiple studies of the incidents and the Air Force's atmosphere revealed that the service's nuclear forces and the entire enterprise lacked clear lines of authority and responsibility, officials said. The Global Strike Command is one of the solutions.

Donley said moves at the Air Staff and in the field have emphasized accountability and compliance with respect to nuclear issues at all levels. The service has re-emphasized training for inspectors and added $750 million over the Future Year Defense Plan for nuclear efforts, in addition to a $4.2 billion base budget. The service also is standing up another B-52 squadron, in part to provide for longer and more focused training.

A number of entities have an interest in the nuclear arena, including the U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. These agencies will play a key role in inspections of the new command, Schwartz said.

The command will have an inspector general, and the service has made a special effort to make the inspections "more challenging and intrusive to ensure that commanders get good feedback in how healthy their commands were," the general said.

Inspections will be demanding, he promised, and will include operations, security, maintenance and weapons.

The emphasis on the nuclear missions means that when a mission requires B-2s or B-52s to carry conventional weapons, they will be reassigned from the new command to the regional commanders for that mission. Global Strike Command will ensure that air and ground crews have expertise in conventional weaponry and raids, but the focus must remain on the nuclear capability, the chief of staff said.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
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