Green Ribbon makes Troubled Diva blog chart

Blogger Troubled Diva has compiled a list of ‘the most linked UK weblogs’ listed on Technorati.

The Green Ribbon has made it in at 60, jointly with Troubled Diva himself, and just ahead of the Guardian newsblog. Thanks to everyone who has linked to the blog. I suppose I had better get posting.

(Hat-tip to Independence, in at no 37.)






8 responses to “Green Ribbon makes Troubled Diva blog chart”

  1. mike avatar

    Actually, I’m a Himself. Unless you’re just being camp with me, of course. 🙂

  2. Tom Griffin avatar

    Not camp, just very dim. Duly amended.

  3. Sharon. avatar

    Ah shucks – you’re welcome ! And congratulations .
    From Sharon . A female (!).

  4. Tom Griffin avatar

    Thanks, Sharon.

  5. Sharon avatar

    You’re welcome , Tom .
    But PLEASE don’t call me up to the stage when you are collecting your award . I am too shy and will insist that John go up instead of me .
    And he does’nt take too kindly to being called ‘Sharon’! Or our ‘Junior’ will go up on stage , tell you that your site is “crap” , make ‘suggestions’ on how to improve it , then run off with one of his girlfriends !
    He’s good at that ….
    Sharon .

  6. Tom Griffin avatar

    I think we’re a way off the award stage yet.
    We could probably do with a few comments from ‘Junior’. He sounds like he might liven the place up a bit.

  7. Sharon. avatar

    You are far too modest , Tom – a trait which you will no doubt quickly loose as the awards come rolling in … !
    …but that’s where our ‘Junior’ comes in to play : he’ll bring you back down to earth with a bang . THEN he’ll run off with one of his girlfriends …
    Sharon .

  8. Ben Vidgen avatar
    Ben Vidgen

    A DEADLINE Special ReportA Report:Aotearoa Arms Incorpoarted
    By Ben C Vidgen
    “Belgium and the Netherlands are…trafficking
    centres, where numerous illegal arms dealers have
    had their headquarters”. – A Study Prepared by the
    Federal Research Division, Library of Congress,
    under an Inter-agency Agreement with the United
    States Government, December 2002.
    For two years, DEADLINE has reported how arms smugglers regularly use NZ. We reported how NZ provided arms to the Muslim Brotherhood, led by
    Osama Bin Laden’s lieutenant, Dr Ayman al-Zawahri. Our report was published well before
    news broke last year, that Dr al-Zawahri had visited
    NZ to set up fronts for arms purchases. We maintained
    that this network was centred in Belgium and the Netherlands. Again, our claims were made in
    advance of reports identifying NZ as the transit point for US arms parts passing from the Netherlands into Iran. DEADLINE reported that Pakistan did not steal nuclear technology from the Netherlands, but was assisted at the highest levels of government. This claim is now accepted as true by the
    Netherlands’ own investigators.
    DEADLINE lays out all the information we have gathered to date, which we believe shows Aotearoa is involved in an
    arms scandal, which could well dwarf the Iran Contra
    scandal of the eighties. DEADLINE investigates
    and invites the reader to judge for themselves.
    Dutch investigators now suspect that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, received assistance from corrupt officials. The
    picture of the enemy within is duplicated in Iraq, where a “$US one billion dollar” cash theft has been attributed to dubious arms deals, involving
    “rogue elements within US military and intelligence
    services”. The mixture of internal high level corruption
    and arms surrounding these events resurrects memories of the 1991 Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) arms scandal, where the
    Pakistan/Saudi Bank (turned arms brokers), infiltrated,
    bribed and blackmailed top-ranking spies and bureaucrats in over twenty-eight nations. It was BCCI who had put up the money for Pakistan’s nuclear weapon programme from day one. Indeed, when Khan was prosecuted (in a case that Khan
    won on the grounds of “technicalities”) for stealing nuclear secrets from the Netherlands. It had been
    BCCI who had paid Khan’s legal bills.
    The Dutch decision to take a hard look at their role
    in arms trafficking, has resulted in Dutch police
    visiting TransDiesel, a Christchurch engineering
    firm this year. Their trip is in relation to the shipment
    of US arms shipped via the Netherlands on to
    Iran, as part of what Christchurch’s The Press has
    called “a convoluted route to the Middle East”.
    It’s not the first time that Christchurch has had links
    to big-time arms deals. In 2005, XADO Ltd, a
    Ukrainian firm with offices at 52 Montreal Street,Christchurch, set out to bid for two Russian ships,
    Orlovka and Osha, tied up for months in the Dunedin harbour. Xado’s own website reveals the
    firm is also linked to arms and is affiliated with Taavura , the largest supplier of explosives to Israel’s army.
    Orlovka and Osha can be traced back to Prok Bank, run by a “former colonel in the KGB”, according to former NZ Customs officer, Tony Spillane.
    NZ Customs heard reports that Prok was involved in arms trafficking and a further scheme, in which fishing vessels owing huge debts are sold back to the original owners, via a complicated paper trail during liquidation sales.
    In 1995, Prok hit the headlines
    when it was discovered that one of its directors, Ross Meurant, was a NZ MP. More recently,
    Meurant, a former policeman, has been named in relation to the Simunovich Fisheries ‘free lunch’ affair. In the past, Meurant’s own interests have
    extended to arms, including the 1991 attempted sale of NZ army surplus weapons to countries in Africa and the Middle East.
    PHOTO: Victor Bout’s plane (UN 76002)shipping humanitarian aid (and what else?)from the Netherlands for the victims of
    Aisan Tsunami, Jan 2004.
    Xado and Prok both hold interests in nuclear technology.
    Xado supplies high-tech “nanotechnology”
    used in atomic reactors. Prok deals in alloys, such as
    Ossium 187. Ossium is an ultra-rare substance, which (at $US100, 000 a gram) is the centre of a lucrative black market in Switzerland, where, according to Time magazine, “former CIA and KGB
    officers” attempt to supply clients in the Middle
    In NZ, Richard Woods, head of the NZSIS, stated that terrorists and foreign spies are using NZ as a transit point for the shipment of weapons and to establish false identities.
    Woods believes the trend
    for arms traffickers to use the Southern hemisphere, developed after import-export regulations tightened up in Europe in the early 90’s. … continued over
    … continued from front page
    Wood states that the use of NZ in the arms black market extends to clandestine attempts to procuring technology used in the creation of nuclear weapons.
    Woods cites NZ businesses dealing in high-tech
    industrial goods, such as industrial ceramics and
    industrial quality steels, as having been approached
    by representatives of a country believed to be located
    in the Middle East.
    At least one public account supports Wood’s allegation,
    the 1996 suspected murder of Australian businessman,
    Tim Gatland, whose firm, Ceromonde, manufactured industrial quality ceramics. Gatland simply vanished from his Thai hotel room in 1996,
    amid reports that he had become involved with Russian arms dealers, who were trying to obtain nuclear technology to sell on the black market. The
    last people reported as seeing Gatland alive are arms
    dealers/money launderers, Adnan Khassoggi and Rakesh Saxena, top players in the BCCI affair.
    In 1998, Khassoggi and Saxena were discovered as the chief financers of an attempted coup, aimed at protecting the two men’s oil investment in Sierra
    Leone. Arms for the operation were purchased in Bulgaria and transported via airlines under the control of former KGB colonel, Victor Bout, and
    sourced out of Belgium and Holland. Planes used in
    such arms shipments include UR82008, an Illyushin
    ‘sky whale’, photographed visiting Christchurch to
    ship NZ troops to Afghanistan in September 2003. On at least two occasions in 1999 and 2000,
    UR82008 (see photo) was used by Bout to ship weapons to Sierra Leone in breach of a UN embargo.
    According to a NZ military source, the NZ military stopped using the affiliated airline, having discovered the link. Despite international condemnation of Bout for his role in supplying arms to
    terrorists, Victor Bout is referred to as the US’s
    primary civil aviation contractor in Iraq. Similarly,
    the UK uses Bout. Citing British Civil Aviation
    documents, Andrew Gilligan, of the London Evening Standard, noted that between 6 and 9
    March this year, Bout charter flights took off from
    an RAF base in Oxfordshire, with cargo being armoured
    vehicles and British troops and the client being the Ministry of Defence. Airlines linked to Bout’s Belgium/Netherlands
    network have also been photographed regularly
    visiting Hamilton and the NZRAF base Ohakea throughout 1997. This includes Air Sofia, the airline used by Colonel Tim Spicer, in what became known
    as the Papua New Guinea ‘SandLine Mercenary
    Affair’. At the same time, Executive Outcomes
    (SandLine’s South African partner) were known to
    Photo: Air Sofia, Hamilton 1997
    be using the downstairs bar of Christchurch’s Millennium Hotel for recruitment interviews. Spicer was also employed by Khassoggi in the Sierra operation, where he produced documents proving that
    he had been “acting with Her Majesty’s approval” and knowledge at all stages of the operation. One of Bout’s principal agents is Ukrainian-Israeli, Simon Spitz. In 1992, Spitz (who held shipping
    contracts to transport NZ and British army personnel)
    could be found running guns through Auckland into Africa and the Middle East. Former Mossad agent, Victor Otrovsky, makes reference in his
    book, The Other Side of Deception, to Spitz’s NZ
    operation. He cited a “complex pipeline”, aimed at
    providing American arms to the Muslim Brotherhood run by Osama Bin Laden’s lieutenant, Dr al-
    Zawahri (see photo). Spitz himself, has admitted on
    film that he has shipped weapons to Islamic fundamentalists.
    In 2004, these findings were corroborated even further, when Hamid Mir (one of Pakistan’s
    top journalists and a recognised Taliban expert)
    reported that, Dr al-Zawhari had come to NZ during the 1990’s to set up fronts for arms deals for the Brotherhood.
    Mr Mir claims such businesses are part of a network of fronts set up in London, Moscow and Geneva. Al Zawahri’s use of NZ for such an arms pipeline is not
    unique. In 2000, agents from India’s intelligence service, the CBI, came to NZ to follow up on leads concerning Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), chief of
    arms procurement for the terrorist organisation
    LTTE (see photo). KP is reported as visiting NZ,
    also with the aim of setting up a series of businesses,
    as part of a network of fronts that, according
    to the CBI, wind throughout Switzerland, Sri Lanka,
    Australia, Holland, Norway, South Africa, England,
    Russia and NZ. At least one of KP’s arms trafficking
    ships, the Amazon, flys under a NZ flag.
    The CBI visit to NZ was part of a wider investigation
    into the assassination of Rajv Ghandi, killed by
    Sri Lanka’s Tamil tiger (LTTE) suicide bombers in
    … continued back page
    … continued from previous page.
    The Justice Jain Inquiry (India’s official investigation
    into Ghandi’s murder), claims that the ‘hit’ was
    arranged by Saxena and Khashoggi, who managed a
    series of accounts, held at BCCI, for the purposes of
    financing “arms deals” and “engineering assassinations.”
    The Jain report contends that BCCI hired the LTTE to kill Ghandi. A further NZer with possible BCCI links (in light of their dominance in Pakistan’s
    nuclear program) comes in the form of a former warrant officer in the NZ Army, who claims that an international charity active in NZ “is involved in the shipment of nuclear weapons technology
    to Pakistan and India”.
    A check of US state Department records show that at less one firm ANZ Import Exports (Islamabad) was indeed shipping missile technology to Pakistan,
    in 1998. Australian mining periodicals confirm ANZ Import-Export’s southern hemisphere pedigree, in that ANZ Imports/Exports can also be found shipping Australian Uranium to India. A second
    firm, banned in the US for providing Pakistan with
    missile technology, is Prime International. By apparent
    coincidence, this is the same name as a firm run by Alexander Van Heeren, listed as the Netherlands’ Consul in NZ and NZ’s Honorary Consul in
    In 1994, Van Heeren (who previously breached
    trade embargoes against South Africa, his former
    home, during the eighties) was the subject of a
    blackmail effort, alleging that Prime International
    was involved in arms dealing. Van Heeren responded
    by having the blackmailer interrogated by
    private detectives, who then handed the man over to
    NZ police officers. The blackmailer’s ‘dossier’
    remained in Van Heeren’s hands and was not bagged as evidence until weeks later. The case was
    subsequently thrown out of court, with the Judge
    making it clear he was not amused to find that all
    the files pertaining to Prime International had vanished
    from the Companies Office. The theft of these records makes it impossible to establish if Prime
    International Islamabad has any connection to Prime International NZ, beyond the apparent coincidence
    of the name.
    In NZ, Van Heeren runs Huka Lodge in Taupo, where his friend, the late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund (for which, Van Heeren is listed as a South African
    trustee) has stayed on several occasions. Bernhard is
    one of the principal organisers of Operation Lock,
    the plan to use former SAS soldiers to hunt poachers
    in Africa. This plan fell foul, when African states discovered that Lock’s true intent was to
    destabilise black states by fuelling intertribal conflicts.
    Other WWF patrons include Agha Abedi Khashoggi, boss at BCCI, Brigadier Gilbert Smith,
    director of the NZSIS, Richard Lockie Austin, deputy
    director of the ASIS, who is also a director in Rio Tito Zinc, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates.
    Huka Lodge is a member of the Small Luxury Resorts
    of the World franchise, as is Whare Kauhau, whose shareholders include the late James Blanchard III and James Dale Davidson. A third Whare
    Kauhau partner was Sir Roger Douglas.
    Blanchard, aside from having mining interests in Africa and Australia, financed wars for the CIA in Africa. In turn, Davidson prints the financial newsletter, Strategic Investment, whose contributing
    editors include William Colby, former director of
    the CIA. During the early eighties, Colby was employed
    by the Australian Nugan Hand Bank, which collapsed, like BCCI, amid allegations of arms
    dealing. Frank Nugan is reported as having blown
    his brains out while his partner former CIA agent,
    Michael Hand, vanished virtually into thin air.
    Nearly twenty years later, however, a man going by
    the name Michael Hand would emerge as the director
    of Euro Mac, a European firm trying to sell nuclear weapons switches to Iraq (and possibly
    North Korea) in 1991.
    Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, is also
    believed to be a WWF patron. Regardless, Fraser has until recently also been CARE Australia’s chairman. CARE Australia is the same charity
    which Liberal party candidate and former Australian
    army officer, Steven Pratt, is said to have been working for, when, according to his mother, he had to run for his life – having been caught spying in
    Iraq. In 1999, Pratt would be arrested for spying in
    Kosovo, while again working for CARE. Malcolm Fraser eventually conceded the accusations were
    correct. In Somalia, CARE Australia’s compound
    would be run by a former Australian army officer,
    Mr Lockton Morrissey, who assisted US intelligence
    operations in 1992. The same year, Bout’s operative, Simon Spitz, would be documented as
    shipping arms via Auckland. Spitz’s arms operations
    were conducted under the guise of delivering aid for none other than CARE Australia.
    A further NZer known to be active in Somalia at this
    time, was UN aid contractor, David Morris,. whose
    lawyer, James Woolsey (a former CIA director)holds shares in the mercenary firms DynCorp and
    the Paladin Group. The Paladin Group appears jointly as partners in an Australian uranium mining venture, involving both the ANZ bank (Nugan Hand’s original creditors) and Whare Kauhau shareholder, James Blanchard the III. This all just goes to show you, it’s a small world
    after all. And That’s The Bottom Line
    PHOTO: Clockwise from top left: Al Zawhiri, Victor Bout,
    Tim Spicer, Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP)
    Photo: 1st Battalion Royal Australian regiment
    outside CARE Australia’s compound, Somalia
    Special Note:
    Anyone wishing to duplicate this
    issue in any form, DEADLINE gives
    complete & utter permission to do so.

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