How we deal with dictators

The essential website Wikileaks releases yet another coup:

During the 2007 Presidential election campaigns in Kenya, an international furore developed around the existence of a “secret” Memorandum of Understanding signed by Raila Odinga (now Prime Minister of Kenya) and the National Muslim Leaders’ Forum. A forged version of this Memorandum of Understanding was in email circulation as of November 2007 and a copy was released by Wikileaks.Org on November 14th 2007.

The MoU went on to cause considerable mischief in the December 2007 Kenyan election and continues, incredibly, to be used to frame US Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama (for example, see “The Kenyan Connection” in the New York Sun).

At the time WikiLeaks pointed out that “Most of the pledges couldn’t be met by any presidential candidate as they are inherently unconstitutional and would mightily annoy the non-Muslim majority in Kenya… The idea behind the smear is to turn a fairly large and committed evangelical Christian block against poor Raila, who is often accused of ambivalent religious allegiance”. However this did not stop Kenyan and US proponents of the document deliberately avoiding the WikiLeaks analysis by linking directly to the memorandum as opposed to its description page.

WikiLeaks has now received what is likely the authentic MoU between Raila Odinga and the NAMLEF. It is dated August 29th 2007 and is signed by Raila Odinga and Sheikh Abdulahi Abdi the Chairman of NAMLEF. Witnesses to their signatures are Mohamed Farouk Adam, Said Athman Mtwana (now a senior civil servant) and Najib Balala (now the Minister for Tourism).

The authenticity of this document is also suggested by a follow up letter from the Kenya Muslims for Human Rights Forum addressed to Prime Minister Raila Odinga dated June 5th 2008, in which the Prime Minister is reminded of his commitment to NAMLEF regarding over 100 Kenyans who in January and February 2007 were been illegally renditioned to among other places Somalia, Ethiopia and Guantanamo Bay where one Kenyan (Abdulmalik Mohamed – by the admission of US authorities) is still being held.

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