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The many deaths of Osama bin Laden

A look back at the years of false reports that preceded Sunday night’s announcement of the real thing
By Justin Elliott
Salon.com

Photo of Osama bin Laden

FILE – In this 1998 file photo, Ayman al-Zawahri, left, holds a press conference with Osama bin Laden in Khost, Afghanistan and made available Friday March 19, 2004. A person familiar with developments said Sunday, May 1, 2011 that bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body.
(AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan)

 

The false reports of Osama bin Laden’s death began almost immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, and persisted at a rate of at least once or twice a year, every year. The reports — generated by (usually anonymous) statements by American officials and a dizzying array of foreign sources — often generated international headlines.

Here’s a sampling:

July 2002 FBI counterterrorism chief Dale Watson tells a law enforcement conference of bin Laden: “I personally think he is probably not with us anymore, but I have no evidence to support that.”

August 2002 Popular conspiracy-mongering radio host Alex Jones announces, citing high-level Bush administration sources, “that bin Laden died of natural causes and that his family has given the body to the CIA.” Jones added, “they’re gonna roll him out right before the election, he’s on ice right now.”

May 2003 French military analyst announces that bin Laden was killed in an American air raid in Tora Bora shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

February 2004 Iranian Radio reports that bin Laden was captured… Continue reading

News: Bin Laden Dead, Buried at Sea

Obama: Osama bin Laden is dead

By Kase Wickman
RawStory.com

Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the number one most-wanted fugitive for nearly a decade, was killed in Pakistan Sunday, the White House announced.

President Barack Obama made a live statement shortly after 11:30 p.m. from the East Room of the White House.

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children,” he began.

The U.S. received an intelligence lead last August about bin Laden’s whereabouts, Obama said, and that he had enough information by Sunday to launch a targeted military operation on the compound pinpointed as bin Laden’s location, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

“A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability,” Obama said. “No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”

White House officials said that the operation was in cooperation with Pakistani authorities, and was carried out by Navy SEALs in helicopters who rehearsed the operation to avoid civilian casualties. Reportedly, one woman who was used as a human shield was killed.

Crowds gathered outside the White House and around the country after the speech, waving flags and singing the National Anthem. U.S. diplomatic centers are reportedly on high alert in… Continue reading

Bush court dismisses 9/11 suit against Bush officials, orders sanctions

by Rady Ananda
April 29, 2011
Global
Research

Rather than judicially review significant evidence in the events of September
11, 2001, on April 27, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s
dismissal of an Army Specialist’s complaint against former Vice President
Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers.

One of Plaintiff April Gallop’s attorneys, William Veale, didn’t
know whether to relate the decision to “Kafka, Orwell, Carroll, or Huxley,”
referring to the absurdity and dearth of reason emanating from the court regarding
the deadliest attack on U.S. soil the nation has ever faced.

“The Court’s decision, analogous to reviewing an Indictment in
a liquor store hold-up without mentioning the guy walking in with a gun, refuses
to acknowledge even the existence of the three defendants much less what they
were doing that morning or saying about it afterwards,” Veale added.

Of the three judges on the panel, John Mercer Walker, Jr. is first cousin of
former President George H.W. Bush and first cousin once removed of George W.
Bush, who used 9/11 to manipulate public emotion to support passage of the unconstitutional
PATRIOT Acts and waging illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. According
to Wikipedia, Walker shares a grandfather with the 41st president, George Herbert
Walker, whose daughter married Prescott Bush. A motion to force Judge Walker’s
removal from the case was denied, despite a clear conflict of interest.

The lawsuit, prepared by… Continue reading

Airlines and Airport Security Agree to Pay $1.2 Billion for 9/11 Property Damages

by Noel Brinkerhoff April 15, 2011 AllGov.com

American Airlines and United Airlines along with two airport security firms will have to pay a $1.2 billion settlement for damage caused to property during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

Approved by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals , the deal settles numerous property-damage lawsuits that were filed after the terrorist attacks involving American Airlines Flight 11 and United Air Lines Flight 175 struck Towers One and Two of the former World Trade Center.

The other two defendants in the case were Globe Airport Security, which screened passengers boarding American Flight 11 in Boston, and Huntleigh, which did the same for United Flight 175. Under the agreement, American Airlines and Globe will pay 60% of the damages and United and Huntleigh will pay the remaining 40%.

The plaintiffs in the case are the owners of the World Trade Center and numerous insurance companies. They had originally sought $4.4 billion from the airlines and security companies.

Read the Decision here: 9/11 Property Damage Litigation (Second Circuit Court of Appeals) (pdf)

Court Approves World Trade Center Settlement By JONATHAN PERLOW Courthouse News Service

(CN) – The 2nd Circuit has approved a $1.2 billion property damage settlement stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

The federal appeals court rejected arguments from WTC developers that the deal will limit the amount of money they would receive from the airlines and insurers, and that it violated the Air… Continue reading

The Costs of War, and More from Congressional Research Service

April 29, 2011
Email from Federation of American Scientists’ “Secrecy news Blog”

As of March 2011, Congress had approved a total of more than $1.2 trillion
dollars for costs associated with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11
"war on terror" operations, the Congressional Research Service said
in its most recent update on the subject. See "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan,
and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11,"
March 29, 2011.

Other new or newly updated CRS reports include the following (all pdf).

"Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians," April 6,
2011.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations,"
April 27, 2011.

"U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress,"
March 28, 2011.

"Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress,"
April 6, 2011.

"Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions,"
April 6, 2011.

Why the Planes Were Not Intercepted on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator

by Kevin Ryan
ULTruth.wordpress.com

Of the many unanswered questions about the attacks of September 11, one of the most important is: Why were none of the four planes intercepted? A rough answer is that the failure of the US air defenses can be traced to a number of factors and people. There were policy changes, facility changes, and personnel changes that had recently been made, and there were highly coincidental military exercises that were occurring on that day. But some of the most startling facts about the air defense failures have to do with the utter failure of communications between the agencies responsible for protecting the nation. At the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), two people stood out in this failed chain of communications. One was a lawyer on his first day at the job, and another was a Special Operations Commander who was never held responsible for his critical role, or even questioned about it.

The 9/11 Commission wrote in its report that — “On 9/11, the defense of U.S. airspace depended on close interaction between two federal agencies: the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”[1]

According to the Commission, this interaction began with air traffic controllers (ATCs) at the relevant regional FAA control centers, which on 9/11 included Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. In the event of a hijacking, these ATCs were expected to “notify their supervisors, who in turn would inform management all the way up to FAA headquarters. Headquarters had a hijack coordinator, who was the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate.…

Continue reading

WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo Files

by Andy Worthington
Published April 24, 2011
WikiLeaks.ch

On Sunday April 24, 2011 WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files from the
notorious Guantánamo Bay prison camp. The details for every detainee will be
released daily over the coming month.

WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Files on All Guantánamo Prisoners

PLEASE NOTE: This article has been published in languages other than English
at WikiLeaks, linked here.

In its latest release of classified US documents, WikiLeaks is shining the
light of truth on a notorious icon of the Bush administration’s “War on
Terror” — the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which opened on January
11, 2002, and remains open under President Obama, despite his promise to close
the much-criticized facility within a year of taking office.

In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen
before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the
prisoners held at Guantánamo — 758 out of 779 in total — are described
in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo
Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.

These memoranda, which contain JTF-GTMO’s recommendations about whether the
prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred
to their home governments, or to other governments) contain a wealth of important
and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example,
and, in the cases of the majority of the 171 prisoners who are still held, photos
(mostly for the… Continue reading

American Shame

by Donna Marsh O’Connor Member
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Mother, Vanessa Lang Langer, WTC Tower II, 93rd floor
HuffingtonPost.com

Shame on Representative Cliff Stearns and shame on each and every one of the representatives who voted to make compensation for 9/11 first responders reliant upon a check for “terrorist” activities. Shame is a concept that blankets American actions as it responded to that grave day. I won’t belabor the many instances where this nation either killed or maimed others either in retribution or in the pretense at keeping the rest of us “safe” but I will say that this last act of betrayal by elected officials places all of us in greater danger. Frankly, if we don’t counter this betrayal, we deserve what we get.

What has come over us? Have we completely lost the ability to function as compassionate adults in an imperfect world? Think for one minute about the ramifications of such an act:

On 9/11/2001 when many people fled the horror of the scene at Ground Zero, countless firefighters, police officers, and brave civilian volunteers rushed to the scene to help. I believe that my own daughter who was on that day four or five months pregnant was almost home free precisely because others helped her almost, almost to safety. How many others walked away because they were provided help? We can only guess at the numbers. How many families of first responders are like my own — ten years out still suffering the effects… Continue reading

We Remember – OKC – April 19th, 1995

Top Ten Reasons to Question the Official Story

By: Holland O. Van den Nieuwenhof
OKCBombingTruth.com

1. John Doe #2 And Other Accomplices

Timothy McVeigh is supposed to be the only one who drove the Ryder truck full of explosives up to the Murrah building and detonated it. But the government only produced one witness during McVeigh’s trial to place him in Oklahoma City. That witness, Daina Bradley, lost her children, her mother and her leg in the bombing. Under cross-examination, she admitted that she saw McVeigh with another man, the fabled John Doe #2, in the Ryder truck. Numerous ( 1 2 ) other witnesses state that they saw McVeigh with other perpetrators the day of the bombing. There are also numerous other witness accounts of McVeigh accompanied by other men during his preparation for the bombing and even when he rented the Ryder truck. In some cases, these suspects have been identified by witnesses and yet the government claims that McVeigh was the sole actor in the tragedy of April 19,
1995.

2. Why Was The ATF AWOL

Paramedic Tiffany Bible, who was on the scene within five minutes, has stated in an affidavit that agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) told her that they were not in their office that morning. EMT Katherine Mallet also overheard one ATF agent say to another, “Is that why we got the page not to come in today?”Bruce Shaw, as interviewed on KFOR-TV, was also told by… Continue reading

Video online: ‘Investigate Building 7′ Conference, West Hartford, CT

“Investigate Building 7″, conference held at the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT on March 26, 2011, sponsored by Investigatebuilding7.org (formerly Building What ? campaign)

Video of presentations from Investigate Building 7 Conference, March 26, 2011, graciously posted by Radical Pragmatist on his blog at 911blogger.com.

The Case for a New Building 7 Investigation

I. Foreknowledge of Building 7′s Collapse by Dr. Graeme MacQueen First of a three-part presentation, “The Case for a New Building 7 Investigation” Introduced by Dr. William Pepper, International Human Rights Attorney

Even though World Trade Center Building 7 is said to have been the first steel-framed building in history to undergo total collapse due to fire, there were many people who knew the building was going to collapse long before it did. In this presentation, the evidence for this peculiar foreknowledge will be summarized and its significance discussed. The argument will be made that it is impossible to explain this foreknowledge on the basis of the collapse hypothesis offered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The only hypothesis that explains this foreknowledge is the controlled demolition hypothesis.

II. The Evolution of the Fire-based Theory for Building 7 by Kevin Ryan The second in a three-part presentation, “The Case for a New Building 7 Investigation” Introduction and Commentary by Dr. William Pepper

This presentation will examine the attempts by government-sanctioned investigations to provide a theory for the fire-induced, non-explosive destruction of World Trade Center Building 7. In particular, the presentation will cover… Continue reading

Updates at History Commons

History Commons

911 wreckageA large number of new entries have been added to the Complete 9/11 Timeline at History Commons. Most of these describe events from the day of 9/11 itself, although a few entries look at pre-9/11 and post-9/11 events.

This is one of an ongoing series of irregular email alerts notifying the community of additions to a specific project.

New Entries Added to the Complete 9/11 Timeline

One new entry reveals that in April 2001, CIA counterterrorism chief Cofer Black warned that “something big [is] coming and that it very likely could be in the US.” Then, about a month before 9/11, White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke visited Wall Street,to investigate the security precautions there.

Two new entries look at the time Ziad Jarrah, the alleged hijacker pilot of Flight 93 on 9/11, spent in Philadelphia. This included two days at a flight school, which refused to rent Jarrah a plane due to his inadequate piloting skills.

Some entries look at a little-known government agency called the National Communications System (NCS). The NCS happened to turn on a special backup communication system for use in emergencies for “exercise mode” the day before 9/11, and on the morning of 9/11, the CIA was briefing the NCS on the terrorist threat to the US’s telecommunications infrastructure. The NCS’s coordinating center subsequently played an important role in the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks.

Entries reveal that special emergency transmitters carried by aircraft went off in the… Continue reading

Join a Labor Union – Save America

Lessons the 9/11 Truth Movement Needs to Consider With New Urgency

by John Parulis
TruthPhalanx.com

Photo of Utah Phillips The talk, linked to here, given by the late Utah Phillips in the summer of 2004 in Berkeley, California, sets a pathway for a new direction for activism centered on creating world wide worker unions established in non-violence and wide scale organizing.

Utah Phillips is right. The progressive left needs to change tactics. The 9/11 Truth Movement can learn from the left’s failures. Street marches achieve little or nothing. Look at the global anti-war marches of 2003 to stop the Iraq Invasion. Millions flooded the streets around the world in days of historic popular uprisings and demonstrations, yet the war proceeded and ever expanding wars metastasized in Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya. Nearly a million people have died. People continue to die from the so called 9/11 wars and billions continue to be misspent on these failings.

At home, bankers engineered the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. For this they were rewarded with bailouts and no regulatory reform to speak of. They, along with their giant corporate cousins are making record profits while states and cities are chipping away and hacking to death vital services, jobs and job protections for workers, the poor and students and record numbers of people are losing their homes. Legislative efforts to strengthen our democratic institutions, like expanded whistleblower protections and corporate oversight, die on the table or in committee under the nasty anti-environmental and anti-worker agendas of… Continue reading

U.S. military spending up 81 percent since 2001: report

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, April 11th, 2011
Rawstory.com

STOCKHOLM — Growth in global military spending slowed to its lowest level since 2001 last year as the world economic crisis hit defence budgets, Swedish think-tank SIPRI said Monday.

World military spending rose only 1.3 percent in 2010 to $1.63 trillion (1.14 trillion euros), after average annual growth of 5.1 percent between 2001 and 2009, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said as it released its latest report on international military expenditures.

“In many cases, the falls or slower increase represent a delayed reaction to the global financial and economic crisis that broke in 2008,” the group said in a statement.

The United States significantly slowed its military investments last year but remained by far the biggest defence spender in the world and still accounted for almost all of global growth.

US defence spending grew by only 2.8 percent in 2010 to $698 billion, after averaging growth of 7.4 percent between 2001, when SIPRI began publishing its reports, and 2009.

Despite the slowdown, the United States’ spending increase of $19.6 billion still accounted for nearly all of the $20.6 billion global increase last year.

“The USA has increased its military spending by 81 percent since 2001, and now accounts for 43 per cent of the global total, six times its nearest rival China,” Sam Perlo-Freeman, the head of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Project, said in a statement.

“At 4.8 percent of GDP, US military spending in 2010 represents the largest economic burden… Continue reading

Evidence against 9/11 plotters revealed

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Rawstory.com

WASHINGTON — US prosecutors compiled lots of evidence against the five men accused of having organized the September 11 attacks on the United States, but not until this week have details been fully revealed.

The indictment charging self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others was unsealed when US Attorney General Eric Holder referred the case to the Defense Department for military trials instead of trials at a US federal court in New York.

Holder said Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi could have been prosecuted in federal court and blamed Congress for imposing measures blocking civilian trials of Guantánamo Bay inmates.

They will be tried in military courts in the US naval base in southeastern Cuba.

The now-public details show that the United States, nearly 10 years after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, reconstructed step by step the logistics of the five accused men.

They compiled bank transactions, flight records, visa applications, and dozens of telephone conversations to create the most comprehensive account of the chain of events before the attacks.

Implementation of the plan began in 1999, when Sheikh Mohammed (referred to as “KSM” by US officials) proposed to Osama bin Laden to use commercial airliners as missiles against US targets.

Until the last minute, according to the indictment, Sheikh Mohammed controlled the entire operation.

“From in or about December 1999, through in or about… Continue reading

Bradley Manning: top US legal scholars voice outrage at ‘torture’

Obama professor among 250 experts who have signed letter condemning humiliation of alleged WikiLeaks source

by Ed Pilkington in New York
Guardian.co.uk

More than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his “degrading and inhumane conditions” are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.

The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be America’s foremost liberal authority on constitutional law. He taught constitutional law to Barack Obama and was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign.

Tribe joined the Obama administration last year as a legal adviser in the justice department, a post he held until three months ago.

He told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.

The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called “prevention of injury order” and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.

Tribe said the treatment was objectionable “in the way it violates his person and his liberty… Continue reading

Extraordinary Conflict of Interest: Bush Cousin Presides Over Federal Court Case Against Former Bush Administration Officials

Published: Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 7:30 AM ET
CNBC.com

NEW YORK, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Confounding lawyers and legal scholars all over the world, Judge John Walker, first cousin of former President George W. Bush, was one of three judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to hear argument Tuesday in Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Myers.

The lawsuit was brought by a soldier injured during the attack on the Pentagon and accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, of conspiring to facilitate the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The attacks killed 3000 Americans, plus many who have died from the toxic clean-up conditions at Ground Zero.

Attorney William Veale, acting for April Gallop, learned of the assignment the usual 5 days before the argument, and filed a motion to disqualify Judge Walker.

There was no prior decision regarding the motion, and when Veale asked about it in court the motion was denied by Judge Winter. Veale then requested a continuance to seek appellate review of the court’s ruling but that was denied as well.

Argument followed but Walker, and fellow judges Cabranes and Winter diverted attention to whether Veale, former Chief Assistant Public Defender, and lecturer in Criminal Trial Practice at the University of California, Boalt Hall, was properly licensed to practice before the court.

The Tuesday appeal followed a ruling by then District Court Judge Denny Chin, dismissing… Continue reading

Military Tribunal May Hide 9/11 Motives

By Ray McGovern
April 6, 2011
Consortiumnews.com

The Obama administration’s decision to use a military tribunal rather than a federal criminal court to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others means the real motives behind the 9/11 attacks may remain obscure.

The Likud Lobby and their allied U.S. legislators can chalk up a significant victory for substantially shrinking any opportunity for the accused planners of 9/11 to tell their side of the story.

What? I sense some bristling. “Their side of the story?” Indeed! We’ve been told there is no “their side of the story.”

For years, President George W. Bush got away with offering up the risible explanation that they “hate our freedoms.” The stenographers of the White House press corps may have had to suppress smiles but silently swallowed the “they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms” rationale.

The only journalist I can recall stepping up and asking, in effect, “Come on; now really; it’s important; why do the really hate us” was the indomitable Helen Thomas.

In January 2010, just weeks after the “underpants bomber” tried to down an airliner over Detroit, President Barack Obama asked White House counter-terrorism guru, John Brennan, to field questions from the White House press.

Helen Thomas took the opportunity to ask why the would-be bomber did what he did. The exchange with Brennan is, hopefully, more instructive than it is depressing — highlighting a limited mindset still stuck in bromides.

Thomas: “Why do they want to do us harm? And what is the motivation?… Continue reading

Psychologist behind Gitmo interrogations faces ethics complaint

By Eric W. Dolan
April 4, 2011
Rawstory.com

On Wednesday, the New York State Supreme Court will consider whether the state
must investigate an ethics complaint filed against a New York State-licensed
psychologist and major in the U.S. Army who allegedly co-authored, implemented,
and monitored an abusive interrogation program at Guantánamo Bay.

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) and the New York Civil Liberties
Union
(NYCLU) asked the court to direct the New York State Office of Professional
Discipline (OPD) to investigate a misconduct complaint against Dr. John Francis
Leso, who led the first Behavioral Science Consultation Team at Guantánamo
Bay.

The OPD is responsible for regulating the ethical conduct of all New York-licensed
psychologists, but has refused to investigate Dr. Leso’s alleged role in the
use of abusive interrogation techniques at Guantánamo Bay.

The office is accused of failing to investigate Leso’s misconduct, despite
being presented with numerous documented allegations of Leso’s violations
of professional standards.

According to the CJA, Leso violated professional standards for New York psychologists
by recommending physically and psychologically abusive interrogation techniques
to be used against detainees. He is also accused of personally supervising interrogations
where his techniques were being used and participating in the interrogations
himself.

The CJA said the techniques were adapted from illegal methods used by the Chinese
and North Korean governments against U.S. prisoners of war.

“By refusing to even investigate the actions of Dr. Leso, the State of
New York has indicated that it will immunize medical professionals who… Continue reading