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9/11 Consequences

14 Years After 9/11, the War on Terror Is Accomplishing Everything bin Laden Hoped It Would

Originally published at The Nation by Tom Englehardt on 9/8/15

Fourteen years later and do you even believe it? Did we actually live it? Are we still living it? And how improbable is that?

Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa. Fourteen years of astronomical expense, bombing campaigns galore, and a military-first foreign policy of repeated defeats, disappointments, and disasters.…

Every state has people suffering from 9/11 illnesses

Originally published at The NY Daily News by Thomas Tracy on 7/20/15

It’s no longer just New York’s problem.

Every state in the nation now has someone suffering from cancer or other illnesses related to the 9/11 terror attacks, the Daily News has learned.

Those receiving aid from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund vary from just a handful in states like Wyoming, Utah and Alaska to several dozen in North Carolina, sources said.

The numbers increase drastically as one gets closer to New York.…

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman  on 6/15/15

Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics

The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”.…

AP Exclusive: FBI behind mysterious fleet of aircraft conducting surveillance over US cities

Originally published at the AP: The Big Story by Jack Gillum, Eileen Sullivan and Eric Tucker on 6/2/15

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country using video and sometimes cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI says the flights are used for specific investigations.…

Immigrants’ Lawsuit Over Post-9/11 Detention Is Revived

Originally published at the NYTimes by Adam Liptak on 6/17/15

WASHINGTON — Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.

“The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy,” Judges Rosemary S.…

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Mock America in 9/11 Trial

Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 6/13/15

Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report.…

The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: $1.6 Trillion

Originally published at Mother Jones by Erika Eichelberger and AJ Vicens on 12/23/14

The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The $1.6 trillion in war spending over that time span includes the cost of military operations, the training of security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, weapons maintenance, base support, reconstruction, embassy maintenance, foreign aid, and veterans’ medical care, as well as war-related intelligence operations not tracked by the Pentagon.…

Since 9/11, we’ve lost our common sense and compassion

Originally published at the Lexington-Herald Reader by Paul Prather on 12/27/14

Fifty years from now, when a history of the 9/11 attacks can be written from a suitable distance, it probably will be observed that the chief damage done to this nation wasn’t the destruction of landmark buildings or even the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, but the further searing of our collective conscience.

We devolved from — in our own opinions, at least — the most civilized country on Earth, the chief guardians of human rights, to medieval torturers.…

The Unlikely Jihadist from Wichita

Originally published at by Kevin Ryan on 9/24/14

When neighbors went trick-or-treating at Terry Lee Loewen’s house in Wichita last Halloween, they saw a quiet, unobtrusive, “normal” man. Two months later, federal authorities said they’d seen through the disguise and found a jihadist hiding in the suburbs.

Loewen “planned to die as a martyr” and was charged with trying to drive an explosives-laden vehicle onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said at the time of the arrest.…

Secret National Security Letters

Originally published at The Intercept by Cora Currier on 10/9/14

Can the government make demands for data entirely in secret?

That was the question yesterday before a federal appeals court in San Francisco, where government lawyers argued that National Security Letters — FBI requests for information that are so secret they can’t be publicly acknowledged by the recipients — were essential to counterterrorism investigations. The telecom company and internet provider that have challenged the National Security Letters (known as NSLs) still can’t even be named.…

The torture meted out by the CIA far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding

Originally published at The Telegraph by by Peter Foster on 9/7/14

Exclusive: As the US Senate prepares to release a report documenting US torture programme after 9/11, Telegraph reveals new details about the scope of CIA excesses

The CIA brought top al-Qaeda suspects close “to the point of death” by drowning them in water-filled baths during interrogation sessions in the years that followed the September 11 attacks, a security source has told The Telegraph.

The description of the torture meted out to at least two leading al-Qaeda suspects, including the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding, or “simulated drowning” so far admitted by the CIA.…

James Risen calls Obama ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’

Originally published at The Guardian by Joanna Walters on 8/17/14

The New York Times reporter James Risen, who faces jail over his refusal to reveal a source and testify against a former CIA agent accused of leaking secrets, has called President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation”.

Speaking to his colleague Maureen Dowd, Risen accused the president of aggressively pursuing journalists, including himself, who report sensitive stories that reflect poorly on the US government.…

Obama: U.S. ‘crossed a line’ and tortured after 9/11 attacks

Originally published at CNN by Ray Sanchez on 8/3/14

(CNN) — President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday that the United States “crossed a line” and tortured al Qaeda detainees after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The comments at a White House news conference were the President’s strongest on the controversial subject since he came into office denouncing what he described as the Bush years of torturing alleged terrorists, also known as “enhanced interrogation.”

“When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line,” Obama said.…

The Newburgh Sting

On May 20, 2009, four men from the impoverished and largely African-American city of Newburgh, NY, were apprehended for an alleged terror plot. They had no history of violence or terrorist ties, but had been drawn by a Pakistani FBI informant into a carefully orchestrated scheme to bomb Jewish synagogues in a wealthy New York City suburb and fire Stinger missiles at U.S. military supply planes. Their dramatic arrest, complete with armored cars, a SWAT team and FBI aircraft, played out under the gaze of major TV outlets, ultimately resulting in 25-year prison sentences for the “Newburgh Four.”

Amidst the media frenzy surrounding the case, political figures extolled the outcome as a victory in the “war on terror” and a “textbook example of how a major investigation should be conducted,” though others believed the four men were victims of FBI entrapment.…

Post-9/11 foreign policy

Originally posted at Foreign Policy Blogs by Maxime H.A. Larivé on 5/6/14

Let’s be honest, foreign policy making has never been democratic. The label of national security has offered governments around the world the power to hide information from their citizens. Aside from this statement, the making of American foreign policy has completely shifted since 9/11. Not only this shift was abrupt and made under intense emotional stress, but it has also created a precedent in the way the U.S.…

Research Update on Health Impacts of Dust from 9/11 Aftermath

Originally published by Erin Billups at NY1 on April 8, 2014

Last month, NY1 told viewers about another link discovered between the toxic dust many were exposed to in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks and a higher risk of heart disease, and now, the doctor heading up the research is going into more detail. NY1’s Erin Billups filed the following report.

We’ve known for years that the toxic dust inhaled by first responders to the September 11th attacks could lead to lung, heart and kidney problems, but new research out from Mount Sinai Hospital’s World Trade Center Health Program finds that those with the highest exposures are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.

White House more involved in CIA-Senate dispute

Originally posted By Stephanie Condon at CBS News on March 13, 2014

The White House has played a larger role in the serious dispute between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over an ongoing investigation, according to reports.

President Obama’s team has been withholding about 9,400 documents that the Intelligence Committee requested as part of its review of the CIA’s now-defunct detention and interrogation program, McClatchy reports. Since 2009, the White House has ignored or rejected multiple requests from the committee to review the documents.…

Working weapons made with junk from airport stores

Originally published at FastCompany by Stan Alcorn on 11/25/13

Evan Booth hacks together working weapons–like a shotgun, a grenade, and a crossbow–with purchases anyone can make after they go through security, to show that the TSA is more spectacle than real protection. And the FBI is taking notice.

Things you can’t bring on a plane: Scissors, gel candles, large snow globes.

Things you can bring on a plane: A homemade shotgun.

Programmer by day, “security researcher” by night, Evan Booth has built, tested, and demonstrated not just a shotgun, but a whole comically named arsenal of DIY weapons, made solely with items purchased in the airport–after the security screening.…