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Accountability

9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?

By Paul Craig Roberts

August 24, 2011 Information Clearing House — — -In a few days it will be the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. How well has the US government’s official account of the event held up over the decade?

Not very well. The chairman, vice chairman, and senior legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission wrote books partially disassociating themselves from the commission’s report. They said that the Bush administration put obstacles in their path, that information was withheld from them, that President Bush agreed to testify only if he was chaperoned by Vice President Cheney and neither were put under oath, that Pentagon and FAA officials lied to the commission and that the commission considered referring the false testimony for investigation for obstruction of justice.

In their book, the chairman and vice chairman, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote that the 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail.” Senior counsel John Farmer, Jr., wrote
that the US government made “a decision not to tell the truth about what happened,” and that the NORAD “tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public.” Kean said, “We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth.”

Most of the questions from the 9/11 families were not answered. Important witnesses were not called. The commission only heard from those who supported the government’s account. The commission was a controlled political operation,… Continue reading

Did Tenet Hide Key 9/11 Info?

ConsortiumNews.com Exclusive: With few exceptions — like some salacious rumor about the Kennedy family — the mainstream U.S. news media has little interest in historical stories. Such was the case when an ex-White House terrorism official accused a former CIA director of withholding information that might have prevented a 9/11 attack, Ray McGovern reports. <

August 16, 2011
By Ray McGovern
ConsortiumNews.com

Bulletin for those of you who get your information only from the New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM): Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has accused ex-CIA Director George Tenet of denying him and others access to intelligence that could have thwarted the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11.

Deliberately withholding critical intelligence from those who need it, and can act on it, is — at the least — gross dereliction of duty.

The more so if keeping the White House promptly and fully informed is at the top of your job jar, as it was for Director of Central Intelligence Tenet. And yet that is precisely the charge Clarke has leveled at the former DCI.

In an interview aired on Aug. 11 on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado, Clarke charges that Tenet and two other senior CIA officials, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, deliberately withheld information about two of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77 — al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. The two had entered the United States more than a year before the 9/11 attacks.… Continue reading

Who gains from debt deal? The Pentagon, for one

By Nancy A. Youssef
August 1, 2011
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The last-minute deal that Congress is considering to raise the federal debt limit probably will mean trillions of dollars in government spending reductions for most agencies. But one department stands to gain: the Pentagon.

Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims  $350 billion through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been expecting over the next decade.

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, experts said, the overall change in defense spending practices could be minimal: Instead of cuts, the Pentagon merely could face slower growth.

“This is a good deal for defense when you probe under the numbers,” said Lawrence Korb, a defense expert at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research center. “It’s better than what the Defense Department was expecting.”

To be sure, the numbers could change. Under the current debt deal the department would have to reduce its budget by $600 billion over the next decade if Congress can’t agree on the deficit-reduction proposals of a new 12-member, bipartisan legislative committee that’ll be tasked with recommending further  spending cuts.

But the proposed figures — after weeks of drawn-out, vitriolic debate between both political parties — raise questions about what, if anything, could lead to substantial defense reductions. Military spending has more or less survived the drawdown of two wars and a domestic… Continue reading

Did the FBI Bury Oklahoma City Bombing Evidence?

One lawyer’s relentless quest for information reveals fresh hints of a coverup.

By James Ridgeway
July 21, 2011
MotherJones.com

Photo of Timothy McVeigh being escorted from the Perry oklahoma courthouse.

Photo by Bob Owen/Zuma

In 2007, Mother Jones was the first national media outlet to tell the full story of Jesse Trentadue and his quest for the truth, which began four months after the attack on Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people. It was then that Trentadue, a Salt Lake City lawyer, learned that his brother, a construction worker and one-time bank robber, had died in a federal prison in Oklahoma City. [Photo: Timothy McVeigh is escorted from the courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma. Bob Owen/Zuma]

Prison officials said the prisoner had hanged himself. But Kenney Trentadue, who had never revealed any suicidal inclination, was shipped home for burial with bruises all over his body and lacerations on his face and throat–suggesting something more sinister. Even Oklahoma City’s chief medical examiner would later say, publicly, that it was “very likely he was murdered.” But the most compelling evidence in the case was altered or turned up missing. Jesse Trentadue was never able to prove what had actually happened to his brother–though he did win a $1.1 million civil suit for “emotional distress” to his family, based on the way the government had handled the aftermath of Kenney’s death.

Trentadue had all but given up, when, in the spring of 2003, he got a call from a small-town newspaper reporter in Oklahoma named… Continue reading

From the US Boat to Gaza: A July Fourth Shame on the Founders

by Ray McGovern
Published on Saturday, July 2, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

Yes, that was I standing before the U.S. Embassy in Athens on the eve of the July Fourth weekend holding the American flag in the distress mode — upside
down.

Photo of Ret. US Army Colonel Ann Wright and other activists rally in protest outside the U.S. embassy in Athens[Photo (right): Ret. US Army Colonel Ann Wright, 64, from Honolulu, chants slogans as she and other activists rally in protest outside the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece, Friday, July 1, 2011. The activists hope to join an international flotilla and to sail to Gaza.]

Indignities experienced by me and my co-guests on “The Audacity of Hope,” the American boat to Gaza, over the past ten days in Athens leave no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama’s administration has forfeited the right to claim any lineage to the brave Americans who declared independence from the king of England 235 years ago.

In the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to a new enterprise of freedom, democracy and the human spirit. The outcome was far from assured; likely as not, the hangman’s noose awaited them. They knew that all too well.

But they had a genuine audacity to hope that the majority of their countrymen and women,  persuaded by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the elegant words of Thomas Jefferson, would conclude that the goal of liberty and freedom was worth the risk, that it was worth whatever the cost.

These days we have been seduced into thinking that such principles have become “quaint”… Continue reading

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

23 May 2011
by Jeffrey Kaye
Truthout

Defense Intelligence Agency shieldA great deal of controversy has arisen about what was known about the movements and location of Osama bin Laden in the wake of his killing by US Special Forces on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Questions about what intelligence agencies knew or didn’t know about al-Qaeda activities go back some years, most prominently in the controversy over the existence of a joint US Special Forces Command and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) data mining effort known as “Able Danger.”

What hasn’t been discussed is a September 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general (IG) report, summarizing an investigation made in response to an accusation by a Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) whistleblower, which indicated that a senior JFIC commander had halted actions tracking Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. JFIC is tasked with an intelligence mission in support of United States Joint Force Command (USJFCOM).

The report, titled “Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11 Commission,” was declassified last year, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists.

The whistleblower, who the IG report identified as a former JFIC employee represented only by his codename “IRON MAN,” claimed in letters written to both the DoD inspector general in May 2006 and, lacking any apparent action by the IG, to the Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ODNI) in October 2007, that JFIC had withheld operational information about al-Qaeda when queried in March 2002 about its activities by the DIA and higher command officials on behalf of the 9/11 Commission.…

Continue reading

How Many SEALs Died?

by Paul Craig Roberts
May 17, 2011
VDARE.com

In a sensational and explosive TV report, the Pakistani News Agency has provided a live interview with an eye witness to the US attack on the alleged compound of Osama bin Laden. The eye witness, Mohammad Bashir, describes the event as it unfolded. Of the three helicopters, “there was only one that landed the men and came back to pick them up, but as he [the helicopter] was picking them up, it blew away and caught fire.” The witness says that there were no survivors, just dead bodies and pieces of bodies everywhere. “We saw the helicopter burning, we saw the dead bodies, then everything was removed and now there is nothing.”

I always wondered how a helicopter could crash, as the White House reported, without at least producing injuries. Yet, in the original White House story, the SEALs not only survived a 40-minute firefight with al Qaeda, “the most highly trained, most dangerous, most vicious killers on the planet,” without a scratch, but also survived a helicopter crash without a scratch.

The Pakistani news report is available on you tube. The Internet site, Veterans Today, posted a translation along with a video of the interview. Information Clearing House made
it available on May 17
.

If the interview is not a hoax and the translation is correct, we now know the answer to the unasked question: Why was there no White House ceremony with President Obama pinning medals all over the… Continue reading

Utah judge orders FBI to help provide more info on Oklahoma City bombing

The Associated Press
First published May 11, 2011
Updated May 12, 2011
Salt Lake Tribune

A federal judge in Utah on Wednesday ordered the FBI to produce more information about its record-keeping in response to an inquiry by a man who contends unreleased video and other records from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will show more people were involved in the attack.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said he believes Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue has raised valid questions about whether the agency has done enough to find a pair of videotapes sought as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Waddoups also wants to know whether bureau officials believe they can conceal information from the public and the courts and ordered a Department of Justice attorney to detail how difficult it would be for the FBI to manually search for the records in evidence control centers in Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and at an FBI crime lab.

Waddoups, who set a June 30 deadline for government attorneys, wants the information before deciding whether the FBI has complied with federal freedom of information laws in Trentadue’s case.

Trentadue sued the FBI and the CIA in 2008 seeking release of tapes and records from the fatal bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

The lawsuit came two years after Trentadue first sought the information.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court, Trentadue contends the FBI’s efforts to locate the information he wants have been inadequate, and he argues… Continue reading

Campaign ends torturous treatment of Bradley Manning

Supporters of accused WikiLeaks source vow to fight on for open trial and freedom

May 5, 2011
By the Bradley Manning Support Network
Published at Couragetoresist.org

Photo of Free Bradley Manning ProtestHundreds of thousands of individuals globally celebrate today the confirmation that their efforts to end the torturous pre-trial confinement conditions inflicted upon US Army PFC Bradley Manning have been successful. Manning’s lead defense attorney, David E. Coombs of Rhode Island, has personally verified that Manning is indeed being held in Medium Custody confinement at the Joint Regional Corrections Facility (JRCF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as claimed by the Army last week.

“We won this battle because 600,000 individuals took the time to write letters and sign petitions, because thousands called the White House switchboard, because 300 of America’s top legal scholars decried Bradley’s pre-trial conditions as a clear violation of our Constitution’s 5th and 8th Amendments,” declared Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. “We won this battle because over a hundred concerned citizens engaged in civil disobedience at the White House and at Quantico, and because our grassroots campaign shows no sign of slowing.”

These new conditions reflect a dramatic improvement for Manning following his transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, after having suffered extreme solitary-like confinement at US Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. During the nine months at Quantico, Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and was at times kept completely naked. These conditions were unique to Manning and were illegal under US… 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

Indiana prosecutor told Wisconsin governor to stage ‘false flag’ operation

March 24th, 2011
By Eric W. Dolan
RawStory.com

An Indiana prosecutor and Republican activist has resigned after emails show he suggested Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stage a fake attack on himself to discredit unions protesting his budget repair bill.

The Republican governor signed a bill on March 11 that eliminates most union rights for public employees.

In an email from February 19, Indiana deputy prosecutor Carlos F. Lam told Walker the situation presented “a good opportunity for what’s called a ‘false flag’ operation.”

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism discovered the email among tens of thousands released to the public last week following a lawsuit by the Isthmus and the Associated Press.

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions,” Lam said in his email.

“Currently, the media is painting the union protest as a democratic uprising and failing to mention the role of the DNC and umbrella union organizations in the protest,” he continued. “Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”

Lam resigned from his position after the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism published an article about his email.

On February 22, an alternative paper in Buffalo, New York managed to trick Walker into taking a call from their editor posing as tea party tycoon David Koch.

When the editor posing as Koch suggested planting some troublemakers in the protests, Walker responded that “we thought about that,” but said it was not necessary “because sooner or later the media stops finding ’em interesting.”

“My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems,” he said.…

Continue reading

Pentagon Papers Whistleblowers, Congressman Who Saved Headwaters Forest, and 9/11 Commissioners Themselves Call for a New 9/11 Investigation

Washingtonsblog.com

The two main players in releasing the Pentagon Papers were Daniel Ellsberg and United States Senator Mike Gravel.

Senator Gravel is the person who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. This act made the papers public record, so that they could not be censored by the government. He was the only member of Congress courageous enough to do so.

Both Ellsberg and Gravel – like many other high-level former officials in the government and intelligence services (including many well-known whistleblowers) – support a new 9/11 investigation. Ellsberg says that the case of a certain 9/11 whistleblower is “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers“. (Here’s some of what that whistleblower says.) He also said that the government is ordering the media to cover up her allegations about 9/11.

And he said that some of the claims concerning government involvement in 9/11 are credible, that “very serious questions have been raised about what they [U.S. government officials] knew beforehand and how much involvement there might have been”, that engineering 9/11 would not be humanly or psychologically beyond the scope of those in office, and that there’s enough evidence to justify a new, “hard-hitting” investigation into 9/11 with subpoenas and testimony taken under oath (see this and this).

Gravel is now backing a California ballot initiative for a new 9/11 investigation. The text of the initiative is below.

The initiative would actually help support the 9/11 Commission and fulfill the desire of the 9/11… Continue reading

Bradley Manning Now ‘Catatonic'; Obama ENOUGH!

March 7, 2011
by Ralph Lopez
War Is A Crime.org

As Obama’s crime of the destruction of Bradley Manning continues to unfold before our very eyes, Manning friend David House now tells us that over 8 months in isolation with movement and sleep restrictions placed on him have been having their intended effect. House has told MSNBC that by the end of January Manning appeared “catatonic” and that he had “severe problems communicating,” with it having taken House nearly 45 minutes on a recent visit to engage in any meaningful way (video below.) House said Manning’s demeanor was as “if he had just woken up and didn’t know what was going on  around him.” Manning was “utterly exhausted physically and mentally…it was difficult to have any kind of social engagement.”

Also, a full month after Congressman Dennis Kucinich formally requested a visit, the Army has stalled on the request.

All for the crime of reporting war crimes and criminal behavior even among the highest-ranking military officials in Iraq.

In 2005, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member [in Iraq], if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to try to stop it.”

Chase Mader writes in HuffPo that soon after deployment to Iraq, Manning:

“soon found himself helping the Iraqi authorities detain civilians for distributing “anti-Iraqi literature” — which turned out to be an investigative report into financial corruption in their own government entitled “Where does the money go?” The penalty for this “crime” in Iraq was not a slap on the wrist.

Continue reading

Obama’s new Gitmo policy is a lot like Bush’s old policy

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; A02
Washingtonpost.com

It was another important moment in the education of Barack Obama.

He began his presidency with a pledge to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay within a year. Within months, he realized that was impossible. And now he has essentially formalized George W. Bush’s detention policy.

With Monday’s announcement that the Obama administration will resume military tribunals at Gitmo, conservatives rushed out triumphant I-told-you-sos. Liberal supporters were again feeling betrayed. Administration officials had some ‘splainin’ to do.

And so they assembled some top-notch lawyers from across the executive branch and held a conference call Monday afternoon with reporters. The ground rules required that the officials not be identified, which is appropriate given their Orwellian assignment. They were to argue that Obama’s new detention policy is perfectly consistent with his old  detention policy.

Not only had he revoked his pledge to close Gitmo within a year, but he also had contradicted his claim that the policy “can’t be based simply on what I or the executive branch decide alone.” His executive order did exactly what he said must not be done, in a style pioneered by Obama’s immediate predecessor in the Oval Office.

“This detention without trial – what’s different from the Bush administration?” a French reporter from Le Monde asked during the call.

Good question. The answer, from the Anonymous Lawyers, was technical. “We have a much more thorough process here of representation. . . .… Continue reading

Live Debate on Building Collapses Scheduled March 6th

Colorado 9/11 Visibility is pleased to announce a live debate addressing the collapse of the three World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001.

Sunday afternoon, March 6th, at the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado, Colorado 9/11 Visibility will host a debate between Richard Gage, AIA (American Institute of Architects), and Chris Mohr, Denver investigative journalist and nondenominational minister.

The question: What brought down the three World Trade Center skyscrapers?

Richard Gage, AIA, is a San Francisco Bay Area architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has been an architect for over 23 years and has worked on most types of building construction, including numerous fire-proofed, steel-framed buildings. His quest for the truth about 9/11 began in 2006, and he subsequently founded Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Chris Mohr, investigative journalist and advocate of the “natural collapse” theory, is a sincere seeker of the truth who has extensively researched the collapses of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings, consulted with independent physicists and engineers, and passionately argues that the buildings collapsed due to the plane impacts and fires.

In November 2010 at Denver’s Mercury Cafe, Mohr debated attorney Earl Staelin on the collapse of the twin towers. This debate was unprecedented in its civility and professionalism.

In the upcoming March 6th debate with Richard Gage, the discussion will explore not only the collapse of the twin towers, but also that of 47-story World Trade Center Building 7, which collapsed completely at 5:21 pm… Continue reading

U.S. Justice v. the world

By Glenn Greenwald
February 18, 2011
Salon.com

In March, 2002, American citizen Jose Padilla was arrested in Chicago and publicly accused by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft of being “The Dirty Bomber.” Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina, where he was held for almost two years completely incommunicado (charged with no crime and denied all access to the outside world, including even a lawyer) and was brutally tortured, both physically and psychologically. All of this — including the torture — was carried out pursuant to orders from President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials. Just as the Supreme Court was about to hear Padilla’s plea to be charged or released — and thus finally decide if the President has the power to imprison American citizens on U.S. soil with no charges of any kind — the Government indicted him in a federal court on charges far less serious than Ashcroft had touted years earlier, causing the Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla’s arguments as “moot”; Padilla was then convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Padilla — like so many other War on Terror detainees — has spent years in American courts trying unsuccessfully to hold accountable the high-level government officials responsible for his abuse and lawless imprisonment (which occurred for years prior to his indictment). Not only has Padilla (and all other detainees) failed to obtain redress for what was done to them, but worse, they have been entirely denied even… Continue reading

Exclusive: Key FBI whistleblower: Had WikiLeaks existed, 9/11, Iraq war ‘could have been prevented’

By Nathan Diebenow
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Rawstory.com

A Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ argues WikiLeaks serves the public good

A member of a group of former intelligence professionals that has rallied behind WikiLeaks suggested in a recent interview with Raw Story that the world would be a different and better place had the online secrets outlet come into existence years sooner.

“If there had been a mechanism like Wikileaks, 9/11 could have been prevented,” Coleen Rowley, a former special agent/legal counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis division, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview.

Rowley and her colleague Bogdan Dzakovic, a special agent for the FAA’s security division, explained this position in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times in October. However, they admit no claim to the original idea of an established pro-whistle-blower infrastructure. It’s purely the US government’s, she said.

“That’s not even us,” she told Raw Story. “That’s not our personal opinion. We’re really reciting the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission
that attributed the failures of 9/11 to a failure to share information not only inside agencies, not only between agencies, but with the public and the media.”

“People have forgotten that that was the main conclusion of the 9/11 Commission,” Rowley added.

“The 9/11 Commission was based on four other major investigation inquiries,” she continued “One was called the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry. That started in Jan. 2002. It went on for well over a year. Then I testified to the Judiciary Committee, and… Continue reading

George Bush thought 9/11 plane had been shot down on his orders

Memoirs reveal former US president gave order to shoot down any hijacked planes before United Airlines flight 93 crashed.

by James Meikle
29 October 2010
guardian.co.uk

George Bush initially believed the only plane not to reach its intended target during the 11 September attacks had been shot down on his orders, according to leaks from the former president’s memoir of his two terms in office.

Bush reveals that he gave the order for any further suspected hijacked planes to be shot down after the first aircraft were flown into the World Trade Centre in New York during the 2001 terror attacks.

He at first thought the crash of United Airlines flight 93 in Pennsylvania had resulted from this instruction, although it later emerged that passengers had stormed the cockpit as hijackers flew the plane towards the Capitol building in Washington.

The memoir, Decision Points, is due to be published on 9 November, in the aftermath of the US midterm elections, and Bush is already lined up for interviews on the Oprah Winfrey and NBC Today shows.

(Continues at source)