By Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 29, No. 1, July 29, 2013
For almost two centuries American government, though always imperfect, was also a model for the world of limited government, having evolved a system of restraints on executive power through its constitutional arrangement of checks and balances.
Since 9/11 however, constitutional practices have been overshadowed by a series of emergency measures to fight terrorism. The latter have mushroomed in size, reach and budget, while traditional government has shrunk. As a result we have today what the journalist Dana Priest has called two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre – and its entirety…visible only to God.1
More and more, it is becoming common to say that America, like Turkey before it, now has what Marc Ambinder and John Tirman have called a deep state behind the public one.2 And this parallel government is guided in surveillance matters by its own Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, which according to the New York Times, “has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court.”3 Thanks largely to Edward Snowden, it is now clear that the FISA Court has permitted this deep state to expand surveillance beyond the tiny number of known and suspected Islamic terrorists, to any incipient protest movement that might challenge the policies of the American war machine.…Continue reading
By Kevin Ryan
We have two new letters and an article at the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
The article by Jérôme Gygax and Nancy Snow is titled “9/11 and the Advent of Total Diplomacy: Strategic Communication as a Primary Weapon of War.” Here’s an excerpt.
“The 9/11 attacks were used to justify an institutional revolution meant to complete a process of integration and coordination of all the assets of US national power through a strategic communication (SC) campaign deployed on a global scale. The ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT) nurtured a narrative of crisis associated with this unprecedented public education effort. In order to sell its approaches, the United States government relied on a network of ‘experts’: military veterans, high‐ranking officers such as Admirals as well as professional journalists and academics who contributed to forging a consensus, or, as Michel Foucault would call it, a ‘regime of truth’ that claims a certain interpretation to be right and true, while ignoring or discrediting critics and dissenting narratives.”
One letter is from Paul Schreyer and is called “Update: Anomalies of the Air Defense on 9/11.” Schreyer writes:
“Miles Kara insists that these were unrelated events. He says there is nothing on the tapes indicating a correlation and he points out that the Langley jets also made no attempt to change their altitude to get closer to the ‘Doomsday plane’ while flying southwest. So it´s possible that Kara is right here. However one still can only wonder about the series of anomalies… Continue reading
Originally published at MadCow Morning News by intrepid investigative journalist Daniel Hopsiker on 9/12/13
If the Bush Administration lied to justify waging a war against Iraq, what truths still lie buried beneath the official explanation for what happened on September 11 2001?
Before discussion about 9/11 was squeezed—in a pincer movement worthy of Hitler’s Panzer divisions—between the so-called “official story” and the subsequent campaign of disinformation that gave conspiracy a bad name, there were some promising avenues of investigation where definitive answers might still be possible.
Here are a few that remain at the top of my list. There are many others.
On the 12th anniversary of the Sept 11 attack there has still been no official investigation into the murders of almost 3000 people that day. The Joint Congressional Intelligence Committee investigation, which met in secret, delivered a report famously containing 28 blank pages.
And anyone looking to the 9/11 Commission for answers had already been disillusioned, even before they issued “findings,“ because they were charged only with identifying what might have been done differently to prevent a future attack.
The FBI’s ballyhooed 4000-man “largest investigation in history” lasted just a little more than three weeks, until someone—we still don’t know who—mailed letters sprinkled with anthrax, changing the focus of the FBI investigation.
Days later, in an order describing the investigation of the terrorist hijackings as “the most exhaustive in its history,” FBI Agents were ordered to curtail their investigation of the Sept. 11 attack. Officials said Robert Mueller, newly-sworn in… Continue reading
Originally published at Aljazeera America by Jason Leopold on 10/30/13
The National Security Agency advised its officials to cite the 9/11 attacks as justification for its mass surveillance activities, according to a master list of NSA talking points.
The document, obtained by Al Jazeera through a Freedom of Information Act request, contains talking points and suggested statements for NSA officials (PDF) responding to the fallout from media revelations that originated with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Invoking the events of 9/11 to justify the controversial NSA programs, which have caused major diplomatic fallout around the world, was the top item on the talking points that agency officials were encouraged to use.
Under the subheading “Sound Bites That Resonate,” the document suggests the statement “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.”
NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander used a slightly different version of that statement when he testified before Congress on June 18 in defense of the agency’s surveillance programs.
Asked to comment on the document, NSA media representative Vanee M. Vines pointed Al Jazeera to Alexander’s congressional testimony on Tuesday, and said the agency had no further comment. In keeping with the themes listed in the talking points, the NSA head told legislators that “it is much more important for this country that we defend this nation and take the beatings than it is… Continue reading
Originally published at the NYPost by Paul Sperry on 12/15/13
After the 9/11 attacks, the public was told al Qaeda acted alone, with no state sponsors.
But the White House never let it see an entire section of Congress’ investigative report on 9/11 dealing with “specific sources of foreign support” for the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals.
It was kept secret and remains so today.
President Bush inexplicably censored 28 full pages of the 800-page report. Text isn’t just blacked-out here and there in this critical-yet-missing middle section. The pages are completely blank, except for dotted lines where an estimated 7,200 words once stood (this story by comparison is about 1,000 words).
A pair of lawmakers who recently read the redacted portion say they are “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) can’t reveal the nation identified by it without violating federal law. So they’ve proposed Congress pass a resolution asking President Obama to declassify the entire 2002 report, “Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”
Some information already has leaked from the classified section, which is based on both CIA and FBI documents, and it points back to Saudi Arabia, a presumed ally.
The Saudis deny any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials — not just wealthy Saudi hardliners, but high-level diplomats and… Continue reading
U. MICHIGAN (US) — Misinformation is easy to accept if it fits in with a prior belief, researchers say, even when the information is known to be false.
Childhood vaccines do not cause autism. President Obama was born in the United States. Global warming is confirmed by science. And yet, many people believe claims to the contrary.
In a study appearing in the current issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, researchers examined factors that cause people to resist correcting misinformation that can originate from rumor, fiction, or government and politicians.
“Misinformation stays in memory and continues to influence our thinking, even if we correctly recall that it is mistaken,” says Colleen Seifert, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. “Managing misinformation requires extra cognitive effort from the individual.”
“If the topic is not very important to you, or you have other things on your mind, you are more likely to make use of misinformation. Most importantly, if the information fits with your prior beliefs, and makes a coherent story, you are more likely to use it even though you are aware that it’s incorrect.”
Stephan Lewandowsky, a professor at the University of Western Australia and the study’s lead author, adds “this persistence of misinformation has fairly alarming implications in a democracy because people may base decisions on information that, at some level, they know to be false.
“At an individual level, misinformation about health issues—for example, unwarranted fears regarding vaccinations or unwarranted trust in alternative medicine—can… Continue reading
In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.
“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.
Mr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.
Members of the Sept. 11 commission, congressional intelligence committees and terrorism analysts told The Times they are floored that the information is just now emerging publicly and that it raises questions about what else Americans might not have been told about the origins of al Qaeda… Continue reading
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.
Mr. Obama said Wednesday he supports the committee’s efforts. “We have worked with the Senate committee so that the report that they are putting forward is well-informed, and what I’ve said is that I am absolutely committed to declassifying that report as soon as the report is completed,” he said.
The White House said in a statement to McClatchy that it withheld “a small percentage” of the 6.2 million pages of documents provided to the committee “because they raise executive branch confidentiality interests.” The White House added it has worked closely with the committee “to ensure access to the information necessary to review the CIA’s former program.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — who blew the lid open on the clash between the committee and the CIA on the Senate floor on Tuesday — has reportedly… Continue reading
Originally published on July 10, 2013 by Keelan Balderson at EyesWideShut
A new extra-curricular history program taught in Carroll County, Baltimore, USA, is warning students not to get sucked in to 9/11 conspiracy theorizing and that the official Government approved narrative is the only version with any “credence”.
The summer course offered to middle-schoolers aged around 11 years old is one of the first classes to go in depth with the subject with children, some of who were not alive when the tragedy took place.
“That is the first time I have talked about it in front of a group of more than five or six,” said teacher Mike Chrvala. In the past decade, discussing the day has gotten easier, he explained.
Carroll County holds free enrichment classes each year on subjects that include art, playwriting and science. Dick Thompson, the county’s coordinator of the summer courses, thought a class on 9/11 could provide important lessons for children born after the event. It is not taught in great depth during the school year – reports the Baltimore Sun newspaper.
Unsurprisingly the class strongly adheres to the official Government narrative, glossing over “conspiracy theories” as nonsense and praising the controversial Patriot Act and post 9/11 security measures.
Casey Jillson, 12, said the attacks weren’t just “a bad thing” because the US has implemented tighter security measures. “Our country learned to be more secure and safe,” she explained.
Chrvala hopes his students will “become little torchbearers to teach about 9/11,” though it… Continue reading
When the FBI investigated a Saudi Arabian family that abruptly left Sarasota weeks before the 9/11 terror attacks, it found “many connections between the (redacted) family and individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01.”
The description, included in documents released Friday as part of a federal lawsuit against the agency, comes as the FBI is working to comply with a federal judge’s order to produce 27 boxes of materials.
To date, the agency said it has moved the boxes to the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida, and spent many hours trying to delineate for U.S. District Court Judge William Zloch which documents are top secret by inserting 822 page markers into the boxes.
The agency also explained an earlier discrepancy that resulted in four additional boxes of documents. David M. Hardy, the FBI’s section chief in charge of records management, said the agency used a smaller box size to comply with the order. That and the marker pages resulted in more boxes overall.
“An 80,266 page file was received from Tampa, and the 80,266 page file was produced,” Hardy wrote.
The FBI also shipped a CD… Continue reading