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Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official–Trial Overseer Cites ‘Abusive’ Methods Against 9/11 Suspect

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Page A01

The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantánamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”

“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.

Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantánamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health led to her conclusion. “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his… Continue reading

Saving American Politics from the Present Two-Party System

February 14, 2009
Video courtesy Maria Gilardin at TUC Radio: http://tucradio.org/new.html

Part 1 of 4

Part 2 of 4

Part 3 of 4

Part 4 of 4

 

Source URL: http://911blogger.com/node/19388

Barack Obama Administration Continues US Military Global Dominance

By Peter Phillips

The Barack Obama administration is continuing the neo-conservative agenda of US military domination of the world–albeit with perhaps a kinder-gentler face. While overt torture is now forbidden for the CIA and Pentagon, and symbolic gestures like the closing of the Guantánamo prison are in evidence, a unilateral military dominance policy, expanding military budget, and wars of occupation and aggression will likely continue unabated.

The military expansionists from within the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, G. W. Bush administrations put into place solid support for increased military spending. Clinton’s model of supporting the US military industrial complex held steady defense spending and increased foreign weapons sales from 16% of global orders to over 63% by the end of his administration.

The neo-conservatives, who dominated the most recent Bush administration, amplified this trend of increased military spending. The neo-cons laid out their agenda for military global dominance in the 2000 Project for a New American Century (PNAC) report Rebuilding America’s Defenses . The report called for the protection of the American Homeland, the ability to wage simultaneous theater wars, to perform global constabulary roles, and to control space and cyberspace. The report claimed that in order to maintain a Pax Americana , potential rivals–such as China, Iran, Iraq, and North Korea–needed to be held in check. This military global dominance agenda required forward deployment of US forces worldwide and increasing defense/war spending well into the 21st century. The result was a doubling of the US military budget to… Continue reading

Rep. Holt Introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2009

Contact: Zach Goldberg 202-225-5801 (office)

HOLT INTRODUCES ANTHRAX COMMISSION LEGISLATION Bill Would Create 9/11 Commission-Style Panel to Investigate Anthrax Attacks and Government Response

(Washington, D.C.) — Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today introduced the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009, legislation that would establish a Congressional commission to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks and the federal government’s response to and investigation of the attacks. The bipartisan commission would make recommendations to the President and Congress on how the country can best prevent and respond to any future bioterrorism attack. The attacks evidently originated from a postal box in Holt’s Central New Jersey congressional district, disrupting the lives and livelihoods of many of his constituents. Holt has consistently raised questions about the federal investigation into the attacks.

“All of us — but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks — deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really is closed,” Holt said. “The Commission, like the 9/11 Commission, would do that, and it would help American families know that the government is better prepared to protect them and their children from future bioterrorism attacks.”

Under Holt’s legislation, the commission would be comprised of no more than six members of from the same political party. The commission would hold public hearings, except in situations where classified information would be discussed. The commission would have to consult the National Academies of Sciences for recommendations on scientific staff to serve on… Continue reading

Mexican president: US authorities ‘complicit’ in drug trafficking (and more links)

by Stephen C. Webster
RawStory.com

The President of Mexico has an unfortunate message for Americans still ignorant of the Drug War’s cold realities: Some of your politicians are involved.

Photo of Mexican policeYes folks, it is long-past time to start thinking about alternative strategies for combating both the harmful effects of drug addiction and the deadly effects of forcing an economy outside of the law.

“It is impossible to pass tons of drugs and cocaine to U.S. without some great complicity of some American authorities,” said Mexican President Felipe Calderone.

“There is traffic in Mexico because there is corruption in Mexico. And that is true. But with the same argument, if there is traffic in United States, it is because there is some corruption in United States.”

 

 

 

Calderone’s comments come at 3:01 in the following video.

RELATED:

For MUCH more excellent reporting about drug running in and out of US/Mexico, see investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker’s site, Mad Morning News, at www.madcowprod.com . Hopsicker’s latest film is “New American Druglords” .

A few recent story headlines –

Carlos Slim & the Narco-Politicos

Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire whose $250 million cash infusion bailed the New York Times out of a tight cash crunch last week, has long-standing business ties with wealthy Mexican businessmen suspected of involvement in Mexico’s so-called “Cartel of the Southeast,” the drug trafficking organization (DTO) based in Cancun which came to light two years ago with the crash on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula of an American-registered (N987SA) Gulfstream jet… Continue reading

Cowardice in the Time of Torture

By Ray McGovern
April 5, 2009
ConsortiumNews.com

I used to take a certain pride by association with prominent Bronxites who have “made it.” Cancel that for Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

You might think that as African-Americans, they would be especially outraged by torture, given what blacks have suffered at the hands of white torturers in this country and abroad.

Why is it that they seem to value more their admittance into a privileged white-dominated ruling class than doing the right thing? How else to explain their stunning reluctance to hold torturers accountable and thus remove the stain of torture from our nation’s soul and reputation?

One might say that Attorney General Holder is proving himself to be part of that “nation of cowards” that he called the United States in a different context, i.e. our unwillingness to address the issue of race. What about when the victims of torture are Muslims? Where’s Holder’s courage then?

Surely, I was not the only one stunned by former Vice President Dick Cheney’s public admission that he helped authorize waterboarding of detainees. But, on reflection, there seems to have been a method to his madness; and, so far at least, the method seems to be working.

Have Holder and Colin Powell forgotten from their days growing up in the Bronx the typical reaction of bullies when caught in the act? “Okay, so waddaya gonna do ’bout it!” It was an attempt at intimidation, and it was generally… Continue reading

Torture Used to Link Saddam with 9/11

April 23, 2009
by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Global Research

Hayden had confirmed that the Bush administration only waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zabaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashirit for one minute each. I told Franks that I didn’t believe that. Sure enough, one of the newly released torture memos reveals that Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times and Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times. One of Stephen Bradbury’s 2005 memos asserted that “enhanced techniques” on Zubaydah yielded the identification of Mohammed and an alleged radioactive bomb plot by Jose Padilla. But FBI supervisory special agent Ali Soufan, who interrogated Zubaydah from March to June 2002, wrote in the New York Times that Zubaydah produced that information under traditional interrogation methods, before the harsh techniques were ever used.

Why, then, the relentless waterboarding of these two men? It turns out that high Bush officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Mohammed and Zubaydah to reveal a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 hijackers, in order to justify Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003. That link was never established.

President Obama released the four memos in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU. They describe unimaginably brutal techniques and provide “legal” justification for clearly illegal acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In the face of monumental pressure from the CIA to keep them secret, Obama demonstrated great courage in deciding to make the grotesque memos public. At the same time, however, in… Continue reading

Visibility 9-11 Welcomes John-Michael Talboo and Stewart Bradley of Debunking the Debunkers

Michael Wolsey
May 6, 2009
(Article revised 11/12/10)

This episode of Visibility 9-11 welcomes John-Michael Talboo and Stewart Bradley of the blog Debunking the Debunkers.

John-Michael is the creator and administrator of 911debunkers.blogspot.com where he and Bradley debunk the “debunkers” of the 9/11 truth movement. He has been a 9/11 activist since late 2004, is a grassroots organizer listed on 911truth.org for the state of Indiana, a member of the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth video team, and a founding member of the central Indiana chapter of the activist organization We Are Change.

Stewart Bradley is an artist, documentary journalist, and political activist living in Lancaster Pennsylvania who runs an independent mulit-media studio. Stewart was already investigating covert government operations before 9/11 and since 9/11 has re-dedicated himself to exposing the public misconceptions behind the attack. In 2004 he wrote and produced a 9/11 docudrama titled “The Proof” and has been actively promoting 9/11 research through his website, blogs, videos, and internet debates. More at: http://bradleyinfotainment.com

Topics discussed include the debunkers’ take on the new scientific paper, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” and defence thereof.

The MO and possible motives of defenders of the official story is also spoke of and put into a larger historical context. Mentioned is a declassified CIA memo from April 1967 entitled, “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report.” which states that one way to achieve this goal is to:

Employ propaganda assets… Continue reading

Stop bombing us: Osama isn’t here says Pakistan

July 12, 2009
by Christina Lamb in Karachi
TimesOnline.co.uk

Osama bin Laden and the top Al-Qaeda leadership are not in Pakistan, making US missile attacks against them futile, according to the country’s interior minister.

“If Osama was in Pakistan we would know, with all the thousands of troops we have sent into the tribal areas in recent months,” Rehman Malik told The Sunday Times. “If he and all these four or five top people were in our area they would have been caught, the way we are searching.”

He added: “According to our information Osama is in Afghanistan, probably Kunar, as most of the activities against Pakistan are being directed from Kunar.”

Washington does not directly acknowledge its missile attacks on Pakistani territory by unmanned drone aircraft but Pakistani officials say the US has carried out more than 40 attacks inside its borders in the past 10 months, killing hundreds of people.

CIA officials claim these attacks have been highly effective in disrupting Al-Qaeda’s ability to operate. However, Malik insists they are a waste of time because the Al-Qaeda leadership is on the other side of the border in eastern Afghanistan.

“They’re getting mid-level people not big fish,” he said. “And they are counterproductive because they are killing civilians and turning locals against our government. We try to win people’s hearts, then one drone attack drives them away. One attack alone last week killed 50 people.”

US officials in Islamabad say Pakistan’s government is being disingenuous, claiming to oppose the… Continue reading

Guns and Butter Interviews Paul Zarembka, Editor of ‘The Hidden History of 9/11′

Cover of The Hidden History of 9/11 Paul Zarembka will be interviewed today on his excellent 9/11 book, The Hidden History of 9/11 . The one-hour broadcast will aired on Bonnie Faulkner’s KPFA program ‘Guns and Butter: The Economics of Politics’, where she has given considerable attention to 9-11 on her program for many years.

The interview can be heard at 4 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Pacific, available at http://www.kpfa.org/

Bonnie Faulkner of Guns & Butter interviews Paul Zarembka

It will also be available as an archive thereafter at http://www.kpfa.org/node/34

Show Editor’s Note: »

UPDATE 7/25/09 Paul Zarembka will be a guest on John Rodger’s blogtalk radio show tomorrow, Sunday, July 26, at 5pm PST. Listen here. UPDATE 7/23/09

Audio of this interview is now available online: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article23122.htm

How much insider trading occurred in the days leading up to 9/11? How compromised is the evidence against alleged hijackers because of serious authentication problems with a key Dulles Airport videotape? To what extent does the testimony of more than five hundred firefighters differ from official reports of what happened at the World Trade Center buildings that day? How inseparably connected are Western covert operations to al-Qaeda? How is Islamophobia used to sustain US imperialism?

Paul Zarembka is a professor of economics at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since 1977, he has been the general editor for Research in Political Economy . He has authored Toward a Theory of Economic Development , edited Frontiers in Econometrics , and co-edited Essays in Modern Capital Theory.

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Tortured Logic


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Ex-ISI Chief Says Purpose of New Afghan Intelligence Agency RAMA Is ‘to destabilize Pakistan’

August 12, 2009
by Jeremy R. Hammond
Shahid R. Siddiqi contributed to this report
Foreignpolicyjournal.com

Photo of Major General Hamid Gul with CIA


Then Maj. Gen. Hamid Gul, Director General of the ISI (far left), with William Webster, Director of Central Intelligence, Clair George, Deputy Director for Operations, and Milt Bearden, CIA station chief, at a training camp for the mujahedeen in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province in 1987 (RAWA.org)

In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.

Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.

In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, I asked the… Continue reading

The Real Grand Chessboard and the Profiteers of War

by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
Global Research

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”  Dwight David Eisenhower, “Military-Industrial Complex Speech,” 1961, 1

My observation is that the impact of national elections on the business climate for SAIC has been minimal. The emphasis on where federal spending occurs usually shifts, but total federal spending never decreases. SAIC has always continued to grow despite changes in the political leadership in Washington.” Former SAIC manager, quoted in Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, “Washington”s $8 Billion Shadow.” Vanity Fair, March 2007 2

“We make American military doctrine” Ed Soyster, MPRI 3

The Myth of the Grand Chessboard: Geopolitics and Imperial Folie de Grandeur

In The Road to 9/11 I summarized the dialectic of open societies: how from their energy they expand, leading to a higher level of more secretive corporations and agencies, which eventually weaken the home country through needless and crushing wars. 4 I am not alone in seeing America in the final stages of this… Continue reading

Whistleblower deposed in Schmidt versus Krikorian election complaint (video included)

Sibel Edmonds finally gets to tell her story

August 24, 2009
Newsdemocrat.com
The newspaper of record for Brown County, Ohio

Ohio Second District Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, R-Cincinnati, filed nine election complaints against independent candidate David Krikorian concerning the 2008 election in May this year.

Krikorian opposed Schmidt in the Second District Congressional race as an independent in 2008 and is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2010 race in April. The complaints focus on Krikorian’s statements during the election stating that Rep. Schmidt was taking money from organizations related to the Turkish government in exchange for denying the occurrence of what Krikorian called the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks during World War I.

The complaints also relate to Election Commission records on campaign contributions Schmidt received from the Turkish American Heritage PAC and the Turkish Coalition USA PAC.

Since filing the complaints, Schmidt’s counsel has withdrawn four complaints, and an Ohio Elections Commission three-person panel decided there was probable cause to hear the remaining complaints on Thursday, Aug. 13. The five remaining complaints will be reviewed by the entire Commission on Sept. 3.

In preparation for the Sept. 3 hearing, Krikorian’s lawyer requested a subpoena for well known whistleblower and former interpreter for the FBI, Sibel Edmonds. The OEC declined to enforce the subpoena, however Edmonds agreed to speak to Krikorian and Schmidt’s lawyers on a voluntary basis.

The video deposition was brought forward by Krikorian’s counsel to provide background on the alleged involvement of the Turkish government in Congressional affairs through blackmail, bribery, and campaign contributions filtered through various organizations.…

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Sibel Edmonds Speaks, But No One Is Listening

by Philip Giraldi
Posted on August 27th, 2009
The American Conservative

Those who are interested in issues like widespread corruption of our elected officials by foreigners have no doubt followed the ex-FBI traslator turned whistle blower Sibel Edmonds saga for the past few years. Sibel has finally testified in court under oath about some of the things that she learned while working for the bureau. The testimony was in a court in Ohio about two weeks ago. A full transcription and a useful summary appear at http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7374. In short, she names a number of Congressmen including former Speaker Dennis Hastert who took money from Turkish lobbyists. She also identifies senior State Department and Pentagon officials who apparently did the same, including our friends Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Doug Feith. Interestingly, she claims that Grossman blew the cover of Valerie Plame’s company Brewster Jennings back in 2001, causing CIA to shut it down, so Robert Novak was not guilty of exposing the CIA cover mechanism. In another interview given a few weeks ago, Edmonds claims that CIA was working closely with al-Qaeda in the Balkans and continued to do so until 9/11.

As I have reported before, Edmonds is a credible witness who is ignored by the mainstream media and congress because her tales, if true, would be devastating to both political parties and to the Israel and Turkish lobbies. She is dismissed as a crackpot. She might in fact be blowing smoke, but now that she has testified under oath and in considerable detail making very specific accusations isn’t it time for someone in the administration to review the FBI files and stand up to say whether her accounts are true or not?…

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FBI Whistleblower: Hastert, Burton, Blunt, Other Members of Congress ‘Bribed, Blackmailed’

Brad Friedman
September 5, 2009
Huffingtonpost.com

Breaking Down the Under-Oath Disclosures of the Formerly-Gagged Sibel Edmonds…

It has now been over a week since the video tape and transcript from the remarkable 8/8/09 deposition of former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds was publicly released. Previously, the Bush Administration invoked the so-called “state secrets privilege” in order to gag Edmonds, in attempting to keep such information from becoming public.

The under-oath, detailed allegations include bribery, blackmail, espionage and infiltration of the U.S. government of, and by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials and agents of the government of Turkey. The broad criminal conspiracy is said to have resulted in, among other things, the sale of nuclear weapons technology to black market interests including Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and others.

Even as many of these allegations had been previously corroborated to varying extents, by a number of official government reports, documents and independent media outlets (largely overseas), not a single major mainstream media outlet in the U.S. has picked up on Edmonds’ startling claims since her deposition has been made fully available.

Granted, last week was a busy news week, with the death of Ted Kennedy, the release of the CIA Inspector General’s report on torture, and the announcement that Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. And, it’s true, a 4-hour deposition and/or 241-page transcript [PDF] is a lot of material to review, particularly given the wide scope of the charges being… Continue reading

The BRAD BLOG : Exclusive: Upcoming Cover Story on Edmonds

The BRAD BLOG : Exclusive: Upcoming Cover Story on Edmonds ‘Outs’ Video-taped, ‘Blackmailed’ Dem Congresswoman; Alleges State Dept. Mole at NYTimes; MUCH MORE…

‘American Conservative’ mag’s description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as ‘explosive’ may prove to be a gross understatement

Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey,
Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before…

It seems it may be difficult to not notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been “hooked” into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.

Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI’s counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some… Continue reading

Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?

The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.

By Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi
American Conservative Magazine

Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.

A Department of Justice inspector general’s report called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly. “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.

John Ashcroft’s Justice Department confirmed Edmonds’s veracity in a backhanded way by twice invoking the dubious State Secrets Privilege so she could not tell what she knows. The ACLU has called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”

But… Continue reading

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