by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
May 8, 2009
One of the most frustrating features of observing American foreign policy is to see the gap between the encapsulated thinking of the national security bureaucracy and the sensible unfettered observations of the experts outside. In the case of Afghanistan, outside commentators have called for terminating current specific American policies and tactics — many reminiscent of the US in Vietnam.
Observers decry the use of air strikes to decapitate the Taliban and al Qaeda, usually resulting in the death of other civilians. They counsel against is the insertion of more and more US and other foreign troops, in an effort to secure the safety and allegiance of the population. And they regret the on-going interference in the fragile Afghan political process, in order to secure outcomes desired in Washington.1
One root source for this gap between official and outside opinion will not be addressed soon — the conduct of crucial decision-making in secrecy, not by those who know the area, but by those skilled enough in bureaucratic politics to have earned the highest security clearances. However it may be more productive to criticize the mindset shared by the decision-makers, and to point out elements of the false consciousness which frames it, and which should be corrigible by common sense.
Why One Should Think of So-Called “Failed States” as “Ravaged States”
I have in mind the bureaucratically convenient concept of Afghanistan as a failed or failing state. This epithet has been… Continue reading
30 April 2009
By Dennis Loo
If you ask most people what Obama has done about Guantánamo, most would say,
“He shut it down.”
Most don’t know that Obama has said he might take as much as a year to shut
If you ask most people what Obama has done about torture and rendition, most
would say, “He’s ended them.”
Most don’t know that Obama has declared that he will continue rendition,
that he reserves the right to go beyond the Army Field Manual for interrogations,
and that by
not acting affirmatively to ensure otherwise, he has allowed conditions to worsen
If you ask most people what Obama’s done about restoring habeas corpus, most
people would first say, “What’s habeas corpus?”
Then, after you explain to them that habeas corpus is your right to challenge
your detention, most people would say, “He’s restored habeas corpus, hasn’t
Most people don’t know that Obama has said that Bagram prisoners have no
right to habeas corpus and that Gitmo detainees don’t have a right
to it prior to June 2008.
The latest news about what Obama is up to on these fronts follows.
Obama’s DOJ pressed the Court of Appeals to rule that Gitmo prisoners aren’t
“persons,” aren’t entitled to the rights of “persons,” and
that if the Court does find that they are indeed “persons,” then US
officials who ordered and carried out torture and abuse of prisoners should
be immune from prosecution for… Continue reading
by Ken Jenkins
How many times has this happened to you? You are explaining to someone some of the rational, logical reasons why the official story of 9/11 can’t be true, perhaps explaining how WTC 7 fell in the exact manner of a professionally planned controlled demolition — a job which would typically take weeks to prepare — when out comes a ‘thought stopper’ phrase like:
“That’s just another conspiracy theory !” or …
“Do you also believe in Big Foot and tin foil hats?”
Or perhaps the person gets angry and/or agitated. Facts no longer matter at that point, and you can tell the person does not want to hear any more. For example, the following response came from someone after they were given a 20-minute summary of 9/11 Truth information:
“I wouldn’t believe that, even if it were true!”
That reaction defies all logic and reason. But it clearly illustrates just how irrational some peoples’ defenses can be. Here are a few more honest responses/defenses:
“As long as my wife and kids are fine and we can live the life style we have, the truth is, I don’t really care what happened on 9/11.” “I would not want to live in a world where such a thing could be true.” “You can’t expect someone to listen to information that turns their world upside down.” “I’m not sure I want to know. If this is true, then up would be down and down would be up. My life would… Continue reading
28 April 2009
by Rachel Williams
Three British Muslims were today cleared of helping the 7 July bombers choose
their targets by carrying out a reconnaissance mission in London seven months
before the attacks that killed 52 people and injured almost 1,000.
A jury at Kingston crown court unanimously found Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem,
28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, all from Beeston, Leeds, not guilty of conspiring
with the four bombers to cause explosions, after deliberating for eight days.
They are the only people to be charged over the attacks in 2005, which prompted
the biggest criminal investigation in British history — more than 18,450
statements were taken and at least 37,000 exhibits were collected.
Ali and Shakil were, however, convicted of conspiracy to attend a place used
for terrorist training. They were about to board a flight to Pakistan when they
were arrested in 2007. The pair will be sentenced tomorrow afternoon.
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, welcomed those guilty verdicts, which she
said "clearly demonstrated the determined stance the UK takes against those
suspected of involvement in terrorism".
As the verdicts were read out, Ali smiled broadly, Saleem wiped his eyes and
Shakil leant forward, mouthing "thank you" to the jury. The trio had
been retried after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the charges relating
to the 7 July attacks last year after about three weeks of deliberations.
Survivors of the attacks and family members of those who died said today’s
verdicts strengthened the case for an independent inquiry into the bombings.…
by Heiner Buecker
Yukihisa Fujita, a member of the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament has recently published a
“Questioning 9/11 in Japan’s Parliament – Can Obama Change the USA?”
Co-authors of book are David Ray Griffin, Yumi Kikuchi, Akira Dojimaru and Chihaya.
Councilor Fujita is a current member and former director of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense. In this function he questioned 9/11 three times in parliament. Fujita claims that 9/11, as the main reason for the “War on Terror,” needs to be newly investigated in order to find peaceful solutions.
On April 8 there was a formal reception on the occasion of the publishing of Mr. Fujita’s book at the Tokyo Dome Hotel.
The event was organized and promoted by a large group of Mr. Fujita’s supporters including the Chairman of the daily newspaper Japan Times, several leading representatives of the Democratic Party and several business executives. They hosted the event in honour of Mr. Fujita.
Yumi Kikuchi, a well known peace and 9/11 activist, first presented a video lecture that had been prepared by co-author of the book, Akira Dojimaru, who lives in Spain and was not present at the event. The presentation explained in great detail the numerous main points that completely contradict the official 9/11 account of the US administration and the mainstream media. It was made clear that 9/11 is used to constantly justify wars.
Takao Iwami,… Continue reading
April 23, 2009
Let Sibel Edmonds Speak
Sibel gave a 75-min interview to Electric Politics on April 10. You can listen
to it here.
Mizgin has an overview of the interview here.
A partial transcript follows:
Heroin, money-laundering and terrorism
Sibel Edmonds: First of all, it has been documented in the past several decades, the importance of narcotics in the Turkish economy, but also the role of Turkish MIT – that is Turkish Intelligence – and the military having an active role. But you’re also looking at the increased role of certain Central Asian countries and the Caucuses, and if you look at some of these regimes, these are the regimes that we have been supporting. Their economies also have become dependent on narcotics, because they have become a major transit – and in some places, for certain countries such as Azerbaijan, they have become major production centers.
After they shut down the casinos in Turkey – around 1998 – many of the large casinos in Turkey which were used to launder a lot of money, that also had to do with the narcotics, they actually moved and relocated to Azerbaijan, and there were several that went to Kazakhstan. So if you go through some of those Central Asian countries and you look at the list of the casinos, and you look at the ownership, you will see mainly Turkish ownership, and these are Turkish holding companies that relocated in 1998 to those countries.
George Kenney:… Continue reading
The conservative german Süddeutsche Zeitung on April 4 published an remarkable article within a series on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of NATO.
excerpts and summary here:
Underground Troops In Nato Countries – Guerilla For The State
It was a secret of many Nato member countries. Underground armies were existing to fight in the case of a Soviet invasion in guerrilla fashion. The trails lead back into the 1950s – NATO is still blocking the facts.
from Jonathan Stock
The article goes in great detail into the history of Gladio, its connections with former german SS troops and plans to blow up bridges and other strategic infrastructures in case of an soviet invasion after WW2. The story the “Stay behind Army” was blown open in 1952 when members of the underground groups informed police and the scandal first made the news. This lead to a politcal uproar when it is revealed that a list of numerous well known german personalities exited who were planned to have been killed in case of an emergency situation. The list included communists as well as social democrats and the state interior minister of the german state of Hessen. Several people were arrested when the list was discovered. German chancellor Adenauer claimed to have not known anything about the activities at the time. The US High Commissioner Walter Donnelly claimed the group was about to be dissolved in the same month when the arrests occurred. The Süddeutsche Zeitung article then reports that after a ruling of the german constitutional court the arrested members were released in the same month.…Continue reading
“It’s time for a second look on the 9/11 events”
By Angela Corrias on April 16, 2009
LONDON (Herald de Paris) – “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Quoting Upton Sinclair, professor David Ray Griffin addressed an attentive audience at the City University of London last Tuesday for almost three hours in the first of the ten appointments of his European tour entitled “9/11: Time for a Second Look,” a second and deeper look at the events that eight years ago cost almost 3,000 american citizens their lives, and that were used as the root cause to wage war to Afghanistan first and among the excuses for the invasion of Iraq.
Since 2003, hundreds between scholars, engineers, architects, political and religious leaders, lawyers, medical professionals, pilots, senior military and intelligence officers, firefighters, artists and media professionals from all over the world have joined him in his call for an unflinching investigation over the 9/11 attacks since, he maintains, the explanations provided by the Bush/Cheney administration are inconsistent and false.
Griffin pointed out that since 2001 the only investigations were carried out by agencies aligned with and employed by the Bush/Cheney administration, such as the NIST, and that their findings are in striking contrast with the results of independent researchers and experts, making an independent investigation essential to establish what really happened and who is behind 9/11 attacks.
Recently, independent researchers have brought to light the presence… Continue reading
As the History Commons e-mail returns after a break, one of the busiest projects
this week was the Loss of Civil Liberties Timeline. It has more about previously-
and still-secret memos from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel
about the Geneva Conventions, rendition, and detainees. Some of the OLC’s
memos were later withdrawn, because of the “doubtful nature” of
Another active project was the Detainee Abuse Timeline, where a contributor
has added material about Binyam Mohamed, a British resident captured in Pakistan
in 2002 and then held in Morocco, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo, before his release
early this year.
In the International Relations Timeline we have new entries about the International
Criminal Court, the Bush administration’s lack of interest in multilateral
cooperation, and, believe it or not, George W. Bush’s sense of Vladimir
Contributors to the US Military Timeline have more about forthcoming weapons
cuts, the return of fallen soldiers’ remains to Dover Air Force Base,
and missile defense.
A contributor to the Iraq Occupation Timeline has added entries about the blocked
confirmation of the new US ambassador, as well as Colin Powell’s feelings
about being unable to find those pesky WMD.
Finally, in the Domestic Propaganda and Military Analysts Timeline a contributor
highlights praise on Fox News from retired General Thomas McInerney for a defunded
fighter. McInerney previously lobbied for the fighter’s manufacturer.
The History Commons needs funding to continue its operations, including… Continue reading
April 13, 2009
Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales
and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture
Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge.
The six defendants–in addition to Gonzales, Federal
Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University
of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John
Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William
J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington,
and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith–are accused of having
given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S.
detention in “the war on terror.” The case arises in the context of a pending
proceeding before the court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards
formerly held at Guantánamo. A group of human-rights lawyers originally
filed a criminal complaint asking the court to look at the possibility of charges
against the six American lawyers.… Continue reading
By Elaine Jarvik
Tiny red and gray chips found in the dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center contain highly explosive materials — proof, according to a former BYU professor, that 9/11 is still a sinister mystery.
Physicist Steven E. Jones, who retired from Brigham Young University in 2006 after the school recoiled from the controversy surrounding his 9/11 theories, is one of nine authors on a paper published last week in the online, peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal. Also listed as authors are BYU physics professor Jeffrey Farrer and a professor of nanochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
For several years, Jones has theorized that pre-positioned explosives, not fires from jet fuel, caused the rapid, symmetrical collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings, plus the collapse of a third building, WTC-7.
The newest research, according to the journal authors, shows that dust from the collapsing towers contained a “nano-thermite” material that is highly explosive. Although the article draws no conclusions about the source and purpose of the explosives, Jones has previously supported a theory that the collapse of the WTC towers was part of a government conspiracy to ignore warnings about the 9/11 terrorists so that the attack would propel America to wage war against Afghanistan and Iraq.
The next step, Jones said in a phone interview on Monday, is for someone to investigate “who made the stuff and why it was there.”
A layer of dust lay over parts of Manhattan… Continue reading
Explosives Found in World Trade Center Dust: Scientists Discover Both Residues And Unignited Fragments Of High-Tech Metal Incendiaries In Debris From the Twin Towers – A non-technical guide to the newly published paper explaining the identification of nano-engineered explosive materials in dust from the Twin Towers
Introduction – The scientific paper Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe conclusively shows the presence of unignited aluminothermic explosives in dust samples from the Twin Towers, whose chemical signature matches previously documented aluminothermic residues found in the same dust samples. The present review of the paper and related research is intended to summarize those findings for the non-technical reader. To that end, I first provide a short introduction to the subject of aluminothermic explosives, then outline the methods and results of analysis of the dust samples, and finally explore the significance of these findings.
Wake Up and Smell the Aluminothermic Nanocomposite Explosives: As Documentation of Thermitic Materials in the WTC Twin Towers Grows, Official Story Backers Ignore, Deny, Evade, and Dissemble – A detailed record of the development of bodies of evidence showing the use of aluminothermic pyrotechnics
Introduction – The obliteration of the Twin Towers was the centerpiece of the event that launched the ‘War on Terror’. Shocking on multiple levels, the events were especially traumatic for Americans, being the first bombing on the US mainland in modern history that killed thousands of people — civilians — in one day. Given the collective psychological trauma of the attack, it is not surprising that public discourse would remain free of observations that the destruction of the Twin Towers bore obvious features of controlled demolitions.…Continue reading
April 1, 2009
By Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque – Chris-floyd.com
Here’s a purely hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you were a dedicated imperial militarist who believed that your country’s security, prestige and financial interests could best be served by war and the ever-present threat of war. Let’s say you had some really hot and juicy operations going on, endless deadly conflicts that were pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into your war machine and entrenching national policy even more deeply in the militarist philosophy — the machtpolitik – that you believe in.
But there’s a problem. The general public — the cow-like herd out there that doesn’t understand grand strategy the way you and your fellow elites do — is growing weary, and wary, of your Long War. The national treasury is bankrupt, the national infrastructure is rotting, the nation’s communities are dying; millions of people are out of work, losing their homes, losing their dreams, spiraling down into want, privation and despair. Yet you have big plans to escalate the war, expand your war machine, and maintain the global dominance that you believe is the right and natural role for your special nation — and its elites. What to do? How to galvanize the truculent, self-absorbed herd into enthusiastically supporting your vital agenda once more?
Well, here’s one purely hypothetical approach you might try. You goad and provoke violent extremist groups into retaliating against your attacks, your civilian-slaughtering invasions and incursions into their territory. Being unable to confront directly your… Continue reading
By Matt Corley
In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross asked investigative journalist Seymour Hersh if, as he continues to investigate the Bush administration, “more people” were “coming forward” to talk to him now that “the president and vice president are no longer in power.” Hersh replied that though “a lot of people that had told me in the last year of Bush, ‘call me next, next February,’ not many people had talked to him. He implied that they were still scared of Cheney.
“Are you saying that you think Vice President Cheney is still having a chilling effect on people who might otherwise be coming forward,” asked Gross. “I’ll make it worse,” answered Hersh, adding that he believes Cheney “put people back” in government to “stay behind” in order to “tell him what’s going on” and perhaps even “do sabotage”:
HERSH: I’ll make it worse. I think he’s put people left. He’s put people back. They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind… Continue reading
More Than 20 Types Of War Crimes Against Children Ascribed To Ex-President Bush In Iraq And Afghanistan
Monday, 23 March 2009
Press Release: Sherwood Ross
Scoop World Independent News
Torture has received the most attention among the many war crimes of the Bush administration. But those who support Bush’s pursuit of the “war on terror” have not been impressed by recriminations over torture. Worse than torture are the murders of at least 50 prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo, but again the hard-hearted are unimpressed when those whom they perceive as terrorists receive illegal extrajudicial capital punishment.
The case for abusing children, however, is more difficult to support. The best kept secret of the Bush’s war crimes is that thousands of children have been imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise denied rights under the Geneva Conventions and related international agreements. Yet both Congress and the media have strangely failed to identify the very existence of child prisoners as a war crime. In the Islamic world, however, there is no such silence. Indeed, the prophet Mohammed was the first to counsel warriors not to harm innocent children.
From jailing children together with adults in prisons where they were raped to failing to notify their parents of their arrest, the U.S. committed numerous war crimes against children in Afghanistan and Iraq, a new book on President Bush states.
“American guards videotaped Iraqi male prisoners raping young boys but took no action to stop the offenses (and) children in Abu Ghraib were deliberately frightened by dogs,” writes political scientist Michael Haas in his new book, George W.…Continue reading
Wednesday – Britain warns of growing terrorism threat
March 25, 2009
Britain warned of a growing terrorist risk from chemical,
biological and radiological weapons and pinpointed al Qaeda in Pakistan
as a key threat as it revamped its national security strategy.
… Britain has been a target for Islamist militants since it joined the United
States in invading Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In 2005, suicide bombings in London killed 52 people.
Between 2001 and 2008, more than 200 people were convicted of terrorism related
offences, and the national threat level remains at its second highest level
of “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely. [Read
the rest ... ]
by Kenneth J. Theisen
28 March 2009
President Barack Obama continued with his latest escalation of the war in Afghanistan
by announcing his plans to send an additional 4,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan
to train Afghan government puppet forces. He also announced plans to send hundreds
of diplomats and civilian officials to the country, in what Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton called an “integrated military-civilian strategy”.
Like his predecessor George W. Bush, Obama raised the specter of “terrorism”
to justify his actions.
Obama stated that, “If the Afghanistan government falls to the Taliban
or allows al-Qaida to go unchallenged, that country will again be a base for
terrorists.” Obama warned that the al-Qaida “terrorists” were
actively planning further attacks on the U.S. from havens in Pakistan. He stated,
“So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and
focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan,
and to prevent their return to either country in the future.” He went on
to claim, “That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that
could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the
same: we will defeat you.” Does this sound a little too much like Bush’s
excuse for the initial invasion in 2001? I was waiting to hear Obama say, “bring
This latest escalation builds on Obama’s previously announced plan to
send 17,000 troops to that war-torn country. President George… Continue reading
Waterboarding, Rough Interrogation of Abu Zubaida Produced False Leads, Officials
By Peter Finn and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 29, 2009; A01
When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to
waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced that
they had in their custody an al-Qaeda leader who knew details of operations
yet to be unleashed, and they were facing increasing pressure from the White
House to get those secrets out of him.
The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda
terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.
In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of
Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials
who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through
the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information
from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was
obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.
Moreover, within weeks of his capture, U.S. officials had gained evidence that
made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. President George W. Bush had publicly
described him as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations,” and other top officials
called him a “trusted associate” of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.
Abu Zubaida was not even an official member… Continue reading