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
This week marks the beginning of the 7th year of the US war on Iraq, we’re 7-1/2 years into bombing Afghanistan, with 17,000+ more troops now headed that way thanks to the changes wrought by a new administration, and we now have US drones bombing Pakistanis at an increased rate …America is outraged, OUTRAGED, that AIG execs got $159 million (or is it now $200+ million?) of our money. Where is the outrage over the fact that we’re still spending $720 million EVERY DAY on this continuing illegal occupation of Iraq? Condoleezza Rice is again spewing nonsense : “We never tried to tie Saddam Hussein to 9/11.” W. is on the speaking circuit (yes, seriously!) talking about his “momentous” years in the Oval Office while hundreds outside the Calgary Chamber of Commerce demand his arrest as a war criminal. Cheney is still declaring victory in Iraq and proclaiming the economy is crashing because “stuff happens .”
And while these “leaders” spin in circles convincing us it’s all necessary and for the good, soldiers and civilians keep dying, keep being wounded, keep losing their homes and any semblance of a life they remember, and ultimately, keep losing hope that this will ever end. In fact, American soldiers are losing all hope to the point they’re killing themselves (and others) in greater numbers than ever. At this point, more soldiers are committing suicide than are being killed in battle (see article below that generated this passionate outcry).
Last… Continue reading
March 19, 2009
By Jennifer Mascia and Jason Grant
On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Iraq,
hundreds of protesters in New York City made it clear on Thursday that while
they welcomed the change in American political leadership, they would not relent
in urging President Obama to accelerate the withdrawal of combat forces from
The protests were perhaps more muted than the massive demonstrations of years
past, but no less fervent.
In Union Square, where about 120 people huddled together under the awning of
a subway station, staying out of the rain, some protesters said that Mr. Obama,
the new president, who as an Illinois state senator had opposed the war, had
continued some of the Bush administration’s most controversial policies.
Debra Sweet, 57, one of the protest organizers, said the Obama administration
had continued the policy of secret renditions of terrorism suspects, and she
called for “righteous anger at this occupation.” Many in the crowd
were high-school students.
“We’re not putting everything on Obama, whether it be hope or condemnation,”
she said of the new president. She said of the high-school students around her:
“They understand they have no voice. They’re too young to vote but
they will be the ones to foot the bill for this war and they know it.”
Another protester, Sonsara Taylor, said she was also angered by American policies
on Gaza and Pakistan and called for the investigation, and possible prosecution,
of members of the Bush administration who argued for the Iraq war.…
Vic Sadot’s latest CD, 9/11 Truth & Justice Songs is now available at the 911TruthStore! Last year Vic traveled from his home in Delaware to Berkeley, and has been singing at peace and justice festivals, participating in TruthAction events with San Francisco truth advocates, and sang Cheney’s in the Bunker last year at a rally for Green Party Presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney.
Have a listen to a sample of Vic’s work at Last FM and you’ll want a copy of this CD — Please support this talented, dedicated truth musician.
Blowback or Bloody Treason
Well, the day was nine-eleven in the year two thousand-one
That’s the day the “war on terror” was officially begun
When 2 planes took down 3 buildings in a scene of “Shock & Awe”
Before they hauled away the rubble, it was a crime scene for the law!
Who had the means? Who had the motive?
Who could do this crime and live?
Who had the opportunity?
Who benefits to what degree?
We need a great detective’s logic!
Forensic facts and laws of physics…
Not “leaps of faith”… Just “steps to reason”
Was it blowback or bloody treason?
Was it blowback or bloody treason?
1 The Ballad of William Rodriguez – The story the World Trade Center janitor of 20 years who suddenly became a Ground Zero rescue hero as he responded… Continue reading
March 11, 2009
Can someone explain to me how 5 suspected members of Al Qaeda (although there is no question regarding KSM) suddenly got their own PR machine from inside Gitmo and at the hands of a military judge, not to mention getting a world stage through which to frighten Americans some more? And the media? Well, they are too well versed in stupid to ask any sensible questions:
“Five Guantánamo prisoners accused in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S. staunchly defended their actions, calling the operation “blessed” and “great” and the accusations against them “badges of honor.”
“You are the last nation that has the right to speak about civilians and killing civilians,” the five said in a response this month to the U.S. government’s war crimes charges.
“You are professional criminals, with all the meaning the words carry,” the response said. “Therefore, we will treat you the same. We will attack you, just like you have attacked us, and whomever initiated the attacks is the guilty party.”
The six-page response from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who plotted the attacks, and four others castigates the actions of the United States and its allies in the Middle East and calls the United States “the terrorist country number one in the world.”‘
Okay, now someone explain the following to me:
1. How did 5 alleged Al Qaeda members come together to form this statement, given that they are being held each in isolation at Gitmo?…Continue reading
by Rachel Oswald
March 10, 2009
Update at bottom: White House not concerned by judge’s actions
The ACLU is angry that a military judge has accepted an incendiary legal pleading filed by five 9/11 suspects, despite President Obama’s order stopping the Guantánamo military commissions and even though attorneys for some of the defendants were unaware of it.
Judge Col. Stephen Henley, the appointed chief trial judge in the case ordered the public release of the legal pleading even though all other legal filings have been kept sealed for months by the military commissions, said the American Civil Liberties Union in a release, adding that the competency of two of the men has not yet been determined.
The Smoking Gun has the released six-page legal pleading here.
“We fight you over defending Muslims, their land, their holy sites, and their religion as a whole,” reads the document.
“Judge Henley apparently doesn’t know what the word ‘halt’ means since he has blatantly defied President Obama’s executive order for an end to the military commissions,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU in a released statement. “The judge’s actions extending the military commissions call into question the true intentions of the Pentagon leadership at a time when the Obama administration is searching for a solution to the disastrous detention policies of the Bush administration.”
Romero adds, “If Defense Secretary Gates allowed the military commissions to proceed, that’s a serious problem; if he didn’t know about this, that’s equally troubling. Moreover,… Continue reading
March 10, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The five detainees at the U.S. Guantánamo Bay
prison camp charged with plotting the September 11 attacks have filed a document
expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting responsibility for the
deaths of nearly 3,000 people, The New York Times reported on Monday.
The document, which the newspaper said may be released publicly on Tuesday,
describes the five men as the “9/11 Shura Council,” and says their
actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document read
to a reporter by an unidentified government official, the report said.
“‘To us,’ the official read, ‘they are not accusations. To us they are
a badge of honor, which we carry with honor,'” the paper said.
The document is titled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine
Accusations,” the military judge at the U.S. Naval base said in a separate
filing, obtained by the Times, that described the detainees’ document.
The document was filed on behalf of the five men, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed,
who has called himself the mastermind of the attacks.
Some of the men had said earlier that they planned the 2001 attacks and that
they wanted to be martyrs. The reason for the new filing, which the report said
reached the military court on March 5, was not clear. The brief court order
describing the filing said the men sought no legal action.
(Writing by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
Excerpts from the statement of five Sept.…Continue reading
VIDEO: “An Unholy Alliance” – Documentary examines CIA and other intelligence agency links to the global drug trade.
Part 2 of 6
Part 3 of 6
Part 4 of 6
Part 5 of 6
Part 6 of 6
In 1996, directors Chris Hilton and David Roberts released “An Unholy Alliance” as the second part of a trilogy of documentaries dealing with the global drug trade; with a focus on heroin and opium. The documentary offers a valuable history of the drug trade, with much rare footage, including footage of CIA favorite, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Since Hekmatyar is back in the news, now is an important time to remind people of Hekmatyar’s dubious past, and his links to the heroin industry in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The CIA and the Afghan Arabs
An Unholy Alliance starts off in Peshawar, which was a major hub of activity for the CIA and the ISI, as they deployed the Afghan Mujahadin in a proxy war against the Soviet Union, beginning in 1979. Since the 1980s, CIA apologists like Peter Bergen, and former CIA station chief Milton Bearden have claimed that the CIA never directly trained the Mujahidin and the associated Arabic recruits;
Peter Bergen: “While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of gray. The… Continue reading
By Debra Sweet
March 3, 2009
Barack Obama said last Tuesday night to Congress, ‘I will not allow terrorists
to plot against the American people from safe havens halfway around the world.
We will not allow it.‘
I wonder how people in the Middle East felt hearing that, having been bombed
as if they are terrorists for most of this decade, either directly by US planes,
or with US made weapons, as in Gaza? An Iraqi in Sikrit, said, “In fact,
the US forces achieved one thing: That is destroying Iraq … We hope that
the US soldiers will leave our country sooner rather than later in order to
put an end to the bloodiest pages in Iraq’s history.’
The US Defense Department is finally allowing the news media to photograph
caskets and funerals of US military, even as Robert Gates and the generals in
charge are warning that the next year, with 17,000 more US troops going into
Afghanistan, is going to be very “rough.’
Thursday, Obama announced plans to remove some troops from Iraq over a 19 month
period, unless the generals advise him otherwise. The remaining 30,000
to 50,000 troops will be re-named “advisors’ and stay indefinitely; the 17 US
bases will remain in US control.
Those who are breathing a sigh of relief that US troops are being slowly removed
from Iraq should stop and realize that this is part of an overall strategy to
deepen and strengthen, not end, US domination of… Continue reading
Liberal Leaders Betray Antiwar Cause To Serve Dems and Obama — Again
by John Walsh
February 25th, 2009
In the Wall Street Journal of January 24, the loathsome McCarthyite neocon David Horowitz gazed approvingly on the inauguration of Barack Obama. To Horowitz it meant the removal of an obstacle to war. Thus he wrote:
Consider: When President Obama commits this nation to war against the Islamic terrorists, as he already has in Afghanistan, he will take millions of previously alienated and disaffected Americans with him, and they will support our troops in a way that most of his party has refused to support them until now. When another liberal, Bill Clinton went to war from the air, there was no anti-war movement in the streets or in his party’s ranks to oppose him. That is an encouraging fact for us . . .
Horowitz is now locked in fast embrace with Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor in chief of The Nation and Leslie Cagan and her cohorts at United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ). Vanden Heuvel’s most recent piece in The Nation runs under a title in the form of a query, “Obama’s War?” Whose war does she think it is anyway? Even the mainstream media calls it Obama’s war — sans question mark. Her piece ran shortly after Obama ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan and almost a month after both Afghan and Pakistani civilians were first bombed at Obama’s orders. She concludes her piece, after citing the deployment of additional troops, “Up to this point the Afghan war belonged to George W.…Continue reading
We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.
UPDATE 2/27/09 6pm: In response to the many email questions we’ve received asking why we have not endorsed this call for a Special Prosecutor: On 2/24, when this statement/petition was posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, 911truth.org immediately signed on as an endorsing organization via the signup at that site. As of now, our name does not appear on that list. Nonetheless, we did submit endorsement. We are not, yet, encouraging 9/11 truth advocates to politely contact David Swanson asking him why he would permanently post a video statement from Willie Rodriguez on the front page of his site, yet continue to ignore/ban the burgeoning 9/11 truth movement from being heard as the powerful voice we are, in calling for truth and accountability. We believe that Mr. Swanson is acting in good faith, all in all, and will post our endorsement with the others on the list shortly.
Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations.…Continue reading
by Michael Hasty
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
One of the central elements of Mahatma Gandhi’s strategy to free the Indian
people from British colonialism was what he called “satyagraha,” a Sanskrit
word that is most often translated as “truth force.” What he meant by this was
that those who seek justice should embody the truth in their actions.
The strongest element in the campaign for 9/11 truth is the very fact that we
have truth on our side (and however “9/11 truth” became the consensus slogan
of the movement, it was brilliant marketing). Seven years of independent research
and investigation by thousands of concerned patriots, expert and amateur alike,
have turned up enough evidence to make the official story of what happened on
September 11, 2001, look highly implausible–and prosecutable.
Up to this point, most of the efforts of the 9/11 truth movement have been geared
to educating the general public about the facts that refute the official story–the
mysterious inaction of the US military; the inscrutable behavior of the chain
of command, from Bush on down; the weird “coincidences” in both airline and
World Trade Center security; the unexplained global stock trades on companies
affected by the attacks; the deliberate confusion of US intelligence; the official
attempts to hide the truth, from destroyed video and audio tapes, to manipulation
of data in government reports, to profligate use of the “state secrets” privilege;
and perhaps most important, the physical evidence, now in the hands of independent
scientists, of controlled demolition of the World Trade Center.…
Stop US Occupations & Torture for Empire!
No Wars on Iran, Pakistan, Gaza!
The world can’t wait!
Come OUT to the first national protest of the wars under President Obama
THURSDAY March 19 leave work & school to PROTEST the 6th anniversary
of the Iraq War.
SATURDAY March 21 at the Pentagon.
Barack Obama says he will:
* leave 80,000 troops, thousands of private contractors, and 17 permanent
bases in Iraq;
* send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan , leading to more killings of civilians;
* keep sending robot drones over Pakistan, killing more civilians;
* deploy nuclear carriers with enough firepower to annihilate any country in
* support the Israeli siege on Gaza;
* keep in place the “secret rendition” program which Bush used to
* keep the government spying on citizens and continue Bush’s “state
* increase the U.S. military by 92,000 troops, sending more to die for empire;
* refuse to investigate & prosecute the war and torture crimes of the Bush
The election of the first black president is effectively re-branding preemptive
and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them, enlisting us
to “serve and sacrifice” for horrors we have no good reason to support.
The U.S. war on Afghanistan is an unjust war of aggression–the supreme
war crime, waged not to bring democracy and liberation to the Afghan
people, but to control Afghanistan with the goal of permanent domination of
the Middle East.… Continue reading
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
IMAGE OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY AND FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
appeared on the bills distributed in Kennard.
February 17, 2009
By Matt Hrodey
KENNARD – James Dudley found something he didn’t expect when he walked out
to get his Monday edition of The Courier-Times.
Sitting on top of his paper was a fake, oversized bill bearing the faces of
former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former President George W. Bush. Instead
of a dollar amount, the bill was marked "9-11."
The realistic feel and color of the note impressed Dudley, who said it felt
like a new bill freshly released from an ATM. It bore words at the top reading
"Fraudulent Event Note," ones at the bottom saying "One Deception"
and several Web site addresses.
Cause stir in Kennard
Charles Millis, another recipient of the bill, was moderately impressed by
its realism. "It’s fairly realistic," he said. Millis called a couple
people he knew who lived on the south side of town, but they hadn’t gotten anything
like the "9-11" dollar with their newspaper.
Managing Editor Randy Rendfeld said the newspaper didn’t deliver the bills,
which had also found their way into several other newspaper boxes in Kennard.
So where did they come from?
He lives in Kennard and said he… Continue reading
By Jill Lawrence
February 16, 2009
WASHINGTON – Even as Americans struggle with two wars and an economy in
tatters, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds majorities in favor of investigating
some of the thorniest unfinished business from the Bush administration: Whether
its tactics in the “war on terror” broke the law.
to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations
that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program
of wiretapping U.S. citizens without getting warrants. Almost four in 10 favor
criminal investigations and about a quarter want investigations without criminal
charges. One-third said they want nothing to be done.
Even more people want action on alleged attempts by the Bush team to use the
Justice Department for political purposes. Four in 10 favored a criminal probe,
three in 10 an independent panel, and 25% neither.
The ACLU and other groups are pressing for inquiries into whether the Bush
administration violated U.S. and international bans on torture and the constitutional
right to privacy. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and his Senate counterpart,
Patrick Leahy, have proposed commissions to investigate.
Asked Monday about Leahy’s plan, President Obama said he would look at it.
He added, “my general orientation is to say, let’s get it right moving
forward.” Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have declined to rule
out prosecutions. Leon Panetta, named to head the CIA, said this month that
CIA officers… Continue reading
by Stephen C. Webster
February 12, 2009
Three major human rights organizations have declared the Department of Defense was running secret prisons at Bagram and in Iraq, actively sought ways around the terms of the Geneva conventions and cooperated with the CIA’s “ghost detention” program which saw prisoners hidden from Red Cross oversight.
The arrival of the documents comes on the same day the ACLU published two unredacted pages of a government report which reveals detainees in US custody were tortured to death.
“These newly released documents confirm our suspicion that the tentacles of the CIA’s abusive program reached across agency lines,” said Margaret Satterthwaite, Director of the NYU International Human Rights Clinic, in a Thursday advisory. “In fact, it is increasingly obvious that defense officials engaged in legal gymnastics to find ways to cooperate with the CIA’s activities. A full accounting of all agencies must now take place to ensure that future abuses don’t continue under a different guise.”
The papers, part of a volley of responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, were released by Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.
“One heavily redacted page mentions (PDF, page 34) an ‘undisclosed detention facility’ at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan,” he noted.
“Another, dated May 2004,… Continue reading