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Afghanistan

Welcome to Orwell’s World

Obama’s lies over the Afghanistan war remind us of the lessons of Nineteen Eighty-Four

by John Pilger
The New Statesman

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”

Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the US has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”

In Oceania, truth and lies are indivisible. According to Obama, the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorised by the United Nations Security Council. There was no UN authority. He said that “the world” supported the invasion in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks. In truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. He said that America invaded Afghanistan “only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden”. In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over Bin Laden for trial, Pakistan’s military regime reported, and they were ignored.

“Hearts and minds”

Even Obama’s mystification of the 9/11… Continue reading

Is Anyone Telling Us the Truth?

January 08, 2010
by Paul Craig Roberts
Information ClearingHouse.info

Photo of Paul Craig RobertsWhat are we to make of the failed Underwear Bomber plot, the Toothpaste, Shampoo, and Bottled Water Bomber plot, and the Shoe Bomber plot? These blundering and implausible plots to bring down an airliner seem far removed from al-Qaida’s expertise in pulling off 9/11.

If we are to believe the U.S. government, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged al-Qaida “mastermind” behind 9/11, outwitted the CIA, the NSA, indeed all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as well as those of all U.S. allies including Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, Air Traffic Control, Airport Security four times on one morning, and Dick Cheney, and with untrained and inexperienced pilots pulled off skilled piloting feats of crashing hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers, and the Pentagon, where a battery of state of the art air defenses somehow failed to function.

After such amazing success, al-Qaida would have attracted the best minds in the business, but, instead, it has been reduced to amateur stunts.

The Underwear Bomb plot is being played to the hilt on the TV media and especially on Fox “news.” After reading recently that The Washington Post allowed a lobbyist to write a news story that preached the lobbyist’s interest, I wondered if the manufacturers of full body scanners were behind the heavy coverage of the Underwear Bomber, if not behind the plot itself. In America, everything is for sale. Integrity is gone with the wind.

Recently I read a column by an author who has a “convenience theory” about the Underwear Bomber being a Nigerian allegedly trained by al-Qaida in Yemen.…

Continue reading

Counterterrorism in Shambles; Why?

January 6, 2010
by Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley
CommonDreams.org

Yesterday, a blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.

Two other old intelligence hands were asked the identical questions, queries that are typical of what radio/TV and blogger interviewers usually think to be the right ones. So there is merit in trying to answer them directly, such as they are, and then broadening the response to address some of the core problems confronting U.S. counter-terror strategies.

After drafting his answers, McGovern asked former FBI attorney/special agent Coleen Rowley, a colleague in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to review his responses and add her own comments at the end. The Q & A is below:

Question #1 – What lapses in the American counter terrorism apparatus made the Christmas Day bombing plot possible? Is it inevitable that certain plots will succeed?

The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that “certain plots will succeed.” A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, “why they hate us.”

If we don’t go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any

“counter terrorism apparatus” is doomed to failure.… Continue reading

‘Obama Has Kept the Machine Set on Kill’ — Allan Nairn Reviews Obama’s First Year in Office

January 6, 2010
DemocracyNow.org Nairn-democracynow

In an extended interview, award-winning journalist and activist Allan Nairn looks back over the Obama administration’s foreign policy and national security decisions over the last twelve months. “I think Obama should be remembered as a great man because of the blow he struck against white racism,” Nairn says. “But once he became president…Obama became a murderer and a terrorist, because the US has a machine that spans the globe, that has the capacity to kill, and Obama has kept it set on kill. He could have flipped the switch and turned it off…but he chose not to do so.” He continues, “In fact, as far as one can tell, Obama seems to have killed more civilians during his first year than Bush did in his first year, and maybe even than Bush killed in his final year.”

LISTEN
WATCH

Guest: Allan Nairn, award-winning journalist and activist.
Website: News and Comment (www.allannairn.com)

ANJALI KAMAT: On Tuesday, President Obama made another statement on the failure of intelligence agencies to intercept the Christmas Day plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight. He said the US government had the necessary information to stop the twenty-three-year-old Nigerian suspect from boarding the Detroit-bound flight, but he excoriated the intelligence community for failing to connect the dots in time.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will accept that intelligence, by its nature, is imperfect. But it is increasingly clear that intelligence was not fully analyzed… Continue reading

Suicide claims more US military lives than Afghan war

By James Cogan
6 January 2010
World
Socialist Web Site

American military personnel are continuing to take their own lives in unprecedented
numbers, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wars drag on. By late November,
at least 334 members of the armed forces had committed suicide in 2009, more
than the 319 who were killed in Afghanistan or the 150 who died in Iraq. While
a final figure is not available, the toll of military suicides last year was
the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.

The Army, National Guard and Army Reserve lost at least 211 personnel to suicide.
More than half of those who took their lives had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Army suicide rate of 20.2 per 100,000 personnel is higher than that registered
among males aged 19 to 29, the gender age bracket with the highest rate among
the general population. Before 2001, the Army rarely suffered 10 suicides per
100,000 soldiers.

The Navy lost at least 47 active duty personnel in 2009, the Air Force 34 and
the Marine Corp, which has been flung into some of the bloodiest fighting in
Iraq and Afghanistan, 42. The Marine suicide rate has soared since 2001 from
12 to at least 19.5 per 100,000.

For every death, at least five members of the armed forces were hospitalised
for attempting to take their life. According to the Navy Times, 2 percent of
Army; 2.3 percent of Marines and 3 percent of Navy… Continue reading

More Censored News

The Hyperrealilty of a Failing Corporate Media System

By Andrew Hobbs and Peter Phillips

Hyperreality is the inability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Corporate media, Fox in particular, offers news that creates a hyperreality of real world problems and issues. Consumers of corporate television news–especially those whose understandings are framed primarily from that medium alone–are embedded in a state of excited delirium and knowinglessness.

Corporate Media hasn’t acted as a cohesive, protective “fourth estate” in several decades, instead gilding lilies such as the Iraq war, torture and the true extent of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. Contemporary corporate news is best seen in a post-modern context of hyperreality. The news from US networks is based on the presentations of partially factual stories framed inside socio-emotional story lines that juxtapose “evil” with patriotism and Christian fervor. There are multiple examples of this, but we will examine two distinct cases.

The bias towards hyperreality inherent in modern media is so rampant, consumers only need turn on the TV to be exposed to the spin. Two notorious, controversial modern figures will be examined here to explain what we mean by a hyperreality of knowinglessness. News coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh are unique examples, primarily because of their perceived opposing views and their unapparent similarities. But they are similar in that both should have little operable relevance to American policy, at least domestically, as one is an entertainer and the other is the leader of another country.…

Continue reading

One Day We’ll All be Terrorists

by Chris Hedges
Truthdig.com

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements–who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism–have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous… Continue reading

Federal Judge in Germany: Numerous 9/11 Theories Screaming For Investigation

Afghanistan War – Right to Self Defense Highly Questionable

December, 15, 2009
http://www.911video.de/news/151209/indexen.html

Federal Judge Dieter Deiseroth: It is very unfortunate that
the media are not prepared to face the issue of 9/11 and ask the unanswered
questions

Question: Do you think the proposal of an independent 9/11
investigation is realistic?

Judge Dieter Deiseroth: I think the suggestion is reasonable
and necessary. Because the official investigation is the central justification
for the war ( “Operation Enduring Freedom”) and for serious alterations of the
U.S. legal system under the so-called homeland security legislation.

Question: This should be difficult because neither politics
nor the big media, dare to critically question the official version of 9/11.

Judge Dieter Deiseroth: If the official story of 9/11 is further
effectively disseminated by all governments – then it is very costly and difficult
because of the effect of solidified public opinion to question it . A major
research effort is needed and extensive research, time and monetary resources
must be available, which is difficult in a time when resources in the newsrooms
are being cut down.

But then after all, even the construct of lies to justify the Iraq war was brought
down. We now know that the Bush administration, in terms of credibility and veracity,
was anything but trustworthy. It is unfortunate that many within the media,
are still not sufficiently prepared to face the issue of 9 / 11 and the open
unanswered questions . Maybe also because of the abyss that becomes clear… Continue reading

911TruthStore Orders – Deadline for Christmas Holiday

Our 911TruthStore is closing soon. Cover image of Into the Buzzsaw by Borjesson Please have a look at what’s left in inventory, and if you are interested in any of these items and wish to give them as gifts or share with family at the holidays, order right away.The deadline for pre-Christmas delivery is 12/16 if you wish to use Priority Mail; 12/23 if you pay for USPS overnight shipping.

There is one more item available, in addition to what’s at the store … we have just received a few brand new copies of Kristina Borjesson’s excellent 2004 book, “Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press”. Although I’ve not yet added it to the store website, they are available. Please email me to order, with BOOK ORDER in the subject line. If you’re wondering why we can’t “break through” the corporate media, you’ll understand clearly after reading this expose! The book description follows below.


EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Editor’s (Borjesson) Note: While working in what has been, arguably, the most difficult reporting environment in recent times, CBS’s Dan Rather chose to speak out frankly to BBC Newsnight correspondent Madeleine Holt about the serious and dangerous constraints that he and his colleagues have experienced in the post-9/11 era. I know of no other working broadcast journalist of Rather’s long experience and stature who has been willing to go on the record in such a significant way about these matters.

BBC NEWSNIGHT, MAY 16, 2002

Holt: How much of a challenge professionally has covering September… Continue reading

Breaking Through a Wall of Police Protection for International Crime

The Trial of Splitting the Sky as a Trial of the Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld Cabal of War Profiteers

by Anthony J. Hall,
Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
December 3rd, 2009
printable version (pdf)

Who and what is on trial ?

Photo of Splitting the Sky attempting to break through police lines When Splitting the Sky broke through police lines in his attempt to conduct a citizen’s arrest of former US President, George W. Bush, the Mohawk Freedom Fighter pierced a thick wall of tyranny. He broke through a tight phalanx of state protection for the perpetrators of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Crimes Against the Peace.

With his courageous act, Splitting the Sky announced the unwillingness of millions of global citizens to tolerate any longer the culture of impunity that places a small, interlinked global plutocracy above the law. By breaking police lines, the Attica Brother and American Indian Movement activist scouted a route of liberation for those of us seeking to get out from under the weight of complicity in International Crime committed in our name. We are all deeply implicated in the state terror permeating the 9/11wars because it is our tax dollars that fund these imperial assaults.

Splitting the Sky’s action in Calgary highlights the abject failure of law enforcement agencies to do their job. It highlights the unwillingness of police and those who direct them to apply the law equitably and independently.

When he broke through police lines last march, Splitting the Sky built on the message of Muntadarar al-Zaidi, the Baghdad journalist who… Continue reading

Richard Gage’s Auckland Presentation Silences the Debunkers

December 1, 2009
Clareswinney.wordpress.com

On Monday the 30th of November, Richard Richard Gage, AIAGage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, gave his third and final presentation in New Zealand on the Hard Evidence Down Under Tour, to an audience of 143 in Auckland, at the Trades Hall in Grey Lynn.

Says Martin Hanson who had also attended Gage’s Wellington presentation of the 21st of November, which had had over 630 attendees, “The Trades Hall was full except for two or three empty seats.”

The event began shortly after 6pm and lasted for 3 hours. A show of hands at the beginning indicated that the audience was comprised largely of people who already knew the official story of 9/11 was a hoax. Only 11 indicated that they believed the WTC buildings were brought down by jet fuel and fires, while 18 indicated they were unsure.

Evan Ward, who was recording the event said: “Richard Gage was very professional. The presentation was down-to-earth and in layman’s language, so the information was accessible to most anybody.” Ward, who has been investigating the evidence of 9/11 for approximately 3 years, said he also had learnt something new.

Brian Reiersen, who was in the audience offers: “The information Gage presented was very hard to argue with. It was very, very good. I couldn’t fault what he had to say and any reasonable person shown this on TV would realise, given the free-fall nature of the collapses, that the Twin Towers and Building 7 of the World… Continue reading

New Executive Order Aims to Avoid Declass Deadline

by Steven Aftergood
November 23rd, 2009
Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy’s Secrecy News

Development of a new executive order on classification of national security information is now proceeding at an accelerated pace in order to preempt a deadline that would require the declassification of millions of pages of historical records next month.

A revised draft executive order was circulated to executive branch agencies by the Office of Management and Budget on November 16, with agency comments due back today, November 23. A final order is likely to be issued by the end of this year.

There is an incentive to complete the development of the executive order before December 31, 2009 because of a deadline for declassification of historical records that falls on that date. Under the current Bush executive order, classified records that are at least 25 years old and that have been referred from one agency to another because they involve multiple agency interests are supposed to be automatically declassified at the end of this year. (See E.O. 13292, section 3.3(e)(3)).

But in order to meet this December deadline, several agencies would have to forgo a review of the affected historical records, which they are unwilling to do. And so it seems they will simply be excused from compliance. But in order to modify the deadline in the Bush order, it will be necessary to issue another executive order. If the comprehensive new Obama order on classification policy (which would assign processing of such records to a National Declassification Center that does not yet exist) is not ready for release by December 31, then another stand-alone order would have to be issued, canceling or extending the looming deadline.…

Continue reading

NYC 9/11 Trial Will Shine the Lights on the Roots of Terrorism

By Ray McGovern
November 17, 2009
Consortium News

As Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators go to trial, the corporate media’s embargo on the truth about the Bush years will be under great strain.

Media commentary on the upcoming 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has raised concern that state secrets may be divulged, including details about how the Bush administration used torture to extract evidence about al-Qaeda.

“I think that we’re going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don’t want to look at” is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.

No problem, says Attorney General Eric Holder, who claims to have “great confidence” that other evidence — apart from what may have been gleaned from the 183 times Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, for example — will suffice to convict him.

Maybe so, But what the Fawning Corporate Media (or FCM) have so far neglected is the likelihood that the testimony will be so public that they will have to break their studied silence about why Sheikh Mohammed and his associates say they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.

For reasons that are painfully obvious, the FCM have done their best to ignore or bury the role that Israel’s repression of the Palestinians has played in motivating the 9/11 attacks and other anti-Western terrorism.

It is not like there is no evidence on this key issue. Rather, it appears that the Israel-Palestine connection is pretty much kept off limits for discussion.…

Continue reading

CIA paid millions of dollars to ISI since 9/11: Report

IANS
Times of India

LOS ANGELES: The CIA has paid millions of dollars to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) since 9/11, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency’s annual budget, says a media report.

The ISI also collected “tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA programme”, which pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday citing current and former US officials.

An intense debate has been triggered within the US government due to “long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine US efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to al-Qaida members in Pakistan”.

But US officials have continued to make the payments as ISI’s assistance is considered critical: “Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan’s tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence.”

The report went on to say that the payments to Pakistan are authorised under a covert programme initially approved by then president Bush and continued under President Obama.
 

Show Editor’s Note »

The LA Times article mentioned is available here: CIA says it gets its money’s worth from Pakistani spy agency: It has given hundreds of millions to the ISI, for operations as well as rewards for the capture or death of terrorist suspects. Despite fears of corruption, it is money well-spent, ex-officials say.

And for more reading on the ISI connection to 9/11 (and utter failure by the 9/11… Continue reading

Our Terrorists

by Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed
New Internationalist.org

Islamic fundamentalist militants are the enemies of Israel and Western governments, right? Think again. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reports.

Once upon a time, the CIA trained, financed and supported Osama bin Laden and his mujahidin networks in Afghanistan to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the end of the Cold War, bin Laden turned against the West and we no longer had any use for him. His persistent terrorist attacks against us for more than a decade, culminating in 9/11, provoked our own response, in the form of the ‘War on Terror’. This is the official narrative. And it’s false. Not only did Western intelligence services continue to foster Islamist extremist and terrorist groups connected to al-Qaeda after the Cold War; they continued to do so even after 9/11.

The CIA’s jihad

The story begins in the summer of 1979, six months before the Soviet invasion, when the CIA had already begun financing elements of an emerging Islamist mujahidin force inside Afghanistan. The idea, according to former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA Director Robert Gates, was to increase the probability of a Soviet invasion, and entrap ‘the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire’.1

Osama bin Laden arrived in the country later that year, sent by then-Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, where he set up the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) which helped finance, recruit and train mujahidin fighters.2 Bin Laden, the MAK, and the Afghan mujahidin in total received… Continue reading

Pentagon pursuing new investigation into Bush propaganda program

by Brad Jacobson
Thursday, November 5th, 2009
RawStory.com

Image of Pentagon Briefing[Read Part I, Part II and Part III of this series.]

The Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General is conducting a new investigation into a covert Bush administration Defense Department  program that used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage.

Last May, the Inspector General’s office rescinded and repudiated a prior internal investigation’s report on the retired military analyst program, which had been issued by the Bush administration, because it “did not meet accepted quality standards for an Inspector General work product.” Yet in recent interviews with Raw Story, Pentagon officials who took part in the program were still defending it by referencing this invalidated report.

Gary Comerford, Inspector General spokesman for the Defense Department, told Raw Story last week that his office is conducting an investigation into the retired military analyst program and confirmed that the investigation began during the summer.

Asked when his office expects to conclude the investigation, Comerford said, “As a matter of policy we do not set deadlines since any number of variables or factors could result in a delay.”

He did confirm that investigators in his office have read Raw Story’s recent articles on the topic.

Congressman John F. Tierney (D-MA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, issued a press release (cache link) this past June, announcing that Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell had begun the new investigation.

Yet Raw Story and Comerford could find no other news… Continue reading

The Real Intelligence Failure

By Philip Giraldi
November 4, 2009
Campaign for Liberty

Most Americans believe that we are in a terrible dilemma. An increasing number are uncomfortable with the continuing carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan and fearful of the consequences of yet another Middle East war, this time against Iran, but most also believe that our country is threatened by dark forces that seek to destroy us and that extreme measures are justified. Few realize that fear alone is bringing about our transformation into a country driven by constant warfare to the detriment of our constitutional liberties.

Those who believe that a change of course is essential if we are to survive as a nation quite rightly demand the disengagement of the United States from two wars and the avoidance of further conflicts. They understand that the United States has acted unwisely and illegally in its interference in the affairs of others and also that the presence of American military forces all over the world has not made us safer and has in fact served as a catalyst for escalating violence. But those who see the state of the world with such clarity must first convince a majority of their fellow citizens that disengagement is not another word for national suicide. In short, the American people must come to understand that their safety is best assured when our government does not go around the world looking for dragons to slay. A key element in being able to reassure the American people could be… Continue reading

The JFK Assassination: NYTimes Acknowledges CIA Deceptions

by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
October 21, 2009
GlobalResearch.ca

The New York Times, on October 17, published a page-one story by Scott Shane about the CIA’s defiance of a court order to release documents pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination, in its so-called Joannides file. George Joannides was the CIA case officer for a Cuban exile group that made headlines in 1963 by its public engagements with Lee Harvey Oswald, just a few weeks before Oswald allegedly killed Kennedy. For over six years a former Washington Post reporter, Jefferson Morley, has been suing the CIA for the release of these documents.1

Sometimes the way that a news item is reported can be more newsworthy than the item itself. A notorious example was the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers (documents far too detailed for most people to read) on the front page of the New York Times.

The October 17 Times story was another such example. It revealed, perhaps for the first time in any major U.S. newspaper, that the CIA has been deceiving the public about its own relationship to the JFK assassination.

On the Kennedy assassination, the deceptions began in 1964 with the Warren Commission. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Castro and its ties to the anti-Castro Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or Cuban Student Directorate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. support during 1963.

In August 1963, Oswald visited a New Orleans shop owned by a directorate official, feigning sympathy with… Continue reading