By Glenn Greenwald
The ACLU is suing the Obama administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking to force disclosure of the guidelines used by Obama officials to select which human beings (both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals) will have their lives ended by the CIA’s drone attacks (“In particular,” the group explains, the FOIA request “seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing”). The Obama administration has not only refused to provide any of that information, but worse, the CIA is insisting to federal courts that it cannot even confirm or deny the existence of a drone program at all without seriously damaging national security; from the CIA’s brief in response to the ACLU lawsuit:
. . .
What makes this so appalling is not merely that the Obama administration demands the right to kill whomever it wants without having to account to anyone for its actions, choices or even claimed legal authorities, though that’s obviously bad enough (as I wrote when the ACLU lawsuit was commenced: “from a certain perspective, there’s really only one point worth making about all of this: if you think about it, it is warped beyond belief that the ACLU has to sue the U.S. Government in order to force it to disclose its claimed legal and factual bases for assassinating U.S. citizens without charges, trial or due process of… Continue reading
By Eric Lichtblau
WASHINGTON — For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.
Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.
“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.
His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.
Their affidavits, which were filed on Friday and have not previously been disclosed, are part of a multibillion-dollar lawsuit… Continue reading
January 23, 2012
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, January 23, 2012
A former CIA official who publicly confirmed the waterboarding of top Al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was charged Monday with leaking classified information to journalists, including the identities of two CIA officers.
John Kiriakou, who served with the CIA between 1990 and 2004, was charged with violating a law that makes it illegal to disclose the identity of a covert officer, leaking classified information and lying to a CIA publications review board, the department said.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
“Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.
“Today’s charges reinforce the Justice Department’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who would violate the solemn duty not to disclose such sensitive information,” he said in a statement.
Kiriakou first came to public attention in an interview with ABC News in December 2007 in which he became the first US official to describe Abu Zubaydah’s waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning widely viewed as torture.
He acknowledged later in his memoir, however, that he was not present when the interrogation took place.
CIA director David Petraeus said the spy agency had supported the investigation, and reminded CIA employees of their oath to safeguard classified information.
“Given the sensitive nature of many of our agency’s operations and the risks we ask our… Continue reading
By Russ Baker
December 26, 2011
A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.
Here are the recent examples on Iran:
-The claim that Iran is a WMD threat. Pretty much everyone is familiar with the long-term, continuing efforts to paint Iran as some kind of nuclear threat. This ignores the possibility that Iran is telling the truth in contending it is embarked on solely non-military nuclear research (debatable), and serious doubts among many experts that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons. Perhaps most important, it discounts the fact that many countries (including Iran’s arch-enemy Israel) have nuclear weapons, and disregards the undoubted truth that if a country like Iran ever did launch nuclear weapons, it would be wiped out in a nanosecond, creating a very strong disincentive for offensive use. At the same time, by encouraging other countries and internal foes to believe that it has nuclear weapons, Iran creates an inexpensive protective shield for its regime. A dangerous game, to be sure, but without further evidence of Iranian nukes, hardly a reason to launch a war that would surely cause even more death and destruction than the misguided Iraq invasion.
-The claim that Iran tried to hire Mexican drug cartel hit squads to kill a Saudi ambassador on US soil (fizzled). Remember this one? So ludicrous that even ultra-cautious corporate news organizations… Continue reading
By Charlie Savage
November 29, 2011
New York Times
WASHINGTON — Defying the Obama administration’s threat of a veto, the Senate on Tuesday voted to increase the role of the military in imprisoning suspected members of Al Qaeda and its allies — including people arrested inside the United States.
By a vote of 61 to 37, the Senate turned back an effort to strip a major military bill of a set of disputed provisions affecting the handling of terrorism cases. While the legislation still has several steps to go, the vote makes it likely that Congress will eventually send to President Obama’s desk a bill that contains detainee-related provisions his national-security team has said are unacceptable.
The most disputed provision would require the government to place into military custody any suspected member of Al Qaeda or one of its allies connected to a plot against the United States or its allies. The provision would exempt American citizens, but would otherwise extend to arrests on United States soil. The executive branch could issue a waiver and keep such a prisoner in the civilian system.
In recent days, several top national security officials — including the secretary of defense, Leon E. Panetta; the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper; and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, have voiced opposition to the proposal, as have several former counterterrorism officials from the Bush administration.
But among Republican senators, there was nearly unanimous support for keeping the detainee… Continue reading
by Jon Gold
December 20, 2011
Before I begin, I’d like to say that I am neither a fan of Iran, or an opponent of Iran. I just don’t want anymore damn wars.
Recently, a Judge ruled “that Iran was complicit in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, including 18 Bucks County residents.” Here is the evidence according to the article:
Using a team of experts, including former members of the 9/11 Commission, and the testimony of three Iranian defectors, the lawyers put on a four-hour presentation for Daniels on Thursday.
During the hearing, defector Abdolghassem Mesbahi, who was once an aide and close confidant of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder, revealed that he had firsthand knowledge of terrorist plots dating to the 1980s.
Mesbahi, whose identity was kept secret until the hearing, said he knew in August 2001 that there was a plan in place to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings.
Another defector testified that he was with al-Qaida’s second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, when the terrorist attended four days of meetings with top Iranian officials in January 2001 to plan the 9/11 attacks.
The third defector told the judge that he helped write up the debriefing reports of Iran’s al-Qaida liaison, Imad Mugniyeh, after he returned to Iran from Afghanistan following 9/11.
To further prove Iran’s complicity in the attacks, Mellon presented the testimony of Janice Kephart, a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism… Continue reading
Engineering Consent For Attack On Iran
US Court Claims Iranian 9/11 Link
By RT (Russia Today)
December 17, 2011 — A US court has won a default judgement that Iranian officials, including its supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, provided help to the 9/11 hijackers behind the worst terror attack on American soil. The lawsuit was filed by the families of the atrocity’s victims. There was no Iranian representation in court. RT talks to Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.
Iran Accused Of 9/11 Role
By Fox News
May 20, 2011 “Fox News” — NEW YORK: Two defectors from Iran’s intelligence service have testified that Iranian officials knew in advance about the attacks of September 11, 2001, says a US court filing that seeks damages for Iran’s “direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history”.
Iran Accused Of September 11 Role To Plan, Train & Escape WTC Attacks 21/5/11:
One of the defectors also claimed that Iran was involved in designing the attacks, the filing said. The defectors’ identities and testimony were not revealed in the filing but were being submitted to a judge under seal, said lawyers who brought the original suit against Iran on behalf of families of dozens of September 11 victims.
The suit says Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group with close ties to Tehran, helped al-Qaeda with planning the attacks and with the hijackers’ training and travel. After the attacks, the suit says, Iran and Hezbollah helped al-Qaeda operatives and their families to escape, in some cases providing them with a safe haven in Iran.…Continue reading
December 13, 2011
By politicizing who is and who is not a “terrorist” — pinning the label on American adversaries and sparing purported American friends — the U.S. government created confusion at FBI headquarters that contributed to the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks, reports ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
By Coleen Rowley
Glenn Greenwald’s critique — regarding the recent U.S. indictment of 38-year-old Iraqi Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa (currently in Canada) — is spot on about “terrorism” coming to simply mean opposing United States’ interests or resisting U.S. military invasions.
U.S. authorities have now dropped any requirement that the “terrorists” target or kill civilians as part of a political objective, the classic definition of terrorism. Isa stands accused of “providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy” because he allegedly backed a 2008 attack in Mosul, Iraq, killing five U.S. soldiers.
As Greenwald wrote, “In other words, if the U.S. invades and occupies your country, and you respond by fighting back against the invading army — the ultimate definition of a ‘military, not civilian target’ — then you are a . . . Terrorist.”
But the reverse of Greenwald’s example is also true, that those “terrorist” groups throughout the world who commit violent acts or kill civilians at U.S. instigation, encouragement or in line with U.S. interests are NOT considered “terrorists.”
For example, before 9/11, the Chechen “rebels” — who had orchestrated mass civilian hostage takings, suicide bombings and hijackings and who were accused of having planted bombs in… Continue reading
Former 9/11 commission director talks at lecture
By Travis Alford
The Daily Cougar
As the crowd of students, professors and Houstonians brushed off the cold, Philip Zelikow stepped to the podium in The Honors College Commons on Thursday to discuss the US government’s defense against terrorism.
Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, an executive on the President Intelligence Advisory Board and a history professor at the University of Virginia, focused his lecture, “The Twilight of War,” on America’s resiliency and his experience with the horrific events of 9/11.
“It’s my job to make meaning of 9/11,” Zelikow said.
During the lecture, Zelikow spoke of his personal experiences on the scene during Sept. 11.
“I can still smell the sulfur, it stands out,” Zelikow said. “It was as if the terrorist opened up a special path to hell.”
“After the attack, the event entered popular culture,” Zelikow said. “9/11 opened up our eyes to zealousy.”
In the days following the attack, President Bush labeled Osama bin Laden as America’s enemy and the ringleader of 9/11.
“I disagreed with President Bush when he openly pointed the finger at bin Laden,” Zelikow said.
“It made Osama glorious and that’s what he wanted, to be glorified. These people think we are important and they develop complexes about us, so for our President to recognize one of them was a big deal.”
Since Sept. 11, officials have charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in connection with the attack, labeling him as the mastermind. Mohammed is… Continue reading
by Brian Romanoff
News of the Saudi Crown Prince passing in the U.S. and his new successor to the post warrant a refresher on the attempts to name them in 9/11 lawsuits years ago.
ONE BIG FAMILY
Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, died just a weeks ago in a New York hospital due to ill health. The world’s largest oil-exporting nation has quickly found an heir to the Crown Prince, a position directly under the most powerful of the King. The new Crown Prince has been named as Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, brother of the deceased Crown Prince Sultan. Both were half-brothers to the current King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, and both are a part of the powerful Sudairi Seven.
Photo, left: The recently deceased Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
The old Crown Prince Sultan is the father of Prince Bandar. Bandar is known to many in the world as “Bandar Bush” for his extremely close relationship with the Bush family. Bandar served as the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S. from 1983 until 2005. The Royal family’s relationship with the Bush family goes back even further.
Photo, right: “Bandar Bush” and Condoleezza Rice join the Saudi King and Bush at Bush’s Texas property.
Prince Bandar has a history of involvement in scandals, undoubtebly we only know so much. A biography of Prince Bandar was written by William Simpson… Continue reading
CIA Criminal Revolving Door: CIA Officer “Albert” Involved in False Intelligence Linking Al-Qaeda to Iran, Iraq
by Kevin Fenton
Reprimanded for Torture, Retired, then Back to CIA as a Contractor
A recent book by former FBI agent Ali Soufan shows that the same CIA officer was involved in generating intelligence that falsely linked al-Qaeda to first Iran and then Iraq. The officer was also involved in a notorious torture episode and was reprimanded by the Agency’s inspector general.
The officer, who Soufan refers to as “Fred,” but whose real first name is “Albert” according to a February 2011 Associated Press article, served at the CIA station in Jordan in 1999. During that time, al-Qaeda, aided by a collection of freelance terrorists headed by Abu Zubaidah, attempted to commit a series of attacks in the country, known as the Millennium Plot. However, the attacks were foiled by the local Jordanian intelligence service, working with the CIA and FBI.
During the investigations of the plotters, Albert drafted a series of official cables that were later withdrawn. Although the withdrawing of the cables was first mentioned in a July 2006 article by Lawrence Wright for the New Yorker, Wright did not mention what was in the cables or by whom they were drafted. The content of one of them and the drafter were first revealed upon the publication of Soufan’s book in mid-September 2011.
According to Soufan, one of the twelve withdrawn cables falsely stated that the group of… Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions , Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process… Continue reading
by Kurt Haskell
October 2, 2011
Adventures with Kurt and Lori
Over the past 21 months, I have come into contact with many people that fail to even consider the possibility that U.S. intelligence agents could have been involved in the underwear bomber plot. It is with these people in mind that I decided to write the following article. I have noticed that recent terrorist attacks within the United States have many similar characteristics. If you look at these plots together as a series of attacks, the modus operandi of U.S. intelligence agencies begins to develop. For this article, I have decided to look at only “terrorist attacks” from January 1, 2002, to the present.
1. Mohamed Mohamud (The Portland Christmas Tree Bomber)
Date Of Incident: November 26, 2010.
The 2010 Portland car bomb plot involved an incident in which Mohamud, a Somali-American student, was arrested in an FBI sting operation, after attempting to set off what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.
Mohamud had been monitored by the FBI for months. Prior to Mohamud’s arrest, an undercover FBI agent, posing as a terrorist, had been in contact with him since June 2010 (A 5 month period). In preparation for the planned bombing of a public gathering, Mohamud and undercover FBI operatives drove to a remote area of Lincoln County, Oregon, where they conducted a test run on November 4, 2010 by detonating a real bomb Mohamud believed to have been hidden… Continue reading
By Larry Chin
Iran is engaged in a surreal global shouting match with so-called Al-Qaeda figures over who and what was responsible for the atrocities of 9/11.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began by publicly pronouncing that 9/11 was a US government false flag operation. Al-Qaeda responded by accusing Ahmadinejad of being a conspiracy theorist — a “9/11 truther”. Iran then replied in kind by pointing to CIA involvement with Al-Qaeda.
This spectacle would be uproarious, if the actual stakes were not so high; if this war of words was not part of a much larger and very real war that places the future of the entire world at risk.
What we are witnessing is a typical propaganda battle in which truth, lies and half-truths have been liberally mixed. Only the most clear-minded and astute observers can see the battle lines clearly.
Looking past the noise, putting aside the reliability of the figures making it, there are clear and undeniable historical facts:
By Glenn Greenwald
September 20, 2011
The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system. In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer. During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity. (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).
Needless to say, none of the government officials responsible for this abuse of a U.S. citizen on American soil has been held accountable in any way. That’s because President Obama decreed that Bush officials shall not be criminally investigated for War on Terror crimes, while his Justice Department vigorously defended John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld and other responsible functionaries in civil suits brought by Padilla seeking damages for what was done to him.
As usual, the Obama DOJ cited national security imperatives and sweeping theories of presidential power to demand that Executive Branch officials be fully shielded from judicial scrutiny (i.e., shielded from the … Continue reading
This is Part 3 of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.Org.
Paul Thompson joins us to discuss one of the most blacked-out and censored aspects of Al-Qaeda-CIA connections: The partnership and alliance between the CIA and Al Qaeda and their joint operations in Central Asia, Balkans and Caucasus throughout the 1990’s. Mr. Thompson talks about Al-Qaeda’s Balkans operations, running training camps, money-laundering, and drug running networks in the region, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and his residence in Bulgaria in order to help manage the Al Qaeda effort in nearby Bosnia, the Al Qaeda cells in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, BCCI and more!
Paul Thompson is the author of the Terror Timeline, a compilation of over 5,000 reports and articles concerning the September 11, 2001 attacks. His research in the field has garnered over 100 radio and TV interviews. Mr. Thompson holds a psychology degree from Stanford University obtained in 1990. For the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project visit HistoryCommons.Org
Khalid Al Mihdhar
by Sibel Edmonds
CIA’s Maneuver: A Case of Bluffing? Buying Time? Or Something More?
Last week we broke the story of the CIA issued legal threats against producers Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy on their discovery of the identities of the two key CIA analysts who executed the Tenet-Black-Blee cover-up in the case of two key 9/11 hijackers. The analysts were referred to only by first names initially, but were going to be fully named in a follow up segment. It appears the story is still developing, but we now have further details on the case, an analysis by an expert producer, and a few comments on assessing the nature and possible implication of this move by the CIA.
I asked Mr. Nowosielski how the CIA was informed about the schedule and the content of their upcoming segment, and he provided us with the following details:
We emailed CIA Public Affairs on Thursday morning telling them of our intention to name two current agents in our journalism piece and explained the context of their use — the things they were accused of. We also explained that their names had been deduced through open-source materials and that our sources had told us they were working from headquarters.
As for the CIA’s reaction and response Mr. Nowosielski recounted the following:
… Continue reading
Their media spokesperson called back almost immediately. After a brief discussion, we emailed him the script for official reply. We also requested an interview with the two to ensure that we were telling the full story accurately.
While producing our investigative podcast “Who Is Rich Blee?”, intended to be released on Sunday, our team managed to deduce the likely identities of two CIA employees at the heart of a notorious failure in the run up to the September 11th tragedy.
Savvy internet searches based on minimal background details helped us determine candidates for the two CIA employees. When the names were used by our interviewers repeatedly during interviews and never corrected by the interviewees, we began to feel more certain. Ironically, it was the response from CIA that provided final confirmation.
On Thursday, we submitted our script to CIA along with a request to interview the two employees. We wanted to be fair in giving them a chance to tell their sides of the story. Instead, the Agency sent us a message threatening that if we went forward with the names included in the piece that it would be a potential violation of federal criminal law.
A prominent civil liberties attorney has advised us that the law cited, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, has never been used to convict a journalist. The law pertains to government employees who violate their security clearances, certainly not those who find “classified information” in open-source materials posted on the Net.
The threat of prosecution under this act may be a baseless attempt by CIA to intimidate journalists exposing wrongdoing by their employees. Or it may announce an intention by the U.S. government to dangerously expand precedent in the application… Continue reading