by: Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold
Senior Pentagon officials scrubbed key details about a top-secret military intelligence unit’s efforts in tracking Osama bin Laden and suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from official reports they prepared for a Congressional committee probing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, new documents obtained by Truthout reveal.
Moreover, in what appears to be an attempt to cover up the military unit’s intelligence work, a September 2008 Defense Department (DoD) Inspector General’s (IG) report that probed complaints lodged by the former deputy chief of the military unit in question, the Asymmetrical Threats Division of Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC), also known as DO5, about the crucial information withheld from Congress, claimed “the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC’s mission.”
But the IG’s assertion is untrue, according to the documents obtained by Truthout, undercutting the official narrative about who knew what and when in the months leading up to 9/11.
Much of JFIC’s work on al-Qaeda and Bin Laden remains shrouded in secrecy and has not been cited in media reports revolving around pre-9/11 intelligence, which has focused heavily over the past decade on CIA and FBI “intelligence failures.” Only a few details about the military intelligence unit have surfaced since then, notably in two previous reports published recently by Truthout.
JFIC was the intelligence component of United States Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). In 2005, it was renamed the Joint Intelligence Command for Intelligence. Last month, JFCOM was shuttered, reportedly due to Pentagon budget cuts,… Continue reading
For more info or interviews please call Ian Henshall on 01273 326862 or 079469 39217 Today Ian was on LBC 8.30am, this evening scheduled on Talksport 11.30pm
A new opinion poll shows surprisingly high levels of doubt in the UK over the official story of the 9/11 attacks. The poll, conducted by ICM on behalf of Reinvestigate911.org , found that more people agree than disagree that the official account of what happened on 9/11 might turn out to be wrong in important respects. Only 8% strongly agree that they have been told the full story of the 9/11 attacks.
Of those who expressed an opinion 37% agreed that rogue elements in the American intelligence services may have made a decision prior to 9/11 to allow a terrorist attack to take place. Richard Clarke, White House anti-terror co-ordinator at the time, said recently that the 9/11 attacks could have been foiled but for an explicit agreement within the CIA to withhold vital information from him and the FBI. Clarke says he cannot explain this behaviour. At the time the CIA were prohibited by law from operating in the US.
The results are mirrored by a HEC poll published today in France showing that 58% have doubts compared to 31% percent who accept the official story. Half suspect that US authorities deliberately allowed the attacks to take place while a third suspect they were implicated in the execution of 9/11.
By Stephen C. Webster
Newly published audio this week reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney’s infamous Sept. 11, 2001 order to shoot down rogue civilian aircraft was ignored by military officials, who instead ordered pilots to only identify suspect aircraft.
That revelation is one of many in newly released audio recordings compiled by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, published this week by The Rutgers Law Review. Featuring voices from employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and American Airlines, the newly released multimedia provides a glimpse at the chaos that emerged as the attack progressed.
Most striking of all is the revelation that an order by Vice President Dick Cheney was ignored by the military, which saw his order to shoot down aircraft as outside the chain of command. Instead of acknowledging the order to shoot down civilian aircraft and carrying it out, NORAD ordered fighters to confirm aircraft tail numbers first and report back for further instructions.
Cheney’s order was given at “about 10:15″ a.m., according to the former VP’s memoirs, but the 9/11 Commission Report shows United flight 93 going down at 10:06 a.m. Had the military followed Cheney’s order, civilian aircraft scrambling to get out of the sky could have been shot down, exponentially amplifying the day’s tragedy.
Far from sending fighters to chase after the hijacked aircraft, as Bush administration officials have repeatedly said they did, the new audio tapes paint a picture of bedlam and unpreparedness.
The… Continue reading
by Glenn Greenwald
The Los Angeles Times examines the staggering sums of money expended on patently absurd domestic “homeland security” projects: $75 billion per year for things such as a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar to respond to a potential attack on a lake in tiny Keith County, Nebraska, and hundreds of “9-ton BearCat armored vehicles, complete with turret” to guard against things like an attack on DreamWorks in Los Angeles. All of that — which is independent of the exponentially greater sums spent on foreign wars, occupations, bombings, and the vast array of weaponry and private contractors to support it all — is in response to this mammoth, existential, the-single-greatest-challenge-of-our-generation threat:
“The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It’s basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year ,” said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism.
Last year, McClatchy characterized this threat in similar terms: “undoubtedly more American citizens died overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism .” The March, 2011, Harper ‘s Index expressed the point this way : “Number of American civilians who died worldwide in terrorist attacks last year: 8 — Minimum number who died after being struck by lightning: 29.” That’s the threat in the name of which a vast domestic Security State is constructed,… Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 31 No 1, August 1, 2011.
Twice in the last two decades, significant cuts in U.S. and western military spending were foreseen: first after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But both times military spending soon increased, and among the factors contributing to the increase were America’s interventions in new areas: the Balkans in the 1990s, and Libya today.1 Hidden from public view in both cases was the extent to which al-Qaeda was a covert U.S. ally in both interventions, rather than its foe.
U.S. interventions in the Balkans and then Libya were presented by the compliant U.S. and allied mainstream media as humanitarian. Indeed, some Washington interventionists may have sincerely believed this. But deeper motivations – from oil to geostrategic priorities – were also at work in both instances.
In virtually all the wars since 1989, America and Islamist factions have been battling to determine who will control the heartlands of Eurasia in the post-Soviet era. In some countries – Somalia in 1993, Afghanistan in 2001 – the conflict has been straightforward, with each side using the other’s excesses as an excuse for intervention.
But there have been other interventions in which Americans have used al-Qaeda as a resource to increase their influence, for example Azerbaijan in 1993. There a pro-Moscow president was ousted after large numbers of Arab and other foreign mujahedin veterans were secretly imported from Afghanistan, on an airline hastily organized by three former veterans of the CIA’s airline Air America. (The three, all once detailed from the Pentagon to the CIA, were Richard Secord, Harry Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn.)2 This was an ad hoc marriage of convenience: the mujahedin got to defend Muslims against Russian influence in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the Americans got a new president who opened up the oilfields of Baku to western oil companies.
The pattern of U.S. collaboration with Muslim fundamentalists against more secular enemies is not new. It dates back to at least 1953, when the CIA recruited right-wing mullahs to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran, and also began to cooperate with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.3 But in Libya in 2011 we see a more complex marriage of convenience between US and al-Qaeda elements: one which repeats a pattern seen in Bosnia in 1992-95, and Kosovo in 1997-98. In those countries America responded to a local conflict in the name of a humanitarian intervention to restrain the side committing atrocities. But in all three cases both sides committed atrocities, and American intervention in fact favored the side allied with al-Qaeda.
The cause of intervention was fostered in all three cases by blatant manipulation and falsification of the facts. What a historian has noted of the Bosnian conflict was true also of Kosovo and is being echoed today in Libya: though attacks were “perpetrated by Serbs and Muslims alike,” the pattern in western media was “that killings of Muslims were newsworthy, while the deaths of non-Muslims were not.”4 Reports of mass rapes in the thousands proved to be wildly exaggerated: a French journalist “uncovered only four women willing to back up the story.”5 Meanwhile in 1994 the French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy (BHL) traveled to Bosnia and fervently endorsed the case for intervention in Bosnia; in 2011 February BHL traveled to Benghazi and reprised his interventionist role for Libya.6
In all of the countries mentioned above, furthermore, there are signs that some American and/or western intelligence groups were collaborating with al-Qaeda elements from the outset of conflict, before the atrocities cited as a reason for intervention.. This suggests that there were deeper reasons for America’s interventions including the desire of western oil companies to exploit the petroleum reserves of Libya (as in Iraq) without having to deal with a troublesome and powerful strong man, or their desire to create a strategic oil pipeline across the Balkans (in Kosovo).7
That the U.S. would support al-Qaeda in terrorist atrocities runs wholly counter to impressions created by the U.S. media. Yet this on-going unholy alliance resurrects and builds on the alliance underlying Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1978-79 strategy of provocation in Afghanistan, at a time when he was President Carter’s National Security Adviser.
The Shah (left), Brzezinski (right), Carter (second right)
By Glenn Greenwald
July 23, 2011
(updated below – Update II)
For much of the day yesterday, the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits. The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates.
The morning statement issued by President Obama — “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring” and “we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks” — appeared to assume, though (to its credit) did not overtly state, that the perpetrator was an international terrorist group.
But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. Despite that, The New York Times is still working hard to pin some form of blame, even ultimate blame, on Muslim radicals (h/t sysprog):
Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of… Continue reading
By Agence France-Presse
Monday, July 11th, 2011
Newly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.
“The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.
“We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.
The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.
That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed [Ed.: by the Bush Administration itself].
Doug Wilson, Panetta’s spokesman, quickly jumped in after his boss, who just took office on July 1, made the statement.
“I don’t think he’s getting into the argument of 2002-2003,” as the reason for the Iraq invasion, Wilson he told reporters, adding that his boss was “a plain-spoken secretary.”
“He has made clear that the major threat to this country is coming from Al-Qaeda and terrorist groups and he has also made clear that wherever we are in the world today, that (Al-Qaeda) is a principle reason for a military presence,” Wilson said.
The new defence secretary also committed a faux pas in Afghanistan on Saturday, telling reporters the United States intends to keep 70,000 troops there until 2014.
President Barack Obama’s administration has said it plans a steady withdrawal of US forces until the Afghans can take over their own security.…Continue reading
by Sam Milgrom, Washington Legislative Office of ACLU.org
The House just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a provision to authorize worldwide war, which has no expiration date and will allow this president — and any future president — to go to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. The new authorization wouldn’t even require the president to show any threat to the national security of the United States. The American military could become the world’s cop, and could be sent into harm’s way almost anywhere and everywhere around the globe.
Read details of this extremely important bill, H.R. 1540, at Thomas.gov with final vote results here. Bravo to Rep. Justin Amash (D, Mich) for introducing Amendment 327 to strike section 1034 of the bill, relating to the authorization for use of military force. Sadly, the amendment failed 187-234 (see roll call vote results). Rep. Jason Chaffetz (D., Utah) introduced an amendment requiring US ground troops to withdraw from Afghanistan and require the Secretary of Defense to submit a withdrawal plan to Congress within 60 days. It, too, failed, 123-294. List of all amendments and results here.
Before the vote, the House debated an amendment that would have struck the worldwide war provision. That amendment was introduced by a bipartisan group of representatives: Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.),… Continue reading
23 May 2011
by Jeffrey Kaye
A great deal of controversy has arisen about what was known about the movements and location of Osama bin Laden in the wake of his killing by US Special Forces on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Questions about what intelligence agencies knew or didn’t know about al-Qaeda activities go back some years, most prominently in the controversy over the existence of a joint US Special Forces Command and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) data mining effort known as “Able Danger.”
What hasn’t been discussed is a September 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general (IG) report, summarizing an investigation made in response to an accusation by a Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) whistleblower, which indicated that a senior JFIC commander had halted actions tracking Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. JFIC is tasked with an intelligence mission in support of United States Joint Force Command (USJFCOM).
The report, titled “Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11 Commission,” was declassified last year, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists.
The whistleblower, who the IG report identified as a former JFIC employee represented only by his codename “IRON MAN,” claimed in letters written to both the DoD inspector general in May 2006 and, lacking any apparent action by the IG, to the Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ODNI) in October 2007, that JFIC had withheld operational information about al-Qaeda when queried in March 2002 about its activities by the DIA and higher command officials on behalf of the 9/11 Commission.…Continue reading
Obama: Osama bin Laden is dead
By Kase Wickman
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the number one most-wanted fugitive for nearly a decade, was killed in Pakistan Sunday, the White House announced.
President Barack Obama made a live statement shortly after 11:30 p.m. from the East Room of the White House.
“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children,” he began.
The U.S. received an intelligence lead last August about bin Laden’s whereabouts, Obama said, and that he had enough information by Sunday to launch a targeted military operation on the compound pinpointed as bin Laden’s location, in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
“A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability,” Obama said. “No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
White House officials said that the operation was in cooperation with Pakistani authorities, and was carried out by Navy SEALs in helicopters who rehearsed the operation to avoid civilian casualties. Reportedly, one woman who was used as a human shield was killed.
Crowds gathered outside the White House and around the country after the speech, waving flags and singing the National Anthem. U.S. diplomatic centers are reportedly on high alert in… Continue reading
By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, April 10th, 2011
WASHINGTON — US prosecutors compiled lots of evidence against the five men accused of having organized the September 11 attacks on the United States, but not until this week have details been fully revealed.
The indictment charging self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others was unsealed when US Attorney General Eric Holder referred the case to the Defense Department for military trials instead of trials at a US federal court in New York.
Holder said Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed al-Hawsawi could have been prosecuted in federal court and blamed Congress for imposing measures blocking civilian trials of Guantánamo Bay inmates.
They will be tried in military courts in the US naval base in southeastern Cuba.
The now-public details show that the United States, nearly 10 years after hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, reconstructed step by step the logistics of the five accused men.
They compiled bank transactions, flight records, visa applications, and dozens of telephone conversations to create the most comprehensive account of the chain of events before the attacks.
Implementation of the plan began in 1999, when Sheikh Mohammed (referred to as “KSM” by US officials) proposed to Osama bin Laden to use commercial airliners as missiles against US targets.
Until the last minute, according to the indictment, Sheikh Mohammed controlled the entire operation.
“From in or about December 1999, through in or about… Continue reading
Friday, March 11, 2011
by Staff Report
The Daily Bell
A controversial congressional hearing Thursday on the radicalization of
Muslim Americans touched on sensitive questions involving terrorism and tolerance
a decade after the 9/11 attacks. At times emotional and theatrical, the four-hour
session of the House Homeland Security Committee included calls from moderate
Muslims for support in overcoming extremists seeking to indoctrinate their children,
as well as protests from Democratic legislators who complained the hearing unfairly
implicated all Muslims for the criminal acts of a small minority. In the end,
committee Chairman Peter King (left), R-New York, said the hearing that generated
widespread media coverage “actually went a lot easier than it could have.” He
… promised additional hearings in coming months, with the next perhaps focusing
on the radicalization of Muslims in U.S. prisons. — CNN
Dominant Social Theme: Don’t trust the Muslims.
Free-Market Analysis: Yesterday’s hearing on radicalization
of Muslim Americans brings up a larger perspective regarding what is going on
in America and a close look into Western-style democracy. The incessant harping
on “terrorist Islam” as presented in these US congressional hearings (see above
article excerpt) does seem to indicate a trend regarding America’s — in fact
the entire West’s — descent into authoritarianism, driven by hysteria over
a religion that many of its worshipers (ironically) conflate with “peace.”
Peter King is promising more hearings on Islamic terror and one has no reason
to doubt they will occur. King has come under attack for these hearings, which
some believe are deliberately whipping up hysteria against Muslims, but he has
branded such accusations as false and baseless.…
The two main players in releasing the Pentagon Papers were Daniel Ellsberg and United States Senator Mike Gravel.
Senator Gravel is the person who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. This act made the papers public record, so that they could not be censored by the government. He was the only member of Congress courageous enough to do so.
Both Ellsberg and Gravel – like many other high-level former officials in the government and intelligence services (including many well-known whistleblowers) – support a new 9/11 investigation. Ellsberg says that the case of a certain 9/11 whistleblower is “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers“. (Here’s some of what that whistleblower says.) He also said that the government is ordering the media to cover up her allegations about 9/11.
And he said that some of the claims concerning government involvement in 9/11 are credible, that “very serious questions have been raised about what they [U.S. government officials] knew beforehand and how much involvement there might have been”, that engineering 9/11 would not be humanly or psychologically beyond the scope of those in office, and that there’s enough evidence to justify a new, “hard-hitting” investigation into 9/11 with subpoenas and testimony taken under oath (see this and this).
Gravel is now backing a California ballot initiative for a new 9/11 investigation. The text of the initiative is below.
The initiative would actually help support the 9/11 Commission and fulfill the desire of the 9/11… Continue reading
By Scott Shane
Published: February 15, 2011 at
WASHINGTON — A review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s scientific
work on the investigation of the anthrax letters of 2001 concludes that the
bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax
to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins, the Army microbiologist whom the investigators
blamed for the attacks.
The review, by a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences, says the
genetic analysis “did not definitively demonstrate” that the mailed anthrax
spores were grown from a sample taken from Dr. Ivins’s laboratory at Fort Detrick
in Frederick, Md. It does add, however, that the evidence is “consistent with
and supports an association” between Dr. Ivins’s flask and the attack anthrax.
The academy’s report faults the F.B.I. as failing to take advantage of
scientific methods developed between the mailings in 2001 and its conclusion
after Dr. Ivins’s suicide in 2008 that he was the sole perpetrator.
“In subsequent years, the investigators did not fully exploit molecular
methods to identify and characterize” anthrax samples, the report said.
Nothing in the 170-page academy report directly refutes the conclusion of what
was by most estimates the most expensive and manpower-intensive criminal investigation
in American history. The academy panel, which was paid $1.1 million by the F.B.I.
for its review, assessed only the scientific aspects of the investigation and
not the traditional detective work.
Alice P. Gast, chairwoman of the 16-member scientific panel and president of
Lehigh University, said Tuesday… Continue reading
by Elizabeth Woodworth
January 28, 2011
Foreign Policy Journal
A former Princeton international law professor has been condemned by the UN Secretary General and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for alluding to “an apparent cover-up” of the events of September 11th, 2001.
On January 11, 2011, UN Special Envoy to Palestine Richard Falk posted on his personal blog an article entitled “Interrogating the Arizona Killings from a Safe Distance.”
Dr. Falk made a tangential point in his blog-post that governments too often abuse their authority by treating “awkward knowledge as a matter of state secrets”.
href="http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/01/28/why-the-fuss-the-call-to-arms-against-un-rapporteur-richard-falk-for-alluding-to-gaps-in-the-911-official-story/" target="_blank">To illustrate the point, he referred to gaps and contradictions in the official account of the 9/11 attacks, which have been documented in the scholarly works of Dr. David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology.
“What seems most disturbing about the 9/11 controversy is the widespread aversion by government and media to the evidence that suggests, at the very least, the need for an independent investigation that proceeds with no holds barred,” wrote Falk.
On January 20th, executive director Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, a European NGO, called upon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the remarks made by Falk, and to fire him, claiming that Falk had “endorsed the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government and not Al Qaeda terrorists.” 
On January 24th, in a reply to Hillel Neuer, Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon’s… Continue reading
January 31, 2011
TO: Citizens of the World Working for Peace
ACTION NEEDED: Protest the Condemnation of Professor Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.
WHY: Professor Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, has demonstrated courage in saying that there are “gaps and contradictions” in the official account of 9/11. He has been “condemned” for such conservative statements about 9/11 by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador Susan Rice, and Ambassador Rice has called for his removal from his unpaid post at the U.N.
Professor Falk has been devoted to world peace during his lifetime, and he is arguably the world’s most qualified legal scholar in the Palestine-Israel issue in the UN where he is very much needed.
Write as a citizen (not part of a movement) to both U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to let them know you disapprove of their censoring statements to Professor Richard Falk, and that you call for an apology to him.
Five sample letters follow. Please do this as soon as you are able. Time is of the essence. And please forward to your peace and justice contacts and those working for peace for Palestinians and Israelis.
Link to Richard Falk’s blog on this issue: http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/?s=9%2F11+gaps&submit=Search
ADDRESSES for Ambassador Susan Rice:
Hon. Susan Rice U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations U.S. Mission to the United Nations 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY… Continue reading
In this discussion, Professor Falk gives his assessment of the political context of the criticisms he is facing for identifying Israeli crimes in the treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, and for referring positively to the scholarly contributions of Professor David Ray Griffin and other academics who have identified serious shortcomings in government and mainstream media interpretations concerning the contested events of 9/11.
Dr. Falk’s article that originally kicked off this matter:
by Richard Falk
January 13, 2011
Foreign Policy Journal
…The arguments swirling around the 9/11 attacks are emblematic of these issues. What fuels suspicions of conspiracy is the reluctance to address the sort of awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations that David Ray Griffin (and other devoted scholars of high integrity) have been documenting in book after book ever since 2001. What may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. Is this silence a manifestation of fear or cooption, or part of an equally disturbing filter of self-censorship? Whatever it is, the result is the withering away of a participatory citizenry and the erosion of legitimate constitutional government. The forms persist, but the content is missing. …
December 14, 2010
by Catherine Herridge
An Army Reserve colonel is suing the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies, claiming that they violated his free speech rights by blocking the distribution of his book over concerns it threatened national security.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s First Amendment lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., targets the Defense Department for buying 9,500 copies of his book, “Operation Dark Heart” for $50,000 and destroying them. The lawsuit also names the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency as defendants.
“Because the defendants have impermissibly infringed upon Shaffer’s right to publish unclassified information in Operation Dark Heart, they have violated Shaffer’s First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit says.
The suit provides a rare insight into the internal review process for the publication of books based on the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in post-9/11 Afghanistan.
The lawsuit was filed by national security lawyer Mark Zaid and alleges that the book was compiled by Shaffer along with a former Washington Post reporter and author, Jacqui Salmon, who used unclassified or “open source” documents and independent interviews. The manuscript was submitted to Shaffer’s Army Reserve chain of command for review in June 2009 and ultimately given “a favorable legal and operational security review” in January. The court documents state, “the Army Reserve believed that the book had been reviewed and approved as having been completely clear of any classified information.”
The suit alleges that the Defense Intelligence Agency “claims to have… Continue reading