Originally published by Alex Lantier on February 3, 2010 at wsws.org
A January 27 hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security established that US intelligence agencies stopped the State Department from revoking the US visa of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The Nigerian student, whom US officials suspected of being affiliated with the Yemeni terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, attempted to set off a bomb on Northwest Flight 253 into Detroit on Christmas Day. Revocation of Abdulmutallab’s visa would have prevented him from boarding the airplane.
The hearing was reported in a brief article posted January 27 on the web site of the Detroit News, headlined, “Terror Suspect Kept Visa to Avoid Tipping Off Larger Investigation.”
The revelation that US intelligence agencies made a deliberate decision to allow Abdulmutallab to board the commercial flight, without any special airport screening, has been buried in the media. As of this writing, nearly a week after the hearing, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have published no articles on the subject. Nor have the broadcast or cable media reported on it.
This is despite–or perhaps more accurately, because of–the fact that this information exposes the official government story of the near-disaster to be a lie. President Obama, who has joined with top US intelligence, FBI and Homeland Security officials to insist that Abdulmutallab was inadvertently allowed to board the plane carrying explosives because of a failure to “connect the dots,” has… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
January 27, 2010
(updated below – Update II)
The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest today reports that “U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people.” That’s no surprise, of course, as Yemen is now another predominantly Muslim country (along with Somalia and Pakistan) in which our military is secretly involved to some unknown degree in combat operations without any declaration of war, without any public debate, and arguably (though not clearly) without any Congressional authorization. The exact role played by the U.S. in the late-December missile attacks in Yemen, which killed numerous civilians, is still unknown.
But buried in Priest’s article is her revelation that American citizens are now being placed on a secret “hit list” of people whom the President has personally authorized to be killed:
After the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests, military and intelligence officials said. . . .
The Obama administration has adopted the same stance. If a U.S. citizen joins al-Qaeda, “it doesn’t really change anything from the standpoint of whether we can target them,” a senior administration official said. “They are then part of the enemy.”
Both the CIA and the JSOC maintain lists… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
January 15, 2010
(updated below – Update II – Update III – Update IV)
Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.” In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or… Continue reading
January 10, 2010
by Tom Burghart
New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up.
With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies “had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot … but that intelligence officials had ‘failed to connect those dots’,” The New York Times reports.
The latest iteration of the “dot theory” floated by the President, aided and abetted by a compliant media, claims “this was not a failure to collect intelligence” but rather, “a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence that we already had.”
“Mr. Obama’s stark assessment that the government failed to properly analyze and integrate intelligence served as a sharp rebuke of the country’s intelligence agencies,” declared the Times uncritically.
While the President’s remarks may have offered a “sharp [rhetorical] rebuke,” Obama’s statement suggests that no one will be held accountable. Indeed, the President “was standing by his top national security advisers, including those whose agencies failed to communicate with one another.”
While the President may be “standing by” his national security advisers, the question is, are the denizens of America’s secret state standing by him? One well-connected Washington insider, MSNBC pundit Richard Wolffe, isn’t so sure.
Wolffe, the author of a flattering portrait of Obama, Renegade: The Making of a President, when asked… Continue reading
January 8, 2010
American civilian and military leaders have been creating new terrorists through
(1) Use of torture
(2) Killing of innocent civilians- especially children – in Arabic countries.
A high-level American Special Ops interrogator says that information obtained
from torture is unreliable, and that torture just creates more terrorists. Indeed,
he says that torture of innocent Iraqis by Americans is the main reason
that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq in the
A former FBI interrogator — who interrogated Al Qaeda suspects — says categorically
does not help collect intelligence. On the other hand he says that
torture actually turns people into terrorists.
A 30-year veteran of CIA’s operations directorate who rose to the most
senior managerial ranks, says:
“This is not just because the old hands overwhelmingly believe that torture
doesn’t work — it doesn’t — but also because they know that torture
creates more terrorists and fosters more acts of terror than it could possibly
Former counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke says that America’s indefinite
detention without trial and abuse of prisoners is a leading Al Qaeda recruiting
Torture puts our troops in danger, torture makes our troops less safe, torture
creates terrorists. It’s used so widely as a propaganda tool now in Afghanistan.
All too often, detainees have pamphlets on them, depicting what happened at
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously found:
“The administration’s policies concerning [torture] and the resulting controversies
… strengthened the hand of our enemies.”
Two professors of political science have demonstrated that torture increases,
rather than decreases, terrorism.…
By Michael McAuliff
November 24, 2009
Some 9/11 widows who want to see a terror trial in New York today questioned why a group strongly linked to Liz Cheney is leading the charge in opposition to the trial.
Her father, after all, is the man many Democrats and liberals think broke the law in pushing for interrogation techniques now deemed torture by the Obama administration, and which were used on Al Qaeda plotter Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
The anti-trial group is led by Debra Burlingame — whose brother piloted one of the doomed planes — and who is a guiding light at 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America.
The 9/11 Families group had as a springboard Keep America Safe, a Liz Cheney vehicle where Burlingame serves on the board.
“Perhaps they’re trying to protect her father’s role in torturing these detainees,” said Lorie Van Auken, who lost her husband on 9/11. “And that’s actually what could keep us from seeing justice, is this torture that was done to these people because that evidence is not really evidence. It won’t be admissible anywhere.”
Auken was speaking on a conference call organized by the liberal Human Rights First.
Later, she declined to back off her statement. “You start to wonder why Liz Cheney would be organizing the 9/11 families,” she said. “It’s just a funny connection.”
Below (see source) is the press conference Burlingame did today with Rep. Pete King and others, posted online by Keep America Safe, in which… Continue reading
by Jon Gold
This is dedicated to the 9/11 Truth Movement. – Jon
Before I begin, I would like to say that theorizing about what happened on 9/11, when you’re not being given answers to your questions about that day by the people who SHOULD be able to do so, is PERFECTLY normal. As is suspecting that the reason these answers aren’t being given is “sinister” in nature. As Ray McGovern said, “for people to dismiss these questioners as “conspiratorial advocates”, or “conspiratorial theorists”… that’s completely out of line because the… The questions remain because the President who should be able to answer them, WILL NOT.” When you think about everything the previous Administration did in 8 years, the idea that they might not be giving us the answers we seek because of something “sinister” is not crazy. In fact, it’s the most logical conclusion one can come to at this point. After seven plus years of obfuscation, spin, lies, and cover-ups regarding the 9/11 attacks, it is unavoidable to think that criminal complicity is the reason why.
That being said, we have not proven it beyond the shadow of doubt. We do not have documentation that shows they planned it. We do not have a signed confession from someone. We have pieces of the puzzle, and to most of us that have been doing this a long time, those pieces point to more than just Osama Bin Laden, Khalid… Continue reading
2009 Truth Statement
We STILL Want Real Answers About 9/11
[Signatures have been closed as of March, 2010]
On August 31, 2004, Zogby International, the official North American political polling agency for Reuters, released a poll that found nearly half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of those in New York state believe US leaders had foreknowledge of impending 9/11 attacks and “consciously failed” to act. Of the New York City residents, 66% called for a new probe of unanswered questions by Congress or the New York Attorney General. Since that time, multiple professional polling organizations have obtained similar results in polls conducted nationally and internationally.
In 2004, 911truth.org assembled a list of notable Americans and family members of those who died who signed (see that list of signatories, below) a 9/11 Statement, calling for “immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”
On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, in spite of Americans having elected the “other” party in hopes it would deliver on its promise of a change in direction, we find ourselves asking these same questions and encountering the same resistance to transparency. The ensuing wars have destroyed countless lives, our civil liberties (including habeas corpus) are in tatters, posse comitatus is history, and our economy lies essentially in ruin. Meanwhile, thousands of 9/11 responders who rushed to stand with America in its time of… Continue reading
‘Preliminary review’ looks at whether interrogations followed guidance of the Bush ‘torture memos.’
By Warren Richey
Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor from the August 24, 2009 edition
In a highly contentious move, Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday appointed a special prosecutor to take a fresh look at whether US officials violated the law through harsh treatment of detainees during the Bush administration’s war on terror.
Mr. Holder said he was authorizing John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor, to conduct a “preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations.” He did not identify those detainees by name or where they were allegedly mistreated.
“I fully realize my decision to commence this preliminary review will be controversial,” Holder said. “In this case, given all the information currently available, it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.”
The announcement came shortly after the administration released a redacted version of a 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report on harsh interrogation tactics.
The report said CIA interrogators threatened to kill the children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, and threatened another detainee with a power drill and suggestions that if he didn’t talk his mother would be brought into the room and raped in front of him.
The report was sent to the Justice Department for possible prosecution during the Bush administration. Prosecutors declined. The issue was resurrected by… Continue reading
By Debra Sweet
August 24, 2009
CIA Torture Report to be Released
The release of the long-anticipated CIA report, quashed since 2006 by the Bush regime, and then postponed several times by the Obama administration, is set for Monday August 24. It’s been leaked. Newsweek and the Guardian UK, “Bombshell report on CIA interrogations is leaked” report the CIA used mock executions to terrorize detainees through threatening the use of pistols and electric drills.
It’s reported that the Attorney General will make a decision in the next few days on whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of torture. The New York Times analyzed the problem Eric Holder is up against, having been instructed by Barack Obama not to look “backward” while saying “we do not torture”:
“Mr. Holder has told associates he is weighing a narrow investigation, focusing only on C.I.A. interrogators and contract employees who clearly crossed the line and violated the Bush administration’s guidelines and engaged in flagrantly abusive acts. But in taking that route, Mr. Holder would run two risks. One is the political fallout if only a handful of low-level agents are prosecuted for what many critics see as a pattern of excess condoned at the top of the government. The other is that an aggressive prosecutor would not stop at the bottom, but would work up the chain of command, and end up with a full-blown criminal inquiry into the intelligence agencies – just the kind of broad, open-ended criminal… Continue reading
Federal judge rules detainee’s lawyers can question 9/11 mastermind Mohammed
_ in writing
Aug 23, 2009 05:22 EST
Lawyers for a Guantánamo Bay detainee will be allowed to question — in
writing — accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a federal
judge has ruled. The decision is a setback for government lawyers who had sought
to limit the scope of detainee lawyers’ challenges to the detention and prosecution
of terror suspects.
In a written ruling, Judge Ricardo Urbina says lawyers for detainee Abdul Raheem
Ghulam Rabbani can submit written questions about their client to Mohammed.
Prosecutors say he worked for Mohammed, but Rabbani’s lawyers contend he was
just a menial servant, not a part of any terror network.
The ruling says prosecutors may review the answers before delivering them to
Rabbani’s lawyers to remove any national security information.
Government lawyers had unsuccessfully sought to convince the judge that any
questioning of Mohammed by Rabbani’s lawyers would risk exposing details of
sensitive intelligence programs.
Urbina’s 15-page decision says Mohammed may have information that could help
Rabbani’s case, and allows Rabbani’s lawyers to submit “a list of narrowly
tailored” questions for Mohammed.
Mohammed has boasted of masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks, and he is the most
high-profile detainee of the 229 terror suspects held at the detention facility
at the U.S. military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
His possible testimony was a contentious issue in another terrorism case, the
trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. The court ruled… Continue reading
By John Bursill — Australian Activist and Engineer
August 15, 2009
As the anniversary of 9/11 approaches once again it leads us to reflect on
what we have achieved and what is yet to be achieved by the 9/11 Truth and Justice
Campaign. One thing we all might agree on is that a more “focused”
and “deliberate” media campaign is in order this anniversary.
In this last year we have received some very powerful tools to use in our battle
against those who would see us fade away as a movement. The most powerful is
arguably the "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from 9/11 World
Trade Center Catastrophe" paper provided, peer reviewed and published by
our hard working scholars internationally. While this world-changing evidence
has received press in parts of Europe and Asia, it has not been reported on
within the corporate media of the “Coalition of the willing”, being
predominantly the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. It is important
to note these countries are also the major supporters of the “War on Terror”
having direct military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan to this day.
What I propose is an all out, all day attempt to get this controversial paper
reported on in the press by demonstrating in front of corporate media facilities
worldwide. With simply the “Thermitic Materials Paper” in one hand
and Architects and Engineers DVD “9/11 Blueprint for Truth” in the
other we have a completely rational and non-conspiratorial basis to demand that
the press… Continue reading
August 12, 2009
by Jeremy R. Hammond
Shahid R. Siddiqi contributed to this report
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.
Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, I asked the… Continue reading
by Kevin R. Ryan
Scoop Independent News
Kevin R. Ryan: Demolition access to the WTC Towers
Who could have placed explosives in the World Trade Center (WTC) towers? This is the second essay in a series that attempts to answer that question. The first installment began by considering the tenants that occupied the impact zones and the other floors that might have played a useful role in the demolition of the WTC towers.  The result was a picture of connections to organizations that had access to explosive materials and to the expertise required to use explosives. Additionally it was seen that, in the years preceding 9/11, the impact zone tenants had all made structural modifications to the areas where the airliners struck the buildings.
The management representatives of these tenant companies were seen to be secretive and powerful. Through these powerful people, the tenants were connected to organizations that benefited greatly from the 9/11 attacks, including the defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Halliburton, and Science Applications International Corp (SAIC). The tenants also had strong connections to the Bush family and their corporate network, including Dresser Industries (now Halliburton) and UBS, and to Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries, reported to have brokered the insider trading deals. There were also links between these tenant companies and the terrorist-financing Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
Throughout this review we should keep in mind that, according to 2009 estimates, the membership of Al Qaeda’s conspiracy network is… Continue reading
By Erik Larson
Sibel Edmonds gave a sworn deposition in which she testified to her knowledge of treasonous crimes and corruption involving current and former members of Congress and State and Defense Dept. officials. Given the nature of the deposition, the lines of questioning focused on Turkish espionage and services obtained through bribery and blackmail by Turkish officials and proxies. However, Edmonds has previously disclosed that the corruption involving U.S. officials also includes money laundering, trafficking in drugs, arms and nuclear secrets, U.S. support for Bin Laden/Al Qaeda, and obstruction of FBI investigations related to 9/11, before and after the attacks; she said these things came up “briefly” during the deposition. Edmonds learned of these things from wiretaps she listened to while working as a translator for the FBI in 2001-2002.
Video shot by me of Q&A sessions outside the deposition — Sibel Edmonds, Stephen Michael Kohn of NWC, Bruce Fein of TALDF and TACA (formerly w/ ATAA) and Davikorian, at Edmonds’ Aug 8, 2009 deposition
Edmonds’ Aug 8 testimony was subpoenaed by David Krikorian (Democratic 2010 Congressional candidate- OH) to support his defense against a lawsuit brought by Jean Schmidt, R-OH. Krikorian had circulated a flier in his 2008 campaign in which he alleged that Schmidt had accepted “blood money” from Turkish interests in exchange for opposing a Congressional resolution acknowledging the Turkish genocide of Armenians in World War I. The deposition took place in Washington, DC at the headquarters… Continue reading
Before you hear what she has to say, you should know a little about Sibel Edmonds’ background.
Edmonds is a former FBI translator, who the Department of Justice’s Inspector General and several senators have called extremely credible (free subscription required).
Some of Edmonds allegations’ have been confirmed in the British press.
Now, Edmonds is saying that Osama Bin Laden worked for the U.S. right up until 9/11, and that that fact is being covered up because the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years.
Is there are confirmation of Edmonds’ claim?
According to one of the most reputable French papers, CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was already supposedly wanted for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
Two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” US officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
So American forces had many opportunities to capture Bin Laden, and yet failed to do so.
Indeed, even after… Continue reading
The Corbett Report
17 July, 2009
Government sources immediately began blaming North Korea for the recent cyberterror attacks on South Korea and the U.S., despite having no evidence to back up those claims. Now, an examination of the evidence by independent computer experts show that the attack seems to have been coordinated from the UK. The hysterical media coverage in the attack’s wake, however, echoing the government line that it was likely the work of North Korea, served to cement in the minds of many that this was an act of cyberwarfare.
The idea that this surprisingly unsophisticated attack could have come from a well-organized, hostile state or terrorist group comes as a blessing in disguise to those groups, agencies and advisors who have been calling for greater and greater federal snooping powers in the name of stopping a “cyber 9/11″ from happening.
The “cyber 9/11″ meme stretches back almost to 9/11 itself. Back in 2003, Mike McConnell, the ex-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), was fearmongering over the possibility of a cyber attack “equivalent to the attack on the World Trade Center” if a new institution were not created to oversee cyber security. Since then, report after report has continued to use the horror of 9/11 as a way of raising public hysteria over “cyber terrorism,” a subject more often associated with juvenile hackers and lone misfits than radical terrorist organizations.
The real reason behind the invocation of 9/11 in the context of “cyber terror”… Continue reading
July 12, 2009
by Christina Lamb in Karachi
Osama bin Laden and the top Al-Qaeda leadership are not in Pakistan, making US missile attacks against them futile, according to the country’s interior minister.
“If Osama was in Pakistan we would know, with all the thousands of troops we have sent into the tribal areas in recent months,” Rehman Malik told The Sunday Times. “If he and all these four or five top people were in our area they would have been caught, the way we are searching.”
He added: “According to our information Osama is in Afghanistan, probably Kunar, as most of the activities against Pakistan are being directed from Kunar.”
Washington does not directly acknowledge its missile attacks on Pakistani territory by unmanned drone aircraft but Pakistani officials say the US has carried out more than 40 attacks inside its borders in the past 10 months, killing hundreds of people.
CIA officials claim these attacks have been highly effective in disrupting Al-Qaeda’s ability to operate. However, Malik insists they are a waste of time because the Al-Qaeda leadership is on the other side of the border in eastern Afghanistan.
“They’re getting mid-level people not big fish,” he said. “And they are counterproductive because they are killing civilians and turning locals against our government. We try to win people’s hearts, then one drone attack drives them away. One attack alone last week killed 50 people.”
US officials in Islamabad say Pakistan’s government is being disingenuous, claiming to oppose the… Continue reading