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CIA

CIA aided New York police in spying on Muslims: report

August 24, 2011
By Stephen C. Webster
Rawstory.com

Despite a prohibition on spying within the United States, the Central Intelligence
Agency played a key role in transforming the New York Police Department’s intelligence
unit into a cutting edge spy shop dedicated to gathering information on Muslims,
and not just in New York.

That’s according to a new report out Wednesday by The Associated Press, which
claims a veteran CIA agent helped train one of the NYPD’s detectives in advanced
surveillance methods. They also sent an undercover agent to work in the department,
the report says.

With the CIA’s help, the NYPD has gathered information on cab drivers, street
level food vendors, ethnic book stores, Internet cafes and even mosques, sending
snoops in to listen to sermons — all without a hint of federal, state or local
oversight.

Part of their strategy involves the use of a “Demographic Unit,”
which the NYPD officially denied exists. One undercover officer quoted by AP
said he was ordered to move into an ethnic neighborhood and “act like a
civilian” so his monitors could use him like a “walking camera.”

Detectives have also tapped shopkeepers and “nosy neighbors” in ethnic
neighborhoods to keep them updated on local goings-on, according to the report.
They’ve even sent officers into prisons to promise help for Muslim prisoners,
if they’ll just work with the police.

Unlike the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is prohibited from
conducting similar operations without prior evidence of wrongdoing, the NYPD
is unrestricted in this manner, although AP noted that the department has been
keen to cover its tracks, to prevent any appearance of civil rights abuses or
racial profiling.…

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Did Tenet Hide Key 9/11 Info?

ConsortiumNews.com Exclusive: With few exceptions — like some salacious rumor about the Kennedy family — the mainstream U.S. news media has little interest in historical stories. Such was the case when an ex-White House terrorism official accused a former CIA director of withholding information that might have prevented a 9/11 attack, Ray McGovern reports. <

August 16, 2011
By Ray McGovern
ConsortiumNews.com

Bulletin for those of you who get your information only from the New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM): Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has accused ex-CIA Director George Tenet of denying him and others access to intelligence that could have thwarted the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11.

Deliberately withholding critical intelligence from those who need it, and can act on it, is — at the least — gross dereliction of duty.

The more so if keeping the White House promptly and fully informed is at the top of your job jar, as it was for Director of Central Intelligence Tenet. And yet that is precisely the charge Clarke has leveled at the former DCI.

In an interview aired on Aug. 11 on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado, Clarke charges that Tenet and two other senior CIA officials, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, deliberately withheld information about two of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77 — al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. The two had entered the United States more than a year before the 9/11 attacks.… Continue reading

An Explosive New 9/11 Charge

by Philip Shenon

The Daily Beast

In a new documentary, former national-security aide Richard Clarke suggests the CIA tried to recruit 9/11 hijackers–then covered it up. Philip Shenon on George Tenet’s denial.

With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks only a month away, former CIA Director George Tenet and two former top aides are fighting back hard against allegations that they engaged in a massive cover-up in 2000 and 2001 to hide intelligence from the White House and the FBI that might have prevented the attacks.

The source of the explosive, unproved allegations is a man who once considered Tenet a close friend: former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, who makes the charges against Tenet and the CIA in an interview for a radio documentary timed to the 10th anniversary next month. Portions of the Clarke interview were made available to The Daily Beast by the producers of the documentary.

In the interview for the documentary, Clarke offers an incendiary theory that, if true, would rewrite the history of the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that the CIA intentionally withheld information from the White House and FBI in 2000 and 2001 that two Saudi-born terrorists were on U.S. soil–terrorists who went on to become suicide hijackers on 9/11.

Continue reading here

 

Former Counterterrorism Czar Accuses Tenet, Other CIA Officials of Cover-Up

By Jason Leopold Truthout

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 just a month away, the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have started to attract fresh scrutiny from former counterterrorism officials, who have called into question the veracity of the official government narrative that concluded who knew what and when.

Indeed, recently Truthout published an exclusive report based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and an interview with a former high-ranking counterterrorism official that showed how a little-known military intelligence unit, unbeknownst to the various investigative bodies probing the terrorist attacks, was ordered by senior government officials to stop tracking Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s movements prior to 9/11.

And now, in a stunning new interview made available to Truthout that is scheduled to air on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado tonight, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, for the first time, levels explosive allegations against three former top CIA officials – George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee – accusing them of knowingly withholding intelligence from the Bush and Clinton White House, the FBI, Immigration and the State and Defense Departments about two of the 9/11 hijackers who had entered the United States more than a year before the attacks. Moreover, Clarke says the former CIA officials likely engaged in a cover-up by withholding key details about two of the hijackers from the 9/11 Commission.

Continued here

 

Zacarias Moussaoui: What We Don’t Know Might Hurt Us

A Significant Stimulus for the Reform that Never Came

10 August 2011
by Kevin Fenton
BoilingFrogsPost.com

Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the numerous “20th hijackers,” was arrested ten years ago next Tuesday, outside the Residence Inn in Eagan, Minnesota. The arrest was one of the first events in a case that gave the FBI a chance to blow open the 9/11 plot, but resulted in abject humiliation for the bureau when its headquarters’ string of errors was exposed in the press.

The Moussaoui case is a poster boy for the state of our knowledge about the attacks: we have some of the details, but know some are missing. Also, two key questions remain unanswered. This despite the wealth of information that came out at the trial and the fact that Moussaoui, although largely ignored by the 9/11 Commission’s final report–partly due to the forthcoming trial–was a major topic of the Justice Department inspector general’s report into the FBI’s pre-attack failings.

These are the bare bones of the case: Moussaoui had been a known extremist for years prior to his arrest. Before the bureau first heard his name on August 15, he had been under surveillance by French and British intelligence and the CIA, although the agency would claim it only knew him under an alias. He was sent to the US for flight training by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, possibly to participate in 9/11, possibly to participate in a follow-up operation. However, he was a poor student and… Continue reading

Analysing the CIA Response to Richard Clarke’s Allegations: Who Knew What When?

by Kevin Fenton
Published at 911truth.org

Following the airing of allegations by former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke that the CIA deliberately withheld from him information about Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, former CIA director George Tenet, former CIA Counterterrorist Center chief Cofer Black and Richard Blee, a mid-level agency official who occupied two key counterterrorist positions before 9/11, have responded with a joint statement.

Clarke said that information about the two men was deliberately withheld from him in January 2000, at the time of a key al-Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which the CIA monitored. Clarke alleged that, based on his knowledge of how the CIA works, Tenet authorised the deliberate withholding. Clarke added that the information was clearly important in the summer of 2001, when the CIA knew that Almihdhar was in the country and, in the words of one of Blee’s former deputies, was “very high interest” in connection with the next al-Qaeda attack. However, the CIA continued to withhold some information from both Clarke and the FBI.

Mark Rossini, one of Blee’s former subordinates at Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, has previously admitted deliberately withholding the information from the FBI. According to Rossini, in early January 2000 he and a colleague, Doug Miller, knew they should notify the FBI that Almihdhar had a US visa and presumably intended to soon visit the US. Miller even drafted, but did not send, a cable informing the FBI of Almihdhar’s visa. However, Rossini says he… Continue reading

White House Terror Chief Alleges CIA 9/11 Malfeasance, Cover Up in New Interview: PBS Colorado’s Exclusive Ignites Battle Among Bush Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published at Colorado911Visibility.org

Press Contact: Robert Boutton (323) 300-5376 www.SecrecyKills.com

In a never-before-seen interview, Richard Clarke, former White House Counterterror “Tsar” to Presidents Clinton and Bush, goes on record about what he believes happened at CIA in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, accusing then-CIA Director George Tenet and two of his deputies of deliberately not informing the White House, FBI, and Defense Department about two future hijackers inside U.S., then covering up from the 9/11 investigations. His comments air and stream Thursday, August 11, 2010 at 7 p.m. MDT on Colorado Public Television (CPT12) and simultaneously go live on SecrecyKills.com , along with CIA reaction.

News of the premiere set off attacks on Clarke from three of those he singled out. Tenet and former CIA officials Cofer Black and Richard Blee, chiefs of CounterTerrorist Center and Bin Laden Station respectively on 9/11, have issued a one-page joint statement to the producers calling Clarke’s comments “reckless and profoundly wrong.” Significantly, this is the only statement Blee has issued publicly since the intelligence failure of September 11th and, indeed, the first time his real name has been made public in the major media.

Filmmaker-journalists John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski conducted the interview in 2009 for a documentary to be released on the 9/11 tenth anniversary entitled “Who Is Rich Blee?”, promising further revelations from Commission Chairman Tom Kean and other government insiders, produced by transparency advocates SecrecyKills.com in association with media company Globalvision, winner of the George Polk Journalism Award.…

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The NSA & 9/11: Failure to Exploit the US-Yemen Hub & Beyond

Just one of the Legacies of 9/11
by Kevin Fenton Boilingfrogs

Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn’t know they were here, until it was too late.

The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time.

-President Bush, December 17, 2005

In the aftermath of 9/11, reams of newsprint were given over to discussing the CIA and FBI failures before the attacks; the agency had some of the hijackers under surveillance and allegedly lost them, the bureau was unable even to inform its own acting director of the Zacarias Moussaoui case. However, the USA’s largest and most powerful intelligence agency, the National Security Agency, got a free ride. There was no outcry over its failings, no embarrassing Congressional hearings for its director. Yet, as we will see, the NSA’s performance before 9/11 was shocking.

It is unclear when the NSA first intercepted a call by one of the nineteen hijackers. Reporting indicates it began listening in on telephone calls to the home of Pentagon hijacker Khalid Almihdhar’s wife some time around late 1996. However, although Almihdhar certainly did… Continue reading

Senate Intel Committee Blocks Report on ‘Secret Law’

August 2nd, 2011
by Steven Aftergood
Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

The Senate Intelligence Committee rejected an amendment that would have required
the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to confront the
problem of “secret law,” by which government agencies rely on legal authorities
that are unknown or misunderstood by the public.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall, was rejected on a voice vote, according to the new Committee report on the FY2012 Intelligence Authorization Act.

“We remain very concerned that the U.S. government’s official interpretation of the Patriot Act is inconsistent with the public’s understanding of the law,” Senators Wyden and Udall wrote. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret.”

The Senators included dissenting remarks, along with the text of their rejected amendment, in the Committee report.

Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall also offered another amendment that would have required the Justice Department Inspector General to estimate the number of Americans who have had the contents of their communications reviewed in violation of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. That amendment too was rejected, by a vote of 7-8. All Committee Republicans, plus Democrat Bill Nelson (D-FL), opposed the amendment.

“It is a matter of public record that there have been incidents in which intelligence agencies have failed to comply with the FISA Amendments Act, and that certain types… Continue reading

Bosnia, Kosovo, and Now Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s On-Going Collusion with Terrorists

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.

Photo of meeting between The Shah, Brezinski and President Carter

The Shah (left), Brzezinski (right), Carter (second right)

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Disconnecting the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen — Chapter 15

by Kevin Fenton

Introduction to Chapter 15 of Disconnecting the Dots , for publication at 911Truth.org :

In January 2000, several high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives, including alleged Flight 77 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, held a summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was monitored by the CIA and a local Malaysian service, although the agency reportedly failed to exploit this opportunity to learn what bin Laden’s organization was planning. In addition, the CIA deliberately withheld information about the two men, in particular that Almihdhar had a US visa, from the FBI. The agency then allegedly suffered the misfortune of losing Almihdhar, Alhazmi and another al-Qaeda operative in Bangkok, Thailand. The surveillance of the Malaysia summit was run by Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, its chief Richard Blee and his deputy Tom Wilshire. On January 12 and 14 Blee gave his superior, Cofer Black, incorrect briefings about what was happening with the surveillance. Chapter 15 picks up the story on January 15.

Chapter 15

I know nobody read that cable

&nbsp:

Editor’s Note:
Respected longtime 9/11 researcher and author Kevin Fenton has graciously allowed 911truth.org to publish Chapter 15 of his book recently released by Trine Day Publishing, Disconnecting
the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen:
.

Also read “Questions and Answers with Kevin Fenton,” Jon Gold’s interview of the author published July 12, 2011 at 911truthnews.com.

 

After the CIA allegedly lost Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Khallad bin Attash in Bangkok, it asked the… Continue reading

Did the FBI Bury Oklahoma City Bombing Evidence?

One lawyer’s relentless quest for information reveals fresh hints of a coverup.

By James Ridgeway
July 21, 2011
MotherJones.com

Photo of Timothy McVeigh being escorted from the Perry oklahoma courthouse.

Photo by Bob Owen/Zuma

In 2007, Mother Jones was the first national media outlet to tell the full story of Jesse Trentadue and his quest for the truth, which began four months after the attack on Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, killed 168 people. It was then that Trentadue, a Salt Lake City lawyer, learned that his brother, a construction worker and one-time bank robber, had died in a federal prison in Oklahoma City. [Photo: Timothy McVeigh is escorted from the courthouse in Perry, Oklahoma. Bob Owen/Zuma]

Prison officials said the prisoner had hanged himself. But Kenney Trentadue, who had never revealed any suicidal inclination, was shipped home for burial with bruises all over his body and lacerations on his face and throat–suggesting something more sinister. Even Oklahoma City’s chief medical examiner would later say, publicly, that it was “very likely he was murdered.” But the most compelling evidence in the case was altered or turned up missing. Jesse Trentadue was never able to prove what had actually happened to his brother–though he did win a $1.1 million civil suit for “emotional distress” to his family, based on the way the government had handled the aftermath of Kenney’s death.

Trentadue had all but given up, when, in the spring of 2003, he got a call from a small-town newspaper reporter in Oklahoma named… Continue reading

Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded

By Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com

In August, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder — under continuous , aggressive prodding by the Obama White House — announced that three categories of individuals responsible for Bush-era torture crimes would be fully immunized from any form of criminal investigation and prosecution: (1) Bush officials who ordered the torture (Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld); (2) Bush lawyers who legally approved it (Yoo, Bybee, Levin), and (3) those in the CIA and the military who tortured within the confines of the permission slips they were given by those officials and lawyers (i.e., “good-faith” torturers). The one exception to this sweeping immunity was that low-level CIA agents and servicemembers who went so far beyond the torture permission slips as to basically commit brutal, unauthorized murder would be subject to a “preliminary review” to determine if a full investigation was warranted — in other words, the Abu Ghraib model of justice was being applied, where only low-ranking scapegoats would be subject to possible punishment while high-level officials would be protected.

Yesterday, it was announced that this “preliminary review” by the prosecutor assigned to conduct it, U.S. Attorney John Durham, is now complete, and — exactly as one would expect — even this category of criminals has been almost entirely protected, meaning a total legal whitewash for the Bush torture regime:

The Justice Department has opened full criminal investigations of the deaths in CIA custody of two detainees , including one who perished at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison,… Continue reading

Boiling Frogs Exclusive: Intelligence and Law Enforcement Experts on Ever-Changing Bin Laden Death Script

Boilingfrogspost.com

Not All Sources and Experts Are Equal–Here Are some Real Ones!

directorThere are ‘experts’ views,’ and then there are experts’ views. There are ‘government sources,’ and then there are government sources. Not all experts are equal. And, not all sources are reliable. Am I talking in riddles? Of course not; give me a chance and I’ll explain.

We have members of the popular media (mainstream and quasi-alternatives alike) ever anxious to market and disseminate government conspiracy and propaganda. They, members of the popular media, have their own rolodex of ‘experts’ and analysts, some on their payroll, to help them propagate the delivery and execution of government-given propaganda-conspiracy. The same principle applies to ‘sources.’ The popular media relies on their government sources who act as middle-men-government messengers who’ve been given a government written and approved script to be delivered; almost always anonymously. Well, this is exactly what we have been getting from our media, around the clock, since the announcement of the Bin Laden Death Operation: ever-changing government scripts, delivered mainly by anonymous government sources to the US media, and further embellished and expanded upon by government-connected experts and analysts on the payroll.

On the other hand, there are many independent real experts whose analyses and views you won’t, or rarely, get to hear or read about; at least not in the mainstream media or at quasi-alternative sites. And there are current and former government sources not tasked with messenger duties; many of whom… Continue reading

How Many SEALs Died?

by Paul Craig Roberts
May 17, 2011
VDARE.com

In a sensational and explosive TV report, the Pakistani News Agency has provided a live interview with an eye witness to the US attack on the alleged compound of Osama bin Laden. The eye witness, Mohammad Bashir, describes the event as it unfolded. Of the three helicopters, “there was only one that landed the men and came back to pick them up, but as he [the helicopter] was picking them up, it blew away and caught fire.” The witness says that there were no survivors, just dead bodies and pieces of bodies everywhere. “We saw the helicopter burning, we saw the dead bodies, then everything was removed and now there is nothing.”

I always wondered how a helicopter could crash, as the White House reported, without at least producing injuries. Yet, in the original White House story, the SEALs not only survived a 40-minute firefight with al Qaeda, “the most highly trained, most dangerous, most vicious killers on the planet,” without a scratch, but also survived a helicopter crash without a scratch.

The Pakistani news report is available on you tube. The Internet site, Veterans Today, posted a translation along with a video of the interview. Information Clearing House made
it available on May 17
.

If the interview is not a hoax and the translation is correct, we now know the answer to the unasked question: Why was there no White House ceremony with President Obama pinning medals all over the… Continue reading

Utah judge orders FBI to help provide more info on Oklahoma City bombing

The Associated Press
First published May 11, 2011
Updated May 12, 2011
Salt Lake Tribune

A federal judge in Utah on Wednesday ordered the FBI to produce more information about its record-keeping in response to an inquiry by a man who contends unreleased video and other records from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will show more people were involved in the attack.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said he believes Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue has raised valid questions about whether the agency has done enough to find a pair of videotapes sought as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.

Waddoups also wants to know whether bureau officials believe they can conceal information from the public and the courts and ordered a Department of Justice attorney to detail how difficult it would be for the FBI to manually search for the records in evidence control centers in Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and at an FBI crime lab.

Waddoups, who set a June 30 deadline for government attorneys, wants the information before deciding whether the FBI has complied with federal freedom of information laws in Trentadue’s case.

Trentadue sued the FBI and the CIA in 2008 seeking release of tapes and records from the fatal bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

The lawsuit came two years after Trentadue first sought the information.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court, Trentadue contends the FBI’s efforts to locate the information he wants have been inadequate, and he argues… Continue reading

From 1998: ‘Bin Laden comes home to roost’

His CIA ties are only the beginning of a woeful story

Photo of Osama bin Laden By Michael Moran
August 24, 1998 MSNBC

BRAVE NEW WORLD

Image: Usama bin Laden, Credit: AP Exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is seen in this April, 1998 photo in Afghanistan.

NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 1998 — At the CIA, it happens often enough to have a code name: Blowback. Simply defined, this is the term describing an agent, an operative or an operation that has turned on its creators. Osama bin Laden, our new public enemy Number 1, is the personification of blowback. And the fact that he is viewed as a hero by millions in the Islamic world proves again the old adage: Reap what you sow.

Befpre up [sic] click on my face and call me naive, let me concede some points. Yes, the West needed Josef Stalin to defeat Hitler. Yes, there were times during the Cold War when supporting one villain (Cambodia’s Lon Nol, for instance) would have been better than the alternative (Pol Pot). So yes, there are times when any nation must hold its nose and shake hands with the devil for the long-term good of the planet.

But just as surely, there are times when the United States, faced with such moral dilemmas, should have resisted the temptation to act. Arming a multi-national coalition of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan during the 1980s – well after the destruction of the Marine barracks in Beirut or the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 – was one of those times.…

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The many deaths of Osama bin Laden

A look back at the years of false reports that preceded Sunday night’s announcement of the real thing
By Justin Elliott
Salon.com

Photo of Osama bin Laden

FILE – In this 1998 file photo, Ayman al-Zawahri, left, holds a press conference with Osama bin Laden in Khost, Afghanistan and made available Friday March 19, 2004. A person familiar with developments said Sunday, May 1, 2011 that bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has the body.
(AP Photo/Mazhar Ali Khan)

 

The false reports of Osama bin Laden’s death began almost immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, and persisted at a rate of at least once or twice a year, every year. The reports — generated by (usually anonymous) statements by American officials and a dizzying array of foreign sources — often generated international headlines.

Here’s a sampling:

July 2002 FBI counterterrorism chief Dale Watson tells a law enforcement conference of bin Laden: “I personally think he is probably not with us anymore, but I have no evidence to support that.”

August 2002 Popular conspiracy-mongering radio host Alex Jones announces, citing high-level Bush administration sources, “that bin Laden died of natural causes and that his family has given the body to the CIA.” Jones added, “they’re gonna roll him out right before the election, he’s on ice right now.”

May 2003 French military analyst announces that bin Laden was killed in an American air raid in Tora Bora shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

February 2004 Iranian Radio reports that bin Laden was captured… Continue reading