By The Associated Press
July 19th, 2010
Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, top-secret intelligence gathering by
the government has grown so unwieldy and expensive that no one really knows
what it cost and how many people are involved, The Washington Post reported
A two-year investigation by the newspaper uncovered what it termed a "Top
Secret America" that’s mostly hidden from public view and largely lacking
In its first installment of a series of reports, the Post said there are now
more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies
working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000
locations across the U.S.
Some 854,000 people — or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who
live in Washington — have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post that he doesn’t believe the massive
bureaucracy of government and private intelligence has grown too large to manage,
but it is sometimes hard to get precise information.
"Nine years after 9/11, it makes sense to sort of take a look at this
and say, ‘OK, we’ve built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we
need?" he said.
The head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said he knows that with the growing budget
deficits the level of spending on intelligence will likely be reduced and he’s
at work on a five-year plan for the agency.
The White House had been anticipating the Post report and said… Continue reading
An Open Letter to Terry Allen, Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, David Corn, Chris Hayes, George Monbiot, Matthew Rothschild, and Matt Taibbi1
According to several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, some of its central claims, especially about the destruction of the World Trade Center, show its members to be scientifically challenged. In the opinion of some of these critics, moreover, claims made by members of this movement are sometimes unscientific in the strongest possible sense, implying an acceptance of magic and miracles.
After documenting this charge in Part I of this essay, I show in Part II that the exact opposite is the case: that the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center implies miracles (I give nine examples), and that the 9/11 Truth Movement, in developing an alternative hypothesis, has done so in line with the assumption that the laws of nature did not take a holiday on 9/11. In Part III, I ask these left-leaning critics some questions evoked by the fact that it is they, not members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who have endorsed a conspiracy theory replete with miracle stories as well as other absurdities.
I. The Charge that 9/11 Truth Theories Rest on Unscientific, Even Magical, Beliefs
Several left-leaning critics of the 9/11 Truth Movement, besides showing contempt for its members, charge them with relying on claims that are contradicted by good science and, in some cases, reflect a belief… Continue reading
David Ray Griffin
There are many questions to ask about the war in Afghanistan. One that has been widely asked is whether it will turn out to be “Obama’s Vietnam.”1 This question implies another: Is this war winnable, or is it destined to be a quagmire, like Vietnam? These questions are motivated in part by the widespread agreement that the Afghan government, under Hamid Karzai, is at least as corrupt and incompetent as the government the United States tried to prop up in South Vietnam for 20 years.
Although there are many similarities between these two wars, there is also a big difference: This time, there is no draft. If there were a draft, so that college students and their friends back home were being sent to Afghanistan, there would be huge demonstrations against this war on campuses all across this country. If the sons and daughters of wealthy and middle-class parents were coming home in boxes, or with permanent injuries or post-traumatic stress syndrome, this war would have surely been stopped long ago. People have often asked: Did we learn any of the “lessons of Vietnam”? The US government learned one: If you’re going to fight unpopular wars, don’t have a draft — hire mercenaries!
There are many other questions that have been, and should be, asked about this war, but in this essay, I focus on only one: Did the 9/11 attacks justify the war in Afghanistan?… Continue reading
By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
As the Official Story of the 1980 October Surprise case crumbles — with new revelations that key evidence was hidden from investigators of a congressional task force and that internal doubts were suppressed — history must finally confront the troubling impression that remains: that disgruntled elements of the CIA and Israel’s Likud hardliners teamed up to remove a U.S. president from office.
Indeed, it is this disturbing conclusion — perhaps even more than the idea of a Republican dirty trick — that may explain the longstanding and determined cover-up of this political scandal.
Too many powerful interests do not want the American people to accept even the possibility that U.S. intelligence operatives and a longtime ally could intervene to oust a president who had impinged on what those two groups considered their vital interests.
To accept that scenario would mean that two of the great fears of American democracy had come true — George Washington’s warning against the dangers of “entangling alliances” and Harry Truman’s concern that the clandestine operations of the CIA had the makings of an “American Gestapo.”
It is far easier to assure the American people that no such thing could occur, that Israel’s Likud — whatever its differences with Washington over Middle East peace policies — would never seek to subvert a U.S. president, and that CIA dissidents — no matter how frustrated by political constraints — would never sabotage their own government.
But the evidence points in that… Continue reading
William A. (“Bill”) Christison, a former senior analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency who became a supporter of the 9/11 Truth Movement, died June 13, 2010, due to a rapidly advancing neurological disease, which he had contracted three months earlier. He leaves behind his wife, Kathleen McGrath Christison (who had also been a CIA analyst), two daughters (Lynda Carlson and Judith Wooten), and a son (Eric). He had been preceded in death by two other sons (Robert and Thomas). The memorial service was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Friday, June 18.
Born in Boston in 1928, Christison graduated from Princeton in 1950 and immediately joined the CIA to begin what would become a distinguished 28-year career. Starting out as an analyst on Soviet affairs, he worked in the 1960s on the problem of global nuclear proliferation, with special emphases on France, Israel, India, and Pakistan. In the 1970s, he became the National Intelligence Officer for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. (He and Kathleen met while they were both working in Saigon.) He finished his career as Director of the CIA‘s Office of Regional and Political Analysis, supervising over 200 analysts covering, between themselves, every region of the world.
In 1979, he and his wife retired from the CIA and moved to Sante Fe, where he started becoming more critical of US foreign policy, especially when he saw that the fall of the Soviet Union, which by ending the Cold War… Continue reading
by Philip Shenon
June 10, 2010
The Daily Beast – Blogs & Stories
Anxious that Wikileaks may be on the verge of publishing a batch of secret State Department cables, investigators are desperately searching for founder Julian Assange. Philip Shenon reports. Plus, Daniel Ellsberg tells The Daily Beast: “Assange is in Some Danger.”
(This story has been updated to reflect new developments on Assange’s whereabouts, including the cancelation of a scheduled appearance in Las Vegas.)
Pentagon investigators are trying to determine the whereabouts of the Australian-born founder of the secretive website Wikileaks for fear that he may be about to publish a huge cache of classified State Department cables that, if made public, could do serious damage to national security, government officials tell The Daily Beast.
The officials acknowledge that even if they found the website founder, Julian Assange, it is not clear what they could do to block publication of the cables on Wikileaks, which is nominally based on a server in Sweden and bills itself as a champion of whistleblowers.
“We’d like to know where he is; we’d like his cooperation in this,” one U.S. official said of Assange.
American officials said Pentagon investigators are convinced that Assange is in possession of at least some classified State Department cables leaked by a 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist, Bradley Manning of Potomac, Maryland, who is now in custody in Kuwait.
And given the contents of the cables, the feds have good reason to be concerned.
As The Daily… Continue reading
June 1, 2010 by Dahr Jamail t r u t h o u t | Report
The Israeli military has attacked a flotilla of international peace activists, killing as many as 19 innocent civilians while they were carrying ten tons of aid to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. This is not the first time the Israeli military has attacked a nonthreatening entity in international waters.
On June 8, 1967, while sailing in international waters, the US Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty was attacked by air and naval forces of the state of Israel. Of the Liberty’s crew of 294, more than half were killed or wounded. More than 40 years later, survivors are still seeking justice.
The Israeli forces attacked with full knowledge that the Liberty was an American ship, yet survivors have been forbidden to tell their story under oath to the American public.
Joe Meadors was on the Liberty during the attack. “I watched some jets pass us then turn left after they passed our ship, then they started strafing [attacking repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft] us,” Meadors told Truthout.
“The attack lasted 90 minutes, during which we got a message off to the 6th fleet asking for assistance, and we learned later, Joe Tully, commanding officer of the USS Saratoga, launched aircraft within minutes of the attack, but he told us later they were recalled before they reached the horizon. We found this out 20 years after the attack.”
Meadors said he and his group, the USS Liberty Veterans Association, believe that Rear Adm.…Continue reading
May 10, 2010
On Tuesday, May 11 at 6:00pm CDT on 90.1 FM KKFI Community Radio (Kansas City), ‘Tell Somebody‘ host Tom Klammer will feature former FBI Special Agent and Minneapolis Chief Division Counsel Coleen Rowley and 27- year CIA analyst and Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity cofounder Ray McGovern. The program will stream live at www.kkfi.org.
Rowley’s team had arrested Zacarias Moussaoui just three weeks before 9/11, and was denied a warrant to search his computer by FBI headquarters. Rowley was on the cover of Time magazine’s 2002 Person of the Year issue with two other whistleblowers after she went public with a blistering letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Rowley just wrote a piece on the Huffington Post, headlined “Quarles Public Safety Exception–Constitutional and Proven Effective!” . We’ll hear about that from Coleen Rowley as she returns to Tell Somebody this week.
Tune in to KKFI at 6pm Tuesday.
Last week’s show, Puppy mills, oil spills, & the Prince who crawled from the sewer is now online. In that show I played just a couple of minutes from an October, 2008 interview with Antonia Juhasz. I posted that entire interview online. Yahoo posted an Associated Press story online dated May 8, 2010, headlined “Bubble of Methane Triggered Rig Blast”.
In her book Juhasz writes: Drilling in water… Continue reading
In 2009, I published a little book entitled Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 1 Much evidence, I showed, suggested that Osama bin Laden had died on or about December 13, 2001. (Although this book was ignored by the US press, it received major reviews in British newspapers, 2 and it even provided the basis for a BBC special. 3 ) Pointing out that the only evidence to the contrary consists of “messages from bin Laden” in the form of audiotapes and videotapes that have appeared since 2001, I devoted one chapter to an examination of the most important of these tapes, showing that none are demonstrably authentic and that some are almost certainly fakes.
In the chapter preceding that examination, I discussed two videotapes containing purported interviews of Osama bin Laden in the fall of 2001, when the issue was whether he had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks. I suggested that both of these tapes, in which bin Laden allegedly admitted his responsibility, were fakes. If they were, I pointed out, this fact would increase the likelihood that all of the “Osama bin Laden tapes” appearing in the following years – when the question of whether he was still alive was added to that of his responsibility for 9/11 – were also fakes.
The clearest example, I argued, was the most famous of the so-called bin Laden confession videos. Having allegedly been found in a private home in Jalalabad,… Continue reading
Probe Beneath the Surface of the Obama Era at the “Understanding Deep Politics” Conference in Santa Cruz, May 14-16
By Byron Belitsos
May 4, 2010
Some say it began with the invasion of Iraq. Others, with the inauguration of George W. Bush for his second term. Many point to the day of 9/11. But those in the know–including ten distinguished speakers headlining the “Understanding Deep Politics” Conference in Santa Cruz this May 14-16–trace the era of deep politics further back: Some to JFK’s assassination; others, to the aftermath of World War II. And a few speakers in Santa Cruz will stretch us back to Hitler, Lenin, Weishaupt, or Machiavelli, from there to ancient secret societies, and even back to the dawn of human governance itself–in the belief that conscious political deception is an inescapable feature of human nature. But all agree on the general definition of deep politics: It refers to government in which two dimensions of action always coexist: Overt and covert, or benign and utterly ruthless.
We can trace it forward too; by now we know that the ways of deceptive government did not end with the ascent of Obama. As with the Bush era, the overt side of American politics still refers to government actions thinly covered in the mainstream press; on this level of action, we know that Obama signed the largest military budget in history, expanded the war in Afghanistan, bailed out banks, and “reformed” health care; but on the covert side of the equation, most don’t realize–given how the corporate media and Obama’s benign rhetoric is busy distracting us–that the new president has carried forward virtually all of the discredited Bush-era War or Terror policies.…Continue reading
David Ray Griffin
A right-wing neocon organization called the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD)1 — which devotes itself to attacking religiously and socially progressive churches while supporting US imperial policies (going back to the Nicaraguan Contras funded illegally by the Reagan administration2 ) — has recently put out a press release attacking my next book, which is scheduled to be published this coming fall. Saying that I am “back with another outrageous book” in which I allege “new absurdities,” the IRD claims that I am “this time alleging that the Obama administration is attempting to undermine 9/11 conspiracy theorists.”3
Last September, Dr. Griffin was interviewed by God TV, the End Times show. It reaches over 100 million people worldwide by TV, plus others on the Internet.
It was aired on Friday night at 5:30 PM PDT and turned out to be an excellent interview, really professional. The hosts, Rory and Wendy, are gracious and delightful. Just a simple, straightforward interview that freed David to take his time to explain things. It’s also on their website: http://www.god.tv/video/play?video=1219. Part 2 will be shown live this Friday at 5:30 Pacific, 8:30 PM Eastern. [Originally posted at 911blogger.com]
False Assumptions about My Forthcoming Book… Continue reading
By Scott Shane
April 6, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.
Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.
But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in… Continue reading
by Jason Leopold
The Justice Department has quietly recanted nearly every major claim the Bush administration had made about “high-value” detainee Abu Zubaydah, a Guantánamo prisoner who at one time was said to have planned the 9/11 attacks and was the No. 2 and 3 person in al-Qaeda.
Additionally, Justice has backed away from claims intelligence officials working in the Clinton administration had also leveled against Zubaydah, specifically, that he was directly involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.
Zubaydah’s name is redacted throughout the 109-page court document, but he is identified on the first page of the filing by his real name, Zayn Al Abidin Muhammad Husayn. He was the first detainee captured after 9/11 who was subjected to nearly a dozen brutal torture techniques, which included waterboarding, and was the catalyst, the public has been told, behind the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation” program. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has publicly admitted that personally approved of Zubaydah’s waterboarding.
His torture was videotaped and the tapes later destroyed. The destruction of 90 videotapes of his interrogations is the focus of a high-level criminal investigation being conducted by John Durham, a federal prosecutor appointed special counsel in 2008 by then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
In recent months, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen has been on a public relations campaign promoting his book, “Courting Disaster,” in which he defended the torture of Zubaydah, claiming, among other things, that he reviewed classified intelligence that revealed Zubaydah’s torture produced actionable intelligence… Continue reading
by Anthony L. Kimery
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
‘Secret’ CIA documents withheld in FOIA suit raise more questions than they answer
Questions about foreign complicity in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in downtown Oklahoma City for which Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted, were disclosed Friday in a ruling by US District court judge Clark Waddoups on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for the CIA’s refusal to completely declassify records it has acknowledged it possesses that pertain to the case.
It is the first indication that the CIA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) worked together in the bombing investigations and prosecutions.
The classified materials also were never made available to McVeigh’s defense team, led by attorney Stephen Jones, who has publicly expressed his concern that the federal government knows more about the bombing than it has admitted.
The ruling Friday in Salt Lake City was in response to the December 12, 2006 FOIA suit brought by Jesse Trentadue, an attorney who sought numerous documents from the CIA, “including any [related to] potential involvement of foreign nationals in that attack.”
Waddoups ruled that the CIA materials were properly classified by the CIA for the variety of reasons that the Agency had claimed, and that they would not be made available to the public. It was the first such national security defense ever used by the government in denying records to Trentadue.
While the exact content of the documents – which were not reviewed by Waddoups in camera – were not revealed, Waddoups in his ruling hinted at what they contained based largely on “supporting affidavits” and other materials that the CIA provided to him.…Continue reading
March 26, 2010
By Muriel Kane
In an extraordinary editorial, the whistleblower site WikiLeaks has demanded that the United States “stop spying” on its operations.
“Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations,” founder Julian Assange writes. “We’ve become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest. But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive.”
On Tuesday evening, followers of the WikiLeaks Twitter feed were startled to read, “WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation.” This was followed a few minutes later by “If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible.” A succeeding message warned, “We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.”
Friday’s editorial finally fills in the background of those cryptic messages. Assange apparently believes that his group is under close surveillance by US intelligence because of its planned release of “a classified U.S. military video showing civilian kills by U.S. pilots” under the command of General David Petraeus.
Most of the incidents that he cites, however, have occurred in Iceland, where WikiLeaks representatives have been holding discussions with members of the Icelandic parliament about the possibility of turning that nation into a haven… Continue reading
By Sahil Kapur
Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a document recently obtained by the ACLU.
The notification came in a letter dated January 6, 2004 , addressed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet. The ACLU described it as a fax sent by David Addington, then-counsel to former vice president Dick Cheney.
In the message, the officials denied the bipartisan commission’s request to question terrorist detainees, informing its two senior-most members that doing so would “cross” a “line” and obstruct the administration’s ability to protect the nation.
“In response to the Commission’s expansive requests for access to secrets, the executive branch has provided such access in full cooperation,” the letter read. “There is, however, a line that the Commission should not cross — the line separating the Commission’s proper inquiry into the September 11, 2001 attacks from interference with the Government’s ability to safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks.”
The 9/11 Commission, officially called the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States , was formed by President Bush in November of 2002 “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks” and to offer recommendations for preventing future attacks.
“The Commission staff’s proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line,” the letter continued. “As… Continue reading
by James Corbett The Corbett Report
FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds joined The Corbett Report last Friday to discuss the deplorable state of whistleblower “protections” in the United States, including S.372 , a bill making its way through the Senate that would allow the FBI and other “national security” agencies to dismiss whistleblowers’ claims without any form of oversight.
The details of Edmonds’ experience blowing the whistle on the FBI–where, in the wake of 9/11, she worked in the Turkish language division of the Washington field office’s translation department–are by now fairly well known amongst followers of the alternative media. The revelations that have emerged from her case have been explosive: that foreign operatives working within the translation department tried to recruit her for their operations; that there exists a nuclear spy ring aided and abetted by high ranking U.S. government officials selling America’s nuclear secrets on the black market; that foreign language intelligence directly pertaining to 9/11 was deliberately withheld from FBI agents in the field; that Osama Bin Laden had an ‘intimate relationship’ with the United States government right up until 9/11. Perhaps the only thing more remarkable than the information she has revealed is that she ever got to reveal it at all.
The route by which Sibel Edmonds became the silent, gagged star of the 9/11 Truth movement and the poster child of the national security whistleblowers club is a… Continue reading
By Philip Messing
New York Post
On Nov. 28, 1953, Frank Olson, a bland, seemingly innocuous 42-year-old government scientist, plunged to his death from room 1018A in New York’s Statler Hotel, landing on a Seventh Avenue sidewalk just opposite Penn Station.
Olson’s ignominious end was written off as an unremarkable suicide of a depressed government bureaucrat who came to New York City seeking psychiatric treatment, so it attracted scant attention at the time.
But 22 years later, the Rockefeller Commission report was released, detailing a litany of domestic abuses committed by the CIA. The ugly truth emerged: Olson’s death was the result of his having been surreptitiously dosed with LSD days earlier by his colleagues.
The shocking disclosure led to President Gerald Ford’s apology to Olson’s widow and his three children, who accepted a $750,000 civil payment for his wrongful death.
But the belated 1975 mea culpa failed to close a tawdry chapter of our nation’s past. Instead it generated more interest into a series of wildly implausible “mind control” experiments on an unsuspecting populace over three decades.
Much of this plot unfolded here, in New York, according to H.P. Albarelli Jr., author of “A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments.”
“For me, in countless ways the Olson story is a New York City story,” said Albarelli, a former lawyer in the Carter White House, who has written extensively about biological warfare and intelligence matters. “The CIA itself was created and initially… Continue reading