So this is how the US government does business!
Cash from the New York Federal Reserve is loaded on to C-130s and shipped to Bagdad — to the tune of $12 billion since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003.
The money originally came from Iraqi oil sales under Saddam and was held in trust under the rules of the UN oil sales program. Now it is handed out to Iraqi and US government contractors in the form of cash. Or “candy,” as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) puts it.
In the end, $8.8 billion can no longer be accounted for. And the Pentagon acknowledges Halliburton “requested that information in the audits be withheld” from the Congressional subpoena, “including allegations that the firm had spent too much money in purchasing fuel.”
“By law, contractors can request that the government withhold any proprietary information from release.”
Interesting law, when corporations can decide information about their public contracts is proprietary.
But anyway, it’s all just “pocket change,” says an e-mail circulating at the Fed.
(See article: “Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005.)
And who can argue with that?
* * *
Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two… Continue reading
by Tom Flocco
Washington — Former FBI contract translator and whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her attorneys were ordered removed from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse so that a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel could discuss her case in private with Bush administration lawyers.
In an exclusive interview on Saturday, we asked Edmonds if she would deny that laundered drug money linked to the 911 attacks found its way into recent House, Senate and Presidential campaign war-chests, according to what she heard in intelligence intercepts she was asked to translate.
“I will not deny that statement; but I cannot comment further on it,” she told TomFlocco.com, in a non-denial denial.
Edmonds is appealing the Bush administration’s arcane use of “state secrets privilege,” invoked last year to throw out her U.S. District Court lawsuit alleging retaliation for telling FBI superiors about shoddy wiretap translations and allegations that wiretap information was passed to the target of an FBI investigation. Given our multiple reports and numerous other interviews, Edmonds heard much more–but enough to warrant public suppression of criminal evidence by a wholly Republican appeals court panel?
“Tom, I’m telling you that not a single newspaper covered what happened to me on Thursday when I went into court,” said the exasperated translator, adding, “[Judge David] Ginsberg kicked everyone out, cut off my lawyer’s arguments and told us ‘we have questions to ask the government’s attorneys that you cannot… Continue reading
By Samara Kalk Derby
David Ray Griffin asks the tough questions about Sept. 11, contending U.S. officials had some knowledge of what was coming and possibly orchestrated the attacks.
Griffin, whose book, “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11,” came out a year ago, drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the majority of the 400 or so people who packed his lecture Monday night at Bascom Hall.
A retired Christian theologian, Griffin, 65, taught for more than 30 years at the Claremont School of Theology in California.
His comments Monday night were directed at religious people, who he said need to respond to Sept. 11 – and the American empire that has ensued – based on the moral principles of their religious traditions.
Drawing laughter from the crowd, Griffin said he had in mind principles like: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ oil” and “Thou shalt not murder thy neighbors in order to steal their oil.”
While Griffin noted that his books and talks have not received attention from the mainstream media, C-SPAN had a cameraman at the event and plans to air the lecture at a future date. Madison’s public access cable television station, WYOU-TV/Channel 4, meanwhile, will air the talk at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Americans interpret the events of Sept. 11 in one of four ways, Griffin said:
By Greg Palast
Reporting for Newsnight
The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.
Two years ago today – when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad – protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam had been conquered.
In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists”.
“Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.
This report reveals that the Iraq invasion, masked as a coup d’état, was being planned while Bush was still celebrating his inauguration in January 2001. However, the invasion would require a massive US military mobilization and abrupt belligerent public support, none of which would have been politically possible without 9/11 and the ensuing Afghan war. The key unaddressed issue here is who would bother to plan a politically impossible adventure if the vital enabling events were not anticipated too.
Insiders told Newsnight that planning began “within weeks” of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.
We saw an increase in the bombing… Continue reading
By Michael Shnayerson
Halliburton subsidiary KBR got $12 billion worth of exclusive contracts for work in Iraq. But even more shocking is how KBR spent some of the money. Former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Bunnatine Greenhouse is blowing the whistle on the Dick Cheney-linked company’s profits of war.
This time, she was sure, they were going to get her.
Bunnatine Greenhouse had been a huge nuisance since the buildup to the war in Iraq-questioning contracts, writing caveats on them in her spidery script, wanting to know why Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (formerly known as Kellogg, Brown and Root) should be thrown billions of dollars of government business while other companies, big and small, were shut out.
And Bunny Greenhouse wasn’t that easy to ignore: she was the highest-ranking civilian at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Specifically, she was the officer in charge of ensuring that any work contracted out by the Army Corps to private industry-from help in building bridges and dams and highways to support for wartime troops-was granted in a fair and aboveboard way. For two years, Greenhouse had asked hard questions about why the head of the Corps, to whom she reported directly, kept giving exclusive, non-compete contracts to KBR that now amounted to roughly $10.8 billion. Greenhouse was fearless, and she was blunt. In the Corps’s male hierarchy, it probably didn’t help that she was a woman-or that she was black.
On October 6, 2004, Greenhouse was summoned by… Continue reading
October 29, 2003
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. GARRETT). Under the Speaker’s announced policy of January 7, 2003, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. PALLONE) is recognized for 60 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Congress approved an $87 billion supplemental for the war and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. While I believe it is critically important that we get our military troops all the resources they need to safely complete their mission in Iraq, I do not support rubber-stamping this legislation so the Bush administration gets a free ride from Congress.
The Bush administration must account for its war strategy. The Bush administration must also answer the tough questions regarding questionable no-bid contracts, contracts that benefit Vice President DICK CHENEY’s former employer, an employer that continues to pay CHENEY hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in deferred salary, contracts that are free of any oversight from Congress.
Yet another 9/11 “Cui bono?” (who profits?) alert: This is almost ancient news by now if anyone was listening, but this is one of the clearest earliest Congressional examinations of rampant corruption in Iraq. It was a typical after hours empty chamber exercise, but the intrepid Marcy Kaptur did get Cheney’s continuing possession of 433,333 Halliburton stock options and his consequent millions in war profits into the public record at last.
Mr. Speaker, right now Halliburton holds a monopoly on Iraq. The company’s no-bid contract was first negotiated in secret and originally intended for… Continue reading
The Journey of a Wall Street Whistleblower
A 911truth.org Exclusive Report
By Michael Kane
“Ptech had all the markings,” said Indira Singh. All the markings of a CIA front company.
“I think there is a CIA within the CIA,” Indira told From the Wilderness (FTW). “I think there is a Shadow CIA that does the Iran-Contra type of things–they get funding from illicit methods–and that the Saudi’s are in on it. They might have trained some operatives, and later it backfired – it was blowback within blowback, perhaps.”
“What I do know, what the money trails do show, is that the Saudi’s are complicit. In other words, the ones that are extremely fundamentalist, the ones that promote Wahabiism-I’m not saying it’s all of them, but parts of them–are working hand-in-hand, lock step with elements within American intelligence whether it’s official or unofficial. There’s proof of that.”
March 2, 2005 (911truth.org): Wall Street whistleblower Indira Singh has had her professional life ripped away from her because of keeping the promise she made to some 3,000 victim’s who died at Ground Zero on 9/11. She made that promise at Ground Zero on 9/11 as a civilian EMT. Indira was supposed to be on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center that morning, but she was late. “I made a promise,” said Indira during a lengthy FTW interview, “that if anything fell into my lap, I wouldn’t look the other way–and I’m keeping that promise.”
Something did fall… Continue reading
By Daniel Hopsicker
Mad Cow Productions
Michael Chertoff, appointed by President Bush to head the Homeland Security Department, may have shielded from criminal prosecution a former client suspected by law enforcement of having funneled millions of dollars directly to Osama Bin Laden while in charge of the U.S. Government’s 9.11 investigation. Egyptian-born Dr. Magdy el-Amir, a prominent New Jersey neurologist, was at the center of terrorist intrigue in Jersey City.
WIRE TRANSFERS TO “UNKNOWN PARTIES”
Chertoff’s client “caused more than $5.7 million to be paid by wire transfers to unknown parties,” said the lawsuit filed shortly before the state took over his failing HMO. News accounts about el-Amir’s legal difficulties contain unanswered questions about undue political influence and its effect on national security.
For example, how did el-Amir, who only the month before had been granted a state license to operate an HMO, finagle a lucrative contract from the state of New Jersey in 1995? “Why was this doctor… Continue reading
by Michael Kane
January 18, 2005 (FTW) – In an argument of over 600 pages and 1,000 footnotes, Crossing the Rubicon makes the case for official complicity within the U.S. government and names Dick Cheney as the prime suspect in the crimes of 9/11. Since the publication of this book (to which I had the privilege of contributing a chapter), many people have asked to hear the case against Cheney argued “short & sweet.”
I will make it as short as possible, but it can never be sweet.
There are 3 major points made within this book that are crucial to proving Cheney’s guilt. I shall first list them and then go on to prove each point as laid out in Crossing the Rubicon.
by Catherine Austin Fitts, former Asst. Secretary of Housing
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature”s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
– The Declaration of Independence
UnAnswered Question #1: Cui Bono?
A spirited and global citizens’ media was birthed by our hunger to learn the truth that lay inside the graves of those who gave their lives on 9/11. This citizens’ media brought forward the questions that people throughout the world raised and wanted answered.
These are the UnAnswered Questions of 9/11. These UnAnswered Questions are powerful. The persistence of the citizens’ media in raising them and demanding answers has illuminated the failure of those responsible to explain what happened or why.
These UnAnswered Questions have been supplied to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States — by the families of those who died that day, by 9/11 CitizensWatch and many others. To date, the Commission has declined to seriously investigate or address them. Those who have attended Commission hearings anticipate a report that justifies more 9/11 and war profiteering ? more otherwise unjustified public budgets and private profits for large banks, defense contractors and other large corporations.…Continue reading
by Bill Douglas
Published in Newtopia Magazine
A mass movement and a mountain of disturbing evidence has been growing beneath the radar of U.S. media. The U.S. media (including alternative media) has done an extraordinarily superhuman job of “hearing” “seeing” and “speaking no evil.” However, almost immediately after 9-11-2001’s horrendous attacks on New York and Washington D.C., many researchers, ordinary citizens, and journalists [who've been given precious little print in U.S. papers or TV] began to smell something rotten . . . not in Denmark . . . but rather, right here in the good ol’ US of A.
This movement’s early roots began when many people scratched their heads in wonder at “how 4 commercial jet liners could fly hijacked for nearly an hour and a half the morning of 9-11, without any Air Force fighter interceptor jets turning a wheel until it was too late,” as stated by acclaimed Canadian TV journalist, Barry Zwicker. Zwicker’s powerful documentary “The Great Deception,” which suggests top Bush Admin. officials were likely complicit in the 9-11 attacks, aired on Canada’s Vision TV network which is viewed by millions of Canadians. Unfortunately Americans in the U.S. have been “protected” from viewing this critical documentary. Researchers, like Zwicker and others, quickly learned that in 2001 before the 9-11 attacks 62 aircraft had been intercepted by Air Force fighter interceptor jets, and usually within 10 to 15 minutes of going off course.
Yet bizarrely, on 9-11 four commercial jets were hijacked off course for about… Continue reading
IN THE THIRD YEAR AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, the U.S. government still has not answered the most important questions about what really happened. And the official 9/11 Commission has failed to ask.
For too long we have allowed the government to operate in the shadows.
Fighter planes were not dispatched in a timely manner to intercept the 9/11 flights – in blatant violation of longstanding, standard operating procedures. Why? Why did the U.S. chain of command (Bush, Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers) by their own admission remain inactive during the actual attacks?
On the morning of Sept. 11 itself, the U.S. military conducted scheduled wargames to rehearse scenarios that included plane hijackings and an “errant aircraft” crashing into a government building (AP, Aug. 2002).
Even granted this was a coincidence: How can high officials like Condoleeza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld get away with testifying that “no one could have imagined” planes would be used as weapons against buildings?
Why won’t the government identify who made profits by short-selling the stock of United Airlines, American Airlines and the WTC re-insurers in the week before the attacks? Where did the many known advance warnings of the attacks originate? Were these warnings really missed?
The Kean Commission (the official 9/11 investigation currently making headlines) was called to life only after Sept. 11th families lobbied stubbornly for 14 months. The same families have demanded the resignation of the Commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow, for his evident conflicts of interest. Although Zelikow… Continue reading
24 May, 2004
Dear World Legislators, Parliamentarians, and World Citizens,
We have watched with alarm that the sad and tragic events of 9-11 (11 September, 2001) have resulted in two wars and a global rollback in civil liberties. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks, yet it has been attacked in the name of them. People in countries worldwide have suffered reduced civil liberties in the name of 9-11, and intelligence surveillance of ordinary citizens has expanded dramatically.
I submit to you that before any more wars are launched or liberties are lost in the name of the “war on terror” launched by the Bush Administration after 9-11, a full international inquiry into the events leading up to and on 9-11 be held, which includes 9-11 victims’ family members from the U.S. and other nations.
The National Green Party of the United States has requested an open independent 9-11 investigation that would involve 9-11 victims’ family members. This is a good start, but it must also be an international inquiry in addition that includes 9-11 family members from nations worldwide who lost loved ones in the 9-11 attacks.
We need this to occur because many, including the 9-11 Family Steering Committee (U.S.), are growing increasingly frustrated with the stunning lack of hard questions for witnesses appearing before the 9-11 Commission. Until these hard questions are asked and fully answered, we should refuse more wars, and renounce reduced liberty worldwide in the name of 9-11 and it’s resultant war… Continue reading