Preface: This is not a partisan post. We have repeatedly documented that Obama is as bad or worse than the Bush administration.
In the run up to the Iraq war – and for several years thereafter – the program of torture carried out by the Bush administration was specifically specifically aimed at establishing a false justification for war. Dick Cheney is the guy who pushed for torture, pressured the Justice Department lawyers to write memos saying torture was legal, and made the pitch to Congress justifying torture. (The former director of the CIA said Cheney oversaw American torture policies).
The type of torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects is of a special type. Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creating false confessions (see this, this, this and this).
According to NBC News:
In fact, the 9/11 Commission Report was largely based on third-hand… Continue reading
by Kevin Ryan
In the summer of 2001, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Wright, a counterterrorism expert from the Chicago office, made some startling claims about the Bureau in a written statement outlining the difficulties he had doing his job. Three months before 9/11, he wrote: “The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.”
Revelations since 9/11 have confirmed Wright’s claims. FBI management did little or nothing to stop terrorism in the decade before 9/11 and, in some cases, appeared to have supported terrorists. This is more disturbing considering that the power of the FBI over terrorism investigations was supreme. In 1998, the FBI’s strategic plan stated that terrorist activities fell “almost exclusively within the jurisdiction of the FBI” and that “the FBI has no higher priority than to combat terrorism.”
A number of people are suspect in these failures, including the leaders of the FBI’s counterterrorism programs. But at the time of Wright’s written complaint, which was not shared with the public until May 2002, the man most responsible was Louis Freeh, Director of the FBI from 1993 to 2001.
Agent Wright was not FBI leadership’s only detractor, and not the only one to criticize Freeh. The public advocacy law firm Judicial Watch, which prosecutes government abuse and corruption, rejoiced at the news of Freeh’s March 2001 resignation. Judicial Watch pointed to a “legacy of corruption” at the FBI under Freeh, listing the espionage scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as “Filegate, Waco, the Ruby Ridge cover-up, the Olympic bombing frame-up of Richard Jewell, [and] falsification of evidence concerning the Oklahoma City bombing.”
Judicial Watch said that Director Freeh believed he was above the law.…Continue reading
June 20, 2012
Stephen C. Webster
A document declassified this week by the National Security Archive reveals that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) delivered a briefing to the Bush administration which directly contradicts former Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta visited an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague.
The document (PDF), dated Dec. 1, 2001 and delivered to the White House on the 8th, claims that Atta “did not travel to the Czech Republic on 31 May 2000,” and adds that “the individual who attempted to enter the Czech Republic on 31 May 2000… was not the Atta who attacked the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.”
Despite this briefing, just days later on Dec. 9, 2001, Cheney told the late Tim Russert, host of Meet the Press, that the meeting in Prague had been “pretty well confirmed.”
Well, what we now have that’s developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that he did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don’t know at this point. But that’s clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 9/11 Consensus Panel
Massive National War Games on September 11th Raise Further Questions
NEW YORK, June 5, 2012 — New evidence shows that the September 11th activities of former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were falsely reported by official sources.
The international Panel also discovered that four massive aerial practice exercises traditionally held in October were in full operation on 9/11. The largest, Global Guardian, held annually by NORAD and the US Strategic and Space Commands, had originally been scheduled for October 22-31 but was moved , along with Vigilant Guardian, to early September.
Although senior officials claimed no one could have predicted using hijacked planes as weapons, the military had been practicing similar exercises on 9/11 itself — and for years before it.
The Panel, discovering widespread reports of confusion and delays in the defense response, looked into who was overseeing the air defenses after the second Tower was hit at 9:03 AM.
Official sources claimed neither Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs of Staff Acting Chairman General Richard Myers (filling in for General Hugh Shelton), nor war-room chief General Montague Winfield were available to take command until well… Continue reading
March 25, 2012
Guest Post by Kevin Ryan, former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Mr. Ryan, a Chemist and laboratory manager, was fired by UL in 2004 for publicly questioning the report being drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on their World Trade Center investigation. In the intervening period, Ryan has completed additional research while his original questions, which have become increasingly important over time, remain unanswered by UL or NIST.
The U.S. Secret Service failed to do its job on September 11, 2001 in several important ways. These failures could be explained if the Secret Service had foreknowledge of the 9/11 events as they were proceeding. That possibility leads to difficult questions about how the behavior of Secret Service employees might have contributed to the success of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Answering those questions will require the release of existing interview transcripts as well as follow-up questioning, under oath, of a few key people within the agency.
The most glaring example of Secret Service failure on 9/11 was the lack of protection for the President of the United States after it was well known that the country was facing terrorist attacks on multiple fronts. The interesting thing about this was that it was not a consistent approach. That is, the president was protected by the Secret Service in many ways that day but he was not protected from the most obvious, and apparently the most imminent, danger.
President Bush had been at risk earlier that morning when Middle Eastern-looking journalists appeared at his hotel in Sarasota, Florida claiming to have an appointment for an interview.…Continue reading
by Glenn Greenwald
November 23, 2011
A tribunal in Malaysia, spearheaded by that nation’s former Prime Minister, yesterday found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack. The seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal — which featured an American law professor as one of its chief prosecutors — has no formal enforcement power, but was modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so, after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.
The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international… Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
November 22, 2011
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 47 No 2)
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Senator Frank Church (1975)
I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events – the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy.
In recent years I have been talking about a dark force behind these events — a force which, for want of a better term, I have clumsily called a “deep state,” operating both within and outside the public state. Today for the first time I want to identify part of that dark force, a part which has operated for five decades or more at the edge of the public state. This part of the dark force has a name not invented by me: the Doomsday Project, the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”1
My point is a simple and important one: to show that the Doomsday Project of the 1980s, and the earlier emergency planning that developed into it, have played a role in the background of all the deep events I shall discuss.…Continue reading
October 19, 2011
Center for Constitutional rights, crjustice.org
Canadian Government Has Legal Obligation under UN Convention Against Torture
to Prosecute Alleged Perpetrators of Torture, Rights Groups Say; Prominent
Individuals and Organizations Sign on in Support
October 19, 2011, Surrey, BC–Tomorrow, four individuals who allege they were tortured during George W. Bush’s tenure as president of the United States will lodge a private prosecution in Provincial Court in Surrey, British Columbia against the former president, who is due to visit Canada for a paid speaking engagement at the Surrey Regional Economic Summit on October 20. The four men will take this step after repeated calls to the Canadian Attorney General to open a torture investigation of George Bush went unanswered. Human rights groups and prominent individuals will sign on in support of the effort.
The four men, Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz, each endured years of inhumane treatment including beatings, chaining to cell walls, being hung from walls or ceilings while handcuffed, lack of access to toilets, sleep, food and water-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, sensory overload and deprivation, and other horrific and illegal treatment while in U.S. custody at military bases in Afghanistan and/or at the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.While three of the plaintiffs have since been released without ever facing charges, Hassan Bin Attash still remains in detention at Guantánamo Bay, though he too has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing.
“I lost my family, my father, my health,… Continue reading
12 September 2011
A former FBI agent has told the BBC that he is being prevented from telling the truth about the events of 9/11 and what has happened since.
Ali Soufan alleges that crucial intelligence was not passed on from the CIA before the attacks in 2001.
He has written a book detailing some of his claims and has been speaking to the BBC’s Security Correspondent Gordon Corera in his first on camera interview on the subject.
In response to the allegations in this report the CIA issued a statement to the BBC that said: “Any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is baseless.”
“The suggestion that the Central Intelligence Agency has requested redactions on this publication because it does not like the content is ridiculous.”
The CIA decline to comment on the record about the accusations regarding waterboarding and interrogation.
Unofficial transcript of video, “Former FBI Agent says truth of 9/11 remains hidden” :
Gordon Corera: Stepping out of the shadows, appearing for the first time on camera, Ali Soufan, the former FBI agent with an eyewitness account some people don’t want him to tell.
Ali Soufan: They are trying to stop me and others from telling the world what really happened over there.
Gordon Corera: He believes huge mistakes were made with devastating consequences. Born in Lebanon, Soufan had… Continue reading
By Stephen C. Webster
Newly published audio this week reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney’s infamous Sept. 11, 2001 order to shoot down rogue civilian aircraft was ignored by military officials, who instead ordered pilots to only identify suspect aircraft.
That revelation is one of many in newly released audio recordings compiled by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, published this week by The Rutgers Law Review. Featuring voices from employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and American Airlines, the newly released multimedia provides a glimpse at the chaos that emerged as the attack progressed.
Most striking of all is the revelation that an order by Vice President Dick Cheney was ignored by the military, which saw his order to shoot down aircraft as outside the chain of command. Instead of acknowledging the order to shoot down civilian aircraft and carrying it out, NORAD ordered fighters to confirm aircraft tail numbers first and report back for further instructions.
Cheney’s order was given at “about 10:15″ a.m., according to the former VP’s memoirs, but the 9/11 Commission Report shows United flight 93 going down at 10:06 a.m. Had the military followed Cheney’s order, civilian aircraft scrambling to get out of the sky could have been shot down, exponentially amplifying the day’s tragedy.
Far from sending fighters to chase after the hijacked aircraft, as Bush administration officials have repeatedly said they did, the new audio tapes paint a picture of bedlam and unpreparedness.
The… Continue reading
by Michael Collins
(Washington, DC) Stratfor Global Intelligence just published an essay announcing that the nation’s rulers have conducted a “successful war” on terror following the events of 9/11. The author, CEO and Stratfor founder, George Friedman, dressed up the standard Bush – Cheney justification for the past ten years of foreign misadventures and domestic decline:
“One of the most extraordinary facts of the war that begin on 9/11 was that there have been no more successful major attacks on the United States.” George Friedman, September 6
That’s the argument pure and simple.
How do you counter that?
First, the statement excludes the most important fact about 9/11. It was a “successful major attack on the United States.” The event caused human tragedies accompanied by the shock that the most powerful nation on earth left its centers of governance and finance unprotected.
Friedman and those he defends have one overriding imperative in discussing 9/11, exclude the event itself as a topic of discussion. Move on as though history starts after the successful attacks. Never ever let the topic focus on Bush administration’s command negligence surrounding 9/11.
Second, keep in mind that the rhetorical imperative of the successful war argument requires that the following question is rarely asked and never considered at any length. How on earth could these attacks have been planned and executed without discovery? That question must be excluded at all costs. If asked, the clear answers obliterate claims for a successful war that supposedly followed 9/11.… Continue reading
Cheney Shoot-down Order Confirmed
September 7, 2011
New York Times
Produced By MATT ERICSON, RUNE MADSEN, EMILY S. RUEB and JEREMY WHITE
A selection of audio recordings from the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.),
North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) and American Airlines from
the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The recordings, some of which have been published
previously, are being released in a multimedia report originally intended to
be part of the Sept. 11 Commission’s 2004 report.
Audio files were provided by John J. Farmer Jr., the Dean of Rutgers Law School-Newark
and a senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission. Transcripts were edited from text
provided by Miles L. Kara, Sr., a professional staff member of the 9/11 Commission.
The call from Betty Ong was retrieved from an exhibit presented by the prosecution
in United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui in United States District Court in Alexandria,
Ed: Interactive audio provided at source, The 9/11 Tapes: The Story in the Air NYTimes.com, with this introduction and caution:
“Select a clip from the menu on the left-hand side. The transcript will automatically scroll as the audio is played. Note: Some audio contains explicit language and disturbing content.”
10:09 AM1 minute, 57 seconds – The fighter pilots
do not know if they have permission to shoot down planes. A commander tells
them they do not. (Warning: profanity at the end of the clip)
10:32 AM0 minute, 41 seconds — Mission Crew Commander (M.C.C.) gives
the fighter pilots permission to… Continue reading
By Will Bunch
Philadelphia Daily News
IF YOU THINK that on the 10th anniversary you know the whole story of 9/11 – and here I’m addressing conspiracy-minded “truthers” and the 13 percent who approved of the job Dick Cheney did as vice president – actually, you don’t.
Time has upheld the broad story line of how hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden hijacked four planes and killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001 – claims about holograms being used to attack buildings instead of jetliners notwithstanding. At the same time, the dictum of famed investigative reporter I.F. Stone about all governments – i.e., they lie – is no less true about 9/11 than any other event.
Here are 10 questions about 9/11 that remain unanswered.
Richard Clarke, the national counterterrorism czar on 9/11, thinks so. In an interview for an upcoming radio documentary, Clarke claimed that top-level CIA officials deliberately withheld from the White House and the FBI knowledge as early as 2000 that two al Qaeda members – Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar – were living in San Diego.
The former anti-terror chief said he believes that the CIA kept the info under wraps because it wanted to recruit the two Saudis to serve as double agents within bin Laden’s organization. Instead, the two terrorists ended up hijackers on American Flight 77. George Tenet, who was CIA director, claims that Clarke… Continue reading
Introduction: 9/11 Ten Years Later
The words in the title of this book – “9/11 Ten Years Later” – are often followed with an exclamation point. The exclamation point may be a way of expressing, by members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, amazement that the truth has not already been publicly revealed. The exclamation point might be used by detractors of this movement — perhaps along with an expletive — to express their feeling that it is time for these people to “get a life.” The exclamation point might reflect a position somewhat in the middle — of spouses of members hoping that no more years of their family life will be oriented around the work of trying to get the truth revealed.
In any case, for reasons discussed in this book (especially the final two chapters), there is nothing surprising about the fact that the 9/11 crime has not been revealed. Those who have gained control of a state in an ostensible democracy have many means not only for orchestrating major crimes, but also for preventing those crimes (including their crimes against democracy itself) from being publicized.
What is somewhat surprising, perhaps to the perpetrators themselves, is the fact that the 9/11 Truth Movement is still alive and, in fact, continues to grow. The first professional 9/11 organization, Scholars for 9/11 Truth, was formed in 2005, and since then a dozen professional organizations have been created. It was not until 2006 that architect Richard Gage started… Continue reading
Breathlessly, six members of Congress have requested that the FBI investigate the “outrageous” allegations that News Corp might have hacked into the cell phones of 9/11 victims and their families. Lickety split, the Justice Department has done so.
First off, does it surprise me that a corporation like News Corp. might try to hack into the information of private citizens for their own financial gain? Nope.
Much like it wouldn’t surprise me if my own government hacked into the private information of its citizens for political gain or… er, I mean, “reasons of national security.” Just ask Dick Cheney and Karl Rove about that.
Of course, any such “accidental netting” on their part would be immediately explained away under the protections of FISA and the Patriot Act, because clearly it would have been necessary “in the ongoing fight against terrorism.”
Too bad, Congress doesn’t want to investigate those types of indiscretions. Sigh.
But truly, I am awestruck when people like Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee for Homeland Security is so quickly moved to demand an investigation into such vague, seemingly hollow allegations as someone hacking into the cell phones of people like me.
Is this the same Congressman King who when faced with actual hard, incontrovertible facts and figures regarding the vulnerabilities posed by dangerous chemical and water plants across the country remains disinterested? And, I might add firmly on the side of… Continue reading
by Kevin Ryan
Of the many unanswered questions about the attacks of September 11, one of the most important is: Why were none of the four planes intercepted? A rough answer is that the failure of the US air defenses can be traced to a number of factors and people. There were policy changes, facility changes, and personnel changes that had recently been made, and there were highly coincidental military exercises that were occurring on that day. But some of the most startling facts about the air defense failures have to do with the utter failure of communications between the agencies responsible for protecting the nation. At the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), two people stood out in this failed chain of communications. One was a lawyer on his first day at the job, and another was a Special Operations Commander who was never held responsible for his critical role, or even questioned about it.
The 9/11 Commission wrote in its report that — “On 9/11, the defense of U.S. airspace depended on close interaction between two federal agencies: the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).”
According to the Commission, this interaction began with air traffic controllers (ATCs) at the relevant regional FAA control centers, which on 9/11 included Boston, New York, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. In the event of a hijacking, these ATCs were expected to “notify their supervisors, who in turn would inform management all the way up to FAA headquarters. Headquarters had a hijack coordinator, who was the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate.…Continue reading
Published: Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 7:30 AM ET
NEW YORK, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Confounding lawyers and legal scholars all over the world, Judge John Walker, first cousin of former President George W. Bush, was one of three judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to hear argument Tuesday in Gallop v. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Myers.
The lawsuit was brought by a soldier injured during the attack on the Pentagon and accuses former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, of conspiring to facilitate the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
The attacks killed 3000 Americans, plus many who have died from the toxic clean-up conditions at Ground Zero.
Attorney William Veale, acting for April Gallop, learned of the assignment the usual 5 days before the argument, and filed a motion to disqualify Judge Walker.
There was no prior decision regarding the motion, and when Veale asked about it in court the motion was denied by Judge Winter. Veale then requested a continuance to seek appellate review of the court’s ruling but that was denied as well.
Argument followed but Walker, and fellow judges Cabranes and Winter diverted attention to whether Veale, former Chief Assistant Public Defender, and lecturer in Criminal Trial Practice at the University of California, Boalt Hall, was properly licensed to practice before the court.
The Tuesday appeal followed a ruling by then District Court Judge Denny Chin, dismissing… Continue reading
By Robert Parry
February 17, 2011
Sometimes the hypocrisy is just overwhelming. So, it probably shouldn’t
surprise us that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would deliver a speech hailing
the peaceful protests that changed Egypt while 71-year-old Ray McGovern was
roughed up and dragged away for standing quietly in protest of her support for
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“So this is America,” said McGovern as he was hustled from the room by two
security guards. “This is America.”
McGovern, a former Army intelligence officer and a 27-year veteran of the CIA, was wearing a “Veterans for Peace” t-shirt and, according to witnesses, was standing silently with his back to Secretary Clinton before he was set upon by the two agents who bruised, bloodied and handcuffed McGovern, a cancer survivor. [For video, see below.]
McGovern, who writes for Consortiumnews.com, has been detained at other events protesting both the illegality of U.S. wars and the hypocrisy of demanding accountability for others but not for senior U.S. officials implicated in war crimes, like the torture authorized by former President George W. Bush and ex-Vice President Dick Cheney.
For instance, last December, McGovern joined a Veterans for Peace protest at the White House, which he described in an article “Thoughts at the White House Fence.”
In the article, McGovern described thinking about “Casey Sheehan and 4,429 other U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, and the 491 U.S. troops killed this year in Afghanistan (bringing that total to 1,438). And their… Continue reading