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
By Michael Collins 911Truth.org
(Washington, DC) A faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force (QF) is center stage in the War on Terror for the second time in five years. In 2007, President George W. Bush hauled out the group of middle and upper level Iranian government officials as a rationale for military action against Iran. The decisive shutdown of the Bush effort marks a critical turning point in recent history and will be discussed later in the article.
QF II began last Tuesday when FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder unified the terror storyline between the rabid neoconservatives of the Bush era and the low key loyalists to the national security state in the Obama administration.
Holder and Mueller accused, “elements of the Iranian government of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington,” the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. In essence, this military faction allegedly hired an outsider to murder the Saudi ambassador to the United States. With the full knowledge of the Iranian government, the outsider tried to hire a Mexican drug lord for the high level hit. Attorney General Holder announced that the United States is “holding the Iranian government accountable.” Holder went on to state the official position of the government, namely that the Iranian government entity behind the plot was the Quds Force.
The current version of Quds Force-as-archvillain was met with challenges from the start. Early on in the Post article, an unnamed White House official offered… Continue reading
By Rory O’Connor and Ray Nowosielski
October 14, 2011
A growing number of former government insiders — all responsible officials who served in a number of federal posts — are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet’s account of events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI, the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been “obviously not forthcoming” in his testimony and had misled the commissioners.
These doubts about the CIA first emerged among a group of 9/11 victims’ families whose struggle to force the government to investigate the causes of the attacks, we chronicled in our 2006 documentary film “Press for Truth.” At that time, we thought we were done with the subject. But tantalizing information unearthed by the 9/11 Commission’s
final report and spotted by the families (Chapter 6, footnote 44) raised a question too important to be put aside:
Did Tenet fail to share intelligence with the White House and the FBI in 2000 and 2001 that could have prevented the attacks? Specifically, did a group in the CIA’s al-Qaida office engage in a domestic covert action operation involving two of the 9/11 hijackers, that — however legitimate the agency’s goals may have been — hindered the type of intelligence-sharing that could have prevented the attacks?…Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions , Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process… Continue reading
October 6, 2011
History Commons Groups
A large number of new entries have been added to the Complete 9/11 Timeline
at History Commons describing important events that took place on the day of
9/11, while other new entries add to the growing body of information about 9/11-related
One new entry describes how, from 1998, the US Secret Service included computer simulations of planes crashing into the White House in its training exercises. Another notable exercise was held early on the morning of September 11 in the White House Situation Room, based on the scenario of a terrorist bombing in the Middle East.
Also relating to training exercises, new details have emerged about an FBI anti-terrorist unit that was stranded away from Washington at the time of the 9/11 attacks. The Critical Incident Response Group arrived in San Francisco the day before 9/11 for a week of training. Such was the unit’s importance that the White House made getting it back to Washington a priority in the hours after the attacks.
New entries describe two mistaken reports of hijacked aircraft on the morning of September 11. One of these aircraft was thought to be targeting NORAD’s operations center in Colorado. This incorrect information may have caused NORAD to close the massive blast doors to the operations center. The other aircraft was thought to be heading toward Air Force One as it flew President Bush away from Sarasota, and this may have been one reason why Air Force One… Continue reading
In his film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore explored the complex ties between Bush administration officials and associates, the Saudi Royal family, and those believed to have carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Today, Moore is backing former Florida governor and senator Bob Graham’s call for President Obama to reopen the investigation into 9/11 after new information emerged about the possible role of prominent Saudis. According to recent news reports, a wealthy young Saudi couple fled their home in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida, just a week or so before Sept. 11, 2001, leaving behind three cars and nearly all of their possessions. “There are many unanswered questions and they should be answered,” Moore says. He also was targeted by his critics for this film. Moore talks about how the Bush administration worried the movie would hurt Bush’s re-election chances, and how he found out that he ranked second behind then-President Bush on the number of discovered plots to attack him. [includes rush transcript]
HistoryCommons.org has been offline the last few days, including the Complete 9/11 Timeline, as we reported early morning 9/11 as part of our story about the CIA threatening the “9/11: Press for Truth” filmmakers. It is a relief to report this morning that the site is once again available.
If you have not been aware or taken advantage of this astounding research tool, or participated in the development of this “experiment in open-content civic journalism,” I encourage you to do so. The 32 individual timelines hosted at HistoryCommons offer an astounding wealth of information drawn from the media on subjects such as the events on 9/11, it’s environmental effects, anthrax, Iraq war, neocon influences on US politics, George W. Bush’s treatment of American troops, electoral politics, and much more.
Students often write to me asking where and how to start researching on some aspect of 9/11 or related matter for class projects and research papers; HistoryCommons.org is where I tell them to start. Not only is the information presented in a comprehensible manner, every single entry is thoroughly sourced. I challenge anyone to review what’s at HistoryCommons.org and maintain their belief that people asking questions are lunatics or morons.
Thank you, Paul Thompson and all of you who dedicate your time, voluntarily, to civic journalism and assembling this incredibly valuable historical record. I know our posterity will thank you, as well. Welcome back!
Reuters Exclusive: by Scot J. Paltrow
Reuters US Online Report Domestic News
Sep 08, 2011 08:14 EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ten years after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States,
the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative records remain sealed
at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed
the archives to make most of the material public in 2009, Reuters has learned.
The National Archives’ failure to release the material presents a hurdle for
historians and others seeking to plumb one of the most dramatic events in modern
The 575 cubic feet of records were in large part the basis for the commission’s
public report, issued July 22, 2004. The commission, formally known as the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was established by Congress
in late 2002 to investigate the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the pre-attack
effectiveness of intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
and the government’s emergency response.
In a Reuters interview this week, Matt Fulgham, assistant director of the archives’
center for legislative affairs which has oversight of the commission documents,
said that more than a third of the material has been reviewed for possible release.
But many of those documents have been withheld or heavily redacted, and the
released material includes documents that already were in the public domain,
such as press articles.
Commission items still not public include a 30-page summary of an April 29,
2004 interview by all… 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
By Paul Craig Roberts
August 24, 2011 Information Clearing House — — -In a few days it will be the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. How well has the US government’s official account of the event held up over the decade?
Not very well. The chairman, vice chairman, and senior legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission wrote books partially disassociating themselves from the commission’s report. They said that the Bush administration put obstacles in their path, that information was withheld from them, that President Bush agreed to testify only if he was chaperoned by Vice President Cheney and neither were put under oath, that Pentagon and FAA officials lied to the commission and that the commission considered referring the false testimony for investigation for obstruction of justice.
In their book, the chairman and vice chairman, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote that the 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail.” Senior counsel John Farmer, Jr., wrote
that the US government made “a decision not to tell the truth about what happened,” and that the NORAD “tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public.” Kean said, “We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth.”
Most of the questions from the 9/11 families were not answered. Important witnesses were not called. The commission only heard from those who supported the government’s account. The commission was a controlled political operation,… Continue reading
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 (NSA) 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… Continue reading
BUSH : “We haven’t heard from him in a long time. … Terror is bigger than one person. And he’s just — he’s a person who’s now been marginalized. … I just don’t spend that much time on him… we haven’t heard much from him. And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don’t know where he is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run.
March 13, 2002
Comments by then-President George W. Bush
For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 13, 2002
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon.
. . .
Q Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part — deep in your heart, don’t you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won’t really eliminate the threat of —
THE PRESIDENT: Deep in my heart I know the man is on the run, if he’s alive at all. Who knows if he’s hiding in some cave or not; we haven’t heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing… 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 Ray McGovern
April 6, 2011
The Obama administration’s decision to use a military tribunal rather than a federal criminal court to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others means the real motives behind the 9/11 attacks may remain obscure.
The Likud Lobby and their allied U.S. legislators can chalk up a significant victory for substantially shrinking any opportunity for the accused planners of 9/11 to tell their side of the story.
What? I sense some bristling. “Their side of the story?” Indeed! We’ve been told there is no “their side of the story.”
For years, President George W. Bush got away with offering up the risible explanation that they “hate our freedoms.” The stenographers of the White House press corps may have had to suppress smiles but silently swallowed the “they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms” rationale.
The only journalist I can recall stepping up and asking, in effect, “Come on; now really; it’s important; why do the really hate us” was the indomitable Helen Thomas.
In January 2010, just weeks after the “underpants bomber” tried to down an airliner over Detroit, President Barack Obama asked White House counter-terrorism guru, John Brennan, to field questions from the White House press.
Helen Thomas took the opportunity to ask why the would-be bomber did what he did. The exchange with Brennan is, hopefully, more instructive than it is depressing — highlighting a limited mindset still stuck in bromides.
Thomas: “Why do they want to do us harm? And what is the motivation?… Continue reading
By Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; A02
It was another important moment in the education of Barack Obama.
He began his presidency with a pledge to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay within a year. Within months, he realized that was impossible. And now he has essentially formalized George W. Bush’s detention policy.
With Monday’s announcement that the Obama administration will resume military tribunals at Gitmo, conservatives rushed out triumphant I-told-you-sos. Liberal supporters were again feeling betrayed. Administration officials had some ‘splainin’ to do.
And so they assembled some top-notch lawyers from across the executive branch and held a conference call Monday afternoon with reporters. The ground rules required that the officials not be identified, which is appropriate given their Orwellian assignment. They were to argue that Obama’s new detention policy is perfectly consistent with his old detention policy.
Not only had he revoked his pledge to close Gitmo within a year, but he also had contradicted his claim that the policy “can’t be based simply on what I or the executive branch decide alone.” His executive order did exactly what he said must not be done, in a style pioneered by Obama’s immediate predecessor in the Oval Office.
“This detention without trial – what’s different from the Bush administration?” a French reporter from Le Monde asked during the call.
Good question. The answer, from the Anonymous Lawyers, was technical. “We have a much more thorough process here of representation. . . .… Continue reading
By Glenn Greenwald
February 18, 2011
In March, 2002, American citizen Jose Padilla was arrested in Chicago and publicly accused by then-Attorney-General John Ashcroft of being “The Dirty Bomber.” Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to a military brig in South Carolina, where he was held for almost two years completely incommunicado (charged with no crime and denied all access to the outside world, including even a lawyer) and was brutally tortured, both physically and psychologically. All of this — including the torture — was carried out pursuant to orders from President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials. Just as the Supreme Court was about to hear Padilla’s plea to be charged or released — and thus finally decide if the President has the power to imprison American citizens on U.S. soil with no charges of any kind — the Government indicted him in a federal court on charges far less serious than Ashcroft had touted years earlier, causing the Supreme Court to dismiss Padilla’s arguments as “moot”; Padilla was then convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Padilla — like so many other War on Terror detainees — has spent years in American courts trying unsuccessfully to hold accountable the high-level government officials responsible for his abuse and lawless imprisonment (which occurred for years prior to his indictment). Not only has Padilla (and all other detainees) failed to obtain redress for what was done to them, but worse, they have been entirely denied even… 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
by Susan Lindauer
Susan Lindauer is a former U.S. Intelligence Asset, accused as an “Iraqi Agent” for opposing the war. Her new book, “EXTREME PREJUDICE–The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq” relates her ordeal facing secret charges and secret evidence on the Patriot Act, and the shocking conditions of her imprisonment on a Texas military base without a trial, threatened with indefinite detention and forcible drugging.
If only I’d known Julian Assange, everything would have been different.
Mine was a spook’s world of black ops and counter-terrorism. The real stuff–not color coded threats. For a decade I performed as a covert back channel to Libya and Iraq at the United Nations in support of anti-terrorism.
My special access made me one of the very few Assets covering Baghdad before the War. Our team started talks for the Lockerbie Trial with Libyan diplomats. We also held preliminary talks to resume the weapons inspections with Iraq’s Ambassador, Dr. Saeed Hasan. Once Baghdad agreed to rigorous U.S. conditions for transparency in the inspections, I notified the Security Council myself, and within 72 hours the UN invited Iraq to attend formal talks to ratify the technical language. By then it was a done deal. Contrary to official reports, Iraq always welcomed the return of weapons inspectors as a necessary step to ending the sanctions. Ordinary people just didn’t know it.
My world was “black.” Off radar. So deeply secretive that my father, brother, aunts and cousins had no knowledge of my work in Washington.…Continue reading