by Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal , 21-2-10
In July 1987, during the Iran-Contra Hearings grilling of Oliver North, the American public got a glimpse of “highly sensitive” emergency planning North had been involved in. Ostensibly these were emergency plans to suspend the American constitution in the event of a nuclear attack (a legitimate concern). But press accounts alleged that the planning was for a more generalized suspension of the constitution.
As part of its routine Iran-contra coverage, the following exchange was printed in the New York Times , but without journalistic comment or follow-up:
[Congressman Jack] Brooks: Colonel North, in your work at the N.S.C. were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?
Both North’s attorney and Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Democratic Chair of the Committee, responded in a way that showed they were aware of the issue:
Brendan Sullivan [North's counsel, agitatedly]: Mr. Chairman?
[Senator Daniel] Inouye: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch upon that?
Brooks: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed, by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American… 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 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
By Philip Giraldi
July 19, 2010
Campaign For Liberty
The Ministry of Truth
The Ministry of Truth was how George Orwell described the mechanism used by government to control information in his seminal novel 1984. A recent trip to Europe has convinced me that the governments of the world have been rocked by the power of the internet and are seeking to gain control of it so that they will have a virtual monopoly on information that the public is able to access. In Italy, Germany, and Britain the anonymous internet that most Americans are still familiar with is slowly being modified. If one goes into an internet café it is now legally required in most countries in the European Union to present a government issued form of identification. When I used an internet connection at a Venice hotel, my passport was demanded as a precondition and the inner page, containing all my personal information, was scanned and a copy made for the Ministry of the Interior — which controls the police force. The copy is retained and linked to the transaction. For home computers, the IP address of the service used is similarly recorded for identification purposes. All records of each and every internet usage, to include credit information and keystrokes that register everything that is written or sent, is accessible to the government authorities on demand, not through the action of a court or an independent authority. That means that there is de facto no right to privacy and a government bureaucrat decides what can and cannot be “reviewed” by the authorities.…Continue reading
From Voters for Peace
July 22, 2010
We’ll be offering live and recorded video coverage of the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now! taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albany this weekend (7/23-7/25).
The conference will bring together antiwar and social justice activists from across the country to consider what can be done to end the U.S. wars, occupations, bombing attacks, threats and interventions that are taking place in the Middle East and beyond. See where the antiwar movement is today and where it is headed!
Our audio and video coverage starts Friday evening at 7 PM with the opening panel called “Strategies and Tactics in the Struggle to End the Empire’s Wars and Occupations,” featuring Medea Benjamin (CODE PINK), Glen Ford (Black Agenda Report), Teresa Gutierrez (International Action Center), Kathy Kelly (Creative Voices for Nonviolence), Kevin Martin (Peace Action), David Swanson (WarIsACrime.org), Deborah Sweet (World Can’t Wait) and more.
Check our webcast schedule for a full listing. We’re excited to expand into the realm of live remote coverage of local events, and hope you can join us. Feel free to contact us with any questions! info [at] mediasanctuary.org
To register for the conference, please go to www.nationalpeaceconference.org
More on the conference:
In these troubled times, Washington’s wars and occupations rage, resulting in an ever increasing number of dead and wounded and the destruction of countries posing no threat to the U.S. Trillions are spent on seemingly endless conflicts in pursuit of profits and global… Continue reading
By Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff
July 26, 2010
In his recent essay “Toxic to Democracy,” Political Research Associates (PRA)
Senior Analyst Chip Berlet uses the very same methods of demonization by association
that he so strongly opposes. Berlet convolutes historical context, ideological
differences, and progressives vis-a-vis extreme conservative/neo-con/libertarians
in a diatribe of meaninglessness.
Berlet lumps valid academic research on State Crimes Against Democracy (SCADs)
in with anti-Semitic jingoism and far right wing extremism. He suggests that
any research that even implies some sort of conspiracy is dangerous and suspect,
seemingly forgetting a long list of proven US and other government conspiracies
(SCADs) including: Operation Mockingbird, COINTELPRO, Gulf of Tonkin “Incident,”
October Surprise, CIA-Contra Dark Alliance, Iran-Contra, WMDs and Iraq Invasion,
and the overthrow of governments in Iran, Guatemala, Haiti, Chile, Greece, Indonesia,
Panama, and many others.
Outrageously, Berlet categorizes progressive intellectuals such as Peter Dale
Scott, Michael Parenti, David Ray Griffin, Michel Chossudovsky, and by innuendo
the two of us, as dangerous conspiracists. He uses a straw person technique
by positing former LaRouche analyst Webster Tarpley, and the Church of God Evangelistic
Association founder David J. Smith in the same category as the progressive intellectuals listed above.
At the end of his essay, Berlet attempts to distinguish between people who
do power structure research such as G. William Domhoff–who served on Peter
Phillips’ dissertation committee regarding the Bohemian Grove in 1994–
along with Holly Sklar, former PRA associate and author of a study on the Trilateral… Continue reading
9/11 Working Group sponsors Sept. 4 discussion at Buskirk-Chumley
by Kevin Ryan
August 19, 2010
Published in the Bloomington Alternative
Most people recognize that the events of 9/11 were the driving force behind the “War on Terror.” Less well recognized is the fact that this borderless war against an ill-defined enemy has expedited economic collapse, driven totalitarian legislation and generated a great deal of animosity against the United States throughout the world. The pain and suffering caused by 9/11 comes with an opportunity, however. Through a better understanding of those tragic events, we can achieve crucial insights that can not only end the wars but might ultimately lead to lasting positive change in human society.
On Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre in Bloomington, the 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington will sponsor a free presentation by two prominent truth and peace activists. Buddhist scholar and peace studies director Graeme MacQueen will discuss “The fictional basis for the war on terror.” Behavioral scientist Laurie Manwell will speak on the social and psychological implications of 9/11 and other state crimes against democracy.
It’s difficult for Americans to admit when we are wrong. This is partly because being right or wrong on most issues has not been as important for people today as it was for our ancestors. For many years now, due to the exponential growth of our economy, we have led relatively easy lives in which having wrong or superfluous views have had little impact on whether or… Continue reading
by Philip Shenon
September 10, 2010
The Daily Beast.com
Why didn’t the commission investigating the devastating 2001 al Qaeda attacks thoroughly scrub the NSA’s files? Philip Shenon on the crucial records the government has never explored.
Are many of the secrets of 9/11 still hidden in top-secret government files?
Almost certainly, say former staff members of the 9/11 Commission. With the nation scheduled to mark the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks this weekend, former staffers tell The Daily Beast it is clear that the 9/11 Commission, which went out of business in 2004, failed to conduct a thorough inspection of the government’s most important library of raw intelligence on al Qaeda and the 9/11 plot. And nobody appears to have inspected that intelligence since.
The archives, maintained by the National Security Agency at its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, were reviewed — in a cursory fashion — only in the final days of the commission’s investigation, and then only because of last-minute staff complaints that the NSA’s vast database was being ignored.
Throughout its investigation, staffers complained, the commission’s leaders were fixated on what could be found in the terrorism files of the CIA and the FBI, the two big targets for criticism in the panel’s final report, and largely ignored the NSA, the government’s chief eavesdropping agency.
When the commission did get into… Continue reading
by Kevin Ryan
Foreign Policy Journal
Just after September 11th 2001, many governments began investigations into possible insider trading related to the terrorist attacks of that day. Such investigations were initiated by the governments of Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and others. Although the investigators were clearly concerned about insider trading, and considerable evidence did exist, none of the investigations resulted in a single indictment. That’s because the people identified as having been involved in the suspicious trades were seen as unlikely to have been associated with those alleged to have committed the 9/11 crimes.
This is an example of the circular logic often used by those who created the official explanations for 9/11. The reasoning goes like this: if we assume that we know who the perpetrators were (i.e. the popular version of “al Qaeda”) and those who were involved in the trades did not appear to be connected to those assumed perpetrators, then insider trading did not occur.
That’s basically what the 9/11 Commission told us. The Commission concluded that “exhaustive investigations” by the SEC and the FBI “uncovered no evidence that anyone with advance knowledge of the attacks profited through securities transactions.” What they meant was that someone did profit through securities transactions but, based on the Commission’s assumptions of guilt, those who profited were not associated with those who were guilty of conducting the attacks. In a footnote, the Commission report acknowledged “highly suspicious trading on its face,” but said that this trading on United Airlines was traced back to “A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda.” 1
With respect to insider trading, or what is more technically called informed trading, the Commission report was itself suspect for several reasons.…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
And Request for Endorsement
April 9, 2011
New York & San Francisco
United National Antiwar Committee
WHO ARE THE WARMAKERS?
THEY are the government, corporate, and financial powers that wage war, ravage
the environment and the economy and trample on our democratic rights and liberties.
WHO ARE THE PEACEMAKERS?
WE are the vast majority of humanity who want peace, a healthy planet and a
society that prioritizes human needs, democracy and civil liberties for all.
The Warmakers spend trillions of dollars yearly on endless wars in pursuit
of global domination and profit while murdering millions of innocent people,
installing corrupt and hated governments and funding occupations that displace
millions from their homelands — trampling on the right of oppressed people
THEY send our youth — victims of the economic draft — to fight over the very
fossil fuels whose unrestrained use threatens the future of the planet while
corrupt and virtually unregulated oil giants dump billions of gallons of death
into our rivers and oceans.
THEY wage a fake “war on terrorism” at home — the new McCarthyism — that
promotes racism and Islamophobia aimed at destroying civil liberties and democratic
THEY grant repeated and untold trillions in bailouts to banks, corporations
and financial institutions while breaking unions, robbing pensions, destroying
jobs, foreclosing homes, de-funding education and vital social services and
are once again threatening Social Security and Medicare.…
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
By NEDRA PICKLER
June 11, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Yemeni detainee ordered to be freed from Guantánamo Bay has to stay now that a U.S. appeals court has overturned his release.
The U.S Court of Appeals in Washington says circumstantial evidence of terrorist ties can be enough to keep a prisoner like Hussain Salem Mohammad Almerfedi at the U.S. naval prison in Cuba.
Almerfedi was captured in Iran after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and eventually transferred to U.S. authorities through Afghanistan. Government attorneys argue he was staying at an al-Qaida-affiliated guesthouse, based on the testimony of another Guantánamo detainee. Almerfedi denied it, and a lower court judge found the testimony against him unreliable and ordered him released.
But the appeals court said the judge erred in finding the testimony unreliable and found it was likely Almerfedi was part of al-Qaida.
By Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
August 2011 issue of Vanity Fair
Was there a foreign government behind the 9/11 attacks? A decade later, Americans still haven’t been given the whole story, while a key 28-page section of Congress’s Joint Inquiry report remains censored. Gathering years of leaks and leads, in an adaptation from their new book, Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan examine the connections between Saudi Arabia and the hijackers (15 of whom were Saudi), the Bush White House’s decision to ignore or bury evidence, and the frustration of lead investigators–including 9/11-commission staffers, counterterrorism officials, and senators on both sides of the aisle.
Adapted from The Eleventh Day by Anthony Summers and Robynn Swan to be published this month by Ballantine Books; copyright 2011 by the authors.
For 10 years now, a major question about 9/11 has remained unresolved. It was, as 9/11-commission chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton recalled, “Had the hijackers received any support from foreign governments?” There was information that pointed to the answer, but the commissioners apparently deemed it too disquieting to share in full with the public.
The idea that al-Qaeda had not acted alone was there from the start. “The terrorists do… Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 31 No 1, August 1, 2011.
Twice in the last two decades, significant cuts in U.S. and western military spending were foreseen: first after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But both times military spending soon increased, and among the factors contributing to the increase were America’s interventions in new areas: the Balkans in the 1990s, and Libya today.1 Hidden from public view in both cases was the extent to which al-Qaeda was a covert U.S. ally in both interventions, rather than its foe.
U.S. interventions in the Balkans and then Libya were presented by the compliant U.S. and allied mainstream media as humanitarian. Indeed, some Washington interventionists may have sincerely believed this. But deeper motivations – from oil to geostrategic priorities – were also at work in both instances.
In virtually all the wars since 1989, America and Islamist factions have been battling to determine who will control the heartlands of Eurasia in the post-Soviet era. In some countries – Somalia in 1993, Afghanistan in 2001 – the conflict has been straightforward, with each side using the other’s excesses as an excuse for intervention.
But there have been other interventions in which Americans have used al-Qaeda as a resource to increase their influence, for example Azerbaijan in 1993. There a pro-Moscow president was ousted after large numbers of Arab and other foreign mujahedin veterans were secretly imported from Afghanistan, on an airline hastily organized by three former veterans of the CIA’s airline Air America. (The three, all once detailed from the Pentagon to the CIA, were Richard Secord, Harry Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn.)2 This was an ad hoc marriage of convenience: the mujahedin got to defend Muslims against Russian influence in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the Americans got a new president who opened up the oilfields of Baku to western oil companies.
The pattern of U.S. collaboration with Muslim fundamentalists against more secular enemies is not new. It dates back to at least 1953, when the CIA recruited right-wing mullahs to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran, and also began to cooperate with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.3 But in Libya in 2011 we see a more complex marriage of convenience between US and al-Qaeda elements: one which repeats a pattern seen in Bosnia in 1992-95, and Kosovo in 1997-98. In those countries America responded to a local conflict in the name of a humanitarian intervention to restrain the side committing atrocities. But in all three cases both sides committed atrocities, and American intervention in fact favored the side allied with al-Qaeda.
The cause of intervention was fostered in all three cases by blatant manipulation and falsification of the facts. What a historian has noted of the Bosnian conflict was true also of Kosovo and is being echoed today in Libya: though attacks were “perpetrated by Serbs and Muslims alike,” the pattern in western media was “that killings of Muslims were newsworthy, while the deaths of non-Muslims were not.”4 Reports of mass rapes in the thousands proved to be wildly exaggerated: a French journalist “uncovered only four women willing to back up the story.”5 Meanwhile in 1994 the French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy (BHL) traveled to Bosnia and fervently endorsed the case for intervention in Bosnia; in 2011 February BHL traveled to Benghazi and reprised his interventionist role for Libya.6
In all of the countries mentioned above, furthermore, there are signs that some American and/or western intelligence groups were collaborating with al-Qaeda elements from the outset of conflict, before the atrocities cited as a reason for intervention.. This suggests that there were deeper reasons for America’s interventions including the desire of western oil companies to exploit the petroleum reserves of Libya (as in Iraq) without having to deal with a troublesome and powerful strong man, or their desire to create a strategic oil pipeline across the Balkans (in Kosovo).7
That the U.S. would support al-Qaeda in terrorist atrocities runs wholly counter to impressions created by the U.S. media. Yet this on-going unholy alliance resurrects and builds on the alliance underlying Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1978-79 strategy of provocation in Afghanistan, at a time when he was President Carter’s National Security Adviser.
The Shah (left), Brzezinski (right), Carter (second right)
by Glenn Greenwald
The Los Angeles Times examines the staggering sums of money expended on patently absurd domestic “homeland security” projects: $75 billion per year for things such as a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar to respond to a potential attack on a lake in tiny Keith County, Nebraska, and hundreds of “9-ton BearCat armored vehicles, complete with turret” to guard against things like an attack on DreamWorks in Los Angeles. All of that — which is independent of the exponentially greater sums spent on foreign wars, occupations, bombings, and the vast array of weaponry and private contractors to support it all — is in response to this mammoth, existential, the-single-greatest-challenge-of-our-generation threat:
“The number of people worldwide who are killed by Muslim-type terrorists, Al Qaeda wannabes, is maybe a few hundred outside of war zones. It’s basically the same number of people who die drowning in the bathtub each year ,” said John Mueller, an Ohio State University professor who has written extensively about the balance between threat and expenditures in fighting terrorism.
Last year, McClatchy characterized this threat in similar terms: “undoubtedly more American citizens died overseas from traffic accidents or intestinal illnesses than from terrorism .” The March, 2011, Harper ‘s Index expressed the point this way : “Number of American civilians who died worldwide in terrorist attacks last year: 8 — Minimum number who died after being struck by lightning: 29.” That’s the threat in the name of which a vast domestic Security State is constructed,… 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
By Larry Chin
Iran is engaged in a surreal global shouting match with so-called Al-Qaeda figures over who and what was responsible for the atrocities of 9/11.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began by publicly pronouncing that 9/11 was a US government false flag operation. Al-Qaeda responded by accusing Ahmadinejad of being a conspiracy theorist — a “9/11 truther”. Iran then replied in kind by pointing to CIA involvement with Al-Qaeda.
This spectacle would be uproarious, if the actual stakes were not so high; if this war of words was not part of a much larger and very real war that places the future of the entire world at risk.
What we are witnessing is a typical propaganda battle in which truth, lies and half-truths have been liberally mixed. Only the most clear-minded and astute observers can see the battle lines clearly.
Looking past the noise, putting aside the reliability of the figures making it, there are clear and undeniable historical facts: