By Jeremy Scahill
November 20, 2008
Click here to view this guide as a single page.
U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.
Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton’s White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama’s team.
"What happened to all this talk about change?" a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. "This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time."
Amid the… Continue reading
© Diana Ralph, Ph.D.Abstract
The 9-11 attacks were the pretext which sold the myth of evil Muslim terrorists imminently threatening Americans. That tale allowed the Cheney-led members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) to implement their 1990 DPG plan for world control. The “war on terror” has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. and world’s people from “terrorists”, and everything to do with securing the American empire abroad and muzzling democracy and human rights at home. Designed to inspire popular support for U.S. wars of world conquest, it is modeled on Islamophobic stereotypes, policies, and political structures developed by the Israeli Likkud and Bush Sr. since 1979. To defeat this plan, we must overcome our Islamophobic fear of “terrorists” and stand in solidarity with Muslims.
1. Why a 9-11 Pretext?
by Mickey Huff, Associate Director of Project Censored
Project Censored, the media research group at Sonoma State University (SSU), has just released it’s annual report on the top stories that didn’t make the corporate mainstream news from the past year. The book is published by Seven Stories Press. Censored 2009, edited by director Dr. Peter Phillips with Dr. Andrew Roth, exposes the major stories Americans should know and care about that the “free press” just doesn’t deliver. The top stories for this year can be viewed at the PC website and the piece in the North Bay Bohemian can be read here.
Project Censored award winning journalist and researcher Stephen Lendman has just written about the Project in a piece titled Project Censored‘s Media Democracy Advocacy which looks at the history of the Project as well as details in this year’s volume. A lecture series hosting authors of this years top censored stories is presently underway at SSU for those in the Bay Area wishing to attend. The series is being broadcast at Free Speech TV this fall as well.
As acting Associate Director of Project Censored, I invite everyone to explore this year’s book and help support media democracy in action. Our currently calamitous and critical condition as a fragile free society depends upon a well informed citizenry and I strongly believe that Project Censored is a major force in the direction of strengthening our society’s democratic institutions and principles. Help spread the word if you… Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott
August 17, 2008
Recently I published two articles pointing to suggestive similarities between the recurring deep events in recent American history — those events which, because of their intelligence aspects, are ignored, misrepresented, or covered up in the American media. The first article pointed to overall similarities in many deep events since World War II. The second pointed to surprising points of comparison in the two deep events which were followed shortly by major U.S. wars: the John F. Kennedy assassination and 9/11. In the background of all these events, I suggested, was recurring evidence of the milieu “combining intelligence officials with elements from the drug-trafficking underworld.”1
Inthis essay I shall first attempt to lay out the complex geography ornetwork of that milieu, which I call the global drug connection, andits connections to what has been called an “alternative” or “shadow” CIA. I shall then show how this network, of banks, financial agents of influence, and the alternative CIA,contributed to the infrastructure of the Kennedy assassination and aseries of other, superficially unrelated, major deep events.
In this narrative, the names of individuals, their institutions, and their connections arerelatively unimportant. What matters is to see that such a milieu existed; that it was on-going, well-connected, and protected; and that, with increasing independence from governmental restraint, it played a role in major deep events in the last half century.
This of course strengthens the important hypothesis to be investigated,that this on-going milieu may also have contributed to the… Continue reading
Of course, this is that same Posse Comitatus Act that the Department of
Father Homeland Security now calls a “myth.” In an October 2000 article, “The Myth of Posse Comitatus,” Major Craig T. Trebilcock, U.S. Army Reserve, states:
“Through a gradual erosion of the act’s prohibitions over the past 20 years, posse comitatus today is more of a procedural formality than an actual impediment to the use of U.S. military forces in homeland defense.”
I say my country “was” dedicated … we were dedicated to prohibiting military occupation within America until 2006, when the John Warner Defense Authorization Act ( HR5122 ) was signed into law (specifically, see Section 1076, titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies” pretty much threw out the Posse Comitatus Act altogether.
But in January 2008, it appears posse comitatus was somewhat restored through an amendment to H.R. 4986 : National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008:
Section 1068 – Revises federal provisions concerning the use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies to discontinue the executive authority to deploy active and reserve personnel during domestic response incidents. Repeals the authority of the President to direct the Secretary to provide supplies, services, and equipment to persons affected by major public emergencies.
Naturally, the President issued a signing statement when he signed the bill, indicating he will “construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.” Of course, this means he’ll interpret and carry out this Act… Continue reading
By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
Each year around the anniversary of 9/11, I summarize what we ordinary citizens have learned since that awful day in 2001. This is the seventh annual look backwards, a 2008 update that contains new information and surmisings about those horrific events and what followed.
1. One 9/11 Size Fits All. What we now more fully understand is how the CheneyBush Administration utilized the murderous terrorism of 9/11 as the linchpin justification for their unfolding domestic and foreign agenda, much of it illegal, immoral and impeachable.
By and large, one can sum up that overall agenda as: Amass and control power in the U.S. and much of the world (“full-spectrum dominance”), and, in cahoots with their corporate supporters such as Halliburton and Blackwater, loot the federal treasury. All this was to be carried out secretly, with no accountability.
2. Iraq War Planning Began Before 9/11. We also know more about the nature of the lies (including forged documents) used by the Administration to sell the Iraq War, which attack already was in the planning stages well before 9/11.
The first faked document, by CIA forgers at the behest of White House officials, was a 2005 letter (back-dated 2001) supposedly coming from the then-Iraqi intelligence chief to his boss Saddam Hussein mentioning alleged “facts” that established a tie-in between 9/11, Al-Qaida and Iraq and about Saddam’s supposed purchase of uranium. The official, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, who had been an informant for the U.S. during… Continue reading
by Jeffrey Feldman
Posted September 5, 2008
Last night, while Americans sat quietly expecting to watch a video ‘tribute’
to victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001–John McCain took
advantage of America’s good will to show a video falsely linking Iran to the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
At 9:11pm (CST), the MSNBC coverage cut to a video being projected onto the
main screen at the RNC. At that point, Tom Brokaw introduced the video as follows:
Tom Brokaw: OK, let’s go now, Keith, if we can, down to the floor. We want
to share with our viewers the ‘Tribute To The Victims of 9/11.’
So, that was the introduction the networks gave to the video–no doubt lifted
from a press release given to them by the RNC. Normal practice, I suppose. But
here is the astoundingly immoral thing that happened next, rather than show
a video ‘tribute’ to the victims of 9/11, the McCain team showed a video ‘history’
of 9/11 that began like this:
(Fade to black as ominous slow piano music plays)
(Fade in: iconic image of Iranian revolutionaries from the late 1970s holding
Narrator: The first attack occured in Iran.
(MSNBC feed now shows picture of Iranian hostage crisis with title ’9/11
Narrator: 444 days–America held hostage.
(Cut to: image of 1998 Al Qaeda bombings of Kenya and Somalia)
Narrator: Then again.
(Cut to: second image of 1998 Al Qaeda bombing of Kenya and Somalia)
Narrator: And again.… Continue reading
One of the most active projects this week is the newly-established Iran-Contra Timeline, where there is more about kidnappings by Iranian-backed terrorists, missile shipments to Iran, and money movements to the Contras. You can also find out about CIA Director William Casey’s illness, attorney general Ed Meese’s investigatory prowess, and Ronald Reagan’s coherence.
Due to the increasing amount of material about the anthrax attacks, a dedicated timeline has been set up to cover this, and it will have separate categories, including ones for suspects Ayaad Assaad, Steven Hatfill, and Bruce Ivins. Newly added entries cover Ivins’ drinking, the letter implicating Assaad–just a coincidence according to the FBI–and an unpublished novel Hatfill wrote about a false-flag bio-terror attack.
The 9/11 timeline yet more about 9/11 Commission executive director Philip Zelikow, who assumed control of a key commission team, tried to prevent staff members talking to commissioners, and appointed a CIA officer to lead the investigation of the CIA.
Material has been added to the A. Q. Khan nuclear smuggling ring timeline covering lenient sentences handed down to Khan associates and western knowledge of his network.
Finally, the Decision to Invade Iraq Timeline has a couple more entries about Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his war cheerleading.
In addition to the entries being posted, we are still working on the site redesign, and donations of all amounts will be of great assistance:
Click here to donate
You can share your… Continue reading
Daily LIVE Convention-Protest Coverage! All this Week. On the Streets and on
the Floor!! Flash…Amy Goodman and other reporters arrested, preventative detention
of protesters, protesters injured…hear the latest reports on the Convention
Police State on No Lies Radio…
Get the details here: http://noliesradio.org
Or here if it does not resolve with Hughes: http://126.96.36.199/~nolies
From Allan Rees, of NoLiesRadio.org:
Things are heating up in the Police State of St. Paul. Amy Goodman arrested!!
Preventitive Detention, Many other Reporters arrested…many injuries….10
thousand demonstate and not a peep of it on main stream news. However No Lies
Radio is reporting it all as usual and covering it AS IT HAPPENS on the floor
and in the streets. I remember the ’68 convention police riot in Chicago…this
could be a turning point in awakening the Amerian people about the coming Police
This is excellent daily coverage by Democracy Now and live Pacifica Network
broadcasts of Republican conventions Mon-Thur of this week. We also will be
having coverage of the Ron Paul counter convention and on the streets at the
RNC. We are authorized to broadcast this converage.
We think that the 911truth listener will quickly tire of the Democratic and
Republican parties after they hear all the mombo jumbo at the conventions and
no truth issues are ever really addressed and will ultimately gravitate to the
Green Party and Ron Paul. Cynthia McKinney is the only Presidential Candidate
supporting 911 truth issues and has a track record of courageously confronting
the likely perpertrators… Continue reading
By James Petras
August 28, 2008
In recent days there is mounting evidence of the advance of totalitarianism
in the political and media mainstream. The entire Western world, led by the
United States, has embraced a Georgian regime, which invaded South Ossetia totally
demolishing its capital city of 50,000 residents, assassinated 1500 men, women
and children and dozens of Russian peace keepers. The US has mobilized a naval
and air armada off the Iranian coast, prepared to annihilate a country of 70
million people. The New York Times published an essay by a prominent
Israeli historian, which advocates the nuclear incineration of Iran. All the
major mass media have mounted a systematic propaganda campaign against China,
supporting each and every terrorist and separatist group, and whipping up public
opinion in favor of launching a New Cold War. There is little doubt that this
new wave of imperial aggression and bellicose rhetoric is meant to deflect domestic
discontent and distract public opinion from the deepening economic crises.
The Financial Times (FT), once the liberal, enlightened voice of the
financial elite (in contrast to the aggressively neo-conservative Wall Street
Journal) has yielded to the totalitarian-militarist temptation. The feature
article of the weekend supplement of August 16/17, 2008 — “The Face
of 9/11″ — embraces the forced confession of a 9/11 suspect elicited
through 5 years of hideous torture in the confines of secret prisons. To make
their case, the FT published a half-page blow-up photo first circulated by former
CIA… Continue reading
Mon Aug 18, 2008
Last week, Scott Horton interviewed (audio) investigative journalist Joe Lauria. Lauria was one of the co-authors of the three-part (1, 2, 3) series on the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds for the UK’s Sunday Times.
In the interview Lauria discusses the Sibel Edmonds case, the state of the US media, and the Military Industrial Complex in the context of his new book with presidential candidate Mike Gravel: “A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Mans Fight to Stop It“
In the interview, Lauria says that he spoke at length to the three FBI agents who were Sibel’s immediate bosses at the FBI and that they “corroborated in general terms, that this story is true.”
Lauria describes how he recently interviewed one of the FBI agents at his home for 90 minutes, and met another of Sibel’s former bosses several times outside his house. The agents are unwilling to provide detailed corroboration on a lot of the details in the case because they fear being sent to prison, but their willingness to speak to Lauria about the case, and their supportive statements that “She’s not crazy,” provide generalized corroboration on the case.
The FBI itself is not happy that Lauria and the Sunday Times are still looking into the Edmonds case and they made a “formal complaint” with the Sunday Times (a British media outlet!) that Lauria stay away from the… Continue reading
By Kathy Sanborn
13/08/08 “ICH” — – Sanborn: When I read your article, “Marching
Off Into Tyranny,” I was impressed by how you were able to concisely sum
up one of the most important issues that we face as Americans, namely, the erosion
of our civil liberties, mostly due to fabricated terrorism such as the anthrax
scare and the attacks on 9/11. You talk about the Florida university professor,
Al-Arian, who continues to be victimized by the Feds although a jury has cleared
him of any terrorism charges. [As of August 8, 2008, the Associated Press states,
"U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema postponed the trial indefinitely,
questioning whether the government was overeager in filing charges." –KS]
What was your wake-up call, Dr. Roberts, to the fact that the current administration
was determined to take away the civil liberties of Americans?
Roberts: When they responded to 9/11 with the Patriot Act. That document was
thick, and it would have taken months and months to prepare it, yet it came
out shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
Why does combating terrorism require an assault on the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights? It was clear to me that there was an undeclared agenda there.
On the day of 9/11, I knew right away that something was wrong. I had been
an engineering student at Georgia Tech, and things just didn’t add up.
As I watched the towers fall, I could see that the buildings were blowing up
from the top, at least initially.… Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
August 5, 2008
In last weekend’s edition of CounterPunch,
Alexander Cockburn updates the ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal
prosecutors. Al-Arian was a Florida university professor of computer science
who was ensnared by the Bush Regime’s need to produce “terrorists”
in order to keep Americans fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime’s
assault on US civil liberties.
The charges against Al-Arian were rejected by a jury, but the Bush Regime could
not accept the obvious defeat. If Al-Arian was not a terrorist, then other of
the Bush Regime’s fabricated cases might fall apart, too.
In open view, the US Department of Justice (sic) proceeded to trash every known
ethical rule of prosecution. I don’t need to repeat the facts, as they
are covered by Cockburn’s articles and in The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
Instead, I want to point out another meaning of the Al-Arian case. The Justice
(sic) Department itself knows that it is persecuting a totally innocent person
for reasons of a political agenda–the need to convince gullible Americans of
an ongoing terrorist threat. The existence of this threat is used to justify
the Bush Regime’s adoption of police state measures, such as spying on
Americans without warrants, arresting them without charges, and refusing to
let go of them when they are cleared by juries.
Sami Al-Arian is a fabricated terrorist created by federal prosecutors and
judges in behalf of an undeclared agenda. The Al-Arian case proves that terrorists
are in short… Continue reading
Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.
In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.
During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected:
HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.
Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans… Continue reading
This week Visibility 9-11 welcomes former diplomat from the State Department’s
Foreign Service J. Michael Springmann. Mr. Springmann served postings in Germany,
India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington
D.C. He is a published author of several articles on national security themes,
and is an attorney in private practice in Washington D.C.
Michael has attended several 9/11 Conferences over the years, most notably,
the 9/11 Omission hearings on 9/9/2004 chaired by former Representative and
current Green Party candidate for President, Cynthia McKinney, as well as the
recent conference in Keene, NH.
Included in this important interview is a discussion regarding a new article
by Mr. Springmann titled, THE
MISTAKE DEPARTMENT: One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster
(reprinted below) that discusses the American Consulate General at Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia, and it’s relationship to 15 of the 19 alleged September 11th hijackers.
In it, he says that "the Jeddah Consulate was not a State Department post
but an intelligence services operation", "the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) routinely demanded (and got) visas for sleazy characters with no
ties to either their home country or Saudi Arabia," and "these vile
people were terrorists recruited by U.S. intelligence officers along with Osama
bin Laden, then a CIA asset."
THE MISTAKE DEPARTMENT
One Example of Why American Foreign Policy is a Disaster
by J. Michael Springmann
After airplanes flew into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, The Los
Angeles Times reported that… Continue reading
Wide-ranging conspiracies do take place, whether you or I, or Charlie Brooker,
are inclined to believe it or not
July 17, 2008
Guardian “Comment is Free”
Earlier this week Charlie Brooker generated the largest number of online responses
to an article in the history of Comment is free. His theme was conspiracy theory
in general and the 9/11 conspiracy theories in particular — and it collected
more than 1,700 comments. Brooker thinks conspiracy theories console those who
find reality too dull and complicated without the garnish of a hidden agenda:
“Embrace a conspiracy theory and suddenly you’re part of a gang sharing
privileged information; your sense of power and dignity rises a smidgeon and
this troublesome world makes more sense, for a time.”
Brooker’s line belongs to a mini-genre of attempts to explain the public’s
willingness to entertain conspiracy theories in psychological terms. Indeed
he is very close to that stern rationalist Melanie Phillips, who has decided
that, in the absence of religion, conspiracy theories satisfy “our desperate
need to make order out of chaos”.
The conspiratorial world view does have its consolations. But so does Brooker’s.
There’s a certain pleasure and drama in declaring that the world is driven by
incompetence and error, and that things are more or less as they seem. You can
preen yourself on how well-adjusted you are, how you haven’t fallen for that
stuff about lizards, or Illuminati. You have learned to live without magic.
You’re saying “I don’t believe in… Continue reading
Israel Planning a September/October Surprise?
By Ray McGovern
International Clearing House — You say you expected more rhetoric than reality from Senators Obama and McCain yesterday in their speeches on Iraq and Afghanistan? Well, that’s certainly what you got.
What I find nonetheless amazing is how they, and the pundits, have taken such little notice of the dramatic change in the political landscape occasioned by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bombshell on July 7 — his insistence on a “timetable” for withdrawal of US troops before any accord is reached on their staying past the turn of the year.
Responding to a question at his press conference yesterday, President George W. Bush showed that he was vaguely aware that the timetable is, as Robert Dreyfuss says (in Truthout, July 7), a “big deal.” Bush even alluded haltingly to the possibility of extending the UN mandate still further.
But it is far from clear that Maliki, who is under great domestic pressure, would be able to sell that to the various factions upon which he depends for support, much less to those which he must keep at bay. As Dreyfuss points out, Maliki and his Shiite allies are also under considerable pressure from Iran, which remains the chief ally of the ruling alliance of Shiites. Most important, Maliki is by no means in control of what happens next.
Here’s where it gets sticky. No one who knows about third rails in US politics would expect the candidates or the fawning corporate media (FCM) to address how those now running Israel are likely to be looking at the implications of a large US troop withdrawal from Iraq next year.…Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
July 17, 2008
National Public Radio has been spending much news time on Darfur in Western
Sudan where a great deal of human suffering and death are occurring. The military
conflict has been brought on in part by climate change, according to UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon. Drought is forcing nomads in search of water into areas
occupied by other claimants. No doubt the conflict is tribal and racial as well.
The entire catastrophe is overseen by a government with few resources other
Now an International Criminal Court prosecutor wants to bring charges against
Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for crimes against humanity and war
I have no sympathy for people who make others suffer. Nevertheless, I wonder
at the International Criminal Court’s pick from the assortment of war
criminals? Why al-Bashir?
Is it because Sudan is a powerless state, and the International Criminal Court
hasn’t the courage to name George W. Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals?
Bush and Blair’s crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan dwarf,
at least in the number of deaths and displaced persons, the terrible situation
in Darfur. The highest estimate of Darfur casualties is 400,000, one-third the
number of Iraqis who have died as a result of Bush’s invasion. Moreover,
the conflict in the Sudan is an internal one, whereas Bush illegally invaded
two foreign countries, war crimes under the Nuremberg Standard. Bush’s
war crimes were enabled by the political leaders of the UK, Spain, Canada,… Continue reading