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Jose Padilla and how American justice functions

By Glenn Greenwald
September 20, 2011
Salon.com

The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system. In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all  contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer. During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured   to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity. (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).

Needless to say, none of the government officials responsible for this abuse of a U.S. citizen on American soil has been held accountable in any way. That’s because President Obama decreed that Bush officials shall  not be criminally investigated for War on Terror crimes, while his Justice Department vigorously defended John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld and other responsible functionaries in civil suits brought by Padilla seeking  damages for what was done to him.

As usual, the Obama DOJ cited national security imperatives and sweeping theories of presidential power to demand that Executive Branch officials be fully shielded from judicial scrutiny (i.e., shielded from the … Continue reading

New Documents Suggest DoD Watchdog Covered Up Intelligence Unit’s Work Tracking 9/11 Terrorists

by: Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold
Truthout

Senior Pentagon officials scrubbed key details about a top-secret military intelligence unit’s efforts in tracking Osama bin Laden and suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from official reports they prepared for a Congressional committee probing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, new documents obtained by Truthout reveal.

Moreover, in what appears to be an attempt to cover up the military unit’s intelligence work, a September 2008 Defense Department (DoD) Inspector General’s (IG) report that probed complaints lodged by the former deputy chief of the military unit in question, the Asymmetrical Threats Division of Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC), also known as DO5, about the crucial information withheld from Congress, claimed “the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC’s mission.”

But the IG’s assertion is untrue, according to the documents obtained by Truthout, undercutting the official narrative about who knew what and when in the months leading up to 9/11.

Much of JFIC’s work on al-Qaeda and Bin Laden remains shrouded in secrecy and has not been cited in media reports revolving around pre-9/11 intelligence, which has focused heavily over the past decade on CIA and FBI “intelligence failures.” Only a few details about the military intelligence unit have surfaced since then, notably in two previous reports published recently by Truthout.

JFIC was the intelligence component of United States Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). In 2005, it was renamed the Joint Intelligence Command for Intelligence. Last month, JFCOM was shuttered, reportedly due to Pentagon budget cuts,… Continue reading

Majority Feel 9/11 Story Might be Wrong In Important Respects

Reinvestigate911.org

For more info or interviews please call Ian Henshall on 01273 326862 or 079469 39217 Today Ian was on LBC 8.30am, this evening scheduled on Talksport 11.30pm

A new opinion poll shows surprisingly high levels of doubt in the UK over the official story of the 9/11 attacks. The poll, conducted by ICM on behalf of Reinvestigate911.org , found that more people agree than disagree that the official account of what happened on 9/11 might turn out to be wrong in important respects. Only 8% strongly agree that they have been told the full story of the 9/11 attacks.

Of those who expressed an opinion 37% agreed that rogue elements in the American intelligence services may have made a decision prior to 9/11 to allow a terrorist attack to take place. Richard Clarke, White House anti-terror co-ordinator at the time, said recently that the 9/11 attacks could have been foiled but for an explicit agreement within the CIA to withhold vital information from him and the FBI. Clarke says he cannot explain this behaviour. At the time the CIA were prohibited by law from operating in the US.

The results are mirrored by a HEC poll published today in France showing that 58% have doubts compared to 31% percent who accept the official story. Half suspect that US authorities deliberately allowed the attacks to take place while a third suspect they were implicated in the execution of 9/11.

Reinvestigate911.org is campaigning for a closer examination of unanswered questions they… Continue reading

The 9/11 Tapes: The Story in the Air; Newly Published Audio Provides Real-Time View of 9/11 Attacks

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,
Va.

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.”

Excerpt:

10:09 AM1 minute, 57 secondsThe 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

Bosnia, Kosovo, and Now Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s On-Going Collusion with Terrorists

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.

Photo of meeting between The Shah, Brezinski and President Carter

The Shah (left), Brzezinski (right), Carter (second right)

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The omnipotence of Al Qaeda and meaninglessness of “Terrorism”

By Glenn Greenwald
July 23, 2011
Salon.com

(updated below – Update II)

For much of the day yesterday, the featured headline on The New York Times online front page strongly suggested that Muslims were responsible for the attacks on Oslo; that led to definitive statements on the BBC and elsewhere that Muslims were the culprits. The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates.
The morning statement issued by President Obama — “It’s a reminder that the entire international community holds a stake in preventing this kind of terror from occurring” and “we have to work cooperatively together both on intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks” — appeared to assume, though (to its credit) did not overtly state, that the perpetrator was an international terrorist group.

But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn’t from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs such as Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugged, Daniel Pipes, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch. Despite that, The New York Times is still working hard to pin some form of blame, even ultimate blame, on Muslim radicals (h/t sysprog):

Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause of… Continue reading

The Painful Collapse of Empire: How the ‘American Dream’ and American Exceptionalism Wreck Havoc on the World

We must tell the truth about the domination that is at the heart of the American Dream so that we may face the brokenness of our world.

by Robert Jensen

AlterNet.org

Whether celebrated or condemned, the American Dream endures, though always ambiguously. We are forever describing and defining, analyzing and assessing the concept, and with each attempt to clarify, the idea of an American Dream grows more incoherent yet more entrenched.

The literature of this dream analysis is virtually endless, as writers undertake the task of achieving, saving, chasing, restoring, protecting, confronting, pursuing, reviving, shaping, renewing, and challenging the American Dream. Other writers are busy devouring, recapturing, fulfilling, chasing, liberating, advertising, redesigning, rescuing, spreading, updating, inventing, reevaluating, financing, redefining, remembering, and expanding the American Dream. And let’s not forget those who are deepening, building, debating, burying, destroying, ruining, promoting, tracking, betraying, remaking, living, regulating, undermining, marketing, downsizing, and revitalizing the American Dream.

We are exhorted to awaken from, and face up to, the dream, as we explore the myths behind, crisis of, cracks in, decline of, and quest for the American Dream.

My favorite book title on the subject has to be  Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream , which explores the comedian’s career “within a broader discussion of the ideology of the American Dream.” According to the book’s publisher, the author “brilliantly decodes Kaufman in a way that makes it possible to grasp his radical agenda beyond avant-garde theories of transgression. As an entertainer, Kaufman submerged his identity… Continue reading

Boiling Frogs Exclusive: Intelligence and Law Enforcement Experts on Ever-Changing Bin Laden Death Script

Boilingfrogspost.com

Not All Sources and Experts Are Equal–Here Are some Real Ones!

directorThere are ‘experts’ views,’ and then there are experts’ views. There are ‘government sources,’ and then there are government sources. Not all experts are equal. And, not all sources are reliable. Am I talking in riddles? Of course not; give me a chance and I’ll explain.

We have members of the popular media (mainstream and quasi-alternatives alike) ever anxious to market and disseminate government conspiracy and propaganda. They, members of the popular media, have their own rolodex of ‘experts’ and analysts, some on their payroll, to help them propagate the delivery and execution of government-given propaganda-conspiracy. The same principle applies to ‘sources.’ The popular media relies on their government sources who act as middle-men-government messengers who’ve been given a government written and approved script to be delivered; almost always anonymously. Well, this is exactly what we have been getting from our media, around the clock, since the announcement of the Bin Laden Death Operation: ever-changing government scripts, delivered mainly by anonymous government sources to the US media, and further embellished and expanded upon by government-connected experts and analysts on the payroll.

On the other hand, there are many independent real experts whose analyses and views you won’t, or rarely, get to hear or read about; at least not in the mainstream media or at quasi-alternative sites. And there are current and former government sources not tasked with messenger duties; many of whom… Continue reading

Obama Says “Justice Has Been Done”: Bin Laden Scholar Says No

by David Ray Griffin
May 6, 2011

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/obama-says-justice-has-been-done-bin-laden-scholar-says-no-121381654.html

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Nobel Peace Prize nominee
Dr. David Ray Griffin’s 2009 book, “Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?”
presented compelling evidence that bin Laden died in December 2001 — prompting
a BBC documentary of the same name.

Griffin, founder of the soon to be announced 9/11 Consensus Panel, and named
among the New Statesman’s “50 People Who Matter Today,” today released
the following statement:

President Obama, speaking of the operation to kill Osama bin Laden, said: “Justice
has been done.”

It has been widely assumed that, if bin Laden is now dead, the person most
responsible for the 9/11 attacks has been brought to justice. But the US government
has never provided evidence that the attacks were carried out by bin Laden and
his al-Qaeda organization.

In September 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell promised to provide this
evidence, but the next day recanted, saying “most of [the evidence] is
classified.”

In October, Prime Minister Tony Blair provided evidence that bin Laden and
al-Qaeda planned and executed the 9/11 attacks. But he added:

“This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against
Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.”

The FBI’s acts that made bin Laden a “Most Wanted Terrorist” does
not include the 9/11 attacks. The FBI’s chief of investigative publicity explained:
“The FBI has been no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”

A December 2001 video shows a heavy-set Osama… Continue reading

Military Tribunal May Hide 9/11 Motives

By Ray McGovern
April 6, 2011
Consortiumnews.com

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

Why the Fuss? The Call to Arms against UN Rapporteur Richard Falk for Alluding to Gaps in the 9/11 Official Story

by Elizabeth Woodworth
January 28, 2011
Foreign Policy Journal

A former Princeton international law professor has been condemned by the UN Secretary General and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for alluding to “an apparent cover-up” of the events of September 11th, 2001.

On January 11, 2011, UN Special Envoy to Palestine Richard Falk posted on his personal blog an article entitled “Interrogating the Arizona Killings from a Safe Distance.”[1]

Dr. Falk made a tangential point in his blog-post that governments too often abuse their authority by treating “awkward knowledge as a matter of state secrets”.

href="http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/01/28/why-the-fuss-the-call-to-arms-against-un-rapporteur-richard-falk-for-alluding-to-gaps-in-the-911-official-story/" target="_blank">Richard FalkTo illustrate the point, he referred to gaps and contradictions in the official account of the 9/11 attacks, which have been documented in the scholarly works of Dr. David Ray Griffin, a professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology.

“What seems most disturbing about the 9/11 controversy is the widespread aversion by government and media to the evidence that suggests, at the very least, the need for an independent investigation that proceeds with no holds barred,” wrote Falk.

On January 20th, executive director Hillel Neuer of UN Watch, a European NGO, called upon UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to condemn the remarks made by Falk, and to fire him, claiming that Falk had “endorsed the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. government and not Al Qaeda terrorists.” [2]

On January 24th, in a reply to Hillel Neuer, Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon’s… Continue reading

Exclusive: Key FBI whistleblower: Had WikiLeaks existed, 9/11, Iraq war ‘could have been prevented’

By Nathan Diebenow
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Rawstory.com

A Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ argues WikiLeaks serves the public good

A member of a group of former intelligence professionals that has rallied behind WikiLeaks suggested in a recent interview with Raw Story that the world would be a different and better place had the online secrets outlet come into existence years sooner.

“If there had been a mechanism like Wikileaks, 9/11 could have been prevented,” Coleen Rowley, a former special agent/legal counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis division, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview.

Rowley and her colleague Bogdan Dzakovic, a special agent for the FAA’s security division, explained this position in an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times in October. However, they admit no claim to the original idea of an established pro-whistle-blower infrastructure. It’s purely the US government’s, she said.

“That’s not even us,” she told Raw Story. “That’s not our personal opinion. We’re really reciting the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission
that attributed the failures of 9/11 to a failure to share information not only inside agencies, not only between agencies, but with the public and the media.”

“People have forgotten that that was the main conclusion of the 9/11 Commission,” Rowley added.

“The 9/11 Commission was based on four other major investigation inquiries,” she continued “One was called the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry. That started in Jan. 2002. It went on for well over a year. Then I testified to the Judiciary Committee, and… Continue reading

Witnesses in Defense Dept. Report Suggest Cover-Up of 9/11 Findings

By Catherine Herridge
Exclusive by Foxnews.com

Image of Operation Dark Heart A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as “Able Danger.”

At least five witnesses questioned by the Defense Department’s Inspector General told Fox News that their statements were distorted by investigators in the final IG’s report — or it left out key information, backing up assertions that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was identified a year before 9/11.

Atta is believed to have been the ringleader of the Sept. 11 hijackers who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. Claims about how early Atta first tripped the radar of the Department of Defense date back to 2005, but those claims never made it into the Inspector General’s report. The report was completed in 2006 and, until now, has been available only in a version with the names of virtually all of the witnesses blacked out.

Fox News, as part of an ongoing investigation, exclusively obtained a clean copy of the report and spoke to several principal witnesses, including an intelligence and data collector who asked that she not be named.

The witness told Fox News she was interviewed twice by a Defense Department investigator. She said she told the investigator that it was highly likely a department database included the picture of Atta, whom she knew under an alias, Mohammed el-Sayed.

The Defense Intelligence Agency has blocked a book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called “Able Danger.”

“When it came to the picture, (the investigator) he was fairly hostile,” the witness told Fox News.…

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Managed News: Inside The US/NATO Military Industrial Media Empire

by Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff
DailyCensored.com World News

“There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.”

– Charles Dickens

We face what appears to be a military industrial media empire so powerful and complex that truth is mostly absent or reported in disconnected segments with little historical context. A case in point: The London Times reported on June 5, 2010, that American troops are now operating in 75 countries. Has President Obama secretly sanctioned a huge increase in the number of US Special Forces carrying out search-and-destroy missions against al-Qaeda around the world? If so, this increase is far in excess of special-forces operations under the Bush administration and reflects how aggressively Obama is pursuing al-Qaeda behind his public rhetoric of global engagement and diplomacy. Somehow this information didn’t make it into the US media.

The US, in cooperation with NATO, is building global occupation forces for the control of international resources in support of Trilateralist–US, Europe, Japan–corporate profits. A New York Times report on the availability of a trillion dollars in mineral wealth in Afghanistan, on top of the need for an oil/gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea, suggests other reasons for U.S objectives in the region.

Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service writes on June 15, 2010, “The timing of the publication of a major New York Times story on the vast untapped mineral wealth that lies beneath Afghanistan’s soil is raising major questions about the intent of the Pentagon … Blake Hounshell, managing editor at Foreign Policy magazine, says that the US Geological Service (USGS) already published a comprehensive inventory of Afghanistan’s non-oil mineral resources on the Internet in 2007, as did the British Geological Survey.…

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Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight

David Ray Griffin

At 5:21 PM on 9/11, Building 7 of the World Trade Center collapsed, even though it had not been hit by a plane — a fact that is important because of the widespread acceptance of the idea, in spite of its scientific absurdity, that the Twin Towers collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airliners plus the ensuing jet-fuel-fed fires. The collapse of World Trade Center 7 (WTC 7) thereby challenges the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center, according to which it was accomplished by al-Qaeda hijackers, even if one accepts the government’s scientifically impossible account of the Twin Towers. This fact was recently emphasized in the title of a review article based on my 2009 book, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7, 1 by National Medal of Science-winner Lynn Margulis: “Two Hit, Three Down — The Biggest Lie.” 2

1. Why the Collapse of WTC 7 Created an Extraordinary Problem

The collapse of WTC 7 created an extraordinary problem for the official account of 9/11 for several reasons.

An Unprecedented Occurrence

One reason is that, because of the collapse of WTC 7, the official account of 9/11 includes the dubious claim that, for the first time in the known universe, a steel-frame high-rise building was brought down by fire, and science looks askance at claims of unprecedented occurrences regarding physical phenomena. New York Times writer James Glanz, who himself has a Ph.D. in physics, wrote: “[E]xperts… Continue reading

‘Continuity of Government’ Planning: War, Terror and the Supplanting of the U.S. Constitution

by Peter Dale Scott
JapanFocus.org
The Asia-Pacific Journal
, 21-2-10

Editor’s Note:
These remarks were presented by Dr. Scott at the Understanding Deep Politics conference, held May 14-16 in Santa Cruz, CA.

Photo of Oliver North at the Iran-Contra Hearings

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

Did Osama bin Laden Confess to the 9/11 Attacks, and Did He Die, in 2001?

by Prof David Ray Griffin
Originally Published at Globalresearch.ca

Photo of Osama bin Laden

In 2009, I published a little book entitled Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? 1 Much evidence, I showed, suggested that Osama bin Laden had died on or about December 13, 2001. (Although this book was ignored by the US press, it received major reviews in British newspapers, 2 and it even provided the basis for a BBC special. 3 ) Pointing out that the only evidence to the contrary consists of “messages from bin Laden” in the form of audiotapes and videotapes that have appeared since 2001, I devoted one chapter to an examination of the most important of these tapes, showing that none are demonstrably authentic and that some are almost certainly fakes.

In the chapter preceding that examination, I discussed two videotapes containing purported interviews of Osama bin Laden in the fall of 2001, when the issue was whether he had been responsible for the 9/11 attacks. I suggested that both of these tapes, in which bin Laden allegedly admitted his responsibility, were fakes. If they were, I pointed out, this fact would increase the likelihood that all of the “Osama bin Laden tapes” appearing in the following years – when the question of whether he was still alive was added to that of his responsibility for 9/11 – were also fakes.

The clearest example, I argued, was the most famous of the so-called bin Laden confession videos. Having allegedly been found in a private home in Jalalabad,… Continue reading

Face the Shadow First: Seeking the Hidden Dimensions of American and Global Politics

Probe Beneath the Surface of the Obama Era at the “Understanding Deep Politics” Conference in Santa Cruz, May 14-16

By Byron Belitsos
May 4, 2010

Some say it began with the invasion of Iraq. Others, with the inauguration of George W. Bush for his second term. Many point to the day of 9/11. But those in the know–including ten distinguished speakers headlining the “Understanding Deep Politics” Conference in Santa Cruz this May 14-16–trace the era of deep politics further back: Some to JFK’s assassination; others, to the aftermath of World War II. And a few speakers in Santa Cruz will stretch us back to Hitler, Lenin, Weishaupt, or Machiavelli, from there to ancient secret societies, and even back to the dawn of human governance itself–in the belief that conscious political deception is an inescapable feature of human nature. But all agree on the general definition of deep politics: It refers to government in which two dimensions of action always coexist: Overt and covert, or benign and utterly ruthless.

We can trace it forward too; by now we know that the ways of deceptive government did not end with the ascent of Obama. As with the Bush era, the overt side of American politics still refers to government actions thinly covered in the mainstream press; on this level of action, we know that Obama signed the largest military budget in history, expanded the war in Afghanistan, bailed out banks, and “reformed” health care; but on the covert side of the equation, most don’t realize–given how the corporate media and Obama’s benign rhetoric is busy distracting us–that the new president has carried forward virtually all of the discredited Bush-era War or Terror policies.…

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