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Questioning 9/11: The Politician Turned Conspiracy Theorist

Andreas von Bulow believes the US carried out the 9/11 attacks.

September 6, 2011
By Christian Stoecker
Spiegel Online International (DerSpiegel)

Andreas von Bulow used to be a German cabinet minister and member of parliament for the Social Democrats. Now he is a best-selling author who writes books about 9/11 conspiracy theories. His former colleagues no longer want anything to do with him.

Andreas von Bulow says he’s never feared for his life. This is despite the fact that he harbors suspicions that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were not the work of 19 “suicide Muslims,” as he calls them, but rather an ingenious, cold-blooded operation in psychological warfare organized by the United States itself; and despite the fact that he has published this view in book form.

Bulow doesn’t commit himself definitively to the position, but he feels fairly certain that either the Bush administration or other, far more powerful groups operating behind the scenes allowed more than 3,000 people to die in order to construct an unassailable argument supporting geopolitically desirable military operations such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These are astonishing theories on the part of a former German government minister, one who spent 25 years representing the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag. He’s not saying his theories necessarily represent what really happened, Bulow explains, he’s simply posing questions. “This is just another way of thinking,” he says. But, the former minister adds, it’s a way of thinking that appears… Continue reading

The Boiling Frogs presents Paul Thompson–Part II

BoilingFrogsPost.com

Boiling Frogs Podcast This is Part II of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.org and Richard Clarke’s interview by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski at SecrecyKills.com .

Paul Thompson joins us to discuss the latest revelations by former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke and his explosive allegations against three former top CIA officials — George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee — accusing them of knowingly withholding intelligence about two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, who had entered the United States more than a year before the attacks. He provides us with the most comprehensive history and context to date on Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 with three other terrorists and flew the jetliner directly into the Pentagon killing 189 people. Mr. Thompson takes us through a mind-boggling journey through the Yemen Hub, the highly critical Malaysia Summit, Thailand, USS Cole bombing, CIA’s Alec Station, NSA, FBI and beyond!

Paul Thompson is the author of The Terror Timeline , a compilation of over 5,000 reports and articles concerning the September 11, 2001 attacks. His research in the field has garnered over 100 radio and TV interviews. Mr. Thompson holds a psychology degree from Stanford University obtained in 1990. For the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project visit HistoryCommons.org

Here is our guest Paul Thompson unplugged! Interview with Paul Thompson – Part II [1:02:50]

Paul Thompson… Continue reading

10 years later, 9/11 still shrouded in mystery

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.

1. Did the CIA cover up its advance knowledge of at least two of the 9/11 hijackers?

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

9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed

Cover photo of 9/11 Ten Years LaterDavid Ray Griffin

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

9/11 After A Decade: Have We Learned Anything?

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

The Boiling Frogs Presents Paul Thompson -Part I

BoilingFrogsPost.com

Boiling Frogs Podcast Logo This is Part I of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.org and Richard Clarke’s interview by John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski at SecrecyKills.com .

Paul Thompson joins us to discuss the latest revelations by former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke and his explosive allegations against three former top CIA officials — George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee — accusing them of knowingly withholding intelligence about two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, who had entered the United States more than a year before the attacks. He provides us with the most comprehensive history and context to date on Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 with three other terrorists and flew the jetliner directly into the Pentagon killing 189 people. Mr. Thompson takes us through a mind-boggling journey through the Yemen Hub, the highly critical Malaysia Summit, Thailand, USS Cole bombing, CIA’s Alec Station, NSA, FBI and beyond!

Paul Thompson is the author of The Terror Timeline , a compilation of over 5,000 reports and articles concerning the September 11, 2001 attacks. His research in the field has garnered over 100 radio and TV interviews. Mr. Thompson holds a psychology degree from Stanford University obtained in 1990. For the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project visit HistoryCommons.org

Here is our guest Paul Thompson unplugged! [ 1:03:14 ]

Paul Thompson on Boiling Frogs

Who–and What–Are Behind the “Official History” of the Bin Laden Raid?

By Russ Baker

Another original investigation by WhoWhatWhy.com

Article Summary: When you look closely, nothing seems right about what will surely become the accepted account of the raid that nailed America’s enemy number one. And then things get even weirder…

Photo of Father of Writer got the story of the bin Laden raid

The father of the New Yorker writer who got the exclusive inside story of the bin Laden raid

The establishment media just keep getting worse. They’re further and further from good, tough investigative journalism, and more prone to be pawns in complicated games that affect the public interest in untold ways. A significant recent example is The New Yorker ‘s vaunted August 8 exclusive on the vanquishing of Osama bin Laden.

Cover image for story: Getting bin Laden The piece, trumpeted as the most detailed account to date of the May 1 raid in Abbottabad Pakistan, was an instant hit. “Got the chills half dozen times reading @NewYorker killing bin Laden tick tock…exquisite journalism,” tweeted the digital director of the PBS show Frontline . The author, freelancer Nicholas Schmidle, was quickly featured on the Charlie Rose show, an influential determiner of “chattering class” opinion. Other news outlets rushed to praise the story as “exhaustive,” “utterly compelling,” and on and on.

To be sure, it is the kind of granular, heroic story that the public loves, that generates follow-up bestsellers and movie options. The takedown even has a Hollywood-esque code name: “Operation Neptune’s Spear”

Here’s the introduction to the mission commander , full of minute details that help give it a ring of authenticity and suggest the most… Continue reading

Former Counterterrorism Czar Accuses Tenet, Other CIA Officials of Cover-Up

By Jason Leopold Truthout

With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 just a month away, the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have started to attract fresh scrutiny from former counterterrorism officials, who have called into question the veracity of the official government narrative that concluded who knew what and when.

Indeed, recently Truthout published an exclusive report based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and an interview with a former high-ranking counterterrorism official that showed how a little-known military intelligence unit, unbeknownst to the various investigative bodies probing the terrorist attacks, was ordered by senior government officials to stop tracking Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s movements prior to 9/11.

And now, in a stunning new interview made available to Truthout that is scheduled to air on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado tonight, former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, for the first time, levels explosive allegations against three former top CIA officials – George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee – accusing them of knowingly withholding intelligence from the Bush and Clinton White House, the FBI, Immigration and the State and Defense Departments about two of the 9/11 hijackers who had entered the United States more than a year before the attacks. Moreover, Clarke says the former CIA officials likely engaged in a cover-up by withholding key details about two of the hijackers from the 9/11 Commission.

Continued here

 

Analysing the CIA Response to Richard Clarke’s Allegations: Who Knew What When?

by Kevin Fenton
Published at 911truth.org

Following the airing of allegations by former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke that the CIA deliberately withheld from him information about Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, former CIA director George Tenet, former CIA Counterterrorist Center chief Cofer Black and Richard Blee, a mid-level agency official who occupied two key counterterrorist positions before 9/11, have responded with a joint statement.

Clarke said that information about the two men was deliberately withheld from him in January 2000, at the time of a key al-Qaeda meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which the CIA monitored. Clarke alleged that, based on his knowledge of how the CIA works, Tenet authorised the deliberate withholding. Clarke added that the information was clearly important in the summer of 2001, when the CIA knew that Almihdhar was in the country and, in the words of one of Blee’s former deputies, was “very high interest” in connection with the next al-Qaeda attack. However, the CIA continued to withhold some information from both Clarke and the FBI.

Mark Rossini, one of Blee’s former subordinates at Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, has previously admitted deliberately withholding the information from the FBI. According to Rossini, in early January 2000 he and a colleague, Doug Miller, knew they should notify the FBI that Almihdhar had a US visa and presumably intended to soon visit the US. Miller even drafted, but did not send, a cable informing the FBI of Almihdhar’s visa. However, Rossini says he… Continue reading

White House Terror Chief Alleges CIA 9/11 Malfeasance, Cover Up in New Interview: PBS Colorado’s Exclusive Ignites Battle Among Bush Officials

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published at Colorado911Visibility.org

Press Contact: Robert Boutton (323) 300-5376 www.SecrecyKills.com

In a never-before-seen interview, Richard Clarke, former White House Counterterror “Tsar” to Presidents Clinton and Bush, goes on record about what he believes happened at CIA in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, accusing then-CIA Director George Tenet and two of his deputies of deliberately not informing the White House, FBI, and Defense Department about two future hijackers inside U.S., then covering up from the 9/11 investigations. His comments air and stream Thursday, August 11, 2010 at 7 p.m. MDT on Colorado Public Television (CPT12) and simultaneously go live on SecrecyKills.com , along with CIA reaction.

News of the premiere set off attacks on Clarke from three of those he singled out. Tenet and former CIA officials Cofer Black and Richard Blee, chiefs of CounterTerrorist Center and Bin Laden Station respectively on 9/11, have issued a one-page joint statement to the producers calling Clarke’s comments “reckless and profoundly wrong.” Significantly, this is the only statement Blee has issued publicly since the intelligence failure of September 11th and, indeed, the first time his real name has been made public in the major media.

Filmmaker-journalists John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski conducted the interview in 2009 for a documentary to be released on the 9/11 tenth anniversary entitled “Who Is Rich Blee?”, promising further revelations from Commission Chairman Tom Kean and other government insiders, produced by transparency advocates SecrecyKills.com in association with media company Globalvision, winner of the George Polk Journalism Award.…

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The NSA & 9/11: Failure to Exploit the US-Yemen Hub & Beyond

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 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 did… Continue reading

Who gains from debt deal? The Pentagon, for one

By Nancy A. Youssef
August 1, 2011
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The last-minute deal that Congress is considering to raise the federal debt limit probably will mean trillions of dollars in government spending reductions for most agencies. But one department stands to gain: the Pentagon.

Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims  $350 billion through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been expecting over the next decade.

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, experts said, the overall change in defense spending practices could be minimal: Instead of cuts, the Pentagon merely could face slower growth.

“This is a good deal for defense when you probe under the numbers,” said Lawrence Korb, a defense expert at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research center. “It’s better than what the Defense Department was expecting.”

To be sure, the numbers could change. Under the current debt deal the department would have to reduce its budget by $600 billion over the next decade if Congress can’t agree on the deficit-reduction proposals of a new 12-member, bipartisan legislative committee that’ll be tasked with recommending further  spending cuts.

But the proposed figures — after weeks of drawn-out, vitriolic debate between both political parties — raise questions about what, if anything, could lead to substantial defense reductions. Military spending has more or less survived the drawdown of two wars and a domestic… 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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Panetta’s Gaffe

July 14, 2011
By Robert Koehler
Published at Antiwar.com

Leon Panetta, on his first visit to Iraq as secretary of defense last weekend, reached for a Bush moment ten years too late.

“The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked,” he said to the assembled troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad, according to the Washington Post. “And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that.”

Yeah, oops, gaffe, Mr. Secretary, right? That Iraq-al-Qaeda connection thingy isn’t in the spin anymore, and Panetta’s assistant had to mop up afterwards, making sure no one misinterpreted the boss’s remarks as reopening an old “debate” by reiterating a long-abandoned lie.

In point of fact, Panetta told the embarrassing truth: 9/11, day of unspeakable tragedy, was a goldmine for the Pentagon and the corporate war interests and was quickly used to launch two wars, both of which are long past the need for justification and require, it seems, nothing more than the first law of physics to stay in motion. You guys are here because of 9/11, the tragic all-purpose justification for global hegemony and the pursuit of empire.

Of course, Panetta was trying to be inspirational. That’s what’s missing from the Obama game plan: the old-time patriotism the Bush administration milked till the cow dropped dead. The new secretary of defense apparently felt a need to connect… Continue reading

The Wisdom of the People — the Populist Rationale

July 4, 2011
by Michael Collins
The Daily Censored

The citizens of the United States have excellent judgment. They have shown
it consistently over time. When that judgment shifts briefly allowing a failed
policy, it is a result of the vilest forms of propaganda by a small clique of
liars.

The people were right about the invasion of Iraq

We know that the plan to invade Iraq began just days after Inauguration Day, 2001. The opportunity to launch the most href="http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/08/31/whitewashing_the_failure_in_iraq">disastrous and href="http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/costs-war-are-4-trillion">costly military effort in our history came on 9/11. The destruction of the World Trade Center towers and attack on the Pentagon became the pretext for war. The manipulators launched their fraudulent storyline in earnest with confidence that they would get their war.

But in December of 2002, the public wasn’t buying it. The people didn’t have access to all of the information. They knew one thing for sure — the invasion was a very bad idea unless Iraq posed an imminent threat to the country with weapons of mass destruction. An in depth href="http://articles.latimes.com/2002/dec/17/nation/na-iraqpoll17/2">Los Angeles Times public opinion poll asked this question:

style="text-align: center"> class="aligncenter" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v474/autorank/Articles/people1.png" alt="people1 Michael Collins: The Wisdom of the People the Populist Rationale" width="453" height="242" title="Michael Collins: The Wisdom of the People the Populist Rationale" />

The rulers needed to pull out all the stops to get their war. They sent a national icon, href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200509/s1456650.htm">General Colin Powell, to lie to the world as he waved a vile of supposed chemical weapons at the United Nations. Then href="http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20030718.html">President Bush lied in his 2003 state of the union address to Congress about Iraq’s nuclear potential. This shameless manipulation of our worst fears… Continue reading

How much will our wars cost? Report says $4 trillion

June 29, 2011
By Liz Goodwin
The Lookout blog at Yahoo.com

A new report out of Brown University estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq–together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan–will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians and soldiers.

The group of economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists involved in the project estimated that the cost of caring for the veterans injured in the wars will reach $1 trillion in 30 or 40 years. In estimating the $4 trillion total, they did not take into account the $5.3 billion in reconstruction spending the government has promised Afghanistan, state and local contributions to veteran care, interest payments on war debt, or the costs of Medicare for veterans when they reach 65.

The Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, has assessed the federal price tag for the wars at $1.8 trillion through 2021. The report says that is a gross underestimate, predicting that the government has already paid $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion.

More than 6,000 U.S. troops and 2,300 contractors have died since the wars began after Sept. 11. A staggering 550,000 disability claims have been filed with the VA as of 2010. Meanwhile, 137,000 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq have died in the conflict. (Injuries among U.S. contractors have also not yet been made public, further complicating the calculations of cost.) Nearly 8 million people have been displaced. Check out Reuters’ factbox breaking down the costs and casualties here.

Perhaps the most sobering… Continue reading

House Passes Authority for Worldwide War

by Sam Milgrom, Washington Legislative Office of ACLU.org

The House just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a provision to authorize worldwide war, which has no expiration date and will allow this president — and any future president — to go to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. The new authorization wouldn’t even require the president to show any threat to the national security of the United States. The American military could become the world’s cop, and could be sent into harm’s way almost anywhere and everywhere around the globe.

 

Show Editor’s Note: »

Read details of this extremely important bill, H.R. 1540, at Thomas.gov with final vote results here. Bravo to Rep. Justin Amash (D, Mich) for introducing Amendment 327 to strike section 1034 of the bill, relating to the authorization for use of military force. Sadly, the amendment failed 187-234 (see roll call vote results). Rep. Jason Chaffetz (D., Utah) introduced an amendment requiring US ground troops to withdraw from Afghanistan and require the Secretary of Defense to submit a withdrawal plan to Congress within 60 days. It, too, failed, 123-294. List of all amendments and results here.

 
Before the vote, the House debated an amendment that would have struck the worldwide war provision. That amendment was introduced by a bipartisan group of representatives: Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.),… Continue reading

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

23 May 2011
by Jeffrey Kaye
Truthout

Defense Intelligence Agency shieldA great deal of controversy has arisen about what was known about the movements and location of Osama bin Laden in the wake of his killing by US Special Forces on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Questions about what intelligence agencies knew or didn’t know about al-Qaeda activities go back some years, most prominently in the controversy over the existence of a joint US Special Forces Command and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) data mining effort known as “Able Danger.”

What hasn’t been discussed is a September 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general (IG) report, summarizing an investigation made in response to an accusation by a Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC) whistleblower, which indicated that a senior JFIC commander had halted actions tracking Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. JFIC is tasked with an intelligence mission in support of United States Joint Force Command (USJFCOM).

The report, titled “Review of Joint Forces Intelligence Command Response to 9/11 Commission,” was declassified last year, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists.

The whistleblower, who the IG report identified as a former JFIC employee represented only by his codename “IRON MAN,” claimed in letters written to both the DoD inspector general in May 2006 and, lacking any apparent action by the IG, to the Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ODNI) in October 2007, that JFIC had withheld operational information about al-Qaeda when queried in March 2002 about its activities by the DIA and higher command officials on behalf of the 9/11 Commission.…

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