“I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released,” an expert tells Salon
June 19, 2012
By Jordan Michael Smith
Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive. The documents were released after the NSA pored through the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission and sent Freedom of Information Act requests.
The material contains much new information about the hunt before and after 9/11 for bin Laden, the development of the drone campaign in AfPak, and al-Qaida’s relationship with America’s ally, Pakistan. Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.
Let’s start there. In 2000 and 2001, the CIA began using Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Afghanistan. “The idea of using UAVs originated in April 2000 as a result of a request from the NSC’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism to the CIA and the Department of Defense to come up with new ideas to go after the terrorists in Afghanistan,” a 2004 document summarizes.…Continue reading
Trust us, Attorney General Eric Holder says — we’ll only assassinate Americans after administrative “due process.” That’s not how the Constitution works, buddy.
By Jonathan Turley
On Monday, March 5, Northwestern University School of Law was the location of an extraordinary scene for a free nation. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder presented President Barack Obama’s claim that he has the authority to kill any U.S. citizen he considers a threat. It served as a retroactive justification for the slaying of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki last September by a drone strike in northeastern Yemen, as well as the targeted killings of at least two other Americans during Obama’s term.
What’s even more extraordinary is that this claim, which would be viewed by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution as the very definition of authoritarian power, was met not with outcry but muted applause. Where due process once resided, Holder offered only an assurance that the president would kill citizens with care. While that certainly relieved any concern that Obama, or his successor, would hunt citizens for sport, Holder offered no assurances on how this power would be used in the future beyond the now all-too-familiar “trust us” approach to civil liberties of this administration.
In his speech, Holder was clear and unambiguous on only one point: “The president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign… Continue reading
By Russ Baker
December 26, 2011
A growing body of evidence points to a concerted campaign to prepare Americans
and the world for war against Iran. This is not idle speculation. It fits a
pattern that repeatedly preceded previous hostilities.
Here are the recent examples on Iran:
-The claim that Iran is a WMD threat. Pretty much everyone is familiar with
the long-term, continuing efforts to paint Iran as some kind of nuclear threat.
This ignores the possibility that Iran is telling the truth in contending it
is embarked on solely non-military nuclear research (debatable), and serious
doubts among many experts that Iran is preparing nuclear weapons. Perhaps most
important, it discounts the fact that many countries (including Iran’s
arch-enemy Israel) have nuclear weapons, and disregards the undoubted truth
that if a country like Iran ever did launch nuclear weapons, it would be wiped
out in a nanosecond, creating a very strong disincentive for offensive use.
At the same time, by encouraging other countries and internal foes to believe
that it has nuclear weapons, Iran creates an inexpensive protective shield for
its regime. A dangerous game, to be sure, but without further evidence of Iranian
nukes, hardly a reason to launch a war that would surely cause even more death
and destruction than the misguided Iraq invasion.
-The claim that Iran tried to hire Mexican drug cartel hit squads to kill a
Saudi ambassador on US soil (fizzled). Remember this one? So ludicrous that
even ultra-cautious corporate news organizations… Continue reading
by Paul Craig Roberts
September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions , Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process… Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
October 21, 2009
The New York Times, on October 17, published a page-one story by Scott Shane about the CIA’s defiance of a court order to release documents pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination, in its so-called Joannides file. George Joannides was the CIA case officer for a Cuban exile group that made headlines in 1963 by its public engagements with Lee Harvey Oswald, just a few weeks before Oswald allegedly killed Kennedy. For over six years a former Washington Post reporter, Jefferson Morley, has been suing the CIA for the release of these documents.1
Sometimes the way that a news item is reported can be more newsworthy than the item itself. A notorious example was the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers (documents far too detailed for most people to read) on the front page of the New York Times.
The October 17 Times story was another such example. It revealed, perhaps for the first time in any major U.S. newspaper, that the CIA has been deceiving the public about its own relationship to the JFK assassination.
On the Kennedy assassination, the deceptions began in 1964 with the Warren Commission. The C.I.A. hid its schemes to kill Fidel Castro and its ties to the anti-Castro Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or Cuban Student Directorate, which received $50,000 a month in C.I.A. support during 1963.
In August 1963, Oswald visited a New Orleans shop owned by a directorate official, feigning sympathy with… Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
” In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Dwight David Eisenhower, “Military-Industrial Complex Speech,” 1961, 1
” My observation is that the impact of national elections on the business climate for SAIC has been minimal. The emphasis on where federal spending occurs usually shifts, but total federal spending never decreases. SAIC has always continued to grow despite changes in the political leadership in Washington.” Former SAIC manager, quoted in Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, “Washington”s $8 Billion Shadow.” Vanity Fair, March 2007 2
“We make American military doctrine” Ed Soyster, MPRI 3
The Myth of the Grand Chessboard: Geopolitics and Imperial Folie de Grandeur
In The Road to 9/11 I summarized the dialectic of open societies: how from their energy they expand, leading to a higher level of more secretive corporations and agencies, which eventually weaken the home country through needless and crushing wars. 4 I am not alone in seeing America in the final stages of this… Continue reading
Andrew J. Bacevich
As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better “Commander in Chief,” Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.
Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: “Put thine house in order.” Bacevich explained his choice to Bill Moyers:
I’ve been troubled by the course of U.S. foreign policy for a long, long time. And I wrote the book in order to sort out my own thinking about where our basic problems lay. And I really reached the conclusion that our biggest problems are within.
I think there’s a tendency in the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of many Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we’ll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it’s fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are here at home.
Bacevich sees three crises looming in the United States today, as he explains in the introduction to THE LIMITS OF POWER.
The United States today finds itself threatened by three interlocking crises. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.…
Watch the video here; written transcript follows:
AMY GOODMAN: Former Alaska senator and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Gravel is holding a news conference in New York City today to call for a new independent investigation into 9/11. Gravel will be speaking on behalf of the NYC 9/11 Ballot Initiative Campaign, a grassroots group seeking to place an initiative on the ballot of the November 6th general election allowing registered New York City voters to create a new commission to investigate 9/11.
The group is looking to appoint between nine and fifteen commissioners on the panel to conduct the investigation. Some of the people who have reportedly already agreed to serve as commissioners include Lori Van Auken, a 9/11 widow, one of the so-called “Jersey Girls”; Lincoln Chafee, the former Republican senator from Rhode Island; Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a pastor in Detroit, Michigan; as well as former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel, who joins us here today.
He has published three books this year: Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change, The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy and A Political Odyssey. His book Citizen Power: A Mandate for Change has a forward by Ralph Nader. He’ll be joining us on the show later in the week.
Welcome to Democracy Now!, Senator Gravel.
MIKE GRAVEL: Amy, thank you for having me. But before we launch into the mission of my appearance, I want to comment on this young man you just had on. I’ve got… Continue reading
The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney
Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:
1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333: http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635
2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ ;
3. committed crimes against humanity in… Continue reading
U.S. officials have long retaliated against employees who speak out, burying the dangers they expose. Now, Congress wants to give whistle-blowers greater protection — but President Bush vows to stop it.
By James Sandler
Nov. 01, 2007 | If there is any doubt about how the Bush administration treats government whistle-blowers, consider the case of Teresa Chambers. She was hired in early 2002, with impeccable law enforcement credentials, to become chief of the United States Park Police. But after Chambers raised concerns publicly that crime was up in the nation’s parks, she was rebuked by superiors and fired. When Chambers fought to regain her job through the legal system meant to protect whistle-blowers, government lawyers fought back, and associated her with terrorists. Despite a multiyear legal struggle, she is still fighting for her job.
Whistle-blowers have faced hostility not only under Republican administrations. During President Clinton’s tenure, Bogdan Dzakovic, an undercover security agent with the Federal Aviation Administration, suffered retribution for speaking out about weak airport security — three years before Sept. 11, 2001. Dzakovic was passed up for promotion time and again, and today, he says, he remains consigned to data entry duties for the Transportation Security Administration.
Every year, hundreds of federal workers sound the alarm about corruption, fraud or dangers to public safety that are caused or overlooked — or even covered up — by U.S. government agencies. These whistle-blowers are supposed to be guaranteed protection by law from retaliation for speaking out in the public’s interest.… Continue reading
Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable on Constitution Day
By Stephen Rohde and Peter Thottam
Monday 17 September 2007
On this day 220 years ago, thirty-nine delegates in Philadelphia approved the United States Constitution. In honor of that historic event, September 17 has been designated Constitution Day.
Auspicious celebrations are planned around the country. President Bush will likely extol the wisdom of the founding fathers and the genius of the Constitution. But James Madison warned that the Constitution would be but a mere “paper barrier” to tyranny unless the people saw to it that its limitations on the exercise of excessive power by the government were enforced.
To that end, Madison and his colleagues included the powerful remedy of Impeachment, using the term no less than six times. In Article II, Section 4, they provided that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Today, as we celebrate Constitution Day, many Americans are asking whether President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have committed “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” justifying their impeachment and removal from office.
Have Bush and Cheney abused their powers of office by using information they knew to be false as justification for the US invasion of Iraq; condoning and authorizing the torture of prisoners of war and rendering detainees to foreign countries known to torture; maintaining secret prisons and other detention facilities in violation of the Geneva… Continue reading
by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis
It is time to think about the “unthinkable.”
The Bush Administration has both the inclination and the power to cancel the 2008 election.
The GOP strategy for another electoral theft in 2008 has taken clear shape, though we must assume there is much more we don’t know.
But we must also assume that if it appears to Team Bush/Cheney/Rove that the GOP will lose the 2008 election anyway (as it lost in Ohio 2006) we cannot ignore the possibility that they would simply cancel the election. Those who think this crew will quietly walk away from power are simply not paying attention.
The real question is not how or when they might do it. It’s how, realistically, we can stop them.
“From the public side, the only conceivable counter-force might be a national
strike or an effective long-term campaign of general non-cooperation… For only one thing is certain: denial will do nothing.”
In Florida 2000, Team Bush had a game plan involving a handful of tactics. With Jeb Bush in the governor’s mansion, the GOP used a combination of disenfranchisement, intimidation, faulty ballots, electronic voting fraud, a rigged vote count and an aborted recount, courtesy of the US Supreme Court.
A compliant Democrat (Al Gore) allowed the coup to be completed.
In Ohio 2004, the arsenal of dirty tricks exploded. Based in Columbus, we have documented more than a… Continue reading
For Immediate Release
What: Impeachment Rallies
When: Friday July 27
Where: Across America
Contact: Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime
Calls for Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney Spreading
Declare It Now: Wear Orange! Drive Out the Bush Regime Campaign Launches
Asking, “Do you want to see the Bush regime impeached and driven from office? Do you want the war in Iraq ended?” a new campaign challenges people to “Declare It Now! Wear Orange.” Proponents of removing Bush and Cheney from office are wearing bright orange shirts, bandanas, ribbons and buttons, wrapping trees and cars in orange tape, and holding bright orange signs.
Launch events Friday July 27 will inaugurate “Orange Fridays” on which people are especially urged to wear orange and gather in public places. According to Dr. Dennis Loo, of California State University Pomona, the Declare It Now campaign is “a way of publicly declaring ourselves, seizing the moral high ground and showing our collective determination to bring the crimes of the Bush administration to a halt NOW. People will stand out loud in the crowd, making their sentiments visible as more people associate orange with ‘Bush & Cheney must go,’ and find people who think as they do.”
Wednesday the Washington Post reported a poll showing that President Bush has a disapproval rating of 65%, nearly equal to Richard Nixon’s 66% rating, four days before he resigned the presidency, and reporting that this is the longest sustained disapproval rating in modern history.…Continue reading
Editor’s comments, continued:
The partisan circus that spent $80 million+ to investigate and impeach Clinton (compare to the $3 million originally alloted to the 9/11 Commission mandated “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks”) for perjury, rather than pursuing his myriad other crimes, certainly cheapened the weighty Constitutional duty of impeachment. Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the House Panel that impeached Richard Nixon, thoroughly discusses this in her excellent book, “The Impeachment of George W. Bush.” In her article, “Impeachment: The Case in Favor” published in the February, 2007 issue of “The Nation,” she states:
Our country’s Founders provided the power of impeachment to prevent the subversion of the Constitution. President Bush has subverted and defied the Constitution in many ways. His defiance and his subversion continue. (emphasis added)
“Failure to impeach Bush would condone his actions. It would allow him to assume he can simply continue to violate the laws on wiretapping and torture and violate other laws as well without fear of punishment. …
“There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President, whose ability to cause damage in the next two years is enormous. If we do not act against Bush, we send a terrible message of impunity to him and to future Presidents and mark a clear path to despotism and tyranny. Succeeding generations of Americans will never forgive us for lacking the nerve to protect our democracy.”
From the Washington Post, Friday July 20: “Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S.…Continue reading
We Will Sit In for Impeachment
David Swanson, 07/05/07
On July 23rd phone John Conyers at 202-225-5126 or send him a fax with one click.
Cindy Sheehan to Lead March for Impeachment, Arlington to Capitol Hill, July 23rd
WHAT: March from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol Hill Office of Congressman John Conyers to ask him to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney or President George W. Bush or both. Participants hope to meet with Congressman Conyers and receive his assurance that impeachment proceedings will begin at once in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Many of those participating have commited to only leave if Conyers agrees to begin impeachment or they are arrested.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been the driving force against impeachment in Congress. If there is no agreement to begin impeachment proceedings by Monday, Sheehan will announce her candidacy challenging Pelosi for election in California’s 8th Congressional District.
WHO: Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq 2004, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and of the Camp Casey Peace Institute; Ray McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA and cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus; Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and diplomat who resigned in protest the day the U.S. invaded Iraq; Debra Sweet, national coordinator of the World Can’t Wait; Dave Lindorff, author of “The Case for Impeachment,” David Swanson, cofounder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, both cofounders of Code Pink; Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising; Tina Richards, military mother and creator of GrassRootsAmerica4Us; and many many others.…Continue reading
by Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
The 1970 killings by National Guardsmen of four students during a peaceful anti-war demonstration at Kent State University have now been shown to be cold-blooded, premeditated official murder. But the definitive proof of this monumental historic reality is not, apparently, worthy of significant analysis or comment in today’s mainstream media.
After 37 years of official denial and cover-up, tape-recorded evidence, that has existed for decades and has been in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has finally been made public.
It proves what “conspiracy theorists” have argued since 1970–that there was a direct military order leading to the unprovoked assassination of unarmed students. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents show collusion between Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes and the FBI that aimed to terrorize anti-war demonstrators and their protests that were raging throughout the nation.
It is difficult to overstate the political and cultural impact of the killing of the four Kent State students and wounding of nine more on May 4, 1970. The nation’s campuses were on fire over Richard Nixon’s illegal invasion of Cambodia. Scores of universities were ripped apart by mass demonstrations and student strikes. The ROTC building at Kent burned down. The vast majority of American college campuses were closed in the aftermath, either by student strikes or official edicts.
Nixon was elected president in 1968 claiming to have a “secret plan” to end the war in Southeast Asia. But the revelation that he was in fact… Continue reading
“Forever Stamp” Unveiled
Revolutionary Design Ushers In New Era
WASHINGTON, DC — History was made this week as the US Postal Service released its inaugural “Forever Stamp” — a stamp that can always be used to mail a standard letter no matter what first class postage may cost in the future. Also released was the “Forever Vigilant” 9/11 Mailer, designed to be adorned with the “Forever Stamp” (see graphic at left). The resulting effect gives the impression that the USPS has issued a stamp that claims “911 Was an Inside Job.” Created by The Santa Cruz Comic News, the mailer features a 9/11 quiz and a cartoon (pictured below).
This is not the first time The Comic News has ventured into the postal products arena. back in 1995, when the Postal Service issued a Richard Nixon stamp, The Comic News released “The Nixon Envelope” which placed the former president behind bars. Over 400,000 were sold.
From ComicNews.com: “The print edition of The Santa Cruz Comic News is a monthly journal of progressive editorial cartoons. Each issue features well over 100 cartoons from the nation’s leading political cartoonists. The Comic News is the granddaddy of all cartoon newspapers — established 1984. Publishers: Thom Zajac and John Govsky. Our online edition features daily and weekly updates of the best progressive editorial cartoons in the nation.”
© 2005–2007 by The Santa Cruz Comic News, all rights reserved.
Forever stamp inspires ‘subversive mailer’ from Comic News founder
By Jennifer Squires
Sentinel staff writer
SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz Comic News founder Thom Zajac is at it again.…Continue reading
There has been a great deal of discussion about the Military Commissions Act
of 2006 [.pdf], recently passed by both houses of Congress, and most of it has
to do with the provisions allowing torture of alien detainees, that is, of non-citizens
apprehended in, say, Afghanistan or Iraq, and their treatment at the hands of their American captors. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner,
all Republicans, grandstanded for weeks over the torture provisions, then capitulated.
Another “Republican maverick,” Arlen Specter, zeroed in on the real
issue, however, when he said the bill would set us back 800 years by repealing
the habeas corpus protections against arbitrary arrest and jailings — and then went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
Liberal opposition mainly centered around the morality
— or, rather, immorality — of torture, but the debate largely ignored the ticking time-bomb at the heart of this legislation, scheduled to go off, perhaps, in tandem with some future crisis, e.g., another terrorist attack on American soil: the redefinition of the “unlawful combatant” concept that lays the foundations for this administration’s reconstruction of the gulag. Here is the new, broadened definition, as enunciated in the legislation recently passed by the House:
“The term ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ means Ã± (i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or associated forces); or (ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the president or the secretary of defense.”