WASHINGTON – JUNE 22 – The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s, according to declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden announced today that the Agency is declassifying the full 693-page file amassed on CIA’s illegal activities by order of then-CIA director James Schlesinger in 1973–the so-called “family jewels.” Only a few dozen heavily-censored pages of this file have previously been declassified, although multiple Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed over the years for the documents. Gen. Hayden called today’s release “a glimpse of a very different time and a very different Agency.”
I’m sure General Hayden would like us to take him at his word. But who on earth will believe the CIA has ‘reformed’ itself, when even the mainstream press reports blatantly illegal acts like extraordinary rendition? The worst abuses we never hear about.
Terrorized by ‘War on Terror’: How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The “war on terror” has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration’s elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America’s psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done — a classic self-inflicted wound — is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare — political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.
But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a “war on terror” did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.…Continue reading
By Sander Hicks
In defense of the “9/11 truth movement.”
[Alternet] Editor’s note: The role of the alternative press is to offer perspectives that the commercial media won’t touch. Having run a number of articles critical of the “9/11 Truth Movement” by Matt Taibbi , Joshua Holland , Matthew Rothschild and others, we asked Sander Hicks, a prominent voice within the movement, to share his perspective. For more of Sanders’ views, see his book ” The Big Wedding: 9/11, The Whistle-Blowers, and the Cover-Up .”
No matter what you believe about who was responsible for 9/11, and how it went down, we’re all amazed at how much political capital the events of that day produced for this administration: A bipartisan consensus on torture; an era of permanent war; detentions without trial; “no fly” lists for activists; the Bill of Rights gone with the wind, and a cowed professional media willing to self-censor and suppress pertinent information. The 9/11 “America Attacked” story has distracted us from the natural outrage we should feel over illegal wiretaps, stolen elections, hundreds of billions of dollars missing at the Pentagon, war profiteering, Enron and Cheney’s secret energy policy.
But with Bush’s popularity… Continue reading
Conspiracy theorists insist the U.S. government, not terrorists, staged the devastating attacks
by Jonathan Curiel, Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Dylan Avery has a theory that he says casts doubts on Mark Bingham’s actions on Sept. 11, 2001. According to Avery, the San Francisco public relations executive never called his mom on a cell phone from the cabin of Flight 93, and never told her that “some of us here are going to try to do something.” Instead, says Avery, someone using a voice synthesizer — possibly a government official — called Alice Hoglan on the morning that Flight 93 — and Bingham — became part of Sept. 11 lore.
“The cell phone calls were fake — no ifs, ands or buts,” Avery says in “Loose Change,” a film he wrote and directed that’s one of the most-watched movies on the Internet, with 10 million viewers in the past year. “Until the government can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that al Qaeda was behind Sept. 11, the American people have every reason to believe otherwise.”
Avery is one of perhaps millions of Americans who believe the U.S. government — or rogue elements within it — either orchestrated the attacks or tacitly supported them for nefarious reasons.
As the five-year anniversary of the attacks approaches, the clamor of Avery and other conspiracy theorists has gotten stronger — and more widely accepted. According to a poll by Ohio University and Scripps Howard News Service, 36 percent of Americans believe that government officials “either assisted in the 9/ 11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.” Twelve percent of Americans believe a cruise missile fired by the U.S.…Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
“Information Clearing House” — – I received a number of intelligent responses from readers of my August 14 column, “Gullible Americans,” The letters deserve a reply. Moreover, some contain important points that should be shared with a wider audience. Pundits such as myself are not the only people who have interesting things to say. Considering the number of letters and the time it would require to respond individually, I am replying instead in this column.
Most readers from whom I heard understand the difference between loyalty to country and loyalty to a government. They understand that to support a political party or a government that is destroying the US Constitution and America’s reputation in the world is, in fact, an act of treason. Therefore, I did not have to read the usual drivel about how doubting “our government” is un-American.
Among the issues raised are:
How could the complicity of the US government, or some part of it, in the events of 9/11 be kept a secret? For the most part, this question comes from Americans who believe the government must have been, to some extent, complicit in the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.
How can we differentiate between the real facts, the 9/11 Commission’s reporting of the facts, and “conspiracy theories”?
What about the role of suicide flyers led by M. Atta?
What about the Popular Mechanics article and the TV documentary that debunk the skeptics and support… Continue reading
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
February 6, 2006
A number of readers have asked me when did I undergo my epiphany, abandon right-wing Reaganism and become an apostle of truth and justice.
I appreciate the friendly sentiment, but there is a great deal of misconception in the question.
When I saw that the neoconservative response to 9/11 was to turn a war against stateless terrorism into military attacks on Muslim states, I realized that the Bush administration was committing a strategic blunder with open-ended disastrous consequences for the US that, in the end, would destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.
My warning was not prompted by an effort to save Bush’s bacon. I have never been any party’s political or ideological servant. I used my positions in the congressional staff and the Reagan administration to change the economic policy of the United States. In my efforts, I found more allies among influential Democrats, such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Russell Long, Joint Economic Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen and my Georgia Tech fraternity brother Sam Nunn, than I did among traditional Republicans who were only concerned about the budget deficit.
My goals were to reverse the Keynesian policy mix that caused worsening “Phillips curve” trade-offs between employment and inflation and to cure the stagflation that destroyed Jimmy Carter’s presidency. No one has seen a “Phillips curve” trade-off or experienced stagflation since the supply-side policy was implemented. (These gains are now being eroded by the labor arbitrage that is replacing… Continue reading