July 12, 2009
by Christina Lamb in Karachi
Osama bin Laden and the top Al-Qaeda leadership are not in Pakistan, making US missile attacks against them futile, according to the country’s interior minister.
“If Osama was in Pakistan we would know, with all the thousands of troops we have sent into the tribal areas in recent months,” Rehman Malik told The Sunday Times. “If he and all these four or five top people were in our area they would have been caught, the way we are searching.”
He added: “According to our information Osama is in Afghanistan, probably Kunar, as most of the activities against Pakistan are being directed from Kunar.”
Washington does not directly acknowledge its missile attacks on Pakistani territory by unmanned drone aircraft but Pakistani officials say the US has carried out more than 40 attacks inside its borders in the past 10 months, killing hundreds of people.
CIA officials claim these attacks have been highly effective in disrupting Al-Qaeda’s ability to operate. However, Malik insists they are a waste of time because the Al-Qaeda leadership is on the other side of the border in eastern Afghanistan.
“They’re getting mid-level people not big fish,” he said. “And they are counterproductive because they are killing civilians and turning locals against our government. We try to win people’s hearts, then one drone attack drives them away. One attack alone last week killed 50 people.”
US officials in Islamabad say Pakistan’s government is being disingenuous, claiming to oppose the… Continue reading
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on US government plans to launch swine flu vaccinations in the fall, a report of widespread torture at the US secret prison at Bagram, Afghanistan, revelations that weapons inspector David Kelly’s mysterious death may have been related to his intention to expose a worldwide black market in weaponized anthrax, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
Important Note: We’ve been hit hard by the ecomonic downturn. Donations this year are less than half what they were at this time last year. We would deeply appreciate support from any of you that can afford it. To help further this work, please click here.
July 10, 2009, Washington Post
School-age children will be a key target= population for a pandemic flu vaccine in the fall, and they may be vaccinated at school in a mass campaign not seen since the polio epidemics of the 1950s.…Continue reading
Dear Truth Advocate,
We’re writing with updates on some recent happenings, and a few highlights of what’s been posted at 911truth.org in the last month. If you haven’t checked the site lately, you’ll find a lot of important material.
9/11 Truth Groups continue their work with amazing persistence and dedication all over the world. A list of contacts for many groups can be found at our Grassroots Organizers page. Not all have a group meeting, but are willing to be contacts to get more going in their area. If you are interested in being listed as a contact for your area, click here .
TruthAction.org continues the lead in helping organize and report on 11th of Every Month Actions, and we encourage you to get linked up there if you are (or would like to) organize or participate in these. Then, don’t forget to post them on our Calendar so we can help promote.
Our Calendar provides access to details of events posted by organizers. We know there are many more events happening than are currently listed–we’ve set it up so that anyone can post their own events, with as much information as possible, so please feel free to utilize that calendar.
NYC CAN: The NYC Coalition for Accountability Now continues to make great strides in gathering enough petition signatures to place an initiative for a new and independent 9/11 investigation on the ballot for the November, 2009 city elections. This week they announced having gathered over 40,000 signatures!…Continue reading
Four Things You Need to Know About Barack Obama and U.S. Torture & Detention
May 27, 2009
by the writing team at World Can’t Wait.org
1. Barack Obama did NOT end torture.
Many people think that, upon taking office, Barack Obama ended torture. This is just not true. Under Obama, the U.S has continued to torture prisoners at Guantánamo, where more than 200 detainees are still being held without charge or trial.
According to a February 2009 report by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Guantánamo guards routinely subject detainees to vicious beatings, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, suffocation, repeated use of tear gas, and the force-feeding of tubes through the nasal passages of hunger strikers. Much of this torture is committed by Guantánamo’s Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) teams, which CCR president Michael Ratner has described as the “black shirts of Guantánamo.”
Quoting from the CCR report: “Detainees are subjected to brutal physical assaults by the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF), a team of military guards comparable to a riot squad, who are trained to respond to alleged ‘disciplinary infractions’ with overwhelming force.” And later in the report: “In Camps 5, 6 and Echo, detainees live in constant fear of physical violence. Frequent attacks by IRF teams heighten this anxiety and reinforce that violence can be inflicted by the guards at any moment for any perceived infraction, or sometimes without provocation or explanation.”
In fact, conditions at Guantánamo have gotten even worse since Obama became president. “Certainly in my experience there have been many, many more reported incidents of abuse since the inauguration,” Ahmed Ghappour, a lawyer representing several Guantánamo detainees, told Reuters in February.1
And, contrary to popular belief and to his own statements, Obama’s executive orders do not ban torture either; they contain several loopholes that allow it to continue. For instance, the order states that interrogation techniques must conform to the Army Field Manual, but Annex M of that manual allows for prolonged solitary confinement and sleep deprivation.The order also established a task force that includes Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Attorney General Eric Holder that is charged with determining whether to implement techniques that go beyond the Army Field Manual. Finally, the order states that prisoners shall be treated humanely, “whenever such individuals are in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee, or other agent of the United States Government or detained within a facility owned, operated, or controlled by a department or agency of the United States.”
This raises the obvious question: What about the many instances when the U.S. hands detainees over to other countries–or to prisons run by its puppet governments in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Should the members of the 9/11 Presidential Commission not have been informed
that two of the “key witnesses” upon whom their report was based
had provided the information critical to the report’s conclusions only
after being waterboarded a total of 266 times? … In short, the basic narrative
of the origins and conduct of the 9/11 attack that so fundamentally perverted
American politics relied on cherry-picked information that the White House and
its operative in the field chose to release to the commission.
May 12, 2009
By Robert Scheer
Nancy Pelosi is no Dick Cheney, nor a George W. Bush. She was neither the author
of a systematic policy of torture nor has she been, like Cheney and most top
Republicans in Congress, an enduring apologist for its practice. It is a nonsensical
distraction to place her failure to speak out courageously as a critic of the
Bush policies on the same level as those who engineered one of the most shameful
debacles in U.S. history.
But what she, and anyone else who went along with this evil, as lackadaisically
as she now claims, should be confronted with are the serious implications of
their passive acquiescence. Why did she not speak up, or if it were a matter
of a lack of reliable information, demand an accounting from the executive branch,
as befits a leader of the loyal opposition in Congress?
If the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and later House
Democratic leader, lacked the authority to… Continue reading
11 May 2009
Lalit K Jha
Press Trust Of India
May 11, 2009
WASHINGTON: In a new revelation, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the CIA of the United States and his country’s ISI together created the Taliban.
“I think it was part of your past and our past, and the ISI and CIA created them together,” Zardari told the NBC news channel in an interview.
In the interview, which was given to the NBC on May 7, Zardari also accused the US of supporting the military rule of Pervez Musharraf who was alleged to be taking sides of the Taliban.
He disagreed with the popular belief in the US that the Pakistan military and intelligent services still have sympathies for the Taliban.
“I think General Musharraf may have had a mindset to run head and hand with the hound but certainly not on our watch. We don’t have a tough process at all,” Zardari said.
Asked about the influential role of the Pakistan army, Zardari said he is in control of everything in the country, including the military.
“The Parliament has final say. It’s the Parliament form of government, and I am a product of the Parliament,” he said.
Earlier, Zardari in an another interview had said that India was not a “threat” to his country and that Pakistan had moved some of its forces from its Indian border to western frontier to eliminate Taliban in its tribal belt.
A strange feeling of déjÃ vu arises while listening to the administration sell further U.S. military intervention in Pakistan (our Predator drones are already there).
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen claimed in late March that Pakistan’s intelligence service has “close links with al Qaeda and the Taliban network.” In fact, Mullen warned, the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI, is “offering logistical support to them (the Taliban).”
In early April, veteran foreign policy icon and special advisor to the president on Afghanistan and South Asia, Richard Holbrook, let us know what this meant. There is a fundamental difference between the Pakistan conflict and the Viet Nam war, he argued. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Holbrook went on to say this:
“And the people who are in this area who we are fighting either pose a direct threat, having committed 9/11, having done Mumbai, having killed (Benazir) Bhutto, and they have publicly said they are going to do more of the same. That is: al Qaeda of course and their allies the Taliban.” Richard Holbrooke, May 5, 2009 (Repeating April 19, 2009 statement)
On May 9, General David Petraeus supported his superiors as he announced that Pakistan was now “the world headquarters for the al Qaeda senior leadership.”
There is even talk in the U.S. media that Pakistan is at risk of becoming a failed state controlled by Muslim extremists. Using Holbrooke’s logic, the U.S. would then be faced… Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
May 8, 2009
One of the most frustrating features of observing American foreign policy is to see the gap between the encapsulated thinking of the national security bureaucracy and the sensible unfettered observations of the experts outside. In the case of Afghanistan, outside commentators have called for terminating current specific American policies and tactics — many reminiscent of the US in Vietnam.
Observers decry the use of air strikes to decapitate the Taliban and al Qaeda, usually resulting in the death of other civilians. They counsel against is the insertion of more and more US and other foreign troops, in an effort to secure the safety and allegiance of the population. And they regret the on-going interference in the fragile Afghan political process, in order to secure outcomes desired in Washington.1
One root source for this gap between official and outside opinion will not be addressed soon — the conduct of crucial decision-making in secrecy, not by those who know the area, but by those skilled enough in bureaucratic politics to have earned the highest security clearances. However it may be more productive to criticize the mindset shared by the decision-makers, and to point out elements of the false consciousness which frames it, and which should be corrigible by common sense.
Why One Should Think of So-Called “Failed States” as “Ravaged States”
I have in mind the bureaucratically convenient concept of Afghanistan as a failed or failing state. This epithet has been… Continue reading
28 April 2009
by Rachel Williams
Three British Muslims were today cleared of helping the 7 July bombers choose their targets by carrying out a reconnaissance mission in London seven months before the attacks that killed 52 people and injured almost 1,000.
A jury at Kingston crown court unanimously found Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, all from Beeston, Leeds, not guilty of conspiring with the four bombers to cause explosions, after deliberating for eight days.
They are the only people to be charged over the attacks in 2005, which prompted the biggest criminal investigation in British history — more than 18,450 statements were taken and at least 37,000 exhibits were collected.
Ali and Shakil were, however, convicted of conspiracy to attend a place used for terrorist training. They were about to board a flight to Pakistan when they were arrested in 2007. The pair will be sentenced tomorrow afternoon.
The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, welcomed those guilty verdicts, which she said “clearly demonstrated the determined stance the UK takes against those suspected of involvement in terrorism”.
As the verdicts were read out, Ali smiled broadly, Saleem wiped his eyes and Shakil leant forward, mouthing “thank you” to the jury. The trio had been retried after a jury failed to reach a verdict on the charges relating to the 7 July attacks last year after about three weeks of deliberations.
Survivors of the attacks and family members of those who died said today’s verdicts strengthened the case for an independent inquiry into the bombings.…Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
April 5, 2009
I used to take a certain pride by association with prominent Bronxites who have “made it.” Cancel that for Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
You might think that as African-Americans, they would be especially outraged by torture, given what blacks have suffered at the hands of white torturers in this country and abroad.
Why is it that they seem to value more their admittance into a privileged white-dominated ruling class than doing the right thing? How else to explain their stunning reluctance to hold torturers accountable and thus remove the stain of torture from our nation’s soul and reputation?
One might say that Attorney General Holder is proving himself to be part of that “nation of cowards” that he called the United States in a different context, i.e. our unwillingness to address the issue of race. What about when the victims of torture are Muslims? Where’s Holder’s courage then?
Surely, I was not the only one stunned by former Vice President Dick Cheney’s public admission that he helped authorize waterboarding of detainees. But, on reflection, there seems to have been a method to his madness; and, so far at least, the method seems to be working.
Have Holder and Colin Powell forgotten from their days growing up in the Bronx the typical reaction of bullies when caught in the act? “Okay, so waddaya gonna do ’bout it!” It was an attempt at intimidation, and it was generally… Continue reading
by Andy Worthington
4 March 2009
Andy Worthington, London-based journalist and author of “The Guantánamo
Files” (Pluto Press), has released the first definitive list of the 779
prisoners held in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The list, which is the result of three years’ research and writing about Guantánamo,
provides details of the 533 prisoners who have been released, and includes,
for the first time ever, accurate dates for their release. It also provides
details of the 241 prisoners who are still held, including the 59 prisoners
who have been cleared for release. Although some stories are still unknown,
the stories of nearly 700 prisoners are referenced either by links to Andy’s
extensive archive of articles about Guantánamo, or to the chapters in
“The Guantánamo Files” where they can be found.
Andy Worthington says:
“It is my hope that this project will provide an invaluable research
tool for those seeking to understand how it came to pass that the government
of the United States turned its back on domestic and international law, establishing
torture as official US policy, and holding men without charge or trial neither
as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects
to be put forward for trial in a federal court, but as ‘illegal enemy
“I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same
government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld,
established a prison in which the overwhelming… Continue reading
By Chris Hedges
February 17, 2009.
The Director of National Intelligence argued that Wall Street, rather than
Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists.
We have a remarkable ability to create our own monsters. A few decades of meddling
in the Middle East with our Israeli doppelgnger and we get Hezbollah, Hamas,
al-Qaida, the Iraqi resistance movement and a resurgent Taliban. Now we trash
the world economy and destroy the ecosystem and sit back to watch our handiwork.
Hints of our brave new world seeped out Thursday when Washington’s new director
of national intelligence, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, testified before the Senate
Intelligence Committee. He warned that the deepening economic crisis posed perhaps
our gravest threat to stability and national security. It could trigger, he
said, a return to the "violent extremism" of the 1920s and 1930s.
It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our
most dangerous terrorists. We will see accelerated plant and retail closures,
inflation, an epidemic of bankruptcies, new rounds of foreclosures, bread lines,
unemployment surpassing the levels of the Great Depression and, as Blair fears,
The United Nations’ International Labor Organization estimates that some 50
million workers will lose their jobs worldwide this year. The collapse has already
seen 3.6 million lost jobs in the United States. The International Monetary
Fund’s prediction for global economic growth in 2009 is 0.5 percent–the worst
since World War II. There are 2.3 million properties in the United States that
received… Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
February 04, 2009
According to US government propaganda, terrorist cells are spread throughout America, making it necessary for the government to spy on all Americans and violate most other constitutional protections. Among President Bush’s last words as he left office was the warning that America would soon be struck again by Muslim terrorists.
If America were infected with terrorists, we would not need the government to tell us. We would know it from events. As there are no events, the US government substitutes warnings in order to keep alive the fear that causes the public to accept pointless wars, the infringement of civil liberty, national ID cards, and inconveniences and harrassments when they fly.
The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.
I do not approve of assassinations, and am ashamed of my country’s government for engaging in political assassination. The US and Israel have set a very bad example for al Qaeda to follow.
The US deals with al Qaeda and Taliban by assassinating their leaders, and Israel deals with Hamas by assassinating its leaders. It is reasonable to assume that al Qaeda would deal with the instigators and leaders of America’s wars in the Middle East in the same way.
Today every al Qaeda member is aware of the complicity of neoconservatives in the death and devastation inflicted on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Gaza. Moreover, neocons are highly visible… Continue reading
Imagine yourself within the mind of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States of America. You are a man who knows how “the system” works.
This knowledge has been accrued at hard struggle, and by a remarkable and unique ability to adapt to any environment because you spent a lifetime as an exotic specimen in every environment, from Kansas to Kenya–both African and American, Muslim and Christian, black and white. But you always displayed your native nobility–tribal nobility on your father’s side; nobility of spirit on your mother’s–and you were, with rare exceptions, accepted on your own terms. You were born under the sign of Leo, the lion, the natural leader; and your intelligence was honed with great discipline, under the influence of strong women.
Because your upbringing instilled in you a generosity of spirit that is natural to liberalism, and firsthand understanding from your grandfather of what motivates a man to risk his life for his country and an African father’s sense of freedom, unencumbered by Jim Crow oppression, you are a natural idealist who believes in the promise of America.
But you are also–with laser-focused intensity–a realist. A “pragmatist,” as they say. And no one knows better than you how much danger you are in.
It’s not just the racist crazies, one of whom could always, unexpectedly pop up through some weird quirk in the security system. But that’s only a distant possibility. You know, better than anyone, I suspect, that your greatest danger is what “the system” will do to protect itself, to what lengths it will go to protect itself, if certain lines are crossed.…Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
January 7, 2009
Paulson’s Financial Bailout
It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.
The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed.
According to Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) the bailout bill originally called for a cap on executive salaries, but Paulson changed the requirement at the last minute. Welch and other members of Congress were enraged by “news that banks getting taxpayer-funded bailouts are still paying exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.”1 In addition, as AP reported in October, “Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. questioned allowing banks that accept bailout bucks to continue paying dividends on their common stock. `There are far better uses of taxpayer dollars than continuing dividend payments to shareholders,” he said.”2
Even more reprehensible is the fact that since the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department have refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve has… Continue reading
Censored 2009 is also available at the Project Censored bookstore.
# 24 Japan Questions 9/11 and the Global War on Terror in Top 25 Censored Stories for 2009
Rense.com and Rock Creek Free Press, January 14, 2008… Continue reading
Saturday, 13 December 2008
“That which you do not resist and mobilize to stop
you will learn — or be forced — to accept.”
From the Call to Drive out the Bush Regime, 2005
Barack Obama is sending a surge of 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.
An anti-war movement that does not move immediately to oppose the Obama
doctrine of shifting the central front of the war on terror to Afghanistan,
no longer deserves to be called an anti-war movement.
Millions of people voted for Obama because they thought he would end the war.
Yet Obama filled his cabinet with Hillary “Obliterate Iran” Clinton,
Robert Gates, James Jones and Susan Rice (“a kettle of hawks,” said
He is not only continuing an unjust war by leaving 80,000 troops and 17 permanent
bases in Iraq, and all over the region, including nuclear carrier-led task forces
with enough firepower to “annihilate” any country in the region, but
Obama is enlisting many progressive sections of society to support and be complicit
in waging a spreading war for U.S. hegemony and imperialist expansion known
as the “war on terror.”
The election of the first Black president is effectively re-branding preemptive
and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them. Massive anti-war
sentiment and action is already being transformed into flag-waving patriotism,
passivity and capitulation in the face of horrors.
The U.S. military, stretched thin and full of discontent after six years of
carnage in Iraq, is now being replenished.…
by Michael Parenti
December 7, 2008
Author’s website: www.michaelparenti.org.
Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan.
Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something
about recent Afghan history and the role played by the United States.
Less than a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, US leaders began an all-out aerial assault upon Afghanistan,
the country purportedly harboring Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist
organization. More than twenty years earlier, in 1980, the United States intervened
to stop a Soviet “invasion” of that country. Even some leading progressive
writers, who normally take a more critical view of US policy abroad, treated
the US intervention against the Soviet-supported government as “a good
thing.” The actual story is not such a good thing.
Some Real History
Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan had remained unchanged,
with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords who comprised only
3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary
elements coalesced to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 1973,
the king was deposed, but the government that replaced him proved to be autocratic,
corrupt, and unpopular. It in turn was forced out in 1978 after a massive demonstration
in front of the presidential palace, and after the army intervened on the side
of the demonstrators.
The military officers who took charge invited the… Continue reading