By Chris Mondics
Inquirer Staff Writer
In a ferocious legal battle pitting government lawyers against victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Justice Department is fighting to block thousands of individuals and businesses from taking $6.6 million in frozen al-Qaeda assets seized from an alleged terrorism financier.
Frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2007, the money is sought by the attorneys for 6,000 individual victims and insurers who suffered billions in losses from the attacks on the World Trade Center.
The money, in a Chicago brokerage account controlled by senior al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Tayyeb until his arrest in Saudi Arabia in 2006, drew little public notice until lawyers for 9/11 victims moved in June to collect on a 2007 default judgment.
A short time later, the Justice Department initiated legal proceedings to claim the money for itself – and keep it out of the hands of the 9/11 victims and insurers.
That triggered a fierce response from the victims’ lawyers, among them the Center City law firm Cozen O’Connor, who accuse the Justice Department of duplicity in seeking to prevent them from getting access to… Continue reading
By Paul Craig Roberts
February 20, 2012
Information Clearing House
In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI–the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots”–called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”
Subpoenas were issued to compel antiwar protestors to testify before grand juries as prosecutors set about building their case that opposing Washington’s wars of aggression constitutes giving aid and comfort to terrorists. The purpose of the raids and grand jury subpoenas was to chill the anti-war movement into inaction.
Last week in one fell swoop the last two remaining critics of Washington/Tel Aviv imperialism were removed from the mainstream media. Judge Napolitano’s popular program, Freedom Watch, was cancelled by Fox TV, and Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC. Both pundits had wide followings and were appreciated for speaking frankly.
Many suspect that the Israel Lobby used its clout with TV advertisers to silence critics of the Israeli government’s efforts to lead Washington to war with Iran. Regardless, the point before us is that the voice of the mainstream media is now uniform. Americans hear one voice, one message, and the message is propaganda. Dissent is tolerated only on such issues as to whether employer-paid health benefits should pay for contraceptive devices. Constitutional rights have been replaced with rights to free condoms.
The western media demonizes those at whom Washington points a finger. The lies pour forth to justify Washington’s naked aggression: the Taliban… Continue reading
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes but Rome’s calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded the value of extractable resources.
The Roman empire failed, because Romans exhausted manpower and resources in civil wars fighting amongst themselves for power. The British empire failed, because the British exhausted themselves fighting Germany in two world wars.
In his book, The Rule of Empires (2010), Timothy H. Parsons replaces the myth of the civilizing empire with the truth of the extractive empire. He describes the successes of the Romans, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Spanish in Peru, Napoleon in Italy, and the British in India and Kenya in extracting resources. To lower the cost of governing Kenya, the British instigated tribal consciousness and invented tribal customs that worked to British advantage.
Parsons does not examine the American empire, but in his introduction to the book he wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in… Continue reading
March 29, 2012
By Grant McCool, Reuters
Chicago Tribune News
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for the Obama administration were put to the test by a U.S. judge on Thursday to explain why civilian activists and journalists should not fear being detained under a new anti-terrorism law.
Activists and journalists are suing the government to try to stop implementation of the law’s provisions of indefinite detention for those deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda and the Taliban and “associated forces.”
Government lawyers argued in federal court in New York that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions signed into law by President Barack Obama in December.
During day-long oral arguments, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest heard lawyers for former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others argue that the law would have a “chilling effect” on their work.
While the judge said she was skeptical that the plaintiffs would win a constitutional challenge to the act, she also said she wanted to “understand the meaning to the ordinary citizen.”
“I can’t take the statute and strike it down for what it says, but can Hedges and others be detained for contacting al Qaeda or the Taliban as reporters?” she said.
Hedges told the court that “I don’t think we know what ‘associated forces’ are. That’s why I’m here.”
The lawsuit, filed in January, cited Obama’s statement of his “serious reservations with certain provisions that… Continue reading
Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted June 19, 2012
Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 — The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/index.htmand present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.
The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.
… Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily… Continue reading