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Important information from PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Editor’s Note:
This excellent newsletter is sent by the team at WantToKnow.info. Here is the latest. Subscription information is at the end.

 

Dear friends,

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.


 

U.S. to vaccinate millions against swine flu

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

Exclusive: Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show

By Gareth Porter
July 8, 2009
RawStory.com

Mc lbjOfficial government documents reveal new side of defense secretary’s legacy

Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1967, took many secrets with him when he died Monday at 93. But probably no secret was more sensitive politically than the one that would have changed fundamentally the public perception of his role in Vietnam policy had it been become widely known.

The secret was his deliberate deceit of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 4, 1964 regarding the alleged attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Documents which have been available for decades in the LBJ Library show clearly that McNamara failed to inform Johnson that the U.S. naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on U.S. warships he had reported earlier that day.

By early afternoon Washington time, Herrick had reported to the Commander in Chief Pacific in Honolulu that “freak weather effects” on the ship’s radar had made such an attack questionable. In fact, Herrick was now saying, in a message sent at 1:27 pm Washington time, that no North Vietnamese patrol boats had actually been sighted. Herrick now proposed a “complete evaluation before any further action taken.”

These documents were reviewed by this reporter in researching my book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.

McNamara later testified that he had read the message… Continue reading

William Pepper Submits Legal Opinion in Support of Spanish Torture Investigations

May 26, 2009
Posted by Reprehensor at 911blogger.com

Intro: This story originally appeared in the Spanish Publico on May 9, 2009. Predictably, the U.S. press ignored it. Below find an English translation, and note that the translation is cross-posted at the Daily Kos, and DemocraticUnderground.com.

publico gif

U.S. Lawyers point to Bush for the tortures

The lawyer of Martin Luther King’s family contributes a thorough report to the Spanish lawsuit to reinforce the charge — The American Civil Liberties Union offers their collaboration

Pere Rusiñol in Madrid (Público)
Translation: Lynn Strother

A group of lawyers in the United States, led by William F. Pepper, the veteran human rights lawyer linked to Martin Luther King’s family, have joined the Spanish lawsuit about Guantánamo and the tortures of the Bush administration. Pepper has contributed a 121 page document to the prosecution, in which he defends Spain’s right to investigate, and suggests that the proceedings be widened to charge former president George W. Bush directly.

The U.S. lawyers also contribute 45 documents to the lawsuit — some, declassified recently; others, of public knowledge for years — that permit the “tracking of the process of decision making” that led to the application of methods equivalent to torture with the detainees of the “war against terrorism”.

All of these documents are now part of the lawsuit that the judge Eloy Velasco is preparing in the National High Court against six lawyers who built the “legal scaffolding” which led to Guantánamo. They will also be… Continue reading

Hersh: Cheney ‘Left A Stay Behind’ In Obama’s Government, Can ‘Still Control Policy Up To A Point’

By Matt Corley
ThinkProgress.org

Image of Vice President Dick Cheney

In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross asked investigative journalist Seymour Hersh if, as he continues to investigate the Bush administration, “more people” were “coming forward” to talk to him now that “the president and vice president are no longer in power.” Hersh replied that though “a lot of people that had told me in the last year of Bush, ‘call me next, next February,’ not many people had talked to him. He implied that they were still scared of Cheney.

Editor’s Note:
In two interviews with Seymour Hersh on March 31st — Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman — he shared a little bit on what he perceives is going on within the new White House … and how much influence Cheney still has.

“Are you saying that you think Vice President Cheney is still having a chilling effect on people who might otherwise be coming forward,” asked Gross. “I’ll make it worse,” answered Hersh, adding that he believes Cheney “put people back” in government to “stay behind” in order to “tell him what’s going on” and perhaps even “do sabotage”:

HERSH: I’ll make it worse. I think he’s put people left. He’s put people back. They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind… Continue reading

Our Troops and Iraqis are Still Dying – Open Letter to Anti-War Movement from IVAW, MFSO, VFP

An Open Letter to the Peace/Anti-War Movement from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans For Peace

After six years of war and the historic election of a new President, we as
veterans, military and Gold Star families felt an urgent need to reach out to
the larger peace/anti-war movements to make our position on Iraq clear during
this time of political and economic uncertainty. Iraq Veterans Against the War,
Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace continue to stand together
in our demand to Bring the Troops Home Now! We ask all those who have stood
with us in the past to stay faithful to the cause.

President Obama has announced a plan to gradually reduce troop levels in Iraq.
Many in the peace/anti-war movements are breathing a sigh of relief, and suggesting
that it is time for us to scale back our efforts to bring an end to the occupation
of Iraq. But for our troops on the ground, their families and the Iraqi people,
the nightmare continues. They need all of us to stay in the struggle. IVAW,
MFSO and VFP have been long united in our call for an immediate and complete
end to the occupation of Iraq and will not shift our stance under any circumstances.

President Obama’s plan will result in more casualties and suffering for U.S.
troops, their families and Iraqis. To the American public facing hard times
here at home, two and a half more years of… Continue reading

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’

by Eric Black
March 11 2009
MinnPost.com

At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”

Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.

In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in public.”

Update: Eric Black received and published a response from a CIA agent on this… posted at end.

Hersh didn’t take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be “effective…that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical.”

The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled “America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government officials who had experience with many of the crises.

And it was mostly historical, and a great conversation, in which Hersh and Mondale talked about the patterns by which presidents seem to… Continue reading

Deconstructing Deceit: 9/11, the Media, and Myth Information

by Mickey S. Huff and Paul W. Rea

They say goldfish have no memory
I guess their lives are much like mine
and the little plastic castle
is a surprise every time
and it’s hard to say if they’re happy
but they don’t seem much to mind.

–Ani DiFranco, Little Plastic Castles

For the past eight years, American culture has seen an outburst of media-driven mythmaking. Corporate mainstream media organizations, the pundits they sponsor, and politicians from both major parties have formed a new contextual chorus singing the same refrain: “On September 11th, 2001, everything changed.” From cable TV to AM radio, from the blogosphere to the town-hall meeting, Americans repeatedly hear that “this is a post-9/11 world.”

Although there is some truth to this platitude of pivotal change, independently minded citizens may also wonder whether such mass media messages have become self-fulfilling prophecies. This provides an interesting point of debate about what has or has not changed in America since 9/11.

This chapter concerns itself with the ongoing phenomena of media mythmaking and how, like many Americans surmised just after 9/11, everything has not changed. 1 Corporate mainstream media have resurrected powerful myths from America’s past to shape public perception in the present. Through the prism of 9/11, one can see how the corporate mass media are in fact doing more mythmaking than news reporting. Here, the authors will examine central historic American myths the corporate media and even much of the alternative independent media have extended into the… Continue reading

CIA and Other Intelligence Agency Links to Global Drug Trade (Video)

VIDEO: “An Unholy Alliance” – Documentary examines CIA and other intelligence agency links to the global drug trade.

by Reprehensor
911blogger.com

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In 1996, directors Chris Hilton and David Roberts released “An Unholy Alliance” as the second part of a trilogy of documentaries dealing with the global drug trade; with a focus on heroin and opium. The documentary offers a valuable history of the drug trade, with much rare footage, including footage of CIA favorite, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Since Hekmatyar is back in the news, now is an important time to remind people of Hekmatyar’s dubious past, and his links to the heroin industry in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The CIA and the Afghan Arabs

An Unholy Alliance starts off in Peshawar, which was a major hub of activity for the CIA and the ISI, as they deployed the Afghan Mujahadin in a proxy war against the Soviet Union, beginning in 1979. Since the 1980s, CIA apologists like Peter Bergen, and former CIA station chief Milton Bearden have claimed that the CIA never directly trained the Mujahidin and the associated Arabic recruits;

Peter Bergen: “While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of gray. The… Continue reading

Obama and 9/11

by Michael Hasty Sunday
RadicalPantheist.blogspot.com

Although I was as happy as most Americans that Barack Obama took the oath of office last week, rather than his Republican alternative, there is a major reason that he did not get my vote in November, which went instead to Cynthia McKinney: Obama is unlikely to re-open an investigation into what really happened on September 11, 2001–an investigation that needs to happen.

According to polls, about four in ten Americans are suspicious that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks–either by deliberately ignoring intelligence that warned an attack was coming and allowing the terrorists to strike, to gain public support for the neoconservative foreign policy agenda of increasing American military power in the Middle East; or by actively coordinating the attacks themselves, for the same reason. As Time magazine, in a rare acknowledgement of the 9/11 truth movement, said: “This is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a mainstream political reality.”

It’s easy to understand, however, why a majority of Americans have such a hard time getting their minds around the idea that their government may have some involvement in such a horrendous crime. Americans are conditioned from an early age to think of themselves as “the good guys,” living in a “democracy”–which, however imperfect, has always been primarily motivated by the desire to advance the core national principle of “freedom,” both at home and abroad. And the actions of the government are closely monitored by a diligent “free press.”

It’s a… Continue reading

Did Machiavelli have a hand in events of 9/11?

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
1/26/2009

Painting of Niccolo Machiavelli


This is the most common portrayal of Niccolò Machiavelli

Machiavelli wrote, “There are many who think a wise prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment astutely some enmity, so that by suppressing it he will augment his greatness.”

This tactic has often been used or considered. Germany was blamed during World War I for an unprovoked attack on the “Lusitania,” which was carrying arms to the British, and the Vietnam War was expanded based on a false report on Aug. 4, 1964, of an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Operation Northwoods, a 1962 military plan to fake a Cuban attack on the U.S., proposed shooting down a civilian plane with Americans onboard.

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, representing more than 560 professionals, has released a report stating that the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and World Trade Center Building 7 showed the signs of controlled demolition, including a rapid and symmetrical fall, clouds of pyroclastic (heated) smoke and debris, and residue of the incendiary agent thermate in dust samples taken from the site. Building 7 had no collisions or fuel fires, yet fell in free-fall speed into its own footprint. In similar buildings, fire has produced only softening in the steel, never total collapse.

In a Dec. 28 letter, FBI Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Michael Heimbach wrote that the group “presents an interesting theory, backed by thorough research and analysis.” Would a full investigation prove that Machiavelli’s statement… Continue reading

Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

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

Joel Brinkley’s Article on Richard Falk: Does It Demonstrate the Right “Frame of Mind” to Teach Journalism at Stanford?

Elizabeth Woodworth

In a companion essay (reprinted below), I discussed the response of some articles in the mainstream press to the claim, made by some defenders of Israel, that Professor Richard Falk should be removed from his current position of UN rapporteur on human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories — a claim that was reflected in the refusal of Israel on December 14, 2008, to allow him to enter the country. I included in this essay a discussion of an article by reporter Joel Brinkley because, although it was published before Israel’s action against Falk 1 , it could be read as a defense of that action. Brinkley, who had previously worked for the New York Times , argued that Falk did not have the right “frame of mind” for his UN position. In the present essay, I will focus on Brinkley’s argument for this charge, suggesting that it shows that he does not have the right frame of mind for his own current position as visiting professor of journalism at Stanford University.

Brinkley’s Discussion of 9/11

Brinkley’s charge that Falk is unfit for his UN role is quite remarkable, given Falk’s stature. He is Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has had published (as author or editor) over 60 books by academic and other mainstream presses. He is also widely respected and sought after as a speaker and conference participant.… Continue reading

Vic Sadot Interview by Che X on Pirate Cat Radio – New CD Release: 9/11 Truth & Justice Songs

Interview: Monday, Dec 29, 2008 from 4 – 6 pm Pacific Time

Activist singer-songwriter Vic Sadot has a new CD out, 9/11 Truth & Justice
Songs. Vic will be interviewed by Che X on the popular San Francisco station
known as Pirate Cat Radio.

The interview is scheduled for Monday, Dec 29, 2008 from 4 – 6 pm Pacific
Time on the “Notes from the Underground” show hosted by Che X every
Monday.

That would be 7 – 9 pm Eastern Time, 6 – 8 pm Central Time, and
5 – 7 pm Mountain Time. Pirate Cat Radio is at 87.9 FM. It is also broadcast
out of Los Angeles and Berlin.

Learn more about Pirate Cat Radio & Listen on line at: http://www.piratecatradio.com

Che X will be the first radio person to interview Vic Sadot since he arrived
in the Bay Area. Vic will play songs live and talk with Che X about the songs
on the new CD. Upon arriving from Delaware in the Bay Area Vic performed for
the Marin County Green Party reception with Otis Scarcroe for Presidential candidate
Cynthia McKinney.

Vic has sung solo at autumn open mikes at Country Joe McDonald’s Monthly
at Café de la Paz and the Starry Plough in Berkeley, and at Revoluti
on Café in Oakland. He also attended a song swap circle at the venerable Faith Petric’s house for a gathering of the Freedom Song Network.

Vic Sadot has been an activist since his college days when campus activists… Continue reading

CODE-RED: People for Revolution!

December 13, 2008
by Cindy Sheehan

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of
government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people
to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

"An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot."
Thomas Paine (Revolutionary)

I was recently in Cuba to attend a Human Right’s conference. Cuba is a lovely
country (with many problems still) that will be celebrating 50 years of Revolution
on January 1st of 2009.

Cuba is struggling economically because there are limits to what a tiny island
nation can do, especially when the mightiest nation on this planet sits menacingly
to the north and has maintained a blockade against trade and travel for many
decades. The nation of Cuba is struggling economically, but since they have
been able to survive (not quite thrive) after all this time gives the citizens
of Cuba a rightful pride and sense of unity that is not so apparent in The Empire
that has tried to crush them.

The Revolution led by the Castro brothers, Che Guevara and many other Cuban
heroes overthrew the US puppet government in Havana led by US proxy General
Fulgencio… Continue reading

Seeking Integrity at the CIA

By Ray McGovern

The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) must be a person whose previous professional performance has been distinguished by unimpeachable integrity and independence. The director must have the courage of his or her own convictions.

Without integrity and courage, all virtue is specious, and no amount of structural or organizational reform will make any difference.

Though a 2004 law gave most of the DCI’s intelligence community-wide authority to the new position of Director of National Intelligence — after the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks and after the false intelligence analysis on Iraq’s WMDs — the same principles regarding integrity and courage apply to the DNI.

Instructive lessons can be drawn from the performance of George Tenet, the sixteenth CIA director since the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947, and from his predecessors regarding what attributes a director needs to discharge the duties of the office as the National Security Act of 1947 intended.

Show Editor’s Notes »

Consortiumnews.com Editor’s Note:
An underlying factor in the national security crises confronting the United States has been the corruption of the U.S. intelligence process, with analyses tailored to fit the desires of the policymakers and with laws bent to permit torture and other abuses.In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects on what went wrong and what now needs to go right.


911truth.org Editor’s Note:
Ray McGovern is now a regular guest on “Tell Somebody,” hosted by Tom Klammer, broadcasting Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm CENTRAL time.… Continue reading

This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House

By Jeremy Scahill
November 20, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/107666/

Click here to view this guide as a single page.

U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton’s White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama’s team.

"What happened to all this talk about change?" a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. "This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time."

Amid the… Continue reading

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism–Andrew Bacevitch on Bill Moyers ‘Journal’

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.

Continue reading

Anti-war veterans unfurl ‘Arrest Bush/Cheney’ banner at National Archives

September 24, 2008
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com

At 7:30 a.m. this morning, they climbed a nine-foot fence to occupy a 35-foot-high
ledge at the National Archives.

vfpimpeachbanner

And five members of the Veterans for Peace organization have been there ever
since. They say they’re veterans of Vietnam and Iraq, anti-war activists, and
soldiers for a cause who plan to fast for 24 hours in protest of the Bush administration.

Seeking the criminal prosecution of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the organization
distributed “Citizens’ Arrest Warrants” to tourists waiting in line
to enter the archives, which houses the key documents of U.S. history: the Declaration
of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In a press release, the group described the reasons for its protest:

Bush and Cheney’s serial abuse of the law of the land clearly marks
them as domestic enemies of the Constitution. They have illegally invaded
and occupied Iraq, deliberately destroyed civilian infrastructure, authorized
torture, and unlawfully detained prisoners. These actions clearly mark them
as war criminals. Accountability extends beyond impeachment to prosecution
for war crimes even after their terms of office expire….

We are not conducting ourselves in a disorderly manner; our action is well-ordered
and well-considered. We are not trespassing; we have come to the home of our
Constitution to honor our oath to defend it.

So far, authorities have not interfered with the peaceful protest or the sign.

Yes, there’s a sign. A 22-foot-by-x8-foot banner draped across the Constitution
Avenue side of the archives says, “DEFEND… Continue reading

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