By The Associated Press
July 19th, 2010
Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, top-secret intelligence gathering by
the government has grown so unwieldy and expensive that no one really knows
what it cost and how many people are involved, The Washington Post reported
A two-year investigation by the newspaper uncovered what it termed a "Top
Secret America" that’s mostly hidden from public view and largely lacking
In its first installment of a series of reports, the Post said there are now
more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies
working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000
locations across the U.S.
Some 854,000 people — or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who
live in Washington — have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post that he doesn’t believe the massive
bureaucracy of government and private intelligence has grown too large to manage,
but it is sometimes hard to get precise information.
"Nine years after 9/11, it makes sense to sort of take a look at this
and say, ‘OK, we’ve built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we
need?" he said.
The head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said he knows that with the growing budget
deficits the level of spending on intelligence will likely be reduced and he’s
at work on a five-year plan for the agency.
The White House had been anticipating the Post report and said… Continue reading
Posted to YouTube Aug 18 2010
by Vic Sadot
“Trouble In The Rubble” ~ Vic Sadot music video at YouTube (5:42)
Trouble in the Rubble was written by Vic Sadot after reading the Associated Press article on the 9/11 rescue dogs by Amy Westfeldt. It was run in the
Washington Post on October 20, 2006. It also ran in the News Journal of Wilmington DE and numerous other papers on October 21, 2006. It reveals the curious fact that many of the rescue dogs of 9/11 had their feet burned by “white-hot debris”. The reporter did not question or explain how this came to be. While this story is consistent with other reports of pools of molten steel still being “white-hot” many weeks after the free-fall collapse and disintegration of the World Trade Center towers, it is not consistent with the official conspiracy story that the towers fell into rubble as a result of jet fuel fires after Muslims flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings. The news story inspired this topical song.
Vic Sadot is a singer-songwriter based in Berkeley, CA best known for his tribute song to the late-great Phil Ochs, Broadside Balladeer. He is now available for solo bookings & political protests in the Bay Area. See videos at www.youtube.com/vicsadot and hear songs at www.last.fm/music/vic+sadot
December 14, 2010
by Catherine Herridge
An Army Reserve colonel is suing the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies, claiming that they violated his free speech rights by blocking the distribution of his book over concerns it threatened national security.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s First Amendment lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., targets the Defense Department for buying 9,500 copies of his book, “Operation Dark Heart” for $50,000 and destroying them. The lawsuit also names the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency as defendants.
“Because the defendants have impermissibly infringed upon Shaffer’s right to publish unclassified information in Operation Dark Heart, they have violated Shaffer’s First Amendment rights,” the lawsuit says.
The suit provides a rare insight into the internal review process for the publication of books based on the search for senior Al Qaeda leadership in post-9/11 Afghanistan.
The lawsuit was filed by national security lawyer Mark Zaid and alleges that the book was compiled by Shaffer along with a former Washington Post reporter and author, Jacqui Salmon, who used unclassified or “open source” documents and independent interviews. The manuscript was submitted to Shaffer’s Army Reserve chain of command for review in June 2009 and ultimately given “a favorable legal and operational security review” in January. The court documents state, “the Army Reserve believed that the book had been reviewed and approved as having been completely clear of any classified information.”
The suit alleges that the Defense Intelligence Agency “claims to have… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
April 6, 2011
The Obama administration’s decision to use a military tribunal rather than a federal criminal court to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others means the real motives behind the 9/11 attacks may remain obscure.
The Likud Lobby and their allied U.S. legislators can chalk up a significant victory for substantially shrinking any opportunity for the accused planners of 9/11 to tell their side of the story.
What? I sense some bristling. “Their side of the story?” Indeed! We’ve been told there is no “their side of the story.”
For years, President George W. Bush got away with offering up the risible explanation that they “hate our freedoms.” The stenographers of the White House press corps may have had to suppress smiles but silently swallowed the “they-hate-us-for-our-freedoms” rationale.
The only journalist I can recall stepping up and asking, in effect, “Come on; now really; it’s important; why do the really hate us” was the indomitable Helen Thomas.
In January 2010, just weeks after the “underpants bomber” tried to down an airliner over Detroit, President Barack Obama asked White House counter-terrorism guru, John Brennan, to field questions from the White House press.
Helen Thomas took the opportunity to ask why the would-be bomber did what he did. The exchange with Brennan is, hopefully, more instructive than it is depressing — highlighting a limited mindset still stuck in bromides.
Thomas: “Why do they want to do us harm? And what is the motivation?… Continue reading
July 14, 2011
By Robert Koehler
Published at Antiwar.com
Leon Panetta, on his first visit to Iraq as secretary of defense last weekend, reached for a Bush moment ten years too late.
“The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked,” he said to the assembled troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad, according to the Washington Post. “And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that.”
Yeah, oops, gaffe, Mr. Secretary, right? That Iraq-al-Qaeda connection thingy isn’t in the spin anymore, and Panetta’s assistant had to mop up afterwards, making sure no one misinterpreted the boss’s remarks as reopening an old “debate” by reiterating a long-abandoned lie.
In point of fact, Panetta told the embarrassing truth: 9/11, day of unspeakable tragedy, was a goldmine for the Pentagon and the corporate war interests and was quickly used to launch two wars, both of which are long past the need for justification and require, it seems, nothing more than the first law of physics to stay in motion. You guys are here because of 9/11, the tragic all-purpose justification for global hegemony and the pursuit of empire.
Of course, Panetta was trying to be inspirational. That’s what’s missing from the Obama game plan: the old-time patriotism the Bush administration milked till the cow dropped dead. The new secretary of defense apparently felt a need to connect… Continue reading
Breathlessly, six members of Congress have requested that the FBI investigate the “outrageous” allegations that News Corp might have hacked into the cell phones of 9/11 victims and their families. Lickety split, the Justice Department has done so.
First off, does it surprise me that a corporation like News Corp. might try to hack into the information of private citizens for their own financial gain? Nope.
Much like it wouldn’t surprise me if my own government hacked into the private information of its citizens for political gain or… er, I mean, “reasons of national security.” Just ask Dick Cheney and Karl Rove about that.
Of course, any such “accidental netting” on their part would be immediately explained away under the protections of FISA and the Patriot Act, because clearly it would have been necessary “in the ongoing fight against terrorism.”
Too bad, Congress doesn’t want to investigate those types of indiscretions. Sigh.
But truly, I am awestruck when people like Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee for Homeland Security is so quickly moved to demand an investigation into such vague, seemingly hollow allegations as someone hacking into the cell phones of people like me.
Is this the same Congressman King who when faced with actual hard, incontrovertible facts and figures regarding the vulnerabilities posed by dangerous chemical and water plants across the country remains disinterested? And, I might add firmly on the side of… Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 31 No 1, August 1, 2011.
Twice in the last two decades, significant cuts in U.S. and western military spending were foreseen: first after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But both times military spending soon increased, and among the factors contributing to the increase were America’s interventions in new areas: the Balkans in the 1990s, and Libya today.1 Hidden from public view in both cases was the extent to which al-Qaeda was a covert U.S. ally in both interventions, rather than its foe.
U.S. interventions in the Balkans and then Libya were presented by the compliant U.S. and allied mainstream media as humanitarian. Indeed, some Washington interventionists may have sincerely believed this. But deeper motivations – from oil to geostrategic priorities – were also at work in both instances.
In virtually all the wars since 1989, America and Islamist factions have been battling to determine who will control the heartlands of Eurasia in the post-Soviet era. In some countries – Somalia in 1993, Afghanistan in 2001 – the conflict has been straightforward, with each side using the other’s excesses as an excuse for intervention.
But there have been other interventions in which Americans have used al-Qaeda as a resource to increase their influence, for example Azerbaijan in 1993. There a pro-Moscow president was ousted after large numbers of Arab and other foreign mujahedin veterans were secretly imported from Afghanistan, on an airline hastily organized by three former veterans of the CIA’s airline Air America. (The three, all once detailed from the Pentagon to the CIA, were Richard Secord, Harry Aderholt, and Ed Dearborn.)2 This was an ad hoc marriage of convenience: the mujahedin got to defend Muslims against Russian influence in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, while the Americans got a new president who opened up the oilfields of Baku to western oil companies.
The pattern of U.S. collaboration with Muslim fundamentalists against more secular enemies is not new. It dates back to at least 1953, when the CIA recruited right-wing mullahs to overthrow Prime Minister Mossadeq in Iran, and also began to cooperate with the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.3 But in Libya in 2011 we see a more complex marriage of convenience between US and al-Qaeda elements: one which repeats a pattern seen in Bosnia in 1992-95, and Kosovo in 1997-98. In those countries America responded to a local conflict in the name of a humanitarian intervention to restrain the side committing atrocities. But in all three cases both sides committed atrocities, and American intervention in fact favored the side allied with al-Qaeda.
The cause of intervention was fostered in all three cases by blatant manipulation and falsification of the facts. What a historian has noted of the Bosnian conflict was true also of Kosovo and is being echoed today in Libya: though attacks were “perpetrated by Serbs and Muslims alike,” the pattern in western media was “that killings of Muslims were newsworthy, while the deaths of non-Muslims were not.”4 Reports of mass rapes in the thousands proved to be wildly exaggerated: a French journalist “uncovered only four women willing to back up the story.”5 Meanwhile in 1994 the French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy (BHL) traveled to Bosnia and fervently endorsed the case for intervention in Bosnia; in 2011 February BHL traveled to Benghazi and reprised his interventionist role for Libya.6
In all of the countries mentioned above, furthermore, there are signs that some American and/or western intelligence groups were collaborating with al-Qaeda elements from the outset of conflict, before the atrocities cited as a reason for intervention.. This suggests that there were deeper reasons for America’s interventions including the desire of western oil companies to exploit the petroleum reserves of Libya (as in Iraq) without having to deal with a troublesome and powerful strong man, or their desire to create a strategic oil pipeline across the Balkans (in Kosovo).7
That the U.S. would support al-Qaeda in terrorist atrocities runs wholly counter to impressions created by the U.S. media. Yet this on-going unholy alliance resurrects and builds on the alliance underlying Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1978-79 strategy of provocation in Afghanistan, at a time when he was President Carter’s National Security Adviser.
The Shah (left), Brzezinski (right), Carter (second right)
ConsortiumNews.com Exclusive: With few exceptions — like some salacious rumor about the Kennedy family — the mainstream U.S. news media has little interest in historical stories. Such was the case when an ex-White House terrorism official accused a former CIA director of withholding information that might have prevented a 9/11 attack, Ray McGovern reports. <
August 16, 2011
By Ray McGovern
Bulletin for those of you who get your information only from the New York Times, the Washington Post and other outlets of the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM): Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke has accused ex-CIA Director George Tenet of denying him and others access to intelligence that could have thwarted the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11.
Deliberately withholding critical intelligence from those who need it, and can act on it, is — at the least — gross dereliction of duty.
The more so if keeping the White House promptly and fully informed is at the top of your job jar, as it was for Director of Central Intelligence Tenet. And yet that is precisely the charge Clarke has leveled at the former DCI.
In an interview aired on Aug. 11 on a local PBS affiliate in Colorado, Clarke charges that Tenet and two other senior CIA officials, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, deliberately withheld information about two of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77 — al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar. The two had entered the United States more than a year before the 9/11 attacks.… Continue reading
By Will Bunch
Attytood – Will’s blog at Philly.com
What do you think was running in the pro-government, pro-Mubarek newspapers in Egypt back in February, when crowds of unhappy and often un- or under-employed citizens began crowding into Tahrir Square? I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say there probably wasn’t a lot of coverage of what was happening in Tahrir Square, at least at first. They were probably running cute feature stories about an old-time falafel stand in a changing Cairo neighborhood, or maybe articles on parking problems at the Great Pyramids. They certainly weren’t going to call attention to the elephant in the room that was about to knock over a corrupt and decadent society.
I was thinking about that this week, during the extra time I had on my hands because I wasn’t reading in the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post about the Wall Street protests that have been going on now for four days, with hundreds of disenchanted and disaffected youth camping out nightly in a lower Manhattan park, marching on the financial district by day, getting arrested and provoking a large police presence including a phalanx of NYPD cops guarding the notorious Merrill Lynch bronze idol of greed.
Call me crazy, but as a journalist marking… Continue reading
By Michael Collins 911Truth.org
(Washington, DC) A faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force (QF) is center stage in the War on Terror for the second time in five years. In 2007, President George W. Bush hauled out the group of middle and upper level Iranian government officials as a rationale for military action against Iran. The decisive shutdown of the Bush effort marks a critical turning point in recent history and will be discussed later in the article.
QF II began last Tuesday when FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder unified the terror storyline between the rabid neoconservatives of the Bush era and the low key loyalists to the national security state in the Obama administration.
Holder and Mueller accused, “elements of the Iranian government of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington,” the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. In essence, this military faction allegedly hired an outsider to murder the Saudi ambassador to the United States. With the full knowledge of the Iranian government, the outsider tried to hire a Mexican drug lord for the high level hit. Attorney General Holder announced that the United States is “holding the Iranian government accountable.” Holder went on to state the official position of the government, namely that the Iranian government entity behind the plot was the Quds Force.
The current version of Quds Force-as-archvillain was met with challenges from the start. Early on in the Post article, an unnamed White House official offered… Continue reading
by Peter Dale Scott
November 22, 2011
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 47 No 2)
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Senator Frank Church (1975)
I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events – the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy.
In recent years I have been talking about a dark force behind these events — a force which, for want of a better term, I have clumsily called a “deep state,” operating both within and outside the public state. Today for the first time I want to identify part of that dark force, a part which has operated for five decades or more at the edge of the public state. This part of the dark force has a name not invented by me: the Doomsday Project, the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”1
My point is a simple and important one: to show that the Doomsday Project of the 1980s, and the earlier emergency planning that developed into it, have played a role in the background of all the deep events I shall discuss.…Continue reading
I have repeatedly demonstrated that — despite the false divide-and-conquer tactics of the mainstream parties and mainstream media — the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on the most important issues facing our country . And see this .
NO MORE BAILOUTS!
As I’ve noted since 2008 , Americans are united in their overwhelming disapproval for bailouts to the big banks.
This has remained true right up to today.
As Rassmussen found only last month (as summarized by KXLF news ):
Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey finds that most Americans don’t like bailouts for financial institutions.
60% Oppose Financial Bailouts; 74% Say Wall Street Benefited Most
Survey of 1,000 American Adults
- Just 20% think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding to banks and other financial institutions, but 60% say otherwise .
- While many activists try to link the Republican Party and Wall Street, Republicans think the bailouts were a bad idea by an eight-to-one margin.
- Those not affiliated with either major party think they were a bad idea by a four-to-one margin. Democrats are much more evenly divided. Thirty-four percent (34%) of those in the president’s party say the bailouts were a good idea while 42% disagree.
- Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis , but 12% disagree and 21% aren’t sure.
By Jonathan Turley
Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act , signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack… Continue reading
911blogger.com, Shoestring’s Blog
History Commons, the Web site that hosts the Complete 9/11 Timeline, is currently facing a funding crisis and urgently needs donations in order to stay online.
The Complete 9/11 Timeline is an important resource, which contains a huge amount of information relating to the 9/11 attacks. It includes over a thousand entries detailing the day of September 11, 2001, alone. It has the most detailed account there is of the numerous training exercises taking place on 9/11, and has many entries describing relevant training exercises held in the years leading up to 9/11.
The timeline has sections devoted to the official investigations of 9/11, such as the 9/11 Commission and the various investigations of the World Trade Center collapses, as well as much more.
It is important that the History Commons Web site has the necessary funds to continue. If you would like to make a donation (by credit card, PayPal, or check), click here.
I would like to extend a personal appeal to each of you to join me in supporting History Commons as generously as you possibly can. The Complete 9/11 Timeline is an unparalleled resource for anyone wishing to learn the truth about 9/11. It is critically important we ensure its ability to remain available to the world.
Please allow me to share why I feel so strongly about this… At least twice a month (often much more often) I receive an email… Continue reading
“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