By Gareth Porter
July 8, 2009
Official 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… Continue reading
From DemocracyNow.org: Listen/Watch links here. Fmr. Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Back in U.S. After Being Detained and Deported from Israel – Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney arrived back in the United States Tuesday following her deportation from Israel. McKinney was one of 21 activists seized by the Israeli military in international waters last week as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. We speak with McKiney and with filmmaker Adam Shapiro who was detained and deported as well.
Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney arrived back in the United States Tuesday following her deportation from Israel. McKinney was one of 21 activists seized by the Israeli military in international waters last week as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Also aboard the Free Gaza boat was Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire. Last week’s trip was the Free Gaza movement’s first since it aborted an attempt in January after the Israeli navy threatened to shoot the civilian passengers on board. That sailing had come just weeks after an Israeli navy vessel deliberately rammed another of its boats, almost forcing it to sink.
Cynthia McKinney joins us now in Washington D.C. We are also joined here at the Firehouse by Adam Shapiro. He was filming the Free Gaza trip last week. He is a Palestinian rights activist and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. Both Cynthia and Adam were detained for the past week in an Israeli jail.
Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and the 2008 Green Party presidential candidate.
Adam Shapiro, documentary filmmaker, human rights activist and Palestinian rights activist.…Continue reading
by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
June 10, 2009
In his remarkable speech at Cairo University on June 4, President Obama promised “a new beginning.” In the words of the Israeli commentator Uri Avnery, the speech offered “the map of a new world, a different world, whose values and laws he spelled out in simple and clear language — a mixture of idealism and practical politics, vision and pragmatism.”1
Much of what Obama had to say was new, and warmed the hearts of observers like myself, who had become increasingly concerned about the new president’s fidelity to the financial and military policies of the previous Bush-Cheney administration. But while Obama broke new ground on Israel-Palestine issues, he glossed over troubling issues pertaining to the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also glossed over one of the fundamental issues alienating the Muslim world: America’s relentless efforts to preserve its threatened financial status by moves to dominate the region’s oil resources. Here his careful ambiguity was ominously reminiscent of the Bush era.
The speech reaffirmed a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by 2012, as the U.S. committed itself to do in a signed agreement last December. In addition Obama asserted that “we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan… We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan.”
But Obama’s remarks did not address the statement on May… Continue reading
Friday, June 26, 2009
By Dafna Linzer and Peter Finn
ProPublica and Washington Post Staff Writer
The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans
to close Guantánamo, has drafted an executive order that would reassert presidential
authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three
senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.
Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that
certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws
of war. Obama advisers are concerned that bypassing Congress could place the
president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the
After months of internal debate over how to close the U.S. military prison
at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, White House officials are growing increasingly worried
that reaching quick agreement with Congress on a new detention system may prove
impossible. Several officials said there is concern in the White House that
the administration may not be able to close the facility by the president’s
White House spokesman Ben LaBolt did not directly respond to questions about
an executive order but said the administration would address the cases of Guantánamo
detainees in a manner “consistent with the national security interests
of the United States and the interests of justice.”
One administration official suggested the White House was already trying to
build support for an executive order.
“Civil liberties groups have encouraged the administration, that if a
prolonged detention system were to be sought, to do it through executive order,”
the official said.…
by Jon Gold
On 1/8/2008, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that “a huge lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia and key members of its royal family was put to a crucial test today as lawyers for victims of the 9/11 attacks urged a federal appeals court to reinstate the government of Saudi Arabia as a defendant.” The Cozen O’Connor law firm in Philadelphia “was the first to file suit against the government of Saudi Arabia in 2003, charging that the desert kingdom bears responsibility for the attacks because it permitted Islamic charities under its control to bankroll Osama bin Laden and his global terror movement.” The lawsuit “suffered a setback in 2005 when New York federal district court judge Richard Conway Casey ruled that the federal foreign sovereign immunity act barred lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and members of the royal family.”
On… Continue reading
CIA director Leon Panetta told the New Yorker :
When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.
News commentator Ed Schultz said today that Cheney is wishing for a terrorist attack on the U.S.
What should we make of all this?
Well, everyone knows that Cheney is ruthless:
Cheney is also the guy who :
Submitted to 911blogger.com by Shumonik
On May 20, 2009, General Richard Myers was at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California to give a talk and a book signing. Bruno Bruhwiler and Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of WeAreChangeLA were there to call into question the ‘General’s’ credibility when it came to talking about 9/11 and threats to the nation.
Watch the following 3 videos, created by Paul Wittenberger, to see what happened.
Part 1 of 3:
Part 2 of 3:
Part 3 of 3:
WeAreChangeLA questions CFR President and Bush/Obama man Richard Haas on “Wars of Agenda,” Building 7 and the CFR’s ‘big ideas’ CFR
Submitted to 911blogger.com by Shumonik on June 8, 2009
On May 18, 2009, Richard Haas… Continue reading
The provocative new film and book about the untold story of the 2001 U.S. Anthrax Attacks and the dark secrets of the shadowy world of modern day germ weapons research.
“Fear and Terror on The Anthrax Trail” – Anthrax War Trailer:
When the 2001 anthrax attacks hit the USA in the days following 9/11, it was like a one-two punch against the Republic. Workers in New York’s media center who had seen the planes swoop too low over their heads en route to the Twin Tower were now terrified of their mail. In Washington, Capitol Hill was evacuated and White House staffers were chewing CIPRO tablets.
It was our scariest collective nightmare come to life – the attack of deadly invisible bugs. It seemed like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the preceding years filled as they were with scores of films, best-selling books, TV shows and articles on the coming of “Bio-Terror.” Indeed, for the first time in history, national leaders and the military actually acted out high-tech “germ attack” war games, one of which had a scenario shockingly close to the actual events.
So after the government pledged the most thorough investigation it could muster, we hoped the feds would get to the bottom of it all. Thus, we were saddened but not really surprised when the attacks disappeared from public discourse – unmentioned, for example, by any major candidate during the 2008 election contest. And when the FBI announced suddenly last summer that the cold case was red-hot, identified… Continue reading
U.S. May Permit 9/11 Guilty Pleas in Capital Cases
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
June 5, 2009
Full story published at New York Times
The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom.
The proposal, in a draft of legislation that would be submitted to Congress, has not been publicly disclosed. It was circulated to officials under restrictions requiring secrecy. People who have read or been briefed on it said it had been presented to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates by an administration task force on detention.
The proposal would ease what has come to be recognized as the government’s difficult task of prosecuting men who have confessed to terrorism but whose cases present challenges. Much of the evidence against the men accused in the Sept. 11 case, as well as against other detainees, is believed to have come from confessions they gave during intense interrogations at secret C.I.A. prisons. In any proceeding, the reliability of those statements would be challenged, making trials difficult and drawing new political pressure over detainee treatment.
Some experts on the commissions said such a proposal would raise new questions about the fairness of a system that has been criticized as permitting shortcuts to assure convictions.…Continue reading
Dick Uncut: “Daily Show” Calls Out Cheney For Blaming 9/11
On Richard Clarke (VIDEO)
June 6, 2009
Thanks to a recent appearance at the National Press Club, Dick Cheney blamed
Richard Clarke for leaving the nation vulnerable to attack ahead of 9/11 saying,
“He obviously missed it.” Cheney was referring to the threat from
al Qaeda which Clarke had emphatically
warned the administration about several times before the fall of 2001.
Jon Stewart was not pleased with Dick Cheney for these accusations, nor the
members of the National Press Club who failed to challenge him about the assertion.
In a segment called “Dick Uncut,” Stewart used dark humor to take
both the former Vice President and the media to task for the events leading
up to 9/11 through the waterboarding of detainees. It simultaneously makes you
laugh and want to punch a whole through the wall.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
Cheney Blames Richard Clarke For 9/11: ‘He Missed
By Ali Frick
June 1st, 2009
Writing in Sunday’s Washington Post, Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism
chief under Presidents Clinton and Bush, slammed Dick Cheney and Condoleezza
Rice for invoking what he called “the White House 9/11 trauma defense”
— namely, the shock of 9/11 was so great as to justify all and any actions
taken in the name of national defense. Clarke called the decisions on interrogations,
detentions, and Iraq were all “wrong,” and the White House panic
proved that Cheney and company had simply been ignoring the warning signs:
… Continue reading
Cheney’s admission that 9/11 caused him to reassess the threats to
the nation only underscores how, for months, top officials had ignored warnings
from the CIA and the NSC staff that urgent action was needed to preempt a
major al-Qaeda attack.
By Ray McGovern
What’s the difference between murder and massacre?
The answer is Terry Halbardier, whose bravery and ingenuity as a 23-year-old Navy seaman spelled the difference between the murder of 34 of the USS Liberty crew and the intended massacre of all 294.
The date was June 8, 1967; and for the families of the 34 murdered and for the Liberty’s survivors and their families, it is a “date which will live in infamy” — like the date of an earlier surprise attack on the U.S. Navy.
The infamy is two-fold: (1) the Liberty, a virtually defenseless intelligence collection platform prominently flying an American flag in international waters, came under deliberate attack by Israeli aircraft and three 60-ton Israeli torpedo boats off the coast of the Sinai on a cloudless June afternoon during the six-day Israeli-Arab war; and (2) President Lyndon Johnson called back carrier aircraft dispatched to defend the Liberty lest Israel be embarrassed — the start of an unconscionable cover-up, including top Navy brass, that persists to this day.
Given all they have been through, the Liberty survivors and other veterans — who joined Halbardier to celebrate his belated receipt of the Silver Star — can be forgiven for having doubted that this day would ever come.
In the award ceremony at the Visalia (California) office of Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican congressman pinned the Silver Star next to the Purple Heart that Halbardier found in his home mailbox three years ago.
Nunes said, “The government… Continue reading
Waterboarding was ‘well done,’ Cheney says
BY JOHN BYRNE
Published: June 1, 2009
On Iraq and 9/11: ‘That’s not something I made up’
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is usually very careful at choosing his words.
Perhaps not so today. In a speech Monday at the National Press Club, continuing along familiar themes of terrorism, Guantánamo and his hatred for The New York Times, Cheney spoke defensively of the administration’s practice of water-boarding detainees.
“I don’t believe we tortured,” Cheney remarked, noting that the interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration were vetted by White House lawyers. They didn’t cross a “red line,” he said.
And then he delivered the whopper: “There were three people who were water-boarded…. It was well-done.”
The former vice president also made an odd comment about detainees being held at Guantánamo Bay.
He framed their detention as a choice between two options: either we imprison them, or we kill them.
“We need Guantánamo… If we didn’t have it, we’d need to (invent) it,” Cheney remarked. “If you don’t have a place to hold these people, the only other option is to kill them.”
“We don’t operate that way,” he added.
Cheney’s comments were transcribed by The Swamp, the blog of the Chicago Tribune.
“If I had it to do all over again, I would do exactly the same thing,” he continued. “I don’t have much tolerance or patience for those who have the benefit of hindsight eight years later and have forgotten what happened on 9/11….…Continue reading
First, the press release from AAEM:
May 19, 2009
Contact Information Dr. Amy L. Dean, D.O. Public Relations Chair Member, Board of Directors American Academy of Environmental Medicine
The American Academy Of Environmental Medicine Calls For Immediate Moratorium On Genetically Modified Foods
Wichita, KS – The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) today released its position paper on Genetically Modified foods stating that “GM foods pose a serious health risk” and calling for a moratorium on GM foods. Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects” and that “GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.” The AAEM calls for:
* A moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term safety testing and labeling of GM food. * Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community and the public to avoid GM foods. * Physicians to consider the role of GM foods in their patients’ disease processes. * More independent long term scientific studies to begin gathering data to investigate the role of GM foods on human health.
“Multiple animal studies have shown that GM foods cause damage to various organ systems in the body. With this mounting evidence, it is imperative to have a moratorium on GM foods for the safety of our patients’ and the public’s health,” said Dr. Amy Dean, PR chair and… Continue reading
by Shoestring May 26, 2009 911blogger.com
Langley Air Force Base was the second military base that launched fighter jets to defend America in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Three of its F-16s were ordered to take off toward Washington at 9:24 a.m. that morning, but by the time they were airborne, more than 40 minutes had passed since the first attack on the World Trade Center, and almost half an hour since the second.
Furthermore, the pilots were hindered by an extraordinary combination of confusion, communications problems, conflicting orders, breaches of protocol, and other difficulties. Consequently, when the Pentagon was hit at 9:37 a.m., the jets were further away from it than they’d been when they took off. According to witnesses on the ground, fighters did not arrive over the Pentagon until around 10:40 a.m.–more than an hour too late to protect it from the attack.
A close examination of publicly available accounts raises the possibility that deliberate attempts were made to sabotage the ability of the Langley jets to respond to the 9/11 attacks, thereby paralyzing normal, well-practiced procedures. In this article, I focus on three particular aspects of the jets’ response.
Firstly, I examine the initial order to launch F-16s from Langley AFB. Notably, instead of the usual two jets taking off, a third pilot took off in a spare jet. This left the unit with no supervisor of flying (SOF) to communicate with other agencies and pass on vital information to the pilots.… Continue reading
May 27, 2009
A new article in U.S. News & World Report quotes a couple of psychologists, one sociologist and one historian to argue that people who question the government’s version of 9/11 are prone to false thinking.
Initially, remember that, while there are many honorable psychologists and psychiatrists, psychologists helped to create the U.S. torture program, and actively participated in it.
Moreover, many mental health professionals have concluded that the official version of 9/11 is false, and that those who believe the official version suffer from emotional problems or defense mechanisms. For example:
By James Ridgeway
Sun May 24, 2009
Say what you will about Dick Cheney, at least he’s consistent. While he was in office, the Vice President made a practice of exploiting the fear and loss wrought by the 9/11 attacks to advance his own political agenda–and he’s still doing it now. During his speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday, according to Dana Milbank’s calculations in the Washington Post, “Cheney used the word ‘attack’ 19 times, ‘danger’ and ‘threat’ six times apiece, and 9/11 an impressive 27 times.”
In this putative rebuttal to Obama speech on national security, Cheney described how he spent the morning of 9/11 “in a fortified White House command post,” receiving “the reports and images that so many Americans remember from that day,” and then declared:
In the years since, I’ve heard occasional speculation that I’m a different man after 9/11. I wouldn’t say that. But I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities.
Since he’s evoking his experience as a rationalization for torture, this might be a good time to review exactly what it was that Cheney was doing in the bunker on that terrible day. Here again, consistency is the rule: A preponderance of evidence points to the fact that Dick Cheney spent the morning of September 11, 2001, violating the Constitution of the United States.
Continued at the source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/05/cheneys-bunker-mentality…Continue reading
Peter Dale Scott
Here is an excerpt from the text of what Cheney said at the American Enterprise Institute on May 21, 2009:
“For me, one of the defining experiences was the morning of 9/11 itself. As you might recall, I was in my office in that first hour, when radar caught sight of an airliner heading toward the White House at 500 miles an hour. That was Flight 77, the one that ended up hitting the Pentagon. With the plane still inbound, Secret Service agents came into my office and said we had to leave, now. A few moments later I found myself in a fortified White House command post somewhere down below.
There in the bunker came the reports and images that so many Americans remember from that day – word of the crash in Pennsylvania, the final phone calls from hijacked planes, the final horror for those who jumped to their death to escape burning alive. In the years since, I’ve heard occasional speculation that I’m a different man after 9/11. I wouldn’t say that. But I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities.”
The first radar sighting of a plane approaching Washington was at 9:21 AM. In other words Cheney has confirmed his first account (and ours) that he was taken from his office earlier than 9:36 AM (as claimed in the… Continue reading
by Chris George
May 19, 2009
The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today that the White House Office of Administration (OA) does not need to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith, writing for the 3-0 majority, concluded: “the Office of Administration is not [covered by FOIA] because it performs only operational and administrative tasks in support of the President and his staff and therefore, under our precedent, lacks substantial independent authority.”
The Office of Administration, “which handles personnel, technology and financial support for the White House,” had complied with FOIA for much of its history, “until 2007, when the Bush Administration abruptly asserted that the office was exempt.” The reversal prompted a lawsuit in August 2007 from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) after millions of Bush White House e-mails were allegedly lost.
CREW filed a FOIA request seeking “records about the EOP’s e-mail management system, reports analyzing potential problems with the system, records of retained e-mails and possibly missing ones, documents discussing plans to find the missing e-mails, and proposals to institute a new e-mail record system.” Initially, CREW and OA agreed on a time table for the release of these records, but shortly thereafter the Bush administration claimed that the office was exempt from FOIA. The administration’s position was that the administrative support and services provided by the OA to the Executive Office of the President placed it “outside FOIA’s definition of ‘agency.'”… Continue reading