Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence committees respectively, went on CNN’s Sunday talk show yesterday to put fear into the hearts of Americans. They told us we are in more danger now than ever and the obvious corollary to this is that Americans need to take their fear of government and redirect it to nameless and faceless terrorists who are out to destroy us.
“There are new bombs, very big bombs,” Feinstain warned, “that go through (metal-detecting) magnetometers.” She warned of “huge malevolence out there.” This puts “enormous pressure” on our intelligence community, Rogers added, which means Americans have to lay off the NSA because they “are not the bad guys.”
In other words, the NSA is not your enemy. Really, it isn’t. The government is just protecting us from foreign bogeymen that are the real danger.
The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv reported [in April 2008] that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.
“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.”
Netanyahu reportedly made the comments during a conference at Bar-Ilan University on the division of Jerusalem as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Guantánamo’s military tribunals were not created to try crimes, but to hide them. This system was set up to ensure that the U.S. government’s torture program would never face trial, and so far it has succeeded. For the past decade, Guantánamo has been a parallel universe where information tainted by torture may be admitted as evidence, where the centuries-old attorney-client privilege is subject to arbitrary interference by military officials, and where people spend a decade or more waiting for a day in court.
- Eric Holder: 9/11 Suspects ‘Would Be on Death Row’ If Not for Politics
- Doctors: Force-Feedings at Guantanamo Have Been Used to Break Political Protests, Not Save Lives
- Torture Permanently Damages Normal Perception of Pain
- Obama meets with newly appointed Pentagon, State Department envoys on closing Guantanamo Bay
- CIA’s Resistance to 6,300-Page Report on the Agency’s Use of Torture
- Lawyers want Obama to declassify CIA prison program
- Commission finds ‘systematic violation of human rights’ at Guantanamo Bay
Two students from the University of Chester have apologised after they entered a Halloween fancy dress competition in costumes depicting the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers.
Amber Langford and Annie Collinge, both 19, were even awarded first prize at Rosies nightclub in Chester, winning £150 in shopping vouchers.
Yet they have been criticised today by relatives of those who died when two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001, after their picture was published on the front page of The Sun under the headline: “Towering stupidity”.
[...] In 1995, the New York Times ran an article headlined “Emerging role for the CIA: Economic Spy.” It explained that industrial espionage was increasingly important in a post-Cold War world.
Spying on allies for economic advantage is a crucial new assignment for the C.I.A. now that American foreign policy is focused on commercial interests abroad. President Clinton made economic intelligence a high priority of his Administration, specifically information to protect and defend American competitiveness, technology and financial security in a world where an economic crisis can spread across global markets in minutes.
“The national security review highlighted the dramatic[ally] increased importance of international economic affairs as an intelligence issue,” Robert Gates, then-director of the Central Intelligence Agency, stated in a speech in 1992. “Nearly 40 percent of the new requirements are economic in nature. The most senior policymakers of the government clearly see that many of the most important challenges and opportunities through and beyond the end of this decade are in the international economic arena.”
In this sense, the NSA is an instrument intended to serve the interests of centralized political and economic power in Washington. The corporate interests that are and always have been colluding with the state to rig the game in their favor are especially benefitted, as is the power and repute of self-serving politicians.
The National Security Agency advised its officials to cite the 9/11 attacks as justification for its mass surveillance activities, according to a master list of NSA talking points.
The document – obtained by Al Jazeera through a Freedom of Information Act request – contains talking points and suggested statements for NSA officials (PDF) responding to the fallout from media revelations that originated with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Invoking the events of 9/11 to justify the controversial NSA programs, which have caused major diplomatic fallout around the world, was the top item on the talking points agency officials were encouraged to use.
Under the sub-heading, “Sound Bites that Resonate,” the document suggests the statement: “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.”
The federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has for the first time paid out cash awards for cancer.
Two claimants — one with bladder cancer, one with urinary-tract cancer — will receive “substantial amounts,” with one award exceeding $1 million, VCF special master Sheila Birnbaum told The Post.
“They are only the first. There are going to be many more,” Birnbaum said.
At least 1,000 cancer claims are in the pipeline, she added.
A little government shut-down wasn’t going to deter Army Colonel James Pohl. While most federal employees were furloughed, the judge presiding over the 9/11 case at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions on Tuesday insisted the pre-trial hearings continue apace despite Pentagon computer malfunctions that have compromised defense lawyers’ confidentiality obligations and drastically compounded the difficulties involved in preparing their clients’ defenses.
Just two weeks ago, the Chief Defense Counsel for the Office of Military Commissions testified at the Guantanamo Bay courtroom that since January, defense lawyers’ computer files and e-mails had been searched by unknown U.S. government officials, their internet searches had been tracked and hundreds of thousands of computer files and e-mail messages had mysteriously disappeared. Although some have since been retrieved, about seven gigabytes of investigative case files remain missing. Lawyers still don’t know whether their e-mails are being sent, or even if they are receiving case-related communications from the judge.
[...] In April, concerned that defense lawyers were unable to fulfill their ethical obligations to their clients to keep their communications confidential, Mayberry instructed her legal teams not to use the Pentagon-provided computer system.
- At Guantanamo, defense attorneys complain of ‘monitoring’ of their Internet activities (Washington Post)
- Guantanamo Soldiers Get 9/11 History Lessons To Keep Terrorist Attacks Fresh In Minds (Huffington Post)
- Who has more info: Guantanamo lawyers or Hollywood? (Miami Herald)
- Guantanamo defence lawyers ask to restrict CIA’s use of information in 9/11 case (Daily Times)
- Defense seeks to dismiss some of the charges in 9/11 case at Guantanamo (AP)
- Guantánamo judge makes secret ruling on secret motion in secret hearing (Miami Herald)
- Lawyer says guards gave ’50 Shades of Grey’ to Guantanamo prisoner charged in 9-11 attacks (AP)
Newly Declassified Government Documents: Pre 9/11 Bin Laden Hijack Plot Was Ignored By US Intelligence
File this under 9/11 government prior knowledge with the mountains of other examples from the past twelve years. Newly uncovered government documents show that the US government ignored a specific warning in 2000 that Al Qaeda planned to hijack a commercial airliner headed for the US.
After eleven years, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the country’s military intelligence arm, has released documents to watchdog group Judicial Watch, that show the warning was ignored because “nobody believed that Usama bin Laden’s organization or the Taliban could carry out such an operation.”
Judicial Watch notes that the documents “reveal that Al Qaeda had a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The hijack team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen and their targets were U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.”
Judicial Watch requested the material in May 2002 as part of its Terrorism Research and Analysis Project.
The group notes that the files are very rich in detail and show that the US government had intricate operational information, even down to names, addresses and phone numbers of the terrorist operatives, based in Frankfurt, Germany.
The documents show that the plot was being directed by a prominent Saudi with direct ties to the Saudi royal family, operating in conjunction with Qaeda, Taliban and Chechen terrorist cells in Hamburg and Frankfurt, one of which was being headed by lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta.
Judicial Watch’s analysis also notes that the US government had intelligence indicating that Al Qaeda had gotten an operative on the inside of the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to provide EU visas to be used in forged Pakistani passports.
The watchdog group notes that “information about the plot came from an unidentified human intelligence source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing details of the Al Qaeda plot.”
- 9/11 Timeline (History Commons)
- New Never Before Seen Footage Of 9/11 Will Give You Chills (Policy Mic)
A newly released national poll shows that 48 percent of Americans either have some doubts about the official account of 9/11, or do not believe it at all.
The FBI circular entitled “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Sleepers” says that people who should be ‘considered suspicious’ of possible involvement in “terrorist activity” include those who hold the “attitude” described as ” Conspiracy theories about Westerners.” The circular continues: “e.g. (sic) the CIA arranged for 9/11 to legitimize the invasion of foreign lands.”
- Another Nineteen: Kevin Ryan on the Legitimate 9/11 Suspects (GRTV)
- 9/11 Cancers Killing First Responders (Breaking the Set)
- Ex-EPA Head Christine Todd Whitman Denies Misleading Public Over Environmental Dangers After 9/11 (Democracy NOW!)
- 9/11 Press for Truth (Documentary)
- Cornel West ‘still uncertain’ about 9/11 ‘Truther’ movement (Raw Story)
- ’9/11 was an inside job’: Italian MP in parliament (Hang the Bankers)
I’m starting to think we overreacted to the terrorism thing.
It hit me last year as I was standing in the naked airport scanner again, listening to the faint gasps and then applause from the monitoring booth, and realized that I wouldn’t put up with that hassle to ward off the threat of, say, lightning. You know, like if scientists had figured out that you could reduce the already miniscule chance of being struck by merely standing outside and showing God your dick.
Anyway, that made me look back at the lessons we’ve learned in the 12 years since the 9/11 attacks, and I’ve got to say, it’s not encouraging. For instance, we found out that …
On September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush declared a “state of emergency,”granting himself nine additional “emergency” powers, mostly centered on increasing the size of the military and mobilizing for war. On September 23 of that year, he granted himself broad additional powers to regulate economic transactions abroad.
The state of emergency was supposed to last a year, and President Bush dutifully, every single year, extended the state for another year. Today, President Obama did the same, securing yet another year in which America is in a state of official “emergency.”
The decision came off without much fanfare, likely because it undermines the official narrative that the global war on terror is either over or coming to an end shortly.
The president’s claims of emergency have long since lost any semblance of relation to actual, imminent threats against targets inside the US, though at this point the idea that a president can unilaterally grant himself additional powers as he sees fit simply by saying “emergency” must seem like a foolish decision, and it’s hard to imagine Obama, or any future president, willingly relinquishing it.
‘Abby Martin speaks with Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies and author of ‘Another 19′, a book that explores 19 alternative suspects that he alleges had the real means and motive to pull off the 9/11 attacks.’
Accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators were back before a military judge at Guantánamo on Monday as lawyers began a week-long series of hearings to decide unresolved legal issues in advance of the still-unscheduled war crimes trial.
Pending before the court are matters related to the protection of classified information, alleged government invasion of the attorney-client privilege, and the severity of the conditions of the defendants’ pre-trial confinement in a secret wing of the US terror detention facility, among others.
The proceedings were monitored by reporters at Guantánamo and via a live broadcast at Fort Meade in Maryland.
During the hearing, Mr. Mohammed sat at the defense table dressed in a green military-style camouflage jacket and white turban. Much of his lower face was concealed beneath a thick red beard.
He appeared alert and engaged in the proceeding.
The session marked the fifth time lawyers for the five defendants have squared off against military prosecutors since May 2012, when the defendants were formally charged with nearly 3,000 counts of murder and other crimes related to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The US government is seeking the death penalty for all five defendants.
Much of the legal wrangling is over how to handle classified information.
- A visit to Guantanamo’s secretive Camp 7 (BBC)
- 9/11 defendant leaves Guantánamo hearing, citing ‘psychological torture’ (CS Monitor)
- Lawyer in 9/11 case questions whether U.S. Guantanamo interrogation was voluntary (Reuters)
- Guantanamo prosecutors want September 2014 trial for 9/11 case (Reuters)
- 9/11 lawyer to challenge secret Guantanamo camp (WDEF12)
- Some of Guantanamo’s hardest cases to get new look (AP)
- Malaria drug overused on Guantanamo Bay prisoners? (Al Jazeera)
We already knew that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the apparent mastermind of the Boston Marathon bombing, “took an interest in Infowars,” the website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, but now the BBC’s investigative program Panorama reports that Tsarnaev had literature espousing all manner of anti-government conspiracy theories and even white supremacism.
After a months-long investigation into the bombing, including exclusive interviews with friends of Tamerlan and his brother Dzhokhar, Panorama found that Tsarnaev had articles claiming that both 9/11 and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing were perpetrated by the government, while another warned about “the rape of our gun rights.” The brother also subscribed to publications espousing white supremacy, including one that stated that “Hitler had a point.”
It complicates the picture of the Tsarnaev brothers presented in the media as simple home-grown jihadis, inspired by violent Muslim groups like al-Qaida.
The BBC describes the literature as “right-wing,” but it’s actually much more complicated than that. Tsarnaev illustrates how 21st century anti-government conspiracism melts down typical ideological barriers in a postmodern stew of various radicalisms, united by a common deep distrust of the government.
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev had right-wing extremist literature (BBC)
- Boston Bomber Linked With Right-Wing, ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (Infowars)
- Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I. (NY Times)
- BBC report on Bilderberg linking it with McVeigh, bin Laden (BBC)
- Father of Slain Tsarnaev Friend Will Sue FBI (Newser)
The owners of the World Trade Center were blocked Thursday from filing a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the two airlines whose hijacked planes brought down the twin towers.
The ruling from Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein came after a four-day trial where the doomed skyscrapers’ owners sought to sue for at least $3.5 billion in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
by JAKE MILLER
Global terrorist networks continue to pose a grave threat to the security of the United States, and any attempt by the United States to revert to a pre-9/11 security posture would be “very dangerous,” Republicans warned Thursday, seemingly criticizing the Obama administration’s stated desire to end the global war on terror and pull America back from its “perpetual wartime footing.”
Despite the recent spate of attacks planned by individuals and small groups, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, large terrorist syndicates like al Qaeda remain a deadly force. “The thought that we’ve conquered them would be exceedingly unrealistic and very, very dangerous,” he said. “We have by no means conquered well organized Islamic terrorist groups.”
“Whether we recognize that we are at war with them is almost completely irrelevant, because they are at war with us,” Giuliani continued, saying we should not “fool ourselves into a very, very dangerous state of denial.”
The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, reportedly asked his CIA captors if he could design a vacuum cleaner.
The Pakistan-born mechanical engineering graduate made the request during a period of detention in Romania in 2003, the Associated Press reports.
A former CIA official told the news agency that he used online guides to re-design the household appliance.
The CIA wanted to make sure its prisoners stayed sane, AP reported.
Time is running out for people exposed to toxins from the Sept. 11 terror attacks to register for health benefits.
As WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported, a deadline of Oct. 3 is looming for those who are sick or might become sick because of 9/11.
“After that date, you cannot sign up for the Victims Compensation Fund,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney told Haskell at a press conference at 7 World Trade Center on Monday.