Isha khan’s Weblog


The Road to Armageddon
February 27, 2010, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Socalled WarOnTerror, USA

The Road to Armageddon: The Insane Drive for American Hegemony Threatens Life on Earth

by Paul Craig Roberts    

The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.

I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously. 

How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.

The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.”

The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government officials will be notified that ‘Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code 18 (Sec. 2382) is a serious federal offense, which requires those with evidence of treason to act. The implications are enormous and may have profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial.”

There is now an organization, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth. At the main press conference in San Francisco, Eric Lawyer,the head of that organization, announced the firefighters’ support for the architects and engineers’ demands. He reported that no forensic investigation was made of the fires that are alleged to have destroyed the three buildings and that this failure constitutes a crime.

Mandated procedures were not followed, and instead of being preserved and investigated, the crime scene was destroyed. He also reported that there are more than one hundred first responders who heard and experienced explosions and that there is radio, audio and video evidence of explosions.

Also at the press conference, physicist Steven Jones presented the evidence of nano-thermite in the residue of the WTC buildings found by an international panel of scientists led by University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Professor Niels Harrit. Nano-thermite is a high-tech explosive/pyrotechnic capable of instantly melting steel girders.

Before we yell “conspiracy theory,” we should be aware that the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists offer no theory. They provide evidence that challenges the official theory. This evidence is not going to go away.

If expressing doubts or reservations about the official story in the 9/11 Commission Report makes a person a conspiracy theory kook, then we have to include both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and the Commission’s legal counsel, all of whom have written books in which they clearly state that they were lied to by government officials when they conducted their investigation, or, rather, when they presided over the investigation conducted by executive director Philip Zelikow, a member of President George W. Bush’s transition team and Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a co-author of Bush Secretary of State Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice

There will always be Americans who will believe whatever the government tells them no matter how many times they know the government has lied to them. Despite expensive wars that threaten Social Security and Medicare, wars based on non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, non-existent Saddam Hussein connections to al Qaida, non-existent Afghan participation in the 9/11 attacks, and the non-existent Iranian nukes that are being hyped as the reason for the next American war of aggression in the Middle East, more than half of the U.S. population still believes the fantastic story that the government has told them about 9/11, a Muslim conspiracy that outwitted the entire Western world.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter to these Americans how often the government changes its story. For example, Americans first heard of Osama bin Laden because the Bush regime pinned the 9/11 attacks on him. Over the years video after video was served up to the gullible American public of bin Laden’s pronouncements. Experts dismissed the videos as fakes, but Americans remained their gullible selves. Then suddenly last year a new 9/11 “mastermind” emerged to take bin Laden’s place, the captive Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the detainee waterboarded 183 times until he confessed to mastermining the 9/11 attack.

In the Middle Ages confessions extracted by torture constituted evidence, but self-incrimination has been a no-no in the U.S. legal system since our founding. But with the Bush regime and the Republican federal judges, whom we were assured would defend the U.S. Constitution, the self-incrimination of Sheik Mohammed stands today as the only evidence the U.S. government has that Muslim terrorists pulled off 9/11.

If a person considers the feats attributed to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, they are simply unbelievable. Sheik Mohammed is a more brilliant, capable superhero than V in the fantasy movie, “V for Vendetta.”  Sheik Mohammed outwitted all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies along with those of all U.S. allies or puppets, including Israel’s Mossad. No intelligence service on earth or all of them combined was a match for Sheik Mohammed. 

Sheik Mohammed outwitted the U.S. National Security Council, Dick Cheney, the Pentagon, the State Department, NORAD, the U.S. Air Force, and Air Traffic Control.

He caused Airport Security to fail four times in one morning. He caused the state-of-the-art air defenses of the Pentagon to fail, allowing a hijacked airliner, which was off course all morning while the U.S. Air Force, for the first time in history, was unable to get aloft intercepter aircraft, to crash into the Pentagon. 

Sheik Mohammed was able to perform these feats with unqualified pilots.

Sheik Mohammed, even as a waterboarded detainee, has managed to prevent the FBI from releasing the many confiscated videos that would show, according to the official story, the hijacked airliner hitting the Penagon.

How naive do you have to be to believe that any human, or for that matter Hollywood fantasy character, is this powerful and capable?

If Sheik Mohammed has these superhuman capabilities, how did the incompetent Americans catch him? This guy is a patsy tortured into confession in order to keep the American naifs believing the government’s conspiracy theory. 

What is going on here is that the U.S. government has to bring the 9/11 mystery to an end. The government must put on trial and convict a culprit so that it can close the case before it explodes. Anyone waterboarded 183 times would confess to anything.

The U.S. government has responded to the evidence being arrayed against its outlandish 9/11 conspiracy theory by redefining the war on terror from external to internal enemies. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on February 21  that American extremists are now as big a concern as international terrorists. Extremists, of course, are people who get in the way of the government’s agenda, such as the 1,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group used to be 100, now it is 1,000. What if it becomes 10,000?

Cass Sunstein, an Obama regime official, has a solution for the 9/11 skeptics: Infiltrate them and provoke them into statements and actions that can be used to discredit or to arrest them. But get rid of them at all cost.

Why employ such extreme measures against alleged kooks if they only provide entertainment and laughs? Is the government worried that they are on to something?

Instead, why doesn’t the U.S. government simply confront the evidence that is presented and answer it?  

If the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists are merely kooks, it would be a simple matter to acknowledge their evidence and refute it.  Why is it necessary to infiltrate them with police agents and to set them up?

Many Americans would reply that “their” government would never even dream of killing Americans by hijacking airliners and destroying buildings in order to advance a government agenda. But on February 3, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. government can assassinate its own citizens when they are overseas. No arrest, trial, or conviction of a capital crime is necessary.  Just straight out murder. 

Obviously, if the U.S. government can murder its citizens abroad it can murder them at home, and has done so. For example, 100 Branch Davidians were murdered in Waco, Texas, by the Clinton administration for no legitimate reason. The government just decided to use its power knowing that it could get away with it, which it did.

Americans who think “their” government is some kind of morally pure operation would do well to familiarize themselves with Operation Northwoods. Operation Northwoods was a plot drawn up by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff for the CIA to commit acts of terrorism in American cities and fabricate evidence blaming Castro so that the U.S. could gain domestic and international support for regime change in Cuba. The secret plan was nixed by President John F. Kennedy and was declassified by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. It is available online in the National Security Archive. There are numerous online accounts available, including Wikipedia. James Bamford’s book, Body of Secrets, also summarizes the plot: 

“Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman [Gen. Lemnitzer] and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.”

Prior to 9/11 the American neoconservatives were explicit that the wars of aggression that they intended to launch in the Middle East required “a new Pearl Harbor.”

For their own good and that of the wider world, Americans need to pay attention to the growing body of experts who are telling them that the government’s account of 9/11 fails their investigation. 9/11 launched the neoconservative plan for U.S. world hegemony. As I write the U.S. government is purchasing the agreement of foreign governments that border Russia to accept U.S. missile interceptor bases. The U.S. intends to ring Russia with U.S. missile bases from Poland through central Europe and Kosovo to Georgia, Azerbaijan and central Asia. [see www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17709 ]  U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke declared on February 20 that al Qaida is moving into former central Asian constituent parts of the Soviet Union, such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Holbrooke is soliciting U.S. bases in these former Soviet republics under the guise of the ever-expanding “war on terror.”

The U.S. has already encircled Iran with military bases. The U.S. government intends to neutralize China by seizing control over the Middle East and cutting China off from oil. 

This plan assumes that Russia and China, nuclear armed states, will be intimidated by U.S. anti-missile defenses and acquiesce to U.S. hegemony and that China will lack oil for its industries and military.

The U.S. government is delusional. Russian military and political leaders have responded to the obvious threat by declaring NATO a direct threat to the security of Russia and by announcing a change in Russian war doctrine to the pre-emptive launch of nuclear weapons. The Chinese are too confident to be bullied by a washed up American “superpower.”

The morons in Washington are pushing the envelop of nuclear war. The insane drive for American hegemony threatens life on earth. The American people, by accepting the lies and deceptions of “their” government, are facilitating this outcome.

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17821

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Fort Hood: A media orgy of rumors, speculation and falsehoods
November 22, 2009, 11:08 am
Filed under: Muslims, Socalled WarOnTerror, USA
Fort Hood: A media orgy of rumors, speculation and falsehoods
Much of the initial coverage turned out to be wrong. Is there anything wrong with that?
by Glenn Greenwald

Last night, right-wing blogger (and law professor) Glenn Reynolds promoted this media analysis from right-wing blogger (and Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney) Patterico regarding coverage of the Fort Hood shootings.  Patterico wrote:  “Whenever there is breaking news, it’s good to keep a few things in mind: . . . Always follow Allahpundit” — referring to one of the two bloggers at Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air site.
Upon reading that, I went to Hot Air to read what he had written, and it’s actually quite revealing — not in terms of what it reveals about Hot Air (that topic wouldn’t warrant a post) but, rather, what it reveals about major media coverage of these sorts of events.  Allahpundit’s post consists of a very thorough, contemporaneous, and — at times — appropriately skeptical chronicling of what major media outlets were reporting about the Fort Hood attack, combined with his passing along of much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.

 

It’s worth focusing on what the major media did last night, and one can use the Hot Air compilation to examine that.  I understand that in the early stages of significant and complex news stories, it’s to be expected that journalists will have incomplete and even inaccurate information.  It’s unreasonable to expect them to avoid errors entirely.  The inherently confusing nature of a mass shooting like this, combined with the need to rely on second-hand or otherwise unreliable sources (including, sometimes, official ones), will mean that even conscientious reporters end up with inaccurate information in cases like this.  That’s all understandable and inevitable.

But shouldn’t there be some standards governing what gets reported and what is held back?  Particularly in a case like this — which, for obvious reasons, has the potential to be quite inflammatory on a number of levels — having the major media “report” completely false assertions as fact can be quite harmful.  It’s often the case that perceptions and judgments about stories like this solidify in the first few hours after one hears about it.  The impact of subsequent corrections and clarifications pale in comparison to the impressions that are first formed.  Despite that, one false and contradictory claim after the next was disseminated last night by the establishment media with regard to the core facts of the attack.  Here are excerpts from Allahpundit’s compilation, virtually all of which — except where indicated — came from large news outlets:

Number of shooters

The fact that at least three gunmen are involved already has Shuster and Miklaszewski mentioning similarities to the Fort Dix Six plot on MSNBC . . . two of the gunmen are still at large and one has fired shots at the SWAT team on the scene . . . . New details from CNN: One gunman “neutralized,” one “cornered,” no word on the third. . . . Whether there are two shooters or three seems to be in dispute at the moment, but there’s certainly more than one:  The second shooting on the base evidently occurred at a theater. . . . Fox News says there are reports that the men were dressed in fatigues. . . . MSNBC TV says two shooters are in custody now. . . . it sounds like both shooters are military . . .According to MSNBC, there were three shooters. . . In case you’re wondering whether the other two soldiers in custody were actual accomplices or just being questioned because they knew Hasan, Rick Perry just said at the presser he’s holding that all three were shooters. . . . Hearing rumblings on Twitter right now that Perry was wrong and that the two other “suspects” have now been released. Was Hasan, in fact, a lone gunman? . . . . According to the general conducting the briefing going on right now, he appears to be a lone gunman.

The fate of the shooter

One of the shooters is dead. . . One is dead, two more are in custody. Has there ever been a case of “battle stress” that involved a conspiracy by multiple people? . . . So poor and fragmented have the early media reports about this been that only now, after 9 p.m. ET, do we learn that … Hasan’s still alive. He’s in stable condition.

The weapons used

M-16s involved: . . . From the local Fox affiliate, how it all went down. Evidently McClatchy’s report of M-16s was wrong:

The shooter’s background

According to Brian Ross at ABC, Hasan was a convert to Islam. . . . Contra Brian Ross, the AP says it’s unclear what Hasan’s religion was or whether he was a convert. . . . Apparently, one of Hasan’s cousins just told Shep that he’s always been Muslim, not a recent convert. . . .

I’m hearing on Twitter that Fox interviewed one of his neighbors within the last half-hour or so and that the neighbor claims Hasan was handing out Korans just this morning. Does anyone have video? . . . . “Brenda Price of KUSJ reported to Greta at 10:33: ‘also, the latest I am hearing, this morning, apparently according to his neighbors, he was walking around kind of giving out his possessions, giving away his furniture, handing out the Koran…'” . . .: Evidently CNN is airing surveillance footage from a convenience store camera taken this just morning showing Hasan in a traditional Muslim cap and robe. . . “A former neighbor of Hasan’s in Silver Spring, Md. told Fox News he lived there for two years with his brother and had the word ‘Allah’ on the door.”

Miscellaneous claims

Good lord — there’s a report from BNO News on Twitter that new shooting is being heard on the base. . . . For what it’s worth, an eyewitness report of Arabic being shouted during the attack: . . .Federal law enforcement officials say the suspected Fort Hood, Texas, shooter had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats. . . . The $64,000 questions: What was he doing at Fort Hood among the population if he thought suicide bombers were heroes?

Isn’t it clear that anyone following all of that as it unfolded would have been more misinformed than informed?

The New York Times‘ Robert Mackey did an equally comprehensive job of live-blogging the media reports, and his contemporaneous compilation reflects many of these same glaring errors in the coverage:  “CNN reports that two military sources say that the second gunman at Fort Hood is ‘cornered’ . . . Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison told Fox 4 News in Texas that one shooter was in custody and ‘another is still at large’ . . . CNN’s Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports that 12 people have been killed and up to 30 wounded. One of the dead is said to have been one of the gunmen. . . . Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, just revealed that earlier reports that the suspected gunman, Major Nidal Hasan, had been killed were incorrect. Major Hasan was wounded but remains alive.”
Perhaps most irresponsible of all is the unverified claim that Hasan had written on the Internet in defense of suicide attacks by Muslims, even though the origins of those writings are entirely unverified.  Similarly, certain news organizations — like NPR — used anonymous sources to disseminate inflammatory claims about Hasan’s prior troubles allegedly grounded in activism on behalf of Islam.  Much of this may turn out to be true once verified, or it may not be, but all of the conflicting, unverified claims flying around last night enabled many people to exploit the “facts” they selected in order to create whatever storyline that suited them and their political preconceptions — and many, of course, took vigorous advantage of that opportunity.

I’m obviously ambivalent about the issues of media responsibility raised by all of this.  It’s difficult to know exactly how the competing interests should be balanced — between disclosing what one has heard in an evolving news story and ensuring some minimal level of reliability and accuracy.  But whatever else is true, news outlets — driven by competitive pressures in the age of instant “reporting” — don’t really seem to recognize the need for this balance at all.  They’re willing to pass on anything they hear without regard to reliability — to the point where I automatically and studiously ignore the first day or so of news coverage on these events because, given how these things are “reported,” it’s simply impossible to know what is true and what isn’t.  In fact, following initial media coverage on these stories is more likely to leave one misled and confused than informed.  Conversely, the best way to stay informed is to ignore it all — or at least treat it all with extreme skepticism — for at least a day.

The problem, though, is that huge numbers of people aren’t ignoring it.  They’re paying close attention — and they’re paying the closest attention, and forming their long-term views, in the initial stages of the reporting.  Many people will lose their interest once the drama dissolves — i.e., once the actual facts emerge.  Put another way, a large segment of conventional wisdom solidifies based on misleading and patently false claims coming from major media outlets.  I don’t know exactly how to define what the balance should be, but particularly for politically explosive stories like this one, it seems clear that media outlets ought to exercise far more restraint and fact-checking rigor than they do.  As it is, it’s an orgy of rumor-mongering, speculation and falsehoods that play a very significant role in shaping public perceptions and enabling all sorts of ill-intentioned exploitation.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15948



Tariq Mehanna: Obama’s Latest Muslim Target
November 22, 2009, 11:03 am
Filed under: Muslims, Socalled WarOnTerror, USA
Tariq Mehanna: Obama’s Latest Muslim Target
by Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11, Muslims have been victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and charity. They’ve been targeted, hunted down, rounded up, held in detention, kept in isolation, denied bail, restricted in their right to counsel, tried on secret evidence, convicted on bogus charges, given long sentences, then incarcerated for extra harsh treatment as political prisoners in segregated Communication Management Units (CMUs) in violation of US Prison Bureau regulations and the Supreme Court’s February 2005 Johnson v. California decision.

An October 21 FBI press release announced Tariq (mispelled Tarek) Mehanna as its most recent target saying:

“A Sudbury, Mass. man was charged today in federal court with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists.”

The FBI alleged that from “about 2001 and continuing until (about) May 2008, Mehanna conspired with Ahmad Abousamra and others to provide material support and resources for use in carrying out a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, main or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country and extraterritorial homicide of a US national.”

With no substantiating evidence, “Mehanna and coconspirators (were accused of having) discussed their desire to participate in violent jihad against American interests and that they would talk about fighting jihad and their desire to die on the battlefield. (They also) attempted to radicalize others and inspire each other by, among other things, watching and distributing jihadi videos. (In addition), Mehanna and two of his associates traveled to the Middle East in February 2004, seeking military-type training at a terrorist training camp (to) prepare them for armed jihad….including (against) US and allied forces in Iraq….(One) of Mehanna’s coconspirators made two similar trips to Pakistan in 2002.”

“….Mehanna and the coconspirators had multiple conversations about obtaining automatic weapons (from a Mr. Maldonado, now serving a 10-year sentence for training with Al Queda in Somalia) and randomly shooting people in a shopping mall, and that the conversations went so far as to discuss the logistics of a mall attack, including coordination, weapons needed and the possibility of attacking emergency responders.”

Yet no attack occurred. None ever was likely planned, but according to the FBI, it was because no automatic weapons could be obtained even though legal semi-automatic ones are freely sold and illegal automatic ones easily gotten.

The web site eastcoastfirearms.com lists for sale numerous ones, including AK-47 (Kalashnikov) assault rifles, AR-15/M16 type rifles, Uzi assault weapons, LWRC M6A2s called the most modern carbine rifle in the world, and various others with considerable firepower.

“Mehanna was previously indicted in January 2009 for making false statements to members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI in connection with a terrorism investigation. If convicted on the material support charge, (he) faces up to 15 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.”

Federal Judge Leo Sorokin ordered Mehanna held without bail pending his next court hearing on October 30. After his ruling, his attorney, JW Carney, Jr. said:

“This is the type of case that challenges our commitment and faith in the United States Constitution. Our country is respected around the world because we presume people are innocent, and we require the government to prove its allegations in open court at trial.”

Mr. Carney will soon discover how prosecutors use secret evidence, paid informants, and will go to any lengths to intimidate juries to convict, regardless of a defendant’s guilt or innocence, especially targeted Muslims charged with intent to commit or provide material support for terrorism.

According to the Bureau, Mehanna and his “coconspirators” used code words like “peanut and jelly” to mean fighting in Somalia and “culinary school” for terrorist camps, but perhaps they said precisely what they meant, and what proof suggests otherwise.

The FBI also claimed when they weren’t able to join terror groups in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan, the 2002 Washington-area sniper shootings inspired them to attack shopping malls instead as well as two (unnamed) former executive branch members.

Mehanna is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy where his father, Ahmed, is a professor. They reside in Sudbury, MA, an affluent Boston suburb.

Neighbors expressed shock by the news. Chafic Maalouf called Mehanna “very sweet (and) soft-spoken. He seemed so harmless. He has a beard and a dark complexion, so to the average American he fits the terrorist profile. But if you look in his eyes, he seemed to be a very genuine, kind, loving person,” not a jihadist.

Paul McManus called him “everyday normal. When he was out walking, he was friendly (and) neighborly.” Another supporter said the FBI is “painting the wrong picture of the Muslim community” by targeting one of its up and coming members. Still others cited his work with youths as a teacher at the Islamic Center of Boston in Wayland, MA.

Abdul Cader Asmal, the Center’s former president, said he gave lectures at Friday services in Worchester, MA and translated poetic Arabic scriptures into English. Over time, he became dedicated to his beliefs as many people of all faiths do who plan no terrorist acts.

Ahmad AlFarsi defended Mehanna in a 2008 article following his previous arrest that’s pertinent to his current charges. At first, he hesitated “so as not to expose (his) privacy,” then felt he had to support his friend “since the media has already made his case and name public” and practically convicted him in the court of public opinion.

AlFarsi called him “one of the most gracious, kind, caring, thoughtful, and respectable people I have ever known….I have seen him go above above and beyond what most others would do to help others in need. Those who know him personally know exactly what I am talking about. I am sure any of his peers, Muslim or non-Muslim, would testify to his excellent character.”

He’s also been “very involved in the Muslim community. I remember many times that he would be giving halaqaat (Islamic lectures) in the local masjid (Muslim place of worship) on an Islamic text he was studying. And he helped many many other Muslims in the community come to the straight path….I’d also like to emphasize that he does not and never has supported nor been involved with terrorism, in any way whatsoever.”

Consider “the implications of this incident: we have another (Muslim man, an American citizen) with no previous criminal record of any kind, being held without bail (for now) in his own country….Such a tactic serves only to smear Muslims, and brings pain and suffering to him, his family, and his future,” and leaves all Muslims “fearful, marginalized, and unable to trust the authorities.”

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) October 20 Affidavit

JTTF Special Agent Heidi L. Williams assisted in the investigation of Mehanna, Ahmad Abousamra, and others, and presented alleged evidence to establish probable cause, but said “classified national security information” would remain secret, unavailable to the defense, and therefore beyond its capability to disprove.

Williams claimed Mehanna’s “Computer and its contents constitute evidence of the commission of a criminal offense, contraband, fruits of crime and things otherwise criminally possessed as well as property designed and intended for use, and that has been used, as a means of committing….criminal offense(s under US law).”

She also said “information set forth herein comes from two cooperating witnesses (‘CW1’ and ‘CW2′ – aka commonly used FBI informants to entrap). Both CWs provided information that was based on personal knowledge, including actions and statements by MEHANNA and ABOUSAMRA.” Their trial testimony will show “corroborative evidence in the form of consensually recorded conversations” with defendants and others. “Further evidence is provided by Daniel Maldonado, who was a friend of MEHANNA and ABOUSAMRA, and is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for Receiving Military-type Training from a Foreign Terrorist Organization (to wit: Al Qa’ ida….).”

“Additional information was obtained from a review of records of governmental agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and Department of State, Passport Office, as well as records of private entities, such as banks, airlines, telephone companies and internet service providers, and interviews of friends, relatives and acquaintances (of defendants).”

Williams cited more evidence from:

— Mehanna’s bedroom;

— a computer hard drive;

— “false information” he provided the JTTF with regard to his 2004 Yemen trip and knowledge of “Maldonado’s circumstances at the time of the interview;”

— recorded conversations in which “Mehanna admitted to other individuals that he lied to the FBI” regarding Maldonado;

— the November 2008 charge of lying about Maldonado during JTTF interrogations;

— the December 2006 charge that Abousamra lied during JTTF interrogations in claiming his 2004 Yemen trip was to study Arabic and Islam;

— Williams’ assertion that both defendants went to Yemen in 2004 “to learn how to conduct, and to subsequently engage in, jihad;” to Pakistan twice in 2002 for the same purpose;

— that defendants “continued in their efforts to train for jihad (and) received information and assistance from an individual (referred to) as Individual A, about who to see and where to go to find terrorist training camps in Yemen;”

— in February 2004, Abousamra also entered Iraq, stayed for about “15 days” and two months later went to Syria and Jordan before returning to the US in August 2004; he subsequently visited Syria “multiple times;” he “made fictitious and fraudulent statements to the FBI” that he went to Jordan to “look for colleges,” to Iraq “to look for a job” and to Syria “to visit his wife.”

The lengthy 55-page affidavit, plus attachments, also claimed:

— CW 2 was a coconspirator;

— Abousamra had “extremist views by citing Islamic teachings;”

— “the three men engaged in serious conversations about jihad;”

— they discussed “going to terrorist training camps in Pakistan (and) conducted logistical research on the internet pertaining to terrorist training camp locations and how to travel there, but no concrete plans materialized;” and

— extensive further allegations that defendants sought but never received terrorist training; that they wished to engage in jihad, but never did; and they subsequently “discussed logistics of a mall attack, including the types of weapons needed, the number of people who would be involved, and how to coordinate the attack from different entrances (but) Because of the logistical problems of executing the operation (and their inability to obtain the type weapons they wanted), the plan was abandoned.”

From all this, an observer might conclude there was no plan, no weapons, and no crime in what appears to be clear entrapment using a paid informant, a coconspirator CW 2, offering testimony in return for leniency, and Maldonado (imprisoned for 10 years) promised it as well for his cooperation. Nonetheless, under US conspiracy law, if prosecutors can convince juries that defendants words implied actions they can get convictions, especially when they cite terrorism and the urgency to prevent it at all costs, even if innocent victims are imprisoned for offenses they never committed of planned.

Mehanna Friends, Supporters, and Family Express Doubts about the Charges

With no previous criminal record, his friends and family call him a maturing Muslim community leader, a passionate writer, and a young man wanting a career in Saudi Arabia as a pharmacist, not a jihadist, even though he supports the right of oppressed peoples to resist as international law allows. In the Kingdom, he was promised good pay, generous benefits, and free trips home. He was boarding a plane in Boston en route when he was arrested.

In a summer 2009 interview with the Boston Globe and subsequent statements through his lawyer, he denied FBI allegations and accused federal investigators of targeting him with bogus charges because they wanted him as a government informant, pressured him to accede, but he refused and wouldn’t cooperate. That made him suspect, an enemy, and got him targeted.

The Dominant Media’s Jihad against Muslims

Whenever Muslims are charged, the dominant media provides support without ever questioning the legitimacy of accusations. As a result, innocent victims are vilified. They’re presumed guilty unless proved innocent. Fear is instilled in the public, while law enforcement officials are portrayed as public defenders, working to keep us safe from bad guys. Below are some samples of media bias:

— The New York Times headlined, “Mass. Man Arrested in Terrorism Case….The authorities said he had conspired to attack civilians at a shopping mall, American soldiers abroad and two members of the executive branch of the federal government.”

— AP called Mehanna “an Incompetent Wannabe” and practically accused him of “plotting to shoot up a mall, kill US troops fighting overseas, and assassinate US officials” here at home;

— Fox News highlighted the alleged plot, called Mehanna “Defiant in Court,” and said he was only foiled by being “unable to get into terror camps for training and failed to get access to automatic weapons;”

— the Wall Street Journal headlined the “Plots to Shoot Up Mall, Kill Federal Officials” by a man “out on bail (from an earlier unsubstantiated charge and) awaiting trial;”

— the Washington Post reported about the: “Massachusetts man arrested on terror charges” (for) conspiring to support terrorists by seeking training from Islamic extremist fighters overseas….”

— Time magazine offered a “two-minute bio” about an “Alleged US Terrorist….plann(ing) to carry out a ‘violent jihad’ by killing US politicians, (and) attack(ing) US shopping malls;”

— the Christian Science Monitor headlined how the “FBI traced Tarek Mehanna in his quest to become a jihadi” and practically accused him of “try(ing) to become a terrorist for eight years following the 9/11 attacks….;” and

— Jihad Watch, an Islamaphobic web site, called Mehanna “a Misunderstander of Islam,” then accused him of “plotting ‘violent jihad.’ “

Nowhere do major media or hate group reports suggest possible bogus charges, ulterior motives behind them, innocent people being targeted, secret evidence withheld to compromise a proper defense, intimidation of juries, or that everyone is presumed innocent unless proved guilty in fair and open proceedings with defendants having competent counsel.

According to muslimmatters.org after Mehanna’s 2008 arrest, the FBI was “Desperate for Results (so they) Arrest(ed a) US Citizen on Two-Year-Old (unsubstantiated) Charges” and got their usual scare headlines for support.

These comments followed his October 21 arrest:

“All of us here at MM believe, based on the facts that we know, that Tareq is innocent of the crimes that he has been accused of….MM is often on the front lines against disinformation about Islam, and actively seeks to counter the radicalization of Muslims.”

MM’s goal “is to educate readers about the fallacies and dangers of all types of extremism by promoting Orthodox Islam….we believe that Islamophobes are indirectly aiding and abetting terrorists’ recruiting efforts by fitting into their agenda and supporting their stereotypes.”

Many Muslims were shocked about the news on Mehanna. “It was generally thought (his 2008 charges were bogus) and that (he) had been falsely accused. After all, (post-9/11), the civil liberties of the Muslim American community had been slowly withered away by the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, the denial of the basic American right of habeas corpus, and unsavory tactics that targeted (Muslims) in general….we at MM” know his “reputation as a family man and a peaceful citizen” and presume he’s innocent “unless proven otherwise…. (We) remain highly skeptical that he was actually a ‘terrorist in disguise.’ ”

A Final Comment

More than any other ethnic-religious group, Western discourse has long portrayed Muslim/Arabs stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical, and violent.

According to Jack Shaheen’s book, “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People,” defaming them has been fair game throughout decades of cinematic history (from silent films to today’s blockbusters) as a way to foster prejudicial attitudes and reinforce notions of Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority.

Worse still are slanderous media characterizations of dangerous gun-toting terrorists who must rounded up and put away, never mind the rule of law, right or wrong, or whether those accused are guilty or innocent.

It’s no surprise why it’s dangerous to be Muslim in America at a time when we’re all as vulnerable as Tariq Mehanna.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday – Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15861



US unfurls Bangladesh minutes: Aug 15: Untold story
August 19, 2009, 10:24 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, India, USA

US unfurls Bangladesh minutes: Aug 15: Untold story

The New Nation – August 17, 2009

After killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975 Khandoker Mushtaque Ahmed government was worried about possible Indian military intervention in Bangladesh. David Corn US Consul General posted in Calcutta was instructed by US secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger to keep watch on General Jacob, the chief of the Indian Eastern Command. US Ambassador in Dhaka Davis Booster said, US Calcutta-based Consul General David Corn was adequately briefed in this regard.

The minutes of the US staff meeting on Bangladesh situation released recently said, the coup in Bangladesh had met a very little resistance. There is no sign of counter rebellion in any part of the country. The US had obtained the information from their separate network which was run by the aid workers. Booster said, it was imperative to let India know that Bangladesh was not declared Islamic republic as it was earlier presumed. Seventy-nine years-old Corn is now leading a retired life in Washington.

 

The just-released Bangladesh minutes of the US Foreign Ministry revealed that in a meeting in Calcutta on August 16, 1975 Gen Jacob asked US Consul Corn what more he had on the Bangladesh situation? Corn said, coup in Bangladesh was successful. Gen Jacob retorted, he had information that there were some disturbances outside Dhaka. Jacob said, Bangladesh had least chance of attaining stability adding there was still a possibility of counter-coup. He expressed his concern over declaration of Bangladesh as Islamic republic. When Gen Jacob was asked whether there was exodus of minority Hindus from Bangladesh, he parried the question and said they were watching the situation. David Corn said, he again met Jacob on August 24 at Fort William, the headquarter of Eastern Command.Jacob said, the Bangladesh situation appears to be peaceful. But he hastened to add that he had no source other than the media. When asked about movement of Indian troops around Bangladesh border he said, they were not regular troops. They are border security forces, he said. India has no concern on internal situation in Dhaka. India will be concerned if communal divide persists in Dhaka and there was fresh exodus of Hindus from Bangladesh. He ruled out any military intervention in Dhaka unless there was exodus of minority people from Bangladesh.Jacob told Corn that then President of Bangladesh Khandoker Mushtaque was known in India as pro-Pakistani and pro-Chinese.
William B Saxby, a former US senator and US ambassador in India, in his letter said, the situation in Bangladesh in any way should not be construed as a flick. Indian Press was barred from printing editorial on Bangladesh situation. Ninety three years old Saxby is living in Washington. Saxby wanted to know Indian stand on Bangladesh. Indian reply to Saxby’s query was that Mushtaque wanted to have some sort of adjustment with Pakistan during the liberation war. Now he will undoubtedly try to improve relation with Pakistan, the Indian reply said.
US said, the foreign policy of Bangladesh will remain mostly unchanged. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan can collectively contribute to restore peace in the sub-continent.Earlier India had apprehension that there would be a coup in Bangladesh. Even an Indian diplomat tried to ascertain that it could have been in August. He named a group of ‘disgruntled’ politicians led by Mushtaque behind the plot. He also named a sacked military official who could be Major Dalim behind the conspiracy.Dr Kamal Hossain, former foreign minister of Bangabandhu’s cabinet, in a recent TV interview said, the Bangabandhu was alerted by the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the sideline of NAM summit in Jamaica that there might have been destabilisation move in Dhaka and he may be the target. He brushed off the idea and said there was none in Dhaka who can kill him.
A minute of US staff meeting led by Kissinger revealed the US was aware of the plot to kill Mujib. They also alerted Mujib against the sinister move. Atherton, US Assistant Secretary said, the US had lot of indications in March that some quarters were plotting to kill Mujib. But he was little concerned about it. Kissinger remarked he was one of the world’s prize fools.
Atherton naming new Bangladesh leaders said, they are less pro-Indian unlike their predecessors. They did not change the name of Bangladesh as Islamic republic. But they had dropped securalism as state pillar.
Indian foreign minister Y B Chavan had a meeting with US secretary of state Kissinger on October 6 in 1975. Chavan told Kissinger that they were worried about the anti-Indian posture of Bangladesh. Kissinger wanted to know whether Bangladesh Army is anti-Indian. Chavan said, there was some anti-Indians in Bangladesh Army. India expressed her concern that China which had recognised Bangladesh for the first time after killing of Mujib may exploit the new situation in its favour. Chavan sought Kissinger’s good offices to put the thing on right tract. India also told Kissinger that they don’t want to have any exclusive relation with Bangladesh. But they will oppose a move to give Bangladesh an Islamic twist.Henry Byroad, the US Ambassador in Pakistan, in his update to Washington said, Pakistan seems to be over-enthusiastic in recognising the new government in Bangladesh. It was Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto who quickly secured Pakistani and Chinese recognition for the new government of Bangladesh.
US Ambassador Booster said, Mujib was getting isolated from the people very fast. People’s euphoria with the great leader seemed to be over. His telegrams to the State Deptt appear to have been carefully planned so that the course of events of the August 15 coup was not obstructed. Mujib’s regime began to suffer from despotic symptoms. Dynastic reasons were also attributed to his fall.


Osama Bin Laden worked for US until 9/11
August 7, 2009, 10:35 am
Filed under: Islam, SubContinent, USA

Osama Bin Laden worked for US until 9/11

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audio, partial transcript).

In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

As Sibel has previously described, and as she reiterates in this latest interview, this process involved using Turkey (with assistance from ‘actors from Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia’) as a proxy, which in turn used Bin Laden and the Taliban and others as a proxy terrorist army.

Control of Central Asia

The goals of the American ’statesmen’ directing these activities included control of Central Asia’s vast energy supplies and new markets for military products.

The Americans had a problem, though. They needed to keep their fingerprints off these operations to avoid a) popular revolt in Central Asia ( Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan), and b) serious repercussions from China and Russia. They found an ingenious solution: Use their puppet-state Turkey as a proxy, and appeal to both pan-Turkic and pan-Islam sensibilities.

Turkey, a NATO ally, has a lot more credibility in the region than the US and, with the history of the Ottoman Empire, could appeal to pan-Turkic dreams of a wider sphere of influence. The majority of the Central Asian population shares the same heritage, language and religion as the Turks.

In turn, the Turks used the Taliban and al Qaeda, appealing to their dreams of a pan-Islamic caliphate (Presumably. Or maybe the Turks/US just paid very well.)

According to Sibel:

This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.

Uighurs

Sibel was recently asked to write about the recent situation with the Uighurs in Xinjiang, but she declined, apart from saying that “our fingerprint is all over it.”

Of course, Sibel isn’t the first or only person to recognize any of this. Eric Margolis, one of the best reporters in the West on matters of Central Asia, stated that the Uighurs in the training camps in Afghanistan up to 2001:

“were being trained by Bin Laden to go and fight the communist Chinese in Xinjiang, and this was not only with the knowledge, but with the support of the CIA, because they thought they might use them if war ever broke out with China.”

And also that:

“Afghanistan was not a hotbed of terrorism, these were commando groups, guerrilla groups, being trained for specific purposes in Central Asia.”

In a separate interview, Margolis said:

“That illustrates Henry Kissinger’s bon mot that the only thing more dangerous than being America’s enemy is being an ally, because these people were paid by the CIA, they were armed by the US, these Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang, the most-Western province.

The CIA was going to use them in the event of a war with China, or just to raise hell there, and they were trained and supported out of Afghanistan, some of them with Osama Bin Laden’s collaboration. The Americans were up to their ears with this.”

Rogues Gallery

Last year, Sibel came up with a brilliant idea to expose some of the criminal activity that she is forbidden to speak about: she published eighteen photos, titled “Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery,” of people involved the operations that she has been trying to expose. One of those people is Anwar Yusuf Turani, the so-called ‘President-in-exile’ of East Turkistan (Xinjiang). This so-called ‘government-in-exile’ was ‘established‘ on Capitol Hill in September, 2004, drawing a sharp rebuke from China.

Also featured in Sibel’s Rogues Gallery was ‘former’ spook Graham Fuller, who was instrumental in the establishment of Turani’s ‘government-in-exile’ of East Turkistan. Fuller has written extensively on Xinjiang, and his “ Xinjiang Project” for Rand Corp is apparently the blueprint for Turani’s government-in-exile. Sibel has openly stated her contempt for Mr. Fuller.

Susurluk

The Turkish establishment has a long history of mingling matters of state with terrorism, drug trafficking and other criminal activity, best exemplified by the 1996 Susurluk incident which exposed the so-called Deep State.

Sibel states that “a few main Susurluk actors also ended up in Chicago where they centered ‘certain’ aspects of their operations (Especially East Turkistan-Uighurs).”

One of the main Deep State actors, Mehmet Eymur, former Chief of Counter-Terrorism for Turkey’s intelligence agency, the MIT, features in Sibel’s Rogues Gallery. Eymur was given exile in the US. Another member of Sibel’s gallery, Marc Grossman was Ambassador to Turkey at the time that the Susurluk incident exposed the Deep State. He was recalled shortly after, prior to the end of his assignment, as was Grossman’s underling, Major Douglas Dickerson, who later tried to recruit Sibel into the spying ring.

The modus operandi of the Susurluk gang is the same as the activities that Sibel describes as taking place in Central Asia, the only difference is that this activity was exposed in Turkey a decade ago, whereas the organs of the state in the US, including the corporate media, have successfully suppressed this story.

Chechnya, Albania & Kosovo

Central Asia is not the only place where American foreign policy makers have shared interests with Bin Laden. Consider the war in Chechnya. As I documented here, Richard Perle and Stephen Solarz (both in Sibel’s gallery) joined other leading neocon luminaries such as Elliott Abrams, Kenneth Adelman, Frank Gaffney, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, and Morton Abramowitz in a group called the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). For his part, Bin Laden donated $25 million to the cause, as well as numerous fighters, and technical expertise, establishing training camps.

US interests also converged with those of al-Qaeda in Kosovo and Albania.

Of course, it is not uncommon for circumstances to arise where ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ On the other hand, in a transparent democracy, we expect a full accounting of the circumstances leading up to a tragic event like 9/11. The 9/11 Commission was supposed to provide exactly that.

State Secrets

Sibel has famously been dubbed the most gagged woman in America, having the State Secrets Privilege imposed on her twice. Her 3.5 hour testimony to the 9/11 Commission has been entirely suppressed, reduced to a single footnote which refers readers to her classified testimony.

In the interview, she says that the information that was classified in her case specifically identifies that the US was using Bin Laden and the Taliban in Central Asia, including Xinjiang. In the interview, Sibel reiterates that when invoking the gag orders, the US government claims that it is protecting ” ’sensitive diplomatic relations,’ protecting Turkey, protecting Israel, protecting Pakistan, protecting Saudi Arabia…” This is no doubt partially true, but it is also true that they are protecting themselves too, and it is a crime in the US to use classification and secrecy to cover up crimes.

As Sibel says in the interview:

I have information about things that our government has lied to us about… those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.

Summary

The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.

http://pakalert.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/bombshell-osama-bin-laden-worked-for-us-until-911/



Sexual Torture
May 18, 2009, 1:13 pm
Filed under: MidEast, USA

What is Acknowledged and What Remains Unknown

Sexual Torture

By DAVID ROSEN

“Removal of clothing was authorized by the Secretary of Defense [Rumsfeld] for use at GTMO [Guantánamo] on December 2, 2002,” acknowledges the recently released U.S. Senate Armed Service Committee report on the use of harsh interrogation techniques. It also reports that the use of prolonged nudity proved so effective that, in January 2003, it was approved for use in Afghanistan and, in the fall of 2003, was adopted for use in Iraq.

“Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody”

The Senate report came out shortly after a secret International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report on CIA torture techniques used as part of its detention program was leaked by Mark Danner of the “New York Review of Books.” These reports provoked a storm of media attention, much of it focused on the use of waterboarding (or what the ICRC more aptly calls “suffocation by water”) and, in particular, its use on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times and Abu Zubaydah 83 times.

The media paid less attention to the host of what the ICRC calls the other “methods of ill-treatment.” The Senate report identifies these techniques as: use of military dogs, stress positions and physical training, sleep adjustment/sleep management, sensory deprivation and removal of clothing. The ICRC identifies them as: prolonged stress standing, beating by use of a collar, beating and kicking, confinement in a box, sleep deprivation and use of load music, exposure to cold temperature/cold water, prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles, threats, forced shaving, deprivation/restricted provision of solid food and prolonged nudity.

These reports, together with the recent release of Bush-administration “torture memos,” helped focus national attention on a shameful, if not illegal, aspect of mad king George’s War on Terror. However, these reports are “official” documents based on revelations of a very limited number of sources. The information gathered, while invaluable, is limited by these sources.

The limited sources limit the public’s knowledge of the full scope of the torture committed by American intelligence agents, military officers and private contractors. Focusing on the issue of sexual torture, which includes prolonged nudity, reveals what has been made public but also what has yet to become publicly acknowledged.

Failure to publicly acknowledge the full scope of sexual torture, along with all the other “harsh” interrogation techniques, creates a sanitized, “official,” history. Americans will never know what torture was committed in their name, nor be able to hold accountable those who ordered and executed these actions unless they go beyond “official” sources.

* * *

The ICRC conducted interviews with fourteen “enemy combatants” from eight countries. The detainees were arrested over a nearly three-year period, from March 2002 through May 2005. Eleven of the detainees were subject to prolonged nudity “during detention and interrogation, ranging from several weeks continuously up to several months intermittently.”

The ICRC recounts what it calls the “alleged” experiences of seven detaineesm subject to prolonged nudity:

• Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – kept naked for one month in Afghanistan.

• Abu Zubaydah– kept naked for two-and-a-half weeks in Afghanistan after recovering at a Pakistan hospital; he reports subsequently being repeatedly provided with clothing and then stripped naked for weeks at a time.

• Walid Bin Attash – kept naked two weeks in Afghanistan and again for a month in a second but unknown detention facility.

• Encep Nuraman (aka Hambali) – kept naked for four or five days in Thailand and a week in Afghanistan, followed by intermittent periods of being clothed and naked.

• Majid Khan – kept naked for three days in Afghanistan and seven days in his third place of detention.

• Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep – kept naked three to four days in Thailand and nine days in Afghanistan.

• Unnamed detainee – kept naked for two to three months in Afghanistan and then faced intermittent periods of being clothed and naked.

The sources of these reports were interviews with the detainees.

The Senate report provides a far different assessment on what it calls “removal of clothing.” It makes clear that the use of prolonged nudity found strong support within the CIA and military as an interrogation technique. It reports that nudity was imported into Iraq, especially Abu Ghraib prison, from Afghanistan and GTMO.

It states that this technique served a number of critical interrogation purposes, including to “humiliate detainees,” to “renew ‘capture shock’ of detainees” and as an incentive for good behavior. It use was extensive, as indicated by two of the many officers interviewed. COL Jerry Philabaum, the Commander of the 320th MP, reports seeing “between 12-15 detainees naked in their own individual cells.” CPT Donald Reese, the Commander of the 372nd MP Company, acknowledged that prolonged nudity was “known to everyone” and it was “common practice to walk the tier and see detainees with clothing and bedding.” Other officers made similar statements.

Like the ICRC report, the Senate report draws extensively on interviews, but these interviews are with Army officers from the Military Police and intelligence. In addition, the Senate report draws on a number of publicly released military report, most notably by Major General George Fay, known as the Fay Report. One of its quotes is remarkably candid, perhaps more revealing than originally intended: detention created an “environment that would appear to condone depravity and degradation rather than humane treatment of detainees.” The report also makes a single passing reference to Major General Antonio Taguba’s report on Abu Ghraib.

* * *

The first “enemy combatants” arrive at Guantánamo on January 11, 2002, nearly a year before Rumsfeld officially authorized the use of sexual torture. According to a CBS timeline, a “U.S. Air Force plane from Afghanistan touches down at Guantanamo carrying 20 prisoners, marking the start of the detention operation.” [CBS News Gitmo Timeline, August 24, 2004] In the Senate report, SMU [Special Mission Unit] TF [Task Force] Commander [name blacked out] states that when he “took command [of Guantánemo] he ‘discovered that some of the detainees were not allowed clothes’ as an interrogation technique [blacked out] said he terminated the practice in December 2003 or January 2004.”

The disclosures about prolonged nudity received little public discussion. Compared to the many far worse techniques employed, most notably “suffocation by water,” head beating, kicking, stress positions, uses of dogs and sleep deprivation, sexual torture seems rather modest. But its purpose was, along with the other techniques, clear. As the ICRC notes, it “was clearly designed to undermine human dignity and create a sense of futility … resulting in exhaustion, depersonalization and dehumanization.”

However, drawing upon other sources paints a different picture, one far less sanitized and much more sadistic. What is not known is whether these additional techniques were approved by U.S. military and civilian leaders or were the improvised actions of frontline officers and contractors? A few examples illustrate these techniques.

The best single source on the use of sexual torture at Abu Ghraib remains the Taguba report. In the report’s executive summary, the following “sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses” are identified as having been used at the prison:

* forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

* forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

* videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

* forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

* forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

* forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

* arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

* positioning a naked detainee on a MRE [meals ready to eat] Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

* placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female soldier pose for a picture;

* sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

Why did this part of the Taguba report not appear in the Senate report? Its absence speaks to the way official reports are sanitized and an “inside the Beltway” history is written. [see “Sexual Terrorism: The Sadistic Side of Bush’s War on Terror,” CounterPunch, May 13, 2008]

The U.S. and international press revealed disturbing episodes of sexual terror used by American forces. For example, The Associated Press reported that a former inmate, Dhia al-Shweiri, was ordered by American soldiers to strip naked, bend over and place his hands on a wall; while not sodomized, he says he was humiliated: “We are men. It’s OK if they beat me,” al Shweiri said. “Beatings don’t hurt us; it’s just a blow. But no one would want their manhood to be shattered.”

Scotland’s “Sunday Herald” reported that a former Iraqi prisoner claimed that there is a photo of a civilian translator raping a male juvenile prisoner; he stated, “They covered all the doors with sheets. I heard the screaming, … and the female soldier was taking pictures.”

London’s “Independent” reported on the experience of Hayder Sabbar Abd, immortalized as the man in the hood in infamous Abu Ghraib photo of Lynndie England. Abd alleges that he was ordered to masturbate as Ms. England “put her hands on her breasts,” which he couldn’t; and to simulate fellatio with another prisoner, which he appears to have done.

The “Sydney Morning Herald” noted: “Female interrogators tried to break Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay by sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong underwear and in one case smearing a Saudi man’s face with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider’s written account.”

* * *

Sexual torture served two purposes on those subjected to such abuse: to physically harm and to emotionally scar. It was intended to break male inmates. It sought to inflict both pain and shame, to make the recipient suffer and loathe himself. Sexual torture attempted to break the victim both physically and spiritually, to leave scars on (and inside) the body and in the psyche.

With Obama’s election, the U.S. military has probably ceased employing “harsh interrogation techniques.” Unfortunately, given Obama’s pragmatism, the Congress’ complicity, the military’s bureaucratic zealotry and the CIA’s (and private contractors’) immorality, one can only wonder what would happen if another September 11th occurred.

The full scope of “harsh interrogation techniques” used during the War on Terror is unknown. Nor is it fully known who within the Bush administration approved the use of such technique, not who within the U.S. military and intelligence community (along with private contractors) used such techniques. Answers to these questions should be the first task of any “official” investigation of the War on Terror. And those undertaking the investigation should use a far wider assortment of sources than those deemed “official.” Only then will the American people understand what was done in their name and, hopefully, how to stop it from happening again.

David Rosen is the author of “Sex Scandal America: Politics & the Ritual of Public Shaming” and can be reached at drosen@ix.netcom.com.

 http://www.counterpunch.org/rosen05152009.html



Trilateral Commission:World Shadow Government
May 2, 2009, 8:12 am
Filed under: USA

Trilateral Commission:


World Shadow Government


The Trilateral Commission was established in 1973. Its founder and primary financial angel was international financier, David Rockefeller, longtime chairman of the Rockefeller family-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank and undisputed overlord of his family’s global corporate empire.
 
Rockefeller’s idea for establishing the commission emerged after he had read a book entitled Between Two Ages written by an Establishment scholar, Prof. Zbigniew Brzezinski of Columbia University. In his book Brzezinski proposed a vast alliance between North America, Western Europe and Japan. According to Brzezinski, changes in the modern world required it.
 
“Resist as it might,” Brzezinski wrote elsewhere, “the American system is compelled gradually to accommodate itself to this emerging international context, with the U.S. government called upon to negotiate, to guarantee, and, to some extent, to protect the various arrangements that have been contrived even by private business.”
 
In other words, it was necessary for the international upper class to band together to protect its interests, and to ensure, in the developed nations, that political leaders were brought to power who would ensure that the global financial interests (of the Rockefellers and the other ruling elites) would be protected over those of the hoi polloi.
 
POCANTICO HILLS CONFABS
Although the initial arrangements for the commission were laid out in a series of meetings held at the Rockefeller’s famous Pocantico Hills estate outside New York City, Rockefeller first introduced the idea of the commission at an annual meeting of the Bilderberg group, this one held in Knokke, Belgium in the spring of 1972.
 
(The Bilderberg group is similar to the Trilateral Commission in that it is funded and heavily influenced by the Rockefeller empire, and composed of international financiers, industrialists, media magnates, union bosses, academics and political figures.
 
(However, the much older Bilderberg group’s membership is strictly limited to participants from the United States, Canada and Western Europe: i.e. the NATO alliance. For more on the Bilderberg group, keep an eye out for future stories in this paper.
 
The Trilateral Commission was unique, though, in that it brought the Japanese ruling elite into the inner councils of the global power brokers, a recognition of Japan’s growing influence in the world economic and political arena.
 

RULING CLASSES UNITE
“The Commission’s purpose is to engineer an enduring partnership among the ruling classes of North America, Western Europe and Japan — hence the term ‘Trilateral’ — in order to safeguard the interests of Western capitalism in an explosive world. The private commission is attempting to mold public policy and construct a framework for international stability in the coming decades.

“To put it simply, Trilateralists are saying: The people, governments and economies of all nations must serve the needs of multinational banks and corporations.
 
“In short, Trilateralism is the current attempt by ruling elites to manage both dependence and democracy — at home and abroad.” Another Trilateral critic, now-retired Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), views the commission as a Rockefeller family operation through and through. According to Goldwater:
“The Trilateral organization created by David Rockefeller was a surrogate — the members selected by Rockefeller, its purposes defined by Rockefeiler, its funding supplied by Rockefeller. David Rockefeller screened and selected every individual who was invited to participate.”
 
PICKING POLICYMAKERS
David Rockefeller and Brzezinski then began the process of selecting from among the “Trilateral” nations the several hundred elite power brokers who would be permitted to join in Trilateral policymaking in the coming years.
One of the commission’s primary goals was to place a Trilateral-influenced president in the White House in 1976, and to achieve that goal it was necessary to groom an appropriate candidate who would be willing to cooperate with Trilateral aims.
 
Rockefeller and Brzezinski selected a handful of well-known liberal Democrats and a scattering of Republicans (primarily of the liberal-internationalist bent) to serve on the commission. And in an effort to give regional balance to the commission Rockefeller invited the then-obscure one-term Democratic governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, to join the commission.
 
ROCKEFELLER CENTER SOUTH
Rockefeller had longtime ties to the local Atlanta political and economic Establishment. In fact, much of Rockefeller’s personal investment portfolio is in Atlanta real estate. (According to David Horowitz, co-author of The Rockefellers, “Atlanta is Rockefeller Center South.”)
 
And Rockefeller himself had once even invited Carter to dine with him at the Chase Manhattan Bank several years before, as early as 1971, the year Carter began serving as governor.
 
Carter very definitely impressed Rockefeller and Brzezinski, more so than another Southern Democrat, Florida Gov. Reuben Askew, also selected to serve on the commission and viewed, like Carter, as a possible Trilateral candidate.
 
In fact, according to Brzezinski, “It was a close thing between Carter and Askew, but we were impressed that Carter had opened up trade offices for the state of Georgia in Brussels and Tokyo. That seemed to fit perfectly into the concept of the Trilateral.”
 
Carter, in fact, like Askew, did announce for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination, but because of Rockefeller’s interest, Carter had the inside shot.
So much so that in a speech at the commission’s first annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan in May of 1975, Rockefeller’s man Brzezinski promoted the then-still obscure Carter to his fellow Trilateralists as an ideal presidential candidate.
 
CUT AND DRIED
From that point on, it was all cut and dried. According to Goldwater: “Rockefeller and Brzezinski found Carter to be their ideal candidate. They helped him win the Democratic nomination and the presidency.
“To accomplish this purpose they mobilized the money-power of the Wall Street bankers, the intellectual influence of the academic community — which is subservient to the wealth of the great tax-free foundations — and the media controllers represented in the membership of the CFR and the Trilateralists.”
 
(The aforementioned Council on Foreign Relations — is another Rockefeller-financed foreign policy pressure group similar to the Trilateralists and the Bilderberg group, although the CFR is composed solely of American citizens.)
(In his book The Carter Presidency and Beyond, published in 1980 by the Ramparts Press, Prof. Laurence H. Shoup devotes an entire chapter to demonstrating how the Trilateral-linked and Trilateral-controlled Establishment media promoted the presidential candidacy in 1976 of the then-obscure Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter.)
 
Carter, of course, campaigned as a “populist” — as a “man of the people” — as an “outsider” with no ties to the Establishment. The fact is, however, Carter, who said he’d never lie, was an elitist, an insider, the Trilateral Commission’s “man on the white horse.”
 
And with the power of the commission and the Rockefeller empire and its media influence behind him, Carter made his way to the presidency, establishing the first full-fledged Trilateral administration, appointing numerous Trilateralists to key policymaking positions and carrying out the Trilateral agenda to the hilt.

 


The CFR and the Trilateral Commission …
dominate key positions in America’s government, military, industries, media outlets, educational foundations and institutions.

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http://afgen.com/trilateral.html