America at war with itself? (Max, say it ain't so!)
That would explain all the other wars the U.S. is involved in as semi guilt relief with all that murder and mayhem assauging the fact that U.S. neoliberal leaders have been waging war against the Middle Class (and all the people living in their now nonexistent trickle-down stream) for the last 40 years.
Hello Reaganism Reborn! Yeah. I still remember Obama trotting out his name with a big knowing smile like it was a good-luck talisman after he was first elected. (Another bright Morning in America? Ask Donald Trump - who is probably finished - as predicted here - according to polls this week. Don't forget your sunglasses!)
Posted on June 16, 2016 by Stacy Herbert
We show how many millions of voters having only $10 to their name can lead to disastrous societal consequences and that orange-flavoured meth will not save the day. In the second half, Max interviews Henry Giroux, author of the forthcoming book, America at War with Itself. They discuss the descent into madness as demonstrated by the latest presidential clown show.
I read the following essay in a somewhat neutral emotional tenor. On one hand it's telling that Hillary Clinton, the chosen, MSM-designated Democratic nominee before she has gained enough pledged delegates to actually be such before the July 25 Convention, has had an intimate association for a long time with someone possessing serious family connections to major events like 9/11 (considering all that gung-ho war talk against the evil Islamists for which she is famous). On the other hand, when did she think this information would be disseminated and by whom? It seems that it would have been better to have heard it from her campaign first (assuming she offers a steel-gauge defense). Or did she think the Colgate invisible shield would continue to work on everyone as well as it had on her warbling legion of unblinking followers? Read the article at the following link and try to come up with your own alternate version of recent history. (Unless it's all a joke, of course, and . . . none of it is true . . . and our treasured representative Weiner didn't have to resign or anything that severe due to his frustration, obvious bad judgment and photography fixation.)
I always draw a sigh of relief (of a kind) looking forward to my country's eventual escape from authoritarian captivity back to sanity, saving it from the seemingly assured path of terminal loss of respect and leadership among civilized nations up to now when I read an article like the one below. Too bad there are so few of them being touted publicly, but this one is excellent.
By George Souvlis, openDemocracy
16 June 16
In this exclusive, Cornel West talks Bernie Sanders’ neo-populism, Donald Trump’s neo-fascism – and sweeping away the myopic careerism and chronic narcissism that prevented any serious critique of Obama's neo-liberalism.
Last year, when Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the US presidency, few believed that it would have any success. Many assumed that the public endorsement of ideas like ‘democratic socialism’ or ‘political revolution’ would alienate the American political electorate. But what followed was a series of surprising victories in several states._ _ _ _ _ _ _
Few are more appropriate to explain such developments, along with the troubling rise of Donald Trump, than the American philosopher and public intellectual Cornel West. His work on the role of race, gender and class in American society, and his political experience as prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America gives him an insightful understanding of today's political momentum, and its meaning for the left. His voice has even greater significance within the current American political scene, considering that Sanders selected him to be part of the Democratic Party platform-writing body.
George Souvlis (GS): What is the legacy of the Obama administration?
Cornel West (CW): We are at a crossroads in American history. We must choose between a neo-fascism in the making (Trump), neo-liberalism in the decaying (Clinton), and a neo-populism in the ascending (Sanders). The establishments in both the Democratic and Republican parties are disintegrating.
Obama is the last gasp of the neo-liberalism that emerged under Carter: a massive response to the structural crises of the global economy in the mid-70s. This attempt to financialize, privatize, and militarize our way through deep problems – from the economy, education, incarceration, security and communication – has produced vast wealth inequality, cultures of superficial spectacle, and pervasive corruption in every sphere. Both political parties have been complicitous. Much hangs on how the Sanders campaign is treated in July, and what we critical Sanders-supporters do after July.
GS: How do you view the Trump phenomenon?
CW: Donald Trump is a billionaire pseudo-populist with an autocratic sensibility, narcissistic personality, and hence a neo-fascist in the making. His project brings together a lethal mixture of big banks, huge corporations, xenophobic scapegoating (Mexicans, women, Muslims, Blacks, and non-straights), economic anxiety and national malaise tied to militaristic aspirations abroad. This is what US-style fascism looks like – echoes of Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (1935), the classic novel of American fascism.
GS: Bernie Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, what does that political tradition mean to you?
CW: Despite Sanders' self-definition as a democratic socialist, his platform is vintage neo-populist: principled use of the government to come to the rescue of working and poor people crushed by Wall Street greed and upper middle-class indifference to the disappearing opportunities of vulnerable fellow citizens. We saw the government come to the rescue of Wall Street and we see how lobbyists ensure the security of the well-to-do. Sanders' neo-populist appeal is timely and understandable. As a democratic socialist for 35 years and hence a comrade to my dear Brother Bernie, there is no doubt that he is running on a neo-populist, not democratic socialist, platform.
GS: If Sanders fails, how do you think a social movement can emerge out of his campaign?
CW: Political campaigns are not social movements. Even great campaigns like those of Jackson in the 80s, Obama in the recent past or Sanders today are not social movements. We must distinguish between social momentums, social rebellions and social movements. Given the massive national security state and the pervasive carceral state, social movements are rare – past, present and future.
The American Empire is more ripe for a counter-revolution than revolution, for right-wing movements than left-wing ones. This is so primarily because of the deep xenophobic roots in the country and profound militaristic sentiments in the culture. Hence, progressive social momentums and chaotic social rebellions are more likely to reshape our priorities and gain some concessions from greedy elites and callous citizens. This is why moral and spiritual dimensions of social activism are crucial – to sustain our will to fight inside and outside the system with little chance of immediate victory!
GS: What do you make of the debates about why Bernie Sanders’ message doesn’t seem to be resonating as well with some black voters?
CW: Black people are the most progressive voting bloc on issues of the economy, racism and education. Bernie Sanders is the most progressive candidate on these issues. So far, Black people remain tied to the familiar neo-liberal project of Clinton than to the relatively unknown Sanders. Black people fear Trump. They are reluctant to make a change with the much less known Sanders. But as many of us have argued – like Adolph Reed, Jr. and Michelle Alexander – Clinton's neo-liberal and militaristic policies have done much damage to working and poor people here and abroad.
The high visibility of neo-liberal Black politicians, corporate media pundits and intellectuals make it difficult for us to have strong impact. Yet evidence is mounting that the Clinton machine – wrapping itself in Obama's costume – is running out of gas. The neo-liberal sleepwalking in Black America is coming to an end!
GS: What kind of organisational form do you see "Black Lives Matter" taking in the future?
CW: The emergence of "Black Lives Matter" momentum is a marvelous new militancy that is the early signs of the shattering of the neo-liberal sleepwalking in Black America. This emergence exposes the spiritual rot and moral cowardice of too much of Black leadership – political, intellectual and religious.
The myopic careerism and chronic narcissism that prevented any serious critique of Obama's neo-liberalism are now out in the open, owing to the courageous young people who stood in the face of military tanks in order to show their love of those shot down by unaccountable police under a Black president, Black attorney general and Black homeland security cabinet member. What an indictment of neo-liberal Black power in the face of massive Black suffering, highlighted by "Black Lives Matter" activists. And this is just the peak of an iceberg melting for Black elites, who went silent and opted for symbolic crumbs, when precious poor Black people were being crushed. Martin King, Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer cry out from the grave – then smile at the "Black Lives Matter" activists.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised (or amazed) at learning that Nazi Germany provided a perfect behavior standard for what the intelligence agencies in the USA! USA! USA! deeply (cravenly) desired to become after the end of World War II.
Although it might (still) be to those who continue watching reality TV for their required hit of "shock and awe."
There’s one word to describe the FBI’s covert tactics, it’s creepy.
The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime.
This is what’s known as pre-crime.
If it were just about fighting the “bad guys,” that would be one thing. But as countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate dissidents of all stripes.
It’s an old tactic, used effectively by former authoritarian regimes.
In fact, as historian Robert Gellately documents, the Nazi police state was repeatedly touted as a model for other nations to follow, so much so that Hoover actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police. As Gellately noted, “[A]fter five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.”
Indeed, so impressed was the FBI with the Nazi order that, as the New York Times revealed, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen, brought them to America, hired them on as spies and informants, and then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.
So not only have American taxpayers been paying to keep ex-Nazis on the government payroll for decades but we’ve been subjected to the very same tactics used by the Third Reich: surveillance, militarized police, overcriminalization, and a government mindset that views itself as operating outside the bounds of the law.
This is how freedom falls, and tyrants come to power.
The similarities between the American police state and past totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany grow more pronounced with each passing day.
Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America.
Yet it’s the secret police — tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear — who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.
By Rebecca Gordon, "TomDispatch"
07 June 16
[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Just a reminder that you can still get a signed, personalized copy of Rebecca Gordon’s powerful new book, American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, for a contribution of $100 or more ($125 if you live outside the United States) to this website. Check out our donation page for the details. Tom]
If you happen to be a potential American war criminal, you've had a few banner weeks. On May 9th, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter presented former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, that institution's “highest honorary award for private citizens.”
In bestowing it on the 92-year-old who is evidently still consulting for the Pentagon, he offered this praise: “While his contributions are far from complete, we are now beginning to appreciate what his service has provided our country, how it has changed the way we think about strategy, and how he has helped provide greater security for our citizens and people around the world.”
Certainly people “around the world” will remember the “greater security” offered by the man who, relaying an order from President Richard Nixon for a “massive” secret bombing campaign in Cambodia, used a line that may almost be the definition of a war crime: “Anything that flies on anything that moves.” The result: half a million tons of bombs dropped on that country between 1969 and 1973 and at least 100,000 dead civilians. And that’s just to start down the well-cratered road to the millions of dead he undoubtedly has some responsibility for. Public service indeed.
Meanwhile, speaking of American crimes in the Vietnam era, former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, who ran for president of the U.S. and then became the president of the New School in New York City, was just appointed to “lead” Fulbright University Vietnam, the first private American-backed school there. Its opening was announced by President Obama on his recent visit to that country.
Only one small problem: we already know of some children who won’t be able to apply for admission. I’m thinking of the progeny-who-never-were of the 13 children killed by a team of U.S. SEALs under Kerrey’s command and on his orders in South Vietnam in 1969 (along with a pregnant woman, and an elderly couple whose three grandchildren were stabbed to death by the raiders) -- all of whom were reported at the time as dead Vietcong guerillas.
It seems that if you are a distinguished citizen of the most exceptional country on the planet, even war crimes have their rewards. Consider, for instance, the millions of dollars that were paid for memoirs by top Bush administration officials responsible for creating an American offshore torture regime at CIA “black sites” around the world. Must-reads all! With that in mind, turn to "TomDispatch" regular Rebecca Gordon, author most recently of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, to consider what “justice” for such figures might look like in a different and better world.
Crimes of the War on Terror
Should George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Others Be Jailed?
The cold was terrible but the screams were worse," Sara Mendez told the BBC. "The screams of those who were being tortured were the first thing you heard and they made you shiver. That's why there was a radio blasting day and night."
In the 1970s, Mendez was a young Uruguayan teacher with leftist leanings. In 1973, when the military seized power in her country (a few months before General Augusto Pinochet’s more famous coup in Chile), Mendez fled to Argentina. She lived there in safety until that country suffered its own coup in 1976. That July, a joint Uruguayan-Argentine military commando group kidnapped her in Buenos Aires and deposited her at Automotores Orletti, a former auto repair shop that would become infamous as a torture site and paramilitary command center. There she was indeed tortured, and there, too, her torturers stole her 20-day-old baby, Simón, giving him to a policeman’s family to raise.
Mendez was an early victim of Operation Condor, a torture and assassination program focused on the region’s leftists that, from 1975 to 1986, would spread terror across Latin America’s southern cone. On May 27th, an Argentine court convicted 14 military officers of crimes connected with Operation Condor, issuing prison sentences ranging from 13 to 25 years. Among those sentenced was Reynaldo Bignone, Argentina’s last military dictator, now 88. (He held power from 1982 to 1983.)
Those convictions are deeply satisfying to the surviving victims and their families, to the legal teams that worked for more than a decade on the case, and to human rights organizations around the world. And yet, as just as this outcome is, it has left me with questions -- questions about the length of time between crime and conviction, and about what kinds of justice can and cannot be achieved through prosecutions alone.
Operation Condor was launched by the security forces of five military dictatorships: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Brazil soon joined, as did Ecuador and Peru eventually. As a Cold War anti-communist collaboration among the police, military, and intelligence services of those eight governments, Condor offered an enticing set of possibilities. The various services could not only cooperate, but pursue their enemies in tandem across national borders. Indeed, its reach stretched as far as Washington, D.C., where in 1976 its operatives assassinated former Chilean ambassador to the U.S. Orlando Letelier and his young assistant, Ronni Moffitt, both of whom then worked at the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think tank.
How many people suffered grievously or died due to Operation Condor? A definitive number is by now probably beyond recovery, but records from Chile’s secret police suggest that by itself Argentina’s “dirty war” -- the name given to the Argentine junta’s reign of terror, “disappearances,” and torture -- took the lives of 22,000 people between 1975 and 1978. Thousands more are thought to have died before that country’s dictatorship ended in 1983. It’s generally believed that at least another 3,000 people died under the grimmest of circumstances in Chile, while thousands more were tortured but lived. And although its story is less well known, the similar reign of terror of the Uruguayan dictatorship directly affected the lives of almost every family in the country. As Lawrence Wechsler wrote in a 1989 article in the "New Yorker:"
“By 1980, one in every fifty Uruguayans had been detained at some point, and detention routinely involved torture; one in every five hundred had received a sentence of six years or longer under conditions of extreme difficulty; and somewhere between three hundred thousand and four hundred thousand Uruguayans went into exile. Comparable percentages for the United States would involve the emigration of thirty million people, the detention of five million, and the extended incarceration of five hundred thousand.”Justice Delayed
And what was the U.S. role in Operation Condor? Washington did not (for once) plan and organize this transnational program of assassination and torture, but its national security agencies were certainly involved, as declassified Defense Department communications indicate.
In his book The Condor Years, Columbia University journalism professor John Dinges reported that the CIA provided training for Chile’s secret police, computers for Condor’s database, telex machines and encoders for its secret communications, and transmitters for its private, continent-wide radio communications network. Chilean Colonel Manuel Contreras, one of Condor’s chief architects (who was then on the CIA payroll), met with CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters four times. And what did the CIA get in return? Among other things, access to the “results” of interrogation under torture, according to Dinges. "Latin American intelligence services," he added,
“considered U.S. intelligence agencies their allies and provided timely and intimate details of their repressive activities. I have obtained three documents establishing that information obtained under torture, from prisoners who later were executed and disappeared, were provided to the CIA, the FBI and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). There is no question that the U.S. officials were aware of the torture.”
Why did it take 40 years to bring the architects of Operation Condor to justice? A key factor: for much of that time, it was illegal in Argentina to put them on trial. In the first years of the new civilian government, the Argentine congress passed two laws that granted these men immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in the dirty war. Only in 2005 did that country’s supreme court rule that those impunity laws were unconstitutional. Since then, many human rights crimes have been prosecuted. Indeed, Reynaldo Bignone, the former dictator, was already in jail when sentenced in May for his role in Operation Condor. He had been convicted in 2010 of kidnapping, torture, and murder in the years of the dirty war. As of March, Argentina’s Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) had recorded 666 convictions for participation in the crimes of that era.
But there’s a question that can’t help but arise: What’s the point of bringing such old men to trial four decades later? How could justice delayed for that long be anything but justice denied?
One answer is that, late as they are, such trials still establish something that all the books and articles in the world can’t: an official record of the terrible crimes of Operation Condor. This is a crucial step in the process of making its victims, and the nations involved, whole again. As a spokesperson for CELS told the "Wall Street Journal," “Forty years after Operation Condor was formally founded, and 16 years after the judicial investigation began, this trial produced valuable contributions to knowledge of the truth about the era of state terrorism and this regional criminal network.”
It took four decades to get those convictions. Theoretically at least, Americans wouldn’t have to wait that long to bring our own war criminals to account. I’ve spent the last few years of my life arguing that this country must find a way to hold accountable officials responsible for crimes in the so-called war on terror. I don’t want the victims of those crimes, some of whom are still locked up, to wait another 40 years for justice.
Nor do I want the United States to continue its slide into a brave new world, in which any attack on a possible enemy anywhere or any curtailment of our own liberties is permitted as long as it makes us feel “secure.” It’s little wonder that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate feels free to run around promising yet more torture and murder. After all, no one’s been called to account for the last round. And when there is no official acknowledgement of, or accountability for, the waging of illegal war, international kidnapping operations, the indefinite detention without prospect of trial of prisoners at Guantánamo, and, of course, torture, there is no reason not to do it all over again. Indeed, according to Pew Research Center polls, Americans are now more willing to agree that torture is sometimes justified than they were in the years immediately following the 9/11 attacks.
Torture and the U.S. Prison System
In a recent piece of mine, I focused on Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner the CIA tortured horribly, falsely claiming he was a top al-Qaeda operative, knew about a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, and might even have trained some of the 9/11 pilots. “In another kind of world,” I wrote, Abu Zubaydah “would be exhibit one in the war crimes trials of America’s top leaders and its major intelligence agency.” Although none of the charges against him proved true, he is still held in isolation at Guantánamo.
Then something surprising happened. I received an email message from someone I’d heard of but never met. Joseph Margulies was the lead counsel in "Rasul v. Bush", the first (and unsuccessful) attempt to get the Supreme Court to allow prisoners at Guantánamo to challenge their detention in federal courts. He is also one of Abu Zubaydah’s defense attorneys.
He directed me to an article of his, “War Crimes in a Punitive Age,” that mentioned my Abu Zubaydah essay. I’d gotten the facts of the case right, he assured me, but added, “I suspect we are not in complete agreement” on the issue of what justice for his client should look like. As he wrote in his piece,
”There is no question that Zubaydah was the victim of war crimes. The entire CIA black site program [the Agency’s Bush era secret prisons around the world] was a global conspiracy to evade and violate international and domestic law. Yet I am firmly convinced there should be no war crimes prosecutions. The call to prosecute is the Siren Song of the carceral state -- the very philosophy we need to dismantle.”In other words, one of the leading legal opponents of everything the war on terror represents is firmly opposed to the idea of prosecuting officials of the Bush administration for war crimes (though he has not the slightest doubt that they committed them). Margulies agrees that the crimes against Abu Zubaydah were all too real and “grave” indeed, and that “society must make its judgment known.” He asks, however, “Why do we believe a criminal trial is the only way for society to register its moral voice?”
He doubts that such trials are the best way to do so, fearing that by placing all the blame for the events of those years on a small number of criminal officials, the citizens of an (at least nominally) democratic country could be let off the hook for a responsibility they, too, should share. After all, it’s unlikely the war on terror could have continued year after year without the support -- or at least the lack of interest or opposition -- of the citizenry.
Margulies, in other words, raises important questions. When people talk about bringing someone to justice they usually imagine a trial, a conviction, and perhaps most important, punishment. But he has reminded me of my own longstanding ambivalence about the equation between punishment and justice.
Even as we call for accountability for war criminals, we shouldn’t forget that we live in the country that jails the largest proportion of its own population (except for the Seychelles islands), and that holds the largest number of prisoners in the world. Abuse and torture -- including rape, sexual humiliation, beatings, and prolonged exposure to extremes of heat and cold -- are routine realities of the U.S. prison system. Solitary confinement -- presently being experienced by at least 80,000 people in our prisons and immigrant detention centers -- should also be considered a potentially psychosis-inducing form of torture.
Every nation that institutionalizes torture, as the United States has done, selects specific groups of people as legitimate targets for its application. In the days of Operation Condor, Chilean torturers called their victims “humanoids” to distinguish them from actual human beings. Surely, though, the United States hasn’t done that? Surely, there’s no history of the torture of particular groups? Sadly, of course, such a history does exist, and like so many things in this country, it’s all about race.
The practice of torture in the U.S. didn’t start with those post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation techniques,” nor with the Vietnam War’s Phoenix Program, nor even with the nineteenth century U.S. war in the Philippines. It began when European settlers first treated native peoples and enslaved Africans as subhuman savages. As southern farmers started importing captured Africans to augment their supply of indentured English labor, they quickly realized that there was little incentive for those slaves to work -- none but the pain of whippings, mutilations, and brandings, and the threat of yet more pain. Torture and slavery, in other words, were fused at the root. From the first arrival of black people on this continent, it has been permissible, even legal, to torture them.
And it didn’t stop with emancipation. After the end of slavery, southern states began the practice of convict leasing -- arresting former slaves and then their descendants, often on trumped-up charges, and renting them out as labor to farmers and later coal mine owners who had the power and legal right to whip and abuse them as they chose.
Then there’s lynching. Many people think of it as an extrajudicial death by hanging. As it was practiced in the Jim Crow South, however, it was a form of public, state-approved torture, often involving the castration or disembowelment of the living victim, sometimes followed by death by fire. Lynching thus continued the practice of treating black minds and bodies as legitimate targets of torture. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that, of the more than two million prisoners in the United States today, 40% are black, while the U.S. population is only 13% black.
Here’s the problem, then. When we say that putting George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and other top officials in their administration in prison for war crimes would be justice, we endorse a criminal justice system that is more criminal than just, and where torture is a daily occurrence.
Do we want to do to Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices essentially what they did to their victims? There is, of course, a certain appeal to the idea of someday seeing such powerful white men among the suffering, tortured millions in our prison system, or even -- like the supposed “dirty bomber” José Padilla and Abu Zubaydah -- in perpetual solitary confinement.
And yet, would this truly provide even a facsimile of justice, given that American prisons are hardly instruments of justice to begin with? Those opposed to the acts at the heart of America’s never-ending war on terror were heartened when President Obama ordered the CIA “black sites” dismantled globally. We continue to demand the closing of Guantánamo (something that looks increasingly unlikely to happen in his presidency). How, then, can we find justice through a prison system that uses similar methods on an everyday basis here in the U.S.?
Forty Years to Go?
And then, of course, there is the question: Whom should justice truly serve?
The first answer is: the victims of the "war on terror," including those who were tortured, those detained without trial, the civilian "collateral damage" of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the "unintended" victims of drone assassinations. Then there are all those in the rest of the world who have to live with the threat of a nuclear-armed superpower that has in these years regularly refused to recognize the most basic aspects of the rule of law.
Many who work with survivors of organized repression like Operation Condor say that their primary desire is not the punishment of their oppressors but official acknowledgement of what happened to them. In his New Yorker article, Wechsler, for instance, pointed out that, for the victims of torture, accountability may not be identical to punishment at all.
“People don't necessarily insist that the former torturers go to jail -- there has been enough of jail -- but they do want to see the truth established... It's a mysteriously powerful, almost magical notion, because often everybody already knows the truth -- everyone knows who the torturers were and what they did, the torturers know that everyone knows, and everyone knows that they know.”Seeing “the truth established” was the purpose behind South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Torturers and murderers on both sides of the anti-apartheid struggle were offered amnesty for their crimes -- but only after they openly acknowledged those crimes. In this way, a public record of the horrors of apartheid was built, and imperfect as the process may have been, the nation was able to confront its history.
That is the kind of reckoning we need in this country. It started with the release of a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program, which brought many brutal details into the light. But that’s just the beginning. We would need a full and public accounting not just of the CIA’s activities, but of the doings of other military and civilian agencies and outfits, including the Joint Special Operations Command. We also would need a full-scale airing of the White House’s drone assassination program, and perhaps most important of all, a full accounting of the illegal, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Justice would also require -- to the extent possible -- making whole those who had been harmed. In the case of the “war on terror,” this might begin by allowing torture victims to sue their torturers in federal court (as the U.N. Convention against Torture requires). With one exception, the Obama administration has until now blocked all such efforts on national security grounds. In the case of the Iraq War, justice would undoubtedly also require financial reparations to repair the infrastructure of what was once a modern, developed nation.
We’re unlikely to see justice in the “war on terror” until that cruel and self-defeating exercise is well and truly over and the country has officially acknowledged and accounted for its crimes. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 40 years.
(Rebecca Gordon, a TomDispatch regular, teaches in the philosophy department at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes (Hot Books). Her previous books include Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States and Letters from Nicaragua.)
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# 2016-06-07 12:56
The US has run torture camps since its foundings. At first it was for African slaves and Native Americans. At the time of the founding of the US torture was rampant in Europe and it was brought to the US, planted here, and flourished. Early anti-torture works like Cesare Beccari's On Crimes and Punishment were not known or cared about in the US. They still are not. Even the 8th amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments was only intended to protect the wealthy and white. It was never invoked to stop the torture of slaves or Indians.
Torture is linked to ideas about white supremacy. It is an act of power and sadism. Torture is what makes the US a great state in the minds of its rulers. The ability to torture enemies of the state is hugely important to the rulers.
So of course, there will be no trials for American torture generals like Kissinger, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Obama, Hillary. Rather, they will all receive medals for their great distinction and service to the nation. They are the national heroes precisely for the torture they authorized in the state's name.
# 2016-06-07 14:25
Absolutely they should all be prosecuted and what a horrifying turn of events it is that another war criminal is on the verge of being nominated by the Democratic party to be our next President.
I would like to believe that the legions of Hillary Clinton supporters simply are not aware of the trail of death and destruction she has left in her wake while serving as SOS.
Those who only get their "news" from the main steam media are automatically low information voters. I must, however, express my disappointment that Bernie was too civilized in his campaign and did not adequately focus on the horrors caused by HRC in Libya, the Middle East and in Central America.
While she ran on her so-called experience and judgement she should have been exposed in the fact that her judgement was almost always wrong and lead to chaos in so many countries that were so unfortunate to get the Hillary touch.
Hillary's mentor and advisor, Henry Kissinger belongs on trial along with all of those in the Bush/Cheney administration who were involved in their campaign of terrorism.
They should all be rounded up and sent to the World Court to stand trial.
Until this type of criminality by our elected officials and their appointees is punished it will never end.
Speaking of Kissinger's great intellect and trustworthiness (based on the well-known history of his words and actions), do you really want to trust his judgment about your Social Security?
Aw, come on. We bet most of you do as you keep voting for his enablers.
If the past is any guide.
Is Kissinger credible? It’s true that he’s popular among media and political elites, but that sad fact only serves to remind us that some memories are short – and that, for some people, the ties of social status outweigh those of morality and decency.
It was Kissinger who reportedly fed confidential information to then-candidate Richard Nixon – information that was used to sabotage the Vietnam peace talks, extracting a massive toll in human lives just to boost Nixon’s election chances.
It was Kissinger who delivered the illegal order to bomb Cambodia and Laos. More bomb material rained down on these tiny nations than was used in all of World War II. His actions cost countless lives and gave rise to the mad, massacring Pol Pot regime.
It was Kissinger who ignored the pleadings of a US diplomat and gave the green light to Pakistani atrocities in what is now Bangladesh, praising Pakistan’s dictator for his “delicacy and tact” while ridiculing those who “bleed” for “the dying Bengalis.”
“Yahya hasn’t had so much fun since the last Hindu massacre!” Kissinger said of Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan. (The government of Bangladesh reported that 3,000,000 people died in the “fun.”)
Kissinger supported the violent overthrow of the Chilean government by a right-wing dictator. Kissinger gave the go-ahead to the Indonesian government’s massacre of from 100,000 to 230,000 people in East Timor. (Estimates vary.) Kissinger’s other offenses and blunders are too numerous to list here.
His intellect is overrated, too. Princeton professor Gary Bass writes that “Kissinger’s policies were not only morally flawed but also disastrous as Cold War strategy.”
Would you really trust this man to make decisions about the maintenance of the social safety net programs of the U.S.? Do you think he’d make wise and humane decisions about society’s spending priorities for the 99%?
You might want to review some of the new info now available about those missing 28 pages of the 9/11 Report first.
Consider the events stemming from his 1980's - 1990's inputs (we won't even go into the 1960's - 1970's).
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history, a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.
September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.
A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.
Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion.
9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.
September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.
At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an in-depth police investigation.
CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”
That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.
The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”. Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.
The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.
Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.
The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.
The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.
Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.
After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.
VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08
The "911 Reader" is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.
Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.
What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).
Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?
Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?
According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.
DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.
(transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html, see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml
The foregoing CBS report which is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:
1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;
2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.
U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld: “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.
October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan
The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.
Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Safire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.
This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security.
Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.
Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government – through diplomatic channels – offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice.
These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.
The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001.
The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away.
Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations.
The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset
Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.
Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.
“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)
”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.
In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era, US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.
In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.
Based on the findings of Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:
In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”
Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.
Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?
Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”
NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.
Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron!
There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found.
One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.
In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building.
Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse.
There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”
Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)
The following AE911Truth Video provides evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.
According to David Ray Griffin:
“The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse — never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City — never.” See David Ray Griffin).According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven
The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed.
The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.
CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event.
(See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)
CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.
Coverup and Complicity
The "911 Reader" presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.
This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”. Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.
Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective.
Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.
In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.
September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.
What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.
With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.
Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.
Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.
Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?
People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!
The routine use of 9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.
All of these complex Al Qaeda-related occurrences are explained by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.
The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks
9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media.
According to Bush, in an October 2002 press conference:
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. ... We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)
Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by President Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)
Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focusing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.
The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.
Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11
In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.
In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.
The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report, p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).
In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran) “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.
According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).
This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.
But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.” (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of Being Behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research, May 11, 2012)
Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers
Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.”
(http://www.debka.com/article/21255/ Debkafile, August 31, 2011).
In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:
Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region.
Table of Contents of the "9/11 Reader"
In Part I, the "911 Reader" provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks?
Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.
Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.
Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.
Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.
Part IX focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11.″
Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.
Part XI examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.
Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.
The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.
Part XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth. The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.